From Small Business To An Empire

Most successful empires today started small but their owners dreamed big and never stopped despite the challenges they faced. These tenacious entrepreneurs strived to reach their goals and even achieved more than they have dreamed of. While luck plays a big role in your business’s success, having a plan and sticking to it also matters. Making use of various marketing and technological tools used by most businesses today can likewise help you realize the business empire of your dreams.

The world is full of start-up businesses. Even in your own community, you’d see new names hanging outside street shops alongside popular franchises. Even when you go online, a lot of entrepreneurs take their businesses to the web to offset operation costs of running a physical shop, especially that they are just starting and money is an issue. Once they have a strong following on social media and they start making serious money, that’s when these entrepreneurs finally decide to open up an actual shop.

Small-business owners usually don’t have the time or money to routinely make big changes to their businesses. However, you can consider easy changes that have the potential to make a big difference to your company’s bottom line. Here are four tweaks you can make to help ensure you spend your money wisely and increase your success:

Use financial tools:

It’s hard to optimize your business if you don’t perform proper financial management for critical areas such as revenue, taxes and payroll. You can cut this seemingly daunting task down to size by using relatively inexpensive financial tools like quickbooks.

Businesses require more time to manage as they grow. Here are some ways to streamline your business and save yourself precious time and money:
1. Cut back on email.

  1. Outsource.
  2. Throttle meetings.
  3. Hire expertise.

Revamp your image:

Does your marketing image provide the best return on investment. Perhaps you can tweak it to give your brand(s) more oomph. First, conduct an image audit to find out what customers (and demographics) think of your branding. Pick a new logo, font, colors and designs that are more relevant to your target audience. Update your website and employ the latest SEO techniques. Get involved in the community and listen to customer suggestions.


While major businesses undermine the value of small businesses, a big number of the population actually make a living with the help of these small businesses and they serve as the economy’s backbone. They create 2 out of 3 jobs in America and the growth and determination of these small business owners fuel every community in the country.

In honor of National Small Business Week here in Illinois, the SBA and the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network will sponsor a series of panels, education sessions and networking events for entrepreneurs across the state. In Springfield, a branch office of the SBA teams with local partners year-round to host events and help small businesses succeed. The Illinois SBDC at Lincoln Land Community College, led by director Kevin Lust, provides one-on-one counseling and an extensive library of business and personal resources.

It is critical that the nation’s 28 million small businesses continue to thrive and their owners have the skills and resources for success. The SBA supports and advocates for them — whether they’re just starting, looking for financing or a mentor, or want to get to the next level — and we look forward to your continued support in doing the same.


Starting your own business is a serious matter, so start with a clear purpose in mind or you may end up easily discouraged by the challenges you face at the onset of your new endeavor. If possible, stick with what you know and make the most of the resources you have on hand. Money is your biggest resource but working with like-minded entrepreneurs can also open up other resources you can tap for the benefit of your business like sharing co-working spaces and even equipment and ideas you can share.

As your business grows, make sure you have multiple streams of revenue so your success does not solely rely on just one product or service. And most importantly, small businesses become big empires because they deliver their 100% and enjoy the loyalty of satisfied and happy customers who raves about their business even without their prodding.

From Small Business To An Empire was originally published to


What You Need To Know About Local SEO

We’ve heard about search engine optimization as we browse the web in our day-to-day. Although it means nothing to us, average people, SEO is actually a big thing in the world of business. Entrepreneurs rely on effective SEO tools to grow and build their brand. And for good reason too. Google reported that keyword searches are increasing especially with mobile use. It means that more people now use the web for information and the majority of them do their searches using their smartphones or smart gadgets.

For small businesses with actual shops where they do business, the concept of local SEO shouldn’t be missed. However, it can leave entrepreneurs confused as to its difference from the existing SEO they now have in place. Back in the days, the Yellow Pages is everyone’s ultimate resource. However, as technology advances, looking up a particular shop through it seem like an ancient thing to do. Most people are now armed with a smart gadget in hand and it does everything for them, from serving as the main communication tool for doing basic searches on retail, work, school, or other web-related inquiries. The landscape has changed and entrepreneurs need to adjust to stay relevant amidst the changes.

Welcome to local SEO

Local SEO, or local search optimisation, helps small businesses attract local consumers online.

If you search for products or services online, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo display not only traditional organic results, but also local results, which show businesses and maps in your area.

To do this, search engines will identify your current location via your IP Address and return the most relevant businesses within your immediate area.

Local Search Results

Local search results are probably already familiar to you. Google, Bing and Yahoo all return local results, and all have slight variations on the style and number of results featured. But for now, let’s look at Google:


Google searches have dramatically increased over the years. It is the reason why the company continually makes updates to adapt to all these changes. As of late, they even announced implementing paid results in local listings. It means businesses need to pay for their business to move forward and earn a spot in the “local finder page” even though the site lags on ranking.

If you’ve followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.

Here are five solid local SEO tactics you can use this year to help your business rank higher for local search terms.

  1. Title and meta description tags still matter

  2. Online directories and citations

  3. Google My Business: Claim and optimize

  4. Online reviews matter

  5. Use local structured data markup


Three factors encompass local SEO. They are local listings and citations, on-site local SEO optimization, and online reviews. Take the time to list your business on various online listings like Yelp, CitySearch, and many others. Also, include on your list other local directories like the local newspaper’s website or other popular listings in the community to reach a wider audience.

Small businesses have a bigger chance of succeeding and being able to compete against bigger brands with the help of local SEO. Providing accurate business data and customer service will eventually encourage consumers to write a positive review about your business, which will hopefully attract more customers. Also, make it a point to keep your website updated, so consumers know what to expect when they visit your site or buy something that you sell. Taking your business online is simply unavoidable these days as it is the medium preferred by everyone. So if you own a small business and want it to be a profitable one, local SEO is something you shouldn’t take for granted at all.

What You Need To Know About Local SEO was first published to The Brand Infiltration Blog


The Other Side Of Youtube

In 2005, three buddies from Paypal introduced Youtube to the world. And since then, our lives have never been the same again. People can get lost in this video sharing site for hours because of a wide variety of interesting content you can watch for free at your convenience.

If you are a star at heart, you can even make Youtube as the platform for your stardom where you can regularly post videos on your channel and showcase your talents to the world. Aside from being free and sometimes helpful to society, one of the perks offered by Youtube is that you can make a career out of it. Famous Youtubers earn six-figures annually from ads placed on their channel. It is some serious money if you take Youtube just as seriously. However, it is not always rays of sunshine and butterflies, many shady videos are also all over Youtube.

“Social media companies’ failure to deal with illegal and dangerous material online is a disgrace. They have been asked repeatedly to come up with better systems to remove illegal material such as terrorist recruitment or online child abuse. Yet repeatedly they have failed to do so. It is shameful. These are among the biggest, richest and cleverest companies in the world, and their services have become a crucial part of people’s lives. This isn’t beyond them to solve, yet they are failing to do so. They continue to operate as platforms for hatred and extremism without even taking basic steps to make sure they can quickly stop illegal material, properly enforce their own community standards, or keep people safe.”


While we get to watch reruns of shows or movies that we like or even follow famous Youtube personalities from time to time, there is another side to Youtube that worries people all over the world. Political hate videos abound the site and in plain access of everyone, even young kids who have their own iPads or tablets to help them pass time as their busy parents struggle to make both ends meet can watch it on demand.

MPs have accused social media giants of a “shameful” failure to tackle online terrorist propaganda and hate speech.

A hard-hitting report accused major firms of putting more effort into protecting their profits than keeping the public safe online.

Ministers should consider forcing firms to pay for the cost of policing on social media and introducing a system of sanctions with multimillion-pound fines, the Home Affairs Select Committee said.

The cross-party committee, which took evidence from Google, Facebook and Twitter, acknowledged that the technology giants had considered the impact that online hate, abuse and extremism can have on individuals and welcomed measures taken to tackle the problem.

But they said “nowhere near enough is being done”.

The committee said it had found “repeated examples of social media companies failing to remove illegal content when asked to do so”, including “dangerous” terrorist recruitment material, promotion of sexual abuse of children and incitement to racial hatred.

The report said: “The biggest companies have been repeatedly urged by governments, police forces, community leaders and the public to clean up their act, and to respond quickly and proactively to identify and remove illegal content. They have repeatedly failed to do so.


