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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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How Sarah Jessica Parker Made a Lucrative Business Out of Being Carrie Bradshaw

HBO/Getty

In a 2001 episode of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw agrees to appear in a runway show as long as she can keep her fabulous Dolce & Gabbana dress after walking. (Of course, wackiness ensues when plans change just before showtime, and Carrie has to prance onstage in jeweled panties—that’s fashion, baby.)

Now Sarah Jessica Parker’s life is imitating her most famous character’s woes. According to court documents, luxury jewelry designer Kat Florence has accused the actress of not returning $ 150,000 worth of jewels she “borrowed” after a photoshoot.

In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, Parker’s lawyer Ira Schreck called the claims “plain false,” adding that his client “has never and would never hold onto anything belonging to someone else.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

If Redskins’ ‘Business Friday’ carries over to businesslike Sundays, this could be fun

The mood is clear entering the home opener vs. the Colts: fun, silly but still professional. A win would give a little more credibility to the notion that they’re making progress.
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Brazil space station open for small satellite business

Brazil is ready to launch small commercial rockets from its space base near the equator as soon as it agrees to safeguard U.S. technology that is dominant in the industry, the Brazilian Air Force officer managing the space program said on Friday.


Reuters: Science News

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Budget-Friendly Ways to Market Your Business

As someone who works in the construction industry, you already know that marketing is an essential part of owning your own business. This is particularly true for contractors, where competition is stiff and it can be difficult to secure new leads at various points throughout the year.

The trickiest part of marketing for many small business owners is the cost. It can be expensive to run ads and print up marketing materials, and every penny counts for small businesses. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can get the word out about your business without breaking the bank. Here are our top tips for budget-friendly ways to market your business.

Close up portrait of civil engineer using laptop to planning project schedule., Engineering and construction concept.

Be Active on Social Media

 

As a business owner these days, it’s essential to have social media accounts that are up to date and informative for potential clients. But having an online presence isn’t enough—being engaged and active is what drives the successful businesses who attract and retain loyal and/or repeat clients. Being active means directly responding to messages, comments, reviews, and questions in order to satisfy your current and potential clients, as well as to grow your lead base.

There are hundreds of social media platforms around, but these are the best for construction industry professionals:

  • Facebook & Twitter– This is where you will post information and updates,  respond to and interact personally with clients, and run ads.
  • Twitter- Use this account for finding and interacting with clients and other industry connections.
  • Instagram– Utilize the photo-first format to showcase your work. Customers especially appreciate before and after photos.
  • LinkedIn– Show off your expertise and experience here, both through your own business profile and also by linking to those of your employees. It’s also a valuable tool for sourcing new contractors in your field.

While the pros of online marketing are obvious (such as instant status updates and a widened search radius for clients), some contractors can be put off by the techy language and unfamiliar processes of social media updates. If this is the case, you can enlist the help of friends or other professionals to guide you through the basics or search for tutorial videos online. You can also hire a social media professional to run your online marketing for you, but this will cost you.

Boost Your Online Presence

Once you’ve signed up for and updated your social media accounts, you will have significantly increased your potential client base just by being online. If you want more people to see your updates, you can opt to boost your posts or run sponsored ads by paying a small amount to the social media platform of your choosing. This option isn’t exactly free, but is still much cheaper than hiring a full time staff member to run your marketing department.

Of course, the Internet is about more than just social media. If you want to increase viewership on your business website or other online pages from outside the platform, you can also run ads on search engines. Many ad companies run on a pay-by-click basis, so you can run online advertisements while staying in budget: you can check out Google’s AdWords for more information on how this kind of marketing could work for you.

Use Sales and Offers to Increase Your Client Base

If your construction business is experiencing a slow period, one of the best ways to boost sales is by offering special deals for existing clients. This technique can also be used to bring in new customers when you want to grow your business – after all, everyone loves a good sale!

There are several ways to go about running a sale in order to market your business, but we have a few personal favorites that we think will help you bring in new leads.

  • Offer online discounts for social media followers (eg. 10% off service for Facebook followers)
  • Host giveaways for your clients (across online platforms or in person)
  • Give incentives for clients who recommend your services (via refer a friend schemes or by sharing your social media posts)

Although giveaways and discounts will slightly lower your profit margin initially, we think the benefits of these customer-friendly practices will more than make up for any losses in the long run. Clients love to be cared for, so they will not forget that you thought about them and will come back to you time and again – and recommend you to their friends!

Tweak Your Brand

Sometimes, all you need to boost sales—and company morale—is a bit of something new. Updating your brand is a great way of making everything feel fresh and new in your business, and potential leads will definitely appreciate the effort you put into your marketing materials.

A brand update doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul; you can often completely revive the look of your brand just by changing the color scheme or font on your logo. We also like the idea of using infographics as a marketing tool, but unless your graphic design skills are excellent this could take some time.

If you decide you do want some help to make your brand look better, you can hire a graphic designer to create a mock-up of the designs you would like. While many graphic design companies will charge you an arm and a leg—hourly—for this kind of work, you can save money by finding a friend who could help you for free. Another way to find help is by advertising your design job online. Websites like Fiverr allow you to post your requirements online and freelancers will bid for your job, so you can choose how much you pay and who you work with.

 

The post Budget-Friendly Ways to Market Your Business appeared first on Modernize.

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Henri Bendel to close all stores after 123 years in business

You won’t be able to be a Bendel Girl for much longer.

The 123-year old Henri Bendel — an upscale women’s brand known for its iconic brown and white striped shopping bags and products — will close all 23 of its stores, including its flagship Fifth Ave. location, in January. The Bendel website will…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Amid CBS Shakeup, Powerful Black Business Leader Appointed to Its Board

The culmination of a legal showdown, internal clashes, threats, and allegations of sexual misconduct against the chief executive has placed CBS Corp. in a firestorm of controversy and national discourse. The shakeup has also resulted in six new board members that include three women and one African American man.

Corporate Crisis

Earlier this week, Leslie Moonves stepped down as chairman and CEO of CBS Corp. amid a cascade of sexual assault allegations published in a series of articles in The New Yorker. CBS chief operating officer Joe Ianniello has been named interim CEO.

Just days after Moonves’s departure, Jeff Fager, the long-time executive producer of 60 Minutes, was fired for reportedly sending a text message threatening CBS reporter Jericka Duncan, who was looking into the allegations against both Moonves and Fager. Fager, however, has denied the allegations. Meanwhile, CBS and National Amusements Inc. recently settled an ongoing legal battle that erupted in May over control of the company.

As the embattled media conglomerate looks to turn the tide, six independent directors were replaced on the company’s 13-member board. One is Richard “Dick” Parsons, former Time Warner chairman and CEO, who joins longtime board member Bruce S. Gordon as the second sitting African American member. Moving forward, these two prominent leaders will be at the helm of helping CBS recover from an onset of scandal.

Richard “Dick” Parsons

Richard Parsons

(Richard D. Parsons, Former Chairman of Citigroup Inc.)

Parson is a well-rounded leader noted for his sound judgment and vast experience in politics, finance, entertainment, and philanthropy. His illustrious career earned him the February 2002 cover of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He also has a proven track record of driving results at large organizations during times of crisis and change.

“Among the numerous roles of this unflappable leader: Taking the helm of AOL Time Warner as the media giant was reeling from a troubled merger during the height of the dotcom boom; serving as chairman of Citigroup as the financial giant was recovering from the sector’s financial meltdown; lending his expertise to U.S. presidents over the years in tackling dire issues ranging from Social Security reform to job creation during the Great Recession: helping to resurrect the famed Apollo Theater at a time in which it was financially crippled; and assuming the role of  interim CEO  to stabilize the L.A. Clippers NBA franchise during the Donald Sterling scandal,” writes BLACK ENTERPRISE Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle.

Since stepping down as CEO of Time Warner in 2007, Parsons has partnered with former Time Warner Investments head Rachel Lam to create Imagination Capital, an investment firm that provides seed funding for 20 to 25 digital media, e-sports, and big data startups. Parsons was also named on BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s Most Powerful African Americans in Business in 2010.

“Folks looking for leaders in time of change, look for someone who is steady, someone who does not react without reflection,” Parson said recently at the Senior Multicultural Leaders Conference. “They are looking for someone who is confident in making decisions. Another thing is authenticity, a word that hasn’t been vocalized enough, I’ve been in a lot of situations when a bunch of people are looking to you as a leader. Being authentic is the only way you can establish trust. Lastly, never panic. People make the worst decisions when they panic. It doesn’t stop people from doing it. I don’t.”

Bruce S. Gordon

Bruce Gordan

Bruce Gordon (Image: File)

Gordon, who joined CBS’ board of directors in 2006, played an instrumental role in negotiating the larger settlement that included Moonves’s removal, according to The New York Times. “This agreement maintains an independent board that is charged with determining the best course for the future of CBS on behalf of all shareholders,” he said in a statement.

Gordon, along with CBS board member Martha L. Minow, was also responsible for interviewing the board nominees before the larger board endorsed the new appointments, reports The Times.

In addition, Gordon has served in a variety of leadership roles in business and civil rights. He spent most of his career with Verizon and was named as the head of the NAACP in 2005. Along with Parsons, the business exec has been listed on the 2018 BLACK ENTERPRISE Registry of Corporate Directors and was named as the BLACK ENTERPRISE executive of the year in 1998.

As an advocate for equality, Gordon stressed the importance of having diverse talent in leadership positions in an interview with BE last year. “Having an African American at the table means they can influence policy. If we use our voices appropriately, then our communities are the beneficiaries of what we do,” he said. “People need to understand how important this is. Our people in our community should care about that.”

The post Amid CBS Shakeup, Powerful Black Business Leader Appointed to Its Board appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

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SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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5 Business Casual Outfit Ideas

Clothes definitely have power and we want you to always use that power to your benefit, however, that’s easier said than done. Coming up with different business casual outfits can be more difficult than it seems.

Because of that, I want to give you five specific outfits that you can work with because we’re sure you have those staples in your wardrobe ready and by adding certain accessories or certain other elements, you can just create something that’s very versatile, at the same time, always elegant, stylish, and professional.

We created five typical business casual outfits that evolve around one specific garment. The idea is to provide you with inspiration for your own business casual outfits because it’s such a popular dress code.

Blazer with subtle plaids

Blazer paired with seersucker pants

1. Patterned Blazer Or Sport Coat

Chances are you’ve heard of the navy blue blazer, it’s a fantastic garment, however, it can be a little formal at times. Good news is you can certainly wear it as a business casual combination! At the same time, having a different item such as in a small white and blue check, maybe something in a houndstooth pattern, or maybe even a tweed coat, can help you to break things up, make it more casual, and more appropriate for that dress code.

If you are into traditional blazers like boating blazers such as rope stripes, that’s something I would not wear to the office because it’s over the top. One underrated business casual pattern is the classic Glen check pattern or Prince of Wales pattern. Usually, it comes in a background of black and white or maybe dark brown and off-white with an overplaid in a contrasting color, it can be brown, it can be green, blue, or sometimes even pink.

Even though it is typically sold as a suit, I suggest you take the jacket and wear it with some odd trousers. That way, it’s more casual but still visually interesting as long as there’s enough contrast between the pants and the jacket. If you want, you can also take jackets from your brighter colored suits such as a medium brown suit or maybe a green fresco suit and combine those into a business casual outfit. As you can see, at the center is always the jacket and you want it to be more casual, meaning either it should have a pattern, it should have a nice interesting color that is different from typical business colors, or it could have an interesting material blend with rougher wools such as tweed.

During the colder months of the year, you can even wear a cashmere jacket which is super warm but at the same time, extremely soft. When you’ve chosen a bolder jacket that makes a statement, I suggest to tone down the pants and the shirt in your outfit simply so the jacket can shine and its overall, harmonious. Maybe try to pick up a color scheme in your shoes, go with simple chinos, or on the other hand, if you just have like a navy blazer or maybe with mother-of-pearl buttons or a windowpane pattern, you can combine it with some seersucker pants.

Allen Edmonds Chukka Boots with Corduroy

Allen Edmonds Chukka Boots with Corduroy

2. Interesting Pair Of Pants

Typically in an office environment, pants, trousers, or slacks can become monotonous very quickly. Between solid navy, gray, or charcoal, there’s not much else. Every once in a while, you’ll see maybe a chino in a khaki tone or in sand but that’s about it. If you’ve watched this channel before chances are you see me in corduroy pants, I’m a big fan of them, especially in the winter. Ideal colors to me are brown, maybe caramel, or olive green. Corduroy is actually made in the exact same way as velvet with the exception that ridges are cut in and wider ridges make things look more casual, slimmer ridges are a little more formal.

Nantucket Reds from Murrays Toggery Shop

Nantucket Reds from Murrays Toggery Shop

For the warmer months of the year, I suggest you experiment a bit with colorful chinos that could be like a pale blue pair of chinos or if you’re more daring, a pair of Nantucket red chinos. Of course, you can also play with the texture and if you go with a linen pair of pants, I suggest going with a royal blue color which is darker and less flashy than a pale blue or a Nantucket red, at the same time, the texture stands out and by choosing a blue that is two or three shades lighter in a typical business suit, you indicate that it’s not at all the same garment and it’s very different from a business suit.

Wide Seersucker Stripes with Little Puckering

Wide Seersucker Stripes with Little Puckering

If you’re into seersucker, maybe evolve past the basic color of blue and white and maybe opt for something in beige and white. It will really look very different, at the same time, it has the same benefits of seersucker which is that it’s very lightweight, it doesn’t wrinkle a lot which is always welcome at the office, and at the same time, it’s made for hot weather so you can be stylish without overheating.

Gray and brown combination with Fort Belvedere accessories

Gray and brown combination with Fort Belvedere accessories

3. Gray & Brown Combination

Traditionally, black was the color for the city and brown was the color for the country. Now both of these were rarely mixed, even darker suits such as a gray flannel was rarely mixed with brown, however, I think both of those colors can really be combined quite well if it’s done so tastefully.

That means if you have a darker gray, go with a darker shade of brown. Let’s say you have a gray flannel suit, combine it with a brown grenadine tie and maybe brown loafers. Rather than going with a light tan, maybe go with a chocolate brown. You could also go with monk straps, for example, or anything else you like but picking up both of those colors gives your outfit a warmer appearance, at the same time, it’s still quite formal enough for most office environments out there.

Oatmeal tweed jacket with knit tie

Oatmeal tweed jacket with knit tie

4. Tweed Jacket

Personally, I’m a huge fan of tweed jackets because they’re so versatile, they have lots of colors in their fabrics, they are warm, at the same time they are thicker and because of that, they are very wrinkle resistant. Honestly, you can sit on a jacket and just throw it at a corner, pick it back up, put it on, and it doesn’t show wrinkles at all. Now try that with your other suits and you will see what I mean.

Gray Donegal Tweed jacket

Gray Donegal Tweed jacket

When it comes to business casual, tweed really fits right in because it casualizes the jacket style and ties it together with more informal pants. A really great tweed color for the office is gray. I suggest you go with a medium gray because it’s still considered formal enough and you can choose between many different styles; there can be a gray Donegal, one which has undertones of blue with colored specks and those colorful dots really soften things up, at the same time, I can wear it with a pair of denim jeans, I can wear it with corduroys, then I can also wear it with chinos, no problem!

In terms of accessories, I suggest you go with more texture such as knit ties or maybe shantung ties or grenadine ties because it just harmonizes well and balances out the overall look.

Vests help to change the look of your existing wardrobe

Vests help to change the look of your existing wardrobe

5. Sweater Vest Or Cardigan

Traditionally, vests are part of a suit but in a more casual environment, a three-piece suit is not an option. When it’s colder in the winter, however, you can wear a vest that is contrasting underneath your jacket and can look quite dapper. Personally, I love my burgundy vest but I also wear bottle green velvet vests and all kinds of other colors including blue tweed for the office. I think a blue tweed vest comes in really handy.

Personally, I would not wear a tailored vest without a jacket, I would always go with a jacket, however, some people are fine with it especially if it’s a sweater vest or a cardigan. Most cardigans you see come in solid colors with navy being a favorite. Sometimes, you can also see off-white which can be quite casual and inappropriate in the wintertime. I also like green because it’s a warm color, it’s kind of an earthy nature color, and it’s in stark contrast with the traditional business color of gray, blue, and charcoal.

Business casual outfit with a sweater and chinos

Business casual outfit with a sweater and chinos

If you wanted to take it a step further, you can also have patterned vests or patterned sweaters such as a houndstooth pattern, could be very traditional, it could be a Prince of Wales for example, or it could be something with dots on it. That aside, you can also find textured sweaters which have kind of a cable knit or other elements. Personally, if I would go to a more casual office environment and I wanted something that was business casual, I wouldn’t hesitate to wear maybe something along the lines of a tennis sweater which is of course quite preppy but that’s simply the style I enjoy.

When I wear a sweater to the office, I typically like to combine it with a necktie which means I get a deep cut v-neck sweater because that way, my tie and my tie knot really pops and looks much better than with a crewneck that actually just covers up the entire tie.

An ivory shirt works well for brown toned jackets

An ivory shirt works well for brown toned jackets

Play With Dress Shirt Colors

In terms of shirts, I prefer to go with small check shirts in a button-down collar sometimes though if the sweater is very loud, you can also go with a more muted shirt. Just stay clear of the plain solid white ones because they are too businesslike and they don’t go well with the casualness of the sweater.

Now most people wear plain white or light blue shirts to the office, I’m a big proponent of the off-white or cream shirt because it’s much softer from afar, it still almost looks like a white shirt yet it ties warmer tones such as brown or green much better together than a plain solid white shirt would.

At the end of the day, you could argue that a cream shirt is better than a white shirt because it’s a lot more versatile. It can be worn with a business suit but it can also be worn with a lot more casual jackets including things like a Harrington jacket or a linen jacket.

What are your business casual staples? Drop a comment below!


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Nike’s Decision to Back Colin Kaepernick Rooted in Social Change as Well as Business

Nike’s decision to make its bold deal with Colin Kaepernick was partly a shrewd business move, but sources involved in the negotiation tell TMZ Sports a big part was also cultural. Our sources say Nike was fully aware there would be outrage by…

TMZ.com

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JD.com Founder Gets Back to Business in Beijing Days After Arrest in U.S.

Liu Qiangdong’s appearance to announce a partnership with the Chinese company that owns Swiss luxury brand Bally—as Minneapolis police investigate an allegation of sexual misconduct—underscores what business observers describe as his extraordinary confidence.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Patrice Banks’ Auto Repair Shop Is More Than a Business — It’s Her Mission


When Patrice Banks was an engineer at DuPont, she occasionally spoke to groups of girls to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — STEM fields.

She found the girls incredibly smart, talented, confident and unafraid to learn new things. Seeing them embrace new subjects inspired her. It made her ask herself what she wished she knew more about.

Banks considered starting a blog to teach women to do some of the jobs they’d typically pay a man to handle. She asked women in her community what they’d like to learn to do themselves. Repeatedly, she got the same type of response. Women wanted to learn how to work on their cars and not feel clueless or taken advantage of when they needed to visit an auto repair shop.

Banks set out to find a female mechanic who could tell her what women needed to know about their cars. The problem was, she couldn’t find one.

So Banks turned to Google, thinking maybe she could find some helpful resources online, but her search was unsuccessful. When she typed “female mechanic” into the search bar, the first thing that popped up were stock images of bikini-clad women posing next to fancy cars.

Determined to find the answers herself and fill a gap in the automotive market, Banks went back to school in 2012 to learn automotive technology. She was the only woman in her classes — and the oldest, a 32-year-old among recent high school graduates — but she didn’t let that stop her.

And now when she types “female mechanic” into the Google search bar, the first thing that pops up is her business: Girls Auto Clinic.

Changing the Face of the Automotive Industry

Girls Auto Clinic, Banks’ auto repair shop, caters to a predominantly female clientele. The business opened its doors in January 2017 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia.

Banks says she prioritizes open communication and transparency, explaining to customers what work needs to be done in easy-to-understand terms. She describes the shop’s lounge as “a clubhouse for women,” with wine, coffee and refreshments available. There’s space to relax with a good book, an area to work on a laptop and a kids’ play section to keep the little ones entertained.

Banks also owns a nail and hair salon — Clutch Beauty Bar — adjacent to the repair shop so customers can be pampered while they wait for their cars to be serviced.

The shop isn’t just a haven for female customers. It’s also where female technicians can find their place in a male-dominated industry. Banks loved solving problems as an engineer and identified the lack of female representation as one of the biggest problems the automotive industry faced.

“If you really want to get this right, you gotta fix the root cause, and that is hiring more women,” she says.

Of the five auto techs at Girls Auto Clinic, four are women.

A New Beginning

A woman mechanic instructs other women on car repair.
Patrice Banks wants to empower women so they feel less stressed about taking their cars to an auto shop. Photos courtesy of Girls Auto Clinic

Banks says she didn’t grow up around cars or with a dad who was a mechanic. In fact, she says she was pretty clueless about cars. For the most part, she’d just turn the ignition and go.

“I made really stupid automotive decisions that cost me money,” Banks says. “I always felt like I was being taken advantage of and I needed a guy to help me if I needed to go to a mechanic or buy a car.”

She didn’t want other women to feel that way.

“I tell people Girls Auto Clinic is not an automotive company, it’s a female empowerment company,” Banks says. “I’m here for women. I started this company to help women, not because I’m a car enthusiast, because I wanted to own a repair center [or] because I like to turn wrenches. That’s not why I’m here.”

Banks hosts free car care workshops at the shop once a month from April to November to pass along her automotive knowledge to other women in her community. She’s also inspiring the next generation. She says her customers bring their kids into the shop just to witness women working on cars.

Banks says there’s a big push to get girls into STEM, but the focus is typically on coding, computers and engineering — not automotive technology. But many car systems today are run by computers, and she says there is a lot of STEM application involved in working with cars.

“I didn’t see the female empowerment side happening in the automotive industry like it was happening in other industries, and I thought, why not be someone who starts that?” Banks says.

The Future is Female

The doors of Girls Auto Clinic have been open for less than two years, but the business has achieved success in that short time.

The shop was awarded “Best of Philly” in the multipurpose garage category in its first six months in business. It has a five-star rating on Yelp, a 4.9-star rating on Facebook and a 4.4-star rating on Google.

Banks says people drive from hours away to visit the shop.

“Someone came from Toronto just to meet us,” she says.

Expanding on the brand, Banks wrote a book, “Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide.” She also does public speaking and has been in commercials for Ford and Lean Cuisine.

Banks said she often gets asked when she’s going to bring Girls Auto Clinic to other cities. She has received requests to open a shop in Los Angeles, Atlanta and just outside of Washington, D.C. Folks from Colorado and Ohio have also expressed interest.

Recently, Girls Auto Clinic launched a 30-day crowdfunding campaign to raise $ 100,000 to go toward expanding the business to new locations. Twelve days into the campaign supporters had helped raise more than 52% of the goal.

Banks’ dream is to franchise future locations, creating more female repair-shop owners.

“It’s incredible the impact that we’re having,” she says. “It just gets me really excited. It just motivates me to reach more women, to open more repair centers and start making this vision come true.”

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’d love to take her car to Girls Auto Clinic.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Get real-world lessons that business school can’t teach you with this $10 online course

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It’s a popular belief that getting an MBA is the golden ticket to kickstarting a successful business, climbing the corporate ladder, or snagging a high-paying job that can buy you a vacation house in the Hamptons. And sure, you learn a great deal and become more business savvy when you immerse yourself in an MBA program, but there is still a large scope of practical skills that business school can fail to impart in its students.

Venture capitalist, professor, Goldman Sachs alum, and proud Columbia University MBA graduate Chris Haroun knows that, and it’s precisely the reason why he came up with the 101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You In Business School course — an e-learning package you can now get at the Mashable Shop for $ 9.99. Read more…

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Named the most popular business book of the year by Business Insider, 101 Crucial Lessons covers management and sales best practices, navigating corporate politics, landing important meetings, and finding your ideal consumer base. Haroun parlays his experience working with magnates like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to address the basic communication and interpersonal skills everyone needs to succeed in business — but that many MBA programs overlook. The 101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You In Business School course usually costs  $ 49.99 but Daily Beast readers can get it today for 80% off at just $ 9.99.

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See Robert Townsend’s ‘Making The Five Heartbeats’ For a Master Class On the Business of Entertainment

The Five Heartbeats are back.

No, award-winning actor, comedian, and filmmaker Robert Townsend has not created a sequel or a remake of his 1991 classic about the rise and fall of a 1960s R&B vocal group. In fact, he’s developed a new documentary, Making The Five Heartbeats, sharing an instructive and inspiring journey expected to resonate with fans who can’t get enough of the movie as well as entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dream business.  On Monday, Aug. 27, they will discover how he achieved this milestone when Fathom Events presents the theatrical release in nearly 500 AMC movie theaters nationwide for a single screening at 7 p.m. local time, through its Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).

At select theatres nationwide—from Philadelphia to Crenshaw—audiences will also view an exclusive welcome from Townsend as well as gain the opportunity to participate in talkbacks with Townsend and cast members, including Heartbeats Leon Robinson, Michael Wright, Harry Lennix, Tico  Wells, and John Canada Terrell.

The Chicago native says of the project: “It’s one part a master class with Robert Townsend. But then on the other side, it’s for anybody who says, ‘What does it take to make something that is now a classic? How much energy did you put into it?’ And as an entrepreneur that wants to build something, what does it take to build that? What kind of obstacles will I have to overcome to get there? And when does my faith come into it? So it’s all of these elements tied into this one documentary.”

The film was released in 1991 at the height of a cinematic era dubbed “The Black Film Renaissance.’ During that year, roughly 17 films directed by African Americans opened in theaters, more than in the entire previous decade. Unlike large numbers of films that dealt with criminality and gang violence—Boyz N The Hood, New Jack City, and Straight out of Brooklyn—Townsend’s tale has stood out as a touching, multidimensional musical drama. Inspired by The Dells, the legendary, soulful quintet that produced such timeless classics as ‘Oh What A Night’ and ‘Stay In My Corner,’ the film resonated with audiences due to themes tied to aspirational sacrifice and unshakable brotherhood. At the same time, the film, co-written by Townsend and In Living Color creator Keenan Ivory Wayans, had healthy helpings of humor and a heart-stirring soundtrack in which two songs, “Nights Like This” and “A Heart is A House for Love” became Top 20 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles Chart some 27 years ago.

(Instagram)

Although Townsend, one of four recipients of BLACK ENTERPRISE’s XCEL Award at the 2017 Black Men XCEL Summit, admits that the film didn’t perform well at the box office, which garnered gross receipts of $ 8.75 million, the entrepreneur who financed his first film, Hollywood Shuffle, with his savings and a wallet packed full of credit cards, used his creativity and savvy to develop offshoot vehicles to capture new audiences. After more than three decades of creating films that have told different, unique stories of African American life—in fact, Meteor Man, the first black superhero film he created and helmed is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year—Townsend talked with BLACK ENTERPRISE Editor-In-Chief Derek T. Dingle about his mission to produce his most personal film to date..

Why did you think it was important to develop a documentary about the making of The Five Heartbeats at this time?

Fans really love The Five Heartbeats. Everywhere I go, people talk about The Five Heartbeats. Out of all the movies and television shows I’ve done, that’s the one that people want to know: How did you do auditions? Why did you cast that person and how did you direct it? Can there be a sequel to The Five Heartbeats?

I started to think about my journey to make the movie. There’s so much drama that went on behind the scenes, and people think it was just smooth sailing. I should share these stories because they love the movie so much, and maybe it’s another way to give the fans an insight into my process. This will be the first time I will really let people into my creative process. But also, I think it’s exciting to hear about the roller coaster ride to make The Five Heartbeats.

Does the film also explore the business process such as film financing and marketing?

The film goes into that because nobody wanted to make The Five Heartbeats. The money that I needed to finance it became part of the problem. The documentary also goes into the marketing side of the film because a lot of people don’t know that the movie bombed at the box office. We didn’t do well. It takes you on the ride of what went wrong with its marketing, the trailer, the timing. And then it is also a lesson on how word-of-mouth is the best advertising. From a business side, it gives you a glimpse into how you finish this film that you think is brilliant and it didn’t work…but then it worked. So there are lessons on marketing and the business of show business.

How much did it cost to produce the film? Did you meet budget or did you have to scale back your larger vision?

I started with Hollywood Shuffle; that was done for no money at all. I went from no money to a budget of $ 8.7 million. That’s a lot of money but it’s a little bit of money when you’re trying to do a period piece where you’ve got to make sure that everything—the cars on the street, the hairstyles, the wardrobe—looks like 1965. So your budget gets turned upside down because you’re recreating the look. So on that front, I didn’t have all the money in the world. I had a lot more than I had been used to. And because I was going after this classic, I took way too much time and got in trouble with the budget of the film. In the documentary, you’ll see what happened due to the pressure I was under because I was over budget.

So how challenging was producing this documentary?

Creating the documentary was a lot of trial and error. I started working on this about 10 years ago. I thought I knew what the documentary was going to be but then it started to take me in different directions. This is when you just got to listen to your creative voice. First, it was going to be just a straight-ahead documentary where everybody just talks about how the movie was made. Then I said, I’m not going deep enough.

There were certain things that only I knew. Like the actors, they know about the filming and the release of it. They didn’t know about the studio, the late nights when the phone calls to hear that you don’t have any money or ‘We don’t like that scene, cut it.’ We got into the director-producer realm, and I couldn’t share with anybody the pressure and stress that I was under to make the film. So as I looked at the documentary again, I said, ‘No, Robert, you’ve got to talk about these business lessons that are going on behind the scenes and how you had to negotiate and be strategic in giving and taking what really mattered to you. Then when do you put all your cards on the table and say ‘you’ve got to do it my way or I’m out.’ It’s the art of negotiating as a filmmaker to get your baby born. All of that changed the documentary and made me take a longer time because I wasn’t ready to tell the real story.

When the original film came out,  you found different techniques in terms of marketing and outreach to new audiences to make it a success. Did that experience evolve into an ongoing strategic approach to extending creative properties and make connections with audiences beyond a given film?

