Business Diary: Lib Dem VIPs head for Jurys

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The Independent Online

Much glee at the hotel group Jurys, which is enjoying playing host to the Liberal Democrats, including leader Nick Clegg and his deputy, Simon Hughes, at its Liverpool Jurys Inn – it reckons this is the first time a major political party has stayed at a three-star hotel for its annual conference. Mr Clegg, of course, did not have to endure such trying conditions for too long. He left the shindig early yesterday for a United Nations meeting in New York. One imagines he won't be staying in a Manhattan youth hostel.

Sour taste at Molson firms

Molson Coors, the brewing giant, might just suffer a little hangover from its decision to extend its payment terms for suppliers. The Forum of Private Business last night launched an angry broadside against Molson before adding it to a "late-payment hall of shame". Molson insists it is only following standard industry practice – and, to be fair, Carlsberg is already installed on the FPB's blacklist – but its suppliers are less than impressed.

Porters swim against the tide

Also in a strop are fish porters at Billingsgate Market, who are due at Guildhall today to hand over a 20,000-strong petition to the Mayor of London protesting against changes to their work practices. The market's operators want to open up the trade, but the fish porters aren't going down without making a stink.

Movie role for Tim Geithner?

When CNBC, the business channel, interviewed Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of the retail giant Home Depot, it wanted to know what he thought of the US government's efforts to stimulate the economy. "Take Timothy Geithner and put him in a new reality show," Mr Marcus answered. "It's called 'Timothy Geithner Does Small Business', something like Debbie Does Dallas, and it ends up the same way," he explained. "Basically, what they are doing to small business is very similar." Look up the cultural references for yourself if you don't get it.