It is no longer acceptable for these major tech giants to keep ignoring or shrugging off the concerns of many responsible citizens.Racism, discrimination, and conflict still make the headlines all over the world and the threat of an impending World War 3 even looms on the horizon as hate speeches, racist posts and terrorist videos are everywhere, fueling anger and divisiveness among the people. Social media companies like Youtube and Facebook have a moral responsibility to uphold the morals of the public and not instigate conflict through the use of their social media channels.

They continue to disregard public safety simply because they make money from these hateful posts since ads still appear alongside them. Some of these extremist posts have actually been created by terrorists themselves to spread hate and to earn money especially once these inappropriate posts become viral. And sadly, this is still the reality we face every day. While for instance, Youtube has been ingenious in implementing stringent procedures in protecting copyright, they appear to be not as eager in addressing this hate issue that is all over their site. So, the burden now falls on you to avoid clicking these posts and remain impartial especially in issues that involve race and politics.

The Other Side Of Youtube is courtesy of


Retirement Home For The Queer At Heart

We all try to delay aging in as much as we can. We try different skin care regimens, take anti-aging supplements or eat healthily to make sure we can put off aging for as long as we could. Unfortunately, aging is but a normal process and that’s where all of us are headed later in life.

The trend nowadays is for the elderly to stay in retirement homes when they can no longer manage to live independently by themselves, often because they have harsh medical problems.. But what happens if you are a member of the LGBT group? The same thing applies, actually, and you can stay in most retirement homes along with the straight male and female elderly but wouldn’t it be more fun to stay in an LGBT-friendly retirement home/ community that understand pretty well what it’s like to live the life of the queer.

A senior living facility in development aimed at providing a place for LGBTQ Houstonians is a one-of-a-kind project for Texas and any red other state.

Kent Loftin, chief development officer for the Montrose Center, said There’s No Place Like Home is a nearly $24 million project that could break ground as early as 2018.

“It will be the only center in Houston that is LGBTQ culturally competent. What that means is that seniors of the same sex can retire and age together,” he said.

The Montrose Center, an LGBTQ resource organization, is leading the project. The planned 112-unit retirement facility will include traditional retirement home amenities and an activity center.

“In the LGBTQ community, our seniors are particularly vulnerable. They are twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to not have any surviving social connections,” Loftin said.

Loftin said gay seniors have challenges; many were not able to develop open relationships and families in their younger years and they struggle once they reach retirement. That coupled with rising rent in the Montrose neighborhood, an historic hub for gay culture in Houston, has placed a burden on many reaching retirement age in the local LGBTQ community.


The LGBT population is growing. Wherever you go, there are open gays and lesbians who enjoy the freedom of being able to express their sexual identity without fear or shame. But because they almost always fail to build their own family, they grow old alone and without loved ones to care for them.

San Diego’s first affordable housing development geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors has seen a flood of interest, with a sign-up list filling up in less than two weeks.

Nonprofit developer Community Housing Works broke ground on the project in North Park last summer. When it is completed, the project will offer 75 studios, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments to people 55 years or older who earn 60 percent or less of the area median income. That means an income of less than $36,000 for a one-person household.

Project manager Sylvia Martinez said 250 people signed up for the interest list when it opened on May 1, and that the list reached its cap of 500 on Wednesday. Selection will be through a randomized lottery.

“There was a lot of pent up demand in this community, and people have been waiting for this kind of project for a long time,” Martinez said. “North Park is one of the historic hearts of the gay and lesbian community in San Diego, and many folks are getting priced out of this neighborhood now as it gentrifies.”


We love gays, right? They liven up every event we are in and they don’t run out of jokes to brighten up our days. Gays and lesbians don’t usually have offspring of their own. They may have relationships with the same sex but they don’t always last and they often end up without a family or a home in their old age.

They can stay in retirement homes like everyone else but they will feel more at home living in facilities specifically for the LGBT community that understands what they went through in life and can provide the comfort and support they need in their old age. Their lives weren’t easy as well in their younger years as they battle the stigma of their sexual orientation and face the mockery of other people. So, living in a retirement home that is free of retirement discrimination is a welcome reprieve for the aging LGBT people who only want to live as normally and comfortable as the others in the twilight of their years.

The blog article Retirement Home For The Queer At Heart is courtesy of Blog


Social Media Use In Times Of War

Even though man has achieved so much over the years, conflict still reigns all over the globe. There is even the threat of an impending World War 3 as tension rises in various countries. And it is not just any war but a nuclear one at that. It’s as if we don’t have enough problems on our plate already when it comes to the environment and climate change. Chemical and nuclear warfare also causes a lot of damage to many of the world’s natural ecosystems.

In our everyday lives, we also witness first hand the wrath of regional political conflicts on hateful speech and videos we see on the web. Unlike in the past when the public isn’t really privy to war details, the advent of social media allowed us a blow-by-blow account of what’s happening in war-torn countries whether from news outlets or random posts from equally random people with Internet access that happens to be in the midst of all the action.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has watered down plans to impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million) if social networks such as Facebook do not remove slanderous or abusive online postings quickly, Der Spiegel said on Tuesday.

Proposed legislation to be considered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday omits a line that had been included in the draft legislation which said such a fine could be imposed after just one incident, the German magazine said, citing a copy of the proposal.

Instead, the legislation now says a single infraction does not mean a company lacks an effective means to deal with complaints about hate speech, and calls for “careful actions by the fining authority to protect freedom of speech,” it said.

Various groups had rejected Maas‘s initial proposal, warning social media companies could over-react and remove too many postings, thereby limiting free speech on the internet.


As more and more hate speech and posts fill the web, even the government intervenes and urges social media companies to censor these posts to prevent it from inflicting further conflict in our modern divisive world. However, some are against this kind of censorship since it violates our freedom to free speech.

A social media post threatening a race war was first posted to social media approximately a month ago. A student recirculated the post on social media this week, according to a DeSoto County Schools spokesperson. 

The post includes phrases like “hail Hitler” and “KKK life.”

On Tuesday, DeSoto County Schools responded saying the post caused them to contact local law enforcement and increase security at Hernando High School.


While we all have inherent rights, our rights end when the right of others begin. Compromising the safety and security of the majority is enough grounds to consider you an enemy of the state or be taken by the police for further questioning like what happened to these two students who went too far in exercising their freedom of expression.

Social media has completely transformed the way we consume news. We’re living in a world revolving around a new kind of journalism, peppered with the frequently unedited coverage of an ongoing humanitarian crisis – the Syrian Civil War.

In 2016, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reported that 51% of people with online access use social media, particularly Facebook, as a news source. Through a shiny 5-inch screen we’ve watched this war unfolding, including the good (JK Rowling sent eBooks to 7-year-old refugee and Harry Potter fan Bana Alabed) and the totally horrifying (toddler Alan Kurdi became an enduring image of the crisis when a photograph of his tiny body washed up on the beach hit global headlines). People in the First World are far enough away from the war not to feel its devastation directly, but we are close enough – through the availability of new technologies – to help.

The UK government this year committed £2.3 billion to help the 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, but on an individual level it’s difficult to see just how much we are doing through the smoke and mirrors of “likes” and social media shares.


Wars have somehow changed because of technology. While the rest of the world watch the events of war take place on their screens and see the extent of the damage in its aftermath, we also witness how people have suffered and died along the way. Even innocent children in Syria die without a fight from chemical attacks launched by the government and we all watched in horror at this mass murder.

While we have a lot of complaints against social media, it does serve its purpose at times. We are up-to-date on important events in history and can even proactively take our part in it through our social media use. We can launch fundraising for victims of war or raise awareness on the challenges faced by Syrian refugees who aren’t welcome in many countries throughout the world. Social media shows us the reality of our modern life and what the world has become with the advent of technology. But honestly, primary issues remain the same. It’s just the tools that we now have that have changed.

Social Media Use In Times Of War Find more on:


It’s All About The Money, Money, Money

Money makes the world go round. We hear it time and again and it is true in every sense of the word. We live in an increasingly capitalist world that relies on money to support our needs and fuel the global economy. Almost everywhere you go, there is a tag price for everything and the quality of your life also depends on how much money you have in your bank account.

