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Just Between Friends (JBF) has announced two up coming Spring Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sales for the metro area.  A Germantown/Port Washington sale will be held March 11-15 at the Washington County Fairgrounds and a Milwaukee County sale will take place April 19-25 in the Wisconsin Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

JBF’s Germantown/Port Washington sale will be open to the public on Wednesday and Thursday, March 11-12, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission on Wednesday is $3 with free admission on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Milwaukee County JBF sale will be open to the public Sunday through Wednesday, April 19-22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, April 24, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  On Sunday, a $3 admission fee will be charged, and on the remaining sale days, admission is free.

JBF events offer “gently loved” and “new” children’s clothing in sizes 0 to 18, maternity clothes in sizes XS to plus, shoes in sizes infant to 6 or 7, as well as toys, board and electronic games, DVDs, and books. All clothing items and shoes are inspected before the event for current fashion, stains, and tears. Items will be organized like a children’s store, where everything is divided by gender and size. Each event features new and different items. The spring sales will feature spring and summer clothing items.

“A great many families look forward to these big money-saving events, so the service Just Between Friends sales bring to the community is extremely valuable,” said Ammie Maltz, organizer of the JBF Germantown sale.

Melissa Monsoor, co-organizer of the Milwaukee County sale pointed out, “We will have everything from maternity clothing to wipe warmers to the latest fashions from Justice or Gymboree to Fisher Price and Little Tikes playground toys, along with other high interest toys and children’s electronics.”

To learn more about opportunities and rewards for joining the team for each sale, visit www.jbfsale.com. Consignors utilize an exclusive, free barcode tagging system to tag items, track daily sales, and manage an accurate, itemized list of any unsold, fashionable, and desirable items that are then donated on behalf of JBF and the consignors to area charities including the Salvation Army for families in need.

Just Between Friends serves more than 260,000 American families in 22 states and provides an opportunity for families to recycle their kids’ clothing and toys. Wisconsin currently offers five JBF sales events, with each independently operated.

The Salvation Army is an international movement located in over 100 countries around the world. It has been serving communities in the Greater Milwaukee area for over 100 years.

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021815business pix1WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Feb. 2015 – Wisconsin State Fair officials are excited to announce the first show slated for the Main Stage presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino during this year’s State Fair. Iconic classic rock band Boston will take the stage on opening night, Thursday, Aug. 6, at 7:30 p.m. The 2015 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will run through Sunday, Aug. 16 at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis.

Original guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer Tom Scholz and his band will perform at State Fair as part of another highly anticipated tour, following a successful run last year that included dates in the U.S. and Japan.

A staple on every classic rock fan’s playlist, Boston’s numerous hits include “More Than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind,” “Don’t Look Back” and “Amanda.” With more than 31 million albums sold to date, Boston has stood the test of time, as evidenced by live audiences that span generations.

Current band members include Tom Scholz, Gary Phil, Curly Smith, Kimberley Dahme, Jeff Neal, Tommy DeCarlo and Tracy Ferrie. For more information visit www.bandboston.comand www.Facebook.com/BandBOSTON.

Tickets for Boston will be $39 and $29 and go ON SALE Friday, March 6 at 10 a.m. at WiStateFair.com and the State Fair Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located at 7722 W. Greenfield Ave. and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Service fees apply to all online orders and purchasers will have print-at-home or mail-order options. All State Fair Main Stage tickets INCLUDE FAIR ADMISSION when purchased prior to entering the Fair Park.

The 2015 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will take place Thursday, Aug. 6 – Sunday, Aug. 16. For the most up-to-date information, “stick with us” at WiStateFair.com or /WiStateFair on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and /theWIFair on YouTube.

MILWAUKEE – Shoot the Moon Photography is pleased to announce a new addition to its team. Scott Patrick joined the Shoot the Moon as Operations Manager in January. He is a seasoned veteran of the photography industry with over 30 years of experience. “I am very excited join Shoot the Moon Photography. It is one of the top studios in the country and I’m honored to now lead such a fine studio and group of photographers,” Mr. Patrick says.

Shoot the Moon Photography specializes in capturing the unique personality of each person they photograph. These images are presented not just as simple photographs but large scale works of art that are the focal point of your home and often enhanced with oils, watercolors, lacquer textures and distinctive digital techniques. Mr. Patrick continues, “While digital photography is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, it takes a special group of artisans to create truly exquisite and personalized art that families can invest in and enjoy.”

Scott Patrick is a native of the Milwaukee area growing up in Waukesha and receiving his Bachelors and Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. “I was very fortunate to have parents and teachers that nurtured my early passion for photography and helped me hone my skills and turn that passion into a successful career.”

He started working in the professional photography field at age 15 when he photographed his first wedding and then at a commercial photography studio. Throughout his career he worked as a newspaper photojournalist, darkroom technician and commercial studio manager all while operating his own wedding and portrait studio. “I have been so fortunate to document over 1000 weddings and events throughout my career. I have also created over 1000 head shots from coast to coast for several top US corporations including GE Healthcare, Foley and Lardner and BDO,” Scott says. “My biggest thrill was being selected to photograph President Bill Clinton during a week-long conference in Chicago.”

“I couldn’t think of a better person to join the team at Shoot the Moon,” says Joy Vertz, founder of Shoot the Moon Photography. “I’ve known and worked with Scott for over seven years. He knows the studio, knows my staff and understands the needs and desires of our clientele. I will continue to photograph and work closely with my wonderful clients at Shoot the Moon. Now that Scott is taking care of daily operations, I will be able to also continue to pursue my photography teaching career and travel the country to show new photographers how to succeed in the business of photography.”

Shoot the Moon is known for its quality and the wonderful experience clients have while creating memorable works of photographic art. That quality and experience won’t change. Some of the changes Scott will make is in the re-introduction of wedding and event services to Shoot the Moon as well as expanding the studio’s commercial photography services and growing traffic at the Lake Country studio.

Before reading, writing and arithmetic, pre-literacy skills are the essential stepping stones to a child’s success in school. Pre-literacy skills include print awareness, vocabulary, letter knowledge, phonological awareness and comprehension skills, which put children on track to achieve reading milestones in each grade level.

One of the best ways for children to improve their pre-literacy skills is parent/child reading time. However, whether due to lack of resources or time, children in need often do not receive as much of this crucial reading time and thus fall behind in their pre-literacy skills and later education. A study released by the American Educational Research Association found that “a student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer.”

Through the Kohl’s Building Blocks program, Penfield Children’s Center strives to close the achievement gap and develop pre-literacy skills among children, ages 0-4, in its classrooms. These crucial skills will help to ensure their success later on in school. The Kohl’s Building Blocks program works to develop pre-literacy skills with three program pillars:

·   The Kohl’s Child Development Library: The Kohl’s Child Development Library is located within Penfield Children’s Center. The library provides children and families with age-appropriate books for take-home use as well as specialized equipment and other early childhood development and educational materials.

·   Kohl’s Building Blocks Community Outreach and Education: Kohl’s Building Blocks Community Outreach and Education is available to Milwaukee and surrounding communities. Its specialized hands-on workshops provide quality resources and information to children, parents and professionals. The “Importance of Reading” workshop specifically educates parents about the importance of pre-literacy for their children as they grow.

·  Kohl’s Early Learning Toolkits:Upon enrollment in the program, children and families are provided with age-appropriate toys and books that stimulate and encourage continuous development at home.  Toolkits are also handed out at outreach events and family programs such as the Penfield Family Reading Nights.

IHOP® restaurants are celebrating the tenth anniversary of National Pancake Day on March 3, 2015, once again offering one free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes to guests to enjoy in our restaurants in the hopes that they will pay it forward by making a voluntary donation to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospital for Children, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or other local charities

Participating IHOP Restaurants plan to give away millions of free pancakes,” from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3 to celebrate this “Decade of Giving”.

More than 1,500 IHOP restaurants across the United States will participate in this beloved annual event which, to date, has raised $16 million for charity. All of the donations raised stay within the communities, helping provide lifesaving treatment and equipment for local sick and injured children.

