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Many people with limited funds are getting a start in business with the revolutionary idea of micro-franchising. For a very low investment, entrepreneurs can own their own proven franchise with relatively low risk.

 

What is micro-franchising?

 

This is a concept that applies the traditional franchising model to very small businesses. The idea originated in less developed countries as a means to help lift people out of poverty. Today it is applied around the world. Micro-franchising is a systematic approach to creating limited versions of simple businesses.

 

The franchise model

 

A company (franchisor) with an established service or product contracts with an individual(s) who operates under the franchisor's guidance and name in exchange for a fee,  or the franchise contract spells out the responsibilities and obligations of both parties. The franchisor provides marketing, support, and training while the franchisee manages working operations. The same basic concepts drive micro-franchises. In micro-franchising, the franchisee usually accepts jobs booked by the franchisor, or may rent space for a kiosk or cart to do business from. Usually this is a shopping mall or other public market, but even some large retailers have leased space to micro-franchises.

 

Benefits of franchising

 

Apart from lower starting costs, franchisees have the advantage of not needing to test new business ideas, as the franchisor's supporting resources are already in place, and is able to reap all the benefits of an established business:


  • Product recognition thanks to the name and brand of the parent company

  • Advertising and marketing support run by the franchisor at a national level

  • Area franchises that limit competition

  • Administrative support such as IT services, call centers, or bookkeeping

  • Low cost supplies that are usually purchased by the parent company at large volume discounts

 

Franchising is a successful means of business startup, compared to the fact that only two-thirds of small businesses survive beyond their first two years. But it's also a successful development model when it's scaled back to the idea of micro-franchising, which helps bring success even to those with very limited funds or experience. Low-cost products or services such as coffee kiosks or grout cleaning become a means of income.

 

A working model

 

In countries such as South Africa and Bangladesh, the concept of micro-franchising was implemented to provide income opportunities to the poor and proved highly successful. In Liberia, almost 100% of young micro-franchisees were still in business after seven months.

 

The strength of franchises is that they are a proven system, offering a clear roadmap to success by following a proven system. Franchisees are buying into not just a brand, but established supply chains, marketing, routes, and equipment. Franchise opportunities such as floor refinishing service, for example, will entail access to all the tools, materials, and training required to complete the job satisfactorily.

 

The business skills required are much less demanding of micro-entrepreneurs; rather than having talent for innovation or marketing they need only be able to copy ideas and follow guidelines. Micro-franchising allows people to learn about business in a limited, structured way with strong support systems in place. This learning experience is invaluable should the time come to embrace other business opportunities.

 

Steps to success

 

The key elements of operating a successful micro-franchise are to focus on the core concepts of franchising as a business model:

 

Social-minded entrepreneurs

 

Franchisors are industry experts providing brand awareness and skills training to entrepreneurs. The right approach for the franchisee is simply to deepen their understanding and familiarity with local clientele.

 

Support

 

Micro-franchisees should take every opportunity to exploit provided resources, including training and back-office help with things like bookkeeping and taxes. These ideas involve basic business skills which are much more difficult to acquire in a less structured environment. A franchise can be thought of as a mentoring arrangement. And not to be ignored is the value of emotional support and self esteem from being immersed in a successful business model.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

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The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) is at the forefront of medical technology in that it has invested heavily in health information technology. They have taken up an initiative in prenatal care, collect data on chronic conditions and have a state-of-the-art radiology and imaging department. Photo: www.bizjournals.com

Investment in Health Information Technology 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in conjunction with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, did a study of Philadelphia’s health information systems. The study has indicated that the PDPH has been revolutionizing the healthcare industry by being at the forefront of information technology and electronic medical records. 

The PDPH has established Electronic Health Records (EHR) for eight community health centers that serve 90,000 low-income residents in Philadelphia. The sites get linked electronically to other ambulatory care facilities, as well as hospital-based physicians located in Philadelphia. 

Furthermore, the PDPH has made it easier to track data that will improve the quality as well as the safety of clinical services provided to its residents. PDPH and its partners have selected an EHR vendor. Their partners are within as well as outside the public health system. 

They work with the Philadelphia Prison Systems (PPS) Medical Operations Group. Additionally, they work with federally qualified health centers, ambulatory health services, the county nursing home, and the Office of Innovation and Technology. The PDPH’s intent is to assist with the delivery process for inmates by tracking the amount of direct care services provided. They want to make sure that detainees get sufficient care. 

Prenatal Care Initiative 

The PDPH formed a partnership with the Prenatal Care Laboratory Information Exchange Initiative. The goal is to assist in reducing the administrative burden. As a result, it will improve the overall quality of the clinical services for pregnant women. The PDPH and its partners are working to establish a city-wide prenatal care information system. This will make it easier for all delivery hospitals to access patient information. This gets done with secure access to the files. 

Data on Chronic Conditions 

Among the PDPH’s initiatives is putting together a complete data repository for a set of chronic conditions. They have named it the Chronic Disease Data Repository. The initiative got funded by the CDC in the hopes of gathering more information on morbidity. They will start off by focusing on hypertension. 

Radiology and Imaging 

The PDPH has a state-of-the-art radiology and imaging department called the Einstein Department of Diagnostic Radiology. It is quite advanced with its diagnostics. They are capable of demonstrating still and moving image tissues with precision. They can accomplish the same with bones and organs. Their diagnosis and treatment are accurate as a result. 

The radiology department uses a Computerized Picture Archive and Communications System (PACS). PACS Radiology enables them to get paperless and filmless access to patient images that they then pass on to physicians. Radiologists who are in other locations get the option to consult with the team. They are also involved with the latest research and clinical trials that will help to identify and provide new therapies, medications, and treatment techniques. 

Challenges of National Healthcare Policy 

The PDPH would need continuous federal funding for it to succeed in the future. For that reason, they are monitoring the national healthcare policy. At the same time, they are questioning the long-term impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act. They do not know if it will get repealed by the majority representation in Congress; neither do they know if they would continue to get funding. 

Additionally, the PDPH are also questioning the status of the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Despite the uncertainty of the EHR system, Philadelphia residents will benefit from the program. 

In conclusion, Philadelphia is leading in medical technology due to its investment in Health Information Technology, Prenatal Care Initiative, and the collection of data on chronic conditions. They also have a state-of-the-art Radiology and Imaging department. Although the EHR system is a success, they face the uncertainty of continued federal funding.

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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Photo: www.bizjournals.com




Flooded basements not only cause substantial financial losses, but they can expose you and your family to harmful mold and mildew spores. Consider these helpful tips to reduce losses, prevent health issues and clean up the mess.

 

Turn Off Power/Check for Hazards- Regardless of the depth of the water or the cause of the flood, the very first thing you should do is cut the power to the basement. After the power is off, you should check for hazardous conditions that may exist from the flood waters. Look for mildew, mold, bacteria and electrical hazards.Photo: Greg Dastrup

 

Call Your Insurance Company- Before making changes or removing anything from your flooded basement, you should contact your insurance agent. Be aware that most standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding. However, if you purchased a separate flood policy, your policy may very well cover the damages. In either situation, it is advisable to contact your agent.

 

Consider Professional Services- After taking care of any hazardous situations and making sure the power is off, it’s time to evaluate the situation in your basement. You need to decide whether you can afford to hire a restoration company or clean up the mess yourself. You should also keep in mind that many molds will begin forming within 25 to about 36 hours after flooding takes place. Restoration companies can come in and remove the water, haul out carpeting, damaged furniture, cabinets and other items. They can also treat the area for mildew and mold. In addition, professionals can also dry the basement using commercial air movers with a dehumidifier.

 

Essentially, they may be able to restore some of your basement to the previous condition if you’re willing to pay for their services.

 

Clothing/Protection- Depending upon the flooding situation, you could have several inches of water, mud or even sewage in the basement. Therefore, you should protect yourself by wearing rubber boots, long pants, gloves and a face mask to protect against molds and mildew.

 

Remove Water- Begin the water removal process before trying to remove all the contents of the basement. If there is just a small quantity of water a mop and bucket works just fine. However, if you have a significant amount of water to remove, you’ll want to use a sump pump, water transfer pump or a wet-dry vacuum to remove the bulk of the water. Next, open curtains and windows to let in ventilation and circulate the air. Remove drawers from cabinets and open cabinet doors and closets.

 

Order a Dumpster- Consider ordering a large commercial dumpster to dispose of damaged items that cannot be restored. Dumpsters can be rented by the day and will make your cleanup that much easier and efficient.

