March 6, 2014 |
Lend for Philly is a contest designed for college students. But the ultimate winner, say its organizers, will be small businesses. Students in the region who take up the challenge by Lend for America, a national nonprofit microlender, will be equipped with a smartphone app and required to map existing small businesses around their schools. They must also ascertain two specific things from their owners: what they need the most, and how many employees they have. The winning university team - the one that maps the most businesses by May 1 - will be awarded $5,000.
March 3, 2014 |
SBDC. In the resource-starved world of small-business owners, that acronym is tantamount to invaluable guidance, insightful research, and, for some, sheer survival. Small Business Development Centers are a national network of roughly 1,000 offices providing free assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs - that adventurous breed that generally doesn't have two extra nickels. But now, it's the SBDCs scrounging for funds. Without additional revenue, service cuts are likely, directors of the networks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey say. And that, they warn, could disrupt the economy's recovery - a turnaround the Obama administration has credited small businesses with leading.
February 24, 2014
Dollars and sense Two health-care experts recently contended that more open fee-for-service pricing would limit spending ("Get medical costs in open," Feb. 16). But the problem with this approach is that health-care prices are not related in any way to what services cost. At most hospitals - such as the Albert Einstein Medical Center, where I served as chief executive officer - prices are at least double what's actually spent. So price comparisons do not provide much useful information about costs and spending.
February 17, 2014 |
An $8,500 Merchants Fund grant has "launched" custom bookbinder Bella Forte on a path of global growth. Diane Mastrull's Small Business.
February 8, 2014 |
With dozens of lamps glowing brightly, the lighting store in Ambler seemed almost to be taunting its neighbors. Across the street, members of the Laguda family bundled up and worked by flashlight in their tuxedo shop to finish orders for weekend weddings. "It's a little tough with no power," said Tony Laguda Jr., 36, wearing a thick winter coat in the darkened salesroom of the store his late father established 40 years ago. A day after the ice storm, Mother Nature, fate's fickleness, and Peco's response stirred one of two responses from small merchants across the region: frustration or gratitude.
December 13, 2013
WITH 12 shopping days left until Christmas, that's plenty of time for your small business - brick-and-mortar and/or online - to gin up holiday sales. I have some tips: * Amazon and eBay do it all the time, and you can, too. Offer a Daily Deal to bring shoppers into your store or website. Nothing like "New markdowns today" or "Take an additional 50 percent off today only" to entice a shopper. Customers have a knee-jerk reaction to getting a good deal, and they'll love larger-percentage discounts.
December 2, 2013 |
Karen Donges lives two miles from the Deptford Mall, but you won't see her among the crowds there or at any other mall this holiday season. "I visit the small businesses," Donges said, "because they need us. " Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a day for mom-and-pop shops to shine during a time when sales at chain stores stretch through the Thanksgiving weekend. American Express started the nationwide effort to get more people to support local businesses and boost their local economies three years ago, and it has been growing since.
October 26, 2013 |
MOUNT LAUREL - Angela Pipersburgh quoted so many Bible passages that her business speech Thursday at Burlington County College seemed more like a church sermon. That was the point. She is founder and president of the Kingdom Chamber of Commerce with four chapters in New Jersey and another in Philadelphia. The faith-based organization was created in 2004 in Cherry Hill to connect entrepreneurs who believe their faith, and relationship with God, can influence business. Pipersburgh, a motivational speaker, addressed about 200 business owners Thursday, most from the region, with some from Washington, New York, and the Bahamas.
October 4, 2013 |
Uncertainty reigned with the launch of the Affordable Care Act's health-care exchanges. Not among consumers, but among small-business owners. Overshadowed by the advent Tuesday of the consumer health-care exchanges has been a parallel portion of the law that affects small businesses. As envisioned, Tuesday also was to be launch day for SHOP - the Small Business Options Program, a marketplace where owners of businesses with fewer than 50 employees could shop for insurance. Opening of the online SHOP marketplace has been delayed a month, however, and is now set for Nov. 1. "Right now, small businesses are viewing it with a lot of confusion," said Edward T. MacConnell, president and owner of Total Benefits Solutions Inc., which advises firms on health-care and other benefits.
October 4, 2013 |
A MURAL at 68th and Wyncote avenues in West Oak Lane depicts a group of determined drug warriors gathering to fight the dealers. Look carefully and you'll see a little pigtailed girl of 7 standing with her father, looking just as determined. The little girl was Sherrill Lynn Nash, proudly marching with her father, Joseph Nash, to rid their neighborhood of the scourge of drugs. All her life, Sherrill had the grit and drive of the true fighter, not only against drugs but also in her own life, refusing to let serious physical disabilities keep her from living to the fullest.