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This Week’s Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Welcome to our weekly series of must-read small business articles. Every Friday, we’ll be doing just what it sounds like—sharing the articles we think will be the most interesting to Square sellers. (Also, just some fun stuff). Here’s what we’ve got this week:

In one of the stranger reputation-management tactics we’ve heard, a New York hotel is now fining people $500 for writing bad Yelp reviews.

Who needs hotels anyway? Here are some tips for running your business from an RV, trailer, or boat.

Copycatting isn’t just lame. Turns out it also takes the same amount of effort as creating your own vision. Inc. looks at the irony of the imitator epidemic.

Here are some content strategy tips for your business: “About” pages are super important. And a great newsletter can be even more effective than building a Facebook community.

If you’ve ever felt guilty about slightly exaggerating parts of your resume, this will make you feel better: 10 of the most ridiculous lies people have told on their resumes.

And finally, some essential weekend intel: The Push for Pizza app lets you order pizza in three taps.

The History of American Entrepreneurship

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

The United States has entrepreneurialism deeply rooted in its history as the country was founded and settled by risk takers and innovators looking for new opportunity. Americans are raised learning about inventors such as Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin while entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie are also celebrated. In the late 1970s, the United States was the first country to embrace entrepreneurial endeavors while ditching managerial capitalism.

The start of American entrepreneurship dates back to settlers engaging in trade and barter with Native Americans which resulted in mutual benefit for both parties. Following the entrepreneurial endeavors of early settlers, entrepreneurship flourished in the period following the American Civil War. Rapid growth of the communication and transportation industries due to the expansion of mining and agriculture allowed entrepreneurs to easily find success.

By the later part of the 19th century, entrepreneurs were considered among the elite. Westerward expansion and the creation of the railroad led farmers to move west, prompted by governmental incentives and subsidies for industries such as railroad, banking, and land acquisition. This led to tremendous opportunities for profit, again allowing entrepreneurship to flourish. During the late 19th century, entrepreneurship can be underscored for creating capitalists, innovators, prospectors, financiers that could provide funding, and business men who were not only creating startups but expanding pre-existing businesses.

In more recent times, the industry probably most well known for creating successful entrepreneurs is the tech industry. Apple and Microsoft helped to lead the way for entrepreneurs in the tech industry. The late Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple, as well as Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, embody the creative energy that is so important to entrepreneurship in the United States. Industry heavyweights such as Gates and Jobs represent the hard work and tenacity that often makes a successful entrepreneur.

Throughout the history of the United States, immigrants have also played a significant role in entrepreneurship. A high number of immigrants go on to start their own businesses upon settling in America. Some studies have even suggested that immigrants to the United States are more likely to become self-employed.

Entrepreneurs have always been and continue to be an integral part of the American economy. Entrepreneurs spur a large number of new jobs and according to research are less responsive to downturns in the economy.

Famous Entrepreneurs Throughout History
  • Thomas Alva Edison- Edison is considered by many to be the greatest inventor of all time. He is credited with more than one thousand U.S. Patents for various inventions including the phonograph and the lightbulb. Edison’s work on electricity also led to the world’s first power plant.
  • Henry Kaiser - Kaiser began his entrepreneurial career in 1914 with a pavement company. In the years following, he built a series of hugely successful companies in the steel, construction, ship building, car manufacturing, and healthcare industries. Kaiser is perhaps most well known for creating the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization.
  • Oprah Winfrey - Oprah Winfrey is widely known as a daytime talkshow host. She went on to parlay her fame into a global brand and has launched a television network, magazine, radio show, website, and has published multiple books. Winfrey has also taken an active role in a variety of theater and movie productions through her company, Harpo productions.
  • Benjamin Franklin - Franklin was one of the founding fathers as well as being one of the first entrepreneurs. He invented many products including the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and the Franklin stove. Franklin is also credited with creating America’s first free library.
  • Henry Ford - Henry Ford is known for creating the first car, a Model T, that helped to drastically expand people’s range of movement. Ford is also credited with creating the first moving assembly line, which signaled the breakthrough of the Industrial Age in America.
  • Steve Jobs - The late Steve Jobs was one of the founders of Apple. He and partner Steve Wozniak created an operating system and went on to create multiple products including computers, cell phones, tablets, music players, and more. Apple continues to be an innovator in the tech field and consistently releases new products.
  • Andrew Carnegie - After Andrew Carnegie’s family business collapsed at the time of the Industrial Revolution, he began working as a railroad assistant and invested his money. He went on to create Carnegie Steel which grew into a huge company. Carnegie spent the later part of his life donating to various charitable causes.

Tune In: Jack Dorsey and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet Talk Payments Security

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

We’ve been keeping you in the know about all the upcoming changes to payments technology on this blog. And now we’re taking that knowledge on the road. We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to host a series of educational talks about all the new, more secure payment technologies. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on authenticated payments like NFC (think: Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc) and EMV.

Tomorrow, we’re kicking things off in Miami with an event featuring Square CEO Jack Dorsey and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. They’re hosting a discussion about why all of these changes are so crucial for small businesses. The event is sold out, but you can still tune in live via our Periscope stream. (If this will be your first time using Periscope, you can download the app here).

The event starts at 10 a.m. ET. Follow us on Twitter to be alerted when we’re live.

Here’s what they’ll be covering:

  • What EMV chip card technology is and why it’s more secure than the technology in magnetic stripe cards
  • What the transition to EMV chip card technology means for small business, including new fraud liability rules that take effect October 1, 2015
  • How to prepare for the transition not only to EMV technology but also to other secure, authenticated payment methods like NFC/contactless (i.e. Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc)

For those who can’t watch the Periscope broadcast, we’ll be posting a recording of the talk on this blog in the next few days. And to find out when Square and the SBA will be coming to a city near you to discuss secure payments, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

California Payday Loan Stores | Cash Advance Loans in CA

California Payday Loan Stores | Cash Advance Loans in CA


ACE Cash Express

Find ACE Cash Express stores in California. Learn about payday loans, car title loans, check cashing and other financial services. ACE is your one-stop money shop.

FORM 10-Q SEPTEMBER 30, 2017

by admin @ Community Choice Financial

Download in PDF format Click below to download files: ccfi-20170930.xml ccfi-20170930.xsd ccfi-20170930_cal.xml ccfi-20170930_def.xml ccfi-20170930_lab.xml ccfi-20170930_pre.xml

Changing Payday Legally | Avitus Group

Changing Payday Legally | Avitus Group


Avitus Group

Employers can change payday legally, but they have to take a few steps to make sure they're doing it correctly.

California Employment Laws & Federal Holidays: 5 Things Every Employee Should Know About Federal Holiday Pay Laws | Hennig Ruiz Law Firm

California Employment Laws & Federal Holidays: 5 Things Every Employee Should Know About Federal Holiday Pay Laws | Hennig Ruiz Law Firm


Hennig Ruiz Law Firm

As the holiday season draws near, it's important to understand your rights as an employee when it comes to time off work and ... California Law

Duration of Written Meal Period Waivers Depends on Your Needs

by Barbara Wilber @ CalChamber Alert

We have employees working 6-hour shifts who want to waive their meal period and employees who want to waive their second meal period after 10 hours. How often do we have to renew the written waiver? Pursuant to the California Labor Code, both the 6- and 10-hour waiver allow an employer and employee to mutually waive the required meal period. Although other types of meal waivers must be in writing, a written waiver is not required in these instances. Meal period rules and regulations are found in both the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) orders and in the California Labor Code, Section 512 (stated in part as follows): 512. (a) An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee. An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal [...]

Here's How to Get Paid Faster

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Just over a week ago we introduced Square Invoices, and we’re pleased to report that our sellers have already processed over $1M via invoicing. Even better, in that time we’ve learned a few tips to help sellers get paid faster…

  1. For quicker payments, send invoices to clients on Thursdays. We’ve found that invoices sent on Thursdays have the highest likelihood of being paid within two days by customers.

  2. Customize the due date of each invoice. With Square Invoices, sellers can add a message for the recipient to request that the customer issue payment upon receipt. This can lead to speedier payment returns.

  3. Avoid invoicing clients on Sundays. People are least likely to pay an invoice they’ve received on Sunday — it’s the laziest day of the week, after all.

Immigration As Usual? Moving Forward in Times of Uncertainty

Immigration As Usual? Moving Forward in Times of Uncertainty

by glimayres @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

by Anthony Mance, Esq. and Jennifer Grady, Esq. Recent announcements by the Trump Administration declaring enhanced vetting of current immigration cases; talks in Congress about major proposed changes to the immigration laws; and constant media discourse regarding the future of DACA, the Travel Ban, employment-based visas, and increased waiting times, may have the effect of … Continue reading

Avitus Group Announces June 2018 Business by Business Summit in Montana; Aims to Educate Local Businesses While Supporting Local Community

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

TICKETS: Go on sale April, 2018.  (Each registrant receives a Montana Hope Bear to be picked up at event) COMMUNITY SUPPORT: 50% of Proceeds Donated to Montana Hope Project LOCATION: Northern Hotel, Billings, Montana  – 19 N Broadway AGENDA Vendor Village and Lunch Welcome by Emcee Dave Mitchell – “Becoming Resilient” Inside the Minds of Consumers and Business […]

FORM 10-Q JUNE 30, 2017

by admin @ Community Choice Financial

Download in PDF format Click below to download files: ccfi-20170630.xml ccfi-20170630.xsd ccfi-20170630_cal.xml ccfi-20170630_def.xml ccfi-20170630_lab.xml ccfi-20170630_pre.xml

History of Money and Payments

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

People have engaged in commerce to exchange goods and services for payment throughout the ages. These financial transactions did not always involve monetary payments. There was a time when standard money did not even exist and people utilized other forms of payment to perform transactions. With the evolution of technology, money and payments have changed drastically. Current credit card processing technology and advanced business solutions make financial transactions possible at almost any time and virtually any place.

Bartering and Livestock

Bartering was an advantageous way to exchange goods and services for people many years ago because it enabled both parties to get what they needed. For example, two parties might exchange tools for services to fulfill the needs of both people. Livestock was also considered wealth that people could amass. The more cows or sheep someone owned, the wealthier they were.

Precious Metal Coins

Ancient civilizations used to use beads and shells as coins. Eventually, they began using precious metals to make coins. People in the ancient civilization of Lydia were among the first to use coins made of gold and silver. This currency was both valuable and easily portable.

Leather Money

Leather was another material used for currency. People in ancient China utilized white deer skin for banknotes. The notes were large compared to the bills used in today's society. Leather money could have been as large as one-foot squares of deerskin.

Paper Money

Eventually, the Chinese developed paper money. Civilizations struggled with determining and maintaining the value of paper money. In addition, challenges came in the forms of both inflation and the production of the currency. Paper money went in and out of use during periods of ancient history.

Gold

England established gold as its standard of value in 1816. Following this event, Europe began backing bank notes with the gold standard. This meant the value of any currency was set by establishing its value in gold. The United States followed suit in 1900. Before this time, both gold and silver were used for dollars.

Gold-Backed U.S. Dollar

In 1913, the United States established the Federal Reserve system. This official central bank served the financial interests of the nation. Federal Reserve notes were backed by gold at this time. One of the roles of the Federal Reserve was to ensure that notes and checks would be honored and could be redeemed for gold.

Credit Cards

Consumers began enjoying credit from retailers during the 20th century. Some retailers, such as department stores and gas stations, began creating individual credit cards to issue to consumers. These cards were created to make spending money more convenient for people. Diners Club was the first actual credit card, which gave consumers the ability to purchase meals from several restaurants located in New York City.

U.S. Dollar

In 1933, the United States discontinued the gold standard to keep Americans from cashing in their currency for gold, depleting the national gold supply, amid worsening deflation. From this point forward, the federal government became the official backer of the monetary system instead of gold. However, the U.S. continued to let foreign governments trade dollars for gold until 1971. At this point, the country became concerned that foreigners would sap the national gold reserves, leading to an end to this practice.

Online Shopping

With the rise of the Internet during the 1990s, online shopping arrived on the scene. Consumers embraced the ability to peruse the Internet and make purchases. Common historical data suggests that Pizza Hut may have been one of the first retailers to execute an e-commerce transaction. The company began allowing people to order pizza on its website as early as 1994.

Mobile Payments

Coca-Cola receives credit for offering the first mobile payment transaction in 1997. The beverage retailer created special vending machines that enabled consumers to pay for their drinks by sending text messages from mobile devices. Since this time, mobile payments have skyrocketed in popularity. Now, more people than ever before are paying on the go, and more merchants can accept payments anywhere, without being tied down to a cash register.

Online Payday Loans California, Flex Loans, Installment Loans and Payday Cash Advance

Online Payday Loans California, Flex Loans, Installment Loans and Payday Cash Advance


Advance Financial 24/7

Looking for Online Payday Loans and Instalment Loans in California? Get AF247 Online Flex Loan Up to $4000 in California. Flex Loans are Payday Loans, Installment Loans and Payday Cash Advance Alternatives. Flex loans are open-end line of credit and give you the ability to apply once and withdraw cash at any time

Search our salary database of California state workers

Search our salary database of California state workers


sacbee

Search the salaries of California’s 400,000-plus state workers and view up to 11 years of their pay history with The Bee’s state worker salary database.

FORM 10-K DECEMBER 31, 2016

by admin @ Community Choice Financial

Download in PDF format Click below to download files: ccfi-20161231.xml ccfi-20161231.xsd ccfi-20161231_cal.xml ccfi-20161231_def.xml ccfi-20161231_lab.xml ccfi-20161231_pre.xml

How to Stay Debt Free through Grad School

by Nathan Young @ Check City

You have probably heard that the Bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma these days. There are so many people getting one that it can be pretty hard to stand out from the competition. Consequently, grad school has become … Continue reading

The US Financial System and Alexander Hamilton

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Alexander Hamilton was the United States’ first secretary of the Treasury, serving during George Washington’s administration. Hamilton was never president, but he made significant contributions to the financial system of this country. These contributions gave Hamilton a prominent position in history. He also has the distinction of being featured on United States currency even though he was not a president. Many of the business solutions that exist today, including modern credit card processing, are in place as a result of the contributions of Hamilton.

Hamilton was born in the West Indies in the mid-1750s, although his precise birth date is not known. Hamilton grew up in the Virgin Islands. As a young man, he wrote an essay that garnered attention from local community leaders. The leaders worked together to raise funds to send Hamilton to the Colonies to attend school. Hamilton served in the Revolutionary War under General George Washington. When Washington later became president, he chose Hamilton to become the first secretary of the Treasury. As secretary, Hamilton was involved in the institution of the National Bank and a national currency.

Hamilton had inventive financial ideas. After the end of the Revolutionary War, many states carried debts that they were not repaying. The value of these public securities was nil, but Hamilton had a solution. He proposed that the federal government repay all of the state debts at their full value. This repayment would be an effective way to legitimize the federal government. The means of financing the repayment involved issuing new security bonds to investors. These investors were excited about making significant profits. Hamilton was also instrumental in the creation of a national bank and a centralized currency.

Hamilton’s plan for the new country’s financial system had three major parts. Assuming the states’ debts by issuing interest-bearing bonds was the first part of the plan. Hamilton also instituted tariffs for imported goods as a way of raising federal revenue and helping domestic businesses. With the establishment of a new national bank, Hamilton created a way for the United States to hold funds and use securities as capital to encourage future growth.

The Hamiltonian Economic Program consisted of Hamilton’s proposals set forth during his time serving as secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton created three different reports that outlined his program and proposals. The reports were the First Report on Public Credit, the Second Report on Public Credit, and the Report on Manufactures. Congress implemented Hamilton’s economic program.

The First Report on Public Credit included analysis of the financial standing of the United States. This report made recommendations about reorganizing the national debt and establishing public credit. The report contained 40,000 words, with a focus on assumption of state debt from the war and redemption of government securities. Congress debated the proposal, eventually reaching a compromise in 1790.

The Second Report on Public Credit is sometimes called the Report on a National Bank. In this report, Hamilton proposed the creation of a central bank for the United States. By issuing federal bank notes, the country could increase the money supply. Hamilton’s vision of the bank involved creating a stable financial system for the new country.

The third report was the Report on Manufactures. This report focused on encouraging manufacturing with subsidies to various industries and by regulating trade with tariffs. The purpose of the tariffs was to raise revenue for the new government. These tariffs would also help encourage domestic manufacturing, which would help the country’s economy grow internally. The subsidies would also support manufacturing without affecting supplies or causing prices to increase.

Other Financial Information During Alexander Hamilton’s Time as Secretary of the Treasury

Timeline

Follow a useful chronological timeline of the major events in Alexander Hamilton’s life.

Biography

Learn more about Hamilton’s life, childhood, and how he came to be the first secretary of the treasury of the United States.

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California Direct Payday Loan Lenders

by WilliamJohnson287 @ Online Payday Loans In California

Let us help you find online payday loans in California. Our goal at Calpaydayloans is to list all the large online payday lenders and installment lenders that fund online loans California. As we all know, it can be very time-consuming and frustrating to find a reputable payday loan or installment loan company in California. There […]

The post California Direct Payday Loan Lenders appeared first on Online Payday Loans In California.

The Grady Firm to Host 2018 Labor Law Update Seminar on February 7 in Beverly Hills, CA

The Grady Firm to Host 2018 Labor Law Update Seminar on February 7 in Beverly Hills, CA

by rajhour @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, Jennifer Grady, Esq. will host the 2018 Labor Law Update, sponsored by The Grady Firm, P.C. and the California Employers Association (CEA) in Beverly Hills, California. This event will cover recent, drastic changes to employment law and how such changes may impact California employers.  There will be time for Questions and … Continue reading

Why You Need an Emergency Fund

by Nathan Young @ Check City

Most financial experts agree that you need enough in emergency savings to cover 3-6 months of expenses. But according to a 2013 survey by Bankrate.com, 76% of Americans don’t have enough savings to last 6 months, 50% have less than … Continue reading

Cell Phone Security Apps and Other Ways to Lock Down Your Phone

by Nathan Young @ Check City

The first iPhone was released June 29, 2007, ushering in a new era of mobile gadgets. Smart phones have allowed us to take the internet with us wherever we go, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of apps designed … Continue reading

California Employers Beware: W-2 Phishing Scams Skyrocket During Tax Season

by Jennifer L. Mora @

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers have been scammed into sending sensitive W-2 information to malicious third parties. This article outlines the key steps California employers must immediately take if subject to this unfortunate event.

In 2003, California became the first state to enact a data breach notification law: the California Data Protection Act. Since then, over 30 states have enacted similar statutes … Continue Reading

The History of the Dollar Bill

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

One of the most intriguing and recognizable aspects of the United States of America is its currency. The dollar bill especially holds keys to the country's story. With its unique look and esoteric symbolism, the dollar bill could even be considered a legitimate work of art. The origin and subsequent modifications of the first dollar bill offer an interesting look into the history of a burgeoning sovereign nation. A simple examination of early currency, including dollar bills and silver certificates, can help history buffs and inquisitive consumers understand the social, political, and financial trajectory of a nation intent on supporting itself.

The First Dollar Bill

The path toward adopting the dollar bill was one that was littered with obstacles. While the government was keen to incorporate paper money into its currency system, the public was skeptical and didn't initially trust that paper could be just as valuable as traditional silver and gold. Eventually, paper currency became successful, at least in part due to war efforts. As the government saw an increased need to finance the Civil War, they began issuing paper notes, which could be instantly traded for coins when requested. The existence of these notes and their introduction into society is what paved the way toward the modern currency system we enjoy today, including notes that are worth different different denominations. Salmon P. Chase graced the front of the first dollar bill, which was issued in 1862. As the treasury secretary under President Abraham Lincoln, he was a fitting choice to usher in this new and modern type of paper currency.

Designs and Symbols on the Dollar Bill

The first dollar bill's design was notable for its distinct look. Its large size, portrait of Chase, and prominent designs gave it an appearance that mirrored modern bank checks. While current dollar bills have a treasury seal printed with green ink, the original seal was printed in red. Thirty-four spikes around the seal were intended to symbolize the 34 states of the Union at the time. Phrases were incorporated into paper money in both English and Latin. As the nation grew older, more modifications to the dollar bill's design were made, including the later adoption of the "In God We Trust" motto.

Changes in the Dollar Bill

The year of 1869 ushered in a new era of the dollar bill, as it was redesigned and incorporated one of its most recognizable features: a portrait of George Washington. In order to compensate for rising manufacturing costs, the government decided in 1929 to reduce the size of the dollar bill by approximately 30 percent. In 1990, the government began to invest in security features, including polyester threads and microprinting, on paper currency in an attempt to curb counterfeiting. Interestingly, the general look of the note is dictated by law.

Silver Certificates

As a tactic to try and convince Americans to use paper money instead of coins, silver certificates were issued in 1878. Silver certificates were intended to replace the use of silver coins in everyday transactions and came in varying denominations from $1 to $1,000. As the primary type of currency used in American society at that time, silver certificates became popular and well-known even among circles of skeptical individuals who preferred using traditional hard and weighty coins due to their convenience and the inherent value of the precious metal they contained. Though initial pressings of silver certificates were worth at least $10, the first dollar version of the silver certificate was introduced in 1886 and featured Martha Washington, the wife of George Washington, on its face. Until 1968, silver certificates could be redeemed for their value in silver with the U.S. Treasury. Fluctuations in silver prices in the mid-20th century resulted in Congress discontinuing silver certificates as well as the use of silver in coinage.

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Our Ear in the Crowd: FEHC Hears Comments on New Regulations

by Rabia Z. Reed and Colleen Regan @

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Fair Employment and Housing Council issues regulations to implement California’s employment and housing anti-discrimination laws, including the FEHA, the CFRA, and the Unruh and Ralph Civil Rights Acts. The FEHC also conducts inquiries and holds hearings on various civil rights issues. The latest FEHC meeting was held on December 11, 2017. Our own correspondent was there, and … Continue Reading

High Court Decisions Leave Employers with Uncertainty

by Laura E. Curtis @ CalChamber Alert

California employers are once again left with uncertainty regarding the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual following a California Supreme Court ruling earlier this month. The state high court’s March 5 ruling in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California dealt mainly with how an employer must calculate overtime compensation for an employee who earns both an hourly rate and a flat sum nondiscretionary bonus. In its analysis, the Supreme Court also provided lengthy discussion on whether the DLSE’s manual was binding authority on the courts. The Supreme Court concluded that the DLSE Enforcement Manual is a void underground regulation and not entitled to any deference. However, the Supreme Court held that it still could consider the DLSE’s interpretation if the court was independently persuaded that the interpretation was ultimately correct. In this case the Supreme Court was persuaded and adopted the DLSE’s method of calculating overtime on flat sum bonuses. The DLSE’s method was more favorable to the plaintiff than the federal standard used by the employer. Earlier Decision This is not the first time that the California Supreme Court has opined about the validity of the DLSE manual. More than two decades ago, [...]

EMV Explained in 2 Minutes

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

EMV, chip cards, smart cards—it can all sound a bit complicated. We made a fun, simple video to explain why the U.S. is shifting to chip cards and how Square can help. Watch and share with friends and fellow business owners.

Obama's Plan to Fight Credit Card Fraud

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

We’ve been talking a lot recently about EMV — a more secure payment technology that’s coming soon to the U.S. EMV or chip cards (already the standard around the world) are embedded with a tiny microchip, which is way harder for fraudsters to clone than the magnetic-stripe cards we currently carry. (Here’s an in-depth look at why they’re safer.)

This morning at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Obama signed an executive order that requires all government-issued credit cards and readers to come equipped with EMV technology starting next year. And in response to recent high-profile security breaches, large retailers like Home Depot, Walgreens, Target, and Walmart are moving fast as well, pledging to adopt EMV by early next year.


We’ve got independent, local businesses covered with the same protections. In the coming months, we’ll offer affordable Square Stands and Readers that can process EMV cards. You can sign up here to be notified when they’re ready.

And for a primer on how exactly EMV technology works, watch our video.

Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap

Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap


NPR.org

Federal regulators are cracking down on banks that are offering services called deposit advances. Many argue that the service is the same as payday loans and could lead consumers into a cycle of debt.

Payments 101: How to Get Set Up and Manage Payments [WEBINAR]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

There’s a lot to think about when you start a business — naming, choosing a location (or if you’re online, building a site), determining a business structure, obtaining licenses, registering for taxes. And there’s even more to think about once you’re running it — inventory, payroll, marketing, etc.

But the most important thing to get in order when you run a business is payments. After all, even if you started a business to fulfill a passion, you still want to get paid.

So put this at the top of your list: You need to determine what kind of payments you are going to accept, how you accept those payments, and how you manage those payments.

If it sounds like a lot, don’t worry, we have you covered.

Dave Talach, Square’s head of payment products, recently joined Mark Vega, program manager at BusinessBlocks, for a discussion that covers everything you need to know about payments, including how to get started with a payment system that will grow with your business.

Payday

Payday


Payday

Your taxes pay their salaries. Who gets what and why?

E-Commerce 101: Sell Big with Weebly and Square [VIDEO]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Having a strong online presence and utilizing an omnichannel commerce strategy is increasingly important. So whether your business has been around for five months or 50 years, a website can be a key contributor to your success.

To help you get started, Christina Dam, product marketing lead at Square, recently sat down with Vitaly Odemchuk, head of design at Weebly, and Kim Chappell, Weebly’s head of communications, at General Assembly SF to discuss web design and omnichannel best practices.

They were joined by business owners Paige and Chris Curtis of Alibi Interiors and Jeff and Justin Wiguna of Kiju Coffee, who spoke with the crowd about their e-commerce experiences.

During the event they discussed:

  • Best practices for designing a great website, including creating a catchy headline and selecting key visuals for your site
  • How to build a seamless omnichannel strategy
  • How to optimize your marketing practice to save time and stay creative

This Week’s Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Welcome to our weekly series of must-read small business articles. Every Friday, we’ll be doing just what it sounds like—sharing the articles we think will be the most interesting to Square sellers. (Also, just some fun stuff). Here’s what we’ve got this week:

Trade shows are a stellar way to reach new customers, but to ace them, you’ll need to plan. Entrepreneur shares the top seven ways to get the most out of exhibiting.

The New York Times rounds up the “best small towns in America.” (Shout out to Square sellers in Santa Fe).

On the social media front, here are five small businesses setting the standard of excellence.

Taco Bell just opened their first premium, “fast-casual” offshoot in Huntington Beach, using Square Stand as their register.

The coffee wars rage on. And Starbucks and McDonald’s are turning up the heat.

Could one of these businesses be responsible for the next cronut?

Feel-good profile of the week: This hairdresser spends his weekends giving “ego-boosting transformations” to the homeless.

And finally, we would be remiss not to mention that there’s now a VENDING MACHINE FOR PIZZA.

The Challenges and Triumphs of Starting a Business

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square


We’re thrilled that Square seller Liz Fiedler, owner of Loving Cup in San Francisco, is featured in USA Today as part of their Small Business Saturday section. Below is her interview with our CEO, Jack Dorsey, where they discuss the challenges and triumphs of running a small business.

JD: What was the biggest barrier to starting a business?

LF:
I had no idea what I was doing! I learned as I went, working every shift, every day. My biggest hurdle was bookkeeping.

JD: How did you learn?

LF: Trial and error. I learned from my mistakes and really listened to customer suggestions. Some of our best-selling items were created by employees and customers.

JD: Has the government been supportive and what could they do to help?

LF: I’d love to see lower taxes, especially for small businesses that are just getting started. They seem to give tax breaks to big corporations that have the money to pay more taxes. I don’t know if that’s necessarily fair. Small businesses do a lot for the city, like maintain the sidewalks outside our stores. It would be nice to get something back.

JD: How do you consider your role in the community?
**LF: ** I want to make a product that is good for my customers and the environment. My business is primarily to-go, so I thought a lot about waste. That’s why everything here is compostable.

JD: That’s very cool and real leadership. What advice would you give someone starting a business?

LF: Stick with it. It’s incredibly hard work. You have to do everything, like learn how to replace circuit breakers. Eventually you hit your stride and it’s all worth it.

CalChamber-Backed Bill Helps Minimize California Waste

by Jennifer Barrera @ CalChamber Alert

An Assembly policy committee gave near-unanimous approval on March 20 to a California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill that will reduce the number of surplus household consumer products unnecessarily managed as hazardous waste. Consumers and the environment will benefit if AB 2660 (Quirk; D-Hayward) becomes law. It allows surplus consumer products to be donated or recycled by making explicit that a retail location in California may transport surplus consumer products to a reverse distribution location in compliance with applicable shipping regulations. Current law regulating when a product is deemed waste is vague and has resulted in many retailers taking conservative action and disposing of products as hazardous waste when those products are viable candidates for sale into secondary markets, donation and/or recycling. AB 2660 seeks to clarify the law so that the products can be processed at reverse distribution locations for sale in secondary markets, donation, recalls, or bona fide financial credit. California retailers have settled significant hazardous waste enforcement actions in recent years. This bill does not seek to undo any of the significant progress that has been achieved in improving hazardous waste management following these enforcement actions. Indeed, as part of these enforcement action settlements, industry was instructed to [...]