 

Removing Damaged Property- Evaluate the flood damage of each item. More than likely, you will have to toss items like upholstered furniture, mattresses, and pillows. In most cases, you may also have to dispose of carpeting and the padding, which usually shrinks even if it’s possible to remove the dirt, mold and smell.

 

Walls and Built-ins- Remove baseboards and save if they can be reused. Cut and remove portions of any moist drywall and wet insulation damaged in the flood. If possible, uninstall built-in cabinetry and closet doors so they can dry outdoors. Cabinet refinishers might be able to restore expensive cabinets damaged from flood waters or insects.

 

Disinfect the Basement- Apply a strong disinfectant solution made from bleach and pine oil with a pump sprayer on the flooring and walls to disinfect the basement.

 

Dry Out the Basement- Check with a local home center about renting a dehumidifier and air movers. Air movers pull out moisture from within framing materials, flooring and drywall. The dehumidifier finishes the drying job by drying the moisture from the air. When dealing with a flooded basement, make safety a priority, contact your insurance agent, and remove the water quickly to prevent additional damage and health issues.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

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Every business needs to market their products wisely to stay ahead of the competition. There are four Facebook marketing tips Philadelphia business owners can use to their advantage. They can ask intriguing questions to start discussions. Other ideas include sharing useful information to followers, finding out what social media platform their customers use and optimizing their Facebook profile page to show up in searches. Cameron Johnson

 

Use Questions to Start Discussions

 

The question could be about a significant event that took place during the day. It has to be something engaging. Use what happened and form it into a question. Ask your followers how they would have handled the situation.

 

For example, if you are selling a product that saves all your passwords in one place, you can phrase a question like this: “What do you think about this gadget?” Substitute with a link to your product where you see “this gadget.” After that, you can write, “You will not believe what happened to a colleague of mine. She was working on a crucial project in a word document. She set a password for the file, but she misplaced it.” Had she had that gadget that you are selling, she would not have gone crazy trying to find the password.

 

Your followers will make all types of suggestions. As long as they click on the link and keep the discussion going, you will have a winner.

 

Share Some Tips

 

Everyone likes free information that is useful. Come up with a few tips on something practical that is helpful to your followers. Give out a few pointers and use your product to demonstrate how useful your tips are.

 

For example, Blue Coat Systems did an excellent job in their newest video of giving out practical tips to its cybersecurity-focused followers on how to avoid malware. The tips have a level of insight that goes beyond the normal blog post and is based off of research conducted by Blue Coat themselves. Just remember, the tips have to be practical and useful for the marketing campaign to work.

 

What Social Media Network your customers Use?

 

Find out what social media platform your customers use. You want your ads to reach them, so you have to use the same social media sites like your clients. For a business to consumer advertising (B2C), Facebook ranks the highest for social media marketing. According to Sprout Social, there are 20,000 people on Facebook every second. SproutSocial further states that Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users and 1.25 billion mobile users. Daily active users add up to 936 million users and mobile users add up to 798 million. These numbers are impressive.

 

You can also use your website and your products to drive customers to your Facebook page. When you insert the manuals for your products, be sure to mention the social media sites that you use. Encourage your customers to ask questions about the products on your Facebook page.

 

Remember to Setup your Facebook Profile

 

When you set up your Facebook profile page, you have to optimize it. For example, you can include much data on settings and information about your page. Start off with the description by using up the maximum amount of space to tell users about your business. You get to use 154 characters in the page description. Use these characters to get your message across. A good example of a short description comes from the Philadelphia Business Journal. They used their short description to both acknowledge awards they’ve received and what they do.

 

Tell your followers who you are and what you do on that page. Leave off your hours of operation and location. There are designated areas for your location and hours of service. Then follow through with the remainder of the settings and add all the information you can about your business. Make use of the categories and subcategories as well.

 

In conclusion, you can run a successful business if you utilize Facebook to suit your needs. You can ask questions to engage your followers. Be sure to include a link to your products when you ask questions. Give out free useful tips using your products. Find out what social media sites your customers use and optimize your Facebook profile page so that your company name will appear in searches.

 

Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and social media expert. Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

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By Mike Levey

 

A key position to address this offseason for the Eagles is the quarterback position. Since Donovan McNabb’s departure after the 2009 season, the Eagles have started six different QBs


Having stability at QB gives any team a chance to compete year in and out. But with almost no quality QBs available through this year’s free agency, or a superstar “NFL-ready” QB anticipated in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Eagles have some big decisions to make.  

 

This is also magnified by their pending decision on whether to franchise Sam Bradford for one year at $20 million, or possibly lock him into a longer-term deal.

 

Enter Nick FolesPhoto: washingtonpost.com

 

Foles is coming off a poor season with the St. Louis Rams that eventually led to his benching. Les Bowen of the Daily News also refuted ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s February 7 tweet of the Eagles interest to bring back Foles.

 

But with previous ties to the Eagles and a strong winning record in Philly not too long ago, a case should be made to bring back Foles, who was 15-9 as a starter with the Eagles in the regular season. This record included playing with a sub par defense and Andy Reid’s last season, when the team already took a dive. Foles’ interception total more than doubled his last year with the Eagles, but he found a way to win games, and the team was still 6-2 before his collarbone injury in 2014.  

 

Side note: Foles was 4-7 as a starter in games started last year in St. Louis, but 8 out of the 11 games he faced were against playoff teams. The Rams have had a losing team their last nine seasons regardless of their QB.  

 

Still not convinced? Check out several more reasons why Foles possibly returning to Philly isn’t such a stretch.

 

2016 QB Draft Class Not Strong-  Bringing back Foles gives the Eagles flexibility to take and develop a QB in the 2nd or 3rd round this year.  With the number 13 pick, and with limited (if any) “NFL ready” QB prospects this year, taking a QB in the 1st round would be stretching, vs. drafting a potential superstar offensive or defensive lineman to pair with Lane Johnson or Fletcher Cox. Starting Mark Sanchez or Chase Daniel (who has only started 2 career NFL games) would be throwing in the towel to the season and similar to Pederson starting in 1999.  But bringing back Foles would give the Eagles an opportunity to compete in 2016, while having flexibility to draft a QB in the later rounds this year, and potentially earlier next year when there are stronger QB options. In the process, maybe Foles will prove he can be the long-term guy in a stable offense.

 

Connection to Pederson-  During Foles’ rookie season, Doug Pederson was his quarterback coach. Pederson helped scout Foles for Andy Reid. Foles can help provide some depth to the position, getting to compete for the starting role, while working with Pederson to help mold a young QB over the next two years. Foles also has experience running Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense, which will help Pederson in critical 4th quarter time situations (and press conferences).

 

He’s As Good as Bradford-  Sam Bradford progressed last year, but I think Foles is just as good—if not better in certain areas. Foles throws a good deep ball, which is critical to gaining momentum in a game, keeping the defensive backs off the line, drawing penalties, and coming from behind. Even as Bradford progressed, he still appeared so often like a check down passer, throwing short so many times on third and long. According to Pro Football Reference, when ranking the average pass yards per attempt for active NFL quarterbacks over their career, Bradford ranks last.  Foles posts nearly the same career completion percentage (60.2%) than Bradford (60.1%) and has a higher TD to INT ratio (1.96, 53/27) than Bradford (1.50, 78/52).  In addition, Foles is a more mobile QB, less injury prone, and a much cheaper option than Bradford.

 

4th Quarter Comebacks-  According to Pro Football Reference, in 8 of his games in 2014, Foles had three 4th quarter comebacks/game winning drives and posted a 6-2 record.  Take two of those away and the Eagles would have been at 4-4.  Throw out the statistics for a moment.  Foles struggled with more interceptions in 2014, but he kept the Eagles in games, and finds intangibles to come back and win time and time again.  Even when trailing 20-7 in the 2013 playoff game against the Saints, Foles brought the Eagles right back, giving them a 24-23 lead late in the 4th quarter, which the special teams and defense unfortunately could not hold.

 

Fits Philly Culture-  Fitting into the culture and mindset of the Eagles and its fan base is not a given. One of the challenges with bringing in so many new players in 2015 and with the 2012 “Dream Team” is that it takes time to fully understand this mindset.  Foles “bleeded green” when in Philly.  In an early 2014 game against the Redskins, despite playing with a beat up offensive line, Foles stayed in the pocket and delivered throw after throw while taking a beating.  There is no better way to demand respect from your team than when Jason Peters stood up for Foles after getting a blind sight hit by Chris Baker. Without question, Foles wants to win, wants to get better, and did I mention even cried during the postgame press conference after the playoff loss to the Saints?

 

Of course, the possibility of Foles returning to the Eagles is not without its challenges. According to ESPN's Nick Wagoner, it’s highly unlikely the Rams will get rid of Foles due to a net hit of $8 million to their salary cap before June 1st or $7 million after. But with Ram’s head coach Jeff Fisher planning to bring back both Case Keenum and 3rd round QB pick Sean Mannion, the Eagles should at least explore discussions with the Rams to eat part of his salary cap.  

 

Could a trade be possible for DeMarco Murray (also putting the Eagles in a financial bind) and Nick Foles?  Who knows? Maybe the Eagles might just get lucky with the Rams releasing Foles, or willing to eat most of his salary cap.  

 

Mike Levey is an avid Philadelphia-sports fan living with his wife in the Greater Philadelphia area. Originally from Northern New Jersey, he grew up watching Eagles games with his grandfather by pointing their antenna rotator towards Philadelphia to watch games on a static screen—before DirecTV.  Some of the most memorable games he’s attended include Vai Sikahema's goal post punching against the New York Giants , 4th and 26, NFC Championship ’05, and the ‘Snow Bowl.' 

 

Nick Foles photo: washingtonpost.com

 



Creative Cloud.png

 

Adobe Creative Cloud is among the top-notch applications that have made the world of technology a better place for tech enthusiasts. It is widely applauded by world's best web designers for its tremendous contribution to development fully functional web page with detailed info graphic and print ready displays. The Adobe Company’s goal is to give web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world to make a better technological place. In this article we are going to take you through the five reasons why Adobe Creative Cloud is the best for web designing.

 

First of all, Adobe Creative Cloud is among the many software produced by the Adobe incorporation. The software gives the users access to a wide collection of feature for web development, graphic design and also video editing.

 

Resolution Independence

 

The issue of raster vs. vector didn’t apply to web design until the advent of the Adobe creative cloud. The issue of raster and vector was only known to the print world, but not for web design. However, the introduction of Adobe Creative Cloud inspired many web developers to adopt the use of vectors and rasters in aligning and position element in a web page. Use of creative cloud enables the designers to apply many features such as icon fonts, scalable vectors graphics and many more features that gives the websites the desired functionality.

 

With the creative cloud, you can create artwork that is both scalable and infinitely looks great at the same time. On the web, content sizes have to be properly managed to achieve the best results. The elements have to look at their best sizes to give them the best outlook on any displaying device (phones, tablets, and computer desktops).

 

Pixel Perfection

 

Adobe Creative Cloud is very helpful when it comes to designing to a grid these days. Most web developers want a perfect grid presentation of their websites. In Adobe creative cloud, it is easy to match the design to the grid and while at the same time developing the site from the design contents in the Illustrator.

 

The adobe creative cloud offers you a series of web and design profiles to start working on the aligning to the built-in pixel grid to achieve the perfect result. For example, it enables you to set the colorspace to RGB, which gives you a variety of document sizes and turns.

 

Blends Well with the Raster

 

Using the creative cloud enhances the vector aspect of the website. For example, the Adobe cloud can enable to conveniently place PSD files natively. It can also enable layers and layer comps from editing software like Photoshop. The cloud does have an easier way of to display multiple versions of images. It is the best option for raster images.

 

You can also optimize your web content to the desired levels by using the creative cloud application on the web. The recent addition of photoshop's ability to generate assets is just another important feature that will enable the developers to manipulate images easily without many problems arising.

 

Accessibility

 

Adobe has just made the life of its lovers easier regarding accessing the software. In the past, the Adobe customers had just to purchase individual software for the web designing purposes e,g the Dreamweaver and Photoshop. However, with the onset of Creative Cloud, one can do a one-time subscription fee to access all the available Adobe features.

 

Hosted and Icon Fonts

 

Adobe creative cloud encompasses many features such a Typekit library, which means that one has access to tremendous amounts of fonts and icons to use in web designing. There are numerous icons that you can use for both social and official purposes. The library also consists of various applications that can enable the user to translate website in an easy way.

 

In conclusion, Adobe creative cloud offers its subscribers amazing features that are a milestone for web designers globally. It is there to stay.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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There's no doubt in the minds of many people that some geographical areas are simply more startup-friendly than other regions. Local and state tax amenities, office spaces, housing starts, schools and health facilities all attract new entrepreneurs in today's fast-paced Philadelphia business environment.

 

Fast becoming an up and coming jewel of a business center for new startups, we'll focus on five attractive reasons for considering Philly as one of the best startup-friendly places to begin one's business journey.Photo: www.fastcompany.com

 

-Universities

 

-Venture Capital, Angel Investors and Incubators

 

-The Shipping Trade Industry and Navy Yard Expansion

 

-Entrepreneurial Fellowship

 

-The Biotech and IT Sectors

 

1. Universities

 

With over 80 universities to choose from, Philadelphia proves an attractive magnet if there ever was one for business sectors, investors and students alike.

 

Universities such as Villanova, Penn State, Saint Joseph's, Drexel, Temple and Bryn Mawr add to the allure for drawing and relocating those entrepreneurs who are typically in their 30s.

 

2. Venture Capital, Angel Investors and Incubators

 

There seems to be an ongoing trend toward venture capital investors, angel investors and seed-grant incubator programs at every level.

 

Among other interesting programs found in Pennsylvania is something that goes by the name of the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership. Through this program, the government writes "seed checks" to the startup entity. Moreover, it's considered by many as one of the most prolific venture investors in the nation.

 

One recent company benefiting from seed money is Real Foods Works (RFW). RFW will be the recipient of more than $200,000 from the Startup PHL Seed Fund as other recipients are sure to follow soon.

 

 

3. Entrepreneurial Fellowship

 

Being that Philadelphia is not yet too big in size or in business recognition, there exists an amazing sense of community among entrepreneurs. A tight network of support groups is already in place to help others in other areas that would develop over time in a fledgling but growing community.

 

Philadelphia's proximity to New York City, its educational climate at all levels and affordable housing as compared to the New York housing market, all contribute to a promising startup environment.

 

 

4. Shipping Trade Industry and Navy Yard Expansion

 

Philadelphia's historical roots as a major port of entry for the continental United States is well-known. However, its prominence in modern times seems to grow as bigger and faster ship building, channeling and an exploding shipping trade develops with further plans for the Port of Philadelphia and former Navy Yard.

 

More than 22 new startup companies have been added to the old 1,100-acre property. With a now total of 143 companies and a labor force of 11,000 employees, major players already are in place. Among them is Glaxo Smith Kline ZSX Medical, who made an early move to the old Navy Yard.

 

For less well-known companies, one major bait on the proverbial hook is that there's plenty of room to grow. Iroko Pharmaceuticals, a company that launched with a handful of people, now has a projected staff of more than 200 people by the end of this year.

 

5. The Biotech and IT Sectors

 

If you want to launch a medical or health tech company, then Philadelphia is the up and coming player to consider. Having started as an experimental urban revitalization program, innovative startups today spring up from Philadelphia's University City Science Center. In total, since 2006, the Science Center has raised more than $14 million in government grants and $116 million in private capital.

 

The same promising outlook awaits those in the information technology (IT) sector. From web development on translating website content to providing the next generation broadband high-speed services as does Comcast, thousands are now calling Philly the place for IT environments.

 

Since 2009, new startups have added more that $9 billion to the Philadelphia economy and some 15,000 new jobs. For many people, an affordable cost of living and less competition help add to this city's promising outlook as a potential boom town.


Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. 
He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.


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Photo: www.fastcompany.com 



There are few names in the world as recognizable as Kobe Bryant and this basketball star recently returned to his roots.  

The NBA legend never had what you’d call a great reception from fans in Philly, but that all changed this year.

Philly has had a lot of notable visitors in 2015, including Pope Francis, but this homegrown hero’s welcome when the Lakers played the Sixers back on December 1st may have overshadowed that of the Holy Father. The crowd began to go wild from the second Sixers’ PA announcer Matt Cord introduced the star. Within 30 seconds, Cord had summarised what is, by all accounts, one of the best basketball careers of all time. From the Olympic medals to NBA victories, Cord perfectly summed up Bryant’s 20-year career to a crowd that was already in full swing.

At the end of the intro, the crowd clapped for almost a minute as Bryant stepped onto the court. This standing ovation surprised Bryant, as he came onto the court with his fellow players  and was taken aback by the amount of adoration he received as an opposing player.

The game went to the Sixers in the end, but the Lakers star emphasized that he couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Even Bryant’s high school coach, Gregg Downer was present. Downer, who was at a loss for words when describing his former player, presented Bryant with a Lower Merion High School Jersey.

The faculty at the arena admitted to being star struck when meeting the player up close and personal. Even the pundits with their bets on the game were happy to see Bryant, even though the odds were slim. Sport betting or any other gambling, casino or bingo sites have odds available to peruse before betting and the odds of the Sixers taking this victory were slim to none.

While Bryant hasn’t always had a good relationship with his fans, (which led to him being booed while taking the All Star Game MVP in 2002), the star finally got that hometown reception that he was hoping for and enjoyed his visit to Philadelphia. Philly is known as the City of Brotherly Love, and that’s exactly what Bryant finally felt.

 

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When we last spoke with Andrea Kohalmi, the Central Catholic and St. Joseph’s University graduate was riding high off the success of her newly released debut novel ‘Eternity.’ Three years later, Kohalmi has penned two more books in the ‘Eternity’ series: 2013’s ‘Eternity is not Enough,’ and ‘Endlessly,’ which was released this year.

Now based in San Francisco, Philly2Philly spoke with the busy wife and mother of two about her new book, everyday life, and making her dreams come true.

 

It’s been almost four years since your debut novel, 'Eternity' was released. Not only did you already release a sequel, but also follow up! You’re one busy author!Andrea Kohalmi

I’m just passionate about this series and have a story to tell about Angel, CJ, Rick and the rest. My only challenge is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to speed up the process!

 

You told us back in 2012 that you had ‘Eternity is not Enough’ in the works. How soon after that did you pen ‘Endlessly’?

The drafts of the first three books, “Eternity,” “Eternity is not Enough,” and “Endlessly,” were actually written between 2008 and 2009. As an author, when inspiration starts to flow, you have to get it all out before the dreaded writer’s block rears its ugly head. So, writing is easy. Editing, not so much. The editing process for the first two books took about three years, as I was still trying to capture the right tone and voice for the story. Once “Eternity is not Enough” was published in 2012, I jumped back into editing “Endlessly” and worked with an astonishingly talented artist to create the cover.

 

Angel, the titular character, has been through quite a bit since ‘Eternity.’ Without giving too much away, can you give our readers a little bit of an idea of her most recent trials and tribulations?

At the end of “Eternity is not Enough,” Angel gets her “normal” life back. “Endlessly” picks up a year later and finds Angel frustrated, bored, and missing her supernatural adventures and friends from Wales. She doesn’t have to wait long before her past is resurrected into a journey that takes her across the US and unites her new and old friends in an interesting predicament.

 

Angel comes to find out that she is not alone in her doldrums. The whole group is finding it more than a tad difficult to readjust to normal life as they search for meaning and stumble upon an idea, sparking the possibility that their problems are far from over.

 

Did you have a clear-cut storyline for these characters prior to putting the stories to paper? Or did additional ideas tend to develop as you went further along?

Great question! When I got the inspiration for the story back in 2008 and the main characters came into focus, I knew how their storylines and plot would unfold. The entire series has been mapped out for a while. Now, it’s just a matter of writing the stories.

 

How would you describe your current approach to writing compared to when you penned your first novel?

When I first started, the writing was solely a cathartic experience without any intention of the stories seeing the light of day. These days, writing feels like an artist creating a painting. Each page is a stroke of color. Each plot twist is a burst of design that makes the picture take shape.

 

Are any hobbies, elements or facets of your everyday life incorporated into your work?

Of course! These days I practice Reiki, which is a form of energy healing. The characters’ special skills are based on the concept of energy work and visualizations that promote healing. Also, my lifelong interests in history, travel, mythology, and the supernatural are just an added bonus, since I can incorporate the elements I find fascinating into the stories. Over the next few books, those themes will become front and center.

 

What does the future hold for the Eternity series?

In terms of plot, Angel’s adventures are about to get a lot more complicated. The lines between good and evil are blurred. She and her friends need to unlock memories of their ancient past lives to understand their current predicament. There’s also a secret hidden in the mythology behind their intertwined connections that will forever change the course of their destinies. And the love triangle is far from over.

 

The question remains, will Angel and her friends be able to figure out the secret in time to stop the evil entities from redirecting humanity’s future toward an imminent end game? (As an author who’s not afraid of making hard decisions, the characters will face the impossible. Whether they weather their supernatural storms, well, you’ll just have to read it to find out.)

 

As far as writing goes, the fourth book has entered the editing phase, and I’ve begun writing the fifth. It’s an exciting process!

 

Is there anything in particular you want to mention or plug, for those who want more information?

Fans (and curious outsiders) can follow along in the writing and publishing process by going to my website (http://eternityisnotenough.com/promotions/). They’ll even get an inside look into the supernatural and spiritual with some of the shared posts.


What’s been the most exciting part about writing a series of books?Endlessly by Andrea Kohalmi

As an author, the ability to create a whole new world that engages an audience is a profoundly humbling experience. Hearing fans talk about the characters as if they’re real people or ask when the next book is coming out is amazing. While the series has a long way to go, this feedback certainly gets me psyched to keep writing as fast as I can.

 

You mention that you created a “whole new world.” How did you do that?

It’s one thing to write a book and share a story. In my day job, I’m a communications consultant. From corporate branding to a product launch, any successful story requires engaging your target audience. For the “Eternity” series, that means giving my readers a sneak peek into Angel’s world as I see it. Pictures and music help tell that story. Each of the books feature a playlist that captures the characters’ conflict and mood as well as the spirit of the plot.

 

The series now has its own YouTube Channel, Eternity Is Not Enough, where readers can access the playlists and even watch the video trailer for the first book. I’m not a graphic designer or musician, so don’t expect perfection, but this was a good segue to round out the “Eternity” experience.

 

YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHQFXYNU4tIhTwCW2ZwWNQ  

 

There’s a video now too?

Yup! iMovie is an awesome little tool! Granted my video editing and producing skills leave a lot to be desired, but it’s another creative outlet. For those readers who are begging for the books to be turned into movies, it gives them a visual snapshot of how I envision the portrayal of the characters and setting (Link to video: https://youtu.be/q_ISF_ogIqE)

 

Speaking of time, you have a full time job, a family, and you volunteer. How do you find the time to do all of this?

That’s my top FAQ! Honestly, it’s all about making my dreams come true, and it helps to have a supportive hubby! I’ve wanted to write novels since I was a little girl. The process is not so much about finding the time to make it happen as much as it is creating balance between life’s realities and my passions. For my children, it also sets the example that anything is possible, if we put our minds and hearts into it. We each have a purpose to fulfill, and our dreams or passions guide us along the way. The “Eternity” series is one piece in my life’s journey and one that I’m thrilled to be able to share with others.

 

What else is new in Angel’s world and for her fans?

Through October, readers have the opportunity to write a review for “Endlessly” on Amazon and get entered into a drawing. I’m raiding Morgan’s cupboard (she’s Eternity’s high Wiccan priestess) to gift the grand prize winner with an Eternity tote bag, a Reiki-charged pillar candle, a votive candle, a mini dream pillow, intention charm pouch, a gemstone charm, and—best of all—a sneak peek into the fourth book with an excerpt just for them. Those who are just starting the “Eternity” series and want to write a review for the first and/or second book will have a chance to win one of two first prizes. Details can be found on the Eternity Facebook page.

 

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Over the past couple of years, local Philadelphians have been getting sick. Air quality is up and pollutants are down.

 

So what could be causing this drastic increase in respiratory issues here in Philly?  After diving in and doing some research, I discovered that indoor air can be more than 300 times as polluted as the air outside. This was astonishing to me. Considering all of the air filtration systems in modern homes, this was a bit of a shock. It seems that today, we spend the vast majority of our live inside.

 

As a result, we are living in a highly polluted environment. Giving full disclosure, I have no Idea what is causing the respiratory issues here. However, it is of my opinion that the issue of indoor vs. outdoor air quality is a good place to start. www.phe.gov

 

So how can you keep your home cleaner and therefore expose yourself to less pollutants and harmful substances?

 

It would appear that improving your home’s indoor air quality is a fine balancing act. Like most of us, we don’t have a spare 20K to drop on a new, top of the line air filtration system, so I wanted to look at some cheaper solutions. The first thing to be aware of is to toxic chemical that we use for cleaning. We use these chemicals to help, but they can also do great damage without following proper ventilation guidelines.  

 

That said, it is still important to use them. Although I prefer to vacuum myself, it is good to hire professional carpet cleaners every now and then. Apparently, carpets can hold more than four times their weight in dirt and dust. That shocked me! That alone could probably get people healthier. Other solutions include the additional adding of plants into your home. They will help filter the air and enrich the oxygen in your home.

 

Whatever is causing this issue, it is important to remember that our children are at risk. I urge all of my fellow Philadelphians to research this more.  

 

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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Photo: www.phe.gov

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