Sunday, March 10, 2019

business owner

business owner

Business owner seeks Ward 1 seat - Rocky Mount Telegram

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 09:34 PM PST

A downtown small business owner is determined to be the next city councilman to represent Ward 1.

Tarrick Pittman, 45, is challenging longtime incumbent Councilman Andre Knight.

"My opponent is a good man," Pittman said. "We have our differences. Some may not like him, but you cannot take away from his years of service to our city and the black community."

Pittman said he and Knight both want the best for the community and share some of the same beliefs.

"I think it's time for a change and it's time to get some fresh legs in the game," Pittman said. "I think my opponent will still have a valuable role in the community working with the NAACP."

But community activism hasn't gotten much done in Ward 1 over the past 17 years, Pittman said.

"Just ride through Ward 1 and take a look for yourself," Pittman said. "If your quality of life and your neighborhood is safer now than it was 17 years ago, vote for my opponent. However, if you live in the real world and are looking to improve your community with better schools for your kids, safer streets and job creation through a focus on entrepreneurship and developing small businesses — then I'm your guy and would love your vote to make those things happen."

Pittman said he's running for City Council because he wants to make a difference in his community.

"I have thought about the idea of running for a few years now," Pittman said. "I have lived on Woodland Avenue over the last year and have experienced first-hand the hardships that plaque Ward 1."

Pittman said he's lived across the street from the redevelopment Knight mentioned in last Sunday's Telegram.

"I had a neighbor last year move in one of those beautiful properties — a hard-working single mother," Pittman said. "A week after she moved in, her home was broken into. While I commend the council for their efforts, without getting a stranglehold on crime all that will go to waste."

Drugs, crime, prostitution and gang activity plague Ward 1, Pittman said.

"Where we have made some tremendous gains in downtown development over the years, which I support, we cannot forget our neighborhoods are in dire need of help," Pittman said.

Ward 1 is predominantly black.

"It is important that we invest in ourselves and our communities," Pittman said. "This is why black entrepreneurship is important. I have been talking with developers and investors over the last year about ways we can promote and develop a greater presence of black-owned businesses in Ward 1. Not just downtown, but all along the Raleigh Boulevard corridor. These are black neighborhoods and the goods and services should be controlled by people that look like them. I shouldn't have to by my hair care products from someone that doesn't have hair like me. We should be selling the products."

Such a set-up would keep revenue in Ward 1 and help with the high unemployment rate, Pittman said.

"It will also give the people of Ward 1 a sense of pride to be able to control the goods flowing through their community," Pittman said. "This will give young people an opportunity to see someone like them running a business, which will hopefully inspire them to do the same."

Pittman said he wants his entrepreneurial endeavor to be a blueprint for young black business owners. Pittman has ran his computer repair shop on the Douglas Block for six years. He's president of the Downtown Merchants Association and also serves on the city's Central City Revitalization Panel.

"We need more shopping centers, stores and restaurants in Ward 1," Pittman said, "in all of Edgecombe County Rocky Mount."

For far too long, Ward 1 residents have seen businesses leave the community — never to return.

"You can't expect a community activist to recruit small businesses in your community," Pittman said. "If they won't come to us, we must create our own."

Pittman said that for far too long, city residents have given the county line — and people who choose to use it — too much power in defining the community.

"I choose to see it as what binds as together," Pittman said. "We are one Rocky Mount."

Business owner grateful for support after fire - Troy Daily News

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 01:00 PM PST

TIPP CITY — Since the devastating fire that closed her business on Feb. 26, Living Simply Soap owner Tanya Brown said she's been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and assistance from the community.

The shop at 112 E. Main St. in Tipp City will be closed indefinitely and online sales have been suspended, but Brown said she's keeping busy and staying optimistic.

"Just like with every kind of tragedy, every day you feel maybe just a little bit better," Brown said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. According to Tipp City's Assistant Fire Chief David Stockler, investigators will be taking a look in the next week to determine what might have started it. He estimated that the fire caused about $575,000 in damages to the downtown building.

Brown — who declared "We are makers, we are builders, we will be back!" on Facebook the day of the fire — said work to reopen the business will begin as soon as she is cleared to "lift a hammer."

"It's going to be a long journey," she said.

She said that rebuilding after the fire will be a process necessitating permits for the historic building, but she is working with her insurance provider and a restoration company to get the ball rolling.

"My son Jake is the one that did the initial renovation on that building eight years ago and he is going to be a very vital part of the restoration this time as well," she said.

Within hours of the fire, fellow downtown business owners and members of the community jumped to help their neighbors. Brown said she's been overwhelmed by the response to the fire.

"Boy, it's hard to ask for help. Nobody wants to have to ask for help, I didn't want to ask for help, but people kept saying, 'You know, people want to help. It's OK,'" she said.

With the help of Justin Livingston, the owner of Scratch Bakery, Brown set up an Amazon wish list and deliveries started rolling in quickly.

"He has been such a warrior for us," Brown said of Livingston.

Livingston, who counts Brown as one of his closest friends, said he saw the news of the fire that morning and quickly made the decision to donate tips and 10 percent of a week's sales to Living Simply Soap.

"As makers, we have to stick together," Livingston said. He organized donation jars with other local businesses and set up a Go Fund Me page that has already raised $2,400. "She's an incredible person. She gives back to other people always."

Several local stores have been selling flowers to raise funds for Living Simply Soap. Birch, a downtown clothing store, created special T-shirts to raise money and the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce collected cleaning supplies.

"It's absolutely incredible to see how fast this is happening. People want her back and we need her in this community," Livingston said.

In addition, a barbecue fundraiser is planned for March 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3G Tactical. The proceeds will go to Rusty Harden Studio, which lost some merchandise and the ability to host classes after the fire. Rusty Harden Studio plans to re-open on March 13.

Brown said the community has also been keeping the Living Simply Soap team fed. Sam and Ethel's, Harrison's Restaurant, Bodega and the Miami County Visitor's Bureau have been bringing them meals.

"Everybody has been really, really kind," she said.

Brown, who started her soap business by selling her products as farmers markets, said she is still planning to expand the business into a new location.

Knowing the her business was outgrowing the kitchens in the Main Street building, Brown started looking for a new manufacturing space in Tipp City. She bought a building on North Fourth Street last fall.

"It's just ironic how things work out," she said. Brown, her family and employees were already working to renovate the new space when the fire happened at their first location.

She hopes to have the new manufacturing space open this year.

"It will be a celebration," she said, adding that she'd like to host an open house in the new space once it's finished. "And then when Main Street gets back up and running, that will be dancing in the streets time."

Brown said she has read every message on Facebook and has been touched by the comments from customers, who have shared stories about Living Simply Soap employees helping them to find just the right gift or a child's bad day improved by shopping for bath bombs.

"We did not realize that we had touched so many people in such a positive way," she said. "You know, you stand there and do your business, you're making your things, you're taking care of customers, you're just doing your day to day… Something so simple as what we do can help."

To keep up with the store's progress or find more information about support efforts, find Living Simply Soap on Facebook.

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Video: Business owner says recent burglary will force him to close - KCRG

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 04:58 PM PST

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Fryeburg business owner sentenced to jail for tax evasion - Bangor Daily News

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 07:07 AM PST

A Fryeburg man was sentenced on Friday to three months in jail for failing to pay a large portion of his business' sales tax for nearly a decade.

Robert Quinn, 48, of Fryeburg was sentenced in Oxford County Superior Court to serve three months in jail for theft, tax evasion, and failure to collect, truthfully account or pay over tax.

Quinn is the owner of the Jockey Cap Country Store in Fryeburg, a gas station and convenience store. Beginning in August 2007 and continuing through February 2017, Quinn intentionally underreported both the store's sales and sales tax collected by substantial amounts. According to the office of the Maine Attorney General, Quinn diverted more than $370,000 in sales tax to his own use. The state has recovered $206,000 from Quinn, who was ordered to pay an additional $300,000, including interest.

Justice Joyce A. Wheeler sentenced Quinn to four years, with all but three months in jail suspended, and three years of probation.

This case was investigated by the Maine Revenue Services' Criminal Investigations Unit.

Business owner, Richmond residents sound off on Mayor Stoney's proposed tax hikes - 8News

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 03:05 PM PST

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- During his budget presentation in front of the Richmond City Council on Wednesday, Mayor Levar M. Stoney introduced three proposals to raise money for the city: a new cigarette tax, raising utility rates and restoring real estate tax rates to pre-recession levels of 2006. 

Mayor Stoney's $758 million budget proposal would provide an increase of almost $19 million for Richmond Public Schools and $16 million for roads and sidewalks. 

Better funding for schools, street improvements, transportation will cost homeowners and smokers under Mayor Stoney's budget proposal. 

Mayor Stoney proposes hikes in utility rates, restoring real estate taxes to pre-recession levels

8News spoke with a Richmond resident, Cindy Anderson, on Thursday who said she's lived in the city for more than 30 years. Anderson is not only a homeowner but also has rental properties in the city.

She told 8News that she does not support Stoney's proposal to raise the property tax rate to $1.29 per $100 of assessed property value. This is a nine-cent increase from the current rate.

Stoney's proposed budget would also raise the cost of natural gas, water and stormwater. The City estimates residents would have to pay about $5.82 more each month. 

Anderson told 8News she ran the numbers and with the proposed increases, she would have to pay more than $1,000 next year.   

"I just don't understand," said Anderson. "It's mismanagement, I think they need to tighten the belt down at City Hall and figure out where the money is going."

Stoney's budget will need to be debated and passed before fiscal year 2020 begins on July 1.   

Several elected officials from the city council and the Richmond School Board told 8News they will not support a budget with a property tax increase. 

Mayor Stoney introduces new tax increase on cigarettes in proposed budget

Mayor Stoney's budget also includes a new tax increase, 50 cents per pack, on cigarette purchases in the city. The Richmond City Council voted against a similar tax increase in April proposed by Councilman Parker C. Agelasto.

Agelasto's proposed increase of 80 cents per pack was voted down in a 6-3 vote. In April, 8News spoke with locals who said they were against Agelasto's proposal.

While Stoney's proposal calls for less of a tax increase, some residents told 8News on Thursday that the increase could hurt businesses in the city.    

At the moment, a pack of Marlboro Gold cigarettes in Chesterfield costs $5.91 after tax. In Richmond, the same pack costs $6.05. Under the mayor's proposal, a pack would cost 50 cents more within city limits.  

8News spoke with a local business owner who manages two BP gas stations on the edge of where Richmond meets Henrico County.     

"Of my customers, I am counting on 99 percent of people are gonna go like a mile this way to get a five dollar deal so I will be losing a lot of business," Balodi said, "and on top of that the city will lose a lot of revenue as well."

Balodi told 8News that cigarettes make up 30 percent of his sales. 

"When I lose my cigarette sale, I lose other sales with it," Balodi explained. "Like some other people buy a pack of cigarettes and then they buy a soda or other things." 

One local smoker said he supports the increase if it helps the school system. 

"I'll probably just keep buying them in Henrico County," said Bryan Ford.

Ford told 8News that despite his support, he wants to know more about how the tax increase on cigarettes would help RPS. 

"I just want to know where it's really really gonna go to?" Ford wondered. "Is it actually gonna go to the schools?"

Another Richmond resident, Bill Painter, told 8News he's in support of helping Richmond schools in any way possible. 

"I know that the schools here are not getting the money they need to do the job," Painter said. 

Stoney's budget proposal predicts the cigarette tax will bring more than $3 million in revenue to Richmond.  

A public hearing on the tax increase will take place next month. 

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