Monthly Archives: June 2011

How much does buying local really help?

A group called Independent We Stand has unveiled a calculator that shows that if every family in Wichita spent $10 a month more at locally owned businesses instead of national ones, it would add almost $20 million more to the Wichita economy.

The formula used in the calculator is based on a 2004 Chicago study that shows that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 returns to the local economy while only $43 does when the businesses are national.

Kansas ag land values stay strong

Farmers National, a national farm land brokerage, estimates that central Kansas agricultural land is up since June of 2010 by about 25 percent for non irrigated land, to $2,500 an acre, and 33 percent to $4,000 an acre for irrigated land.

Many are watching closely for signs of a bubble, but the Farmers National said that, so far, there aren’t any.  It’s mostly farmers with extra cash using it to buy land. Only 15 to 25 percent of buyers are outside investors, it said.

“Despite the robust demand driving sales activity levels, reports show that lenders are taking a relatively conservative approach to lending,” said Lee Vermeer, AFM, vice president of real estate operations at Farmers National Company.  “Strong profits the past few years have provided cash for farmer buyers, while investors are taking cash from other sources to rebalance portfolios.”

Reassuring, I suppose. On the other hand, this is a company that makes its money from selling farm ground and from managing it for absentee owners.

Weekend email means neverending work

According to a new poll from Right Management, 33 percent of workers report they frequently answer email from the boss on weekends. Another 30 percent said they occasionally got work emails on the weekend. It’s another example of technology blurring the work/home line, said David Hughes, Market Vice President for Right Management.

“Everybody once thought technology would reduce the drudgery and make the workplace more efficient. Sure, technology has delivered great benefits to employees, but it also crosses the boundary between the workplace and the worker’s own private space. It seems one can no longer get away at all from work or responsibility.”