In 2015, National Pancake Day continues to spread throughout the world: for the second year in a row, IHOP restaurants in Canada and Mexico will participate in the fundraiser, joined for the first time by IHOP restaurants in the Philippines. IHOP restaurants in Canada will again support the Children’s Miracle Network and IHOP restaurants in Mexico will raise money for Asociación Mexicana de Ayuda a Niños con Cáncer, (AMANC) that provides accommodations and resources to children undergoing treatment for cancer and their families. IHOP restaurants in the Philippines will be raising funds for The Kythe Foundation, which provides children with cancer and chronic illness opportunities to learn, play and grow while they are in the hospital.

“It’s both incredible and incredibly gratifying that we are now marking a full decade of National Pancake Day, which has become not only a favorite of guests, but of our franchisees and team members,” said Julia Stewart, Interim President, International House of Pancakes, LLC.  “Little did we dream, ten years ago, that thanks to the generosity of our guests, we would be able to raise $16 million dollars, one short stack at a time, and make a substantial difference in the lives of the children in our local communities!”

“It is also thrilling to see National Pancake Day grow into International Pancake Day, and to see how truly global the spirit of giving back to the community is,” added Stewart. “Now that the tradition has become established in Canada and Mexico, we look forward to welcoming our restaurants in the Philippines to this worldwide effort, and to continuing this international growth for many decades to come.”

In the weeks leading up to National Pancake Day, participating IHOP restaurants will also sell “Miracle Balloons” for $1, $5 to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The balloons will be available from Feb. 1through National Pancake Day, and all proceeds will go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Guests who purchase a $5 Miracle Balloon will receive a $5 discount coupon that can be used during their next dining visit.  Similar icons are for sale in those restaurants supporting the Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well.

A una semana de haber completado la adquisición de la compañía mexicana de telefonía móvil Iusacell, AT&T* anunció hoy que su paquete de llamadas internacionales, AT&T World Connect Value, ahora ofrecellamadas ilimitadas desde los EE. UU. a cualquier número de teléfono en México, incluyendo móviles, sin ningún cargo adicional.  Los clientes actuales de AT&T World Connect, tanto consumidores como negocios, automáticamente reciben este beneficio.

El año pasado AT&T introdujo mensajes de texto, video e imagines ilimitados al mundo con el paquete Mobile Share Value, y ahora los clientes de Mobile Share Value pueden seguir disfrutando decontinuos ahorros, con llamadas ilimitadas a México bajo el paquete World Connect Value.

“Estamos buscando constantemente oportunidades para demostrar nuestro agradecimiento a los clientes”, señaló David Christopher, Director Ejecutivo de Mercadeo de AT&T Mobility. “México es el país al que más llaman nuestros clientes del servicio móvil, y ahora pueden llamar todo lo que quieran con nuestro paquete World Connect Value optimizado”.

El paquete World Connect Value de AT&T tiene un precio de $5 al mes por línea y ofrece llamadas ilimitadas a México sin ningún cargo adicional, al igual que tarifas bajas al llamar desde los EE.UU. a más de 225 países.

Disponible a los clientes del servicio móvil de pospago de AT&T, incluidos los que tienen un servicio telefónico residencial, el paquete AT&T World Connect Value ofrece ahorros significantes en comparación a tarifas basadas en el uso. Además este paquete ofrece a los clientes de AT&T la conveniencia de utilizar su dispositivo móvil para llamar directamente a sus familiares y amigos alrededor del mundo.

MILWAUKEE, WI – Bolzano Artisan Meats School Of Butchering And Charcuterie is proud to announce that they are now offering classes expressly for teens.

With the number of high school culinary competition teams growing, kids becoming more interested in complex, traditional ways of foodmaking, and the rising interest in local sustainable animal farming, these classes promise to fulfill a growing need for quality, specialty meat processing education for youth that is in extremely short supply.

Co-owner Scott Buer says “Any young person interested in culinary arts, food science, or food in general will greatly benefit from our unique classes. These classes are not taught by hobbyists, but by our team with experience both in inspected meat processing, and highly trained and educated in high school level teaching methods and theories.”

