September 3, 2015 |
Next time you stop by a Joe Coffee shop for a cup of joe, or United by Blue to buy clothing or accessories, know that you are in the midst of a financing revolution known as alternative lending. Both start-ups have grown because of it. So, too, have talks in Washington on whether it requires more regulatory scrutiny. Alternative lending is partly inspired by the raise-it-quickly popularity of crowd-funding to help entrepreneurs get ideas to market. The lenders, funded by private investors, aim to serve the nation's 28 million small businesses with loans of $50,000 to $500,000 - sizes that banks consider too time-consuming and costly to offer.
August 8, 2015 |
In the appliance world, the bored Maytag man became a symbol of dependability. Ralph E. Wolff is another. But there has been nothing boring about his existence in the appliance industry. Terrifying, yes. "We got whacked left and right, but we're still here," Wolff said in an interview earlier this week. By here , the owner of Jersey Coast Appliance, a two-store chain based in Toms River, Ocean County, means still in business. By whacked , he meant nearly put out of business by events beyond his control - a recession and Hurricane Sandy.
April 21, 2015 |
More off-putting than dark roots, unkempt cuticles, and a face in need of a good peel was the condition of the Biaggio Salon & Spa in Marlton when it wound up in court-appointed receivership in 2007. Checks to employees and vendors were bouncing, the landlord had begun eviction proceedings, and the company owned by Thomas J. Fabiani and his son Thomas M. was $1 million in debt. "Biaggio had such a dark cloud over it," recalled Kim Carulillo, who at the time was working the salon's front desk after a 12-year career as a paralegal left her wanting a more people-oriented job. Eight years later, a makeover of enormous proportions has turned a high-glamour business on the brink of failure into what industry players say is one of South Jersey's busiest salons.
March 5, 2015 |
NO ONE LANDED a knockout punch. No one stumbled badly. Thus, no one broke away from the pack. Instead, at last night's latest mayoral forum, six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia mayor showed themselves to have quite similar views on a range of issues. Hosted by the Next Great City Coalition, which represents 130 community, faith, environmental, business and union organizations, the forum at the Pennsylvania Convention Center focused on the coalition's six key initiative areas: improving substandard housing, supporting small businesses, cleaning up public spaces, improving nutrition for children, creating more trails and bike lanes, and storm preparedness.
February 26, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania residents will likely hear a proposal for a broad-based tax increase when Gov. Wolf proposes his first budget next week. After meeting with business leaders Tuesday, Wolf declined to discuss details of his plan but would not rule out a graduated income tax targeting high-income brackets, a structure he has touted in the past. "What I talked about was a fairer tax system. I do intend to present that," he said. "This is a chance for a reset. I hope the people of Pennsylvania will be pleased with what I propose.
February 25, 2015 |
THINKING OF running in, or attending, the annual Pyongyang marathon in North Korea in April? Think again. Travel restrictions that were implemented in October will not, as expected, be lifted in time for the event, which means only locals will be able to attend or run in the race. Supreme leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly afraid foreigners will spread Ebola, which he believes is a biological weapon developed by the United States. You can't make this stuff up. But Andrea Lee, the co-founder and CEO of Uri Tours in Palisades, N.J., told the Associated Press that 200 runners had signed up with her company.
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.