Healthy Eats Stir Pottstown’s Food Scene At iCreate Cafe

New logo

New logo

Until a few years ago, Ash Khalil ate meat.

Learning the health benefits of a nutrient-rich diet made of mostly plant-based foods inspired him to open the iCreate Cafe in Pottstown in 2012.

Those who visit the cafe often describe it to others as a mix of vegan, vegetarian and in some cases gluten-free menu musts, with strong Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences in many of the dishes.

Khalil is an eight-year survivor of kidney cancer and said not once did his doctors ever talk to him about the foods he ate and how they might have impacted his health situation.

See more at: http://readingeagle.com/money/article/healthy-eats-stir-pottstowns-food-scene-at-icreate-cafe#sthash.yi5Oznyg.dpuf

Lancaster Is Google’s 2014 eCity For Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Just another reason to love Lancaster :)

Lancaster is known for its local foods and crafts, and in recent years, those traditional products have begun to be offered in a new way: online.

The Lancaster community on Thursday was recognized for taking business into the digital world.

It was named the “digital capital” of Pennsylvania and recipient of Google’s eCity designation.

For the second year, the internet search giant has recognized a community in each of the 50 states. Last year, Exton, in neighboring Chester County received the award.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/google-names-lancaster-its-ecity-for-pennsylvania/article_32d60764-555a-11e4-8ea5-0017a43b2370.html

Changing Skyline: Is ‘Over-Success’ In Development Hurting Philadelphia?

English: 1616 Walnut Street Building in Philad...

English: 1616 Walnut Street Building in Philadelphia. On NRHP since October 17, 1983 1616 Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square East neighborhood of Center City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t long ago that Philadelphia’s movers and shakers were lamenting that the city was being ignored by international retailers. Those chains finally discovered the city, and now they’re colonizing the shopping districts around Rittenhouse Square and the West Philadelphia universities at a stunning pace. Sometimes, the only way to be sure you’re not at the King of Prussia Mall is to look up at the sky.

Having gotten what it wished for, the city is starting to feel the first side effects of what New York urbanist Kent Barwick, former head of the Municipal Arts Society, identified as “the over-successful city.”

This may sound like an odd worry in a town that looks over its shoulder and still sees Detroit. It’s certainly great that the chains help draw throngs to Walnut and Chestnut Streets again. They’ve brought their stylish displays and uncovered the dormant charms of many old commercial buildings. Yet, there is a numbing sameness to much of the retail. You’ve seen identical mannequins in identical outfits perched in windows on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Boston’s Newbury Street, and Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/20140711_Is__over-success__in_development_hurting_Phila__.html#OwFqlzCPsHwibjmA.99

Best & Worst Cities To Work For A Small Business

Editor’s note:  Several Pennsylvania metro areas fared well on the list.  Pittsburgh (26), Philadelphia (33) and Lancaster (38).

Continuing WalletHub’s theme of small business-related releases in honor of National Small Business Week (May 12-16), this study sought to identify the cities that are the most and least friendly to employees of small companies.

There is no shortage of commentary on the best and worst cities to start a small business, after all, and with such companies employing about 47% of the private workforce in this country, paying more than 40% of the private payroll, and creating more than 60% of the new jobs added over the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it bears asking what opportunities exist for the roughly 12.3% of people who are currently either unemployed or marginally attached to the labor force, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More specifically, WalletHub’s used 10 different metrics – ranging from net small business job growth and industry variety to hours worked and average wages for new hires – to evaluate the state of small business in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  We then ranked the cities based on their overall attractiveness for job seekers.

Read more: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-to-work-for-a-small-business/3768/

Enhanced by Zemanta

U.S. Small Business Confidence Back At Pre-Recession Levels

WASHINGTON – U.S. small business sentiment jumped to its highest level in 6-1/2 years in April, which should bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in the second quarter.

The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.8 points to 95.2 last month, the highest reading since October 2007, when the economy was on the cusp of its worst recession since the 1930s.

“April’s reading took the index to a post-recession high and a recovery high level,” the NFIB said in a statement.

It adds to data such as employment and surveys on the manufacturing and services industries that have shown the economy regaining steam early in the second quarter after growth braked abruptly in the first three months of the year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/small_business/US_small_business_confidence_back_at_pre-recession_levels.html#pVIe8UF3EDjeX4HO.99

Enhanced by Zemanta

Philadelphia’s World Trade Center Seeks Higher Profile

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To most, the World Trade Center is a reminder of terrorism’s evil: two jetliners commandeered on a gorgeous September morning, bringing down New York’s landmark twin towers, killing more than 2,700 and unhinging a nation.

In Philadelphia, the World Trade Center is a bistate nonprofit fighting to be better known.

The attention the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) especially seeks is from the region’s small businesses, a sector it says is missing tremendous growth opportunity by not exporting.

“Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers lie outside our borders, so it’s a tremendous opportunity for companies to look to global markets,” said Ron Drozd, manager of WTCGP’s export services.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140505_Philadelphia_s_World_Trade_Center_seeks_higher_profile.html#DWHiDF78mKSEPZ1p.99

Enhanced by Zemanta

#ARTS: Mobile Technology For Dummies

Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s Professional Development Series offers a technology seminar for arts professionals, “#Arts: Mobile Technology for Dummies,” on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Butz Corporate Center, Ninth and Hamilton streets, Allentown.

Hit the ground running! Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptop, tablet, and smartphone to this hands-on seminar. Presenters will demonstrate how mobile technology acts as a driver for events, products, art sales and website traffic. Arts entrepreneurs and arts administrators will learn how to:

  • Enhance your marketing efforts through social media websites
  • Set up and use an Instagram account
  • Ensure your website is mobile device friendly
  • Adopt e-commerce solutions such as Etsy, Big Cartel and Amazon Marketplace and Mobile Technology point-of-sale devices such as Square, Intuit and Paypal to boost your sales.

Featured presenters, Matt McKernan, President of Mosaic Interactive, an award–winning, interactive and traditional marketing agency, and Steven Leibensperger, graphic and exhibit designer for Crayola, fine artist, and musician will provide both the developer and artist perspective.

The member fee is $25; nonmembers pay $45. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Buy Tickets Today! www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
For more information:  www.LVArtsCouncil.org/ArtsMobile.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

New Mexican War Streets Grocer Connects With Pittsburgh North Side Neighborhood

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rob Collins believes he has the formula to reanimate a piece of lost history in the Mexican War Streets.

Collins is owner of the Allegheny City Market, a corner grocer that opened in Pittsburgh’s North Side last month in space formerly occupied by Doug’s Market.

Doug’s went out of business in January because of years of declining sales. Collins, however, envisions a more successful outcome.

“There’s no reason this place shouldn’t be a gold mine,” Collins said recently from behind the counter of his Arch Street shop. “It started off really slow, but it’s picking up. The last two days have been really busy.”

Collins, 46, of Manchester has worked in the grocery business for more than two decades. In 2010, he opened Bryant Street Market in Highland Park, which, he said, “is crushing it.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5891864-74/collins-market-streets#ixzz2yp4GTuDA
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wells Fargo Building In Downtown Lancaster Adding Tech-Firm Incubator

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new owners of a key downtown building are creating a technology-company incubator there.

The incubator, initially with nine young firms, soon will open on the now-vacant top floor of the Wells Fargo building, at Queen and Orange streets.

Operating the incubator will be Aspire Ventures, founded by developer Robert L. Redcay, tech entrepreneur Sam Abadir and others.

“We’re trying to do something unique, even for the East Coast,” said Abadir on Tuesday.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/wells-fargo-building-downtown-adding-tech-firm-incubator/article_46794bc6-9360-11e3-b140-0017a43b2370.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Small-Business Owners Trying To Do Part In Revitalizing Clairton

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past three years, Wandra Sparks has been walking in and out of an old Italian club along Waddell Avenue in downtown Clairton.

She watches as her husband Gus Sparks installs new plumbing and electrical systems or paints warm colors on expansive walls and a cathedral ceiling, and what seemed to be piecemeal improvements in a never-ending struggle now are part of a vision that others can see.

The Sparkses transformed a club that sat vacant for at least a decade into the Ribbon Room.

“It’s a mixture of old and new furnishings,” Wandra Sparks said. “It’s cozy and quaint. There’s such a warm feeling that you don’t even know you’re in a banquet hall.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/4983262-74/clairton-businesses-business#ixzz2jPfS5b5I
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Raging Fire Strikes At Heart Of Sandy-Hit New Jersey Town

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. – A raging fire spewing fist-sized embers engulfed much of an iconic Jersey shore boardwalk Thursday, destroying more than 50 businesses and undoing months of rebuilding efforts after the inundation of Superstorm Sandy.

Workers joined the fire in tearing into the boardwalk – a last-ditch effort to rob the inferno of fuel that helped preserve what was left of the economic lifeblood of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights.

The wind-whipped fire devoured eight blocks of boardwalk – four in each town – and caused millions of dollars in damage before workers halted its advance by ripping out a large section of boardwalk and piling up huge makeshift sand dunes meant to hold back fire, not water.

The blaze destroyed 32 businesses on the Seaside Park portion of the boardwalk, borough Councilwoman Nancy Koury told The Associated Press.  Michael Loundy, a real estate agent who works with Seaside Heights on tourism projects, said 20 businesses were destroyed there.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=510840

Norristown Officials Tout Micro-Loans For Small Businesses

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Local officials are putting their noses to the grindstone to lure more businesses to Norristown, and they say they have the bucks to back up their plans.

Specifically, the municipality wants new restaurants, boutiques, delis and coffee shops along the so-called Main Street corridor, which runs along the Schuylkill River Trail from West Norriton to Plymouth Township.

Ron Story, director of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center (NSBAC), and Gabriele Prete, Norristown’s business development coordinator, presented Norristown Planning Commission with a series of short promotional videos Wednesday targeting would-be businesses.  Prete said there are 13 countries represented on Main Street in the form of restaurants.  The videos and an interactive map are available on the municipal website, www.norristown.org.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130711/NEWS01/130719906/norristown-officials-tout-micro-loans-for-small-businesses#full_story

PhillyInc: Philadelphia Has Gained Much, But Not Jobs

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several macrotrends have broken Philadelphia’s way:  The city’s population is growing again.  Residential building is up, and the city has seen an influx of college-educated young adults over the last decade.

But one trend remains stubbornly negative, as three recent research reports make clear: The city continues to lose jobs. The latest such evidence was included in the Center City District’s “State of Center City, 2013″ report, released Monday.

The special-services district can rightly brag about the increased vibrancy in the area wedged between the rivers and Vine and Pine Streets.  The city is cleaner since 1990, serious crime is down, and the churn in retail stores and restaurants is source of small-business strength.

Employment, though, remains a weakness, and if the long-term trend of job destruction does not change, it’s hard to imagine that the city could continue to maintain momentum in other areas.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/business/columnists/20130423_PhillyInc__Philadelphia_has_gained_much__but_not_jobs.html

In York County, Telecommuters Extol Its Perks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

York, PA – Yahoo recently said it was ending the telecommuting option for its employees.

After it was criticized for the decision, the company issued a brief, follow-up release, saying it was not offering a broad judgment on the practice of working from home.

In recent years, telecommuting has become a more viable option for some professions as work moves to online platforms that are accessible from any computer.

Local telecommuters have said they are glad for the option to work from home or outside a formal office environment because it eliminates the distractions of the office.

Read more:  http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_22748732/telecommuters-extol-its-perks

Montgomery County Business Incubator Looking For Tenants

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you looking to lease office space for your business?

Our Business Incubator is a project to stimulate entrepreneurs in the successful creation of a new business or to expand an existing business.  The Micro-enterprise Resource Center  (MERC) provides administrative offices at well-below market rates in Montgomery County, PA.  Electricity, conference room, and parking provided at no extra cost.  Occupancy is available immediately.

Please contact Geraldine Savoy, MERC Director 610-277-6363 X 141 or gsavoy@cadcom.org

Dentist Dr. Matthew Freedman To Stay Put In Lancaster City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Dr. Freedman for making an investment in the City of Lancaster and expanding his  payroll!  Small business is the key!

Dr. Matthew Freedman has sentimental reasons for keeping his dental practice at 416 N. Duke St.

He has business reasons too.

The combination is prompting him to invest $600,000 to renovate and expand the office, rather than relocate.

“At one point, I did look at other sites in the city with a Realtor.  But I didn’t find anything that hit the nail on the head,” said Freedman.

Freedman has deep roots in the North Duke Street office.  It was opened by his father, the late Dr. Edward Freedman, in 1983.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/794930_Dentist-Dr–Matthew-Freedman-to-stay-put-in-Lancaster-city.html#ixzz2FdCsVI9L

Pottstown Small Business Cash Mob Helps Local Economy

Small Business Saturday Cash Mob total dollars spent rounded to the nearest dollar: $4,250.00

*”Ripple-effect” from those dollars being spent locally on Small Business Saturday: $7,012.50!!

Thanks for your support!

Cash Mob Results

Reading/Berks Businesses Participate In Small Business Saturday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right on the tail of Black Friday, as consumers shake off their turkey slumber to start their Christmas shopping, is Small Business Saturday.

American Express began the effort in 2010 and its website boasts that more than 100 million people came out to support independently owned businesses last year.

Today’s event has several area retailers celebrating by bringing consumers extended hours, discounts, special events and the like, to encourage holiday shopping at small businesses.

Brad Eastman, owner of home specialty shop E.I. Home, 4453 Penn Ave., Sinking Spring, said he was overwhelmed by the amount of people who came out for the event last year.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=430955

Scranton Shop Owners Hopeful ‘Small Business Saturday’ Takes Off

Retailers hope the third time will be a charm as they prepare for Small Business Saturday, the shopping season’s celebration of small boutiques and mom-and-pop stores.

In 2010, Small Business Saturday was a nonevent for customers of Lavish Body and Home in downtown Scranton.  Lavish was busy, but no one really knew about Small Business Saturday.

Last year, Lavish co-owner Jonathan Chernes said a good number of people came to the store solely because it was Small Business Saturday.  This year, more people are talking about it, he said.

“Merchants have gotten together, there is buzz in social media, and ever more advertising on television,” Mr. Chernes said.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/local-shop-owners-hopeful-small-business-saturday-takes-off-1.1407292