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Recycling In Colorado Just Got Harder Thanks To New Restrictions From China – (A Better Title Would Be “Wishcylcing”)

As a state, Colorado hasn’t been the greatest recycler. New restrictions imposed by China on contamination levels, mixed paper and plastics aren’t making things any easier.

China used to be the leading re-manufacturer of recyclable material, and took in over half of America’s recycling. These new restrictions are not something the industry can easily rebound from. West Coast states that heavily rely on exporting their recyclables to China have even resorted to landfilling their materials. Colorado isn’t at that level yet, but the ripples of China’s decision are being felt around the state.

Alpine Waste & Recycling is responsible for collecting the recyclables for the entire city of Denver. Brent Hildebrand, Alpine’s vice president of recycling, said they were shipping about 40 percent of their materials to foreign markets — the bulk going to China. So the new restrictions presented some challenges for Alpine.

“We had to add some more labor to the system to help sort better and get some of the contaminants out of the stream,” Hildebrand said. “But then on top of that we had to slow down the system so the people could see the materials a little easier.”

The new limit on recycling contaminants set by China is no more than 0.5 percent.

Since January, Alpine has increased its workforce by 15 percent to keep up with the 0.5 percent contamination limit. Hildebrand said they’re still sending as much recycling as they can to China, but they’ve had to find new buyers in other countries to supplement.

Brent Hildebrand, Vice President of Recycling for Alpine Waste and Recycling, June 19, 2018.
Xandra McMahon/CPR News

China is cracking down partly because American material recovery facilities have gotten a little lax about how much contamination goes into the recycling, said Wolf Kray with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. For example, anytime a stray red Solo cup ended up in a bale of mixed paper, the materials were contaminated.

“Because the markets have been so high and there’s been such a demand from China,” Kray said. “We haven’t done the best job necessarily as far as limiting the waste that’s gone into the recycling stream.”

And that “we” includes not just the processing facilities but also anyone who might not be recycling in the most diligent way. Colorado has a problem with what the industry likes to call “wishcycling.” Since there’s no set standard, Kray said it can be tricky to know what each program does and does not accept. “It varies even in the metro area,” he said.

Things We Shouldn’t Be Tossing In Our Purple Bins… But Probably Are*
Styrofoam
Crinkly Plastic Cups (Red Solo Cups)
Food Take Out Containers
Plastic Film Wrap (Saran Wrap)
Scrap Metal (Broken Utensils, Old Cookie Sheets)
Plastic Grocery Bags
*Recyclables vary by collector statewide. Be sure to check with your local operator for acceptable items.
“There’s a lot of wishful recycling that goes on where people assume that if it’s got the recycling arrows on it that means it’s automatically a recyclable material and that’s certainly not the case,” Kray pointed out.

Even if the recognizable arrows are there, it doesn’t mean a facility can process or re-sell it. Some things recyclers get are not as questionable. At the Boulder County Recycling Center, conservation manager Darla Arians pointed out every time a shocking object came down the conveyor belt where workers were sorting.

“You can see that huge piece of metal he just pulled out!” she exclaimed. “That would destroy our OCC screen — our cardboard screen — which is the first piece of equipment that the material hits. If that had gone past him, the facility would have to shut down.”

Another way Alpine and other haulers across the state are handling these changes? They’re shipping material to Boulder County. Boulder has become a popular spot thanks to a new plastic sorting machine and the facility’s reliance on American buyers. They’ve been able to save more money than other recyclers around the state, putting Boulder in a position where they can help other haulers.

“Our inbound tonnage has gone up around 1,500 to 2,000 tons per month from other MRFs and haulers in the region because our gate fees are lower here than they are elsewhere,” she said.

In a millisecond, Boulder’s plastic sorting machine is able to tell the difference between a milk jug and a shampoo bottle using infrared detection. It then uses its 100-horse power air jet to shoot the material into the right container. The machine sorts more efficiently than any person, and Arians said a few are considering “this type of equipment, and with the new restrictions from China, they pretty much have to in order to keep up.”

Boulder County’s Conservation Manager Darla Arians inside the county’s recycling center, June 22, 2018.

Xandra McMahon/CPR News

Ninety-eight percent of Boulder’s material goes to American buyers for remanufacturing. Even with Boulder taking other counties’ materials, many are still scrambling to find new markets for a lot of it.

“You have essentially this big buildup of all the recyclables that are still getting collected and stored at recycling centers that need to go somewhere,” CDPHE’s Wolf Kray said. “So, because there’s more generation, essentially it’s devaluing the prices so that’s tough for the recyclers who aren’t making as much money on the actual end products when they sell them.”

Market values for recycled paper, plastics, aluminum, etc. have plummeted since restrictions went into place. That affects all recyclers, even ones like Boulder County that export very little because they sell most of their material stateside.

“If we get to the point where we’re getting a zero dollar or we were gonna be charged for a particular type of material, then we will hold on to it for 30 days and see what sort of pricing we can get in the next month,” Arians said.

For Kray, the solution lies in developing and bolstering domestic markets for recyclables. To that end, CDPHE offers grants to organizations to help develop recycling infrastructure in the state. In 2017, the program handed out 22 grants that went as high as $400,000. An Iowa company called Rewall that buys waste and turns it into building material is expanding to Colorado with the help of the grant program.

Another solution Kray mentioned has to do with the three R’s everyone learned in elementary school — reduce, reuse and recycle. Kray said there should be more emphasis on the first two and less reliance on the third.

this article provided by Colorado Public Radio New <Colorado-Just-Got-Harder-Thanks-To-New-Restrictions-From-China>

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    Unique Experiences Await You in Denver

    Unique Experiences Await You in Denver

    A guest blog article by Catherine Workman

    The Mile-High City of Denver, Colorado is brimming with things to do, places to eat and drink, and amazing sights to see. As a gateway city to the Rockies, Denver offers all of this amazing culture with one of the most picturesque backdrops imaginable.

    Everyone knows about Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver’s world-famous concert venue. They know about Coors beer and the famous stadium homes of the Broncos and the Rockies. Denver’s zoo is one of the best in the country and the famous Denver Mint is one of the most popular tours around. But Denver has a lot to offer outside of the beaten path. If you’re planning a trip out west, here are some only-in-Denver sights and experiences that you just can’t miss.

    1.) Denver Botanic Gardens

    For an unparalleled look into the flora of the Rocky Mountain region, a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens has to be on your list. The main garden, which is nestled in Downtown Denver, features over 15,000 plant species – 700 of which are native to the state of Colorado. The gardens feature a herbaria, which documents “vascular plant and fungal biodiversity and species distribution in Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountain Region,” and a living collection featuring plants from multiple environments like alpine, amenity, aquatic, native, steppe, tropical, cactus, and succulents. It’s a true Denver experience and one you shouldn’t pass up.

    2.) The Molly Brown House

    You remember Kathy Bates in Titanic, right? Well only in Denver will you find the home, now converted into a museum, of the bold woman she played in the iconic film. The Molly Brown House was home to famous socialite Margaret Brown, better known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” The once-home of the activist who famously survived the sinking of the Titanic has a storied history, including being used as a boarding home during the Great Depression and falling into disrepair. The house, originally built in the 1880s, was restored in the 1970s. The beautiful home is free to visitors.

    3.) The Mount Evans Experience

    If you’re looking for a real “mile-high” adventure and are not afraid of heights – or windy roads for that matter – taking a trip up the Mount Evans Scenic Byway is an absolute must. It’s about a 60 mile drive outside of Denver, but the experience is so quintessentially Denver. The Byway is the highest paved road in the entire continent, and the trip up its twists and turns is a truly amazing experience.

    “A day trip to the top is a journey that snakes and climbs through nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gain, from the high plains of Denver through five climate zones to the 14,264-foot summit of Mount Evans – one of 54 peaks in Colorado that soar to 14,000 feet and above – the famous ‘fourteeners.’”

    On the way up you’ll have the chance to make a few pit stops at worthwhile locations like Echo Lake and Summit Lake – both of which offer top-notch hiking trails and incredible views. You might even spot some famous Rocky Mountain goats while you’re there.

    4.) Forney Museum of Transportation

    One of the country’s coolest little museums is nestled in Denver. The Forney Museum of Transportation features a wonderful collection of pieces from transportation history – from a late 1800s Denver cable car to Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel “Gold Bug.” Admission isn’t free, but it’s very affordable.

    There’s a lot to do in Denver. It’s a unique city with a spirit all of its own. Sure, take in the zoo and Coors Field – but also consider taking the time to get off the path a little bit and enjoy some nature and history that’s purely Denver.

    Photo Credit: Aakash Sahai, Wikimedia Commons

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      Introducing Cindee Hanna!

      It is our honor and privilege to introduce the newest member of the My Hair Trip Family: Cindee Hanna!!! Cindee has been a passionate stylist & colorist for the last 10 years and she has perfected her talents by learning how to give clients a hair-style that reflects their personality and how they want to look. “When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves” “I love being a part of a salon that uses organic coloring, products and services and also is environmentally conscious in how we dispose of our waste and materials.” Cindee, just like all of our stylists, is ready to get you looking your best, so then you can feel your best and that way you can be your best!!! Cindee and the rest of our team is here to serve you, so call or book your next appointment online at Denver’s Organic Salon today!

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        Denver Style Magazine!

        Our favorite local publication indeed! Denver Style Magazine kicks major butt in the Mile High City! If you haven’t had a chance, pick up an issue of Denver Style Magazine today!

        Denver Style Magazine:
        “We are more than a magazine. We are a community of brilliant artists, stylists, bloggers, business owners and designers. We are a place for emerging brands to gain the tools they need to be discovered and thrive. We are a connection between local brands and those who buy from them – both customers and business owners, local and beyond. We are here to grow a retail and design industry in our home town.
        Started in September 2014 by a fashion stylist and a photographer, we are passionate about helping brands succeed and providing them the tools, education and platform to make that happen. Everything we do comes back to helping a driven creative realize their dream and empower our community as a whole.”

        The Magazine:
        “We are a community of brilliant artists, stylists, bloggers, business owners and designers. We are a place for emerging brands to gain the tools they need to be discovered and thrive. We are a connection between local brands and those who buy from them – both customers and business owners, local and beyond. We are here to grow a retail and design industry in our home town.
        Started in September 2014 by a fashion stylist and a photographer, we are passionate about helping brands succeed and providing them the tools, education and platform to make that happen. Everything we do comes back to helping a driven creative realize their dream and empower our community as a whole.”

        The Services:
        “Our team is happy to provide a one on one consultation to determine the needs of your unique brand. From event promotion and advertising to photography and branding consultations, we can help you assess where you are and how to get where you want to be.”

        Check out Denver Style Magazine

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          Small Business Saturday

          “It’s Small Business Saturday, a day in which people can show their appreciation for small businesses in their communities by choosing to #shopsmall.

          Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods, of small businesses, in the country. Along Santa Fe Drive there are Fabric shops, glass shops, clothing boutiques, frame shops, tool shops, salons, barbershops, tattoo shops, gyms, studios, theaters, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pizza shops, taco shops, breweries, bars, dog groomers, antique shops, wedding shops, small architecture firms, print shops, pot shops, and of course the most galleries per square block in Colorado. Have you been to the art district? #shoplocal, #shopsmall, #denverartdistrict, #artdistrictonsantafe” – https://www.facebook.com/ArtDistrictOnSantaFe?ref=hl

          Since it is small business Saturday, a day that gives people the chance to show appreciation for small businesses in their community. People #shopsmall today at their favorite local shops and boutiques, salons and bars and restaurants, mom and pop, independently owned small businesses. we will be open today 9am – 4pm, come stop by the Denver Art District, the whole neighborhood is small businesses. #shopsmall, #myhairtrip, #myhairtripsalon, #momandpopshop, #independent, #smallbusiness, #salontrepreneurs – http://www.facebook.com/myhairtrip1

          “Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships. What businesses are defined as “small” in terms of government support and tax policy varies depending on the country and industry. Small businesses range from 15 employees under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, 50 employees according to the definition used by the European Union, and fewer than 500 employees to qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. However, in 2006 there were over 18,000 “small businesses” with over 500 employees that accounted for half of all the employees employed by all “small business”.[1][2] Small businesses can also be classified according to other methods such as sales, assets, or net profits.

          Small businesses are common in many countries, depending on the economic system in operation. Typical examples include: convenience stores, other small shops (such as a bakery or delicatessen), hairdressers, tradesmen, lawyers, accountants, restaurants, guest houses, photographers, small-scale manufacturing, and online businesses, such as web design and programming, etc.

          Characteristics of small businesses[edit] Researchers and analysts of small or owner-managed businesses generally behave as if nominal organizational forms (e.g., partnership, sole-trader or corporation) and the consequent legal and accounting boundaries of owner-managed firms are consistently meaningful. However, owner-managers often do not delineate their behavior to accord with the implied separation between their personal and business interests. Lenders also often contract around organizational (corporate) boundaries by seeking personal guarantees or accepting privately held assets as collateral.[3] Because of this behavior, researchers and analysts should reject the relevance of the organizational types and implied boundaries in many contexts relating to owner-managed firms. These include analyses that use traditional accounting disclosures, and studies that view the firm as defined by some formal organizational structure.

          Size definitions[edit] The legal definition of “small business” varies by country and by industry. In the United States the Small Business Administration establishes small business size standards on an industry-by-industry basis, but generally specifies a small business as having fewer than 250 employees for manufacturing businesses and less than $7 million in annual receipts for most non manufacturing businesses.[2] The definition can vary by circumstance – for example, a small business having fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees with average annual wages below $50,000 qualifies for a tax credit under the health care reform bill Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[4]

          The European Union generally defines a small business as one that has fewer than 50 employees. However, in Australia, a small business is defined by the Fair Work Act 2009 as one with fewer than 15 employees. By comparison, a medium sized business or mid-sized business has less than 500 employees in the US, and fewer than 200 in Australia.

          In addition to number of employees, other methods used to classify small companies include annual sales (turnover), value of assets and net profit (balance sheet), alone or in a mixed definition. These criteria are followed by the European Union, for instance (headcount, turnover and balance sheet totals). Small businesses are usually not dominant in their field of operation.[5]

          The table below serves as a useful guide to business size nomenclature.

          Business Size definitions

          AUS US EU
          Minute/Micro 1-2 1-6 <10 Small <15 <250 <50 Medium <200 <500 <250 Large <500 <1000 <1000 Enterprise >500 >1000 >1000
          • Most cells reflect size not defined in relevant legislation • Some definitions are multi-parameter, e.g., by industry, revenue, market share

          Demographics[edit] According to a 2014 report by the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 7.8 million businesses in the United States were owned or led by a women, representing 28.7% of overall business ownership.[6]

          Franchise businesses[edit] Franchising is a way for small business owners to benefit from the economies of scale of the big corporation (franchiser). McDonald’s and Subway are examples of a franchise. The small business owner can leverage a strong brand name and purchasing power of the larger company while keeping their own investment affordable. However, some franchisees conclude that they suffer the “worst of both worlds” feeling they are too restricted by corporate mandates and lack true independence.It is an assumption that small business are just franchisees, but the truth is many franchisors are also small business, Although considered to be a successful way of doing business, literature has proved that there is a high failure rate in franchising as well, especially in UK, where a research identifies out of 1658 franchising companies operating in1984 only 601 remained existent 1998, a mere 36%.[7]

          Retailers’ cooperative[edit] A retailers’ cooperative is a type of cooperative which employs economies of scale on behalf of its retailer members. Retailers’ cooperatives use their purchasing power to acquire discounts from manufacturers and often share marketing expenses. It is common for locally owned grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies to participate in retailers’ cooperatives. Ace Hardware, True Value, and NAPA are examples of a retailers’ cooperative.

          Advantages of small business[edit]

          One of the claimed advantages of small business owners is the ability to serve market niches not covered by mass production. Consider how many big corporations would be willing to deal with antiques such as the store in the picture.
          A big business can be started at a very high cost and on a full-time basis. Small business is also well suited to internet marketing because it can easily serve specialized niches, something that would have been more difficult prior to the internet revolution which began in the late 1990s. Adapting to change is crucial in business and particularly small business; not being tied to any bureaucratic inertia, it is typically easier to respond to the marketplace quickly. Small business proprietors tend to be intimate with their customers and clients which results in greater accountability and maturity.

          Independence is another advantage of owning a small business. One survey of small business owners showed that 38% of those who left their jobs at other companies said their main reason for leaving was that they wanted to be their own bosses.[citation needed] Freedom to operate independently is a reward for small business owners. In addition, many people desire to make their own decisions, take their own risks, and reap the rewards of their efforts. Small business owners have the satisfaction of making their own decisions within the constraints imposed by economic and other environmental factors.[8] However, entrepreneurs have to work for very long hours and understand that ultimately their customers are their bosses.

          Several organizations, in the United States, also provide help for the small business sector, such as the Internal Revenue Service’s Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.[9]

          Small businesses (often carried out by family members) adjust quicker to the changing conditions, however they are closed to the absorption of new knowledge and employing new labour from outside.[10]

          Problems faced by small businesses[edit] Small businesses often face a variety of problems related to their size. A frequent cause of bankruptcy is undercapitalization. This is often a result of poor planning rather than economic conditions – it is common rule of thumb that the entrepreneur should have access to a sum of money at least equal to the projected revenue for the first year of business in addition to his anticipated expenses. For example, if the prospective owner thinks that he will generate $100,000 in revenues in the first year with $150,000 in start-up expenses, then he should have not less than $250,000 available. Failure to provide this level of funding for the company could leave the owner liable for all of the company’s debt should he end up in bankruptcy court, under the theory of undercapitalization.

          In addition to ensuring that the business has enough capital, the small business owner must also be mindful of contribution margin (sales minus variable costs). To break even, the business must be able to reach a level of sales where the contribution margin equals fixed costs. When they first start out, many small business owners underprice their products to a point where even at their maximum capacity, it would be impossible to break even. Cost controls or price increases often resolve this problem.

          In the United States, some of the largest concerns of small business owners are insurance costs (such as liability and health), rising energy costs, taxes and tax compliance.[11] In the United Kingdom and Australia, small business owners tend to be more concerned with excessive governmental red tape.[12]

          Contracting fraud has been an ongoing problem for small businesses in the United States. Small businesses are legally obligated to receive a fair portion (23 percent) of the total value of all the government’s prime contracts as mandated by the Small Business Act of 1953. Since 2002, a series of federal investigations have found fraud, abuse, loopholes and a lack of oversight in federal small business contracting, which has led to the diversion of billions of dollars in small business contracts to large corporations.

          Another problem for many small businesses is termed the ‘Entrepreneurial Myth’ or E-Myth. The mythic assumption is that an expert in a given technical field will also be expert at running that kind of business. Additional business management skills are needed to keep a business running smoothly. Some of this misunderstanding arises from the failure to distinguish between small business managers as entrepreneurs or capitalists. While nearly all owner-managers of small firms are obliged to assume the role of capitalist, only a minority will act as entrepreneur.[13]

          Still another problem for many small businesses is the capacity of much larger businesses to influence or sometimes determine their chances for success. Networking and social media has been used as a major tool by small business in UK, but most of them just use a scatter-gun approach in a desperate attempt to exploit the market which has proven to be on no success.[14] Over half of small firms lack a business plan. A Business plan is considered one of the most important factors for its success, business planning is associated with positivity in growth and if you are looking at funding most of them require a business plan, and this also serves as a strategic planning document which soon acts as a bible for decision making [15] An international trade survey reveals that British share of chamber business who are exporting rose from 32% in 2012 to 39% in 2013, although this may seem positive in reality the growth is slow as small business owners shy away from exporting due to perceived barriers. Learning the basics of a foreign language could be the solution to open new markets doors, it is a reality that not all foreign nations speak English. China is stated to grow by 7.6% in 2013 and still sadly 95% of business owners who want to export to china have no desire and no knowledge to learn their local language. [16]

          Small business bankruptcy[edit] When small business fails, the owner may file bankruptcy. In most cases this can be handled through a personal bankruptcy filing.[citation needed] Corporations can file bankruptcy, but if it is out of business and valuable corporate assets are likely to be repossessed by secured creditors there is little advantage to going to the expense of a corporate bankruptcy.[citation needed] Many states offer exemptions for small business assets so they can continue to operate during and after personal bankruptcy.[citation needed] However, corporate assets are normally not exempt, hence it may be more difficult to continue operating an incorporated business if the owner files bankruptcy.[citation needed] Researchers have examined small business failures in some depth, with attempts to model the predictability of failure.[17] [18]

          Small Business Loan Programs and Debt Financing[edit] The Suppliers Pay Initiative expansion program announced by the White House and Small Business Administration in 2014, November 17, demonstrated a commitment to strengthen the small business sector and increase the hiring of workers. A further 21 companies have joined the pledge adopted by 26 companies previously in July, designed to ensure suppliers from smaller businesses are paid faster. The initiative is intended to provide them with working capital at a more affordable cost, thereby reducing short-term borrowing costs and enabling more resources, to be directed towards investment in their business growth and increased hiring of workers.

          The SBA assist small business owners with various financing programs, offered by Federal, state and local governments, designed to provide low-interest loans, venture capital, as well as scientific and economic development grants. The programs are flexible with specified qualifications for each one. The Small Business Administration can assist owners in facilitating a loan, from a guaranteed bond, a third party lender, or venture capital.

          Although the SBA does not lend directly to small businesses, it does determine guidelines for loans made by its financial partners, for example; community development organizations, established lenders and micro-lending institutions. Guarantees are given by the SBA that the loans will be repaid, eliminating partial risk to their lending partners. When a small business owner makes application for an SBA loan, they are in effect applying for a commercial loan, but structured to meet SBA requirements and supported by an SBA guarantee. This guaranteed loan facility from the SBA is not available to small business owners who have access to other financing sources, on reasonable terms. Facts related to small business financing facilities indicate that approximately 56% percent of small businesses owners utilize traditional financing, for example; bank line credit, mortgage loan, or a leasing facility. A further about 39% has made use of their personal credit cards for business purposes, while 28 % used business credit cards! The dominant provider of external financing to small business enterprises, are commercial banks, to the extent of 37%.[19]

          Small Business Financial Factors[edit] Business finance became influences in the lives of pioneers and adventurers in the 17th and 18th centuries, who challenged the elements to create new and better lifestyles. In 19th century America, small homesteads spread quickly across the vast frontier with small farms being established and various economic principles adopted that were associated with the individual enterprise. As the populations increased in the towns and cities, the importance and influence of these economic principles assumed greater importance, with the desire to own a business expanding, to include various craftsmen, professionals and trading merchants.

          According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics, approximately two-thirds of new businesses with employees, generally survive a minimum of 2 years, with about 50% surviving at least 5 years. As a natural progression, following the initial volatile years of a business operation, the rate of survival attains a higher level. Finance is a critical influence in the survival factor of businesses, which has not experienced significant change over the years and remaining relatively unaffected by a negative economy. Statistics from BLS, Business Employment Dynamics, show that new businesses started in the expanding economies of 1995 and 2005, or before the downturn in 2000 and immediately following this downturn, experienced almost identical survival ratios.

          The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) revealed there are 28 million small business enterprises in America, with a comparative ratio of 1162 to 1 corporation! This is enhanced by the fact that between 60% and 80% of new jobs created, are derived from small businesses. It must however, be taken into account that these statistics will fluctuate as some small businesses expand to a degree and become classified as large organizations. A further and influencing factor is the creation of new, small businesses, which from 1999 to 2000, accounted for 75 percent of all new jobs and by 2010, for 75% net of new jobs in the USA. The SBA found from more recent studies that when compared to larger companies, generally, a small business will depend more on the capital injected by the owner than that provided by external debt. One factor is that the cost incurred from borrowed money is significantly higher for small businesses than larger operations.

          The contribution made by small businesses to the United States payroll is 44%; researches indicate the small business workforce in America, numbering about 77 million people, ranks the 17th most populous in the world.

          Social Responsibility[edit] Small businesses can encounter several problems related to Corporate social responsibility due to characteristics inherent in their construction. Owners of small businesses often participate heavily in the day-to-day operations of their companies. This results in a lack of time for the owner to coordinate socially responsible efforts.[20] Additionally, a small business owner’s expertise often falls outside the realm of socially responsible practices contributing to a lack of participation. Small businesses also face a form of peer pressure from larger forces in their respective industries making it difficult to oppose and work against industry expectations.[20] Furthermore, small businesses undergo stress from shareholder expectations. Because small businesses have more personal relationships with their patrons and local shareholders they must also be prepared to withstand closer scrutiny if they want to share in the benefits of committing to socially responsible practices or not. [20]

          Job Quality[edit] While small businesses employ over half the workforce [21] and have been established as a main driving force behind job creation [22] the quality of the jobs these businesses create has been called into question. Small businesses generally employ individuals from the Secondary labor market. As a result, in the U.S. wages are 49% higher for employees of large firms.[22] Additionally, many small businesses struggle or are unable to provide employees with benefits they would be given at larger firms. Research from the U.S. Small Business Administration indicates that employees of large firms are 17% more likely to receive benefits including salary, paid leave, paid holidays, bonuses, insurance, and retirement plans.[23] Both lower wages and fewer benefits combine to create a job turnover rate among U.S. small businesses that is 3 times higher than large firms.[22] Employees of small businesses also must adapt to the higher failure rate of small firms. In the U.S. 69% last at least 2 years, but this percentage drops to 51% for firms reaching 5 years in operation.[21] The U.S. Small Business Administration counts companies with as much as $35.5 million in sales and 1,500 employees, depending on the industry. Outside government, companies with less than $7 million in sales and fewer than 500 employees are widely considered small businesses.

          Benefits of supporting local business[edit] By opening up new national level chain stores, the profits of locally owned businesses greatly decrease and many businesses end up failing and having to close. This creates an exponential effect. When one store closes, people lose their jobs, other businesses lose business from the failed business and so on. In many cases large firms displace just as many jobs as they create.[24] Not only that but it also increases the costs of taxes. Instead of increasing a community’s revenue, big businesses actually shift money away from the community. Independent businesses depend on the many resources that a community can supply. They hire architects, contractors, hardware stores, interior designers, local advertisement agencies, accountants, business attorneys, and insurance companies. Local businesses also are more likely to supply locally produced products than chains, ultimately benefiting their community. Large corporations on the other hand eliminate the need for local goods and services.

          A lack of diversity can decrease the revenues in a community. When towns are interesting, they attract people from out of town. More personality and individuality can lead to more tourists, which, in turn leads to money placed directly into the community. The diversity of businesses is also important to the individuality of consumers. Often, independent retailers can adjust the products that they sell in order to fit the needs of their consumers and the unique tastes of their community. Local businesses are also more likely to support unique, new, and/or controversial products. Local bookstores can provide controversial books and can support small authors or local authors. The same idea helps out with local art and music. Bookstores and music shops are more likely to support local art and music than the mainstream stuff that large corporations provide.Business chains decrease a community’s individuality because they ultimately choose what products reach their customers. This greatly narrows what products are available and shrinks diversity.

          Marketing the small business[edit] Finding new customers is the major challenge for Small business owners. Small businesses typically find themselves strapped for time but in order to create a continual stream of new business, they must work on marketing their business every day.

          Common marketing techniques for small business include networking, word of mouth, customer referrals, yellow pages directories, television, radio, outdoor (roadside billboards), print, and internet marketing. Electronic media like TV can be quite expensive and is normally intended to create awareness of a product or service. Another means by which small businesses can advertise is through the use of “deal of the day” websites such as Groupon and Living Social. These Internet deals encourage new visitors to small businesses.

          Example of keyword analysis based on market competition.
          Many small business owners find internet marketing more affordable. Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing are two popular options of getting small business products or services in front of motivated Web searchers. Successful online small business marketers are also adept at utilizing the most relevant keywords in their site content. Advertising on niche sites can also be effective, but with the long tail of the internet, it can be time intensive to advertise on enough sites to garner an effective reach.

          Creating a business Web site has become increasingly affordable with many do-it-yourself programs now available for beginners. A Web site can provide significant marketing exposure for small businesses when marketed through the Internet and other channels. Some popular services are WordPress, Joomla Squarespace and EXAI .

          Social media has proven to be very useful in gaining additional exposure for many small businesses. Many small business owners use Facebook and Twitter as a way to reach out to their loyal customers to give them news about specials of the day or special coupons and generate repeat business. The relational nature of social media, along with its immediacy and 24-hour presence lend intimacy to the relationship small businesses can have with their customers, while making it more efficient for them to communicate with greater numbers. Facebook ads are also a very cost-effective way for small businesses to reach a targeted audience with a very specific message.

          In addition to the social networking sites, blogs have become a highly effective way for small businesses to position themselves as experts on issues that are important to their customers. This can be done with a proprietary blog and/or by using a backlink strategy wherein the marketer comments on other blogs and leaves a link to the small business’ own Web site.

          A solid public relations strategy that utilizes speaking engagements, press releases, feature stories, events and sponsorships can also be a very cost-effective way to build a loyal following for a small business.

          Designing a Marketing Plan for Small Businesses

          Market Research – To produce a marketing plan for Small businesses, research needs to be done on similar businesses which should include desk and field research. This gives an insight in the target group’s behaviour and shopping patterns. Analysing the competitor’s marketing strategies makes it easier for Small business to gain market share.
          Marketing mix[25] – Marketing mix is a crucial factor for any business to be successful. Especially for a Small business, competitor’s marketing mix can be very helpful. An appropriate market mix helps boost sales.
          Product Life Cycle[26] – After launch of the business, crucial points of focus should be increasing growth phase and delaying maturity phase. Once the business reaches maturity stage, an extension strategy should be in place. Re-launching is also an option at this stage. Pricing strategy should be flexible and based on the different stages of the PLC.
          Promotion Techniques – Its preferable to keep promotion expenses as low as possible. ‘Word of mouth’, ‘Email marketing’, ‘Print-ads’ in local newspapers etc. can be effective.
          Channels of Distribution – Selecting an effective channel of distribution may reduce the promotional expenses as well as overall expenses for a Small business.
          Contribution to the economy[edit] In the US, small business (fewer than 500 employees) accounts for more than half the nonfarm, private GDP and around half the private sector employment.[21] Regarding small business, the top job provider is those with fewer than 10 employees, and those with 10 or more but fewer than 20 employees comes in as the second, and those with 20 or more but fewer than 100 employees comes in as the third (interpolation of data from the following references).[27] The most recent data shows firms with fewer than 20 employees account for slightly more than 18% of the employment.[28] According to “The Family Business Review,” “There are approximately 17 million sole-proprietorships in the US. It can be argued that a sole-proprietorship (an unincorporated business owned by a single person) is a type of family business” and “there are 22 million small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) in the US and approximately 14,000 big businesses.” Also, it has been found that small businesses created the most new jobs in communities, “In 1979, David Birch published the first empirical evidence that small firms (fewer than 100 employees) created the most new jobs” and Edmiston claimed that “perhaps the greatest generator of interest in entrepreneurship and small business is the widely held belief that small businesses in the United States create most new jobs. The evidence suggests that small businesses indeed create a substantial majority of net new jobs in an average year.” Local businesses provide competition to each other and also challenge corporate giants.

          Of the 5,369,068 employer firms in 1995, 78.8 percent had fewer than 10 employees, and 99.7 percent had fewer than 500 employees.[29]

          Sources of funding[edit]

          Small businesses in Biloela, Central Queensland, Australia, 1949
          Small businesses use several sources available for start-up capital:

          Self-financing by the owner through cash, equity loan on his or her home, and or other assets.
          Loans from friends or relatives
          Grants from private foundations
          Personal savings
          Private stock issue
          Forming partnerships
          Angel investors
          Banks
          Financial Platforms such as LendingClub and OnDeck[30][31][32][33] SME finance, including Collateral based lending and Venture capital, given sufficiently sound business venture plans
          Some small businesses are further financed through credit card debt—usually a poor choice, given that the interest rate on credit cards is often several times the rate that would be paid on a line of credit or bank loan. Recent research suggests that the use of credit scores in small business lending by community banks is surprisingly widespread. Moreover, the scores employed tend to be the consumer credit scores of the small business owners rather than the more encompassing small business credit scores that include data on the firms as well as on the owners.[34] Many owners seek a bank loan in the name of their business, however banks will usually insist on a personal guarantee by the business owner. In the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA) runs several loan programs that may help a small business secure loans. In these programs, the SBA guarantees a portion of the loan to the issuing bank and thus relieves the bank of some of the risk of extending the loan to a small business. The SBA also requires business owners to pledge personal assets and sign as a personal guarantee for the loan.

          The 8(a) Business Development Program assists in the development of small businesses owned and operated by African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.[35]

          Canadian small businesses can take advantage of federally funded programs and services. See Federal financing for small businesses in Canada (grants and loans).

          On October 2010, Alejandro Cremades and Tanya Prive founded the first equity crowdfunding platform[36] for small businesses in history as an alternative source of financing. The platform operates under the name of Rock The Post.[37]

          Business networks and advocacy groups[edit] Small businesses often join or come together to form organizations to advocate for their causes or to achieve economies of scale that larger businesses benefit from, such as the opportunity to buy cheaper health insurance in bulk. These organizations include local or regional groups such as Chambers of Commerce and Independent business alliances, as well as national or international industry-specific organizations. Such groups often serve a dual purpose, as business networks to provide marketing and connect members to potential sales leads and suppliers, and also as advocacy groups, bringing together many small businesses to provide a stronger voice in regional or national politics. In the case of Independent business alliances, promoting the value of locally-owned, independent business (not necessarily small) through public education campaigns is integral to their work.

          Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), operate in all 50 states, provide free and confidential counseling and low-cost training to small businesses.

          The largest regional small business group in the United States is the Council of Smaller Enterprises, located in Greater Cleveland.[38] United Kingdom trade and Investment (www.ukti.gov.in) gives out research in different markets around the world, also research in program planning and promotional activities to exporters. The BEXA (British Exporters Association) role is to connect new exporters to expert services, it can provide details about regional export contacts, who could be made informally to discuss issues. Trade associations and all major banks could often provide links to international groups in foreign markets, some could also help set up joint venture, trade fairs etc”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_business

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            Eco-friendly Salon in Denver

            There is an eco friendly hair salon in Denver, CO.

            Denver, CO has become a beacon of a certain kind of lifestyle on the national and even, the global scene. People are flocking to Denver, and Colorado from all over for the promise and opportunity that our wonderful city and state can provide.

            The beauty of the rockies, the clean air 5,280 feet above sea level, our culture and attitude, all of these are reasons people are loving Denver right now.

            Colorado is also at the forefront of sustainability when it comes to green businessess and organic food policies. In Denver the focus on a sustainable state is apparent to even casual observers.