The classes for teens are actual hands-on classes, that will incorporate knife skills, food safety and meat science principles, along with the history of meat processing and farming. These special teens-only classes will allow for a class environment that is more conducive to learning, and will feature more structure, and more educational components than the school’s standard classes.

The company’s website www.bolzanomeats.com is being constantly updated to include the growing list of classes for the general public and for teenagers, and will include hog lamb, goat, and poultry butchering classes, plus classes on sausage making, curing, smoking, and drying.

The school is also available for private classes for school groups, and can travel to schools to do classes on-site.

Oil prices are plummeting, taking energy stocks down with them. Meanwhile, financial experts such as Harry Dent and Robert Shiller say the U.S. stock market is overdue for a correction. Shiller recently noted in Forbes that the market is 65 percent overvalued, mainly fueled by “irrational exuberance.”

“Many investors today are yield-starved savers who are losing their earnings power to inflation, increased taxes, and persistent low interest rates,” says Salvatore M. Buscemi, managing director of Dandrew Partners LLC in New York City and author of “Making the Yield: Real Estate Hard Money Lending Uncovered,” (www.MakingTheYield.com).

“As a result, they are being forced to take risks by investing against their better judgment into markets where they have little to no control, and for the majority, can’t afford to lose their money in another stock market crash as they did in 2001 and 2008.”

A growing trend among those seeking to beat the bear is to channel investments into real estate, he says. Not the kind of venture that turned many into reluctant landlords during the housing bust, but another type called hard money lending.

“Here’s how it works,” Buscemi says. “Investors act like a bank and make short-term loans to small businesses that buy and repair distressed properties, refinance them with conventional bank loans and repay the short-term loans at higher interest rates, generating more profitable returns for the original lenders.”

Buscemi reviews ways to get the most out of this lucrative venture.

•  Shop local.  All things being equal, private investors are often served by small, perhaps localized real estate private partnerships that throw off real cash flow than by global, publicly listed full-service investment brands where an alignment of interest between investors and these corporations may be deficient or missing.

•  Explore crowd funding. With the advent of crowd funding and federal rule changes since the last real estate cycle, more people with less money can participate in deals that they may have never been able to get into before.

•  Have a pre-flight checklist. The best time to worry about a real estate loan is before you make it. Always have a list of items to review before committing capital. These include job history, experience in rehab property, education, and most important, credit quality. Always read the entire credit report as the devil is in the details. Also make sure to accept reports from a third party, not the borrower as they can be faked.

•  Always ask how your interests are aligned with your borrowers. If they are not going to make any money, neither will you. The loan will default, and you’ll both be discouraged.

“Individual investors are looking for a more intimate method of managing their own money, insulated from geopolitical shocks,” Mr. Buscemi says. “They don’t want to wake up in the morning blindsided that they’ve lost a good chunk of their portfolio because of something that happened overseas. Real estate keeps climbing higher and higher in some markets. And people implicitly trust real estate; it’s a very bankable asset class.”

MILWAUKEE – Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. (Reinhart) welcomes associateAlbert Ortiz to the firm’s Banking and Finance Practice.

Ortiz represents lenders, agents, borrowers and private equity sponsors in a wide variety of finance transactions for both public and private companies, including acquisition financings, asset-based financings and mezzanine financings.

Prior to joining Reinhart, Ortiz served as an attorney at a Chicago-based global law firm. While attending law school, Ortiz worked in the legal department of a leading digital financial media company and as a paralegal for one of the nation’s largest law firms.

Ortiz earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

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Nueva York– Fiat Chrysler anunció que reparará unas 67 mil camionetas de 2006 y 2007 debido a un problema que puede permitir que se arranque el vehículo sin que esté activado el pedal del embrague. Chrysler dijo que un fallecimiento está vinculado con el problema.

La Administración Nacional de Seguridad en Carreteras (NHTSA) había iniciado una investigación de los vehículos en mayo tras recibir un reporte de un niño que arrancó una camioneta Dodge Ram 3500 de 2006 sin activar el pedal del embrague. El vehículo se movió hacia adelante, arrollando y matando a otro menor, dijo la agencia.