I think that I’ve always been kind of a serial entrepreneur. I’ve always looked at unique opportunities. I’ve always been fearless in taking chances and trying new things. With The Five Heartbeats, my vision has always been huge where I can say, ‘the movie lives in one universe but there could be a road show that we could take with The Dells.’ And that’s what I did, I created a revue. Right now, Keenan and I have been working behind the scenes on the Broadway show. We want to create The Five Heartbeats brand and take it to Broadway like Dreamgirls. So that’s another part of the vision.

What role has digital technology played in the brand building process?

I just think as an artist, with all the new moving pieces of content, there is a way now with social media to connect to your audience. From a marketing point of view, I have been tweeting every day and using different social media platforms to promote this documentary. It’s been interesting to watch because just on my tweeting alone, I have been able to engage close to 1 million people. So the game has changed, and I’m still learning.

What other aspects would you like to share about this production?

Though the documentary is about the making of The Five Heartbeats, it’s really an inspirational journey for every dreamer that wanted to give birth to an original idea. That’s really what it’s all about. It’s just seen through the eyes of a filmmaker of color. So I think that for entrepreneurs who want to be inspired and see a journey that is not for the faint of heart, this is the ticket for them.

Watch the trailer for Making the Five Heartbeats



The post See Robert Townsend’s ‘Making The Five Heartbeats’ For a Master Class On the Business of Entertainment appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Business Attire Dress Code Explained

Generally, the dress code business attire also called business formal or boardroom attire is the most formal thing you will encounter in a professional office environment. Even if it’s an unspoken dress code, it can often be required in traditional white-collar environments.

If you know the business attire dress code, you’re always appropriately dressed for client meetings, network meetings, board meetings, or general office occasions. You can wear it if you have to attend the funeral or if you are in court.

The History Of Business Attire

The frock coat used to be the proper business attire

The frock coat used to be the proper business attire

Until a few decades ago, the only appropriate garment for the office used to be a suit, meaning a matching pair of pants and jacket out of the same fabric in a dark color. This was a solid, sometimes faint stripes, there was always a conservative suit with a white or light blue dress shirt and some form of neckwear such as a tie.

Morning Coat

Morning Coat

At the turn of the century, business attire was really only worn by the elite and the majority of the workers were blue-collar workers. In the very early days, a black frock coat was the proper business attire with black pants or cashmere striped pants and white shirts and dark neckwear. Later on, the morning coat became more popular and then that was followed by the lounge suit.

Popular work wear during the 20's-30's

Popular work wear during the 20’s-30’s

1920’s-1930’s

Suits, as we know them today, became more popular and the morning coat became outdated and was really only worn by very old gentlemen who were just stuck with their tradition. At that point in time, business suit fabrics were still quite heavy and offices were usually cooler which is why you would see many men wear a waistcoat, it just helped to keep them warmer.

The rise of the suit

The rise of the suit

Just like with any war, the conventions afterward were a lot more relaxed than before and that was also reflected in the office environment. So basically, that meant hats would slowly but surely disappear, the waistcoat would disappear, but you would still wear a dark suit, a necktie that was somewhat conservative, as well as black leather dress shoes.

Notice the lapel width

Notice the lapel width

1950’s – 1980’s

The styles changed, lapel widths changed, the width of the tie changed, but other than that, the basic core principles of dark suit, white or light blue shirt, conservative tie, and black leather dress shoes, remained the same. Think of the saying “No brown in town”, that indicated that brown shoes were never appropriate for the office.

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

In the 80s and 90s, the power suit became popular; you’ve probably seen the movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas pulling off that style. Even though the power suit fell out of favor, afterwards, the core of the dress code business attire still holds true today.

In a nutshell, that means you wear a dark business suit, either a two-piece suit or a three-piece suit with a waistcoat. The shirt should be white or light blue or maybe a pastel color, it can be striped with a very small pattern, but overall, solids are preferable. You go with a conservative necktie either a dark red or dark blue, can be solid or a small pattern or stripes. You could either go with suspenders with a fishtail back or you can have a belt that matches the color of the shoes or you can just go without any of those two things and just have side adjusters on your trousers. It also means you have over the calf dress socks that don’t expose your hairy legs in the office and optionally, you can have a pocket square; it should have hand rolled edges and be folded in a TV fold. Now that’s just a broad overview, let’s dive a little deeper and define what all those things mean.

What Is A Dark Business Suit?

Ideal Colors

In terms of colors, that can be anything from navy to dark blue, charcoal, dark gray, medium gray, or light gray. The most classic form are just solid suits in one color, however, you can also have smaller micro patterns such as needle head or pinpoint.

Pinpoint suit and repp tie

Pinpoint suit and repp tie

They have two colors when you look at them up close but from afar, it looks like a uniform solid color. You can also go with a more textured fabric such as sharkskin or a hopsack.

Wearing an Alexander McQueen windowpane suit

Benedict Cumberbatch wearing an Alexander McQueen faint windowpane suit

If you want to go a little fancier, you can have a faint pinstripe or a chalk stripe, you can even go with a Prince of Wales check on a smaller scale and nothing with bold colored over plaids in pink. Another option would be a faint windowpane but again, less is more and it is a conservative business suit so when in doubt, always scale it down a notch.

Suit Styles

You can have two-piece suits or three-piece suits. If you have a two-piece suit that is single breasted, I suggest you go with a two-button jacket, you can also go with a three-row two or a simple single-breasted three-button jacket. Always opt for a notch lapel because that’s more traditional. I’d also opt for side vents, skip center vents because they’re meant for horseback riding. The side vents are much better, you can put your hands in your pocket and it doesn’t expose your bum.

Raphael Navy DB Suit Fort Belvedere Bow tie, pocket square and boutonniere

SRS wearing a white collar office-appropriate attire combined with Fort Belvedere accessories

If you go with the double-breasted jackets, go with a six-button configuration where two are closed or maybe a four-button configuration where two are closed but avoid just a single row of buttons because that’s too fashion-forward for a traditional business attire dress code.

Suspenders Braces pants trousers with inward facing pleats and side adjusters

Inward facing pleats and side adjusters

For your pants or slacks or trousers, you can have a flat front, you can have a pleated front. Personally, I’m a big fan of inward pleats because it’s more comfortable to sit in them. Your pants can have cuffs or no cuffs; if you go without cuffs, some consider it to be a little more formal. The advantage of cuffs or turn-ups is that they add a little more weight which makes your trousers hang and drape nicely.

Even though combinations, let’s say between a blazer and a pair of chinos, are very acceptable in most offices today, it’s technically not appropriate to wear a combination when a dress code requires business attire.

A white French cuff dress shirt with mother of pearl buttons

A white French cuff dress shirt with mother of pearl buttons

Dress Shirts

In terms of dress shirts, ideally you want to opt for French cuffs for cufflinks and the majority should be white and light blue.

Accessories

For cufflinks, avoid any kind of diamond cufflinks or colored stone or anything flashy. Stay with simple traditional gold and silver cufflinks; not combined but either/or. I suggest going with knot cufflinks because they’ve been around for a long time, they’re not flashy yet they work with everything in your wardrobe from your tweed coat to your black tie ensemble.

With a pocket square, the white pocket square is a classic staple, you could also invest in some silk pocket squares in subtle patterns and more muted colors that pick up tones of your neckties.

A necktie is probably the only way to introduce different colors into your outfit so traditionally, most business ties are either blue or some form of red or burgundy. If you want to branch out, you can go with greenyellow, purple, or other shades. Again, this is your chance to shine. The traditional material for ties is silk, usually, they’re either printed or it could striped like a repp stripe for example, or it can be just a jacquard weave in a classic muted pattern such as a stripe in silver and black which is the most formal, or you could have maybe a small Prince of Wales check which is very business appropriate.

For your socks, you traditionally want to match them with your pair of pants. You can also add a little bit of contrast by pairing the color of your socks to the color of your tie. In this day and age, that is acceptable.

Shoes

Ace Marks Cap Toe Oxford Black Antique

Ace Marks Cap Toe Oxford Black Antique

The first shoe you should in invest in for business attire is the black cap toe oxford without any form of broguing; that means no hole perforations. It’s a classic staple, it always looks good. Once you have that, you can also invest in a quarter brogue oxford that means there’s just a little bit of perforation along the cap toe or you can have a half brogue where there’s a little more perforation. You can also go with a full black oxford wingtip and in my opinion, it’s a little too much and I prefer the quarter brogue and a half brogue but if you want to go for it, no problem.  If you have more voluminous feet, you may want to go with a derby shoe which is technically a little less formal but if it’s in black color and has a nice leather sole, it’s still perfectly acceptable.

Hand burnished captoe half brogue Oxford by Ace Marks

Hand burnished cap toe half brogue Oxford by Ace Marks

In terms of construction, most classic business shoes are either Goodyear welted or if they’re from Italy, they can be Blake rapid stitched. In general, Goodyear welted soles are a little thicker, they’re harder to break in but they also last for quite a long time. Italian shoes that are blake rapid stitch typically have a thinner sole.

While black is still the color of choice for business wear, you can also wear brown shoes. For dress code business attire, I would suggest you stick with darker shades of brown such as chocolate brown and you can also go with a dark oxblood color which can alternatively be worn with very casual outfits but also with business attire. Even though you can wear very light tan shoes in 95% of all offices today, I would stay clear of them if the dress code calls for business attire.

How To Stand Out Without Being Over The Top

Now as you can see, the dress code for business attire is rather strict and you may find it hard to stand out in a subtle sophisticated way. So in my experience, here are the good ways to stand out with business attire in a professional manner that isn’t garish or over-the-top.

Faint stripe suit dotted tie and white linen pocket square

Faint stripe suit dotted tie and white linen pocket square

1. Faint Striped Suits Over Solids

Instead of just a plain solid suit, you can choose to wear a suit with a faint stripe. It’s different, its unique, it’s appropriate for business attire. You can also add a matching waistcoat to make it more formal and more unique. Most business suits today are two-piece suits so adding that matching vest really elevates you from the crowd.

2. Make Your Accessories Count

Go with cufflinks, maybe go with a slightly darker stone. Brighter colors such as yellow obviously pop more than a dark navy. Alternatively, you can also play with a texture rather than a plain silk tie, you can go with a grenadine tie because it has a wonderful texture. In any case, you want to avoid super bright pink ties or bright orange ties because that’s garish and over-the-top. Instead, maybe opt for a dark purple maybe with a light Paisley on it or a bottle green tie with a micropattern.

Maybe you want to wear a pinstripe suit and add a knit tie to it. If you do that, go for a solid color that is maybe in the blue family because the texture itself is similar to grenadine but it’s a little stronger and it’s already some kind of a statement. Don’t go overboard and have a two-tone knit tie with your business attire.

Green Madder Silk Pocket Square with Turquoise,Orange and Yellow Large Paisley- Fort Belvedere

Green Madder Silk Pocket Square with Turquoise,Orange and Yellow Large Paisley- Fort Belvedere

You could also choose a subtle pocket square. The white linen pocket square is great but having maybe a silk pocket square or a silk wool one with a paisley pattern that picks up the color of your tie is a great addition.

 

 

Oxblood derby shoes with Grey Socks with Light Grey and Black Clocks in Cotton - Fort Belvedere with mustard yellow trousers

Oxblood derby shoes with Grey Socks with Light Grey and Black Clocks in Cotton – Fort Belvedere with mustard yellow trousers

3. Opt For Oxblood Shoes

When it comes to shoes I think oxblood shoes are very underrated because they’re very dark yet they have a really nice color depth. They work well with navy and gray suits and they’re just slightly different without being as bright as let’s say tan shoes. Adding a cordovan is a great way to stand out with business attire.

What makes your business attire ensemble? Share your outfit combos below!


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Steve Bannon courts Wall Street and business leaders for pro-Trump push during the midterms

The former top strategist to President Trump is kicking off a new political organization to push the idea that Democratic majorities in Congress would roll back the administration's economic initiatives.
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This Guy Turned a Basement Full of Garbage Into a $30K/Month Business


Alex Broches has been broke, homeless and suicidal.

But those low points are well behind him now that he’s running a successful business. What’s it built on?

Garbage.

Broches owns and operates The Junk Removal Dudes, which he describes as a cross between movers and garbage men. He’s been pleasantly surprised to discover that there are a whole lot of people with junk to get rid of.

“In a slow month, we’ll do like $ 8,000 to $ 10,000, gross sales,” says Broches, whose business services northern Illinois. “In a busy month, we’ll do around $ 30,000.”

Starting a Junk Removal Business

Alex Broches works poses for a portrait as he cleans a garage in Sycamore, Illinois in January 2018. Photo by Katherine McLaughlin
Broches poses for a portrait as he cleans a garage in Sycamore, Ill., in January 2018. Photo by Katherine McLaughlin

The Junk Removal Dudes began back in 2015 when Broches’ mother, who owns a house-cleaning business, asked him to clear the junk from one of her client’s basements.

Broches split the first job with a friend who had a pickup truck. The duo hauled away old toys, holiday decorations and furniture. They made $ 200 for less than an hour’s work.

“[I did] it for the extra money and just to help,” the 30-year-old entrepreneur says. “And afterward, I was like, ‘Huh, that was kind of fun, actually.’”  

Within a week, Broches’ mom referred another customer, so he borrowed his friend’s truck again. And again.

“More calls started coming in; my mom kept sending me more customers… and I’m like, ‘There might be some money in this, actually,’” Broches says. “So a couple weeks passed by. I started a website, put it on Google and then the calls really started to come in.”

Broches now has five employees and expects to double that number within the next few months. He’s considering franchising next year if the company continues to grow.

After he scored his third client, Broches stopped borrowing the truck and invested in his own — the company now has three trucks in its fleet.

Turning Garbage Into Gold

Broches admits that cleaning out basements, barns and hoarders’ homes might not be everyone’s idea of a dream job.

Some people would be grossed out a little bit,” says Broches, who says he’s cleaned out places that range from a musty basement full of cobwebs to a garage infested with maggots.

But his most unusual find? Pickles.

“[A woman] died and we had to go clean the property,” Broches says. “In the basement, she had tons and tons of jars of pickles that she was collecting since the 1970s… She had these little notes in the house saying, ‘Hey, if the world is going to end, this is what I’m going to eat to survive for a couple months.’

“That one was a little out there.”

With the exception of the pickle lady, most of Broches’ clients are older people and their relatives clearing out houses. The jobs have produced all kinds of interesting finds, including family photos from the early 1900s, antique dolls and a full-size knight’s armor.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” Broches says. “It doesn’t even seem like work to me — it just seems like every day is an adventure.”

Darkness Before the Light

Alex Broches carries debris onto his truck during a job.
The Junk Removal Dudes now has three trucks in its fleet. Photo by Katherine McLaughlin

Broches’ success in the garbage removal business was built on a heap of other failed ventures.

Along with a string of unfulfilling jobs, Broches launched a lawn care service but lost the money he made — plus thousands more that he borrowed from his mom and brother — investing in a social media website he started at age 21.

He says that each job left him feeling more depressed until he was convinced he would never succeed.

“All the times I failed and failed and failed — at the time, I thought it was the end of the world,” says Broches, who details his personal and professional struggles in the book A Dark Path to Light. “Everything was going down. I lost all my money, my mental health, my physical health.”

