RSS

Tag Archives: Small Business

The Battle at Mayonaise!

This one has been going on for about 2 years believe it or not. Some folks just take their Mayo more seriously than others. Of course with Southern favorite, Dukes moving north and gaining traction, Hellman’s, the largest Mayo brand in the US, is beginning to feel some pressure. A small company came up with the idea of Vegan Mayo…And that’s when the troops rallied, the cannons began to fire, as the stuff became so popular, Whole Foods couldn’t keep it in stock… Just another case of how big business can kill off the little guys, with government help.

And then there is the stereotype forwarded in the really bad “Undercover Brother” movie of years gone by that black folks don’t like mayo…

A Food Giant Wanted to Squash Eggless Mayo. It Just Lost.

In the great mayo wars of 2015, there is finally a winner.

For those who haven’t been following the scandal-filled sandwich spread controversy, a bit of background: It all began in 2013, when the egg-alternative food startup company Hampton Creek launched a vegan mayonnaise-like product called Just Mayo, which soon became Whole Foods’ most popular mayonnaise.

So popular was Just Mayo, in fact, that in November 2014, Unilever, parent company of market leader Hellmann’s, sued Hampton Creek for false advertising and unfair competition. The food giant argued that Just Mayo, because it contained no eggs, “damages the entire product category, which has strived for decades for a consistent definition of ‘mayonnaise’ that fits with consumer expectations.” Unilever dropped the lawsuit about a month later “as consumers heaped scorn on the company for what they viewed as a frivolous lawsuit,” the food industry news site Food Divereported.

Nevertheless, in August of this year the FDA ruled that Hampton Creek couldn’t call its product mayonnaise. “The use of the term ‘mayo’ in the product names and the image of an egg may be misleading to consumers because it may lead them to believe that the products are the standardized food, mayonnaise,” the FDA said in a statement.

Then, in September, internal emails from the American Egg Board surfaced. They showed that the industry group had tried to stop Whole Foods from selling Just Mayo—and that Egg Board members were really worked up over Hampton Creek. From the Guardian:

More than one member of the AEB made joking threats of violence against Hampton Creek’s founder, Josh Tetrick. “Can we pool our money and put a hit on him?” asked Mike Sencer, executive vice-president of AEB member organization Hidden Villa Ranch. Mitch Kanter, executive vice-president of the AEB, jokingly offered “to contact some of my old buddies in Brooklyn to pay Mr. Tetrick a visit.”

Egg Board CEO Joanne Ivy retired early in the wake of the episode.

While all that was going on, Hampton Creek was working with the FDA on a compromise, and today, the company announced that it will be allowed to keep the name Just Mayo, as long as it makes its eggless-ness even clearer on the product label. The AP’s Candice Choi reports:

The changes include making the words ‘egg-free’ larger and adding ‘Spread & Dressing.’ An image of an egg with a pea shoot inside will also be smaller.

Now, all this hoopla over a “spread and dressing” and its picture of a pea-shoot-bearing egg might seem ridiculous, but keep in mind that this business played out against the backdrop of a devastating avian flu outbreak that hobbled the egg industry. What’s more, in April two former egg industry executives were sentenced to jail time for their connection with a 2010 salmonella outbreak that is thought to have sickened as many as 56,000 people.

All those egg woes aside, there’s another reason behind egg purveyors’ massive freak-out: At least according to writer Rowan Jacobsen, unlike most other eggless mayonnaise products, Just Mayo actually tastes good.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Domestic terrorism, General

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Go Girl! Black Women Fastest Growing Entrepreneurial Segment

Don’t like not being recognized for your contribution at big company?

Start your own.

Black women increasingly are doing just that, despite obstacles in terms of venture or bank financing.

Black Women-Owned Businesses Skyrocket By 322 Percent In Less Than 20 Years

 

African-American women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America, a new study reveals.

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report released this week found that the number of women-owned businesses grew by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015. That’s 1.5 times the national average of business growth to be exact.

Meanwhile, the growth in the number of businesses specifically owned by black women is outpacing that of all women-owned firms, the report says. The number of black women-owned businesses has grown by a whopping 322 percent since 1997. Today, black women own roughly 14 percent of all businesses in the country owned by women, which tallies to around 1.3 million businesses, according to the report.

“While nationally African American women comprise 14% of all women-owned firms, African American women comprise a greater than average share of all women-owned firms in Georgia (35%), Maryland (33%), and Illinois (22%),” the report says.

Statistics show that throughout these 1.3 million companies, nearly 300,000 workers are employed and the businesses generate an estimated $52.6 billion in revenue. When digging into the number of black-owned businesses overall, 49 percent are owned by women.

Businesses owned by black women also top the charts in revenue growth when compared to other minority women-owned firms proving that their economic clout is ever-growing.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 2, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tammy Duckworth Hammers a Fraud!

At least the woman progressives are being real in terms of standing up for their principles. In this one, during a Congressional Hearing on companies which benefit from Small Business Set Asides for disabled Veterans (In tax hack Darrel Issa’s Committee no less), Tammy unloads on a guy who has fraudulently represented himself as a disabled vet to take advantage of the program…

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 26, 2013 in American Greed

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Entrepreneurship and Immigrants

Just the immigrants in California do more for the country than a whole Red State full of  Tea Bigots! Not the least because these immigrants aren’t trying to bring the whole country down because we have a black President like the treason sipping Tea Bigot Republicans are.

Indeed…Save America! Deport a Tea Bigot!

In any event – a salute to those entrepreneurs, who got nothing to do with Silicon Valley…

And everything to do with true American grit!

And often, investment from financial sources outside of the US, which do a far better job at “micro-financing” than the herd mentality, often self destructive American Venture Capital market. That is changing with some of the web based “Crowdfunding” investment models like Rock The Post designed around the needs of small businesses which often only need $10000-200,000 – and not generally millions. New legislation allows small individual investors to purchase up to $1 million in stock or equity, without being restricted by State Blue Sky laws.  Here is how it works.

Insofar as the large number of immigrants starting businesses because of the lack of employment opportunities – about 30% of US incorporations are done by black Americans for much the same reason.

California leads U.S. in immigrant entrepreneurship, study finds

Gloria Suen owns Li Hing of Hong Kong, one of California's many immigrant-owned small businessesImmigrants own 33% of California’s small businesses, the highest share in the U.S., and make up 27% of the state’s population.

When Gloria Suen opened a retail shop in Chinatown, she and her sister knew so little English they could barely decipher the rules and regulations that govern small businesses. But she asked advice from anyone who would listen and persevered.

“In those days, I had to work 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” she said. “I had to, little by little, learn.”

Today her family-owned small business, Li Hing of Hong Kong, sells ornate Chinese antiques and fine crafts to businesses and homes across the U.S.

Li Hing is part of a movement pushing California to the forefront of a national trend: The state leads the nation in the percentage of businesses owned by immigrants, a share that exceeds the demographic’s proportion of the general population.

One-third of small-business owners in the state are immigrants, according to a report published Thursday by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a New York-based think tank. About 27% of the state’s population was born in a foreign country, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 16, 2012 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Small Business Owners Leave Republican Plantation Over Tax Cuts For the Rich

It is becoming ever more painfully obvious that the Republican Tax Giveaway to the Rich is a major element in the country’s finances being in freefall. The Chamber of Commerce has increasingly become noting but a propaganda arm of the Republican Party, much like Faux News.

Small Business Owners Demand Repeal Of Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich

Michael Teahan, like his father, mother, and uncles before him, is a small business owner. The 52-year-old has spent most of his adult life running his own businesses: a restaurant, a coffee bar and various companies involved in the espresso machine business.

“I was the only person in my family to go to college, because that’s not what we did — we all opened up businesses,” Teahan says. “For some people, that’s a big hurdle … for us, it was like having lunch.”

Teahan currently operates Espresso Resource, a company that imports espresso machine parts from Europe to sell to U.S. restaurants and coffee shops. And he’s doing very well for himself: The two-man operation clears about $1 million a year in total sales, Teahan says — enough to secure himself annual income in excess of $250,000.

That makes Teahan one of the few small business owners to actually benefit from the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy. He says the cuts save him about $12,000 a year, compared to what he paid before they were enacted. But as debates over the federal budget deficit have intensified, Teahan has found the political discussion increasingly divorced from the reality of his experience as a small business owner.

Tax cuts for the wealthy, according to Teahan, will do nothing to bolster his firm. They won’t affect his hiring decisions, they won’t encourage him to buy new equipment or help him move into a bigger warehouse. He says all of those decisions — the nuts and bolts of actually running a small company — depend on the his customers’ economic conditions, not his personal tax rate.

“What we do in business, how we spend our money, how we allocate our resources — that has very little to do with tax policy,” Teahan says. “I map my business based on my customers, and what my customers want to buy, and what they can afford to buy.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Unemployment Rate Drops (a little) – The Cause?

President Obama Signs the Small Business Jobs Bill in September

 

Big news this week that the Nation’s Unemployment rate dropped to it’s lowest level in 2 years.

Among the nuggets:

The ADP National Employment Report, which showed an increase of 297,000 private-sector jobs in December, with the bulk of them in small and midsize companies.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this? Passed BTW over Republicans stalwart resistance and fillibustering!

President Obama Signs Small Business Jobs Act – Learn What’s In It

  • A New $30 Billion Small Business Lending Fund:The bill would establish a new $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund which – by providing capital to small banks with incentives to increase small business lending – could support several multiples of that amount in new credit.
  • An Initiative to Strengthen Innovative State Small Business Programs – Supporting Over $15 Billion in Lending:The bill will support at least $15 billion in small business lending through a new State Small Business Credit Initiative, strengthening state small business programs that leverage private-sector lenders to extend additional credit – many of which have been forced to cut back due to budget cuts.
  • Eight New Small Business Tax Cuts – Effective Today, Providing Immediate Incentives to Invest: The President had already signed into law eight small business tax cuts, and on Monday, he is signing into law another eight new tax cuts that go into effect immediately.
    • Zero Taxes on Capital Gains from Key Small Business Investments:Under the Recovery Act, 75 percent of capital gains on key small business investments this year were excluded from taxes. The Small Business Jobs Act temporarily puts in place for the rest of 2010 a provision called for by the President – elimination of all capital gains taxes on these investments if held for five years. Over one million small businesses are eligible to receive investments this year that, if held for five years or longer, could be completely excluded from any capital gains taxation.
    • Extension and Expansion of Small Businesses’ Ability to Immediately Expense Capital Investments: The bill increases for 2010 and 2011 the amount of investments that businesses would be eligible toimmediately write off to $500,000, while raising the level of investments at which the write-off phases out to $2 million. Prior to the passage of the bill, the expensing limit would have been $250,000 this year, and only $25,000 next year.  This provision means that 4.5 million small businesses and individuals will be able to make new business investments today and know that they will earn a larger break on their taxes for this year.
    • Extension of 50% Bonus Depreciation:The bill extends – as the President proposed in his budget – a Recovery Act provision for 50 percent “bonus depreciation” through 2010, providing 2 million businesses, large and small, with the ability to make new investmentstoday and know they can receive a tax cut for this year by accelerating the rate at which they deduct capital expenditures.
    • A New Deduction of Health Insurance Costs for Self-Employed:The bill allows 2 million self-employed to know that on their taxes for this year, they can get a deduction for the cost of health insurance for themselves and their family members in calculating their self-employment taxes. This provision is estimated to provide over $1.9 billion in tax cuts for these entrepreneurs.
    • Tax Relief and Simplification for Cell Phone Deductions:The bill changes rules so that the use of cell phones can be deducted without burdensome extra documentation – making it easier for virtually every small business in America to receive deductions that they are entitled to,beginning on their taxes for this year.
    • An Increase in the Deduction for Entrepreneurs’ Start-Up Expenses:The bill temporarily increases the amount of start-up expenditures entrepreneurs can deductfrom their taxesfor this year from $5,000 to $10,000 (with a phase-out threshold of $60,000 in expenditures), offering an immediate incentive for someone with a new business idea to invest in starting up a new small business today.
    • A Five-Year Carryback Of General Business Credits:The bill would allow certain small businesses to “carry back” their general business credits to offset five years of taxes – providing them with a break on their taxes for this year – while also allowing these credits to offset the Alternative Minimum Tax, reducing taxes for these small businesses.
    • Limitations on Penalties for Errors in Tax Reporting That Disproportionately Affect Small Business:The bill would change, beginning this year, the penalty for failing to report certain tax transactions from a fixed dollar amount – which was criticized for imposing a disproportionately large penalty on small businesses in certain circumstances – to a percentage of the tax benefits from the transaction.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Major Hit For Beltway Bandit

This is a first for a major Government contracting company, euphemistically known in the DC area as a Beltway Bandit. This sort of underhanded dealing isn’t that uncommon. Indeed, during the Bushit Administration it was found that several of the major contractors had filed for contracts as Small Businesses and won millions of dollars of contracts illegitimately. A not that uncommon ruse is to set up “minority owned” companies as front companies, where the major contractor does all the work. This steals hundreds of millions of dollars in work from legitimate minority owned, and other small business contractors trying to get a start.

SBA Suspends Government Work For Major Contractor

This is great. I’m always happy to see government contractors held to the same letter of the law as everyone else. Actual consequences are still all too rare for them:

Federal officials on Friday suspended one of the nation’s largest government contractors from receiving new work, alleging that the Northern Virginia company inappropriately went through other firms to gain access to contracts set aside for small companies.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s action imperils hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for GTSI Corp., a top-50 contractor that has relied on the Pentagon and the rest of the federal government for more than 90 percent of its sales in recent years.

At issue is work GTSI did as a subcontractor for small businesses serving as the prime contractors on government contracts.

“There is evidence that GTSI’s prime contractors had little to no involvement in the performance of contracts, in direct contravention of all applicable laws and regulations regarding the award of small business contracts,” an SBA official wrote in a letter to GTSI’s chief executive, Scott W. Friedlander. “The evidence shows that GTSI was an active participant in a scheme that resulted in contracts set-aside for small businesses being awarded to ineligible contractors.”

[…] “It’s the first time in decades that the government has completely suspended a significant player, a legitimate top-tier contractor,” said Steven Schooner, a contracting law professor at George Washington University. “It puts everybody on notice.”

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 2, 2010 in Great American Rip-Off

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: