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Want to say goodbye to 2016 without breaking the bank on cover charges, car service, and black tie dress? Prefer to stay closer to home than trekking to parties in hideous traffic with sobriety checks and detours? If so, you're part of the latest trend for New Year's Eve parties! While it may cause some serious FOMO to stick to house parties or have a chill night at home, more and more Americans are eschewing the ideas of glitz and glamour in favor of comfortability and cost-savings. It may come as a surprise that the average American spends approximately $295 on a New Year's Eve on the town, but restaurants, bars, and clubs all inflate their costs for the night, some on the upwards of 175%. Uber, Lyft and taxis are in double or triple surcharging, and parking costs are astronomical. Is it any wonder that money flies out the door before you've even had one sip of champagne? So why not try something a little different this year? We asked a few of our most party-savvy friends what they would do with the average cost of a New Year's Eve out for one to entertain a party of ten--and their answers will delight you! So put on your favorite party clothes, get your noisemakers ready, and let's ring the in New Year without giving our bank accounts a hangover. "For $300, I would do a gourmet sit down dinner for friends. We have a great deck with a fire pit and grill, so I would take advantage of the seasonal sales on lobster and pick up some tails. I'd splurge on a couple of steaks, cooked in butter and herbs, and serve them on top of some delicious homemade mashed potatoes with horseradish. I can only imagine what a meal like that would cost in a restaurant on New Year's Eve, but I could certainly feed ten with just half that budget. The rest would go toward getting a couple of nice bottles of champagne, and some locally make sparkling cider, so we could have a midnight toast. One…
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Six weeks after Zika officially landed in Wynwood, the virus has taken a bite out of Miami-Dade County’s economy — and it’s no mosquito-sized nibble.Downtown Miami hotel bookings are down. Airfare to South Florida is falling. Business owners in affected areas report steep losses. Polls show many visitors would rather stay away.As the weeks progress, the impact won’t be limited to tourism. Real estate, dining and retail depend on South Florida’s attractiveness as a destination. Small businesses need locals feeling confident, too. With Zika cases confirmed in South Beach, can Miami’s sun-and-fun brand survive a sickness for which a vaccine is still years away?“[Zika] is going to hang over Florida’s economy certainly through the end of 2016 and probably beyond.” Sean Snaith, economist“It’s a major threat to all of Florida’s economy,” said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida. “Suddenly, young people are going to think twice about going to Miami or families going to theme parks in Orlando. I think this is going to hang over Florida’s economy certainly through the end of 2016 and probably beyond,” unless Zika is eradicated quickly. Miami’s hip Wynwood neighborhood, with its outdoor restaurants and public art, has been hit hardest. Public health officials announced mosquitoes were spreading the virus, which also is sexually transmitted, in and around Wynwood on July 29. They labeled a one-square mile area as a Zika zone and issued a federal travel advisory, the first of its kind in the United States.The advisory is a scarlet letter for shops and restaurants. Despite visits by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Gov. Rick Scott — and giveaways like free parking — business has plummeted.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it could lift the advisory (which applies to pregnant women and their partners) on Sept. 19, if no new locally contracted cases are discovered. Every business owner in Wynwood has that date circled on a calendar.56 Number of confirmed cases of non-travel related Zika in Florida as of ThursdayThe sting hasn’t been as severe in South Beach, the heart of local tourism, where the virus was…
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Six weeks after Zika officially landed in Wynwood, the virus has taken a bite out of Miami-Dade County’s economy — and it’s no mosquito-sized nibble.Downtown Miami hotel bookings are down. Airfare to South Florida is falling. Business owners in affected areas report steep losses. Polls show many visitors would rather stay away.As the weeks progress, the impact won’t be limited to tourism. Real estate, dining and retail depend on South Florida’s attractiveness as a destination. Small businesses need locals feeling confident, too. With Zika cases confirmed in South Beach, can Miami’s sun-and-fun brand survive a sickness for which a vaccine is still years away?“[Zika] is going to hang over Florida’s economy certainly through the end of 2016 and probably beyond.” Sean Snaith, economist“It’s a major threat to all of Florida’s economy,” said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida. “Suddenly, young people are going to think twice about going to Miami or families going to theme parks in Orlando. I think this is going to hang over Florida’s economy certainly through the end of 2016 and probably beyond,” unless Zika is eradicated quickly. Miami’s hip Wynwood neighborhood, with its outdoor restaurants and public art, has been hit hardest. Public health officials announced mosquitoes were spreading the virus, which also is sexually transmitted, in and around Wynwood on July 29. They labeled a one-square mile area as a Zika zone and issued a federal travel advisory, the first of its kind in the United States.The advisory is a scarlet letter for shops and restaurants. Despite visits by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Gov. Rick Scott — and giveaways like free parking — business has plummeted.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it could lift the advisory (which applies to pregnant women and their partners) on Sept. 19, if no new locally contracted cases are discovered. Every business owner in Wynwood has that date circled on a calendar.56 Number of confirmed cases of non-travel related Zika in Florida as of ThursdayThe sting hasn’t been as severe in South Beach, the heart of local tourism, where the virus was…
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In 2010, U.S. Army Capt. Robert Kemna was in Logar, Afghanistan, a civil affairs officer attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, helping locals transition to take charge of U.S.-run reconstruction projects. Wednesday, one day after his last official day on active duty, Kemna was making a transition of his own.The 33-year-old veteran with 15 years’ service opened a 7-Eleven franchise in South Miami-Dade at the crossroads of Southwest 127th Avenue and Quail Roost Drive. He won the convenience store’s corporate competition for veterans seeking a step up to start a small business — just one of three veterans chosen from an initial pool of 1,700 who competed from across the country, Kemna said. The contest was called “Operation: Take Command.”“It’s a pretty good corner,” said Kemna soon after opening the doors to the 24-hour store at 6 a.m. He’s hoping for a brisk business, in part, because the next nearest gas station is about two miles away.A sign hanging above the merchandise said it all: “Proudly owned & operated by a U.S. Army veteran.”The first sale was a $1.71 Slurpee. It was red.In winning the new shop, 7-Eleven waived the up-to $190,000 franchise fee. The convenience store giant bought the land, built the store and put in the equipment, which it owns. The national contest was meant to winnow down the veterans to just one winner, publicist Patricia Maldonado said. But President and CEO Joe DePinto[1], a graduate of West Point and former Army first lieutenant, couldn’t pick just one among three veterans who interviewed in Dallas for the prize.So he gave out three franchises — one in Virginia, one in Texas and the third to Kemna, a transplant from Iowa. He met his wife Liliana, also 33, in Miami Beach who, Kemna said proudly, “has a very successful career” as a project engineer at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant.Kemna’s contest pitch was that he wanted to settle down and start a family. The couple met while he was posted in South Florida with the Active Guard Reserve between 2008 and 2012. They wed in January. So on Day…
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In 2010, U.S. Army Capt. Robert Kemna was in Logar, Afghanistan, a civil affairs officer attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, helping locals transition to take charge of U.S.-run reconstruction projects. Wednesday, one day after his last official day on active duty, Kemna was making a transition of his own.The 33-year-old veteran with 15 years’ service opened a 7-Eleven franchise in South Miami-Dade at the crossroads of Southwest 127th Avenue and Quail Roost Drive. He won the convenience store’s corporate competition for veterans seeking a step up to start a small business — just one of three veterans chosen from an initial pool of 1,700 who competed from across the country, Kemna said. The contest was called “Operation: Take Command.”“It’s a pretty good corner,” said Kemna soon after opening the doors to the 24-hour store at 6 a.m. He’s hoping for a brisk business, in part, because the next nearest gas station is about two miles away.A sign hanging above the merchandise said it all: “Proudly owned & operated by a U.S. Army veteran.”The first sale was a $1.71 Slurpee. It was red.In winning the new shop, 7-Eleven waived the up-to $190,000 franchise fee. The convenience store giant bought the land, built the store and put in the equipment, which it owns. The national contest was meant to winnow down the veterans to just one winner, publicist Patricia Maldonado said. But President and CEO Joe DePinto[1], a graduate of West Point and former Army first lieutenant, couldn’t pick just one among three veterans who interviewed in Dallas for the prize.So he gave out three franchises — one in Virginia, one in Texas and the third to Kemna, a transplant from Iowa. He met his wife Liliana, also 33, in Miami Beach who, Kemna said proudly, “has a very successful career” as a project engineer at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant.Kemna’s contest pitch was that he wanted to settle down and start a family. The couple met while he was posted in South Florida with the Active Guard Reserve between 2008 and 2012. They wed in January. So on Day…
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Cutting hair for more than five years, Hamlet Garcia never imagined he would own a barbershop, but when his girlfriend, Rachel Ringwood, moved from California to Miami to pursue their dream together, Garcia couldn’t turn back.“We’re two big names in the hair industry in South Florida,” said Garcia, 28, who has more than 20,000 followers on his Instagram page and was named by Details Magazine as one of the “9 Barbers You Should Follow on Instagram.”“We might as well do something magical,” Garcia said.A year after the move, the couple this month opened His & Hers Parlour, an all-in-one barbershop and hair salon at 3434 NW Seventh Ave. in Wynwood.In addition to offering hair-styling services, Garcia and Ringwood will release a product line that ranges from pomades to hair conditioners for both men and women.“We’re thinking long-term and we intend to build our own brand,” said Ringwood, 23, who was born in Santa Monica, California.Garcia, who became notorious for his take on the pompadour haircut, says the style is trending because it’s fitting for any occasion.“A barbershop is a community,” Garcia said. “It’s a place to interact with the police officer or the mailman because everyone needs a haircut.”The hairstyle goes back to the 18th century and was named after Madame de Pompadour, a French mistress to King Louis XV in the 1700s. It’s been worn by celebrities like Elvis Presley, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars.“In Miami, it’s trending because it’s just a clean haircut,” he said. “You could have a pompadour for a wedding or have a pompadour to go to a club.”One goal the couple aims to achieve is breaking the barriers between unisex salons, barber shops and beauty parlors, by offering clients, male and female, a place where they can feel comfortable.“It’s going to be a very dapper place where everyone can network whether they’re a girl or a guy,” said Ringwood, who started as a makeup artist before becoming a hairstylist. Ringwood said women today are more open to trying different styles and colors of hair than before. “When I’m asked, ‘Can you do this pink…
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A group of community leaders with a shared mission wants to raise the business acumen of childcare center owners, with a goal of boosting the industry’s performance and profitability.Now expanding from Broward County to Miami-Dade County, the Business Leadership Institute for Early Learning is training providers to be better business operators, through a series of free workshops. The end result, they hope, will be better quality early childhood education.“Because we’re dealing with independent owners in low and moderate income areas, it’s difficult for them to charge the fees they need, to provide the quality education that they are providing,” said Robyn F. Perlman, founder and voluntary president of the Business & Leadership Institute for Early Learning. “So to provide the quality education, they mortgage their homes, and in many instances the owners don’t take their salaries, and there are very little in benefits given to the staff or themselves.”The programming, now in its third year, is called the Early Learning Childcare Provider Business/Leadership Workshop Series. It’s made possible through the backing of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston; Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship; Florida International University, the Children’s Trust, Wells Fargo, Florida Power & Light and others, Perlman said.Childcare centers are a less visible yet considerable-sized segment of education in the United States. Thirty-one percent of the U.S. teaching workforce, or 1.8 million people, is involved in the teaching of more than 11 million children from infant to 5 years of age, according to research by Holly Rhodes and Aletha Huston in the Society for Research in Child Development’s 2012 report, “Building a Workforce our Youngest Children Deserve.”Dr. Peter A. Gorski, chief health and child development officer for the Children’s Trust, said Miami-Dade has 1,500 early childhood education programs; Broward, 1,000. In Miami-Dade, 500 childcare centers are part of “Quality Counts,” a program that the Children’s Trust and Early Learning Coalition fund to improve the quality of early childhood education.The importance of early education cannot be understated, Gorski said. A 2012 Harvard University study that linked kindergarten education to IRS files found that a…
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Across the street, less than a block from the department store their grandfather opened in downtown Miami almost half a century ago, Randy and Brian Alonso sat on an overstuffed couch talking about jeans.At any given time, 80 percent of Americans are wearing them, Brian, 35, said. They come in a cut and price point for everyone, Randy, 30, added. And they take up most of the shelves of the brothers’ new concept store, Lost Boy Dry Goods, which opened in late August as an extension of their grandfather’s store, La Epoca, a Miami shopping staple since 1965 after Fidel Castro confiscated the original store in Cuba.The brothers saw the need for the store in Miami, specifically downtown around their location at 157 E. Flagler St. in the historic Alfred I. DuPont Building, where many stores are locked after 6 p.m. and don’t cater to to a trendier city center. “We’ve really lived it, breathed it — this whole area,” Brian said. “We really believe in it.”The store gives off a western hipster vibe, a tribute to denim’s roots in mining culture and to the Alonso family’s frequent vacations to Colorado while the brothers were growing up. Walk in, and you’ll spot the wall of jeans arranged by fit and categorized by designers, including Hugo Boss, Levi and Diesel. Because of the relationships the brothers maintain with designers through La Epoca, many of the styles are unique to the store. The other merchandise is the same hodge-podge of handpicked, high-quality pieces to mimic the feel of shopping in someone’s closet, said Randy, who oversees buying for the store. The clothing transitions seamlessly to the decor and atmosphere. Original exposed brick covered many of the walls of the space, which was the location of La Epoca before it moved down the road to a former Walgreens. The dressing room doors were constructed from hard wood from an old barn in Colorado. The music bounced from folky Mumford and Sons over the speakers to a Bill Withers live vinyl, spinning on a wooden antique-looking turntable, also for sale, along with the bottles…
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Lacking sufficient capital to grow is the main constraint for most small and middle market companies. To reach the next level of success, capital is the fuel that drives the company’s growth engine. Without it, reaching that next level is almost impossible.Many entrepreneurs are skilled at starting and building small, successful companies. But growing a small company into a big one is very different, and in many ways a more difficult task, which is why raising growth capital is so important. Entrepreneurs and business owners often stumble in obtaining growth capital because they are inexperienced and unprepared. Here are the key questions, and some answers.What do I do first?1. Prepare your company to raise capital. Hire an experienced management consulting firm to help you prepare your company and to help you raise the capital. Raising capital means seeking investors whether it is debt equity through a bank loan or investor equity through an investment firm. To prepare for either choice, clean up your books and records, prepare for due diligence, update your strategic business plan, detail how much capital is needed including its purpose and uses, and plan the optimal deal structure. Lean on your consultant for help with all this. 2. Develop growth and expansion plans. Prepare detailed financial Pro Formas showing monthly income and expenses. Institutional investors look to invest in companies that have a clear differentiation, scalability, execution capabilities, and a great management team. Your growth plans must be creative and strategic.Consider forming a joint venture, strategic partnerships or strategic alliances with your customers, vendors or competitors.3. Hire a valuation company to render a “market valuation” opinion. Don’t expect the sort of sky-high valuation entrepreneurial companies enjoyed in the past. Investors have returned to ground level and realize that many of their investments will not qualify for an initial public offering 12 to 24 months later. Therefore, be prepared to give up more ownership for smaller amounts of capital and possibly even more control if you need to raise equity capital. 4. Prepare a “leave behind” presentation. Prepare marketing materials such as an executive summary, management presentation…
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