Republicans: We’re Committed to Using Black Business Vendors at 2020 RNC Convention

Annual political party conventions — whether for Republicans or Democrats — can be lucrative. That is why the stakes are potentially high for black-owned small businesses selected as vendors for the next Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some local officials are hoping the 2020 RNC convention will bring an economic impact exceeding $ 100 million.

The RNC officially picked Charlotte, in July 2018, to host the four-day convention. John Lassiter, CEO of the Charlotte 2020 Host Committee, has told the media his group is “on track financially,” for reaching its goal to raise $ 70 million. The money will cover the convention’s projected cost of nearly $ 64 million and other emerging expenses. The committee aims to raise the funds by late 2019. The spending will be stretched over several categories, including $ 27.6 million for convention facilities; $ 8.4 million for event production, and $ 2.4 million each for office space and transportation services to name just a few. Yet, the big question is how many vendor contracts will be granted to local black entrepreneurs?

Charlotte NAACP President Corine Mack wants to ensure black businesses, specifically black women-owned businesses, have a seat at the vendor table. She believes at least 50% of the vendors should be people of color, with 30% of that group being black. Plus, Mack says the RNC should consider funding implicit bias and cultural proficiency training leading into and during the RNC. She said the training could help whites take a self-examination and realize their biases. “In making a decision to do better and be better, it allows us to build a bridge of understanding and inclusion,” Mack says.

Charlotte leaders have emphasized that they want to ensure minorities, women, and diverse groups are represented in providing goods and services. City Council  Member James Mitchell says Charlotte 2020 should aim to give 30% of vendor contracts to minorities and women,  Liberty Headlines reported. RNC officials told Black Enterprise Charlotte 2020 is committed to making sure black businesses are hired as vendors. But the committee also reported that it has not been determined what amount of vendor contracts will go to minority or women-owned firms, adding it is very early in the process.

“The Charlotte 2020 Host Committee is working to create a workforce and vendor opportunity strategy with a focus on local and regional spend, inclusivity, and diversity,” Lassiter says. “We want diverse residents and businesses, including black-owned businesses, to help showcase our community and realize the economic benefits of this major event. While it is too early to discuss specifics related to our vendor strategy, we are intentional with our efforts.”

Businesses interested in vendor opportunities should check for updates and sign up at www.charlottein2020.com. The name of those firms will go directly to the host committee for vendor consideration. “We have nearly two years to aggressively engage diverse talent and to collaborate across public, private and civic entities to make this a positive experience, one our community can be proud of,” Lassiter says.

Political conventions can be a hefty windfall for host cities in many ways. That could include providing them a robust financial economic gain, attracting more events, boosting tourism, and bringing international notoriety. The 2012 Democratic National Convention pulled in $ 163.6 million, a reportedly record high economic impact for a single Charlotte event. When the city of Cleveland, hosted the 2016 Republican National Convention, it generated an economic benefit of $ 188.4 million for Ohio’s largest city.

Vendors selected for the convention may be hired to provide a broad range of services that perhaps includes transportation, food, contracting and other assistance. The Charlotte area has a large roster of black businesses, including an estimated 13,000 African American-owned businesses, the Charlotte Post reported.

The post Republicans: We’re Committed to Using Black Business Vendors at 2020 RNC Convention appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The Benefits of Using AromaTech – An Aromatherapy Nebulizing Diffuser

Self-care has become a huge topic of conversation in the tech space. Diffusers for aromatherapy are popping up all over the place and essential oils are on trend but are you using the correct diffuser to reap all the benefits? There are four types of diffusers on the market, ultrasonic or humidifying diffusers, evaporative diffusers, and heat diffusers, but the best, hands down, seems to be the nebulizing diffuser.

AromaTech, a nebulizing diffuser, has created the first of its kind, fragrance diffuser, scent machine. Instead of the small device that typically deploys the essential oil scents, these are hi-tech machines that come in several different styles ranging from modern and chic to practical and powerful. The goal of the system is to redefine and improve the way commercial scenting systems work and to bring the technology into your home, with ease and convenience.

