EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS: Season is stressful for some

Dec. 29, 2013 @ 05:04 AM

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, but for many, this season is stressful.

The extra expenses from gifts, travel, food and more can be tough on people with no job or a low-paying one, but the stresses don't stop there: A recent poll by the Washington Post and a group at the University of Virginia found that six in 10 Americans are worried about their job security.

That's the highest it has ever been since the poll began in the 1970s. And of those 60 percent worried about losing their job, half of them — in other words, nearly a third of all Americans — worry "a lot" about losing their job. Those who make the least also worry the most, with 54 percent of people making $35,000 a year or less seriously worried about losing their jobs and 85 percent doubting if they'd be able to pay all their bills.

And they at least have jobs to worry about. As of October, four million Americans had been trying, and failing, to find a job for six months or more — which the Post said is "1 million more than at any point in U.S. history before the Great Recession."

Here's to hoping 2014 brings a brighter economic future.

In other news...

* O'Quinn-Peebles Funeral Home, based in Lillington, will add another hyphenated name after Paul Phillips takes over the business in January. The (Dunn) Daily Record reported that current owners Cecil and Kay Peebles decided to retire and thus end three generations of family ownership of one of the oldest businesses in Lillington. But they wanted to keep it locally owned instead of selling to a large company, the newspaper reported, so they tapped Phillips, who is also a Lillington Town Commissioner and has worked at the business for seven years, to take the helm. It will now be called the O'Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home.

* Did you shop at a Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 and use a card? If you, you might be one of the more than 1.2 million people in North Carolina who had their identity stolen. Check your account and, if you think you were affected, contact the Federal Trade Commission or call Target itself, at (866) 852-8680.

* Financial wrongdoings like those depicted in the blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street" might seem inherent to New York or London. But the alleged leader of a massive defrauding scheme based in small-town North Carolina was recently indicted in federal court. The FBI alleges that Daniel Williford, 55, of Statesville, got about $44 million from investors but spent $32 million to fund his lavish lifestyle and expand the pyramid scheme, only putting about $8 million into actual investments. If it turns out to be true, he made at least one good move: Imagine how far $32 million would go in Iredell County compared to, say, Manhattan.

* In the last week, two corporations formed in Lee County — Travis Support Services and Robertson and Sons Construction — and two, Carolina Pools and Tienda la Jalisco of Sanford, were dissolved or withdrawn.

Have business news? Contact Will Doran at wdoran@sanfordherald.com or (919) 718-1217.