Health care forum planned for Thursday
MANCHESTER — The Center for Women’s Business Advancement at Southern New Hampshire University and Northeast Delta Dental will hold a free Affordable Care Act/Exchange Education Conference from 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Southern New Hampshire University Dining Center Banquet Facility.
The conference will provide information New Hampshire companies will need to comply with the employer mandate to offer health coverage to employees. Topics to be discussed include regulatory and legislative updates, the perspective of small business owners, employer responsibilities, tax considerations and carrier mandates.
Scheduled presenters include New Hampshire Insurance Department Commissioner Roger Sevigny as well as representatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Northeast Delta Dental, Compass, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Great New Hampshire Restaurants Inc.
The event is free, but registration is required. Visit https://cwba-nh.squarespace.com/acaysb
Microsoft ends Windows XP support
BOSTON — Microsoft Corp released its final security updates for Windows XP and Office 2003 on Tuesday as security experts warned users that they could soon be prime targets for cyber attacks if they do not abandon the products.
Security experts advise consumers and businesses to either replace computers running Windows XP or upgrade to modern versions of Microsoft’s software within the next month because they will no longer be protected from newly discovered threats after the middle of May.
Microsoft automatically rolls out new security updates on the second Tuesday of each month, which is known as “Patch Tuesday,” a day when they also publish technical details on the security bugs they are fixing. The next Patch Tuesday is May 13.
Microsoft first warned that it was planning to end support for Windows XP in 2007, but security firms estimate that 15 to 25 percent of the world’s PCs still run on the version of the operating system that was released in October 2001.
Only about a third of the world’s 2.2 million ATMs which use the system have been upgraded to newer operating systems, according to NCR, one of the biggest ATM makers.
NH residents optimstic about business
DURHAM — Fifty-four percent of New Hampshire residents think the state is headed for a good business conditions in the next 12 months, the most confident state residents have been since July 2005, according to a recent Unversity of New Hampshire Survey Center poll.
The poll was commissioned by the state Business and Industry Assocation, and its leader called the findings very encouraging.
“Consumer confidence is a huge factor in economic activity,” said BIA President Jim Roche.
However, Granite State residents are not as bullish on the country’s economy. Only 38 percent think that good times are ahead financially for the country’s business as a whole; 41 percent think bad times are ahead nationally.
GM to invest $449 M in two Mich. plants
DETROIT — General Motors on Tuesday confirmed it plans to invest a total of $449 million in its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and Brownstown Township, Mich., battery factory to expand its electric-vehicle production and make way for two unidentified new products.
The automaker said it would invest $384 million at Detroit-Hamtramck to ready the factory for the redesigned Chevrolet Volt and two new vehicles.
GM also said it would invest $65 million to expand lithium-ion battery production and next-generation battery manufacturing in Brownstown Township.
A source familiar with the company’s plans told the Detroit Free Press the investment will involve a second production shift and about 1,400 jobs.
Detroit Free Press