Roundup: Small Business Loans Rising: Ansys Buys Swiss Firm; More

Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 4, 2013 | Go to article overview

Roundup: Small Business Loans Rising: Ansys Buys Swiss Firm; More


Small business loans up, 1st gain since 2010

Small business lending is showing small signs of growth, according to data compiled by the government. The total amount of small business loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter came to $586 billion, up from $584 billion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That was the first quarterly gain in small business lending since the FDIC began tracking loans on a quarterly basis at the start of 2010. The FDIC is a government agency that insures bank deposits and oversees financial companies. Despite the yearend improvement, the lending environment for small business remains weak. The December number was down from $598 billion in the final quarter of 2011 and $626 billion at the end of 2010. Separately, community banks participating in the government's Small Business Lending Fund provided $1.5 billion in small-business loans in the October-December quarter, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. The 332 participating banks in the program floated about 38,000 small-business loans in the fourth quarter, including 3,900 in Mid-Atlantic states such as Pennsylvania.

Ansys buys engineering firm

Ansys Inc. said it acquired a Zurich, Switzerland company that simulates the composition of composite materials for a range of industrial uses. Cecil-based Ansys did not disclose the purchase price for Even-Evolutionary Engineering AG, which was renamed Ansys Switzerland and has 12 employees. Ansys said the two companies previously have collaborated on projects to design, analyze, optimize and simulate composite materials for automotive, aerospace, energy and other industries.

46% to sock away tax refund

Nearly half of American taxpayers expecting a federal income tax refund this year plan to sock away the money as savings, according to a poll released on Wednesday. Of about 1,000 adults surveyed last month by Harris Interactive, 46 percent said they would save the money, 37 percent said they would spend it on day-to-day expenses, and 33 percent said they would use the money to reduce debt. The survey allowed for multiple responses. The Treasury Department sent nearly $310 billion in taxpayer refunds in 2012.

-- Staff and wire reports

The survey was commissioned by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to highlight April as National Financial Literacy Month.

Amazon offers digital songs to vinyl record buyers

In an odd combination of old and new, Amazon says that every time a person buys a vinyl record from its online store, it will give that customer a digital version of the songs for free. The feature, called AutoRip, was launched in January for CDs. The company has said it has boosted music sales. Digital songs are stored in the customer's online storage account with Amazon. Songs received this way don't count against that customer's storage limit. The new offer, announced Wednesday, extends to any physical albums bought on Amazon since 1998. …

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