Sunday, March 3, 2019

business proposal

business proposal


QHS students gain real-world experience through 'Shark Tank' presentations - Herald-Whig

Posted: 28 Feb 2019 10:01 PM PST

Posted: Mar. 1, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 1, 2019 11:38 pm

QUINCY -- Building the idea for a new business turned into a piece of cake for Quincy High School juniors Mia Rost and Trinity Lawrence.

The students outlined their cake pop business plan Friday in a "Shark Tank"-styled presentation with the hope of winning up to $250 in startup funds from Peoples Prosperity Bank.

The sharks -- Quincy City Treasurer Linda Moore, John Wood Community College Dean of Business Services and Institutional Effectiveness Josh Welker, Quincy Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman and president of WC Restaurants Will Duryea and Peoples Prosperity Bank Vice President of Commercial Lending Nick Smith -- heard presentations from six teams of students from Justin Sievert's economics class.

"Thinking about how to do business plans and getting entrepreneurship skills in the classroom brings the real world into the students," said Jana Hattey, Peoples Prosperity community bank president.

QHS juniors Skylar Benjamin, Krittika Ghosh and Rashiyah Shaw saw a need for specialized spirit wear bracelets and buttons and put together a plan to make it possible.

"We know people want it," Ghosh said. "Even we want someone to sell it."

What started as class projects for cake pops and spirit wear -- or cookies for QHS senior Carter Spidle -- could grow into something more. "If we keep going on this we wouldn't have to have jobs," Lawrence said.

"I would challenge you to think beyond the walls of QHS. Who else might want your product? Where else might you sell it, whether birthday parties, businesses in the areas, the grade schools who can't wait to be a Blue Devil?" Moore said.

The sharks peppered the students with questions about market research, competition and costs while urging them to think about profit and sales volume.

Smith said, "I really do think each one of your groups has an idea you can make real money on."

Duryea said, "If you really want to get into flair buttons, cookies and cake pops, find somebody that can mentor you, somebody that can help you and answer questions and push you. You really can earn your own money and not work for somebody else. Don't give up."

Peoples Prosperity already sponsors a web-based financial literacy program at QHS and welcomed the opportunity to do something more hands-on to help students. Hattey and Smith met with students to review their plans and help them prepare for the panel of sharks.

A Quincy Conference speaker on innovation inspired Sievert to launch the business plan project as part of his economics classes last semester. Working with the bank provided more mentorship and real-life application, and they added the "Shark Tank" experience for this semester.

Project work began with identifying a problem, such as a business need in the community, then looking for a solution and bringing it to life. Sievert encouraged students to "find something, a passion in their life," like Spidle's passion for baking cookies, and use it to create a business.

"Whatever money they make, they keep, but the grade is not based on how much they make," Sievert said. "You learn from failure as much as success."

Along the way, students had to conduct market research; track costs, revenues, profits and losses; devise an advertising campaign and submit a business proposal -- applying classroom concepts to a real-world business of their own making and building skills for the future.

"You're getting skills you can take on no matter what you do," Hattey said.

New Mexico governor praises industrial hemp proposal | AP business | Journal Gazette - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 05:59 PM PST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday the hemp industry would be a natural fit for the state, already known for its prowess when it comes to growing green chile and tending to some of the most productive pecan orchards in the United States.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, took to social media to praise the state House of Representatives' endorsement of a measure that would set the stage for establishing industrial hemp production in New Mexico.

The bill must be approved by the Senate before heading to the governor's desk. The 60-day legislative session is scheduled to wrap up in about two weeks.

Lujan Grisham said the legislation would help establish the framework needed to grow the industry in New Mexico, a state that has long history with agriculture.

"It's about time we help our farmers and manufacturers get into the business," she said in a statement.

Congress and President Donald Trump gave the legal nod to hemp in December through the farm bill, clearing the way for hemp farmers to buy crop insurance and apply for loans and grants like any other farmer.

That followed months of deliberations by agricultural officials in New Mexico to craft a set of rules that would govern the industrial cultivation of hemp. Rolled out in November, the rules call for growers to be licensed. They also establish fees as well as testing and inspection requirements.

The rulemaking effort stemmed from legislation that passed in 2017 and eventually became law in 2018 after the New Mexico Supreme Court settled a veto fight.

The measure currently pending in the Legislature would assign licensing and other regulatory duties to the state agriculture department when it comes to unprocessed hemp testing laboratories, harvesters and research breeders. Meanwhile, the state environment department would be charged with permitting and regulating hemp manufacturers, or those who make products that are intended for human consumption.

Hemp and marijuana are the same species, but hemp has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high. Hemp has many uses, from rope and clothing to milk, cooking oil, soaps and lotions.

Under the legislation, the environment department would have rulemaking authority over how to handle hemp-derived material containing THC levels of more than 0.3 percent.

Businesses, lobbyists decry Raimondo sales tax expansion plan - The Providence Journal

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 01:16 PM PST

Gov. Gina Raimondo's proposal to extend the state's 7-percent sales tax to lobbying, interior design and commercial building services — such as pest control in hotels and restaurants — drew armies of opponents to a State House hearing room on Thursday night.

PROVIDENCE — While Gov. Gina Raimondo's proposed new gun taxes sucked up most of the oxygen, her bid to extend the state's 7-percent sales tax to lobbying, interior design and commercial building services — such as pest control in hotels and restaurants — also drew armies of opponents to a State House hearing room on Thursday night.

Some of the most memorable testimony came from the pest-control people, who warned the results could be fatal to humans if property owners fed up with taxes tried to tackle the vermin on their own.  

It all played out a day after the openly upset and frustrated chairmen of the House and Senate Finance Committees co-signed a letter to Raimondo's director of administration, Michael DiBiase, essentially asking: In addition to hitting people up for more taxes, what are you doing to control spending?

The letter to Democrat Raimondo from the two Democratic lawmakers said, in part: "We are jointly addressing you to convey our concerns about the budget situation for the current year and for FY 2020. As you are well aware, the budget the Governor submitted attempted to address a current year budget deficit of approximately $50 million and an FY 2020 deficit of about $150 million. That picture could change for the worse if a number of budget assumptions do not come to fruition, notably revenue collections. Preliminary data suggest that, on that front, the news is not good.

"Additionally, the heavy reliance on quasi-public transfers eliminates potential, last resort reserves of money to balance state needs in a crisis,'' wrote Rep. Marvin Abney of Newport, the chairman of the House Finance Committee, and Sen. William Conley of East Providence, the Senate Finance Committee chairman.

In light of Rhode Island's budget squeeze, they asked DiBiase why the state had 150 more employees, at last count, than it did immediately after the Raimondo administration offered buyouts of up to $40,000 to long-term employees last year. 

"We know that over 360 individuals received payouts under this program which last year's testimony indicated was aimed at reducing high-cost positions in state government and staffing overall. The [data] suggest that the effort did not have the intended result,'' they wrote.

"What is the decision process for filling vacant positions? How are positions assessed and prioritized for hiring? What, if any actions has the Administration undertaken to slow/halt hiring?" they demanded.

And that was just the beginning.

"Any current constraints on hiring and purchasing are not apparent, which is especially troubling given their potential to ease some of the pressure on the current year deficit,'' they wrote, putting the governor's team on notice that "we intend to exercise our oversight role and are actively seeking solutions that address our immediate deficit and provide longer term stability."

In response to a Journal inquiry about this unusual letter, administration spokeswoman Brenna McCabe issued this statement: "We take our charge of ... putting forth a responsible, balanced budget proposal very seriously. We are working to address the chairmen's concerns regarding the status of the budget and our proposal.

"This letter clearly signifies to us that the chairmen are open to the many cost-saving initiatives ... in the Governor's budget proposal,'' she added, including those that might emerge from the governor's newly created "Efficiency Commission."

The lawmakers, meanwhile, heard warning after warning about the potential damage that Raimondo's $24-million sales-tax expansion would do to a wide array of businesses.

Brian Goldman, CEO of Big Blue Bug Solutions, said slapping a new tax on an industry of trained and licensed exterminators could lead building owners to try to tackle their vermin themselves.

"This can be extremely dangerous,'' he told the House Finance Committee. "For example, we have seen rodenticides thrown loosely all over buildings where children are actively playing inside. ... The results can be fatal.

"And it's not only rodenticides. Pest applications in restaurants need to be exact in order to avoid contaminating food or areas where the food may be prepared,'' he warned, in written testimony.

He estimated the potential financial cost of the tax expansion at $50,000 to his own business, including the cost of installing new billing and accounting software.

Shannon Brawley, executive director of the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association, spelled out the potential damage another layer of taxes would wreak on the nearly 600 "legitimate small businesses" her organization represents. They include: nurseries, landscapers, arborists, irrigation specialists, masons, garden centers, turf farms, vegetable and cut flower growers.

The likely result of a 7-percent hike in the cost of their services: "The consumer will seek to employ out of state or unregistered and illegitimate businesses which can offer significantly lower prices because ... these companies do not pay Rhode Island taxes and fees,'' she warned.

Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, called the proposed 7-percent sales tax on lobbying services "a direct levy on the exercise of political speech, a quintessential First Amendment activity,'' and a selective one at that.

"The tax does not apply to peripheral services related to lobbying, such as consulting and public relations services, but instead only on those engaged in a classic exercise of First Amendment rights: petitioning the government for a redress of grievances,'' he noted. "This too is deeply troubling, as core political speech is being singled out for adverse treatment compared to other speech."

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