At his lowest point, he walked out to the woods in his backyard with a rope in hand, Broches chronicles in his book. After a long night contemplating suicide, he decided he had to stop brooding over the failures and instead focus on improving his mental, physical and fiscal health.

Learning From the Biggest Mistake

The failure of Broches’ website, College Junkee, was particularly painful for him, as his attempts to obtain funding for it were featured on MTV’s “True Life.” In the episode, he pitched the website to OKCupid CEO Sam Yagan, who eviscerated College Junkee, rating it a 1 out of 10 for being useless and nonfunctional.

“With the internet startup idea that I had… I thought if I just keep putting money into it — advertising, whatever — it would get better,” Broches says. “I just didn’t know what I was doing.”

In retrospect, the experience taught him the skills he needed to build a successful junk removal business.

“I realized that those were all valuable learning lessons — how to deal with customers, how to improve a business, how to streamline business,” Broches says. “I realized with this business that I had to think lean… And I’m proud to say that this [junk removal] business that I started was net profitable after day one.”

Passing Along his Wisdom

Alex Broches cleans out a garage in January 2018.
Broches says his business, which serves northern Illinois, makes anywhere from $ 8,000 to $ 30,000 in gross sales. Photo by Katherine McLaughlin

Among Broches employees is 18-year-old Adam Cyr, who has worked for him part-time for just over a year.

Cyr, who plans to go to college to study engineering, says Broches has always been generous about sharing what he’s learned about entrepreneurship.

I could see myself down the line starting my own engineering firm,” Cyr says. “[Broches] has always offered — if I ever needed some advice for starting a business.”

Broches’ chief piece of advice to other entrepreneurs: Don’t be afraid to fail.

“Take risks because the thing is, if you win, then you’re successful, but if you lose, you’re wiser,” Broches says, adding that his previous business setbacks were “almost necessary” to become successful.

The only true failures, Broches says, are people who are too afraid to try and who thus miss out on the opportunity to do something they love.

“I don’t think there’s anything worse than regret,” Broches says. “I think regret is worse than death.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Will Shalamar Fire Cyndi for Being Drunk on the Job? | Mind Your Business with Mahisha | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Mahisha to Shalamar: Stop Making Excuses and “Boss Up” | Mind Your Business with Mahisha | OWN

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – No. 6: Maynard Jackson Becomes Atlanta’s First Black Mayor

BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s most successful black businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestone moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Maynard Jackson Becomes a Disrupter as Atlanta’s First Black Mayor 

1974: Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson establishes first Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program, which “sets aside” a percentage of government contracts for minority businesses and encourages major corporations to follow suit. That act creates legions of African American millionaires and expands scores of BE 100s companies, including H.J. Russell & Co., the nation’s largest black construction firm. Jackson would eventually launch two BE 100s companies: T.G.I Friday’s franchisee Jackmont Hospitality and investment bank Jackson Securities.

Confronting the ‘Old Boy’s Network’ 

maynard jackson

(Black Enterprise Magazine, November 1975)

Jackson’s plan surfaced when he informed city leaders he was proceeding with the expansion of the then-named Hartsfield Airport. He shook up Atlanta’s old boy’s network with this: 25% of all contracts were allotted for minority firms. That those firms could land a big chunk of the project first valued at $ 450 million.

But some influential men in the South revolted, claiming the act was illegal. They urged the governor and state legislators to seize control of the airport expansion project from the Jackson regime. Yet Jackson did not flinch, reportedly stating: “We simply won’t build [the airport] if you don’t agree to this. You can have 75% of the project or you can have 100% of nothing. What is your choice?”

After a two-year battle, both sides agreed to a re-adjusted set-aside plan: a participation stake of 20% to 25% for minority-owned firms. Jackson action’s also set a benchmark for affirmative action programs nationally, including in big cities with large black populations.

In Atlanta, Jackson boosted the portion of contracts to minorities from under 1% in 1973 to roughly 39% five years later. Jackson’s efforts empowered the black middle-class, helped create many black millionaires and produce many BE 100s companies. Among them: H. J. Russell & Co., the nation’s largest black construction firm and No. 14 on the 2018 Top 100 list with $ 253 million in revenue.

“Jackson was like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when it came to ensuring African Americans got a chance to participate in the nation’s economic marketplace,” the late Herman Russell, chairman/CEO of the construction company, told Black Enterprise in 2009.

Russell added that his then $ 300 million company would not have been that size if not for Jackson’s policy. Russell added Jackson helped spur black development not only in Atlanta, but also nationally in cities including Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Boston.

Another victory for minority firms under Jackson’s watch came when he helped bring the 1990 Olympics to Atlanta. For instance, $ 10.7 million went to minority suppliers, and over 60% of the minority firms were black. Some BE 100 firms tasted the gold, including construction firms H.J. Russell and C.D. Moody, part of the team that won the $ 209 million Olympic Stadium project.

maynard jackson

Mayor Jackson meeting with the International Olympic Committee. (Black Enterprise Magazine, January 1991)

Illustrating his acumen in business, Jackson in 1987 started Jackson Securities L.L.C. It once was (No. 7 on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list with $ 1.466 billion in senior/co-senior managed issues). In 1994, Jackson, and his daughter, Brooke Jackson Edmond, and food industry veteran Daniel Halpern, launched Jackmont Hospitality Inc., “He had a passion for being in business with his daughter. It was something he really cared about and enjoyed,” Jackmont President Halpern stated.

Based in Atlanta, Jackmont is a food-service management company and one of the fastest growing TGI Friday’s franchisees. It was No. 19 on the 2018 Top 100s list with $ 200 million in revenue.

In 2003, the same year Jackson died, one of the world’s busiest airports was renamed Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a tribute to him.

The post 45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – No. 6: Maynard Jackson Becomes Atlanta’s First Black Mayor appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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What To Pack For A Short Business Trip

For a short business trip, a small carry-on is ideal. We talk about what items you should bring so you have a very versatile, flexible, and appropriate business wardrobe.

Sven Raphael's go-to carry on

Sven Raphael’s go-to carry on

First of all, it starts with a choice of the right suitcase or carry-on. Personally, I’m a big fan of wheels, especially four wheels, because you can easily maneuver them with one hand.

So when you start packing, I suggest to first lay everything out on your bed or maybe on a carpet, in a clean space where you have a good overview. Depending on the length of your business trip, you may just need one pair or sometimes two pairs of shoes. I suggest you wear a pair when you travel and keep another one in your suitcase because shoes last you a lot longer if you don’t wear them consecutively day after day. To save on space, you can put your underwear, as well as your socks, rolled up and stuff them in your shoes, that works like a substitute shoe tree without having the extra weight. Because shoes are dirty and everything is close together, I suggest putting your shoes in shoe bags.

Essential Items To Pack

John Lobb City II Oxford shoes

John Lobb City II Oxford shoes

Black Dress Shoes

Black is the ultimate color. I suggest you go with a black cap toe oxford. Alternatively, you can also go with a black oxford half brogue or black oxford quarter brogue. A little bit of broguing makes it a little less formal, at the same time, it’s perfectly appropriate for everything, from boardroom meetings to general office meetings. If you have a big foot and you have issues with the closed lacing system on an oxford, a derby shoe is acceptable as well.

Oxblood Dress Shoes

The second pair to bring is a dark red or oxblood burgundy colored dress shoe. It could either be a tassel loafer and you could travel with that because it’s easy to take on and off when you’re through security or you could go with a derby shoe or maybe even an oxford. I like the color burgundy because it’s dark enough to be appropriate for most office and business environments, yet at the same time, you can wear it interchangeably with any kind of brown tone if you go to a more casual outing afterwards or during the business trip.

So if I had to bring just one pair of shoes on my trip and I knew there were events with different degrees of formality, I would opt for an oxblood or dark red shoe. Maybe during the winter, you can get away with a pair of boots. If your space constraints in your carry-on, I suggest putting one shoe on one side and one on the other. Ideally by the wheels, that way, the weight of the shoe won’t squish your suits or your shirts or any other garment on your carry-on.

A selection of dress shirts

A selection of dress shirts

Dress Shirts

Even if you’re just going on a one day trip, there’s always a chance that someone will spill something on you and it’s much better to have something that you can change into than having to figure out where you can have it dry-cleaned. Honestly, I think plain white solid shirts, maybe cream, or light blue are perfect. You can also go with pastel tones such as light yellow, light green, light lavender, and so forth. Now, a proper business shirt usually doesn’t have a chest pocket because you shouldn’t use it anyways and you also want double cuffs or French cuffs for cufflinks. Now, if you travel to a climate that is warmer or maybe if you don’t like cufflinks, you can also get away with barrel cuffs. It’s acceptable in this day and age.

For invisible layering, try an undershirt close to your skin tone.

For invisible layering, try an undershirt close to your skin tone.

Undershirts

If you decide an undershirt is right for you, I suggest not to go with the traditional fine rib wife-beater undershirts. Instead, I suggest you get t-shirt like undershirts that sit fitted on your body with relatively tight sleeves and a deep cut v-neck because that way, if you wear a dress shirt without a tie and you wear a dress shirt unbuttoned, people won’t be able to see the t-shirt underneath which is a style and fashion faux pas. In terms of color, I suggest you pick something that is as close to your skin tone as possible so don’t go with white, rather go with black or maybe heather gray or even skin tone colors if you can find them. No, a regular t-shirt is not a good substitute because it’s thicker than an undershirt and has thicker seams that you can see on the outside of the shirt.

Sven Raphael's go-to suit when travelling

Sven Raphael’s go-to suit when traveling

Business Appropriate Suit

There’s probably no other garment that is more business appropriate than a dark suit. If you have to pick one, I suggest to go with a navy worsted suit, ideally single-breasted with notch lapels, either one button or two buttons, side vents, maybe some cuffs at the bottom of pants so they pull down the pants and prevent any potential wrinkles. In terms of weight, I’d go for a three-season weight. If you want just one all-rounder, you can also opt for something with an open weave. That way, you feel the breeze because sometimes when you’re in an office environment, it can get quite hot but you know yourself if you’re likely to overheat or if you feel cold all the time.

Dark Flannel Suit with Silk Tie & TV Fold Pocket Square

A dark flannel suit is also ideal for colder climates

If you are in a colder climate, you can also go with a flannel suit. If you decide you want to bring a second suit, I suggest going with a double-breasted suit simply to mix it up and have different degrees of formality. Also, I wouldn’t go with the same color but have maybe one in gray and one in blue. If you decide to just bring one suit, I think the navy suit is ideal because you can wear just the jacket with a contrasting pair of pants, either let’s say gray flannels or a pair of chinos and it looks like a blazer combination, that way, you have a more versatile wardrobe and you don’t have to bring on an extra jacket.

Neckwear

When it comes to accessories, I think a necktie is essential especially in a classic business environment. If you’re a little more flamboyant or if you are maybe independent or in an area where dress codes are a little more relaxed, you can also go with a bow tie, otherwise, I suggest to stay with a classic necktie.

Pocket Squares

A pocket square can really help to make your outfit look more polished. So if you have a white shirt, a white linen pocket square especially in a TV fold or a crown fold, it can add a finishing touch.

Cufflinks

I suggest going with a simple pair such as a monkey fist knot cufflink. Skip the colored enamel cufflinks as well as the gemstone or diamond cufflinks. They’re better for evening wear or areas or events where you know you can just be a little louder. If you want to travel light, I suggest putting the cufflinks right into the double cuffs of the shirt before you fold them. The same is true for your collar stays, put them in the shirt so you don’t have to pack them separately. If you have more items such as rings or watches, you probably want to go with a travel jewelry case. If you work in a classic white collar environment, you probably don’t want to wear a boutonniere. I, on the other hand, oftentimes wear one simply because I can and I enjoy it and the Green Fort Belvedere box is the perfect travel companion for that because it protects your flowers and that way, they stay in shape and you can wear them wherever you are on the globe.

Toiletry kit

Toiletry kit

Toiletry Kit

I suggest keeping a small bag that you can easily remove at any point in time because sometimes at security, you have to remove it depending on your status. To save on space, definitely go with travel sized items and don’t bring your regular size aftershave, shaving cream or toothpaste. I know it’s just a little thing but all those items add up, they add weight, and especially volume and bulk. I also find that sample sizes of either cologne or shaving cream sometimes also shampoo are perfectly enough for a short business trip and they hardly take any space at all. So keep that in mind.

Philips Norelco Electric Razor

Philips Norelco Electric Razor

Rather than a safety razor or a straight razor which you can’t bring in carry-ons, I suggest you go with an electric shaver. Yes you may also go with a cartridge system, however, I find the shave to be inferior to an electric shaver. If you go with a wet shave and it’s my preferred item because I just bring one item with one charge and I can use it, I don’t have to worry about the blades getting dull or having the right blades or a TSA agent not knowing what he’s talking about and who made me throw away something I actually need afterwards.

OTC Socks

Of course, you also need socks and underwear but that goes without saying. For a business trip, I suggest you go with over the calf socks because you will never want to expose your calves.

Loro Piana Cardigan

Loro Piana Cardigan

Sweater Or Cardigan

If you want a few more casual items, like a sweater or a cardigan, it’s okay to pack it. I suggest going with thinner cotton ones rather than bulkier wool ones because space is very limited in your carry-on. If it’s warmer, you also may want to bring polo shirts, if you want to work out maybe a pair of workout shorts and t-shirts. All of these shouldn’t be folded but rolled, unlike your dress shirts which should be folded.

Brown leather bag for laptop and camera

Brown leather bag for laptop and camera

Leather Bag

Personally, as an online entrepreneur, I always bring my laptop as well as my camera gear in a separate leather bag that I can put on top of my carry-on that I can hook on so it doesn’t fall off and I can still easily push it with one hand while doing something on the phone or checking things out so it’s extremely convenient.

Overcoat For Winter

It could be a double or single-breasted overcoat in either navy or black or charcoal. If you travel during the warmer months of the year, I suggest you bring a trench coat. Yes you can also go with a traditional kind of khaki trench coat but it stains more easily then let’s say a black or navy one.

What are your must-haves when going on a short business trip?


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45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – NO. 8: Black Business Leaders Rebuke Japanese Prime Minister’s Racist Remarks

BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s most successful black businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestone moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

1986: Black Business Leaders Clapback at Racist Statement

After making what many considered derogatory remarks about blacks and other American ethnic groups, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone got a strong rebuttal from some of the nation’s top black business leaders infuriated with the comments.

The controversy came in 1986 when the former prime minister was speaking to his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, reportedly telling them that blacks, Latinos, and, other minorities tug down the educational levels of the United States.

Responding to the Japanese leader’s speech suggesting that the racially homogeneous country was “intellectually” superior to the U.S. because of “black people, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans,” African American business leaders led by BE 100 CEOs including Clarence Avant, Comer Cottrell, George Johnson, Byron Lewis, and Earl G. Graves, pressed for an apology and reciprocal trade in a full-page ad in The New York Times.

black business

Nakasone apologized for his remarks a week after making them. “Let me make one thing very clear,” Nakasone said in the apology. “I have always firmly believed that America’s greatness derives from the dynamism and achievements of her many ethnic communities. It was not my intent whatsoever to imply any racial discrimination nor to criticize any aspect of American society.”