As you grow, your capacity to earn likewise grows but inflation also increased your cost of living, thereby decreasing your money’s value. It is why our elders always told us to save some money in the bank for the rainy days. And as such, our money grows over time and we can be sure of getting a bigger amount than we initially deposited. And for years, we have thought highly of these financial institutions wherever in the world you may be.

Due to increased competition from non-traditional banking competitors such as Financial Technology (FinTech), increased specialization to serve specific customer s’ needs with speed, reduced need for face-to-face interactions between bank customers and the banks as well as availability of digital currencies   like Blockchain, Ripple, Ethereum, the future of banking is uncertain.

However, modern advancements threaten the stability and the future of most banking institutions. The people’s lifestyle and habits have changed and they have adapted a more digital approach to doing things.

According to him, as technology is disrupting the nature of work at an unprecedented rate, there is the need for a new and inclusive approach to learning on the job. He added that while several researches has alluded to the positive correlation between income levels and educational attainment, it has been realiSed recently that, a college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening.

“Although the future of banking remains speculative, there are clear indications and a general consensus that a number of factors would continue to disrupt some already established banking models,” he said.


There would still be a need for banking among people although the need will significantly decrease as we probably are already witnessing now. For instance, payment systems and financial technology companies influenced the way people do banking these days, or perhaps, the lesser need for traditional banking.

For a brief moment, Wall Street stopped on Monday, as if time was suspended in an alternative reality.

President Trump, for the first time as resident of the White House, said aloud that he was considering breaking up the nation’s biggest banks. Of course, he had said it on the campaign trail, but this seemed different.

“I’m looking at that right now,” Mr. Trump told Bloomberg News during an interview in the Oval Office. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”

The headline ricocheted around the email boxes of senior bank executives across the industry. At the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, where Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had just finished speaking — and didn’t mention breaking up the banks — the hallways quickly buzzed about the comment, according to participants, as their phones lit up. Shares of bank stocks dived lower within seconds of the headline, only to recover quickly.


President Trump is known to issue controversial statements even as a private citizen. However, what he says now are of more significance considering he is occupying the highest office in the land but it might also be possible that whatever comments he issues have some merit and came from trusted advisers on his cabinet.

When it comes to banking, some form of stability builds trust and credibility. It is what the people are looking for in banking institutions. They not only put their money in it but their trust as well, and possibly their family’s future. Unfortunately, advances in technology also influenced customer expectations, making additional demands on how banks adapt to these changes and improve their services. And as such, it’s the reason banks are not making enough money and return on investments required by stakeholders. While the banks try to cope, it is not always easy as technology advances rapidly and there are likewise different facets in banking in finance that need to be considered before major changes can be made.

The following article It’s All About The Money, Money, Money was first seen on


The Business Of Eating

Wisdom comes with age. And while it’s just a saying old people loves telling the younger ones, it actually has some merit as you learn a lot of things over the years from your own personal experience. After all, experience happens to be the best teacher, right? Since we all know that nobody gets rich by being an employee, you’re all probably wondering what the best business to put up that make lots of money.

The answer is simple. Go into the business of eating simply because everyone needs to eat to survive. A food business in the right location is sure to bring in the bucks every single day. Whether you sell groceries or actual cooked food, people will definitely support your business especially if the food is delicious. Restaurants have been sprouting everywhere but not everyone clicks, though. Where have they gone wrong and how they can boost their business in a globally-competitive world of picky eaters are among the typical questions these entrepreneurs ask themselves? Meanwhile, there are other businesses that have made money from food even though it wasn’t the main product they are selling, to begin with.

For many, a visit to IKEA is not complete until you’ve eaten a dish of Swedish meatballs. But who would have thought that IKEA would come to consider spinning off a food chain in its own right?

One of three customers now visit IKEA just for the food. And for those that actually shop furniture, a full stomach also means a well-filled IKEA bag.

“We’ve always called the meatballs ‘the best sofa-seller,’” Gerd Diewald, chied of IKEA US’ food operations, tells Fast Company, who have investigated IKEA Food’s plans for the future. “Because it’s hard to do business with hungry customers,” he goes on.

