Chattanooga retailer Huck & Peck accepting Bitcoins

Chattanooga furniture retailer Huck & Peck is trying not only to be unique in its product offerings, but also in methods customers may choose to pay for their furniture.

Michael "Rip" Turner, who opened Huck and Peck on Chattanooga's Southside in 2015, has begun accepting cryptocurrency payments, including Bitcoins.

"These are times to be on the cutting edge of payment processing, and in my lifetime I have bartered, received cash, credit and even a gold coin as payment for products," he said. "Why not embrace the future instead of fearing it? When an early adopter of Blockchain wants a sofa, well, Huck & Peck wants that business."

Turner said 11% of all Americans own some Bitcoins or other cryptocurrency, but he is unaware of any other furniture retailers in the Chattanooga market yet that are accepting such alternative payments.

"I remember when I got into retailing 30 years ago, people were worried about credit cards and later PayPal," he said. "I think Bitcoins are just next step in currency and I don't like to tell the customer no."


UPS against Biden corporate tax hike

UPS is opposing a proposed hike in corporate tax rates to pay for President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan.

Biden last week outlined a $2.3 trillion plan to build up the nation's infrastructure over the next eight years, for everything from roads, bridges, public transit and electric vehicle charging stations, to upgrading sewers, broadband Internet and the power grid. To help pay for it, Biden proposed increasing the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%. The tax rate on corporate profits was cut to 21% from 35% through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump.

UPS issued a statement saying it "applauds President Biden for prioritizing infrastructure funding, specifically efforts that will make the nation's roads, highways and bridges safer for our essential workers and the communities we serve."

But the package delivery giant urged the use of a "user pay" model such as an increase in federal fuel taxes, and said it supports the launch of a pilot program for a tax based on vehicle miles traveled.

"Funding and investing in our nation's transportation infrastructure is essential to remaining competitive in today's global economy and UPS believes it should pay its fair share, but does not support increasing corporate tax rates to pay for what should be a dedicated infrastructure funding source," the company said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also voiced opposition to a corporate tax rate increase. It said Wednesday that while there is "a great need" to invest in American infrastructure, "that doesn't mean we should proceed with tax hikes that will hurt American businesses and cost American jobs."


Producer prices jump last month

Wholesale prices jumped again in March pushed by another big increase in energy prices, the government reported Friday.

The Labor Department's producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, rose 1% in March, which follows last month's 0.5% gain and a record jump of 1.3% in January.

Energy prices jumped 5.9%, the Labor Department said Friday. That follows increases of 6% last month, 5.1% in January and 4.7% in December.

Over the past year, wholesale prices are up 4.2%, the biggest jump since a 4.5% increase for the 12 months ending in September 2011.


Boeing sues over Air Force One work

Boeing is suing a subcontractor it hired for work on new Air Force One planes used to carry the president, saying the company ran into financial problems and missed deadlines.

The aircraft maker said the subcontractor's problems have caused millions in damages to Boeing and jeopardized work that is critically important to the U.S. Air Force and the president.

"Despite this situation we are not behind schedule and we still plan to meet the Air Force's delivery schedule," Boeing spokeswoman Deborah VanNierop said Friday. She said the company will find new suppliers or do the work itself.

The lawsuit was filed this week in a Texas state court in Fort Worth. GDC did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $3.9 billion contract in 2018 to convert two Boeing 747-8 planes into the iconic presidential jets and deliver them by December 2024. Boeing hired GDC for work on Air Force One and other executive plHanes used to carry government officials.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner