Friday, March 8, 2019

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Business owners push back on tax proposal - WILX-TV

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 08:50 PM PST

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Small-business owners were sounding off Thursday afternoon, expressing opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's plan to raise their taxes.

The governor's plan calls for all businesses to pay the 6 percent corporate income tax.

Right now, small businesses pay 4.25 percent.

News 10's Alani Letang talked with some owners on Thursday afternoon in Mason. They said that, hopefully, the state goes back to the drawing board and think of a different way, and listens to the business community.

"Personally as a business owner, I'm very concerned about any sort of tax increase that could impact our hiring plan. Increased taxes on small-business owners impacts jobs. I think, personally, that's a bad idea. The gas tax increase is interesting, taking job creators is a step in the wrong direction," said Ian Richardson, of Doberman Technologies.

The business community has an ally in the National Federation of Independent Business Owners.

The head of the group's Michigan chapter testified before the state Legislature Thursday morning.

He told us raising taxes on small businesses could ruin Michigan's economy.

"We want to continue our economic development; we want to continue that progress. We're very concerned about the proposals the governor's put forth to create a new small business tax. That will take us backwards. So we're not supportive of that at all," said Charlie Owens, of the NFIB.

News 10 talked with some small-business owners who said they aren't concerned about the possibility of a tax hike and that they felt confident they'd be able to make up for it.

Whitmer wants to use the money raised by expanding the corporate income tax to cover the cost of repealing the pension tax put in place under Gov. Rick Snyder.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, of Jackson County, said that would be "doubling down on stupid."

We will, of course, keep you updated if anything moves forward.

SPS board: Leadership expert, small business owner helps others' strengths, talents - Springfield News-Leader

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 09:02 AM PST

Alina Lehnert, a leadership expert, is well-respected in the Springfield community for her ability to help others identify strengths and develop talents.

She has coached high school and college students, business owners, civic leaders and Springfield teachers and principals to maximize their potential. Helping others reach the next level in their lives and careers has become her calling.

"My mission in life is to inspire stronger versions. I do that by helping individuals, organizations and communities become stronger leaders, teams and citizens," she said. "My entire career, I have been an advocate for teachers and students to get the resources they need to learn."

Lehnert is one of three candidates vying for two spots on the Springfield school board. Lehnert and fellow incumbent Charles Taylor face newcomer Shurita Thomas-Tate.

Her life and career before the school board

A native of the Nashville area, Lehnert moved to Springfield in the early 1990s to enroll at Evangel University. She developed lasting friendships on the campus and it became a touchstone of her professional life.

She spent years as part of the Evangel faculty and is currently an adjunct professor. Her parents attended Central Bible College and then settled in Tennessee, where her father worked in the music business.

A natural at networking, she started her own business, Lehnert Leadership Group LLC, and is in demand as a speaker, coach and facilitator who customizes curriculum based on the needs of the client.

Lehnert spent six years on the Leadership Springfield board and won the Kenworthy Award for ethical leadership.

"My professional and community board experiences lead me to understand that an effective board member has no individual influence, authority but rather works to collaborate with other board members to reach consensus in order to make decisions and set policy for the greater good," she said. "I believe it's vital to listen to all stakeholders' needs."

Elected to the school board in 2016

A decade ago, Alina Lehnert married Darren Lehnert after meeting the OB/GYN on a blind date, gaining two "bonus sons." While they were in school, she served on PTAs and supported them, and their schools, on booster clubs.

Three years ago, Lehnert was elected to the board and emphasize that the governing role of the board is not to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the district.

"While the board sets policy, administrators run and operate schools and programs," she said. "My responsibility is to stay visionary, strategic to advocate and maximize the district."

At the board table, Lehnert has developed a reputation as a careful listener who typically acknowledges the work of district staff or comments of fellow board members before she weighs in on the topic.

"I have demonstrated my deep level of engagement and advocacy," she said. "I plan to build on that demonstrated leadership moving forward."

Lehnert advocated for the district to hire a chief communications officer, a cabinet-level position. In November 2017, Stephen Hall was hired.

"A chief communications officer gives priority to the importance of internal and external communication," she said. "... It's not just pushing out information but taking it in."

As part of the board, Lehnert advocated for a legislative change that allowed Springfield to gain enough state funding to eventually serve up to 600 additional at-risk children, by fall 2020, in preschool.

New board members are required to obtain an initial certification through the Missouri School Boards' Association. Lehnert did not stop there and has completed an advanced certification.

"I am the only sitting school board member with this level of certification," she said. "I am also on track to complete my master certification by May of 2019."

Lehnert supported the creation of a Community Task Force on Facilities to develop the district's proposed $168 million bond issue.

She and her husband serve as co-chairs, along with Marshall and Winter Kinne, of the Friends of SPS committee campaigning for passage.

Running for a second term on the school board

If elected to serve another term, Lehnert said she is confident she can "be a voice and advocate for all."

She said the board listens to stakeholder feedback and makes needed adjustments, if warranted.

"Students need access, opportunity and individualized learning. Parents want to see their children find and develop their talents and a pathway for career development," she said. "Teachers need relevant resources and to see their own talent recognized through professional leadership."

She added: "Our business community needs a ready, relevant workforce."

Who supports Alina Lehnert's candidacy? 

Robert Spence, who spent four decades as president of Evangel University, described Lehnert as enthusiastic and driven to perform at high levels.

"As a student, she was always involved and brought a lot of energy to whatever project she was part of," he said. "There is a built-in desire to excel at whatever she does and be an inspiration to those around her."

Spence said Lehnert is effective because she puts the needs of students first. He said education is a "core value" for her. "She has a really intense desire to help students be the best they can be."

More: Why Springfield chamber of commerce backs SPS bond issue, school board incumbents

Kay Logsdon, vice president of Culturewaves, said Lehnert seeks knowledge, analyzes information and does not rush to judgment.

"First of all, she has experience. She has been in the position," she said. "... She takes a step back and says 'Let me learn more.' She asks questions."

She said Lehnert is high energy and loves to serve others.

"She is motivated by being able to look into the future and say that's what we wanted or that's what we need. She is very goal-oriented," Logsdon said. "She seeks the voice of people who can help her think things through."

Who is Alina Lehnert? 

Alina Lehnert, 43, is owner of Lehnert Leadership Group LLC and adjunct professor at Evangel University.

Career: Educator and leadership and strengths development expert.

Family: Married to Darren Lehnert, an OB/GYN at Mercy Springfield, with two "bonus sons" who graduated from Glendale High.

Upbringing: Grew up in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee and graduated from Beech High School.

Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from Evangel University, master's degree in counseling from Missouri State University; and doctorate in organizational leadership from Regent University in Virginia.

Current service: Member of Springfield school board, Springfield Good Community and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce; chair, Friends of SPS campaign committee; voting delegate, Missouri School Boards' Association.

Has she received any contributions?

The Missouri Ethics Committee showed a committee formed to campaign for candidate Alina Lehnert but no recent report.

Lehnert told the News-Leader that the committee did not make any contributions or expenditures for the reporting period and was not required to file a report.

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Local business owner supports Lee Co. hospital developments - WALB

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 07:00 PM PST

"Obviously, bringing in residential is going to be huge for a coffee shop, especially a community based coffee shop," said King. "Having the hospital come in is gonna generate a lot of foot traffic for me in particular, but also just jobs and the market."

Valley business owner says minimum wage increases can be challenging - WHSV

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 06:28 PM PST

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — Congress took another step toward raising the minimum wage on Wednesday, but one valley business owner said raising the minimum wage can be challenging for small businesses.

"It's obviously a challenge for a business because you're always trying to figure out where your money goes," Joseph White, owner of Cranberry's Grocery in Staunton, said, "and in a perfect world, we would all pay our employees more."

The legislation is called the Raise the Wage Act, and it would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. On Wednesday, it passed the Education and Labor Committee.

White said the gradual increase over time helps some.

"It's a gradual increase to 2024, so if it does happen it gives us a good number of years to budget and plan and plot along the way."

If it clears Congress, the minimum wage would be $8.55 to start, and then would increase by about $1.30 every year until 2024 when it reaches $15. The bill would also increase the minimum wage for tipped employees.

Every Business Owner Should Spend 1 Day Per Week Doing This - Inc.

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 05:30 AM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Every Business Owner Should Spend 1 Day Per Week Doing This  Inc.

As a business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to be more productive. You use the latest software programs, read all the books and try to make your ...

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