Into the Weeds: Will California Employment Law Protect Medical Marijuana Users?

by Jinouth Vasquez Santos, Jennifer L. Mora, Fritz Smith and Ryan McCoy @

Seyfarth Synopsis: A proposed bill would amend California employment discrimination law to protect medical marijuana users.

California—already famous (or infamous) as a sanctuary in the immigration area—could soon become a sanctuary for medical marijuana users. A proposed bill would protect medical marijuana users from employment discrimination.

Currently, California employers can deny employment to users of marijuana, even if the use … Continue Reading

California Labor and Employment Updates for 2018

California Labor and Employment Updates for 2018

by glimayres @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

The California Legislature has passed the following labor and employment bills, which will become law effective January 2018. PRIOR SALARY AND PRIOR CONVICTIONS Salary History Information AB 168 prohibits employers from asking job applicants for “salary history information,” which includes both compensation and benefits.  But where an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses salary history … Continue reading

Spot Any Familiar Faces in our New Ads?

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Catch our national TV ads last night? If you’re from Minneapolis or Phoenix, you may have recognized some familiar local faces.

We had a ball filming these ads and getting to know the sellers featured — they’re the true stars of these spots. And we’re glad they had as much fun as we did. “The shoot was really fun for our staff and customers,” says Kelly Sharp, owner of The Barber Sharp in Minneapolis. “We’re so excited to see it on TV.” We second that excitement, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to highlight these thriving local businesses for the whole country.

Spot anyone from your neighborhood? Here’s who’s featured:

Minneapolis
Phoenix

We hope you enjoy the ads — and thanks to these Square sellers for letting us into their world. You rock. And you inspire us every day.

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This Week’s Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Happy Labor Day Weekend, and welcome to our weekly series of must-read small business articles. Every Friday, we’ll be doing just what it sounds like—sharing the articles we think will be the most interesting to Square sellers. (Also, just some fun stuff). Here’s what we’ve got this week:

This guy is launching 12 startups in 12 months. Gives a new meaning to the adage, if at first you don’t succeed … try 11 more times?

He could probably use some sound business advice from the entrepreneurs who shared their secrets for winning on “Shark Tank.” Pro tip: Start with having a plan before you walk in the room.

Speaking of startups, a flight was diverted this week after a fight broke out due to Knee Defender, a new product that prevents passengers from reclining their seats. Viral marketing at its best (or worst, if you were on that flight).

Lots of news this week for small businesses looking to grow online: The Small Business Sense blog has five tips for using Pinterest to market your business. If you want to compete with the Amazons and Walmarts of the world, we recommend this guide to e-commerce for brick-and-mortar retailers or these strategies to help small sellers level the playing field.

Trying to figure out what makes your customers tick? Here are three secrets for making people happy every time.

We posted about this earlier in the week, but this story about a coffee shop in North Dakota that charges based on the honor system is rad. Not only have they not gone bankrupt, they’re making about 15 percent more in profit than expected.

First it put up shutters so we couldn’t casually window shop. Now Abercrombie and Fitch is phasing out its logo to try to boost sales. Next thing you know it won’t be suffocating us with the smell of teenage angst, either.

Finally: a story on firms that are in the awkward position of having to fire a family member. Terminating an employee is never an easy situation. Just imagine having to eat Thanksgiving dinner with that very same employee.

Square Point of Sale: All the Things You Can Do With Payments

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

To make sure you get the most out of your Square Point of Sale, we’ll regularly be posting essential intel, updates, and expert tips and tricks that help you take care of your business.

This one’s all about the foundation of your business: Getting paid. Here are six things to know:

1) You get paid quickly
Sales before 5:00 p.m. PT will usually show up in your bank account the next business day. Weekend and after-hours payments are also speedy. Check out the payments schedule.

2) You can set your close-of-day time
Maybe you close after 5:00 p.m. (say, if you run a bar or a hair salon). With Square’s flexible close of day feature, you can enter the closing time that works best your bookkeeping. Learn how to adjust here.

3) You can give partial refunds
Common scenario: A customer wants to return just one or two items. Simply open a refund in your Dashboard or Point of Sale app and enter the amount the customer would like back. Easy. Learn more about partial refunds.

4) You don’t have to chase down payments
Register’s invoice feature makes invoicing quick and fast for both you and your customers. Just send the invoice via email. The customer enters their credit card info and submits the payment. Voilá. No more headaches. Learn more about invoices.

5) You can take payments when you’re offline
We have you covered when you’re off the grid. Just set your device to offline mode. You can continue to take card payments, and your sales are processed automatically when you regain connectivity. Learn how it works.

6) You can process cash too
You can take cash and check payments, and even process sales even if you don’t have your Square Reader with you. Just enter the information manually. The transaction will process and authorize as usual. Find out more.

Introducing Squares Virtual Terminal Accept Payments On Your Computer
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Five New Payment Terms You Need To Know
11 Reasons You Need a Web POS

Federal Tax Reform Means More Business Taxes for California

by Loren Kaye @ CalChamber Alert

California’s corporate tax base may increase by up to 12% as a result of federal tax reform legislation, according to a study recently released by the State Tax Research Institute (STRI). This means that revenues from California’s corporate income tax could increase by as much as $1.3 billion—without any action by state lawmakers to increase corporate tax rates or income definitions. Larger tax revenues will result from the new tax reform law, which limited deductions and changed foreign tax rules. The federal tax law imposed new restrictions on companies’ ability to deduct interest payments, exchange property without paying capital gains taxes, deduct some fringe benefits and immediately write off future research costs. At the federal level, those changes were far outweighed by the rate cut. According to Karl Frieden, vice president and general counsel at the Council on State Taxation, the study’s sponsor, “The state tax increase for corporations is totally inadvertent.” The windfall from federal tax reform will likely produce even more revenue than would a recently proposed constitutional amendment to impose a 10% surcharge on corporate net incomes of more than $1 million. The avowed purpose of that measure is “to share with ordinary California taxpayers the economic [...]

The Grady Firm, P.C. celebrates its Sixth Anniversary

The Grady Firm, P.C. celebrates its Sixth Anniversary

by gradyfirm @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

On March 19, 2018, The Grady Firm, P.C. celebrated its sixth anniversary.  Founded in 2012, the firm has evolved from assisting startups in the Silicon Beach area of Los Angeles, to adding immigration, employment, and intellectual property law departments with a network over nine of-counsel attorneys in offices in Beverly Hills, Irvine, and San Diego, … Continue reading

How to Build and Maintain Good Credit with Credit Cards

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Credit is a snapshot of how consumers manage their finances. With good credit, a consumer has the ability to get things such as a car or a home. These purchases typically require a loan to pay for them, and good credit ensures that a lender will decide that a consumer is a good credit risk. Poor credit means that consumers won't qualify for loans or the loans may have higher interest rates. It's preferable to build and maintain good credit to ensure purchasing power.

Establishing Credit

  • Credit history includes information about one's repayment history, the length of this history, the amount of debt, the types of credit used, new credit applications, and any defaults.
  • Establishing a positive credit history has many benefits. Having credit available to use can be invaluable in emergencies, and it is often safer to use credit cards for purchases because it eliminates the need to carry cash.
  • Having a good credit history will enable consumers to make large purchases such as cars and houses. These personal business solutions generally require financing over time.
  • Establishing good credit takes time. Maintaining a checking and savings account with a bank is one step toward establishing positive credit history. Getting a credit card is usually the next step in building good credit.
  • An older adult may need to establish credit after a divorce or a spouse's death. Applying for a department store credit card or an oil company credit card may be a suitable place to start.
  • When working to establish credit, open one credit card account and concentrate on making regular, small charges and paying them off in full each month.
  • Credit offers that sound too good to be true likely are. Avoid advertisements for credit that promise unusual financial offers. Often, hidden terms exist in these offers that will negatively impact the consumer.

Maintaining Good Credit

Credit Management Tips

Ways to Raise Your Credit Score

  • Consumers who find errors on their credit report can have them corrected. The credit bureaus and the source of the erroneous information both have responsibilities to correct inaccurate information. Inform the appropriate credit bureau and the company involved to correct errors.
  • Credit repair scams are prevalent. It's possible to raise credit scores without paying a company to assist with this process.
  • Pay down debt as quickly as possible to increase credit scores. Merely moving debt around between various credit card accounts will not improve a credit score.
  • Avoid applying for numerous credit cards in a short period of time. This type of activity can indicate financial trouble to lenders.
  • Take out a small loan with a cosigner. Making timely payments and paying off the loan in full will help raise a credit score.
  • Seek the help of a reputable, nonprofit credit counselor before you become delinquent on accounts. A counseling service can help you restructure your debts to resolve and prevent issues.

Transcript of the Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Call

by admin @ Community Choice Financial

Click the link below to see the transcript. View PDF

Why La Colombe Chose Square to Help Fuel Its 100+ Location Expansion

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

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Todd Carmichael has lived and breathed coffee for 32 years. He’s the founder of La Colombe, a coffee shop with 12 locations across Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and D.C, and the host of the Travel Channel series Dangerous Grounds. Fueled by Carmichael’s passion to push the U.S. coffee scene forward, La Colombe sits at the forefront of the ethical trade movement and regularly dabbles in new terrain like brewing the first-ever latte on tap. And it’s all paid off. The company is rapidly expanding, with plans to open 100+ locations across the country over the next few years.

But until recently, there was a problem — La Colombe’s old-school point-of-sale system. Slow, clunky, and confusing, the system didn’t move at the speed necessary to support the company’s growth. What’s more, it was big and ugly — a jarring contrast with La Colombe’s sleek design aesthetic, creating what Carmichael calls a “barrier” between his employees and the customer. So they ripped it all out and replaced everything with Square.

La Colombe is now a Square power-user, using Employee Management to streamline operations and manage employees across all its locations. And as La Colombe expands to 100+ locations, Square will be there to support it with our ever-growing suite of sophisticated tools for larger businesses.

As we were helping La Colombe make the switch to Square (we have to admit, it was satisfying to rip everything out), we caught a few minutes with Carmichael. Below is our interview, where we talk coffee, design, and why Carmichael chose Square.

Interview Excerpts:

How did you decide it was time to expand?

I’ve come to the idea that America deserves better coffee. And I believe that we are the people to deliver on that promise. But I can’t deliver on that promise alone — I need partners. I need people who understand. We couldn’t have done that type of expansion without tools like Square. It’s impossible. Without you guys I probably wouldn’t succeed.

Why did you make the switch to Square?

You can’t make beautiful coffee over the Berlin Wall. In so many ways the old-school register was that. I’m going over these huge barriers — and that’s not what it’s about. You and I right now are talking without anything between us. That’s what Square offers to me.

Customer experience seems to be at the top of your priority list

What counts is making transactions quickly. Let’s get that part done and go to the part that counts — the interaction between us. I’m not just seeing the top of your head over a huge register. Architecture and design matters. It tells a story about who we are, which is about interaction with our customers. Square is beautiful, small, and quick.

Why is design so important?

I felt like my old register system were these anchors at the end of chains — and I’m floating on this beautiful ship. You guys have come along and you’ve changed that, you’ve caught up with me.

What does the switch to Square mean for your business?

First off, I know how to actually operate Square. I want mobile people and I want people out front. I’d like you to come into my café and have a great experience. Square makes my cafés a happier experience. It’s a fact.

Learn how to put Employee Management to work for your business. Get started with a 30-day trial.

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Patent and Trademark Information for Your Business

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Trademarks

The first numbered patent was created in 1836. Since this time, businesses and manufacturers have begun trademarking products and services as a means of setting them apart in the marketplace. Companies can trademark logos to protect and distinguish them from other business symbols. An organization uses a business trademark as it builds a company image. Corporate symbols that are trademarked are protected from unauthorized use by other parties under trademark law. Filing for trademark protection involves submitting a trademark registration through the Patent and Trademark Office, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The process involves a business meeting the requirements for a trademark prior to protection. These requirements state that trademark use must be connected with commerce. In addition, a mark must be distinctive. It must specifically identify or distinguish goods as being connected with one company.

Copyright

Original works of authorship such as music, books, academic writing, and other intellectual projects fall under copyright protection. Copyright law covers original works that are either published or unpublished. Visual arts also fall under the parameters of copyright protection. Copyright basics state that any work that someone created after January 1, 1978, has automatic copyright protection from the moment the person created it. This protection lasts for the term of the creator's life plus 70 years after death. Anything created before 1978 also has federal copyright protection under the same intellectual property guidelines. Some copyright exceptions exist. Under the definition of copyright, these exceptions include any works that have not been written or recorded. Other exceptions include short phrases, slogans, titles, and lists of ingredients. Common property that cannot be traced to a specific origin or originator also escapes copyright law. Copyright violations are commonly known as piracy. Piracy issues are widespread thanks to the easy availability of intellectual property on the Internet. Copyright law also covers computer software, giving the copyright owner rights to reproduction, distribution, and display of the software.

Patents

When an inventor or researcher designs a new product or invention, a patent license can protect the property and the rights of the inventor. The Patent and Trademark Office grants patents for new and useful inventions that are determined to be "non-obvious." Patent law states that the patent period spans 20 years from the date an inventor files a patent application. The patent gives the inventor the exclusive rights to the invention, which prevents others from making or selling the item during the patent period. Patents granted by the United States are valid only in this country. Three types of patents include utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. After creating an invention, an inventor or researcher can begin the patenting process. This process involves determining whether the item is patentable. Specific patent rules are in place, establishing required criteria for a patent. After determining that a product is patentable, the next step involves conducting research of patents to see if someone else has already patented the item. Searching for patents can be a time-consuming process. Some people opt to hire a patent agent to assist with the process of finding patents. After concluding the research phase, the next step is filing for the patent with the Patent and Trademark Office.

Branding Your Business

Awareness about branding has grown in the business world in recent years. More companies are realizing that their brands are an important and valuable asset, and they are setting branding priorities to achieve goals. In the most basic terms, a brand represents a company to consumers. Consumers can see a brand and have an immediate idea about a company's reputation and the products or services provided. Brands also represent the marketing efforts of a company. A number of brand myths exist. Brands are not logos or identities in and of themselves. Instead, brands are the customers' ideas and feelings about products, services, and companies. As companies seek to define their corporate brands and to create brand identity, it's important to create a defined brand strategy to achieve these goals. Branding a business entails creating a company personality and defining company characteristics and values as a public entity. This process will likely involve branding new products as they are developed and released. Fusion branding is another relevant process, which involves moving forward after merging companies. Better branding doesn't just happen, but with helpful branding tips, business owners can create viable and reputable identities that resonate with consumers. A professional website with credit card processing available and an active blog are among things that are useful to have when branding a business.

