FINANCE

Sam’s Club to pay $440,000 to settle harassment lawsuit

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disclosed Thursday that the Sam’s Club warehouse division of Wal-Mart Stores will pay $440,000 and other relief to settle a harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

The agency disclosed the settlement in a statement on its website.

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FINANCE

Carrefour Q1 sales rise 3.9%

BY CSA STAFF

Paris — French retail giant Carrefour SA reported Thursday that sales in its fiscal first quarter inched up 3.9% to $35.7 billion.

Stronger showings in Brazil and China helped the retailer counteract weaker performance in Western Europe.

Carrefour’s sales figures come ahead of a key shareholder vote in June on the company’s plans to spin off its discount chain Dia and some European property assets into separately listed companies.

The plans are backed by Carrefour’s main shareholders: U.S. fund Colony Capital and French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, which together control about 14% of Carrefour’s capital and about 20% of its voting rights.

The project has been publicly criticized by unions, the European shareholder rights group Deminor and a handful of family shareholders in recent weeks for stripping Carrefour of money that could be reinvested in the company.

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Survey: Small business owners are shifting from survival to growth

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Survey results released Thursday showed that, for the first time since 2006, small business owners are shifting their focuses from just surviving to plotting growth.

According to the 2011 American Express OPEN Spring Small Business Monitor, entrepreneurs say they are expecting to hire and make necessary capital investments in their firms, signaling signs of an economic recovery.

The semi-annual survey revealed that 35% of small business owners have plans to hire, up nine percentage points from last fall and the highest level since the fall 2008 survey.

Four-in-10 (44%) plan to make capital investments, compared with 48% last spring and 38% last fall. And 37% said they expect to grow, and 56% are willing to take a financial risk to do so.

Nearly half use social media tools to promote their business to new customers (44%, up from 39% six months ago). The one cause for concern among small business owners is cash flow, as 66% said concerns are at an all-time survey high (up from 60% last spring and 53% last fall).

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