Still, Nakasone never recanted his statements, attracting strong negative reactions from African Americans across the country and members of Congress. At the same time, the then Reagan administration did not offer an immediate reaction, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Rep. Esteban Torres (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, urged Nakasone to retract the statement. The Congressional Black Caucus sent a telegram to the Japanese Embassy in Washington asking for an urgent clarification of the remarks.
Prominent black leaders, including Earl G. Graves, founder and publisher of Black Enterprise; Clarence Page, a member of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board; and, civil rights leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, were among those who denounced Nakasone’s statements.

Some Japanese-Americans joined black, Hispanic, and other leaders in demanding an apology from Nakasone. During a meeting at the time with the Japanese Ambassador, Nobuo Matsunaga, the leaders, spearheaded by Jackson, called Nakasone’s remarks an ”insult” to all Americans, but especially the mentioned groups, and demanded an immediate apology.

”Whether the meaning of the words had to do with intelligence or literacy, it was an insult,” Jackson said in a letter delivered to Ambassador Matsunaga. ”We in this country have spent too much time fighting stereotypes, including those against Asian-Americans, to tolerate the perpetuation of stereotypes from Asians against our own people.”

 

The post 45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – NO. 8: Black Business Leaders Rebuke Japanese Prime Minister’s Racist Remarks appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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Kaiser Permanente Gives Small Business an Edge to Access Capital and Grow

PASADENA, Calif.,  — Kaiser Permanente Southern California is sponsoring, for the third year in a row, Inner City Capital Connections, which provides free training, education and mentorship to small businesses located in economically under-resourced areas. The deadline to submit applications to participate in this year’s program is July 24, 2018.

Kaiser Permanente is sponsoring ICCC in partnership with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, the national nonprofit research and advisory organization that supports ICCC, to reduce income disparity and improve lives by promoting local micro-economies. The free opening seminar for the Los Angeles/San Bernardino group will take place on August 1, 2018, at the Hilton Hotel in San Gabriel, where business owners will receive free in-person coaching and learn how to access capital, allowing them to grow and create new jobs within their communities.

ICCC Los Angeles alumni

Amerisal LLC, a food distribution company of imported goods is spearheaded by a mother-daughter duo — Nora Saca and Vanessa Fagiolly —  graduates of the ICCC program.

“ICCC had such a big influence on me,” said Vanessa Fagiolly, chief financial officer, Amerisal LLC. “When we first started our business we only had four products for distribution. Now we have more than 50 and we’re growing every day. I am so thankful to Kaiser Permanente for its vision to help small business owners succeed.”

“Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said John Yamamoto, vice president, community health and government relations, Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Kaiser Permanente promotes local economic vitality in under-resourced areas because the social and economic conditions in our communities have a profound influence on the health of people who live, work and play there.”

After completing the opening seminar, business owners will participate in a 40-hour business training course over 3 to 6 months which includes educational seminars and webinars with coaches and mentors from banking and consulting firms who will give them the skills needed to help their business grow.

Business owners interested in learning more about the program or to apply please visit icic.com.

 

About Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
ICIC is a national nonprofit research and advisory organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for residents. The organization supports urban businesses through a wide variety of Urban Business Initiatives, including the Inner City Capital Connections program. More information about ICIC and its ICCC program is available at www.icic.org.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

The post Kaiser Permanente Gives Small Business an Edge to Access Capital and Grow appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

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NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

Muslim Stylist Hullema Reddick Finds Success In Haircare Business

According to a Pew Research Center estimate, Muslims comprise over 23% of the global population, but the haircare industry struggles to represent Muslim women. Haircare is for everyone; whether or not Muslim women choose to show their hair in public. Hullema Reddick, color stylist and owner of HStylez Hair studio in Philadelphia, is Muslim and wears a hijab which places her in a unique situation of acceptance—by both the beauty industry and her Muslim faith family. Known as “The Covered Colorist” Reddick has already grossed over $ 100,000 in sales in 2018 and continues to be a champion for Muslim women in the beauty industry.

 

The obvious lack of representation of Muslim women in the beauty industry has provided Reddick with an interesting perspective on being Muslim while also being a stylist. “It has enlightened me to the prejudices within the industry, and secondly it’s made me realize that women [Muslim and non-Muslim] are looking for meaningful and relatable inspiration,” says Reddick.

 

For Reddick, being able to provide relatable inspiration oftentimes comes with backlash from those in the Muslim community because of her chosen profession. Some view it as a contradiction to her religious belief.

 

“I am always confused about. I have yet to see where in Islam it says that we cannot beautify ourselves or be the source of the beautification process. Contrary to popular belief, it is one of the teachings of Islam that a woman should beautify herself, and look beautiful for her husband.”

 

To some, being fully covered from head to toe and being a stylist is considered taboo or unheard of. But as a small woman-owned business, Reddick does not allow the beauty industry to ostracize her, nor does she let those within her own community with an opposing view keep her from growing.

 

“I refuse to compromise my belief system just to fit in,” says Reddick. “I have had to make a stand that my talent speaks for itself and my appearance does not define me or my expertise.” Constantly evolving in her craft and enhancing her skills, Reddick finds new ways to create new looks. “I pride myself on giving a vibe you can’t find anywhere else. I pride myself in knowing that I am an artist.”

 

With a growing business and a focus on changing the perspective that Muslim women have no place in the beauty industry, Reddick has some very straightforward advice for young Muslim women interested in a similar career path.

 

“Remain firm in your belief and don’t compromise. Allow your creativity to open doors for you, and know with an unwavering sincerity that what’s for you is for you. What’s meant for you will not pass you. In addition, do not allow what people say discourage you. Not everyone is going to like what you’re doing, but keep in mind, you’re doing this for you not everyone else. Let what people can’t appreciate about you be that thing that makes you go harder.”

The post Muslim Stylist Hullema Reddick Finds Success In Haircare Business appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Cramer sees Pfizer’s reorganization as a ‘prelude’ to a spinoff of its consumer health-care business

Cramer mentions that Pfizer in 2013 spun off its animal health business Zoetis, which has seen its shares surge more than 150 percent since then.
Health Care

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ZTE allowed to resume some U.S. business activities just months after 7-year ban issued

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ZTE, the Chinese smartphone maker that was banned from operating in the U.S. this past April, may already be resuming its stateside operations. And it has President Donald Trump to thank for the assist.

According to a document obtained by Bloomberg, due to pressure from the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security has authorized ZTE to resume some business activities as a deal is worked out regarding its ban in the country.

In April, ZTE was banned from importing phone parts from the U.S. for repeatedly misleading the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. The U.S. intelligence community also issued a warning to U.S. consumers, urging them not to purchase phones made by certain Chinese manufacturers — including ZTE — due to spying and security concerns. Because of the ban, ZTE had ceased all U.S. operations in May. The ban was supposed to last for 7 years. Read more…

More about Business, Smartphones, Donald Trump, Sanctions, and Ban


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‘We Don’t Support Black Business Owners’ Note Left At Indiana Business

An Indiana business that hasn’t even opened up shop yet is being harassed simply because the owners are black. The owners of Level UP Gaming Lounge in Irvington, Indiana, told FOX 59 that an anonymous note was delivered to his business in June after a gaming event was held at the location.

“Close Shop! We don’t support black business owners!” the note read. Owner Sami Ali has already reported the incident to police. “I made a police report to document that people are doing hate crimes towards our business. Thank god it was just a note. No broken windows or anything,” Ali told FOX 59.

Ali, who grew up on the east side of Indianapolis and has put thousands of dollars into the gaming lounge, said he is making an investment in the neighborhood.

“A place to come in and meet people face to face and then the adults can sit there and enjoy a glass of wine. It bothers me that people still think that way but it is not going to stop me from doing what I want to do,” said Ali.

The note he said does not represent the support that he has received from other Irvington businesses who are upset and disappointed. Wolfe, who owns a coffee shop just across the street from Level UP, said the area is ready for the gaming lounge to open.

“Honestly, I was shocked. It sounds like something out of the 1960s. It is difficult enough to get people to come in and now for people to behave this way…that is just ridiculous,” Wolfe said.

Ali is remaining optimistic though. He said he is ready to open the doors even sooner.

“We got your note but we are not going to back down. We are going to push forward and maybe open up sooner,” said Ali.



The post ‘We Don’t Support Black Business Owners’ Note Left At Indiana Business appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

From Barbecue Food Truck Business to Food Network TV Star

Just two years after opening Big Lee’s BBQ food truck in Ocala, Florida, chef Rashad Jones attracted the attention of Food Network star Guy Fieri’s show, Guy’s Big Project. After winning the competition, Jones landed his own show, Eat, Sleep, BBQ. Now, he’s having the time of his life traveling across the country with one of the most influential TV chefs in the country. “I was 37 years old when my TV journey began, said Jones. After almost 40 years of living and succeeding and failing and reflecting, I thought I knew myself really well. I thought I knew my strengths and weaknesses really well. But it’s amazing what happens when you step completely out of your comfort zone. With absolutely no TV experience, I originally felt like I had a pretty slim shot at even making it out of the first round of challenges on Guy’s Big Project. But each day, I felt more and more of this side of myself that I had never seen come to life. My confidence in my abilities grew stronger in front of the camera, in front of Guy Fieri, and I started to finally see that I belonged here.”

In the midst of managing his new TV role and running his thriving business, we caught up with the pitmaster for tips on what it takes to launch a profitable food truck business and maintain a healthy family life.

You’re only open two days a week, but gross five-figure profits each week. Why did you decide to limit the number of days you would be open for business?

We were originally open three days a week. However, my wife and I decided long before we opened that, no matter how successful our business becomes, we would never let it compromise our family and our relationship. Our boys were super young—the youngest just weeks old after we opened for business—and it was becoming a regular occurrence for me to go days without seeing them because of my crazy work schedule. So, we made the decision to only operate on Saturdays. It was hard because there was a demand for what we were doing, but we had faith that making the best decision for our family, as crazy as it seemed, would also be the right move for our business.

This business model would actually prove to be more efficient and profitable than the previous three-day/week schedule. We saw demand continue to grow, but at a pace that exceeded expectations. I definitely think the limited hours inadvertently contributed to this phenomenon. Since then, we’ve added Fridays to our operating schedule and honestly haven’t looked back.

Food Network

photo cred: bigleesbbq Instagram

 

If someone wanted to start a food truck business, what advice or steps would you share with them?

  1.  Know your passion – After you’ve identified the thing that you’re passionate about, learn it. When the barbecue bug bit me, I didn’t stop at playing around on my backyard smoker. This undoubtedly had a tremendous impact on the quality and consistency of my product.
  2. Test your model – Just because you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t mean your passion can be monetized. Long before we bought our food truck, we developed a rough model for our business concept and tested it out. We were cooking the food we wanted to serve on our menu and putting together the boxes that would ultimately become our trademark “lunch boxes” and giving them away via social media. We then asked those recipients to give us their honest feedback online so that we could compile that information and use it to improve our model. We also competed in a local barbecue competition before we opened for business to get some unbiased feedback on our food. We swept the competition, winning the People’s Choice award and a unanimous judges’ decision. This was huge validation and encouragement for us to take a more substantial step toward opening our food truck.
  3.  Be tough – There is a common misconception that running a food truck is easy. That is not true. There are times when you have to wear 10 hats all at the same time. With such a limited space to work in, you have to have ingenuity and creative thinking to maximize your efficiency and productivity.
Food Network

photo cred: bigleesbbq Instagram

Your wife plays a major role in helping you to grow the family business. Plus she’s a mom and Ph.D. at a major institution. What’s the family formula for working together and juggling the demands of a business?

Patrice and I are super ambitious and our personal mission statement is, “live full, die empty.” This mentality is one of the main ingredients in our formula. If you want it, you have to go get it. You have to stoke fires, and trim briskets, and work on dissertations at 3 a.m., and nurse babies, and be in the office for work at 8 a.m. the next morning. Excuses are just not options for us. We also realize that our lives and our union can produce something that our four boys and generations after them can enjoy and continue to finesse.

The post From Barbecue Food Truck Business to Food Network TV Star appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

UPDATE 1–Largest U.S. business group attacks Trump on tariffs

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
the nation’s largest business lobbying group and customarily a
close ally of President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, is
launching a campaign on Monday to oppose Trump’s trade tariff
policies.


Reuters: Company News

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Scouted: This App Will Help You Develop Your Business Plan

You can have all the good ideas in the world, but disorganization can derail them from actually coming to life. Upmetrics is a software that helps you map out your entrepreneurial concept from inception to launch. This versatile app helps compile your thoughts, financial summaries, and forecasts — and it can even generate reports for cash flow, accounts payable, and operating expenses. You can put together multiple projects and easily collaborate with a team across each one. The business plan editor also allows you to incorporate your finances from XERO and Quickbooks. Usually, this lifetime subscription to Upmetrics is $ 900, but you can get it now for $ 29.99.

Scouted is here to surface products that you might like. Follow us on Flipboard. Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.

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6 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Repeat Customers and Referrals

There’s nothing like a familiar face, especially when it comes to your business. Nothing against new customers, but there are a lot of reasons to appreciate your existing clients. For one thing, they’re a lot cheaper than new ones. In fact, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by anywhere between 25 and 95%. And according to at least one marketing expert, a customer who is satisfied with your work is 14 times more likely to buy from you than a brand-new lead.

However, existing customers are also a coveted source of unpaid advertising. Nielsen surveys show that friends, family members, and acquaintances are customers’ most credible source of brand recommendations. Eighty-three percent of survey respondents say they trust in-person reviews more than any other form of recommendation. Industry-specific surveys turn up similar results. When internet marketing agency Contractor Nation asked homeowners where they get recommendations for home contractors, the majority—42%—said they ask friends for a name, while another 28% said they query home contractors they know.

It’s easy to understand how pivotal the customer referral becomes when you view the issue through the context of the home remodeling industry’s reputation. Home contractors shared notoriously low trust among customers, a fact that has been documented both anecdotally and statistically throughout the years. That makes loyal customers all the more valuable—these clients have already established a trusting relationship with you, making them more willing to pull the trigger on various projects. However, bolstering repeat projects and referrals takes some work on your part. Here’s how you can leverage existing clients to boost profit margins.

architect-architecture-body-33343 (1)

Deliver Top Tier Service

Repeat business starts with superior customer service. For contractors, that means setting expectations early, before customer assumptions and misunderstandings can tank your project. Keep the communication coming with regular check-ins—with texting as popular as it is, it’s incredibly easy to catch homeowners up every day. Report issues promptly and keep your work as unobtrusive as possible to customers’ everyday lives. Chat with customers in-person when available because there’s nothing like talking face-to-face.

It may seem basic, but these are the nuts and bolts of customer relationship building. In one comparative analysis, customers rated competence, completeness, and frequent, effective communication as the most important factors in establishing contractor trust. And that trust is integral for capturing repeat business and referrals.

Follow Up After a Project Completes

Most contractors follow up with clients after projects conclude as a matter of course—so if you’re not doing it yet, it’s time to start. A follow-up call is a great chance to settle any issues that might have popped up after the job wrapped, allowing you to solidify your reputation for great service. It’s also an opportunity to discuss future projects that might be on your clients’ horizons and to remind customers about your referral program if you have one.