Almost unnoticeably, IKEA’s canteens have become so lucrative that there is now talk of plans to expand with independent restaurants in city centers (beyond the plans already in motion to open more downtown stores), Fast Company writes.


Who would’ve though this furniture company will now be able to make a name in the food business? Probably something many of us has not anticipated but they sure got something right and people can’t resist but coming back to their store not only for their fine home decors but for the food too. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone and Ikea still gets to take all your money.

The chain restaurant industry hasn’t experienced same-store sales growth in more than a year — and it doesn’t look like things are going to change any time soon. 

In the first quarter of 2017, same-store sales fell 1.1% across the chain restaurant industry, with same-store traffic dropping 3.4%, according to data from TDn2K’s Restaurant Industry Snapshot.

In the last year, the companies operating chains such as Logan‘s Roadhouse and Souplantation have filed for bankruptcy. Bloomberg reported last week that Ignite Restaurant Group — which runs Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern — is considering doing the same.

The industry’s slumping sales at first seems befuddling. Consumer confidence has generally increased in recent months, which typically means people are willing to spend more. So, why are restaurants struggling to attract customers? 


While some food businesses are faring well and making so much money, others are experiencing a major slump that hurts business really bad. Most of them are fast food franchises and cafes that are losing customers as the people become more conscious of their health and doing their best in eating right. Numerous food franchise businesses have since been closed over the past few years because there are just too many options for people to eat from that only a few stay loyal to a certain business for long. Intense competition along with the changing preferences of people such as food deliveries are also factors to be considered whether your food business will do good or not in our increasingly unstable global economy.

Food chain businesses may be suffering but independent restaurants are doing better in terms of sales than more popular fast food chains. Aside from eating healthy, people aren’t scared of trying novelty food options that aren’t just beautiful to look at and delicious to eat but have a cozy and unique ambiance as well. The popularity of social media drove people crazy, so they now take pictures of their food first and post it on their SNS accounts, so you can expect those unique food destinations are always frequented by people who want to make their photos more gram-worthy whenever possible. To ensure success, what’s important is that your food business should deliver the very essence of their presence in this world, which is providing good food in a good enough place to share with loved ones for you to flourish in the food business for years to come.

The Business Of Eating is republished from


Giving Back To The Less Fortunate

The world has never been fair. Some people live in wealth while the majority suffer in poverty. Even with natural resources, some country has it all while food scarcity is a common issue in other impoverished places. And for that reason too, more powerful nations try to occupy territories to exploit their natural resources. However, that’s on a larger scale. When you look around you, you can see for yourself how unfair the world is. Many people die of thirst and hunger in their day-to-day. Is there anything you can do to make a difference in this world even in your own little way?

Individuals support fundraising and other charitable activities or as a part of a bigger organization. But businesses have more to contribute to society because they make more money and have bigger resources to tap into. We should not only give back out of guilt but more so because of our genuine interest in the welfare of others and uplift their lives through our help. After all, most famous philanthropists are owners of successful corporations that operate all over the globe.

Over time, as businesses made more profits there arose a greater awareness and need for the boards and shareholders to be “good corporate citizens”, they donated a portion of their earnings to charities. This is not too dissimilar to the personal experience that Dan talks about in his TED talk. We all know and can picture the CEO of an organisation handing over a big cheque and having their photo taken so that it can sit at the reception of the company, or now on the internet, so that the world can see how good the company is because it gave money to charity.

Meanwhile, charity leaders are people who have been personally moved by circumstance to give their life’s work to a cause that has become their life’s purpose, or they have made enough money from the business world and then stop and want to “give back”. Those that fall into the former group may have limited funds themselves, have families to support, but their “calling” to pursue their cause means that they will do so for little or no pay because their belief in the need to do the work is so great. The latter, who have already made the money, have worked so hard that they may want to give money to a cause, but they then become more selective and guarded with their time.


The term giving back connotes that we have taken so much that we eventually feel guilty about it, hence we give back. However, it should actually be aptly called as contributing forward because you truly are making a contribution to the betterment of others because of your desire to make a difference in the life of others.

Almost everyone knows that charitable gifts are usually 100 percent deductible for the nearly one-third of taxpayers who itemize their deductions. However, 68.5 percent of taxpayers in 2013 did not itemize, choosing instead to take the standard deduction that in 2016 was $6,300 for singles and $12,600 for couples. Therefore, they received no tax deductions for their charitable gifts.