Real Businesses, Real Stories: Check Out Our New Ad Spots

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Square sellers contact us through email, Twitter, and Facebook on an almost-daily basis to thank us for helping them improve their businesses. As part of our new TV campaign — now airing nationwide — we met three of these sellers in person to hear their stories and share them with the world.

If you’re from New York, Boston, or Los Angeles, you may spot some familiar local faces. Tod Wilson, owner of Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory in New Jersey, took us behind the scenes at his bakery (the sweet potato pie is a must-try — trust us). Jim Brock of Boston Home Inspectors let us follow him around his home inspection rounds (don’t worry, we didn’t walk under any ladders). And Woody Lovell of L.A.’s The Barbershop Club showed us the art of a perfect shave.

We’ll be featuring interviews with Tod, James, Woody, and others over the coming weeks on this blog, centered on what they’ve learned as they’ve built these thriving businesses. And we’d also love to hear from you. Tell us how Square has helped your journey on Twitter with hashtag #SquareStories and we could feature your story.

Here’s the spot with Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory. To watch all of the commercials, head to squareup.com/stories.

How to Sleep Better in 6 Simple Steps

by Nathan Young @ Check City

Whether you are dealing with a newborn baby or crazy partying neighbors, you know that sleep is precious—and you may not be getting enough of it. To truly reap the benefits of sleep, most people need 8 hours each night … Continue reading

How You Helped Us Build Square Capital

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square


Accepting credit cards is a crucial part of running a business—but it is only one part. Buying new equipment, expanding to a new space, and hiring more employees pose exciting and often expensive challenges. That’s why today we announced Square Capital, a program designed to make it quick and easy for independent businesses to get capital they need to grow.

In building the program, we spoke with hundreds of businesses about the challenges they’ve faced getting and investing new capital.

Here’s what we heard and how it helped us build the program we launched today:

You think in terms of dollars, not interest.

When it comes to getting capital, the important questions are: how much money will I get, how much will it actually cost, and will it help me grow? For example, Follicle Hair Salon is a popular salon in San Francisco who were looking for ways to help their business grow. They assessed their salon costs and used Square Capital to move into a larger space and add 12 new salon chairs. They knew the total amount of the offer and the exact cost upfront, and since that cost never changed, the math was easy. With each salon chair bringing in between $5,000 to $8,000 a month, the new cash flow ensured the advance quickly paid for itself.

You have big ideas—but need money to get started.

One of our first Square Capital businesses, art and clothing store Zero Friends, was rejected by a loan officer because the company “just puts monster art on t-shirts.” They knew there was demand for their product—they just needed the initial cash to get going. With Square Capital, Zero Friends was able to double the inventory they brought to a recent comic book convention, which let them double their sales. We believe in independent businesses like Zero Friends and their “monster art on t-shirts.”

Your Time = Money.

We heard it over and over: For growing businesses, every hour counts. Caroline Bell, owner of Cafe Grumpy in New York, said they spent more than six months applying for a loan. With Square Capital, there’s no application process and Cafe Grumpy got their money the next business day. They used the money to open a sixth cafe. (If you’re in Grand Central station, you should stop by!) Because payments are automatic, business owners like Caroline can spend time—and money—on more important things, like chatting with customers, training employees, and growing their business.

We’re extending new Square Capital offers every week to sellers already running their business with Square. The first step to becoming eligible for Square Capital is to download Square Point of Sale for either iOS or Android and start running your business with Square today.
We’re excited by the success of some of the earliest uses of Square Capital and can’t wait to see what the future holds as we expand the program.

Learn more about the program—including eligibility—in our Support Center.

Square Capital Now Offers Flexible Loans To Boost Lending
Square Capital 1 Billion In Funding To Over 100K Sellers
Tips For Small Business Financing How To Get Noticed By Square Capital

IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates Increase in 2018

IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates Increase in 2018

by rajhour @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are the following: 54.5 cents per mile for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck for business miles driven (up 1 cent from 2017). 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (up 1 cent from 2017). 14 cents … Continue reading

Four Ways California Can Help Get More Grads Ready for College, Career

by Loren Kaye @ CalChamber Alert

The California economy is humming. Unemployment is at historic lows, even in many parts of the state often left behind in good times. But even this silver lining has a cloud. Parts of the Bay Area and Southern California are beyond full employment, which means some California regions are creating more jobs than the labor force can support. Talent-Worker Mismatch As Robert Kleinhenz of Beacon Economics wrote, “with the state at full employment, job growth and general economic gains will largely be constrained by the availability of workers. This is good for workers who might achieve pay increases in the coming months and quarters, but it poses a challenge for firms that want to grow but cannot because they are unable to hire the necessary workers.” Nationally, half of open, available positions go unfilled because the candidates aren’t available. At the same time, 40% of businesses can’t take on more work because they can’t fill open jobs. We have an extraordinary mismatch between our talent needs and the pipeline of new or potential workers. The flip side is that many of our students face a different future. Only 40% of the state’s 2.2 million young adults hold an associate’s degree [...]

The Grady Firm, P.C. Adds Global Expansion and Relocation Advising Department to Support Multi-National Corporations

The Grady Firm, P.C. Adds Global Expansion and Relocation Advising Department to Support Multi-National Corporations

by glimayres @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

In response to multi-national corporations’ growing need to move personnel across borders, The Grady Firm has emerged as an outsourced Global Mobility Department that provides expansion and relocation services to innovative companies.  The Grady Firm helps companies relocate their employees from abroad to the United States, while assisting companies with their expansion to several countries … Continue reading

Harnessing the Power of Customer Feedback and Reviews [Webinar with Yelp]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Customer retention is very important for your business’s bottom line and its long-term growth. You’ve probably heard that it costs at least five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain a current one. But did you know that a five-percent increase in customer retention can boost profits up to 95 percent? (That’s according to a study by Bain & Company.)

There are a lot of ways that you can bolster retention — social media, email marketing, a blog, a loyalty program — but feedback is one of the key ways to make sure your customers keep coming back. Whether it’s through online reviews or email, feedback lets your customers feel heard and gives you insight into how to improve your products, services, and customer experience. It’s a win-win.

Get Started with Square Loyalty

Keep customers coming back.

Try it free for 30 days

We partnered with Yelp to dig into how businesses can use feedback to create loyal customers — focusing specifically on public online reviews and private customer feedback. In our webinar (video above), we cover:

  • Why feedback matters
  • How to respond to feedback
  • How to get more feedback
  • How to use feedback to grow your business

Want to learn more about customer retention? Here are some other articles to check out:

The Easiest Ways to Get More Repeat Customers
Building Customer Loyalty — Best Practices That Drive Results
How to Turn Loyal Customers into Brand Evangelists

Get the Most Out of Square: The Hottest New Features We Launched in October

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

We’re constantly releasing tools to help you start, run, and grow your business. In October, we launched a bunch of cool new features that already have thousands of power users.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of Square, here’s an October highlight reel of what’s new.

Sick leave management in Square Payroll

Square Payroll now makes it easy to manage your sick leave and time off policy. Just set your paid time off policy for each team member, and Square Payroll takes care of the rest. Each time you run payroll, your employees’ remaining balance is calculated and included on their pay stub. When employees take time off, simply enter the hours they’re out, and those hours will be paid in your next pay run. (This feature is currently available in California.) Learn more.

Sync your online and in-store inventory levels

Now you can quickly import items from your Square account to your Bigcommerce-hosted online store. And when you connect Square with Bigcommerce, you can instantly reconcile inventory levels when you make sales both online and in-store. Learn more.

New time-saving invoicing features

To help you close the books faster, you can now add multiple recipients to your invoices and easily apply discounts. We’ve also made the cancellation policy on invoices a lot more flexible. Learn more.

Quickly take your brick-and-mortar store online

Our new integration with Ecwid makes it supersimple to take your brick-and-mortar store online in minutes — and start selling across other channels like Facebook and Tumblr. Learn more.

Customer activity in Premium Profiles

In your Customer Directory, Premium Profiles now include a running list of recent customer activity. You can see when and what your customers buy, which emails you’ve sent them, who is sending you feedback, and more. Premium Profiles are available to Customer Engagement Pro subscribers. View your Customer Directory.

California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law: What Employers Need to Know

Sell Online and In-Store? Our New Bigcommerce Integration Helps Streamline Inventory Logistics

How to Craft a Stellar Holiday Marketing Campaign

How to Set Goals the Easy Way

by Nathan Young @ Check City

Do you ever feel like you are doing the same things day in and day out? Have you ever stared at the clutter and thought about the futility of trying to resolve it? Do you ever find yourself doing laundry, … Continue reading

2017 Trade Figures Show California Maintains Position as Top Exporting State

by Susanne T. Stirling @ CalChamber Alert

The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2017 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2017, California exported $171.9 billion to 229 foreign economies. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods and services by California-based companies, to exports and imports through California’s transportation gateways, and to movement of human and capital resources. U.S. Trade Facts In 2017, combined goods and services imports hit nearly $2.9 trillion and services by itself $538.1 billion: food, feeds, and beverages ($137.8 billion); capital goods ($640.6 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($359 billion); and consumer goods ($602.2 billion). The U.S. also had record imports from 47 countries, led by China ($505.6 billion), Mexico ($314 billion) and Italy ($50 billion). In 2017, combined goods and services exports were the second highest on record at $2.3 [...]

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… Terminations This Holiday Season”

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… Terminations This Holiday Season”

by glimayres @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

Given the recent tidal wave of allegations of sexual harassment in politics, the entertainment industry, and social media, employers may want consider the following guidelines in preparation for their company holiday events where alcohol and off-site events may create a combustible mix of unwanted behavior by one employee to another. Holiday parties may be an … Continue reading

Recent Pay Equity Cases Show That Such Cases Are Ill-Suited For Class Treatment

by Jeffrey Wortman and Maria Papasevastos @

We’re pleased to share a thoughtful look at whether lawsuits alleging illegal pay disparities under California law are suitable as class actions. This post, recently featured on Seyfarth’s Pay Equity Issues & Insights Blog, provides some compelling reasons to argue that they’re not.     

Seyfarth Synopsis: Over the past few years we have seen groundbreaking changes to equal pay laws across … Continue Reading

California Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, 2018

California Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, 2018

by glimayres @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

California Minimum Wage Rate Increase Beginning on January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in California will increase to the following: Employers with 25 employees or less must pay employees at least $10.50 per hour, and Employers with 26 employees or more must pay employees at least $11.00 per hour. Keep in mind that some California counties and cities have … Continue reading

This Week’s Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Welcome to our weekly series of must-read small business articles. Every Friday, we’ll be doing just what it sounds like—sharing the articles we think will be the most interesting to Square sellers. (Also, just some fun stuff). Here’s what we’ve got this week:

Here’s how to tell if your website needs a revamp. Hint: You can’t read it on your phone.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know Apple’s unveiling a new iPhone next Tuesday. Gizmodo rounds up everything we think we know about the iPhone 6.

Americans spent $55.7 billion on pets last year. So maybe it’s not so surprising that there’s now a food truck for dog treats, complete with a canine selfie station. At least duck face isn’t possible.

Just like you should never ask someone if they’re pregnant, you should never assume somebody’s getting married. Words to the wise to Pinterest this week.

Soon, you’ll never get the question “paper or plastic?” again in California.

Here’s what it looks like when an entire small town is converted into a Bud Light beer ad (it’s not so cool).

Yelp dodged a bullet. (Its reputation is not so lucky).

Starbucks is getting fancy. They announced plans to open a new upscale location in Seattle, along with an express mini store in New York.

Beginners Guide to Coin History

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Before paper bills, credit card processing, complex taxation, and electronic money, there was the beautiful, simple, artistically crafted coin. Its history aligns uniquely with the evolution of civilization. Today, its use is widespread in most major regions and countries of the world. While the way that they're made has evolved, the basic concept of exchanging bits of metal for goods has lasted through the ages and become an essential part of the human experience.

Early Coins

The first move away from the barter system may have been the exchange of cowrie shells, which eventually evolved into metal nuggets and pieces. Metal money exchanges started in the form of small knives and tools in China. In the 5th century BC, Chinese hollow spade money was commonly used. While not using "coins" per se, these were some of the first exchanges of valuable, standardized metal materials. This eventually evolved into the recognizable, rounded Chinese coins. In the west, the first official, minted currency was possibly the famous Lydia coin, which was created in modern Turkey and featured an image of a lion. It was made of gold. These were pounded out with a hammer and were create for King Croesus. In the greater history of money, this was a very important next step to opening up the Mediterranean to trade and an exchange of goods and ideas. In the next centuries, coins began to be exchanged and accepted on a global scale.

Types of Coins

While paper money started to become the dominant currency in China as early as the 13th century at the behest of Emperor Kublai Khan, coins were absolutely essential to several empires, which all had their own mints. In the Persian Empire, the coin of choice was the daric. In Greece, the ancient currency was the drachma, which is still used in its modern form today. In Rome, on the other hand, the currency was based around the silver denarius. During and after the fall of Rome, in the Byzantine Empire, the major coin was the golden solidus, which was also known as the nomisma. In China, the coin design stayed by and large the same, in the form of a circle with a square hole, which was called the ban liang coin. In the Renaissance, the florin was quite common, and the pound was used in England.

How Coins Are Made

Throughout history, coins have traditionally been struck using blanks and a set of dies. Many types of dies have been used throughout history. The Romans made popular a hinged set of dies that joined together like tongs. The dies were made out of a harder metal than the softer coin materials, which were often made from alloys of gold, silver, copper, or bronze. The blanks were cut to consistent, uniform thickness. Then, the material was placed inside the die and struck with a large hammer or a set of machinery that involved pulleys. Eventually, the fly press made this method much faster and easier. Modern American coin production is a little bit different. It closely resembles a manufacturing process. Large sculptures are made for the dies in clay and plaster, then created as epoxy models, which, using digital machinery, are used to create the metal dies. Rather than being formed by cutting ropes of metal, coins are punched out of long metal sheets. Production then moves at a lightning pace (with the press stamping about 1,750 coins per minute). In other countries, like the U.K., the coin-making process is treated with a high level of respect and combines hard science and art to create consistent, flawless pieces. While we may no longer feature the gods and goddesses that so often frequented ancient coins on our money, the basic methods of coin minting have mostly stayed the same.