Create a Referral Program

Everyone loves a discount. Initiating a referral program for customers is a double bonus: a chance to seal the deal with an existing prospect while gaining advertising in return. Some contractors offer free upgrades or maintenance if a referral comes through, and others give discounts on the next project or even gift cards to popular retailers nearby. However you decide to reward customers, make sure to remind them occasionally throughout the project.

Provide Discounts on Additional Projects

This is a technique many contractors employ without really thinking about it. Offering customers a discount if they agree to add on additional work is a sales tactic that’s about as old as it is effective. But you can add velocity to your retention rates if you institute a formal discount program. Many homeowners have more than one project in mind when they contact a contractor, so even shaving a small percentage off additional job may be enough incentive to encourage a second project.

You can even create discount packages for follow-up work. For instance, many HVAC professionals offer discounted maintenance packages for newly installed units. Study your customers and look for trends in the buying process. For instance, a homeowner who installs a new roof may start thinking about re-siding their home to match. A homeowner who’s just built a new deck off their back exit may suddenly get an itch for a new patio. Think about these kinds of common pairings when you create your discount strategy.

adult-architect-blueprint-416405

Stay in Touch

The more you are able to stay in front of your clients, the more likely it is that you’ll land those repeat jobs. A quarterly newsletter with seasonal sales or discounts is a wonderful way to make sure your name sticks in your clients’ minds. Personalized birthday or holiday cards are another strategy and are always welcome—particularly if they come with a coupon included. Ideally, you want to be the one person homeowners call when they need work done, so be sure to keep your presence alive in your customers’ memories.

Build Your Relationships with Other Contractors

Given that other contractors are homeowners’ second pick for contractor recommendations, it makes sense to build your relationships with your peers. No doubt you work with many different tradesmen day-to-day—for instance, a kitchen remodeling business may regularly subcontract out to electricians, plumbers or HVAC technicians and probably also works closely with architects, interior designers and perhaps even realtors. Networking with these agents can reap big profits.

However, if you don’t typically interface with other contractors or professionals, it’s time to develop these kinds of relationships. Consider joining a professional trade organization or attending an event at your local chamber of commerce. Local conferences are another way to make valuable contacts—these connections can lead to informal partnerships and more referrals, if you play your cards right.

Ultimately, tapping past clients is all about engaging soft skills in customer service. Strive to empathize with clients, listening to their concerns and noticing the types of problems they have with their homes. Work towards 100% transparency and polite, friendly, frequent communication. Hone these abilities and you’ll find yourself booked solid for months on end.

The post 6 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Repeat Customers and Referrals appeared first on Modernize.

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Artist Nick Grant on Navigating A Career in the Business of Hip-Hop

Nostalgia is a dangerously beautiful thing. Too much of it will prevent you from appreciating the new, but the right amount will leave you feeling refreshed. Nick Grant is the perfect balance. His presence on the microphone reminds us all of the golden age of hip-hop, drawing on a genius level talent for wordplay and storytelling. His approach, however, is not one that is so deeply rooted in a 90s persona that it comes off as overly reminiscent of times past. His beat selection is soulful but still current. The content? Topical, he tells the story of a willingness to get uncomfortable while pursuing an intrinsic passion. Taking on life’s wins, failures, and the lessons in between while growing into the person he saw himself as before the world got the big picture. Grant’s newest project, “Dreaming Out Loud,” delivers that narrative in sonic form, and with 6.2 million streams on his latest project, tour dates with Nas and Lauryn Hill, and cosigns from greats like DJ Khaled, it appears that hip-hop may have a new challenger to the throne. 

Modern day artists are fully aware of the need for multiple streams of income. The music industry business model is still in transition. Streaming pumped life back into the business, but artists aren’t seeing much profit from the sales. According to The Guardian, artists only get $ 0.00783 and $ 0.00397 per stream from Apple and Spotify, respectively. As a result, musicians must heavily rely on show money and merchandise sales to pull in cash. Naturally, an artist like Grant who is poised for worldwide success must keep his head on a swivel when it comes to diversifying his portfolio. After all, music is a young man’s sport and eventually the goal is to move into other business ventures. 

In a conversation filled with sheer appreciation for the moment, Grant revealed a very focused intent. The first chapter of his journey is closed, and his future is on the horizon. As he reflects on the experience of putting himself in position to eat, he has honed in on solidifying a foundation upon which his empire can stand. Coming from Walterboro, South Carolina, with a population of 5,000 people, it was no easy adventure for Grant to get here. 

“You can’t walk into a label from a small town. I didn’t even have a studio, we had to make one and record in a closet. A move to Atlanta was a family move that worked out. At the time Ludacris, T.I., and Outkast were artists you could look up to and also run into at any time. It was a different world, but it was accessible. I still had to pay my dues, go around and do rap battles and go to studios and get my voice heard.” 

Nowadays, opportunities to diversify your career trajectory depend on social currency. Those ever-so-necessary metrics that prove you’ve got the audience to drive revenue. It’s what every brand looks for when forging partnerships with artists looking to merge into other lanes of creative professionalism. While Grant is undeniably talented, he’s still earning his spot among the megastars of the game. The necessary evil in that is maintaining a social presence and growing a visible fan base by the numbers. 

“Everything is just hip-hop while I build a solid foundation. I want to get into acting, clothing, and finding artists. Music has a deadline so diversifying is key. You have to pay attention to the things you’re into and your direction. It takes staying committed and being comfortable with yourself. I could be better with social media and things. I’m growing to learn about those things on top of doing more shows and touching fans. Developing those habits of making sure it’s my best whenever I put up content.” 

You can hear the reluctantly wise compromise in his voice. He’s an MC to the core, cut from the cloth of earning his stripes through battles and fighting for his songs to be heard in studios. The music should speak for itself, and create all of the opportunity he deserves. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world and sometimes people want to see before they hear. That includes the folks who can provide opportunities in Grant’s places of interest beyond beautifully crafted bars. A true professional, he’s OK with playing the game as long as the music is on point. He’s got a platform now, and with that comes a duty. 

We’re the first generation of black men facing our demons without burying our emotions. On top of that, black women are holding us accountable for appreciating them and dispelling toxic viewpoints we learned from fathers, uncles, and brothers who went unchecked. Both subjects are regular topics of conversation across Twitter timelines. Using songs like “Father Figure” and “Black Woman,” Grant addresses two of the most sensitive topics for many black men. Confronting unresolved issues with the men responsible for raising us, and embracing the importance of the women who nurtured us no matter the cost. 

“I realized having a voice is a responsibility. These are things that I always wanted to talk about. Women were a village that raised me and provided for me when I couldn’t provide for myself. It was important for me to speak on, even if I was the only one to hear the records. Fortunately, it didn’t go unnoticed. Black Woman is 2-3 years old, but it shows you that God has his timing.”  

Nick’s appreciation for his position is full proof, while the game he’s in keeps reinventing itself. Platforms like Spotify offer licensing deals to artists, while companies like United Masters help artists create direct-to-consumer markets. It’s all in an effort to cut out the middleman. Still, Grant saw fit to sign with a major label. His golden ticket is in the business minds he keeps around him at Culture Republic, an imprint focused on identifying and cultivating authentic brand partnerships for the artists it represents. Culture Republic is run by Jason Geter, Chaka Zulu, and Bernard Parks who have successfully launched and navigated the brands of international superstars such as T.I., Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Iggy Azalea, Outkast, Cee-Lo Green, 8 Ball & MJG, B.O.B., DJ Drama, and Big K.R.I.T.

“I feel like I always got the cheat code. The people in my management are schooling me. I’m also picking up on ideas through conversation and learning on my own. I’m paying close attention to my peers and the moves they’re making. For me, it’s about letting the music open up the doors. Make sure the art is right, and everything is a domino effect.”

Grant’s whole mentality is to lift as he climbs. He wants to build a studio back home in South Carolina, He wants to help dope artists put out projects, and put people in the position to help others. He’s a fan of the culture first, so as long as he can aid others in realizing their dreams, he’s satisfied. His love for simple things is draped in the humble nature of the southern states that raised him. With a lyrically refreshing project receiving a warm welcome from critics and fans alike, Grant offered parting words on the possibility of the cultural pendulum swinging back in favor of the wordsmiths. 

“I don’t think it ever swung away. Who’s to say that the people everyone calls microwave artists aren’t just being who they really are, and that’s why it’s working for them? I would like to say I’m cut from the same cloth as a Kendrick or a J. Cole. To be a king in hip-hop you have to have a story and messaging. As long as you’re speaking about certain things you’re going to cut through. Everybody who’s the GOAT has to have a body of work. That’s my path. I want to be one of the greatest.” 

The post Artist Nick Grant on Navigating A Career in the Business of Hip-Hop appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Scouted: This Digital Marketing Course Will Teach You How to Grow Your Business

If you want your business to take off, you need to have a good grasp on digital marketing. But it isn’t as easy as merely setting up an Instagram account and calling it a day. Get the Digital Marketing 22-Course Masterclass for a comprehensive educational track covering all things digital marketing.

This course runs the gamut from brand identity and email marketing to copywriting and blogging. You’ll master SEO, explore video marketing on YouTube, and learn helpful tips for a variety of platforms including Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Whether you’re growing your business or hoping to secure a job in marketing, this learning package will arm you with the necessary skills to thrive.

The Digital Marketing 22-Course Masterclass normally costs $ 200, but today’s limited time offer brings the price down to just $ 15.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trump is doing the people’s business

Last week Brooklyn-born billionaire barista Howard Schultz hung up his apron and stepped away as executive chairman of Starbucks to contemplate a potential presidential run in 2020. I think it’s very clear from his statements that America needs more “dignity” out of Washington that he is indeed serious about a run. The problem is, President…
Business | New York Post

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Backlash from allies, business associations over steel and aluminum tariffs

The White House implemented the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum Friday.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Will.i.am to Oprah: “I Just Don’t Want to Be in the Music Business” | SuperSoul Conversations | OWN

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Casual attire can hurt business productivity: book

As Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, many offices now will allow casual attire on more than just Fridays. But there is a growing sentiment that dressing down leads to a loss of productivity in the workplace. That’s the idea behind a new book by Vishal Agarwal, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner and…
Business | New York Post

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The 5 Rules of Style for On-Point Women’s Business Attire

Style is everything. It can be the difference between you having an immaculate or exceptionally crappy day. Black Enterprise caught up with Stylist & CEO of Immaculate Wardrobe, Sophia Hyacinthe, who has built an incredible women’s styling business with over 13 years of styling experience, working with women CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies, publishing industry powerhouses, and girl bosses all over New York City. Hyacinthe offers business attire styling tips to freshen up that drab everyday work outfit, especially if your job requires you to be suited or “work professional” day in and day out.

The 5 Rules of Chic Business Attire Style

Fit First

Put fit first as it is the foundation to any look. Pick shapes and lines that best flatter your body. Prominent shapes in tailored womenswear include: cropped skinny pants, wide leg culottes, fitted pencil skirts, and A-line midis. Once you’ve found your perfect shape, I always recommend visiting a tailor to have them make any adjustments to ensure that it is truly the perfect fit. It’s the little touches like raising or lowering a hemline and taking in the waist that really customizes and refines the look.

business attire

(iStock/Photography Firm)

 

Suiting Remixed

Classic suiting has been given a fresh spin with bold colors and sticking prints. Crayola-esque hues along with pastels are major this season. For a simpler approach, pair bright separates with muted tones and for a more fashion-forward look, go all out and sport the full bright look. Praiseworthy prints include vintage floral designs along with traditional menswear suiting prints. For a more tamed approach, pair printed pieces with cool neutrals or for a more daring look, mix contrasting prints. The key to mixing prints is pairing some that share similar color themes.

(iStock/Nomad)

 

Best Foot Forward

This is the area where you really get to express individual style, whether you’re an avid flat wearer, sneaker fiend, or strictly a stiletto girl, you get to really have fun in this department. Use your shoes to express your best self. Shoe trends worth stomping for include ’80s-style pumps, dad sneakers, along with solid white and bold colors.

business attire

(iStock/macroworld)

 

Brilliant Blouses

Maximize work staples with a rotation of fun blouses. Designers are taking it up a notch with exaggerated sleeves, intricate collars, and form-flattering wrap styles. With summer approaching, opt for these styles in lightweight linen fabrics.

business attire

(iStick/Maksym Azovtsev)

 

All About Accessories

Accessories add personal flair and serve to really elevate the look. Noteworthy accessories include waist belts that layer perfectly over blazers and dresses. Mixed metals, a silver watch, a gold bracelet, no problem. And lastly, carry your work files in style with this season’s patterned “it” bags.

business attire

(iStock/ajr_images)

The post The 5 Rules of Style for On-Point Women’s Business Attire appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Executive Matthew Thornton III To Oversee $6.4 Billion FedEx Freight Business

Matthew Thornton III, cited on the Black Enterprise 2017 list of the Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of FedEx Freight.

In his new role, Thornton’s duties will include overseeing all operations for FedEx Freight, which offers extensive less-than truck (LTL) coverage across North America. A unit of Memphis-based FedEx Corp., FedEx Freight had fiscal 2017 annual revenue of $ 6.4 billion, according to FedEx’s website.

The business operates in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. It has 370 service centers, 40,000 employees, 20,000 vehicles, and an average daily shipment volume of 105,000.

Thornton, previously senior vice president of U.S. Operations for FedEx Express, has been with the delivery company for 40 years. His track record of success, experience leading diverse teams, and knowledge of FedEx’s global operation will be vital for this new role at FedEx Freight, the company reported.

“Matthew Thornton has proven himself time and again in his leadership at FedEx Express, and his thorough knowledge of all aspects of operations make him an excellent addition to the FedEx Freight leadership team,”  stated David J. Bronczek, president and chief operating officer.

Thornton’s promotion in late April came the same day FedEx Freight named John A. Smith as CEO, to succeed Mike Ducker who is retiring in August. Smith and Thornton will begin transitioning into their new positions this month.

Featured in the September/October issue of Black Enterprise and honored at a special recognition ceremony earlier this year, FedEx senior managers Thornton, Gloria R. Boyland and Shannon A. Brown were all listed on the Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America roster. The list includes the 300 most powerful Black CEOs, COOs and other top-ranking executives at some of the nation’s largest companies.

Earlier this year, Black Enterprise also recognized the inclusion of FedEx Corp. on its annual Best Companies for Diversity List.

 

The post Executive Matthew Thornton III To Oversee $ 6.4 Billion FedEx Freight Business appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

Business inventories flat in March

Business inventories were stagnant in March versus an expected 0.1 percent gain.
Economy

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Scouted: Better Your Business By Leveraging Social Media Tools

As any savvy marketer knows, content is king. But the format through which content is delivered, digested, and desired by users has changed dramatically over the past few years. Companies that have failed to adapt are losing the attention of a vast market of users who engage with brands primarily through social platforms. More than ever, audiences from all demographics are turning to the web to research companies, and many will go to a corporate Instagram handle, Facebook page or Twitter page to see how businesses are interacting with their customers.

If you’re looking to develop a holistic social strategy, this Social Media Marketing In 2018 Bundle can help: it includes six courses covering Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Advertising, and Twitter. There’s also a general course on how to optimize your business’ Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram — so you understand concepts from a macro perspective before getting granular.

