No. 207: Molecular Orbitals, Scooby Doo and why small business doesn’t like full employment

TG it’s F: A great Friday, everybody. If you’re an observant Christian, enjoy your collations.

Howard Taft became the first president to throw out an Opening Day baseball on this date in 1910. Chief execs tossed the ball from their seats until 1984, when Ronald Reagan took to the mound. Bill Clinton was the first president who managed to get a throw all the way to the catcher on the fly.

Yikes: Brat Packer Anthony Michael Hall is 49 today.

And HB2U, Ronald Stair.

But first, this: The Federal Reserve was out with its annual survey of small businesses this week, and the numbers look good. More than 60 percent said they expect higher revenues this year and four of 10 small business owners said they planned to increase staff. A third said they had added workers last year.

One big hurdle is the nation’s jobless rate, which suggests we’re at full employment, meaning business owners will have to pump up wages to recruit talent. And many will have to do it out of pocket, as the nation’s banks remain stuck in their “umbrella on a sunny day” lending posture.

Not the banks’ fault, mind you. Until interest rates rise and the yield curve broadens, they pretty much have to stick to safe bets. President Trump’s promised financial reforms would help loosen the logjam.

(Although, ever the real estate developer, he said he likes low rates.)

Access to credit is most acute among firms with less than $1 million in annual revenue, a group that made up 70 percent of the Fed’s sample of 16,000 small businesses. Two-thirds said they couldn’t get the financing they need to grow, and a quarter said they had dipped into personal finances to fund their businesses.

If the economy stalls, look here first.

Just in: Thomas Allison walked off with bragging rights, and a chunky $200,000 research grant, at this year’s Discovery Prize competition, which placed four Stony Brook University researchers before a (really) distinguished review panel in a Shark Tank (without teeth) setting.

Allison’s “Recording Movies of Molecular Orbitals with Angstrom and Attosecond Resolution” got the nod from 2016 Nobel Laureate F. Duncan Haldane, U.C. Berkeley physics professor Barbara Jacak and Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons, chairman of the Simons Foundation and Forbes billionaire list regular.

Allison’s cinematic science bested proposals exploring synthetic gene circuits, non-equilibrium dynamics in quantum mechanics and the nanoseconds that followed the Big Bang.

Got all that? Good.


Donald Trump, Long Island and the war on science. Nuff said.

Meanwhile, Albany wants to turn NY into one giant science cluster. Rock on.

A contractor’s trade group has filed suit against five state agencies for what it alleges are secret – and unlawful – minority business quotas.

A common medication used to treat parasitic infections could leapfrog to the top of medical science’s brain-cancer arsenal, Feinstein researchers say.

Hackers can follow your computer’s power consumption to break in, steal personal data, post weird stuff on your social media, throw an election, etc., a team from NYIT warns.

Cleantech Open Northeast, a regional incubator program that has graduated local firms like ThermoLift and Bonded Energy Solutions, is accepting applications until May 1.

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About our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.


Hofstra’s student business plan competition hits the stage Tuesday, that’s April 18, with 10 teams vying for $40,000 in awards, including a $20,000 top prize. Details and free registration here.

EisnerAmper’s Pivotal conference combines deep thought, tech talk, Grade A networking, performance and apres-beveraging in one giant happening, May 9, 3 to 8 p.m., The Space in Westbury, register here.

Do you know how much your business is really worth? AVZ business evaluation specialist John Shillingsford will walk you through it, April 28, a.m., Dale Carnegie offices in Hauppauge.

Getting along with the FDA, specifically on food labeling, April 19, 8 a.m., Melville Marriott, Nixon Peabody, industry experts and Kominicki MCs, please register.

The fabulous Dave Pennetta helms the Real Estate Institute’s spring symposium, April 28, Stony Brook Garden Inn, info and tickets here.

The rest of the Innovate calendar is here.


Chugging along: The LIRR’s on-time performance, which hit 95.2% in 2009, came in at 92.7% last year, but up over 2015, according to a new report from Tom DiNapoli’s office.

Confuse and confound: Uncertainty over the future of Obamacare led to a steep drop in investments for New York area digital health startups in Q1. The take was $57 million, or less than 10 percent of investments made in the same period a year earlier.

All the ways President Trump can dismantle Obamacare without another embarrassing congressional vote: A handy NYT feature.

Cheap babysitting: Boomerang has launched a $4.99 a month streaming service of Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes and MGM cartoons, including Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones and more. 1,000 titles now with more being added weekly.

Quick – name America’s top three drinking spots: Could be Florida, Texas and our nation’s capital, which is where booze-delivery service Klink has prospered. It sold itself to NYC’s this week.

Missed the boat on sponsoring? Climb aboard. We need your support to keep this baby going.

How to save the Apple Watch: Turn it into a glucose monitor for the fast-growing Type 2 diabetes market.

And just to remind: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great firms like Farrell Fritz.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.

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