Collecting Coins

Coin collecting has become a popular hobby in the U.S. and many other areas of the world, possibly because coins have been made for thousands of years and seem timeless. Modern coin collectors especially love lesser-known, rare coins, which are specific to a time and place in history. Collectors are often fascinated not only by the age nor necessarily how much a coin is worth but by the beauty of the dies and the uniqueness of every piece. Some collectors treasure the imperfect, ancient coins that were just barely folded out of lumps of flawed alloy, whereas others want the rare U.S. pieces that were examples of exquisite craftsmanship but just never became popular. If you're thinking about getting started collecting coins and joining numismatic groups, always keep in mind the story of each piece. Successful coin collecting should inherently be about education and understanding both how these coins were made and their place in the history of civilization.

History of Money and Payments
History of the U.S. Currency
Square Reader to Be Featured in the Smithsonian’s “Value of Money” Exhibit
The History of the Dollar Bill
The History of the Trade and Barter System

Montana Matters: Billings Depot – Taste of Billings

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

The historic Billings Depot is featured on Avitus Group’s Community Segment Montana Matters. Thank you to Executive Director Jennifer Mercer and her team for helping to preserve the history in downtown Billings via fundraising events like the Taste of Billings February 24th, 2018. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit the Billings Depot’s website. […]

Non Direct Payday Loan Lenders In California

by WilliamJohnson287 @ Online Payday Loans In California

These companies are not installment lenders or payday lenders. They may claim to offer online loans in California but that’s not the case. These sites will simply attempt to match you with a prospective lender that funds online loans California. This is all based on your completed online payday loan application. These types of sites […]

The post Non Direct Payday Loan Lenders In California appeared first on Online Payday Loans In California.

Show Them the Money! California Employer Responsibility for Payday, Overtime, and Wage Statements

Show Them the Money! California Employer Responsibility for Payday, Overtime, and Wage Statements


The Grady Firm, P.C.

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. California employers are required to follow the following state and federal laws regarding paydays, final paychecks, overtime, and wage statements. As failure to do so ca…

Robots Are Taking Our Jobs! UBI and the Future Workplace

by Rabia Z. Reed @

Seyfarth Synopsis: From Mark Zuckerberg to the mayor of Stockton, the concept of Universal Basic Income is catching fire. What is this newfangled concept, and what can employers expect in the new emerging economy?

UBI – What Is It?

Universal Basic Income—“UBI”—is a form of social security, or a citizen’s stipend, to ensure everyone with a basic income from the … Continue Reading

State of Judiciary Address Highlights Civil Justice Reforms

by CalChamber @ CalChamber Alert

The funding boost proposed in the state budget plan for the coming year will help the judicial branch continue reforms to provide access and fairness to court users, California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye told lawmakers in her State of the Judiciary address on March 20. After years of funding cuts, the 2018–2019 state budget proposed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. grants the state’s judiciary an additional $150 million for critical trial court operations and commits to funding construction for 10 new courthouse projects in the next two years. Funding Civil Justice Due to limited resources in past years, the judicial branch focused primarily on criminal matters and civil court services took a “back seat,” greatly delaying civil dockets, Cantil-Sakauye said. Civil justice addresses claims for personal injury, discrimination, retaliation, misconduct, and lost jobs, among others. Delays in civil cases, Cantil-Sakauye stressed, meant that children, elders, veterans, businesses and constituents were left behind. Thanks to the proposed $123 million in increased funding, the Chief Justice said, the trial courts will have the flexibility to restore services and resolve the backlog of cases in a timelier manner. She announced a three-tiered civil justice reform initiative: • The first tier of [...]

Pay Schedule

Pay Schedule


Respite Inc.

   2018 Payday SchedulePaydays are every other Thursday, with timesheets due no later than 5:00pm on Monday of that week, even if it’s a holiday, but can be submitted any time before the deadline. A seven day work week is from midnight Saturday/Sunday to

Mobile Network Security? Yes.

by Charlie Smith @ Avitus Group

Your company’s network security is the dike holding back the cybercrime flood. If there’s a crack anywhere in the dike (and no little Dutch boy to plug the hole with his finger), your entire network is at risk. So, what does that mean for your company now that we’ve entered the mobile-network age? Desktop computers […]

Wage Paydays and Pay Periods: The Law in California Explained

Wage Paydays and Pay Periods: The Law in California Explained


California Work Lawyers

California is often considered a progressive state, with a relatively high minimum wage, strong protections for employees, and a general embrace of unions and collective bargaining. In keeping with this reputation, California has fairly strict laws concerning when and how employers must pay employee

Hot Indian: A Food Truck That Doubles as a 'Mobile Innovation Lab'

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

When Amol Dixit set out to bring contemporary Indian food to the masses of Minneapolis, he knew accepting credit cards would be critical to make sales and keep the line moving. He chose Square for its reliability and the “wow moment” with customers.

Square quickly became more than a way for Amol to get paid. With so many food trucks in the Twin Cities, Amol treats the Hot Indian truck as a mobile innovation lab—and Square’s free sales reports help him make informed decisions on when and how to change up his menu.

Watch his story:


Learn more on how to open a restaurant and the key ingredients to restaurant performance.

Aurora 8 TV Support Local: Business Services Help Local Dental Practice

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

Hosts Lane Lyon and Wendy Brockman bring us this month’s Support Local segment, Powered by Avitus Group on Aurora 8 TV. The topic: business services. As the hosts say, if you are a baker, you want to bake, if you are a contractor, you want to build. The paperwork and office stuff, not so much…but […]

Avitus Group Celebrates 2 Years in Miles City, Montana; Invests Heavily in Technology & Resources

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

Avitus Group Announces Full-Service, Fully Staffed Tax Office Serving Miles City and Beyond Read our official PRESS RELEASE for more details. Following two years of investment in its acquisition of Rowland, Thomas & Co., professional business services provider Avitus Group is announcing a fully staffed tax office in Miles City, Montana tied into the company’s national […]

Easy Payday Advance in CA | Almost 100% Approval | Up To $255 in Minutes

Easy Payday Advance in CA | Almost 100% Approval | Up To $255 in Minutes


Check Center

Get quick cash when you need it to help with unexpected expenses with a Check Center payday advance. With an easy to qualify payday advance from Check Center we have almost 100% approval rates that could get you up to $255 dollars in minutes. Stop by one of our 17 locations to find out more!

Celebrating Local Business Growth With Square Capital

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

To start your own business, you need a combination of hard work, creativity, and guts. You probably also need some money.

We’ve extended nearly $50 million to more than 10,000 independent businesses through Square Capital, our financing program. With a new investment from Victory Park Capital, we’re now able to support even more sellers.

To celebrate the businesses that are growing with Square Capital, we’ll be sharing their success stories over the coming months. We’re starting with jux·ta·pose, a women’s fashion and accessories store in Tampa and one of the first recipients of Square Capital.

jux·ta·pose is the brainchild of sisters Lindsay and Kallie Wesley. They were killing it at their Hyde Park Village location and started to set sights on opening a second store.

They applied for a small business loan and were denied. Among other reasons, the bank told them that they didn’t have enough credit history to qualify (both sisters are in their mid-20s).

Square saw a different story. With a deeper understanding of jux·ta·pose’s sales history and growth numbers, we recognized their potential and extended them capital. “Square believed in us when no one else did,” says Kallie Wesley.

Come this fall, we’re pleased to report that jux·ta·pose will be opening a second store in St. Petersburg, Florida—thanks in part to the capital they received from Square. They used the money to build out the new location, hire a store manager, and add more merchandise.

Now, they’re focusing on what what they consider to be the ethos of their business—offering merchandise from local designers. “These types of pieces are a bit more expensive but we always want to support local, local, local,” says Kallie Wesley.

So congrats to jux-tapose. If you ever find yourself in Tampa, be sure to pop in. Their stuff is beautiful.

Square Capital 1 Billion In Funding To Over 100K Sellers
Tips For Small Business Financing How To Get Noticed By Square Capital
Square Capital Now Offers Flexible Loans To Boost Lending

History of Marketing

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

A business that sells products or services must have a way of attracting customers. The process of promoting a company's products or services to gain customers is known as marketing. Successful marketing also goes one step further because a business should also pursue ways to retain customers for future sales. The size of a company determines marketing strategy. Some companies may have a department dedicated to performing this work. Other companies may need to pursue these tasks while performing other work, too.

What Is Marketing?

People who buy products and services must have a way of learning about the various companies that provide them. To succeed, companies must have a plan for advertising products or services so people who want them have the opportunity to purchase them. Successful marketing involves a variety of different tactics, with everything working together to promote products or services and retain customers. In-depth research is the crux of successful marketing because a business owner must have data that indicates that a product or service will resonate with consumers.

History of Marketing and Timeline

Enterprise and economies have a long history dating back to ancient eras. People have been engaging in commerce for thousands of years. Hence, ancient people utilized some forms of marketing as they conducted business. The Industrial Revolution paved the way for more modern forms of advertising and retailing of goods and services.

Print Advertising, 1450s: Print advertising made it possible for retailers to pass out brochures and fliers to potential customers.

Magazines, 1730s:The first magazines were developed and released.

Posters, 1839: France banned posters on private property.

Billboards, 1867: People began renting billboards for advertising.

Radio Advertising, 1922: Businesses began purchasing advertising time on the radio.

Television Advertising, 1941: Records indicate that people began purchasing television advertising at this time.

Telemarketing During the 1950s: Telemarketing was born, with businesses utilizing the telephone to reach potential customers.

Mobile Advertisements Between the 1970s and 1994: Advances in technology enabled new marketing capabilities via the Internet such as e-commerce promotions, database marketing, guerrilla marketing, and computer-oriented spam.

Search Marketing, 1995: Companies began the process of working to promote a business by getting search engines to send traffic to a website. Firms also began utilizing search engine optimization, or SEO, to drive traffic to websites via the use of keywords typed by consumers in search engines.

Blogging, 1998: Businesses and individuals began creating blogs as vehicles to share professional or personal information.

PPC, 2000: Pay-per-click surfaced in this year as an Internet marketing technique in which a company pays a small fee for every click on an advertisement.

Social Media, 2003: Social media websites became popular at this time as a way for people to share information and ideas with others on the Internet, including commercial messages.

Google Analytics, 2005: Google provides website owners with information about people who visit their websites that can help them see if they're reaching their audience.

Types of Marketing

Companies can utilize different types of marketing for promotion. Internet marketing is prevalent with today's advanced technology. This type of marketing includes any promotions that occur on the Internet, such as social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine marketing. Direct marketing includes activities such as cold-calling potential customers, sending newsletters, and purchasing space on billboards. Another marketing strategy includes maintaining a connection with previous customers via thank-you notes and special promotions.

The Role of Marketing

Marketing has a direct impact on sales and a company's overall profitability. Researching sales forecasts will determine how a company plans its production. Careful planning is crucial to ensure that a company remains solvent with expenses and income. Marketing enables a business to learn about its potential customers, which helps it to fulfill the needs and desires of consumers. Marketing also enables a company to test certain products or services to see whether they are successful with consumers. With a positive consumer response, a company can proceed with a sales plan. A meager response might lead to reorganizing a campaign and trying again to test consumer response.

This Week’s Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Friday: We made it. Sit back, put your feet up, and take a minute out of your day to catch up on our must-read news and small business stories. We’ll be here at the end of each week with a roundup of things you may have missed. Here are some articles we found to finish out July.

We never expected to take career lessons from Weird Al Yankovic. Turns out he’s a pretty savvy businessman.

Would you hire these famous people based on their former job applications? Lessons learned from Leonardo da Vinci and Madonna.

On that note, Madonna’s handwritten resume may not have been the only thing that didn’t get her a second-round interview. Here are 10 other ways to blow a first impression.

Our morning routine involves coffee, coffee, and more coffee. How do you get going each day? Here are some tips for starting your day off on the right foot. One thing you might add to your morning routine is doodling during that 9 a.m. staff meeting. New research shows that doodling can help you stay focused, grasp new concepts, and retain information.

Finally, there’s been a lot of chatter this week around planning for retirement. Both the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times report on why you should start thinking about your 401(k) sooner rather than later. There are lots of services out there making it easier for small businesses to get a jump on saving for the future.

FORM 10-Q MARCH 31, 2017

by admin @ Community Choice Financial

Download in PDF format Click below to download files: ccfi-20170331.xml ccfi-20170331.xsd ccfi-20170331_cal.xml ccfi-20170331_def.xml ccfi-20170331_lab.xml ccfi-20170331_pre.xml

History of American Small Business

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

America has always been the land of opportunity. For centuries, people have come to America with the hopes of starting a new life and seizing all of the opportunities that the country presented them with. Every business that we know of today began as a dream, which then turned into a small business. As Calvin Coolidge once said, “The chief business of the American people is business.” These small businesses were the backbone of the country, and that continues to hold true today. Millions of people have started and developed a small business in America.

People who fought to get to America, whether as an immigrant, a refugee, or an explorer, have often had an entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurship in America was seen throughout the country’s development. Great American entrepreneurs like Benjamin Franklin, P.T. Barnum, and Henry Ford had brilliant ideas that they took and used to begin their own small businesses. These Americans took their passion, drive, and capital and turned their ideas into functioning, profit-turning companies. These pioneers in small business set the example for what owning a small business in America would become and proved to many disbelievers that it was possible to follow one’s dreams.

Small business development dates as far back as the 1600s, when Americans would trade crops, supplies, and services. As the nation itself was developing, all businesses were small at that time. Machines were not yet available, and automation was unheard of. Transportation was extremely slow, and banks had not yet been established. America was still working out the groundwork for such things, including taxes. In the 1800s, after the nation become independent, small businesses really began to boom. The monetary system grew along with the burgeoning economy. As businesses started up and offered an increasing number and variety of products, more and more people began to show interest in what was being offered. Sometimes, these people did not have goods or services to barter with. Thus started the development of establishing credit with a small business owner. Credit coins and charge plates began being used in place of cash or the exchange of goods. These credit coins signified that a payment was due at a later date. Soon, credit card processing would be completely modernized and computerized. The credit card processing world began with the first bank card, called “Charg-It,” introduced in Brooklyn in 1946, and evolved with the expansion of a restaurant credit card, called the Diners Club card, to become a universal card accepted by a vast range of retailers.