Aside from being able to help those in need, charitable individuals and institutions also enjoy tax breaks that benefit them too. So, you not only get to help others but likewise help your finances by lowering your tax deductions.

Small business owners are no different. In fact, you could argue that small business owners may be exceedingly generous when it comes to donating to charity.

New data from Funding Circle shows just how selfless small business owners really are.

Turns out, just about every other small business owner donates to charity regularly. And they plan to do so this year just as they did last year.

Funding Circle conducted a survey of about 1,400 small business owners recently on the topic of charity. Namely, the survey sought to find out how much and how many small business owners are giving to charity.

A total of 52 percent of small business owners told Funding Circle they did plan to donate to charity this year or they already have.

Forty-six percent say they will donate up to $1,000.


Business owners can support charity works in different ways. They can directly donate money to fundraisings, donate their goods or offer their services for free or sell personal items to generate money for charity among many others. Not only does a business get to change and uplift the lives of others but they also deliver a positive message to the community about their brand and what their company stands for. Let us not forget how powerful word-of-mouth is, especially with the popularity of social media is unparalleled so far and can make something go trending over a short period of time.

Aside from tax breaks, your business has more to benefit from doing charitable acts and donations. So, make it a habit of contributing forward and helping people in need survive a bump in their lives until they become self-sufficient themselves and no longer require the help of others. Remember that doing random acts of kindness can return tenfold and initiate the endless cycle of sharing and giving in your community that the world so desperately needs now.

Giving Back To The Less Fortunate is courtesy of BI


Going Green Is The Way To Go

The environment is suffering considerably from technological advancements. Aside from exploiting all its natural resources, we have also caused so much damage from excessive pollution, population explosion and increasing global warming that consequently increases carbon footprint and hastens climate change. Even the wildlife also suffers the most even if they aren’t directly responsible for all these destructions throughout the world.

The damage has already been done but it does not mean there is nothing more we can do to salvage what is left of the world’s resources. Many sustainable development programs target conservation efforts, the protection of the wildlife and fauna as well as reducing trash through the use of eco-friendly materials. Even businesses advocate for green business because we need everyone to pitch in and do their part if we want to save the planet.

The late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once said the social responsibility of business is to make a profit. He contended that anything businesses do to invest their money elsewhere detracts from the purpose of making money.  In that vein, businesses have often focused exclusively on making a profit.

Now that Earth Day is passed and gimmicky connections are over, it is time to get real. Businesses in the 21st century have a moral and corporate social responsibility to heed the protection of the environment.


Businesses have more to lose if the world can no longer sustain the demands of society. Running a business require a lot of energy and physical resources that are growing scarce by the minute. The only way for our species to survive and flourish in the future is if we can curb our energy use and gradually undo the damage we have caused by changing our lifestyle.

A business doesn’t have to produce earth-friendly products to be a green business. News 12 Long Island‘s Elizabeth Hashagen takes us to one Plainview business that is minimizing it’s footprint on the environment in our Go Green series.

As Purity Products shows us, there are simple steps a business can take to make a difference. The Plainview company started in its kitchen by giving all employees mugs to cut down on paper cup usage. According to Earth911, the average American office worker goes through about 500 cups in just one year. Also in their kitchen, employees can use an ice maker with freshly filtered water or the Bevi machine, which has seltzer in a variety of flavors.

In 2013, Purity Products took on a green initiative project to change out all of the light bulbs in its warehouse and office to cut down on electric usage. As a result, the company saves about $15,000 a year in its electric bill.


You’d be surprised at how some minor lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the world at large. Even cutting back on toilet flushing each day can save a lot of water or reducing TV hours or smartphone use can significantly reduce energy consumption.

“Everything has evolved, so there is not really an excuse to not help the environment,” he said. “At (D.O. Summers Dry Cleaners), we use an environmentally friendly cleaning system free of perchloroethylene. We’ve done this since the early 90s. It’s also gentler on the clothes.”

Matt Bursky, one of the owners of Cleveland Lighting, which is based in Northeast Ohio, said that for a company that focuses on light fixtures – going green with LED lighting has always made sense to him and has been valuable.