Usually, this Social Media Marketing In 2018 Bundle is $ 1,186, but you can get it now for $ 34.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Is 50 Cent Looking At Getting In The MMA Business?

Bellator is quickly gaining ground in the MMA business since Scott Coker took over in 2014. Now it looks like rapper, entrepreneur, and agitator extraordinaire, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is interested in the MMA business…

Read the full story at Black Enterprise’s partner site, The Shadow League.

The post Is 50 Cent Looking At Getting In The MMA Business? appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

Little-known Tax Facts to Help Your Business Thrive in Trump Times

There’s been more than one thing to distract Americans from opportunities to financially triumph in the times of President Donald Trump. Many Americans are more engulfed in weekly White House shake-ups and the reboot of an early ’90s sitcom with a right-wing twist than the tax advantages for businesses under this administration’s new tax plan. However, there are opportunities to “make America great again” for black businesses, according to Micah Wainwright, founder of Good Steward Accounting and Tax.

Photo Credit: Micah Wainwright

Wainwright, a 12-year tax auditing veteran who specializes in Tax Controversy, is inspiring small businesses to embrace overshadowed tax opportunities. His vision for helping African Americans financially prosper was born out of a phone call from a college friend who was writing a novel and needed an accountant. Wainwright was an auditor at a Big Four firm at the time and not interested in helping the little man. Yet, his friend’s call became something bigger for Wainwright, more like a calling. He began to research small business accounting and his research revealed an unyielding desire to tap into a value his mother instilled him as a child—good stewardship.

Author of I Want You to Finance Your Life: 7 W.E.A.L.T.H. Secrets You Need to Know About the Tax Code, Micah Wainwright sat down with Black Enterprise to share his story of ‘good stewardship’ through teaching financial literacy.

Wainwright’s Passion for Financial Empowerment

BE: Why did you choose taxes as your specialty?

Wainwright: I took an accounting elective in college where I was required to do hours with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program sanctioned by the IRS. The IRS had a wealth of training modules to learn about tax filings. Surprisingly, the modules on home-based businesses sparked my interest most. Once I began to understand Tax Law was a subject that my mind naturally wrapped around, it became an obsession for me. The marketplace had a shortage of diligent professionals who would commit to continuing education in tax law to my benefit.

BE: Why The Good Steward?

Wainwright: I wanted to help by doing the “dirty work” that the majority of tax professionals didn’t want to do. I set my eyes on Tax Controversy. I obtained a master’s of science in Tax Law, which enabled me to successfully negotiate with the IRS and state governments. At the same time, I used the training from attorneys and judges to give me the ammunition to represent my clients at a greater capacity.

Tips To Maximizing on Trump’s Tax Plan

BE: What’s one essential tax move that we need to make in today’s economy?

Wainwright: GO START A BUSINESS! If you don’t, you’re just pleading to have a high tax bill. A tax shelter (e.g., a business) has always been a good tax mitigation strategy, but this new tax plan kicks things up a notch. The easiest route is a sole proprietorship. Here’s why:

  1. C corporations’ tax rate has dropped from 35% all the way down to 21%. This is huge! However, most small businesses are not C corporations.
  2. However, the major change for S corporations is the 20% deduction for pass-through income. S corporations can now reduce their pass-through income by 20%.

Once your business is licensed:

  1. Remain in constant communication with your tax accountant about major financial decisions.
  2. Be intentional about tracking expenses.

BE: Quick tips from the Good Steward under Trump’s Tax Plan?

  • Max out your 401(k). Take advantage of tax-deferred investment growth, company matching, and profit sharing!
  • Move out of states with high property-tax rates. If you limit your property-tax deductibles to $ 10,000, this will hurt homeowners who live in high property-tax states or who own expensive property or both!
  • Get married! Make up to $ 600,000 combined, or stay single if you both are making over $ 500,000. Currently, the top tax rate is now 37% for individuals making more than $ 500,000 and married couples making more than $ 600,000.
  • Enjoy being a middle-class American. Try to double the standard deduction, whether you own or not.
  • Don’t Get Stuck in the Upper Middle. Either make less than $ 200,000 as an individual or less than $ 260,000 as a married couple or more than $ 500,000 as an individual or close to $ 600,000 as a married couple.
  • Start an S-Corp. Remember, this tax shelter is endless, so get innovative!

More About Micah Wainwright

Micah Wainwright (Lance McCoy of BeLive Photography)

Wainwright is inspired by the advice he received from his mom that “in times of peace, prepare for war.” More importantly, Wainwrightprepays expenses when revenue is flowing because of what his mom taught him. At the end of the day, he says “there is never any warning for a financial drought so lead with love and good stewardship.” Wainwright teaches, if you fall in love—even with the things that challenge you or that appear unfair on the surface—you can trump the trials and triumph all tax-year long.

Wainwright is also a dedicated volunteer with the Maryland Volunteer Legal Service where he assists low-income families with resolving complex tax issues.

 

The post Little-known Tax Facts to Help Your Business Thrive in Trump Times appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Apple needs to get back in the innovation business

Apple reported its earnings last week, and the tech giant said nothing alarming — no massive misses or lowered expectations. The report in itself was bland, like unsweetened apple sauce — not bad if you’re counting calories, but not nearly as good as when Mom added some cinnamon and sugar. And that’s exactly what Apple’s…
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Warren Buffett: I was wrong on Google and Amazon, Jeff Bezos achieved a business ‘miracle’

Warren Buffett says he made a mistake by not investing in two dominant technology companies.
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Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s: A Family Business, a Family’s Story | Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s | OWN

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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German Business Confidence At 13-Month Low

German business confidence deteriorated more-than-expected to a 13-month low in April on trade tensions, survey data from the Munich-based Ifo Institute showed Tuesday. The business sentiment index fell to 102.1 from 103.3 a month ago. This was the lowest reading since March 2017, when the reading was 101.3. The score was forecast to drop moderately to 102.8.
RTT – Economic News

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Michael Cohen has a long history of dealing with business partners who have been convicted of crimes

Long before Donald Trump’s attorney paid Stormy Daniels or had his office raided by the FBI, a pattern was established: The associates of Michael Cohen have often been disciplined, disbarred, accused or convicted of crimes, ProPublica reports.
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Outfit Formula : Business Casual & Black Mules

This outfit formula was inspired by looks I’ve been helping some clients put together for Spring business casual. Sandals are usually not part of the work dress code, but dressier mules are a fun and trendy way to do “sandals-lite”. Mules are generally okay with work dress codes because the toes are covered. 

Black mules come in a variety of silhouettes. Heeled, flat, casual, dressy, sueded, with hardware, and in all sorts of vamp lengths and toe shapes. Take your pick.

Black mules are a slam dunk for those who like to wear black bottoms and black footwear to work. The good news is that the two look great together, and are a good way to refresh your style for the office. The point is to show some ankle and leg when wearing mules. Covering up the back of the mule hides the main feature of the style. If you get the right shape and size for your feet, mules fit extremely well and feel secure and comfortable. They can look polished and pulled together if you choose a dressier version.

The outfit formula:

Black Bottoms + Business Casual Top + Business Casual Topper + Black Mules

Here are four renditions to get you started. I’ve chosen a black, white and grey palette with a pop of colour. Feel free to choose any colour palette, although the point here is to keep the bottoms and footwear black.

1. Cropped Pants, Mules & Blazer

Combine black cropped straights or flares with a layering top and non-black blazer. Cropped pants can hover between two to six inches above the ankle bone. Ankle pants that finish two to three inches above the ankle bone are usually best for the office. Finish off the look with black heeled or flat mules and a structured bag.

Mango Cropped Button Pants

2. Skirt, Mules & Jacket

Combine a black skirt with a layering top and a jacket that works with the length of the skirt. Tuck or semi-tuck the top. Or leave it out. A flared skirt is shown here, but a pencil skirt will work just fine. Finish off the look with black heeled or flat mules and a structured bag. You can absolutely wear flat mules with a skirt or dress, so please don’t think that you have to wear heels — that’s a dated style concept. Pointy toes will elongate the leg line, as will tucking or semi-tucking the top to showcase or hint at the waist.

TOD'S Embellished Leather Mules

3. Slim Ankle Pants, Mules & Long Topper

Combine slim black ankle pants with a layering top and a solid or patterned long topper like a cocoon jacket, duster coat, long blazer or maxi cardigan. Leave it open in front to create an elongating vertical line down the centre front of the body. Finish off the look with black heeled or flat mules and a structured bag.

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Octavian 35 Studded Fringed Patent-leather Mules

4. Roomy Pants, Mules & Statement Blouse

Combine black culottes, wide crops or cropped flares with a dressy statement top that looks professional and dressy without a jacket. It does not need to be tucked or semi-tucked unless you want to lengthen the leg line from the hips upwards. A wrap top is a great idea. Create a low contrast between the top and bottom if you don’t wont a horizontally cutting line across the body. Finish off the look with black heeled or flat mules and a structured bag. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER Leather Mules

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Goldman Sachs asks in biotech research report: ‘Is curing patients a sustainable business model?’

Goldman Sachs warns sales from the most successful disease treatments are difficult to maintain.
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Give trade peace a chance, says Business Roundtable CEO Joshua Bolten

President Trump is right when he says China's unfair and discriminatory trade practices must end, but his threatened tariffs are a poor way to address these systemic problems, Joshua Bolten writes.
Politics

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Leading Economist and His Brother Launch The Black Business School

After Lawrence Watkins helped his brother Boyce Watkins, Ph.D., a leading financial scholar and economist, launch a successful speaking career, the two joined forces again to create The Black Business School.

“We combined the best parts and removed the worst parts of our collective business school experience as both a professor and student,” said Lawrence Watkins. Our goal is to help African Americans obtain a culturally relevant, yet practical education in all things wealth building at a price they can afford. As of today, we’ve had over 56,000 students who have either registered for our free or paid courses on the platform.”

Black Enterprise caught up with Watkins to learn more.

 In comparison to attending a traditional college, what’s the value that the Black Business School offers participants?

  • Cultural relevance – Unless a person attended an HBCU or was in the Africana Studies department of a predominately white institution, they probably have had very little interaction with black instructors, especially in business. We solve this problem as the large majority of our instructors are black. We are especially proud to have brought on Dr. Claud Anderson, author of PowerNomics, to teach a course on community economic development. He has already done two public lectures with Boyce that has been popular with our audience.

 

  • Practical education – A fundamental fallacy of college education for black people is that the universities teach you how to work for someone else, but not yourself. If we owned the majority of institutions that control our day-to-day lives, then this would be OK. Unfortunately, we don’t. Therefore, we need to deploy a different strategy to gain wealth as a community. Our courses focus on the subjects that are practically applicable to teach our students how to make money now. We conclude some theory, but practicality is the focus. We also focus our attention on the subject areas where black people can make their money without having many institutional gatekeepers. These areas of focus are small business & entrepreneurship, securities investing, real estate investing, marketing & sales, personal finance, data & technology, and leadership & personal development. The first three paths already exist in our organization but will be expanding to the other four over the next several months.

 

  • Low cost – Traditional college is putting a lot of students in debt. I know as I also have a couple of those fancy degrees. I ask myself if it was worth it often. I don’t want the rest of our community to have to make the same choice. I want them to be able to get an education and also buy the real estate that will help them attain generational wealth. We price our programs at a rate to where most students can pay out of pocket instead of taking out $ 100,000 in student loans. We are very proud of this fact.

What are your most popular courses?

The course that initially kicked off the acceleration of the BBS was Black Money 102: How to Invest in the Stock Market by Dr. Boyce Watkins. We noticed from social media there were many people in our community that did not know the basics of stock market investing. So, Boyce took the financial concepts that he taught at Syracuse University and shared that knowledge with the black community. Currently, we’ve had about 4,000 current & past students in this one class alone.

We launched a crypto-currency and blockchain investing initiative because we believe that Blockchain technology represents the next frontier of technological innovation. Part of this initiative involved creating the world’s largest African & African-American focused investing community at 60,000+ members. In December, we had over 22,000 people register to attend our online Crypto Investing Summit. Our premium blockchain mastermind, the Digital Underground, has had over 1,400 enrollments. The first token that has come out from the Digital Underground mastermind is LUV. LUV is an immutable Ethereum smart contract, an ERC-20 backed blockchain token that focuses on spreading awareness, education, and adoption of blockchain technology usage. LUV is priceless and cannot be bought. Authentic LUV is only given away for free.

 

 

The post Leading Economist and His Brother Launch The Black Business School appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Novartis CEO: Any potential decision on eye-care business will be made in first half of 2019

Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan said the drugmaker would maintain its timeline for the decision of an Alcon spin-off.
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Like Trump or Not, Here’s How the New Tax Laws are Good and Bad for Black Small Business

It’s likely that U.S. entrepreneurs—including black small business owners—are now trying to figure out how the $ 1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Job Act will affect them and their businesses.

The new provisions are effective beginning this year through 2025. Small business owners should now be planning for the 2018 tax year and setting up their operations to minimize their tax liability.

Thomas Jones Jr., the lead tax partner for the black-owned public accounting firm of McConnell & Jones L.L.P. in Houston, says American business owners are trying to understand the impact of the new tax law on their businesses, themselves, and their families.

Thomas Jones Jr., CPA (Image: mcconnelljones.com)

His firm is recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the city’s largest public accounting firms and by Accounting Today as one of the largest CPA practices in the nation’s Southwest region.

Jones started as a tax manager with Ernst & Ernst in 1977. He teamed with Wayne McConnell in 1996 to establish McConnell & Jones L.L.P. In 1999, Odysseus Lanier and Sharon Murphy merged with the pair, creating the largest African American-owned accounting and consulting firm in Texas.

With over 40 years of experience in investment and financial management, Jones provides the firm’s clientele with tax planning, retirement and estate planning, and other services. He works with entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them achieve long-term success.

The bottom line is the new tax law has arrived and will bring big changes.

“Whether you like Trump or not, the “Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017” is the most significant and radical change in tax law since the 1980s and is sure to impact you and your business in the coming year,” Jones says.

Jones cited the most important elements he sees coming out of the tax reform package that small business owners and individuals should know more about:

Rate Changes

For corporations and individuals, Jones says the Tax Cut Act remains true to its name. It cuts the corporate tax to a simplified flat rate of 21%. This is a big change from the previous multi-bracket structure with a 35% top rate! Individual rates are also cut with the new law.  Though seven brackets remain, the Tax Cut Act has reduced rates with the highest bracket now at 37%, almost a 3% drop.

Reduction of Pass-through Income

Most owners of pass-through entities, including S corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, will see their income tax lowered with a new 20% income reduction calculation. The Act increases the amount of income allowed to be claimed as pass-through from 17.4% to 20%. There are many variables to the reductions depending on your business structure. This is especially important for individuals looking to start a new business in 2018 as your entity choice will impact your tax situation. The provision for pass-through entities will expire in 2025.

Deductions and Exemptions Have Reformed

These changes could affect sole proprietorships, S corporations, and partnerships. The standard deduction nearly doubles to $ 12,000 for single filers and $ 24,000 for married filing jointly. To help cover the cost, personal exemptions and most additional standard deductions are suspended.

Personal Exemptions Removed

Previously, you could claim a $ 4,050 personal exemption for yourself, your spouse, and each of your dependents. But the under the new tax law, the personal exemption is no longer available to anyone.