As America grew, so did its small businesses. With the development of small businesses in the 1970s and 1980s, America was able to prove their stability. Many of the larger corporations at that time could not stand strong in the face of growing foreign competition, but small businesses rose to the challenge. Because small businesses began doing so well, people in the 1980s expressed great interest in entrepreneurship and thus, start-up companies expanded. Around that time, Silicon Valley became the center of the start-up world in California. Venture capital financing became very popular, and many people who had an idea wanted to turn it into a business.

Hundreds of schools across the nation have fostered Americans’ desire to start their own businesses and have since dedicated majors to entrepreneurship and small business ownership. In addition, interest in starting small businesses has inspired organizations like the U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Centers. Such organizations guide small businesses in the right direction so that they can grow and make a profit, and they have branches all over the United States. Organizations that help small businesses began with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), started by Hoover in the times of the Great Depression. The RFC provided loans for businesses that were hurt by the Depression and inspired future organizations that would help small businesses in America. Since their inception, these organizations have guided countless small businesses across the country and supported them in the development of their companies. This support can come in the form of loans and counseling sessions and continues to be offered to the small businesses in America today.

One simply cannot ignore the effect that small businesses have had on America: After all, every major corporation in the country today had to start small. Small businesses have forever changed the business landscape of the country. In fact, they are so important that one week of each year is National Small Business Week. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners across the nation continue to expand and develop new ideas each and every day, and with the ever-changing business model, America is sure to continue fostering unique, profit-turning businesses in the years to come.

5 Ways to Improve Your Odds of Getting a Small-Business Loan
8 Feel-Good Facts About U.S. Small Businesses (with Photos)
Here’s What American Entrepreneurs Really Look Like [INFOGRAPHIC]
The SBA On Why You Should Make the Switch to New Payments Technology
The Top Pain Points for Small Businesses — and How Square Can Help

Thank You For Doing What You Do

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

To all the small-business owners out there: Square thanks you for taking the risk and answering the call to start your own business. We appreciate your desires, trials, and triumphs—everything you do to realize your dreams. You are the reason we go to work every day. This video is a tribute to all the passion, effort, and dedication you put into your craft.

Featured Square Merchants:

  • Beau Bien Fine Foods
  • Astor Row Café
  • Rancourt & Co.
  • Distillery Lane Ciderworks
  • Scarlett Garnet Jewelry
  • SWAT Wildlife
  • Rustica Bakery
  • Whisk: a Sustainable Bakeshop
  • Krewe du Brew Coffee House
  • The Barber Sharp
  • Regla De Oro Gallery
  • Taceaux Loceaux
  • Sump Coffee
  • The Peacock Room
  • Butter Bakery Café
  • Cartel Coffee Lab
  • Hot Indian Foods
  • Just Baked
  • Salt & Cedar
  • Maysles Documentary Center
  • Arbor Care
  • Cherokee Street Bikes

Full Transcript:

“My expectation of my life was different than what it’s become, I was told, ‘You go to school, and you go to college for four years, you’ll get a job, and there’s always gonna be security. That has not proven to be true.’”

“I couldn’t find a job, and when all else fails, work for yourself. It’s my passion, and love. It’s a lot more liberating than anything else you can do.”

“I went into business after college, and started doing a couple little craft fairs, and then you realize I can maybe do this and support myself.”

“My wife and I said, ‘Well, let’s start a coffee shop.’ We dove in with both feet, and it’s history from there.”

“As entrepreneurs, we’re inherently risk-takers. It’s our job to be out there paving the way.”

“The most challenging part of being a small business owner is everything.”

“‘Can I do this on my own?’”

“With all of the reward that’s yours, all the responsibility is yours.”

“There’s nobody else to blame for your successes or failures and that’s a lot of pressure.”

“It can really get you down and it can be very, very hard at times.”

“So there’s lots of surprises, and lots of little pitfalls along the way:”
“finding your customers and marketing,”
“paperwork,”
“all of your bills,”
“the capital to grow,”
“the retail and distribution channels,”
“getting licenses and permits,”
“just having enough time.”

“But, it’s worth it. I love it. I love what I do every day and I feel really happy that this is what I get to spend my time doing.”

“That passion carries you through everything that’s hard.”

“That really is the entrepreneurial spirit is to be able to take a hit and get back up. And that people are willing to take a risk again, and again, and again.”

“Persistence, patience, and dedication would be what you need if you want to be successful as a small business. It’s just forcing yourself to get up and do it every day ’cause you’d rather do this than anything else.”

“It really means a lot to be able to work towards what you ultimately want in life. And it makes me feel really good about what I do.”

“We do one thing, and I think we do it well. And the best part is connecting with that passion every day.”

“It was a really fun journey, and it’s allowed us to grow a lot, and to grow a company that we believe is making an impact on its community.”

“I just really want people to be happy.”

“If you have an idea, you should do it. You should do it.”

“Stick with it. And never give up.”

“This is so the way to go.”

“And I think, anybody could start a business. Anybody could be successful.”

“I do sit down every now and then and watch. There’s a real sense of joy and pride in thinking, ‘I made this. I made this happen.’”

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Assembly Committee OKs More Inspections for Haz Waste Facilities

by Jennifer Barrera @ CalChamber Alert

A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bill that will lead to increased costs for hazardous waste operators passed an Assembly policy committee on March 20. AB 2094 (Kalra; D-San Jose) imposes unnecessary new costs on hazardous waste permit operators and further delays processing by arbitrarily increasing the frequency of inspections for hazardous waste facilities rather than focusing on improving the existing inspection process. The CalChamber and a coalition of industry groups voiced concern about the bill placing additional requirements on the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) when the department is working to clear permit backlogs, trying to implement regulatory reforms, and developing a whole suite of pending regulatory packages. The added requirements would result in additional unrestrained and unreviewable costs being imposed on permittees, the coalition stated in a letter to the committee. In July 2017, DTSC completed a comprehensive, two-year “Enforcement Improvement Plan,” which includes action items DTSC has taken to clearly define its inspection and enforcement processes, including using CalEnviroScreen to identify impacted communities and prioritize inspections in those areas, making inspection and enforcement data available online, and identifying areas for improving the timeliness/quality of inspection reports. Rather than requiring regulations about the frequency of onsite inspections, [...]

History of the U.S. Currency

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Currency became widespread in America during the colonial period. The colonists found that they needed a paper currency to help them manage the bustling trade economy that was going on in the New World. Through the course of history, economies have rested on the currencies that support them. Even in today’s global economy, simple issues like credit card processing require a strong currency to support consumers’ spending habits.

Colonial and Continental Currency

Colonial currency dates back to the late 1600s, when people in the Massachusetts Bay Colony created paper currency to simplify their active trade economy. Other colonies followed this lead, and soon many colonies were using paper money to fund transactions. This currency was to be backed by silver or gold. However, colonists soon found that they could not redeem the currency for these precious metals when they tried, so currency values quickly fell. In 1775, the Continental Congress issued the continental as the new country’s first paper currency. The purpose of this currency was to pay for expenses associated with the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, the value of this currency was questionable because it rested on anticipated future tax revenues, which the country hoped to collect after winning the war. The combination of a lack of backing and increasing inflation took its toll on continentals. This currency lost its value, and colonists lost their faith in currency. Two successive privately owned banks served essentially as central banks for the new country between 1791 and 1836. After Andrew Jackson opted to discontinue the second bank’s charter, the United States entered into a free banking era for the next quarter-century

Demand Notes

With the Civil War looming, the United States needed a way to fund the war. To generate money, Congress authorized new demand notes. These demand notes were the first paper currency issued by the United States government since the demise of the continentals. Demand notes ended in 1862, replaced by legal tender notes, or United States notes. All currency issued since then in the United States continues to be valid and redeemable for face value.

National Banking System

In 1863, Congress passed legislation that established the national banking system. This legislation also established a uniform national currency for the United States. The new law required the national bank to purchase United States government securities, which served as backing for national bank notes. As a part of the new national banking system, Congress established the U.S. Department of the Treasury to manage and oversee the bank notes. In 1869, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was given the responsibility of engraving and printing faces and seals on the banknotes.

The Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Act established the Federal Reserve system as America’s central bank in 1913. President Woodrow Wilson was in office at this time. Federal Reserve notes went into circulation in 1914, taking the place of the now-defunct national bank notes. By 1918, denominations of these new notes spanned from $1 to $10,000. National banks had the authority to issue national currency, which was secured by the purchase of U.S. bonds.

Redesigned Notes

The year 1929 was an important year in the history of U.S. currency. The federal government instituted redesigns that involved making the notes smaller and standardizing designs for each bill denomination. The purpose of these changes was to reduce expenses. In 1957, the words “In God We Trust” first appeared on currency, thanks to a law passed amid Cold War fears. By 1969, the larger denominations, $500 and up, were discontinued.

Newer technology made counterfeiting more difficult thanks to features such as microprinting and a security thread running through bills. Another currency redesign occurred in 1996: New background colors added extra security against counterfeiting. Watermarks on the bills also appear when they are held up to a light. The absence of watermarks would indicate a counterfeit bill. In 2013, the $100 bill received an additional redesign to enhance security. A security ribbon now crosses the bill to the right of Benjamin Franklin’s picture.

Beginners Guide to Coin History
History of Money and Payments
The History of the Dollar Bill
The History of the Trade and Barter System
The US Financial System and Alexander Hamilton

Jennifer Grady, Esq. to Provide Guest Lecture at UCLA’s International Trade and Commerce Program

Jennifer Grady, Esq. to Provide Guest Lecture at UCLA’s International Trade and Commerce Program

by glimayres @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

On November 30, 2017, Jennifer Grady, Esq. will provide a guest lecture to students at the University of California, Los Angeles, International Trade and Commerce Program as part of their course entitled, “Doing Business in the U.S.”  Ms. Grady will discuss corporate formation options for California entrepreneurs, and immigration visa options, including the Specialty Occupation H-1B … Continue reading

Avitus Dental Announces Virtual Billing Services

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

Virtual Billing Services Aims to Alleviate Major Pain Points Experienced by Dental Practices While Improving Profitability New service boosts bottom line while making financial aspect of dentistry easier for doctors and staff; service offers continually educated experts in the ever-changing insurance & billing industry, secure technologies when remoting into practice management software and improved efficiency […]

Introducing Tools to Manage All Your Locations

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square


Opening one store is no small feat. But opening 40? Now you’re in the big leagues. Our mission at Square is to empower you every step of the way as an entrepreneur and help you grow into your ambitions — whether you’re just revving up or already on the road to becoming a full-blown franchise. And today, we’re excited to announce a new, powerful tool for larger businesses — Employee Management.

Employee Management offers a robust set of features that’s on par with what the biggest businesses have in their arsenal — at a fraction of the price. With Employee Management, you can easily oversee multiple locations from within one account, manage your employees, and view and act on detailed information about every part of your business, all in one place.

Here’s what it’s got:

Supercharged sales reports

Now you can filter your sales reports by employee, device, or location. So you can see which employees are ringing in the most, or which location did particularly well that day. You can download CSV files for simple reports or get an end-of-day report.

Open a new location in just a few clicks

Setting up a new location can be a ton of work. But Employee Management makes it much easier. Now you can import your item libraries from other locations, so you can start selling in your new store immediately. It’s also easy to customize item libraries by location — say, if you offer coffee and sandwiches at one of your shops, and only coffee at another.

Customized permission levels

Everyone has their “A team.” With customized permission levels, you can give your stellar employees access to more stuff. Assigning different roles to different employees is a snap to do — it’s all right in your Dashboard. You can assign people to be a Cashier (where they just have restricted access at the register), an Accountant (where they can view sales reports, transactions, and timecards), or an Administrator (where they can manage all aspects of your business). This is a handy feature if you’d like to take a (probably much needed) vacation.

Employee passcodes

You should never have to worry about the safety and security of your business. Employee passcodes keep things locked down. What’s more, you can keep track of who processed each transaction, all from your Dashboard. So it’s easy to keep tabs on what’s going on at each of your locations.

Built-in timecards

Keeping track of your employees’ hours is tedious. The timecards feature puts this on autopilot. Your employees can clock in or out right from the register. And you can monitor those hours (and make adjustments if they’re needed) remotely. So you don’t need to physically be at each of your locations to know who’s been working and when.

Track employee sales

You want to keep your best employees around. But how do you spot your superstars if you’re busy managing 10 locations? Now you can see revenue-per-labor-hour reports to help you find and reward your most efficient employees. You can also view which employees closed which cash drawers, which is generally good intel to have on hand.

Automatic tip reconciliation

Tips are awesome — but they can be a pain to sort out, especially when you’re tired at the end of the day. With Employee Management, you can say goodbye to math problems and speed up your closing time. Because you can see who logged in and out and when, you can easily allocate tips to employees who worked those shifts.

Mobile registers

Having a long line is a good problem to have. To make sure that queue moves quickly, you can outfit your staff with mobile registers. This is particularly helpful if you’re at an event or hosting a pop-up. A quicker line means more sales.

Employee Management is just $5 a month per employee. Get started with a 30-day trial.

#Time’s Up? Not Yet, For Harassment Claims

by Lara A. Levine and Tiffany T. Tran @

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Legislature has introduced a new bipartisan bill, AB 1870, that would give all employees—not just those claiming sexual harassment—three years to file DFEH complaints of unlawful discrimination, instead of the one year provided by current law.

More time to report discrimination

With the #MeToo movement sweeping the nation, California legislators are introducing bills aimed at giving … Continue Reading

5 Tips for Workplace Wellness

by Nathan Young @ Check City

You are surrounded by a long line of hazards at work. You may not think about it (especially if you work in a quiet office). Everything from that nasty vending machine spitting out old candy bars that only mask your … Continue reading

Avitus Group Announces Prestigious Ambassador Program for Employees; Names 16 Ambassadors Nationwide to Represent Company in Local Communities

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

Avitus Group Ambassador Program Encourages Volunteer Involvement in Local Communities as well as Provides Opportunities for Ambassadors to Grow Personally and Professionally For additional information and photos, please read our PRESS RELEASE. “The Avitus Group Ambassador Program is a community of professionals who spend a life-changing year together working, volunteering in our communities and growing both personally and […]

CalChamber States Positions on Pending Ballot Initiatives

by CalChamber @ CalChamber Alert

The California Chamber of Commerce this week announced its positions on a number of initiative proposals that have not yet qualified for the ballot. The CalChamber Board of Directors has taken positions on the following initiative proposals: • People’s Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings—Support. • California Care Act—Oppose. • California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018—Oppose. • Affordable Housing Act—Oppose. • Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act—Oppose. • California Consumer Privacy Act—Oppose. People’s Initiative to Protect Proposition 13 Savings The People’s Initiative allows homeowners over 55 years old to sell their homes, move, and transfer their property tax basis to the new residence. Proposition 13, passed by California voters in 1978, generally limits ad valorem property taxes to 1% of the full cash value of the property plus a maximum increase of 2% per year. The full cash value is the value of the property in 1975–1976 or “the appraised value of real property when purchased, newly constructed, or a change in ownership has occurred after the 1975 assessment.” Selling a home and buying a different home creates a new tax basis. Since 1978, voters have twice tweaked the portability of the Proposition 13 tax basis: • Proposition [...]