In this case, turning off lights in some parts of the house or building or making use of natural light in as much as you can both save you money from reduced electricity use and lower your energy consumption as well that benefits the environment over time. If individuals can make a difference in promoting a green and healthy environment, what more if a big business support this cause. Let us all be advocates of this positive change and make a conscious effort of changing our ways even when others are not looking. Nothing is impossible if we make a collective effort in achieving our goal, in this case, promoting all things green in everything we do.

Going Green Is The Way To Go was initially published to Blog


Making Money From Man’s Ailments

We often aspire to be in the best shape possible most of the time but there are days when our body’s defenses go down and we succumb to sickness. There are different reasons why a man gets sick and there are various treatments and managements too depending on the causative agent or the nature of the disease. Not all treatment promises a cure, though. Others offer palliative treatment that helps manages the symptom without necessarily curing the disease.

The pharmaceutical industry has long since been making lots of money whenever people get sick. From supplements for disease prevention to antibiotics and expensive outpatient or in-hospital medications, you have to spend more to get better. And that is actually not including the costs of doctor’s visit among others. It’s the reason why the pharmaceutical business is booming whether they are selling branded or generic medicines. People get sick often now because of our sedentary lifestyle, poor food choices, lack of exercise, and polluted environment, so healthcare shouldn’t be ignored for long.

A silent war between health insurers and drug manufacturers has given a hint into what is drives up the cost of your medical bill. Drugs make up 40 per cent of the majority of Kenyans medical costs and has been growing by the day, pushing up the cost of healthcare. Insurers, suffering losses claim that drug makers have been pushing doctors to prescribe originator brands which sell at a cost that is three times that of its generic counterpart.
They are also claim that the originator brands are behind studies that are out to paint generic drugs as inferior, counterfeited and ineffective. “When a drug manufacturer discovers a new drug they are given a patent, after 10 years other manufacturers are allowed to develop their own versions called generic drugs which have the same efficacy, quality and safety standards as the branded drugs,” a source from the insurance sector who did not want to be named so as not to jeopardise company relations in the sector told Financial Standard.


Medicines aren’t cheap either especially the branded ones from innovator companies. But once their patent expires, others can make their own version of the formula and sell it at a cheaper price. Unfortunately, you can’t always tell if a certain company adheres to high-quality standards when making these generic drugs. While other times, doctor push for a certain brand because of connections with pharma companies that makes you doubt whether the drug prescribed is indeed the best choice for you.

One of the most critical concerns facing the global health fraternity today is the escalating burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR develops as result of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites becoming immune to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics. These microorganisms are commonly known as superbugs.

Over the past decades, antimicrobial agents have been revolutionary in alleviating communicable diseases across the world. However, when the medicines at one’s disposal become ineffective, the prospects for treatment become grim. While antibiotic resistance is a global hazard to public health, India, the largest consumer of antibiotics in the world, is notoriously seen as the epicentre of this threat.

Infections galore

Last year, India attracted unwelcome limelight when a 70-year-old woman from the US died after contracting a superbug during a two-year residence in the country. Doctors in the US say the patient was infected with a multidrug-resistant organism known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) which is immune to all available antibiotics. In the recent past, India has witnessed many large outbreaks of emerging infections and most of them were of zoonotic origin (diseases transmitted from animals to humans). While exact figures are hard to come by, WHO’s Global Burden of Disease report of 2004 suggests a 15-times greater burden of infectious diseases per person in India than in the UK. According to the calculations based on World Bank data and the Global Burden of Disease report of 1990, the crude infectious disease mortality rate in India today is 416.75 per 100,000 persons, which is twice the rate prevailing in the US.


Another problem that involves medicines is drug resistance, which is becoming far too common now that people abuse the use of antibiotics or take one even without a prescription. While we may think of doctors as getting rich from the drugs they prescribe us every time we get sick, it is still better to get their expert advice to make sure we take the right one for whatever medical issue we have. Healthcare is crucial to staying healthy and living a long life, which is the goal of most of us. We need medicines (the right ones) to help us stay healthy and fight off infections and diseases before it does lasting damage.

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