            Now Denver also can boast a totally green, organic hair salon too. My Hair Trip Salon Denver is an officially certified and registered green business. My Hair Trip Salon Denver offers its clients all organic products and services. The salon’s slogan is Look Good. Feel Good. Be Good. and that is what they try to achieve according to the owner, 32 year-old, Nicole Zamora. “We are passionate about our salon being more than just a beauty shop, we use our business as a platform to truly transform peoples lives from the inside out, so their true beauty can shine!”

            My Hair Trip, Denver’s premier eco-friendly salon could not be in a better spot. The local, family-owned salon at 8th and Santa Fe, in the Denver Art District in downtown Denver, has been turning out happy clients who love what all natural products and services can do for their hair.

            This green, eco-friendly salon in Denver has a clear focus on customer service, from the moment you walk in the door you are greeted with a smile and clients’ need are constantly attended to.

            If you are interested in organic hair care or organic health and beauty, this eco-friendly salon in Denver has got what you are looking for.

            Check out My Hair Trip Salon Denver at 773 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO, 80204.

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              Hair Salon Dream Team

              My Hair Trip Salon Denver consists of it’s owners; Paul and Nicole Zamora. The Shop Manager; Thomas Ivory jr. Master Stylists / Colorists; Sonia Jean Sparks and Amber Vitale, and of course, one of Denver’s hottest up and coming talents, stylist/colorist; The, Ms. Erica Nelson.

              Nicole began working in the beauty industry in Wisconsin twelve years ago working in hair salons and spas, and has worked at a hair salon in Denver for the last 4 and a half years. Specializing in hair behind the chair, Nicole has a passion for finding healthy alternatives for almost anything and now feels ,through My Hair Trip salon Denver, there is a platform for which she may encourage others to do the same. Nic always strives for her clients to leave the salon feeling gorgeous and enlightened.”

              Paul has always been an entrepreneur, even since he was running his school store in junior high. Paul has owned, and operated several small businesses, including a small production company while bartending in downtown Denver. The bar that Paul worked at had been open about 3 years when Paul took over as the bar manager. The business was failing and the owners thought Paul could possibly turn it around. Over the next several years Paul devoted all of his time and energy into making the bar profitable. Today it is one of downtown Denver’s most popular and profitable bars.

              Thomas is a long-time close friend of the Zamora Family and has helped run the shop since day one. Thomas is the salon manager, he also is a professional model, writer, traveler, gardner, artist, musician, avid outdoorsman and our dear friend.
              Thomas is our captain of client retention. While at My Hair Trip Salon, Thomas is your personal concierge, taking care of all of your needs while you are a guest at Denver’s premier eco-salon. Thomas is a professional pamperer and runs the salon’s day-to-day like nobody’s business.

              Sonia Sparks is a master stylist and colorist in Denver, CO, 80204 via Roseville Michigan. Sonia and Nicole had chanced to meet as booth renters at a smaller non-organic Salon in downtown Denver. Once My Hair Trip was up and running Paul and Nicole were thrilled when Sonia asked if she could come on board. She is honestly one of the best stylists in the city and My Hair Trip Salon Denver is extremely lucky to have her. Sonia brings not only amazing skills as a professional hair stylist and colorist but she brings an overall positivity and energy that radiates through the salon as well.
              Experience: Sonia has 12 years experience as a master stylist and colorist.
              Sonia graduated cosmetology school from David Presley School of Cosmotology in 2004.
              Sonia is a dedicated session stylist who specializes in updos for special events such as weddings and fashion shows.
              Sonia has worked personally assisting Kevin Murphey.
              Sonia is a professional, certified organic colorist, session stylist, and master cosmetologist. Any cut , any color , any time.

              Amber Vitale has lived in Denver her entire life, and is constantly influenced by the culture and artistic creativity within our city! Growing up she was encouraged to embrace an artistic outlet of interest and to make life decisions grounded on wisdom and great thought. Amber specializes in custom hair color and precision cutting. Combined with her talent and artistic vision she is able to work with clients to individualize styles to meet their needs. She keeps up with the latest techniques and hair trends as they appear on the fashion scene. Amber believes strongly in continuing education with the most recent being a certified extensionist through She by So Cap USA. She is constantly working on her own innovative techniques always pushing the boundaries of hair. With over 15 years’ experience, Amber is a stylist that believes in being unlimited in all aspects of hair care and design that complement each other for the finished look. Whether you want a contemporary classic cut or a funky avant-garde style, you are sure to be pleased with the experience you have with Amber.
              Being a mother of two wonderful boys, it is as important as ever for me to continue this lifestyle I love the approach at My Hair Trip Salon in incorporating an organic and eco -friendly way of life into great hair care and design.

              Erica says “My little sister was my first and my longest standing client. She has tested my skills again and again and I now feel comfortable to try them on you! 🙂 I have gained knowledge of top color lines and am able to play with and bend the laws of color to create unique and lasting designs for my clients. I have also become an expert at prescribing top of the line retail products so that my designs will look as great at home as they do in my chair.
              I would consider women’s cutting and men’s grooming to be my specialty and first love. I feel passionately about my color designs and sending beautiful works of art out onto the streets of Denver.
              I am committed to the beauty and fashion industry and love to share all aspects of this business with the guests in my chair. I love yoga, running, snowboarding, cooking, all things French and the outdoors. I am an outgoing, friendly, caring, hardworker and fast learner with lots of energy and I am so happy to have found a salon with a great vibe and a fast pace to call home.”

              We have built the best salon team in Denver, Colorado. We cannot express how proud we are to work side by side every week with these incredible artists and create amazing hair and happy, enthusiastic clients. As we grow, we will add more members to our team, but we will always stay true to our core values in hiring. Top talent, eco-conscious, dedicated and charismatic.

              We are Denver’s premier eco friendly salon, located at 773 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO, 80204.

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                We have been nominated for Best Hair Salon by Denver A-List

                The Denver A-List is a contest featuring more than 7,274 local businesses competing to be named best. YOUR votes determine the outcome. Voting ends Sunday, August 17th

                My Hair Trip Salon is Denver’s only eco friendly salon, barbershop, art gallery, and jewelry and apparel boutique, with a focus on the client. Family owned and operated, at 8th and Santa Fe, in the heart of the Art District. Look Good. Feel Good. Be Good. My Hair Trip.

                So, kinda cool, our shop has been nominated for Best Salon in Denver by Denver A-List. If we could win this in our first year it would mean so much. Thank you to everyone who helped us get here! We are unbelievably grateful to our friends, family, and clients. (just click the link below and click the vote button and watch karma start working for you) Thank you, Look Good. Feel Good. Be Good.

                Please vote for us by clicking the A-list link below then click “vote for us”

                Denver A-List Voting Link

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                  Small Businesses Go Green, Using More Environmentally Friendly Products and Practices

                  “Many company owners use environmentally friendly cars, recycle materials and buy biodegradable office supplies because they care about what happens to the environment. It also makes good business sense, making their companies more competitive and lifting employees’ morale.

                  W&M Properties, a New York-based real estate company that also has a construction affiliate, has switched its fleet of more than 25 pickup trucks to hybrid Ford Escape cars. President Tony Malkin said of the hybrids, “they pay for themselves in the fuel savings.” He noted that most of the company’s driving is done on local streets, and called the pickups’ mileage “appalling.”

                  W&M has also implemented recycling programs in the buildings it manages, including ones that handle discarded computers — “it’s what you’re supposed to do, but people don’t do it,” Malkin said.

                  The company also is recycling about half the materials it’s removing from a project being done for Pitney Bowes. “You’re using less landfill space, and it’s product that can be used again in the future,” Malkin said.

                  Malkin said his company is using more green practices because “the current way of doing business is destructible.” But, he said, “people want to do business in an environmentally sustainable fashion and we are at a competitive advantage by moving the needle toward green.”

                  There are many ways that companies can go green. Some of them are simple, and basic, such as conserving energy with appliances and equipment that aren’t power guzzlers. Recycling is a very common way to go green. So is buying paper and other supplies that are made with recycled material.

                  There are plenty of resources detailing how to go green on the Internet, in bookstores and in libraries. Environmental groups have information as well.

                  Mark Mandel, co-owner of Mark Drugs, a Roselle, Ill., pharmacy, said his business recycles even though the local government doesn’t have a recycling program.

                  “It’s an extra effort, but we feel it’s important to be conscientious about the environment,” he said.

                  Mandel said paper from computer printouts is sorted, with blanks pulled out, saved and reused. His company hasn’t needed to buy prescription pads since it started recycling.

                  He also finds it’s good for morale. “The staff realizes you are concerned,” he said, and noted that the good feeling generated by his attitude filters down to their interactions with customers.

                  “Everyone takes a team attitude,” he said.

                  The company plans to construct its own building in the future, and Mandel said it will be a green building.

                  Of course, for some companies, their reason for being is green, for example, organic food stores or manufacturers of clothing made from natural fibers only.

                  Floorworks, a Toronto-based hardwood flooring manufacturer, sells green products — it says its wood comes from forests that have been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, a group that aims at managing forests in an environmentally friendly way. Co-founder Brian Greenberg said the company also donates a percentage of its profits toward the replanting of rainforests.

                  Greenberg said the company wanted to help fight the deleterious effects of climate change. “One of the problems we can address through the sale of our products is to be involved with reforestation.”

                  That kind of activism appeals to many consumers, who are often drawn to the idea that the money they spend can be doing good for the world. But they’re also looking for products and services that are good for them — Greenberg said his company has thrived by selling flooring that isn’t covered with polyurethane, but that’s protected by oil. That stops plastic particles from going into the air, he said.

                  The Greenhouse Grille, a Fayetteville, Ark., restaurant, sells organic food and uses as many environmentally friendly products and services as it can find. Clayton Suttle, a co-owner, said he and his partners have eaten organic food for years because of its health benefits, and “when we were looking into opening a restaurant, it just kind of carried over.”

                  “We’re trying to go as much so-called green as we can,” he said.

                  The partners weren’t sure from the get-go that their concept would work. But organic food has become very popular in their area, and the fact that local organic farmers were selling their meat and produce to the restaurant has helped.”

                  From: Joyce M. Rosenberg, Associated Press
                  Published April 19, 2007 12:00 AM

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                    Organic Color Systems

                    My Hair Trip Salon Denver is Colorado’s premier eco-friendly hair salon. We strive to constantly and consistently meet the needs of our clients and customers. We also focus on sustainability in all aspects of our business, including who we do business with. We chose Organic Salon Systems for our color line, not only because they have the best organic color in the world, but also because of who they are, as a company, as a whole. Here is their mission statement.

                    “We will change salons for the better by eradicating harmful chemicals, toxins, and carcinogens in the salon environment without sacrificing the health, beauty, and well-being of clients, stylist, or salquote closeon professionals.
                    Organic Salon Systems provides professional hairdressers with high performance hair products which maximize the use of gentle, nourishing and natural ingredients while minimizing the necessity for harsh or damaging chemical additives. With these healthier products and better information, we hope to bring about superior results, increased competence and a safer salon environment for all concerned. To accomplish our mission, we have adopted the following company ethos:

                    • Nurture the beauty, dignity, respect, health, and well-being of all;
                    • Pursue uncompromised integrity;
                    • Deliver excellence in all that we do;
                    • Only distribute the highest performance, healthiest, most natural, and gentlest products available;
                    • Continually recognize that the best way to grow our business is by helping our clients grow theirs;
                    • Fully disclose all product ingredients and act with transparency, honesty, and integrity;
                    • Never divert our product lines or allow them to be sold to non-professionals;
                    • Maintain an ethical environmental policy;
                    • Do not tolerate any products ever tested on animals;
                    • Train, educate, and provide information which will enable the industry and our clients to become healthier while improving their service quality;
                    • Provide world-class service to our clients and always strive to become the best at what we do in every regard.”

                    http://www.organiccolorsystems.com/professional-organics/our-mission/

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