Chambers Urge Stronger Link Between Career Education Funding, Work Needs

by Jennifer Barrera @ CalChamber Alert

The California Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of local chambers of commerce are asking legislators to broaden the criteria for career technical education grants to include more activities proven to help prepare students for the working world. The changes would better apply Career Technical Education (CTE) Incentive Grant funding to Linked Learning programs. The CalChamber and local chambers have suggested changes to AB 1743 (O’Donnell; D-Long Beach), which passed the Assembly Education Committee this week on a vote of 6-0. The goal of Linked Learning is to provide graduates with the widest array of postsecondary options, including enrollment into four-year college programs without remediation, as well as apprenticeships, two-year college programs, and certificates, all with the 21st century skills to succeed in the workforce. Need for Skilled Workers California’s long-term economic growth depends on a steady stream of highly skilled workers. Although job growth in California has been robust since the last recession, that growth has slowed recently due to a lack of employable workers. The statewide labor force slowed to a growth rate of 0.6% in 2017, just two-thirds of the average rate since 1990. The slowing has occurred as job openings across skilled and unskilled occupations alike [...]

4 Super Simple Warm Up Exercises

by Nathan Young @ Check City

If you’re born to run, then it may feel like nothing is holding you back once you break past that starting line. But unless you’ve gone through some warm up exercises, you could be setting yourself up for poor performance … Continue reading

Hiring for Growing Businesses [Webinar]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

One of the most important decisions you can make as a business owner is who you hire to support your business’s growth. After all, the person you bring on as a server at your restaurant or as an office manager for your law firm can have a big impact on how your business runs.

Whether this is your first employee or your 30th, a lot needs to happen before you extend an offer to that perfect hire.

You need to consider the expected (what the role entails, what salary and benefits cost, etc.) and the unexpected (the time it takes to train and manage a new hire, the cost of new technology to support things like payroll, etc.)

To help you through that process, Square’s talent acquisition lead, Andrew Trout, teamed up with ZipRecruiter’s senior director of inside sales, Jason Blais, for a webinar about hiring. During the webinar they discuss:

  • How to know it’s the right time to hire
  • How to determine what a new employee actually costs
  • How to optimize your recruitment process to get the right candidates

Exciting News for Foreign Entrepreneurs: The International Entrepreneur Rule Is Back!

Exciting News for Foreign Entrepreneurs: The International Entrepreneur Rule Is Back!

by gradyfirm @ The Grady Firm, P.C.

Great news for foreign  entrepreneurs looking for a way to pursue startup opportunities in the United States! A Federal Judge has blocked an effort by the Trump Administration to delay implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), also known as the Entrepreneur Parole Rule, an Obama-era program that would give international entrepreneurs the opportunity to … Continue reading

The History of the Trade and Barter System

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Items that are used as money often have little value in and of themselves. For example, the paper used to print money is not particularly valuable. Money has value because it is an exchange medium that people understand and accept as such. When everyone accepts that a bill or a coin has value, people can use it as a form of payment to purchase goods or services. Before money existed, people used other systems to perform exchanges. Bartering involves a direct trade for goods and services. Although some aspects of this transaction are similar to the exchange of money, bartering required time as people hammered out the terms of the deal. Utilizing money as the medium for trade simplified transactions significantly. Trade and barter were precursors to the monetary system used in today's society. Although trade and barter may seem almost archaic, they were the business solutions for people who lived before the convenience of credit card processing.

 

Bartering is the process of trading services or goods between two parties without using money in the transaction. When people barter, everyone benefits because they receive items or services they need or want. Bartering also has an advantage because even people without money can get something they need. Bartering might involve trading a service for an item. For example, you could agree to perform yard work for someone in exchange for a bushel of apples from a tree in their yard. When people choose to barter to meet a need, they can save their money for other needs.

 

  • Native American Trade Routes and the Barter EconomyThis lesson plan is great for teaching kids at the middle school level about both the history of Native American tribes and the nature of the barter system, blending concepts into one plan.

  • History of FinanceIn the early days of the American colonies, foreign banks controlled the currency, and bartering was commonplace.

  • American Indians of ND: BarteringPractice a game of bartering with your students, and you'll quickly see the difficulties in negotiation that can sometimes ensue.

  • Trading PostFor much younger students (in grade 4), this lesson plan combines show-and-tell with bartering.

  • What Is Money? – Young students (grades 3-5) will delve into what money is, why currency developed, and how bartering worked.

  • Bartering LessonTeachers can use this printable packet, which is full of useful terms and phrases.

  • Barter and MoneyThis plan is for much older students (grade 10), and delves more into the nuances of bartering and trade.

  • Barter RelationshipsCan you create an equation and mathematically validate a trade? This article delves into that question.

 

Mesopotamia tribes were likely the starting point of the bartering system back in 6000 BC. Phoenicians saw the process, and they adopted it in their society. These ancient people utilized the bartering system to get the food, weapons, and spices they needed. Because of salt's great value, Roman soldiers bartered their services for the empire in exchange for salt. In Colonial America, the colonists used bartering to get the goods and services they needed. Even after the invention of money, people continued to barter.

 

  • Bartering Through the SeasonsThis lesson plan for grades K-5 discusses specifically bartering fabrics and coats during winter seasons.

  • The History of MoneyMost of early monetary exchanges were still a part of bartering systems. Some of the most early accepted currencies were simply valued items: cowrie shells, gold nuggets, and fine metal pieces.

  • The Transition of Barter to Fiat MoneyThe vast transition from bartering goods that had value to exchanging papers backed by what the state or government said had value was a long and arduous one.

  • The Benefits of BarteringBartering still exists today. In the 1990s, it was happening in Russia.

  • The History of MoneyThe development of money is discussed in this lesson plan for grade 1.

  • How Bartering WorksThis source discusses the pros and cons of bartering, and how it still remains useful today.

 

The simplicity of bartering is one of the main advantages of this system. Issues with international trade, foreign exchange, and unbalanced economic power are virtually nonexistent with a bartering system. However, some disadvantages also exist. For a bartering transaction to occur, both parties' wants or needs must coincide to lead them to make a deal. Without a standard measure of value of goods and services, parties in the bartering transaction will need to spend time agreeing on the terms of the deal. It's common for both parties to place a higher value on their own goods or services and a lower value on the other party's items. Trust is also a component of bartering, because the representation of the goods or services offered must be accurate. If something is misrepresented in a transaction, the other party will have little recourse when a problem ensues. When bartering, people may need to store their accumulated possessions to preserve their purchasing power. Depending on the types of items, this might be difficult and inconvenient.

 

 

Because bartering does not involve the exchange of money for goods and services, it might seem like an ideal way to avoid paying taxes on transactions. However, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service informs taxpayers that the fair market value of goods or services received via bartering is considered taxable income. Parties who engage in bartering transactions must report this value as income on tax returns. The IRS requires reporting of bartering for the year it occurs. Failure to report bartering activity could lead to tax penalties.

 

NJBiz Journal Interviews Avitus Group HR Expert Trudi Curcione on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

‘You Don’t Forget’ Incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace are nothing new, but in the wake of recent high-profile examples, it’s a problem being looked at in a whole new way By Gabrielle Saulsbery January 29, 2018 at 3:00 AM A recent study says one in three women have been sexually harassed in the workplace. – […]

New Payment Technology News Roundup: August 2015 Edition

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

From EMV and NFC to the liability shift, there’s a lot going on right now in the world of payments. But we’re here to make sure that you’re prepared. We’re doing that by (1) offering affordable, secure solutions so that you can accept any new form of payment, and (2) making sure you’re in the know about how all of the new changes will affect your business.
We’ve been keeping you up to speed in the New Payment Technologies section of this blog. And now we’re publishing a monthly roundup of what we think are the best recent articles on the subject. So without further ado, here are a few to dig into:

To stay in the loop on everything EMV and NFC, as well as get tips on how to run your business, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Town Square News.

Get Covered for the Liability Shift—Instantly

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

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As a business owner, you’ve probably been hearing some chatter about the liability shift. And that chatter has probably been picking up. That’s because the shift happens on October 1 — two weeks from now.

If you don’t have a handle on the liability shift and what it means for your business, it’s time to listen up. Come October 1, your business could be on the hook for fraudulent chip card transactions if you don’t process the payment using the EMV technology. Previously, the banks accepted this liability, but in fewer than 15 days, it could be passed on to you. Be ready because chip cards are quickly being rolled out to all U.S. consumers.

Accept Apple Pay and chip cards everywhere.

Order the Square contactless and chip reader.

Order your reader now

The liability shift is all in the name of reducing fraud, which is obviously a good thing. For both buyers and sellers, chip cards are a much more secure form of payment than magnetic-stripe cards. But understandably, big changes like this can be anxiety-provoking. Especially changes that involve the word “liability” as it relates to fraud.

But rest easy. It’s easy to get EMV-compliant with the Square contactless and chip reader. It retails for just $49 (other solutions can cost hundreds of dollars) and plugs right into the device you already have.

And here’s what else is cool: Not only does our new reader accept chip cards, it also accepts contactless payments like Apple Pay, which are just as secure, and a lot more convenient.

Aside from bringing you the latest and greatest in secure payment technologies, we’re also here to keep you knowledgeable. Just head to the New Payment Technologies section of this blog to get the lowdown on all things EMV and NFC (contactless payments), or sign up for our monthly newsletter, Town Square News. We want the switch to chip cards to be as painless as possible for businesses of all sizes, so you can get back to selling.

*Published on September 17, 2015

A History of America's Credit Cards

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

The fast-paced financial world of plastic credit cards and their interest rates is relatively new in the grander, larger history of the U.S. Only since the late 1950s have Americans started to use credit, and the craze has resulted in a multimillion-dollar, powerful industry that affects millions of Americans every year. Both merchants and consumers would be completely stuck without the little plastic cards, with slowed transactions and virtually no online purchases. When did we really start using credit cards, and when did this change in monetary systems really start to affect not only our economy but the global economy?

The First "Credit Cards": Tally Sticks

It's very difficult to say when the first credit card existed, as credit exchanges as a concept were around as early as the Middle Ages. They were called tally sticks and were a system of financial record-keeping used when currency, which was heavy, expensive coinage, was not available. These sticks featured notches for the amount of debt owed and were split neatly down the middle, making them very difficult to counterfeit as each one's grain and split was completely unique. Tally sticks were an essential part of tax collection in England for more than 700 years.

The Forgotten Wallet and the Diners' Club Credit Card

The first credit card as we understand it in the modern sense was created as late as 1950. It was called the Diners' Club card. A man named Frank McNamara came up with the idea in 1949 while having dinner in a New York City restaurant. He was caught without his wallet. Urban legend has it that he offered to sign for his dinner, promising to pay for it later, then called his wife to bring over the cash. It is a fact, though, that he created the first consumer-facing credit card company, called Diners' Club.

The Move to Plastic

While most merchants weren't happy with these cards initially, the credit card started a craze that began to take shape in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Diners' Club card was technically a charge card; it required members to pay in full each month. It had been historically made from either cardboard or celluloid. American Express issued the first plastic card in 1959. As a competitor to Diners' Club, the company did very well. Plastic soon became a mainstay. Also in 1959, a new concept was introduced: the concept of the rolling balance, which was revolutionized by MasterCard. Cardholders didn't have to pay in full each month, but allowing rollover would increase fees.

The Development of Money, Metrics, and Convenient Billing

While credit cards started to become common, not everyone could have one in the 1960s. Credit cards began to really take off later on, starting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when conventional loans became too highly regulated. In the 1980s, Citibank moved to South Dakota because of its looser laws in combination with what became known as the Marquette decision, which freed up regulations on how much banks could charge their cardholders in interest. This deregulation allowed more people to get credit cards, and the industry expanded a great deal (for better and for worse).

Future Advancements and the "Smart Card"

While the technology for the so-called "smart card," which has an embedded chip, was developed as early as the mid-1970s, it's only now starting to become mainstream. This technology became widespread in Europe in the form of payphone cards as early as the 1980s. The EMV® system — developed and managed by American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa — has started to be included in cards as of October 1, 2015. This is considered to be a more secure method of transaction, as these cards are more difficult to counterfeit.

Community Choice Financial Inc. Scheduled Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Release

by admin @ Community Choice Financial

Click the link below to see this press release. View PDF

Online Coupons and Other Ways to Save Money with Social Media

by Nathan Young @ Check City

Social media isn’t just the soul-sapping time-waster that haters make it out to be. It can actually be a very useful tool to keep in touch with friends and family, keep up on the latest news/gossip, and keep your wallet … Continue reading

June 2018 Business by Business Summit Aims to Rev up Business Community; Features Keynote Speaker Ken Schmidt, Former Director of Communications for Harley Davidson

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

TICKETS: Go on sale April, 2018.  (Each registrant receives a Montana Hope Bear to be picked up at event) COMMUNITY SUPPORT: 50% of Proceeds Donated to Montana Hope Project LOCATION: Northern Hotel, Billings, Montana  – 19 N Broadway AGENDA: Vendor Village and Lunch Welcome by Emcee Dave Mitchell – “Becoming Resilient” Inside the Minds of Consumers and Business Owners Panel Speed Learning Keynote Address: […]

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument to Define “Independent Contractor”

by Rabia Z. Reed and Ryan McCoy @

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday morning in Dynamex Operations v. Superior Court, a case addressing the legal standard for determining whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee. We expect the Supreme Court’s opinion will be significant for any entity using independent contractors in California.

The Story Thus Far

As … Continue Reading

Streamline Scheduling with Square Appointments [Video]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

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Endless rounds of phone tag. No-shows. A calendar covered in erase marks. These are the headaches of scheduling appointments. And they’re not small pain points. You can lose sales when people don’t show up, waste time on the phone, and even miss out on new customers who don’t feel like calling to book.

To help service businesses spend less time scheduling and more time with clients, we’re excited to announce Square Appointments. The tool is an easy way for your customers to book their own appointments and reschedule existing ones without your help. And to help reduce no-shows, Square Appointments automatically sends text and email reminders to your customers. You can determine how far in advance you want to send them out.