AroMini Essential Oil Fragrance Diffuser (Image: AromaTech)

AroMini Essential Oil Fragrance Diffuser (Image: AromaTech)

So, what are the differences? These machines use cold air diffusion technology, which is the safest and cleanest way to diffuse essential and aroma oils. Instead of using heat, a fan, or evaporation, AromaTech’s scent machines filter air from your room in efforts to diffuse the fragrances, which preserves the therapeutic power of the oils, causing it to use a lot less product. Even more importantly, due to the fact that you don’t have to dilute them, it preserves the essential oils’ properties, whereas other diffusers can easily damage them.

AromaTech produces their own oils which are %100 pure and made with fair trade and cruelty-free practices. “We believe that the impact of human consumption has damaged the Earth and its ecosystems, and to survive we must treat our one and only home with respect. It has become more critical to support natural choices, both large and small,” the company boasts on the site. Additionally, all essential and aroma oil blends are eco-friendly, pet-friendly, non-GMO, and contain no harmful chemicals or additives. 

diffuser

Holiday Spice, Aroma and Essential Oil Blend (Image: AromaTech)

The company offers a subscription-based service where you can have your scents arrive monthly without missing a beat. You can find out more by clicking here.

The post The Benefits of Using AromaTech – An Aromatherapy Nebulizing Diffuser appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The Benefits of Using AromaTech – An Aromatherapy Nebulizing Diffuser

Self-care has become a huge topic of conversation in the tech space. Diffusers for aromatherapy are popping up all over the place and essential oils are on trend but are you using the correct diffuser to reap all the benefits? There are four types of diffusers on the market, ultrasonic or humidifying diffusers, evaporative diffusers, and heat diffusers, but the best, hands down, seems to be the nebulizing diffuser.

AromaTech, a nebulizing diffuser, has created the first of its kind, fragrance diffuser, scent machine. Instead of the small device that typically deploys the essential oil scents, these are hi-tech machines that come in several different styles ranging from modern and chic to practical and powerful. The goal of the system is to redefine and improve the way commercial scenting systems work and to bring the technology into your home, with ease and convenience.

AroMini Essential Oil Fragrance Diffuser (Image: AromaTech)

AroMini Essential Oil Fragrance Diffuser (Image: AromaTech)

So, what are the differences? These machines use cold air diffusion technology, which is the safest and cleanest way to diffuse essential and aroma oils. Instead of using heat, a fan, or evaporation, AromaTech’s scent machines filter air from your room in efforts to diffuse the fragrances, which preserves the therapeutic power of the oils, causing it to use a lot less product. Even more importantly, due to the fact that you don’t have to dilute them, it preserves the essential oils’ properties, whereas other diffusers can easily damage them.

AromaTech produces their own oils which are %100 pure and made with fair trade and cruelty-free practices. “We believe that the impact of human consumption has damaged the Earth and its ecosystems, and to survive we must treat our one and only home with respect. It has become more critical to support natural choices, both large and small,” the company boasts on the site. Additionally, all essential and aroma oil blends are eco-friendly, pet-friendly, non-GMO, and contain no harmful chemicals or additives. 

diffuser

Holiday Spice, Aroma and Essential Oil Blend (Image: AromaTech)

The company offers a subscription-based service where you can have your scents arrive monthly without missing a beat. You can find out more by clicking here.

The post The Benefits of Using AromaTech – An Aromatherapy Nebulizing Diffuser appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Smoke alarms using mother’s voice wake children better than high-pitch tone alarms

Researchers examined characteristics of four different smoke alarms to determine which ones worked best to wake children. The researchers found that a sleeping child was about three times more likely to be awakened by one of the three voice alarms than by the tone alarm.
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Using 529s for Going Back to School

using 529s for going back to schoolReaders, have you ever considered using 529s for going back to school, either for yourself or a partner? If you’re thinking about getting a law degree or enrolling in another graduate program in the future, you should know the basics of using 529s to fund your education. I’m betting that the typical Corporette reader is more familiar with these tax-advantaged savings plans than the general public — only a third of Americans know what they’re for, which I assume is partly due to their oh-so-creative name — but it’s been quite a while since we’ve discussed them, so it’s time for an update.how to use 529s to go back to school(By the way, the 529’s lesser-known name does reveal its purpose: QTP, or “qualified tuition program.”) Here’s our last discussion on tax-savvy investments such as 529s — and also check out our 529 tips for working moms.

One major change since then, which will only apply to you if you have kids or are considering having kids someday, came courtesy of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Congress passed in 2017. Under the new rules, 529 funds can be used not only to pay for college but also for tuition at K–12 public, private, and religious schools. (We’ll get into that later).

Psst: On the subject of grad school, we’ve previously shared tips on how to financially prepare for grad school, as well as how to transition from a lawyer’s salary back to paying tuition and — for when you’re out of school — tips on how to pay off big student loans

Here are some questions and answers about using 529s for going back to school, including a few tips from Jane Yoo, CEO of Jane Financial, a financial planning firm in Oakland, CA, that serves Gen X women professionals:

What are the tax advantages of opening a 529?

With 529 college savings plans, investment growth and withdrawals aren’t subject to federal taxes. The plans are administered by states, although you can use one from anywhere you choose, and some states offer their own tax benefits when you make contributions. For example, New York residents can deduct up to $ 5,000 ($ 10,000 for married couples filing jointly) on state income tax. If you live in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, or Pennsylvania, you can still get a state tax deduction if you have a plan from another state. Note: In addition to the 529 option called a college savings plan, you have the option of the less popular 529 prepaid tuition plan, which both states and educational institutions can offer. (Only states can offer college savings plans.)

What can 529 plans be used for?

You can use funds from a 529 to attend a college or university or to enroll in post-secondary training — options include graduate schools, community colleges, trade schools, qualified online degree programs, and even many schools outside the U.S. (Here’s a searchable database.) As mentioned above, 529s can also fund tuition at private elementary and secondary schools, up to $ 10,000 per beneficiary per year.

When should I open a 529 plan?

If you’ve decided to go to grad school yourself, the answer is “now.” Regarding a child’s college education, says Yoo, “It’s never too late to get started.” She adds, “I have many friends and clients who worry that they’re supposed to start saving as soon as the child is born. I generally recommend selecting the age-based option that invests the contributions in a mix of stock and bond mutual funds that gradually become more conservatively allocated (e.g., more bonds than stocks) as the child approaches age 18. I like 529 plans that use low-cost, broadly-diversified investments from Vanguard or iShares; the Utah, Arkansas, and Virginia 529 plans are good places to start your research.”

How much can you put into a 529?

The IRS doesn’t set a specific limit for 529 contributions, but the money can’t exceed the beneficiary’s expected qualified education expenses. States have their own maximums; for example, New York allows up to $ 520,000 in contributors for a single beneficiary. If you’re lucky enough to have someone lending a hand as you save for your education (or your child’s), here’s what you should know: The gift tax exclusion for 2018 is $ 15,000 per beneficiary (increased from $ 14,000 for 2017), but that max can go up to $ 75,000 when a single year’s contribution is treated as being made over five years — that’s called “superfunding.” (For a couple who is married and filing jointly and wants to avoid the gift tax, those numbers become $ 30,000 and $ 150,000.)

When can you withdraw the funds?

A 529 isn’t like an IRA — you won’t pay a penalty for withdrawing your money “early,” as long as you put it toward qualified education expenses. However, you need to use funds from a 529 in the same calendar year in which they’re withdrawn. There’s no set deadline to take the money out, either, which is helpful if you decide not to go back to school and are planning on having kids. (See below.)

Can you use the funds for anything else, such as a down payment on a home?

No. If you withdraw money from a 529 for anything other than qualified educational expenses, you’ll have to pay state and federal income tax and an additional 10% federal tax penalty on your earnings.

Can a 529 plan be transferred to someone else?

When you open a 529, you can designate anyone as beneficiary — including yourself, of course. Within a family, you can change a plan’s beneficiary or roll over funds distributed from a 529 plan without tax penalty. For example, if you’ve been saving money in a 529 for grad school and at some point your plans change, you can simply change the beneficiary to your child.

Should I be worried about putting too much money in a 529?

If you’re considering a 529 for yourself, or especially for your child (or a future child), here is Yoo’s advice on what she said is the most common misconception about these plans — that you’ll “lock up” your money:

[Some clients are] concerned about over-funding the 529 plan; perhaps the child will receive a scholarship, or go to a lower-cost state university. If you are fortunate to have saved more than needed in the 529 plan, you have a few options. You could transfer the balance to another family member (e.g., the child’s sibling if applicable, niece/nephew, or even to yourself if you plan on obtaining a graduate degree). Or you can simply withdraw the unused balance, and (1) pay a 10% penalty on the earnings (not the original contribution) for using the funds for non-qualified education expenses, and (2) pay income taxes on the earnings.

Be sure to track your contributions over the years so that you can bifurcate the balance into contributions vs. earnings (e.g. growth) on those contributions. Note that if you withdraw the unused balance because your child received a scholarship, the 10% penalty on the earnings is waived, but you still would have to pay income taxes on the earnings.

Are you considering using 529s to go back to school? Have you used a 529 to fund your own education before (or your partner’s)? If so, how did you choose the plan?

Further reading:

  • What You Should Know About 529 Accounts and Financial Aid [MarketWatch]
  • For Most College Savers, Prepaid 529 Plans Don’t Make the Grade [Morningstar]
  • How to Withdraw Money From a 529 College Savings Plan [Consumer Reports]
  • 529 Contribution Limits [The Balance]
  • The Cost of Going Back to School as an Adult [NYT]

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Lizz Winstead: On Using Feminist Comedy to Fight for Reproductive Rights

Writer and comedian Lizz Winstead pens an op-ed about using her anger — and comedy — to fight for reproductive rights through the group Lady Parts Justice. The group is hosting an upcoming event called The Golden Probes on October 20 that will take aim at the politicians destroying abortion rights.
Allure

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Larry Kudlow suggests some CEOs may be using China tariffs as an excuse for poor performance

Kudlow, who declined to call out any companies by name, says he wanted to express his skepticism because CEOs "love to blame other factors."
Economy

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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!

Halloween Decorations to DIY Using Supplies From the Dollar Store

You don’t have to spend heaps of money to have the spookiest front stoop. Check out these seven sinister and spooky Halloween decorations you can make with supplies from the dollar store:

 

Casper candles

Photo Source: thoughtfullysimple.com

Photo Source: thoughtfullysimple.com

What you’ll need: white candles, black sharpie

Details and instructions. 

 

Specimen jars

Photo Source: realhousemoms.com

Photo Source: realhousemoms.com

What you’ll need: containers, plastic critters of your choosing, battery operated tea lights

Details and instructions. 

 

Monster or count Dracula candy pot

Photo Source: savvychichome.blogspot.ca

Photo Source: savvychichome.blogspot.ca

What you’ll need: terracotta flower pots, paint

 

Spooky eyes

Photo Source: kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com

Photo Source: kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com

What you’ll need: foam spheres or plastic pumpkins, spray and regular paint, aluminum foil, jar lid to use as a stencil

Details and instructions.

 

Wine goblet candle holders: Frankenstein, mummies, witches or ghosts

Photo Source: thekeeperofthecheerios.com

Photo Source: thekeeperofthecheerios.com

What you’ll need: wine glasses, tea lights, glitter paint or regular paint, felt, craft foam, sharpie

Details and instructions.

 

Crash landing witch

Photo Source: eastcoastmommyblog.blogspot.ca

Photo Source: eastcoastmommyblog.blogspot.ca

What you’ll need: Crazy socks, pool noodles, decorative witch shoe or an old pair of shoes

Details and instructions.

 

Hanging body bag

Photo Source: instructables.com

Photo Source: instructables.com

What you’ll need: garbage bags, string or twine, newspaper

Details and instructions. 

 

The post Halloween Decorations to DIY Using Supplies From the Dollar Store appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

Home Trends Magazine

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Instagram is using new tools to detect bullying on the platform

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Instagram is taking further steps to tackle bullying on its platform.

The social network is employing machine learning to help proactively detect bullying in photos, which will then be reviewed by a human moderator.

An Instagram spokesperson said its bullying classifier detects “attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health” in a photo. 

If a human moderator deems the photo is in breach of the platform’s community guidelines, the photo will be removed, and the poster will be notified of its deletion and told why.  Read more…

More about Tech, Apps, Instagram, Bullying, and Social Media


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