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Business briefs for December 27

BIVB starting chat initiative on Facebook

The Big Island Visitors Bureau public relations team is launching a new Facebook chat initiative in January 2013 focused on growing our online community of engaged consumers, media, travel agents, and meeting planners.

We’re looking for Hawaii Island industry partners to participate in these monthly chat sessions as featured “destination experts” to create a dialogue of useful and insightful conversation inspiring people to visit our destination. Here’s how it will work:

On the second Friday of each month from 9-10 a.m., BIVB will host a live chat on its Facebook page ( utilizing the “comments” section covering specific niche topics (golf, romance, cuisine, romance, eco-tourism, arts/culture, etc.). The chat will be moderated by a BIVB representative to ensure conversations stay on topic. Participants will be able to ask questions which will be answered by the featured speaker and BIVB representative.

Partners will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire and the BIVB team will review all submissions. Preference will be given to industry partners who have not participated recently in other BIVB marketing and public relations programs.

If you are interested in being considered as a featured partner, please contact Erin Kinoshita, account supervisor at McNeil Wilson Communications, at Please note “BIVB Facebook Chat Initiative” in your subject line. The PR team will follow up with each of you with additional details.

Poor holiday sales pull down Wall Street

Associated Press

NEW YORK — For the stock market, this week hasn’t been the most wonderful time of the year.

U.S. stocks fell Wednesday for the third trading day in a row. Disappointing holiday sales weighed heavy on retail companies, and the unwelcome “fiscal cliff” package of higher taxes and lower government spending loomed nearer.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 24.49 points to 13,114.59. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6.83 to 1,419.83 and the Nasdaq composite lost 22.44 to 2,990.16.

Karyn Cavanaugh, market strategist with ING Investment Management in New York, wrote a note to clients Wednesday highlighting the less-than-merry retail sales.

“I hope that they’re reading this from the mall,” she said later, “because retail sales could use a boost.”

The MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report found that sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods increased just 0.7 percent in the two months before Christmas compared with the same period last year. That was well below the 3 to 4 percent that analysts had expected and the worst performance since 2008, when spending shrank during the depths of the Great Recession.

Major U.S. retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch, Sears Holdings, Urban Outfitters, Limited Brands, Nike and Gap were all down. Handbag maker Coach, a bellwether of the luxury market, plummeted $3.39 to $54.13.


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