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Daniels to attend ceremony

Gov. Mitch Daniels and local officials today plan to participate in a 3:45 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate a $23.5 million expansion at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne.

First announced in June, the addition will house warehouse, sales and marketing operations. Sweetwater founder and President Chuck Surack started the business as a recording studio in his home in 1979, but he grew it into one of the nation’s largest distributors of sound and musical equipment. The company’s investment includes creating up to 316 new jobs by 2016. The median salary is $65,000 a year. The positions are in sales, marketing, administration and shipping.

One major reason behind the growth is customers purchasing in-home recording equipment, officials said.

Med device makers plan D.C. appearances

The Medical Device Manufacturers Association plans a series of events Thursday on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax.

Details are being finalized, MDMA spokesman Brendan Benner said Tuesday. Brenner said industry executives who plan to be in Washington, D.C., include Steve Ferguson, chairman of Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc.

There was no word on whether representatives of Warsaw-based device makers Biomet, DePuy and Biomet will take part.

The medical device tax is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Best Buy CEO details plans for turnaround

Best Buy’s new CEO said Tuesday that it’s time for the struggling electronics chain to try to embrace one of its biggest problems, “showrooming” – when customers check out electronics at its stores and then buy them cheaper online.

Ten weeks into the job, CEO Hubert Joly and other Best Buy executives laid out plans to reverse the consumer electronics chain’s slumping sales and declining profit during an analysts’ meeting in New York, which was webcast.

This was the first chance for analysts to hear the plans Joly has for the company, which he laid out in detail, although he added that since he has only been on the job for a few weeks, the plans are preliminary.

Most elements of the plan – cost cutting, rethinking store square footage, improving customer service in stores and creating a better experience online – have been discussed by Best Buy management for years, but Joly said he is putting plans in place he thinks will actually achieve results.

Survey: Biz owners staying cautious

Small business owners remained cautious in October as they awaited the outcome of the presidential election, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NFIB’s index of owner optimism rose 0.3 point to 93.1. It has fluctuated in a narrow range since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

William Dunkelberg, the NFIB’s chief economist, said there was nothing significant about the slight improvement.

The survey showed that owners grew more uncertain about how business will be in six months, Dunkelberg said. It also showed that hiring plans were unchanged: Just 4 percent of those surveyed planned to hire.

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