A LITTLE HELP: Fashion companies are asking the Italian government for a break in these trying economic times. Sistema Moda Italia, a consortium of more than 1,500 Italian textile and fashion firms, said its representatives met Monday with Industry Minister Antonio Marzano and laid out a series of proposals, including tax breaks for small companies, coordinated promotion for Italian goods and a crackdown on counterfeit goods. SMI said the ministry has agreed to set up a committee to evaluate the requests and implement them accordingly.

DEADLINE EXTENSION: The Securities and Exchange Commission has been granted three additional months to file a claim against bankrupt Kmart Corp., should it choose to do so. The federal bankruptcy court handling the Kmart case gave the SEC until Oct. 29 to put forth a claim, versus the original July 31 deadline. The extension doesn’t preclude additional extensions from being requested or granted.

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