March 14, 2015 |
SolarCity Corp., the nation's largest rooftop photovoltaic developer, is hoping a new day is dawning for solar in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The San Mateo, Calif., company announced Thursday a bundle of new financing options aimed at customers in the Peco Energy Co. service territory. SolarCity and its competitors typically install their systems on customers' roofs for no money down. The campaign is aimed at reversing the shrinkage in the Pennsylvania solar market, which went into hibernation after 2011, when federal and state incentives dwindled.
March 12, 2015
J OHN LI, 29, and Jeff Zhou, 26, both of Center City, co-founded Fig Loans, a startup that aims to provide small, short-term loans to borrowers who otherwise would be payday- or pawn-loan customers. Fig is a semifinalist in the Business Plan Competition at Wharton, where Li and Zhou are MBA students. I spoke with Li. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Fig Loans? A: I looked at the balance sheet of a public payday lender, and they have a 10-percent profit margin, 30 percent is advertising, 30 percent is loan losses and 30 percent is overhead.
March 12, 2015 |
Whatever privations Nelson A. Diaz suffered as a child growing up in a Harlem tenement, they are in his rearview mirror now. Lynne M. Abraham stands as a testament to the relative generosity of city pensions. And State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams' household keeps the bills paid with a big boost from fracking interests. Those are a few highlights gleaned from federal tax returns of five Democratic mayoral candidates. Diaz, Abraham, Williams, James F. Kenney, and Doug Oliver voluntarily released past returns to The Inquirer for review.
March 8, 2015 |
Spring will be here before you know it (stop laughing!), and that means finally tackling that room you were planning to paint. Or even the whole house. The Paint Quality Institute recently launched an interactive new website at www.paintquality.com that's full of information you need to prepare for any interior or exterior paint job. The institute's Debbie Zimmer says the site has advice on painting every conceivable surface, from concrete to countertops. Included are articles on topics such as surface preparation, the benefits of using sustainable paints, safety tips, and other expert guidance.
March 6, 2015 |
Renmatix , the King of Prussia company that hired former Gov. Mark Schweiker three years ago to help scout locations for biofuel refineries, among other duties, is still raising piles of money. But it has shifted its focus from building its own large-scale facilities to licensing larger companies to use its Plantrose high-pressure process for converting waste into fuels and plastics. It's not that the oil-price crash has depressed the alternative-fuels market, says Mike Hamilton, the former Rohm & Haas executive who is Renmatix's chief executive officer.
March 3, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A little more than 5 years ago, Andy Oliver was climbing onto the mound at Turner Field to make his major league debut against a Braves lineup that featured Chipper Jones, Jason Heyward and Brian McCann. He was 22 years old, barely a year removed from college, one of the top prospects in the Tigers' organization. Yesterday, Oliver was climbing onto the mound at Bright House Field to make his Phillies debut against a Division II lineup that featured a bunch of guys who won't get drafted next year.
March 2, 2015 |
If you are free March 14, learn the basics of how to invest - without a broker or product-pusher telling you what to buy and sell. Philly's local chapter of BetterInvesting.org, a nonprofit investment club, meets at the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library at 1001 Powell St. in Norristown, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The chapter meets the second Saturday of every month. It's free. This is a great way to learn about stocks and mutual funds without any conflicts of interest from big banks or fund companies.
March 2, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - In the grand halls of Union Station, you can get everything but a train. From Appalachian Spring to Victoria's Secret, 55 retail shops offer shoes, handbags, ties, chocolate, wine, perfume, cigars, watches, and clothes. Thirty-five restaurants and food stands will serve you plank-roasted salmon on a white tablecloth or a burrito in a brown paper bag. The many commercial lures - and the majesty of the monumental 1907 Beaux Arts building with its vaulted, coffered ceilings and classical statuary - have made Union Station a bigger draw than the Lincoln Memorial or the Smithsonian Institution: 37 million people pass under its arches each year.
March 1, 2015 |
When nonprofit executive Will Gonzalez heard about the special enrollment period allowing people to buy health insurance when they file their income tax returns, he knew what he had to do. "We're planning for more health and taxes days," said Gonzalez, executive director of Ceiba, a Latino community group that offers free tax preparation. On Feb. 20, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that from March 15 to April 30, uninsured people can buy a plan on the Affordable Care Act marketplace - www.healthcare.gov - when they file their tax returns.
February 22, 2015 |
Don't let the dogs out. At least not without proper attire. Friday marked the coldest day in Philadelphia in 21 years - the high was only 17 degrees - and it's not going to get much better over the weekend. That makes the Animal Care and Control Team's offer of free straw bedding this weekend to city residents not only appealing, but possibly essential. Although some believe that an animal's fur is sufficient in freezing weather, it's still important to provide properly insulated shelter for dogs, cats and other animals, said ACCT spokeswoman Ame Dorminy.