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Friday, November 10, 2017
Update by Reagan Reeve,
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Goats, a Bike and Elephants Benefit SMB Bookstores

A couple in a bookstore

Today, Amazon is king and there is a Barnes and Noble in every city. It's a struggle for many smb bookstores to stay in business. They survive thanks to loyal customers and IndieBound.org. 

Michael Chidsey and Christian Madsen, author and illustrator of the new children's books "Thaddeus The Happiest Little Mountain Goat Ever" and "Today You Learn To Ride Your Bike," are fans of the independently owned The King's English Bookshop and chose to release their books there. Through The King's English they learned they could reach a national audience with IndieBound.org. 

What is IndieBound?
IndieBound.org works directly with independent bookshops and the American Booksellers Association to give them a way to sell online so they can survive against large franchises. IndieBound enables the power of "local first" shopping.  It allows consumers to feel their actions are part of a larger picture.

About the Books:

"Thaddeus The Happiest Little Mountain Goat Ever" tells the story of a goat who "didn't like living on the rocky cliffs of a tall, tall mountain" where the hunt for shrubs and grass is perilous. Thaddeus spies a green valley and heads for the lusher pastures, only to find himself lonely without his family. The message: He realizes it is "far better to be on the mountain tops with his family than to be alone in the green valley."

The cartoon-like pictures show goats cheerfully falling off their snowy perches, giving theatrical parents the chance to use different character voices when they read it aloud. As he wrote the story, he imagined his mother reading it. And she does for the electronic version; available as a free video and audio download with every book.

"Today You Learn to Ride Your Bike" is about a boy and his adventures on two wheels. The beautiful watercolor illustrations by Christian Madsen start in black and white as the boy rides in his neighborhood. They turn to full color as, in his imagination, the boy rides out of town past elephants, pigs, monkeys and a dinosaur.

"When I was 5 years old, I got a bike. I wasn't allowed to leave the block but I had an over-active imagination," said Chidsey, "On my bike I felt like I had the freedom to go anywhere."

Chidsey's day job has him producing kid-friendly viral content that was featured on "America's Got Talent" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" But he wants his young readers to discard the digital devices in favor of books.  "I would hope it would inspire kids to put down the iPads and go ride their bike and let their imagination take over," he said.

The audio and video version is read by Bill Allred, who hosts a radio show on X96.

Both books were self-published through Sourced Media Books and retail for $17.99. They are available at IndieBound.org.

About the Author:
Michael Chidsey graduated from Utah State University in Broadcast Journalism and owns Sqwak Productions. His work has been seen around the world winning the awards: Cannes Lions (France), London International Awards, Promax Gold (India Broadcast Awards) and New York Festivals World's Best Advertising.  He lives with his family and pet dog. 

About the Illustrator:
Christian Madsen graduated from the University of Utah in Animation/Film. Christian hikes in the highest mountains to the hottest deserts.  

Graphics/video of the books, author/illustrator, and a free print article can be downloaded here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/6JdBO8OHYX

If your local store does not carry these books, IndieBound store, The King's English, ships worldwide:

Thaddeus The Happiest Little Mountain Goat Ever:
http://www.kingsenglish.com/book/9781945431050

Today You Learn To Ride Your Bike:
http://www.kingsenglish.com/book/9781945431067


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Friday, October 20, 2017
Update by Reagan Reeve,
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Using Technology to Improve Business Safety

Business Technology

Technology has become something that almost everyone inside of the United States has access to. The Pew Research Center says that around 95% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind, and around 77% of Americans own smartphones.

 

Businesses also have access to a vast assortment of technologies, and in an age where everyone can record and upload photos and videos, companies need to make sure that they are employing these technologies to ensure that their safety measures are at least up to par.

 

Here is an article from the Mulligan Management Group showcasing five technologies you should be using to help increase your workplace safety: http://mulliganmanagementgroup.com/entries/mulligan-management-group-clients/workplace-safety-requires-these-5-technologies


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Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Update by John Beagle,
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SMB Healthcare Tax Exempt Change

We just wanted to make you aware of a new change in healthcare accounting for 2014. As of January 1, 2014, according to the IRS, employers will no longer have the ability to offer premium reimbursement for individual health insurance policies on a pre-tax basis to its employees. In addition, employers may not contribute tax-free toward employees individual health insurance policies. The employer is subject to a $100 per day per employee per provision penalty which could be as much as $36,500 per year per employee per provision.

Employers may extend a benefit to employees on an after-tax basis al long as the arrangement qualifies for ERISA’s payroll practice exemption.

What this means to employers, is that if you buy health insurance for all of your employees on one plan you are fine, but if you reimburse your employees for a portion or all of their individual policies, you must include the portion you reimburse on their W-2 or on a 1099.

You may call or email us to talk about how this will affect your business and what steps you want to take. You may also want to talk to your health care providers. There is a section 105 plan that some sources say can be used, but other sources disagree that it meets the new regulations. 

Dana Picard, CPA
513-424-1939
info@nenni.com


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Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Update by Reagan Reeve,
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92% of SMB Restaurants Polled Are Not Implementing Any Active Shooter Training

Foodservice Training Portal released findings today in a study conducted of 200 SMB restaurants from October 2016 through January 2017 in six U.S. states. The results were alarming as only 16 of 200 locations polled were using any form of active shooter training- with their full staff roster.

In an FBI study of active shooter events, the agency noted, "Even when law enforcement was present or able to respond within minutes, civilians often had to make life and death decisions, and, therefore, should be engaged in training and discussions on decisions they may face." Contrary to this advisory warning, the majority of restaurants polled- notably considered highly vulnerable soft targets by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security- provided no active shooter or workplace violence training on how to respond in the event of an incident.

The common reasons given by poll participants  for not implementing training of this kind included cost, the belief that their business would not be affected by an active shooter incident and the investment of time involved. Those who had conducted active shooter training with their employees cited terrorism and proactive views on risk management as primary motivators for implementing their education programs.

In a survey of recent news events, it is noteworthy that foodservice and hospitality operations are frequent targets based on the inherent characteristics of the venues: large groups of people, unlocked doors and the absence of on premise security personnel, with no geographic area of the country showing immunity:

  • February 22, 2017: An intoxicated man opened fire in a packed bar, killing one person and injuring two at Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas.
  • April 14, 2017: A shooting at a Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant in Tucson, Arizona left two men dead and one woman shot/injured in an apparent murder-suicide.
  • May 4, 2017: A customer at Zona Caliente, a North Texas sports bar fatally shot a man who had just killed the restaurant's manager.

As a front line and proactive step, businesses should be implementing vulnerability testing and active shooter prep and response training as opportunities to prepare staff in the event of an incident. Employees are taught what to look for, establish communication channels within the business to prevent workplace violence issues and institute potentially life-saving policies and protocols to act upon in the event the unforeseen occurs. As Lance Ewing, EVP for global risk management and client services at Cotton Holdings Inc. pointed out at the at the CLM & Business Insurance Retail, Restaurant, and Hospitality Conference, "You need to know what your plan A and plan B are . . . you need to practice this with your employees," he said. "Your best option is to run, hide, or fight . . . but the best plan is to be prepared." (Business Insurance, 2/23/17).

About Foodservice Training Portal

Foodservice Training Portal is a leader in the field of e-Learning and hospitality talent training solutions. The company is the provider of Active Shooter Prep Online™, interactive online course that educates hospitality and retail employees in the latest active shooter procedures and protocols. Using the guidelines/directives established by FEMA, the FBI and the DHS, the course establishes an understanding of active shooter events and provides detailed information on how to best prevent and prepare for such scenarios. For more information, visit www.foodservicetrainingportal.com/activeshooter


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