February 10, 2015 |
What do an Ivy League university, a frozen-yogurt chain, and John Cipollone, a 70-year-old Center City grandfather not at all self-conscious about being bald, have in common? All have embraced a whimsical trend rapidly altering the way business communicates to consumers and employees: Animation. Walt Disney Studios has known of the appeal of hand-drawn moving figures since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs wowed audiences in 1938. Now, in increasing numbers, businesses and institutions outside the entertainment industry are turning to animation to make an impression.
December 16, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - It wasn't long ago that the ovens at Formica Bros. Bakery were going full blast - putting out 50,000 pieces of bread a day. As recently as 2007, the nearly century-old establishment in the city's Ducktown section employed 70 people. Owner Frank Formica recalls how orders from casinos were like yeast to his dough, lifting his bakery's bottom line ever higher. Then, pummeled by out-of-state competitors, the casinos began to fall into a swoon, and this year, as four of them closed, Formica lost a big chunk of his business "in the blink of an eye. " He is down to 35,000 to 40,000 pieces a day, employs 40, and is sending his trucks ever farther to find new customers.
December 3, 2014 |
About 120,000 Philadelphia workers could receive mandatory sick pay if recommendations released Monday to Mayor Nutter become law. Nutter twice vetoed sick-leave legislation, which is widely challenged as cost-prohibitive by the business community. But he reversed his stance in June when he announced the task force along with City Councilman William Greenlee, who has long advocated the measure. "The real winners in this would be those workers that right now do not have paid sick leave and can join growing numbers around the country that have what I believe is a very reasonable benefit," Greenlee said Monday.
September 18, 2014
ISSUE | JOBS Ex-Im primes pump As a Washington insider, Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint seems to think he knows how to run our businesses here in Philadelphia ("Let the Ex-Im Bank expire," Sept. 9). While he may have experience owning a small business, his marketing firm didn't export - which explains why he seemingly doesn't understand that Ex-Im, rather than a form of corporate welfare, means jobs in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania, Ex-Im Bank supports 285 exporters, 179 of which are small businesses.
July 22, 2014
AS LAWMAKERS in Washington haggle over the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Michael Strange has no doubts about where he stands. Strange is owner and president of Bassetts Ice Cream, which has about 25 employees at its Center City headquarters. Exports, mostly to China, account for 20 percent of Bassetts' annual revenue. Ex-Im is an obscure federal agency that helps American businesses, mostly small, sell goods abroad. But some lawmakers - primarily tea party Republicans in the House - want to close down Ex-Im when its authorization ends Sept.
July 7, 2014 |
After 10 years of paying five employees, plus additional "associates," to staff his Old City business, James R. Domenick is looking for space in the suburbs, and thinking about moving out. It's about taxes, and the pressure the city has felt compelled to exert on small businesses such as Domenick's insurance office to raise money for its cash-strapped public schools. "I am not an antitax person," Domenick told me. "I believe people need to pay for the infrastructure and the services they receive.
July 4, 2014 |
Private employers added 281,000 jobs in June, the payroll company ADP reported Wednesday, indicating an economy that seems to be shaking off some of the lingering aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression. "It was a great number," said economist Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, analyzing the report for the New Jersey-based ADP. "The gains were broad-based," he said. "Every industry experienced an increase in employment. " Even so, he said, it will be several years before the economy can create enough jobs to return the many long-term jobless to employment.
July 3, 2014
FOR ALL their innovation, American craft brewers are starting to grow stale. Over-hopped beers? Yeah, they were novel . . . about 15 years ago. Now everyone brews a double IPA. Wacky flavors? Used to be we couldn't wait for pumpkin beer each autumn. Now, because there are so many of them competing for shelf space, the pumpkin season starts in two weeks and you'll be sick of them by Labor Day. Barrel-aged beer? Because it takes months and years to properly age and blend beer, barrel-aged beer was once a rarity.
July 1, 2014 |
That smiling scrubber continues to clean up. With nearly seven million happy-faced pads sold since its national debut in 2012, Scrub Daddy is now the most successful product in the five-year history of Shark Tank , ABC-TV's competition show for entrepreneurs. On QVC alone, more than 2.5 million Scrub Daddys have sold since April 2012. You can find them at Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart, as well as in supermarkets. But consumers told the daddy of Scrub Daddy, Voorhees inventor Aaron Krause, that they want more.
May 31, 2014 |
Pat Gusoff had what Umar Mycka calls "a yard full of trouble" at her Bustleton home. It wasn't so much the honeysuckle, mulberries, bittersweet, chokecherries, and English ivy, although they can be a nasty business. No, it was all those shiny, three-leaf shoots of Toxicodendron radicans, the dreaded poison ivy. Mycka knows this North American scourge intimately from four decades of work as a gardener/groundskeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. Since 2008, he has also had a small business (idontwantpoisonivy.com)