La compañía informó el lunes que se puede romper un cable en el circuito que impide que el motor arranque sin tener apretado el pedal del embrague en vehículos con transmisión manual. Eso puede evitar que el vehículo arranque, o si el conductor no sigue el procedimiento de arranque, pudiera moverse cuando se activa el interruptor de arranque.

Los vehículos con transmisión manual tienen por ley que tener mecanismos que les impiden arrancar sin tener activad el pedal del embrague.

La compañía ha llamado a reparación las camionetas Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 y Mitsubishi Raider fabricadas entre julio de 2005 y junio de 2006, unas 55 mil de ellas en Estados Unidos.

FCA US LLC, como se llamaba anteriormente Chrysler Group LLC, reemplazará los interruptores sin costo para los clientes. La empresa dijo que sólo usó el cable defectuoso durante el período cubierto por el llamado a reparación.

Distrito Federal— En 2015 la venta de automóviles nuevos podría alcanzar el millón 196 mil 930 unidades, lo que representará una recuperación de 6.1 por ciento comparado con el cierre que se espera para 2014.

De acuerdo con el pronóstico realizado por la Asociación Mexicana de Distribuidores de Automotores (AMDA), el siguiente año los porcentajes de participación por segmento se mantendrán estables, donde los subcompactos registrarán el mayor índice de venta.

El director general adjunto de la AMDA, Guillermo Rosales Zárate, explicó que del segmento de subcompactos esperan comercializar 431 mil 579 unidades en 2015, seguido de compactos con 293 mil 788.

Asimismo, precisó que para 2015 esperan vender alrededor de 242 mil 885 vehículos de uso múltiple, 160 mil 283 camiones ligeros, autos de lujo 58 mil 612, deportivos ocho mil y camiones pesados mil 618.

| Gasto retrocedió 0.56 por ciento en septiembre respecto a 

Liga segunda caída el consumo privado

Distrito Federal— Durante septiembre de 2014 el consumo privado bajó 0.56 por ciento respecto a agosto.

El Indicador Mensual del Consumo Privado en el Mercado Interior (IMCPMI) sumó con ello dos bajas a tasa mensual, debido a la reducción en los dos principales componentes que lo integran.

Los números del Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (Inegi) indican que la contracción en ese indicador experimentó en el octavo mes de 2014 se cifró en 0.25 por ciento, por lo que la variación negativa de septiembre se erigió en la más pronunciada en los últimos seis meses.

En su más reciente análisis de la economía mexicana el Banco de México (Banxico) llamó la atención sobre la debilidad del consumo interno.

“Algunos de los determinantes del consumo continúan mostrando cierta debilidad. En particular, la masa salarial de los trabajadores continúa siendo afectada por los bajos niveles del ingreso promedio real de la población ocupada”, apuntó el banco central en su Informe Trimestral julio-septiembre 2014.

De igual forma, Banxico encontró signos de debilidad del consumo en los bajos por el índice de confianza del consumidor y en la desaceleración del crédito al consumo.

Por origen de los bienes, en septiembre, el consumo de bienes de origen importado descendió 1.60 por ciento, resultado que no solo sirve para acumular dos periodos con declives, sino que es el peor desde noviembre del año pasado, cuando la caída fue de 3.89 por ciento.

El consumo de bienes y servicios de origen nacional total reculó por segundo mes en fila, con 0.65 por ciento en septiembre, al observarse mermas tanto en las dos variables que lo componen.

Después de dos avances a tasa mensual, durante septiembre, el consumo de bienes de origen nacional sucumbió 1.04 por ciento en relación a agosto.

En tanto, el consumo de servicios nacionales solo se movió ligeramente hacia arriba 0.08 por ciento, luego de cifras en contra en julio y agosto pasados.

 

121014 business pix1Nueva York— Luego de haber sido una esponja que aspiró una parte significativa del petróleo del mundo, Estados Unidos será exportador neto de crudo y otros hidrocarburos líquidos a finales de esta década, según los pronósticos de energía a largo plazo de ExxonMobil.

Agregó que una cantidad “casi indescriptible” de gas natural que se ha encontrado en los últimos años en Estados Unidos y otros lugares de América del Norte será suficiente para que la región sea una de las mayores exportadoras mundiales de ese combustible en 2025, incluso con la demanda interna en aumento, de acuerdo con el director de estrategia de Exxon, Bill Colton.

El pronóstico –que alegrará a los economistas pero que preocupará a los ambientalistas– sostiene que los dos productos principales de Exxon, petróleo y gas natural, serán abundantes y suficientemente asequibles.

Dijo que ello satisfará la creciente demanda de energía en el mundo en desarrollo, mientras la clase media del mundo crece de 2 mil millones de personas a 5 mil millones, y compra productos que requieren mucha energía, como automóviles y aparatos de aire acondicionado.

Esto es resultado de avances en la tecnología de perforación que han hecho posible alcanzar el petróleo y el gas en zonas no convencionales de la roca terrestre o en lugares extremos, con lo que han acallado la impresión de que el mundo se estaba quedando rápidamente sin petróleo.

Exxon hizo sus previsiones a pesar de que espera que habrá políticas cada vez más estrictas en todo el mundo para frenar las emisiones de dióxido de carbono y otros gases emitidos por el uso de combustibles fósiles, que según los científicos están provocando cambios peligrosos en el clima mundial.

La empresa realiza el informe, que se actualiza cada año, para prever cuáles serán las condiciones de suministro y demanda de energía del mundo hasta 2040. Usa el reporte para dar forma a su propia estrategia a largo plazo, pero inversores y responsables de políticas también lo consultan.

MIAMI – December 3, 2014 – Telemundo’s latest production “Tierra de Reyes” (Land of Honor) reached a cumulative audience of 2,161,000 total viewers and 1,206,000 adults 18 to 49 on premiere night, according to Nielsen.  Starring Aarón Díaz, Ana Lorena Sánchez, Gonzalo García Vivanco, Kimberly Dos Ramos, Christian de la Campa and Scarlet Gruber, alongside Fabián Ríos and Sonya Smith as “Cayetana,” the premiere averaged 1,226,000 total viewers and 612,000 adults 18 to 49.  “Tierra de Reyes” garnered a 10% growth in its time slot versus the last four weeks among adults 18-49 (612k vs. 558k).  Locally, the novela ranked #1, among Spanish-language networks in its time slot, in Miami and Philadelphia, among adults 18-49.

“Tierra de Reyes” was the #1 most social primetime show among Hispanic networks, in terms of unique authors and tweets, according to Nielsen Social.  Facebook posts promoting the premiere reached over 1.4 million people.

The original production tells the story of three brothers who seek revenge on the family they hold responsible for the tragic and mysterious death of their younger sister. Arturo (Aarón Díaz), Flavio (Gonzalo García Vivanco) and Samuel Reyes (Christian de la Campa), are three brothers who in search for the truth, decide to win the hearts of the beautiful daughters of wealthy hacienda owner Ignacio Del Junco (Ricardo Chavez), the man they suspect of causing their sister’s death.  As fate would have it, however, they become victims of their own trap, falling in love with their enemies, Sofía (Ana Lorena Sánchez), Irina (Kimberly Dos Ramos) and Andrea (Scarlet Gruber).

By Frank Clemente

Shoppers will be lining up at the crack of dawn on “Black Friday” for spectacular deals. What they don’t know is that the best bargains have already been taken – not by other shoppers, but by some of America’s largest corporations.

Walmart, the biggest corporation in America, with revenues of almost half a trillion dollars, gets a $1 billion tax break each year on average by exploiting federal tax loopholes, according to a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness. Taxpayers, even those lined up in the early morning darkness at giant retailers like Walmart, pay the price.

How? First, the more big corporations dodge paying their fair share of taxes, the more American families and small businesses have to make up, or else there is less money available for critical investments, such as rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, improving education and making college more affordable, or finding new medical cures.

When Black Friday shoppers check the prices, they’ll never see these hidden costs of tax avoidance. But when Americans figure out what’s going on they’ll have a bad case of the Black Friday Blues.

The $1 billion Walmart “saves” by ducking its fair share of federal taxes is a low estimate. It doesn’t count the taxes Walmart is avoiding on $21.4 billion in profits held offshore. Walmart has paid nothing to the U.S. Treasury on those earnings because corporations can indefinitely postpone paying U.S. taxes on offshore profits until they are brought back to America.

The retail giant is also working with other large corporations to deeply cut U.S. corporate tax rates. So while American families and small businesses continue to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge corporations making record profits are trying to rewrite the law so they pay much less in taxes.

If these corporations are successful, they will blow a $1.3 trillion hole in the federal budget over the next 10 years. Walmart alone will pocket $720 million a year on average – in addition to the $1 billion it already “saves” from current tax loopholes.

Big companies know that cutting corporate taxes isn’t popular with the public. Americans are outraged that profitable companies like General Electric, Verizon and Boeing – as well as 23 others – paid absolutely nothing in taxes over the past five years, according to the watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice. Polls showthat American families oppose lower corporate tax rates; instead, they want a more equitable tax system in which corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

Fighting for an unpopular cause like lowering corporate tax rates could hurt corporate brands with the public. So Walmart and other companies pay large industry coalitions to do the work of waging media campaigns and cajoling members of Congress. Walmart is the only big box retailer that gives to all three of the industry groups that are trying to put a good face on bad policy – the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition, Alliance for Competitive Taxation and the Business Roundtable.

These organizations decry the 35 percent tax rate corporations are supposed to pay on profits when they know full well that they actually pay far less. Profitable corporations paid U.S. income taxes amounting to just 12.6 percent of worldwide income in 2010, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Walmart itself sends 74 lobbyists to twist arms on Capitol Hill, and tax issues are its No. 1 priority. It has spent $32.6 million lobbying over the past five years. It also tries to buy access to lawmakers by contributing heavily to their campaigns – giving $6.1 million since 2009, disproportionately to members of the two Congressional tax-writing committees.

Walmart wants to convince shoppers to flock to its stores on Black Friday to take advantage of low prices. What it doesn’t want you to know is that those prices come at a high cost of taxes dodged.

If large corporations succeed in slashing corporate tax rates, the effects on our country will be severe. For millions of American families and small businesses it will mean higher taxes, fewer services or a higher national debt.  Today’s “Black Friday blues” could turn into a full-blown economic hangover.

Clemente is executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 425 national and state organizations.

Helsinki— Nokia está de vuelta y parece que Windows no es su amigo. Apenas unos meses después de que le vendió su dañada unidad de teléfonos a Microsoft, la compañía finlandesa ha lanzado una tableta.

El nuevo dispositivo usa Android como sistema operativo en lugar de Windows, el mismo sistema que Nokia adoptó en sus teléfonos celulares cuando inició una alianza estratégica con Microsoft en 2011.

La nueva tableta N1, de 7.9 pulgadas, estará disponible primero en China en el primer trimestre de 2015, con un precio aproximado de 250 dólares, antes de ser introducida en otros mercados.

Sebastian Nystrom, director de la unidad de tecnologías de Nokia, dijo el martes que el ex líder mundial de telefonía móvil estaba “complacido de llevar de nuevo la marca Nokia a las manos de los consumidores”.

Las ganancias de Nokia han mejorado desde que vendió su unidad de celulares a Microsoft, por 7 mil 200 millones de dólares. La compañía quedó muy adelgazada. Sus tres operaciones restantes son redes, mapeo y software.

Distrito Federal– La red social Facebook presentó una nueva aplicación llamada Facebook Groups para teléfonos y tabletas, una app para ayudar a los usuarios a mantenerse en contacto con todos sus grupos de Facebook y encontrar otros nuevos de una forma más rápida y ordenada.

