WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a $130 billion bill Wednesday by a vote of 62 to 36 that shortens depreciation rules for remodeling stores and provides more capital to expand businesses through the Small Business Administration.
To help pay for the bill, which also includes unemployment insurance extensions, the measure prevents paper companies from claiming $29 billion in tax credits for burning “black liquor,” a pulp by-product used as an alternative fuel.
Apparel and retail groups said the bill will provide some relief to segments of the industry. It extends through this year a 15-year depreciation period for retail improvements that expired at the end of last year and in January reverted back to a 39-year depreciation period. The reinstatement of the shorter depreciation period would give retailers a boost in writing off expenses of remodeling stores, which they typically do every five to seven years. The proposal is estimated to cost $4.8 billion over 10 years, according to the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Retailers must keep remodeling their stores every five to seven years to keep them fresh and keep customers coming in. It’s a competitive issue,” said Rachelle Bernstein, vice president and tax counsel for the National Retail Federation. “If the cost of making repairs is much higher because of a 39-year [write-off] period and not a 15-year period, it is harder to show profitability and it is more likely stores will be closed and people will be laid off.”
Apparel and textile companies would get a portion of the help they were seeking in access to more credit with a provision in the bill that provides $354 million in funding through the end of the fiscal year to increase loan guarantees to 90 percent from 75 percent and eliminate fees charged to borrowers under SBA loan programs. The provision essentially extends funding that expired in the stimulus bill that was enacted last year. It is expected to support $18.5 billion in loans to small businesses this year.
“Unlike the last jobs bill [which is still pending in the Senate], this bill has provisions that can make a difference for small businesses and apparel and footwear companies,” said Nate Herman, senior director of international trade for the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
The House passed a $154 billion jobs bill in December that included many of the same tax breaks, and the two bills will have to be reconciled before the final version is sent to the President for signing into law.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast