Winners and losers from the week

Australia’s been celebrating its sporting winners all week, but now it’s time to have a look at the winners and losers from the world of business.

Australia’s been celebrating its sporting winners all week, but now it’s time to have a look at the winners and losers from the world of business.


Jim Selim
The founder of Pan Pharmaceuticals won a $50 million compensation payment from the Government after suing it for negligence in the closure of Pan back in 2003. The decision has opened the way for further claims against the Government from Pan shareholders and customers.

Melbourne was judged to be the third most entrepreneurial city in the developed world this week by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor based at the London Business School. The New Zealand city of Auckland was first and Sydney ran sixth.

There’s plenty of bad economic news about, but everyone was surprised to learn that consumer confidence actually jumped 9% in August. The big reason appears to be a drop in the price of fuel, although the prospect of an interest rate cut next month is also cheering consumers.

Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul stores
Many retailers might be feeling the pinch from the economic slowdown, but Salvos and St Vinnies stores are doing just fine, with sales up 11% and 13% respectively. The increase in sales has been put down to bargain hunters and a jump in shoppers looking for vintage and retro clothing.


iPhone users
It’s a month since the much-hyped iPhone came out and while most users are thrilled with their devices, it seems there are some problems. This week it emerged that some users are shocked at the size of the bills they are receiving because of big data downloads, while others are upset with the phone’s browsing speed and reception.

Small business taxpayers
The tax office announced this week that it is poised to launch a four-year crackdown on SMEs, during which it will review the status of EVERY company with annual turnover between $100 million and $250 million. Also in the taxman’s sights this year are executive pay packets, self-managed super funds and the wealthy.

Family businesses
Family businesses might be weathering the downturn better than other companies (mainly because they take on less debt) but a new survey has revealed that their corporate governance systems leave a lot to be desired. Only 37% actually have a board and those that do are usually stacked with family members.

Commander Communications customers
The collapse of telco junior Commander Communications with debts of $300 million could hit up to 30,000 SME customers as well various state and federal government departments. While the receiver intends to operate Commander as a going concern while he tries to sell the business, it’s not clear whether there will actually be much interest.


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