Como se menciona en el sitio Mashable, los usuarios podrán ver una lista de los grupos a los que pertenecen, destacando los que visitan con más frecuencia. Asimismo, también ofrece recomendaciones en la pestaña “descubrir”, en donde se considera las preferencias de los usuarios, los grupos a los que pertenecen sus amigos y una selección de los que se han creado cerca de donde viven.

Al igual que con Facebook Messenger, la compañía mencionó que una aplicación independiente hará que el servicio sea más rápido en el móvil para organizar, editar y utilizar mejor sus grupos.

La empresa afirma que el uso de la aplicación independiente no influye en la aplicación estándar de Facebook y explica que los usuarios podrán seguir utilizando la función de grupos ahí si así lo desean, ya que esta app es de descarga opcional, a diferencia de Facebook Messenger.

La aplicación está disponible Android e iOS, y es gratuita.

By Dr. Venus Opal Reese

In terms of growth in business ownership, women have been soaring past men, averaging increases 1.5 times the national average, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express Open.

There are nearly 9.1 million women-owned businesses providing jobs for nearly 7.9 million people and generating more than $1.4 trillion, according to the report.

Leading the skyrocketing growth are women of color, who now own one of every three female-owned businesses – up from one in six in 1997. Black women alone generate $49.5 billion a year in revenue.

“What’s interesting is that these businesses match or exceed their peers in terms of numbers, employment and revenue – until they hit the $1 million mark,” says Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, Inc. (www.DefyImpossible.com), a coaching business that helps black women — and men and women of all ethnicities — break the seven-figure ceiling.

“At $1 million, they start lagging behind. Despite their bigger-than-average numbers, women’s businesses are still smaller than average.”

Reese says female CEOs black and white tend to unconsciously start sabotaging their success just as they’re growing into greatness. Why?

“From the time we’re babies, society – often our own families, too — measure our worth based on how we measure up to their expectations. So we end up measuring our value on those same expectations, not the values that come from our true, authentic self. That sets up some real conflicts as we build successful businesses,” Reese says.

How to overcome that? To “defy impossible”?

Reese, who went from living on the streets as a teen in Baltimore to earning her Ph.D. from Stanford, shares these tips:

•  Know your worth in dollars and cents.

Most women tend to accept the unspoken expectation that people will notice and reward us. That’s a mistake. If you over-give or over-work, you actually train your environment to expect you to give without compensation. Start calculating the time, money and resources you bring (or save) your clients or company. Write it down. When you are ready to up your rates or ask for a raise, you will not be depending on good will. You will have hard data to back up your hard work.

•  Trust that you are more than enough.

Too often we look outside of ourselves for validation. Sometimes we think a degree or a title will give us the “right” to be paid top dollar. You are brilliant. Start noticing that when you show up, things get better, they get done, and people soar. When you trust that you are enough, you stop backing down and you start standing for yourself — no credential needed.

•  Heal your heart.

Money is a heart condition. Think of money as energy. Energy needs a conduit. Most women lead with our hearts. Whenever you are harboring resentment, regret, anger, resignation or fear, you are blocking yourself from your seven-figure future. When our hearts are congested with negative energy, we block our wealth.

•  Invest in yourself.

As her business grew, there came a point when Reese realized she – and it – had outgrown many of the support staff that had been perfectly suitable when she was just starting out. To get the people she needed, she doubled and, in some cases, quadrupled salaries.

“I believe in putting money in me instead of on me,” she says. “When I hire proven professionals, I am investing in my peace of mind and quality time with my loved ones. When you ‘hire up,’ you say to yourself and the Universe, ‘I trust you and I trust me to produce a return on this investment tenfold.’

“Now that I have a top-tier team, I have the mental space, creativity, and peace of mind to focus on high-level joint ventures.”

•  Learn how to monetize.

Until you can reliably bring in new money, you will be a slave. The best investment Reese says she ever made in herself was learning how to package, position, and price her expertise.

“When you learn how to monetize, you get freedom. You don’t have to depend on a man, or a job, or the government for security. And when you learn how to close sales with confidence, your money skyrockets!”

About Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, Inc. (www.DefyImpossible.com), is an acclaimed international speaker; CEO Mindset, Messaging and Marketing Mentor; and entrepreneur coach.