State and Local Tax Deductions Capped

State and local tax deductions are limited to $ 10,000 total for all property, income, and sales tax. Where you live and your state tax structure will determine the impact of this change on your taxes.

Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM) Exemption Raised

The alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system that ensures people who receive a lot of tax breaks still pay some federal income taxes, stays in place. But the exemption changes to $ 70,300 for single filers and $ 109,400 for joint filers and the phase-out threshold to $ 1 million. The changes mean the AMT will affect far fewer people than before.

Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Doubled

Jones calls this a major win for small business owners! The estate tax, which applies to the transfer of property to decedents, either as a gift or through a will or trust, has been doubled. The basic amount of the exemption for individuals has jumped from $ 5 million to $ 10 million.

Business Tax Credits

Several business credits are maintained but modified, including the orphan drug credit, the rehabilitation credit, the employer credit for paid family or medical leave and the research and experimentation credit. Jones recommends business owners review all available credits with their tax adviser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Like Trump or Not, Here’s How the New Tax Laws are Good and Bad for Black Small Business appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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3 business deals that have been screwing us for years

If you think politicians are shady, a new book has some news for you — businessmen are worse. “The Deals That Made the World: Reckless Ambition, Backroom Negotiations, and the Hidden Truths of Business” (William Morrow) by Jacques Peretti exposes the many ways that businesses have conspired to control our world. “They have changed how…
Business | New York Post

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BWW TV: GRAND HOTEL is Open for Business! Watch Highlights of James Snyder, Brandon Uranowitz and More!

Encores is back for round two The second production of this season is Grand Hotel, directed and choreographed byJosh Rhodes, featuring music direction by Encores Music DirectorRob Berman.Grand Hotel, The Musicalwill run for seven performances at New YorkCity Centerfrom March 21 – 25. The Encores at 25 season concludes with Me and My Girl May 9 – 13.
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Jessica Jones is back in business. Listen to the electrifying…

Jessica Jones is back in business. Listen to the electrifying score to the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones here: http://bit.ly/2GyPQBn

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Job Management Software: Tips for Choosing the Best for Your Business

Business ownership is all about finding the balance between craftsmanship and technology. The construction industry is no different—many contractors spend more time managing their projects from inside their offices than out on the building site. But technology doesn’t have to be a burden on your business day. It can even help you be more productive and successful. Job management software that is tailored to your business will streamline processes, improve communication, and free up time and resources to get you back on site. Here are 3 of our top tips to help you choose the best job management software package for your business.

Professional two engineers are discussing the new project. They are using a laptop and smiling. The senior man is standing and holding the blueprint. Copy space in left side

Prioritize your needs

If you’re thinking about investing in job management software, you first need to decide what exactly you want the technology to do for you and your company. Generally speaking, these kinds of software programs are meant to be used as a tool to simplify and integrate the construction management process from start to finish, including:

Project management

  • Employee timetabling
  • Building schedules
  • Fine details of the construction process

Finances

  • Payroll
  • Client payments and bills
  • Purchasing
  • Estimation software

Communication

  • Between contractors and subcontractors
  • Between architects and builders
  • Between pros and clients

If your construction business is already excelling in one or more of these areas, you can begin your software search by focusing on programs that will help bring the slower aspects of your business up to speed.

Shop around

Once you’ve determined what your business needs, you can move on to checking out different software programs. Of course, software will vary in terms of price, ratings, and usability, and it’s worth checking out reviews to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about each program you consider.

Most job management programs – which start at around $ 100 a month for basic use – include the features we mentioned above. However, by doing some research (and spending a bit more money), you can opt for programs that include more specialized features, such as:
Integration with well-known financial platforms such as QuickBooks and Sage
Built-in CRM (customer relationship management) software
Customizable smartphone and tablet apps

While basic packages may be cheaper, it may be worth investing in a bespoke service that is tailored to you and your business’ needs specifically. It’s also a good idea to think about connectivity and accessibility, because remote access is essential if you work from anywhere other than your desk. Programs like Tradify connect with the accounting app Xero for a seamless user experience, while CoConstruct has an app generator that lets you show off your brand to clients and other pros.

Try before you buy

As with any business purchase, finding the best product at the best price is key for job management software. Since these products can end up being pretty pricey if you opt for customized options, it’s essential that you can find a software program that’s right for you and your business. Many web-based programs offer free trials or money-back guarantees (for example, Joblogic offers a 30 day trial period, while simPRO has a free demo), so you can try them out with little commitment and know you’re choosing the right product when all is said and done.

The post Job Management Software: Tips for Choosing the Best for Your Business appeared first on Modernize.

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Yes, Uber Really Is Killing the Parking Business

An email from the CEO of a national parking operator has added some detail to the impact ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are having on demand for parking. The picture, at least for those trying to rent you a parking spot, is bleak.

In the email, unearthed from a company report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ace Parking CEO John Baumgardner says that demand for parking at hotels in San Diego has dropped by 5 to 10%, while restaurant valet demand is down 25%. The biggest drop, unsurprisingly, has been at nightclubs, where demand for valet parking has dropped a whopping 50%.

The numbers appear to be estimates, and Baumgardner doesn’t describe a timeframe for the declines. The assessment, written in September of last year, is also limited to San Diego, though an Ace Parking executive told the Union-Tribune that it has seen “similar” declines at its 750 parking operations around the United States. The company is focused on using technology, including better parking scheduling and booking options, to remain healthy.

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But much more is at stake than the revenues of the parking business – cities stand to benefit immensely as demand for parking drops. Parking spaces and lots generate relatively little tax revenue or economic activity relative to commercial operations, and by increasing sprawl may actually harm the economy of cities like Los Angeles.

Even back in 2015, cities were already relaxing zoning requirements that set minimum parking allotments, and there are now even more signs that city planners are thinking differently about parking. Perhaps most dramatically, a new Major League Soccer stadium being planned for David Beckham’s Miami expansion team may include no new parking at all – but will have designated pickup zones for Uber and Lyft.

The decline of parking will only be accelerated if and when autonomous vehicles become widespread. That sea-change which will make it easier to locate parking at a distance from urban destinations, and could further reduce car ownership. That will be bad news for the Ace Parkings of the world – but everyone else should welcome the decline of the urban parking lot.

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7 Tips for Women on Avoiding Unwanted Advances During Business Travel

Tips for Women on Avoiding Unwanted Advances During Business TravelHere’s an interesting question for today: Do you often get unwanted attention when traveling for work? What are your best tips for women on avoiding unwanted advances during business travel? Does it happen most often in hotel bars, on the plane, at the airport, or elsewhere? From coworkers, clients — or strangers? Do you ever feel unsafe during those experiences, or are you mostly just annoyed when you’re trying to do some work, eat a meal, or simply get to where you’re going? tips for women on avoiding unwanted advances during business travel

The question of how to avoid being hit on when you’re traveling for work is especially relevant in light of all of the changes happening these days with sexual harassment, office culture, and the #metoo movement. As if flight delays, lost luggage, and jet lag weren’t enough, two in five women say they’ve experienced sexual harassment or unwelcome interactions while traveling, according to a recent survey 

We acknowledge that it’s sad and wrong that there’s even a need for a post called “tips for women on avoiding unwanted advances during business travel” (and that many women feel like they have to change their behavior or appearance to avoid being hit on or harassed while traveling), but unfortunately, that’s the reality that most of us live in. (There also needs to be something to counter the pieces aimed at men with titles like “How to Pick Up Women on Airplanes” and “How to Pick Up Business Women in Hotel Bars.”) I also want to point out that we don’t want to imply that any woman should be blamed for unwanted attention if she doesn’t do the things below — we just thought it would be helpful to share some advice and ask readers for theirs.

Psst: We’ve previously shared business travel tips and tricks and discussed readers’ best self-defense tips, as well as given advice on how to handle a client hitting on you and how to stop a flirtatious boss from hitting on you. You may also want to check out our post on the best personal safety apps for women!

Here are some tips for avoiding unwanted advances during business travel:

  1. Get some mileage out of your RBF! While your resting bitch face may most often lead to people calling you a bitch behind your back, or compel men to tell you to smile, now you can use it to your advantage! Feel free to look as unapproachable as you want — hey, go wild and cross your arms too (while hoping it comes off as standoffish, not as “I’m so bored. Some unwanted male attention is just what I need!”) If ignoring a guy who’s staring at you doesn’t make him move on to his next target, return his gaze without changing your expression.
  2. Wear a fake wedding ring. This certainly won’t deter every man who’s thinking of approaching you, but it’ll work in some cases, and it’ll only cost you $ 10 or $ 15. Alternately, if you have a sparkly and conspicuous right-hand ring that will fit on your left hand, switch it when you need to. (Maybe you can use this as a justification to splurge and buy yourself one if you’ve been considering it…)
  3. Read a book. If you don’t have one handy, you can instead try to make it clear that you only have eyes for your Instagram feed. Be aware that this strategy can backfire (even when it’s not a strategy), as a writer for Cosmopolitan found when a guy saw her reading at a bar and insisted, “You’re just reading so some guy will hit on you.” (I mean, sure — that’s why I got my English degree.)
  4. Wear sunglasses. If you’re feeling especially uncomfortable, sunglasses can prevent a guy from believing your accidental eye contact is a conscious invitation. (Bonus: If you want to indulge in a bit of people-watching during that long layover, no one will be the wiser…)
  5. Use earbuds/headphones, whether or not you’re listening to something. On the other hand, a common safety tip for women is to only wear one earbud so that you can stay aware of your surroundings, but … that kind of defeats the purpose. You can always limit this strategy to situations and places where you feel reasonably safe, i.e., not walking back to your hotel alone at night.
  6. Resist any natural impulse to always be “nice.” Women are so often socialized to act “nice” and be people-pleasers, but if you’re tired of your polite/friendly behavior being interpreted as romantic interest, try to check yourself.
  7. If you’re traveling to a country where most women dress very differently than you normally do, try to blend in by dressing as conservatively as they do, within reason. (By the way, you can find a lot of reader comments on our post on what businesswomen should wear in the Middle East with specific recommendations for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.) Again, please don’t read this as us saying, “Of course she was hit on all the time — look at what she was wearing!”

What are YOUR best tips for women on avoiding unwanted advances during business travel? Do you find that some strategies work better than others? 

Further Reading with Tips for Women on Avoiding Unwanted Advances During Travel:

Image credit: Deposit Photos / Wavebreakmedia

The post 7 Tips for Women on Avoiding Unwanted Advances During Business Travel appeared first on Corporette.com.

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U.S. Business Inventories Climb More Than Expected In December

A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed business inventories in the U.S. rose by slightly more than anticipated in the month of December. The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.4 percent in December, matching the increase seen in November.
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Mental Health Survivor and Entrepreneur on Building Her Business While Managing PTSD

The mental health stigma remains a cloud of shame with many fearing discrimination or alienation from family, friends, even society at large. Approximately 1 in 4 people suffer from some form of mental illness.

HLG Scans Founder Charmaine Gresham has dealt with depression pretty much all her life, beginning in her adolescent years. Gresham has faced some tremendous highs and very dark lows, but she prides herself on still standing and not being ashamed. She challenges the notion that you can’t be successful if you have a mental illness.

For Gresham, it’s about knowing trigger moments and how to efficiently work through them via professional counseling and meditation. Black Enterprise contributor Chanel Martin discusses with Gresham how she is able to build her business and take care of her family while managing her mental illness.

Chanel Martin: Tell us about your business. What is it? How did you get started?

Gresham: HLG Scans was started out of necessity. My newborn daughter was having sinusitis health problems, and I had to constantly take leave from my corporate job to take care of her. I finally decided I didn’t want to choose anymore and started the process of developing HLG Scans L.L.C. HLG Scans is a multi-dimensional electronic document management company. We have three subdivisions: federal contracting, online products and services, and small business services. HLG Scans is a certified Veteran Owned (VOSB) and Women-Owned (WOSB) Small Business.

We provide third-party vendor services to federal government agencies from administrative to minor construction outsourcing. Our online division provides interactive tools, training, and consultation to transform your traditional office into a digital workspace with the ability to work from anywhere. Our small business division, provide scan conversion and electronic document management services to help local business owners save money and increase office productivity. The workplace is an ever-changing entity. Technology is changing the way we do our business. Things that used to take weeks, now only take hours and minutes. Electronic document management is becoming a requirement and no longer a luxury.

As a mental health survivor, entrepreneurship can be very stressful. How do you manage your diagnoses while pursuing your entrepreneurial efforts?

Mental illness is something I’ve dealt with in one form or another for a majority of my life. Before I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD, I would continually have highs and sometimes feel so low that the only thing that got me to a place of recovery was prayer and determination to see another day. With mental illness, your trigger moments can feel like a deep dark hole you’re constantly trying to climb out. Normal habits, such as getting out of bed, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, can easily be put on the backburner because you’re too exhausted to get out of bed. I would have slept my life away I could. With PTSD you’re constantly struggling with past demons. It’s like playing a broken record in your head. Usually, with PTSD, you’re triggered by past and present moments of stress. You’re trying to win this battle in your head and everything you hold dear gets damaged in the crossfire. It can be utterly exhausting fighting with yourself.

Sometimes my moments of depression could end up lasting for a week, with me struggling to find a real reason to keep pushing. When you’re not adequately dealing with your mental health, nothing gets 100% from you, including family, friends, and your business. Sometimes I would go a week without being productive, things weren’t getting done, and it showed. I was trying to do everything myself, which made me stressful, which made me depressed. The goal for any business is consistency, and that’s something I could not give because I wasn’t dealing with my issues. Once I started treatment, delegated some responsibilities, and learned to take a break and breathe; things began to change for the better. Contracts began coming in, and real progress has been made across the board for my business. I want a happy and fulfilling life, and I deserve it. My main priority is maintaining a positive outlook for my family and me, which includes medication, regular counseling, exercise, and meditation.

What is a typical day in the life for you?

A typical day for me includes early morning meditation; getting my daughter ready for school, and meeting with my trainer for an exercise session. I then return home and start my workday which includes: virtual meetings with my team, responding to emails, reviewing my to-do list, developing new online products, social media interaction, live video trainings, and local networking meetings and events. I usually meet with my counselor twice a month to decompress. I always feel refreshed after our sessions.

What advice do you have for others who may feel that a mental health diagnosis would limit their ability to build a sustainable business?

First, you must openly acknowledge and accept your mental health diagnoses. It’s not a death sentence or something you should be ashamed of. I would suggest seeking physician care, professional counseling, regularly participating in activities that bring you peace and joy, and if you have a triggered moment, don’t beat yourself up. We’re all beautifully flawed human beings.

What motivates you to keep going?

I do believe there’s an anointed strength in me that keeps me going through all the trials and tribulations of juggling three hats (business owner, mother, and wife). I’ve had tremendous growth because through it all, I kept going. Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t take the time to pat myself on the back because I always see something that can be better. I’m slowly learning to stop and smell the roses; enjoy the moment of achievement and growth. I’m also learning that no matter how busy or driven I am, to always make time for me. Enjoy the different vices that help me relax and just be. Mental illness isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s a part of me, and I have to love all parts of me—no matter what.

The post Mental Health Survivor and Entrepreneur on Building Her Business While Managing PTSD appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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