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Welcome to our April e-Bulletin.

In this issue ...


Aspen takes out 2013 Tourism Award

Phillipsons is proud to be working with clients Craig and Marianne Caddy, who run Best Western Aspen Motor Inn. They have won the award in the Best Hotel/ Motel/Apartments category in the Prime 7 Wellington People's Choice Awards.

The awards were keenly contested, and Aspen Motor Inn beat 
four other finalists in its category to win the award.

We congratulate Craig and Marianne on their achievement. Well done!


Staff receiving the award on behalf of Craig and Marianne.

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Facebook News Feed updates: What business do good pictures have on YOUR page?

Facebook has announced changes to the News Feed, with more emphasis placed on vibrant photographs and the ability for users to divide their News Feeds into separate categories.

The News Feed is where users see updates on posts and friends' activity, and  where company status updates are posted.

With a huge proportion of users accessing Facebook on mobile devices, having larger and better quality photos is really important.

Business or company pages with images that are eye-catching tend to get more exposure through 'shares' than those with no images.

With the News Feed updates, users can switch between all their favourite feeds, including photographs, links, and friends' activity and also read specific News Feeds for updates from companies that they have 'liked'. The biggest update businesses need to worry about is pictures, because now, posts with pictures are given more prominence on the News Feed by increasing in size.

So the clear message for businesses is to find ways to combine great content with high-quality images. 


For more info on the Facebook News Feed updates:

And... while you're in Facebook, why don't you visit our facebook page? Just click here.

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Merchant surcharging - what your business needs to know

The Reserve Bank has made changes relating to merchant surcharging, which took effect on 18 March 2013.

With the changes, card schemes, such as Visa, MasterCard and Diners, can now limit the surcharges that retailers charge their customers. Visa is the first to act to restrict surcharges under the standards.

VECCI points out that merchants can still fully recover their legitimate card acceptance costs through applying a surcharge to customers that pay by card, but the surcharge must be limited to the 'reasonable cost of card acceptance'.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has issued a 'Guidance Note', which explains what can be included in the 'reasonable cost of acceptance' and Visa has also released a 'PDF Retailer Fact Sheet', which provides a useful snapshot of the changes. A 'Cost of Acceptance Calculator' can also be provided to you through your acquirer.


For the full report from VECCI and information about your obligations, go to this page.

For more news & information from VECCI, click here. 

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A Plain-English Guide to 'Adverse Action'

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner

Adverse Action claims can destroy your businesses. This month we explain what adverse action is all about and provide you with the information you need to protect yourself from these costly claims.

No doubt you're already familiar with the concepts of unfair dismissal, bullying, harassment and discrimination. Often this familiarity is the result of first-hand experience with responding to claims or from attending training courses where the risks associated with these claims are explained.

In contrast, you may be completely unaware of the very real risks you face if an 'adverse action' claim is lodged against you by a disgruntled employee ... [and] you might be engaging in 'adverse action' without even realising it.

Crucially, there are a number of ... aspects of 'adverse action' claims that make them especially dangerous for you and your busines.

Clearly, adverse action claims should be avoided at all costs. By far the most effective way of protecting yourself from these damaging claims is to ensure you understand the notion of 'workplace rights' and  know what conduct may amount to 'adverse action'.... Click here for the full story.



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The housing sector and employment in the United States

A word from Fred Strauss, our Investment and Markets Research Consultant

The health of the Housing Sector in the United States is hugely important to its economy. The Housing Sector does not only include the construction of new homes but also everything that feeds off that activity such as timber and building materials supply, furniture manufacturing, appliance manufacturing, carpet and home décor manufacturing and even banking. Importantly, the Housing Sector and related industries are major employers and there is a very close relationship between the state of the Housing Sector and the level of employment in the US.

America needs about 1.5 million new homes every year. The main driver of demand for new housing is immigration into the US of about 1.3 million households annually.

The housing bubble burst with violence that shook the entire global economy. However, this devastating supply/demand equation has reversed since 2007 and ... the housing sector in America has been progressively improving over the last two years ...

Click here to read the full story.


Fred Strauss is sharing his research and findings on both the Australian and International markets and is presenting at our seminar on US and Aussie equities. He can help you to make an informed decision about investing in these markets.

When: Thursday, 18 April 2013
Where: 388 Raymond Street, Sale

Registrations close on Friday, 12 April 2013 (Places are limited)

Phone: 03 5144 5207 for more info.

See the full ad here.

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And finally a word from the editor ...

Easter has come and gone – time to let go of the warmer weather and prepare for shorter daylight hours and the inevitable winter.

It has been great to receive feedback over the last month from some of our avid readers – many of your suggestions will be incorporated into future issues. So please keep me posted with any topics you would like covered or content you would like to see.

Until next month,

Kurt Best
General Manager


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