government (13)

Hello community, the better informed you are about the Affordable Care Act ( Obamacare), the better your decision will be. Do Not get fooled by the hype!!! Get Informed. 


Juniques Multi Cultural Connections

Blue Cross/ Blues Shield is actively going after this newly created health insurance market!!  

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Just down from the Target and Gander Mountain big-box stores and between a nail salon and dental office, North Carolina's largest health insurer opened its first retail store.

It has some exercise offerings — step aerobics classes and stationary bike workouts — but for now, its main product is providing in-person information about changes coming in October with the health insurance overhaul law.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is opening half a dozen of these offices in strip malls statewide to first educate and then, starting in October, enroll consumers shopping for coverage because of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." Blue Cross affiliates in Florida and Pennsylvania have had similar stores open for years.

click here to read complete article

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Protect your Identity and Social Security number with a CPN (Credit Profile Number).  Learn the secret that celebrities, government officials,and pro athletes use to protect their identity and get all the credit they want with out using their social security number.  Learn More @


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My job as a security expert requires me to assist others in protecting their physical and intellectual assets, which is why I am so passionate about educating parents and teens regarding the real safety issues that can be associated with inappropriate texting behaviors.   While parents certainly have the best intentions when they give teens a cell phone, they may also be setting themselves up for future legal issues.  Most teens lack the maturity and experience to know how to use their newfound technology freedom and without proper parent monitoring (and at times intervention), teens may find themselves (and their parents!) in legal hot water.


Just what kind of legal issues could you encounter?

  • The majority of states (including the District of Columbia and Guam) have a primary law prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving.  This means an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic offense taking place. 
  • In many jurisdictions, there are parental liability laws that allow someone who is intentionally injured by a minor to hold the parents of that minor responsible—this may include acts of cyberbullying.
  • If a parent knows that his/her minor is engaged in inappropriate texting behaviors such as sexting or cyberbullying and does nothing to prevent it, the parent is at risk of being charged for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
  • Extremely harmful online speech can violate criminal laws—this includes sending obscene or harassing text messages, creating or sending sexually explicit images of teens and taking a photo of someone in a private place such as a locker room.


Don’t wait for an incident to happen to you or your child before you talk to your teen about the consequences of sexting, cyberbullying or driving while texting.  It is your responsibility as a parent to keep the lines of communication open and to monitor your teen’s texting behavior.  For more information on the legal ramifications of inappropriate texting behaviors, checkout my new ebook, Safe Text: Protecting Your Teens from the Dangers of Texting:


Do you have a great tip for monitoring your teen’s texting?  Comment on this blog, post on our Facebook page or send us a tweet using the hashtag #safetext you’re your best teen texting advice.  At the end of August, we will randomly choose someone who has sent us a tip to receive a $25.00 Amazon gift certificate.


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Are you a small business that may be seeking an alternative revenue stream given the current economic conditions? Government contracting could be an option that you may want to further explore as a market for your small business. However, in order to determine if this is a viable option for your small business, here are the “Top 10” things you want to consider...View our article in the Charlotte League of Business Magazine, pages 26-27.



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A recent question was asked in response to my post "Is Government Contracting for Your Small Business?" as to "What is the most common mistake SME's can make while dealing with the government? There are several common mistakes SME's can make while dealing with government. Here are some of the common ones:


1. Truly understanding the customer needs. Sometimes the potential customer is not clear on what they need even when the contracting officer releases the RFP or RFQ. Keep in mind the contracting officer is obtaining the specs of the opportunity from their client who may not be clear on what the needs are for the scope of work.


2. Understanding the sales cycle can take much longer than what we experience in the commercial marketplace. There are many variables that impact the decision on whether or not the contracting officer will select and engage a contractor for the work to be performed.


3. The agency may decide to perform the work in house after they have received proposals outlining the performance work plan.


4. Not requesting a debrief on why your proposal or quote was not acceptable in response to the RFP or RFQ in order to obtain lessons learned.


For additional information on government contracting assistance, plese contact our office at

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Are You at Risk of Losing Your Business?

I am happy to announce that my company is being featured in INC. magazine in the article about "Are you at Risk of losing your Business".
All too often I receive phone calls from frantic business owners who have a once trusted employee or freelancer threatening to leave the company or behaving in a way that indicates something is very wrong. Yet the business owner is fearful about parting ways for a number of reasons, including the fear of competing against a once green part timer for future business. The solopreneur has trusted said “employee”, taught he or she everything about the business, and, oh-oh, Sally is no longer happy being paid an hourly wage and threatens to go out on her own. What valuable contacts, resources and information might Sally be taking with her?Applicant pre screening is one way you can find out who a person is, before they become a part of your team. Ask yourself what does e-mail lists, business information, customer contact lists, employee records and financial information all suddenly have in common? Answer: They are the Top 5 things stolen by freelancer, bookkeepers, even employees after leaving a job or when the job is completed.
To see the complete article go to:
If you like the article please help me out by leaving a comment on INC's website!
Diane Griffin
Security First & Assoc.

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U.S. Turns Profit on Bank Bailouts

Report: U.S. turns profit on bank bailoutsDallas Business JournalThe U.S. government has made a profit of about $4 billion on the bank bailout program so far as some of the largest banks have already repaid their loans, according to a report by the New York Times.In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, locally-based Plains Capital Corp. was listed late last year as the recipient of $87.6 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.To date, the Treasury says it has allocated $250 billion in TARP funds.The Associated Press is now reporting that lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, are going to draft legislation that will force companies benefiting from the funds to report how the money is spent.The lawmakers' decision follows an Associated Press report in which the news agency said it had asked 21 banks how they’re spending the money — only to receive no answers or vague answers at best.The article said the profit so far amounts to about a 15 percent return annually, and that the news comes as a pleasant surprise given a lot of controversy around the Troubled Asset Relief Program when it was approved.The profit so far has included $1.4 billion from Goldman Sachs, $1.3 billion from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and $414 million on American Express (NYSE: AXP), as well as between $100 million and $334 million in profit from the five other banks that have repaid the government, according to the Times report. It does not include $35 million from 14 smaller banks.The banks operating in the Dayton area that have paid back their TARP funds include U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and JPMorgan & Chase Co. (NYSE: JPM).The article cautions that the government has yet to be paid back by insurance giant American International Group (NYSE: AIG) or the automakers, General Motors and Chrysler.
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Local Non-Profit Launches New Program To Provide Meals And Assistance To Local HomelessAtlanta, GA, August 20, 2009-----In partnership with H.J. Russell Enterprises and Publix Super Markets, the S.O.A.P. Box program will begin feeding the homeless the first Sunday of every month at McDaniels and Peters Street in the historic Castleberry Hill Art District. “Speaking Out Against Poverty” aka S.O.A.P. Box will launch September 6th 2009 from 12 noon to 5pm and will run until December 6th 2009. In addition to meals, the program is slated to provide clothing, toiletries and employment assistance to homeless residents in the Atlanta area. With a goal to eradicate poverty, the program aims to assist those in dire need.There is a new face to Atlanta’s poor and homeless, many of whom have witnessed their circumstances change drastically over the last year. The unemployment rate in Georgia has risen to 10.3%. Foreclosures and high interest mortgages are still plaguing Atlanta residents. On top of their current monthly obligations, many are now faced with increasing property taxes. With fewer resources and options available, Atlanta’s growing population of displaced and homeless need help more than ever.Bruce Marigny, Executive Director and Founder of The Brothers of Better Business, created S.O.A.P. Box to unite the community in an effort to meet the need of Atlanta’s homeless. This program was developed to inspire and empower communities to fight for the impoverished in and around Atlanta. “We are devoted to raising awareness and supporting citizens in taking action locally to end extreme poverty,” said Bruce Marigny. “The key goal is to help people move beyond their need and into becoming self-sufficient members of their community. Through long-term, self-help development programs funded by grants and individual donors, hundreds of people in Atlanta will increase their ability to be self-sufficient by learning and applying new, marketable skills.” In addition to Publix and H.J. Russell Enterprises; former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Atlanta Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell, and Atlanta Police Chief Richard J. Pennington have dedicated their time and resources to ensure the success of this endeavor.For more information, please contact Belinda Vickerson email:
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In the dictionary definition, democracy "is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." In the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."Democracy is supposed to be set of ideas and principles about freedom. We have been told that is consists of a set of practices and procedures that have been set forth by our forefathers consisting of these four basic elements:1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens.4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.Today we have the opportunity to exercise what we believe as a collective group of citizens.What will we do with this opportunity? We will get drunk and raise the roof, what are we celebrating? It will be time to roll up our proverbial sleeves and improve upon whatever we are doing to be individuals that model the behavior of new president. Let's be sensible and really make a difference.President-Elect Barack Obama has shown us what it takes to fight for what he believes in. He has shown us that he believes in the America we were destined to be. Not just a super-power globally, but a country that takes care of its citizens.Be proud, be happy, be mindful the now the work has just begun.Omitunde, Publisher of African American Family ConnectionAn online magazine about African American Family values and community.Visit AAFC for the latest issue each month and a copy of "The Ripple Effect"
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Facing the Truth.....

As business owners, we are accustomed to facing challenges -- daily. In most cases, we work through them and even though they are temporary fixes - it helps to keep things afloat even just for a short period of time. Financial worries are often a worry of small business owners regardless whether the business is a success, if it's thriving or just barely making it through. The point is we have all had our moments where we celebrate the good times and shortly after face a potential crisis that may change the direction and growth of the business. Somehow, it works out.However, we have a huge dilemma. It appears that Wall Street is going through a major turbulence. Our government is trying to figure out a way to keep it all afloat. Like small business owners, we may rob Peter to pay Paul - the government is literally robbing us to pay the big guys. Small businesses have quite the challenge to gain loans, contracts, grants and forbid a BAIL OUT. We have to be innovative - stretch our resources - just make it happen.The truth is there is going to be a tough road ahead for Small Businesses. We must accept that we have to be even more innovative:• avoid taking on more financial burdens (hold off on buying new equipment and furniture, etc.)• keep a close watch of your inventory (no need to order more pens and pencils - look in your draw and pull out that pen)• bring your lunch to work• try to conserve energy - keep the lights off in areas that are not in use (bathrooms, empty offices, kitchen/dining area, etc.)• Use the supplies wisely (when a blank paper comes through the printer - put it back in the bin for printing)It is important to understand that every penny counts. The truth is we need to be in control of the things we can change - our habits. We will feel the brunt of this 700 Billion Dollar Bail Out - other businesses will be taking it easy until they feel confident to resume doing business as they were before this crisis. facing the truth is to acknowledge what most of us already know -- although the politicians have said and will continue to say that Small Businesses are the backbone of our Country -- they have done very little to ensure that we have the same resources available as the major companies - we're on our own and it's time to face the truth.
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How to Register a Trademark....

One of my Twitter buddies posted a link and I thought that I would share the article with you guys....From the Wall Street Journal....Q: We have been operating for a couple of years with a strong Web presence and are interested in getting a trademark on our name. Can you shed some light on the most efficient way to do this?--E.R., Spartanburg, S.C.A: Trademark registration is pretty straightforward. Many businesses can file an application online in less than 90 minutes, without a lawyer's help, says Rich Stim, a San Francisco intellectual-property attorney. The simplest way to register is on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Web site, completing the online registration form, check the site's Trademark Electronic Search System ("TESS database") to make sure another company hasn't already registered an identical or similar mark for the same categories of goods or services you offer. U.S. trademark protection is granted to the first entity to use a particular mark in the geographic area where it operates, regardless of whether the mark is registered. But if your chosen mark is already registered by another company -- even if you used it first -- your registration will be rejected and you'll probably want a lawyer to help you proceed.Protecting Yourself From CopycatsOnline trademark registration costs between $275 and $325 and asks for information such as the categories of goods and services for which the mark will be used, date of the mark's first use in commerce and whether there's a design component to the mark you're seeking. Internet businesses registering their names should generally refrain from registering their Web extension, such as .com or .net, with their name, unless they're planning to register the mark both with and without. Getting a trademark without the domain extension will help prevent other businesses from registering the same name by just adding a different extension, Mr. Stim says. He also recommends not designating a specific design of your trademark in order to get the broadest protection.You should receive a response to your application within six months of filing, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site says. There are some scenarios where registering through an intellectual-property attorney -- or at least seeking legal advice beforehand -- makes sense. If your desired mark is similar to another registered mark, or similar enough to confuse people, there's a decent chance your registration will be contested.What's more, it's difficult to register names deemed too generic or descriptive (think "The Ice Cream Shop" or "We Sell Plants"). A trademark lawyer perhaps can help you find a way to get at least some protection.
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