We worked alongside entrepreneurs—from math tutors to salon owners—to pilot Square Appointments. They saw an immediate positive impact on their businesses. Some stats: Out of 200 business owners surveyed, 144 sellers said the system helped generate additional revenue, 124 sellers saved more than 30 minutes per day, and 108 sellers said that now they get 10 percent more appointments per week.

You can test-drive Square Appointments with a 30-day free trial. After that, it’s $30 a month for individual sellers, $50 if you have two to five employees, and $90 for unlimited staff. Square Appointments is available to businesses of every size, even those not using Square Point of Sale.

Square Appointments is rated one of the most popular, user-friendly, and affordable software products for salons by Capterra. Try Square Appointments and see for yourself.

Introducing The Square Appointments App
An Easy Way To Keep Your Appointment Schedule Running Smoothly
New Free Square Appointments Features Make Online Booking Even Easier
Create A Photography Website for Scheduling

Avitus Group & The Alaska Zoo Partner for Valentine’s Day “Bear Hugs” Campaign; Invite Community to Help Make February Brighter for Kids in the Hospital

by Dianne Parker @ Avitus Group

Avitus Group and the Alaska Zoo are sharing the love this Valentine’s Day with children who are spending the month of February at the Children’s Hospital at Providence in Anchorage. The two organizations are partnering to deliver multiple black bear and brown bear animal adoptions paired with stuffed polar bears from the zoo’s gift shop […]

2018 California Legislative Update: It’s Spring! What Bills Have Sprung?

by Kristina M. Launey, Walter Mullon and Melissa Aristizabal @

Seyfarth Synopsis: Dominating this spring’s planting of proposed employment-related legislation are bills aimed at ending sexual harassment and promoting gender equity. Among the secondary crops are bills regarding accommodation, leave, criminal history, and wage and hour law. It threatens to be another bitter fall harvest for California’s employer community.

California legislators stormed into the second half of the 2017-18 legislative … Continue Reading

Business Resources for E-Commerce Entrepreneurs

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

E-commerce is a strong trend across many different industries. The prevalence and availability of the Internet makes retail websites a popular way for companies to sell both products and services. While e-commerce appeals to many people thanks to the ease and low expenses often associated with start-up, it is still important for new business owners to possess basic business skills. Operating an e-commerce business successfully still demands all of the marketing, planning, and management skills that other types of business require.

Starting an E-Commerce Business

Electronic commerce includes any type of transaction that businesses and consumers conduct via the Internet, including credit card processing. With the expanding popularity of online retail sales, many entrepreneurs are exploring e-commerce business opportunities. Just as any brick-and-mortar business needs a plan, an e-commerce business also needs a plan for selling products, services, or information. A feasibility checklist is an excellent way for an entrepreneur to analyze their business solutions and ideas to determine whether their concept makes smart business sense. Many countries are devising e-commerce strategies to help entrepreneurs plan and executive successful business ventures. International guidelines are in place, which provide a voluntary code of conduct for businesses engaging in electronic commerce. Building an inventory and working with manufacturers are just two areas in which an entrepreneur will need to excell when managing an e-commerce business. A number of benefits attract entrepreneurs to e-commerce business. Low start-up costs and overhead expenses are major reasons that many people dabble in this business opportunity, especially since it’s possible to run this type of business without creating a physical storefront to serve customers.</p>

Developing a Strong Business Plan

One of the first tasks of an entrepreneur when organizing a new business is choosing the type of business structure to utilize for the new company. A strong business plan is a vital part of any type of business, including an e-commerce business. Think of a business plan as both a road map and a sales tool for an e-commerce company. With a business plan in place, the company has a clear outline of every goal along with ideas for making the goals happen. The business plan should also include an overview of all resources available for meeting goals. To be functional, the business plan must be in-depth and realistic. A plan based on only the most promising economic conditions would not be applicable or helpful during times of economic downturn. Optimally, a business plan should encompass at least three years' worth of comprehensive information about all activities that should occur to reach goals. An e-commerce business owner should contemplate several key questions when devising a business plan. For example, it's imperative to know who the target customers are, their demographic characteristics, and where they live and shop.

Guides for Business Financial Plans

A financial plan includes comprehensive planning of funding, expenses, and projected profits. Optimally, the financial plan should include an income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and budget. Most businesses, including e-commerce businesses, need financial resources to get off the ground. If more funding is needed than is available, the entrepreneur will need to make a plan and create documentation that will encourage investment. A financial plan includes relevant market research and projections for income and profits. The plan should also show an outline of how recordkeeping will occur for the company, including the person who will keep these records, internal controls for accuracy, and checks and balances for ensuring transparency in finances. A financial plan should outline all needs for funding as well as when the additional capital will be needed. Any repayment terms for financing also belong in the financial plan. Entrepreneurs should avoid the common mistake of underfunding a start-up business. A careful and realistic look at all expenses and expected revenue should provide an accurate financial plan.

Tutorials for Business Marketing Strategies

Plentiful marketing advice exists for e-commerce businesses, and many different aspects deserve the owner's attention. One thing to note is that companies with an active social media presence often appeal to consumers because people like to interact with the business in real time on the Internet. Marketing ideas to promote a product or service should continually evolve to stay fresh. Businesses should engage in brainstorming sessions or use social media to poll potential customers. Providing high-quality content on a website related to products or services can be an effective way to attract customers as well. Some e-commerce businesses market their companies with a blog, which can be an informal way to write about topics related to the business. Branding is another important concern for e-commerce businesses. A part of this brand will be a professional website that shows off a tasteful and current design. Adding press releases to a company website helps promote new business activities. Identifying and watching trends is an integral part of market research. Often, competition is fierce among e-commerce businesses, so focusing on trends that fit into unique company strengths will be a plus for any start-up business. In the process of building a global e-commerce business, business owners also must strive to protect their intellectual property with copyrights and trademarks, as applicable.

Raging Bull: Getting Beat Up On Glassdoor?

by Kristen Peters @

Seyfarth Synopsis: Even if bad Glassdoor reviews have you feeling like you need to fight back, employers should stay out of the ring, and instead implement social media policies that clearly define prohibited behavior and disclosures, while spelling out the consequences for violations. Employers must not retaliate against employees for their lawful out-of-office behavior.

People are used to sharing everything … Continue Reading

Why Loyalty and Punch Card Programs Are a No-Brainer

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square


Basic psychology: People are more likely to frequent businesses where they can get some free stuff. The data backs this up. A recent study by 3Cinteractive found that 62 percent of U.S. shoppers make more store visits or purchases as a direct result of interaction with mobile loyalty programs.

So what’s the holdup for small businesses?

Well, traditional carry-in-your-wallet punch cards are a pain to manage and track. For one, you print out all those cards only to have your customers lose or forget about them. And secondly, it’s pretty impossible to evaluate whether or not your program is actually helping to bolster your bottom line. So with all of these inefficiencies, the payoff isn’t exactly there.

But digital loyalty programs get rid of all these pain points. Square Loyalty, a completely customizable punch card program, is baked right into your Dashboard and your customers’ digital receipts.

The tool automatically tracks and rewards your customers for repeat purchases and visits. What’s more, you can tailor the program by selecting how often you want to reward customers (number of punches), what customers get as a reward (by percentage or dollar amount off), and how much they need to spend in order to get a punch.

But if you’re still on the fence about whether a loyalty program makes sense for your business, here are a few things to consider:

Get Started with Square Loyalty

Keep customers coming back.

Try it free for 30 days
It’ll get you more sales.

Returning customers are much more valuable than repeat customers. They tend to spend a lot more than first-timers when they come back in. So targeting them is worth the investment — and a loyalty program is one of the most direct ways to do that.

It’s low cost.

The only investment you have to make here is that free tenth cup of coffee. Which is not a lot when you think about those nine other coffees that you might not have sold if it weren’t for your loyalty program. What’s more, customers are likely to spend a bit more each time they come in. As Square seller Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in South Carolina reports, “Some customers are actively trying to earn punches by spending the minimum amount per punch ($5) to get the five-percent-off reward. They’re both spending more and coming back more often.”

It’s quick to set up.

The beauty of Square Loyalty is that it takes just minutes out of your day. You can “set it and forget it” right within the Customers tab of your Dashboard. Simply customize the punches and rewards to fit your business, and Square takes care of the rest, automatically tracking everything for you. And after each purchase, your customers automatically see how many more punches they need — it’s right there in their Square digital receipt.

It gives you valuable insights.

Square Loyalty helps you track the program’s impact on your bottom line and spot trends in your customers’ behavior. You can track the number of customers enrolled, the total punches, and the total redemptions. This is all super-valuable data to help you make informed decisions about where to allocate more time and effort.

It separates you from the pack.

This one is pretty simple. Say there are three specialty coffee shops on your block. Where are people more likely to head? The one that offers them a free cup for their repeat business.

It builds your customer lists.

Loyalty programs can offer an incentive for your customers to provide their email address when they sign up for your Loyalty program. This helps build up your customer lists, which you can then target with marketing email — alerting them to things like sales, events, or announcements (which you can do right from Square Marketing).

It helps with customer relationships.

You establish deeper relationships with your customers if they come in more often. And your customers are more likely to come in a lot — and talk up your business to their friends — if you make them feel appreciated with a loyalty program.

In short, a digital loyalty program like Square Loyalty is worth the very little time, effort, and money needed to get it up and running.

Learn more about how Square Loyalty can help you grow your business.

This Week's Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Welcome to our weekly series of must-read small business articles. Every Friday, we’ll be doing just what it sounds like—sharing the articles we think will be the most interesting to Square sellers. (Also, just some fun stuff). Here’s what we’ve got this week:

It’s never too early to start thinking about the holiday season. Here are tips for planning your holiday party, and another article with advice on how to get your website ready for Christmas now.

Speaking of holidays, have you taken a vacation this summer? If you’re a small business owner, it’s unlikely. Fortune reports that fewer than half of small business owners have plans to take a vacation this year.

This week’s viral trend is the Ice Bucket Challenge. Time Magazine takes a deeper dive into why dumping frigid water on your head is a good idea, kind of. Even Mark Zuckerberg got involved.

PowerPoint is getting a lot of attention this week after one CEO offered 1,284 slides of “wisdom” titled “Lessons From My 20’s” and another entrepreneur raised $2 million with five slides about nothing.

Offline Mode: Works in Nowheresville

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Building new tools and features means little until business owners like you find them useful. That’s why we’re excited to report that since the recent launch of Offline Mode sellers have accepted more than $2 million offline. That could have been two million dollars worth of lost sales due to loss of connectivity. With Offline Mode, businesses are making sales no matter what.

So no matter if you’re in the desert…
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ghrmHjd5hG0" frameborder="0"></iframe>

…out in the ocean…
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/L76I7OgbpFQ" frameborder="0"></iframe>

…or in space…
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0gqza9pdYbI" frameborder="0"></iframe>

…you’re in business. To accept payments anywhere, click here.

Holiday Madness: What are the Rules Again? | California Peculiarities Employment Law Blog

Holiday Madness: What are the Rules Again? | California Peculiarities Employment Law Blog


California Peculiarities Employment Law Blog

Earlier this week, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, many employees got the day off from work. It is, after all, one of the ten annual federal holidays. Cali

Webinar: Smart Strategies to Streamline Your Business with Square and QuickBooks

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Tuesday, January 26th

10:00 am PT | 10:45 pm ET

45 minutes + Q&A

Having a best-in-class, integrated platform on which to run and grow a business isn’t just for the big guys. With a little know-how and some smart strategies, connecting the industry’s top tools into one seamless system is simple and will benefit your small business.

Join us in this free webinar to learn how you can leverage the power of Square’s payments with QuickBooks’ robust accounting solution to streamline your business. We’ll show you how to easily connect Square and QuickBooks using the free Sync with Square app. Plus, we’ll walk you through the hottest new features from Square and QuickBooks and share insider tips on how to get the most out of them.

In this power session:

  • Learn how to easily integrate Square, QuickBooks, and other top business tools

  • Get expert tips to help you track sales and expenses, pay employees, and more

  • See a behind-the-scenes look at Square and QuickBooks newest features

Register today!

Set Up Your Menu Or Inventory In Square Point of Sale

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Add something new to your list of things that are totally worth the effort: Creating an item library in Square Point of Sale. Whether you’re starting a restaurant, opening a bar, or ramping up a retail store, having a library of available items in your facility is important. If you’ve been putting this task off, here are five reasons you shouldn’t wait any longer. And even better, we have a new way to get even the largest item libraries set up:

1. Speed through your line

When you input your menu or inventory into Square Point of Sale, you’ll ring up sales faster and avoid errors.

2. Give your customers better receipts

Automatic itemized receipts help your customers with expenses, taxes, or budget tracking.

3. See what’s selling

Selling by item allows you to look at your sales by product and by product category.

4. Never run out

Choose to track inventory levels on any item you sell and get alerts when stock is low.

5. Manage just one library

Your Square item library integrates across Square Point of Sale and Square Market.

Lots of items to set up?

With our new Bulk Item Import tool, you can set up or modify many items at once. Check it out.

Introducing Square for Retail: A New Point-of-Sale App and Complete Set of Tools for Retail Businesses
Introducing Square POS Kits for Coffee Shops, Markets, Restaurants, and Retail Stores
Keep My Tab Open - Open Tickets Come to Square Point of Sale
Quick Tips for Setting up Your Employees with Square
Square Point of Sale: Now Available Worldwide

How to Make Chores for Kids Fun!

by Nathan Young @ Check City

Too often chores for kids turn into a power struggle between parent and child. The parent has to constantly remind and nag, and if she turns her back, the child simply stops doing the chore. This cycle of nagging and … Continue reading

Can Inclusion Riders Force Demographic Proportionality In Hiring?

by Joshua A. Rodine @

Seyfarth Synopsis: With a single utterance at the recent Academy Awards ceremony, “inclusion rider” entered the popular lexicon. That has led many to wonder, “What is an inclusion rider?” The next question, of course, is this: “Is an inclusion rider enforceable?”

What is an inclusion rider? In most respects, this is an entertainment industry term for the more commonly known … Continue Reading

Seller Spotlight: Lilybelle Flowers

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

We started the Seller Spotlight series to help our sellers share their magic with the world. The short profiles capture the trade, advice from sellers, and what they love about running their business. (Sometimes we even throw in a curveball about what band best represents them.)

Take a look at one of our favorite spotlights with Cheri of Lilybelle Flowers. You can see our full playlist of Seller Spotlights on YouTube.

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