Tag Archives: Business

Can That Be Recycled?

Pop Quiz:
Can That Be Recycled?
The Bathroom Edition

How much do you know about recycling in the bathroom? Photo: Johnson & Johnson
To test your recycling knowledge, Earth911 put together a pop quiz about recycling items in a place you may never have considered: the bathroom. See if you’re fit for a (toilet) throne, or whether your ideas about recyclables need to be flushed down the drain.

A Benefit To Businesses


Health Insurance Giant Aetna Is Raising Wages For Its Lowest Paid Workers

A common refrain from some in the business community who oppose a minimum wage increase is that higher wages for low-income workers will be costly enough to either force businesses to raise prices for consumers or cause them to lay off workers. Aetna, a Fortune 100 company with nearly 50,000 employees, just made a decision that sharply rebukes that argument. The health insurance giant has announced it is raising the minimum wage for its workers to $16 per hour. In doing so, the company specifically cited the business benefits, not the costs, of the move.

The raises, which comes on the heels of similar wage increases by big name companies like Starbucks and Gap, are significant. An estimated 5,700 Aetna employees will get a pay bump — an 11 percent increase on average and up to 33 percent for some workers. And it won’t be free: the company expects the move to cost an estimated $14 million this year, and $25.5 million in 2016.

Nonetheless, Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini laid out the business case for raising the wages of low-income employees. Here are a few of the reasons he cited, in an interview to the Wall Street Journal:

  • Adapting the company for the future: “We’re preparing our company for a future where we’re going to have a much more consumer-oriented business.”
  • Workforce development: “[Aetna wants] a better and more informed work force.”
  • Reducing turnover costs: According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Bertolini said Aetna hopes to reduce its turnover costs of around $120 million a year and improve the quality of job prospects and the engagement of workers who interact with consumers and health-care providers.”

And then there is a broader reason that factored into Mr. Bertolini’s decision: “It’s not just about paying people, it’s about the whole social compact,” Mr. Bertolini said, adding, “Why can’t private industry step forward and make the innovative decisions on how to do this?”

BOTTOM LINE: The decision by Aetna to raise wages for their low-income employees demonstrates one of the business imperatives for raising wages. Simply put, investing in workers pays off for companies in more ways than one. We’d thank Aetna for it’s decision, but we know that the company didn’t made this move because of groups like ours. It made the move because it cares about its workers, and it cares about its bottom line.

Blue Cross rejecting payments for HIV/AIDS medication

Mike Reitz: Stop AIDS discrimination by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana.

    By Robert Darrow

            Shreveport, Louisiana

Due to a new policy from Louisiana’s largest health insurer, hundreds of people living with HIV and AIDS are in danger of losing access to essential medication.BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is rejecting checks from a federal program designed to help these patients pay for AIDS drugs and insurance premiums and has begun notifying customers that their enrollment in its Obamacare plans will be discontinued because it will no longer accept “third-party payments.” This funding was established through the Ryan White CARE Act of 1990 which has been crucial to ensuring that those living with HIV and AIDS can gain access to the medication they need.Several months ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) encouraged health plans to stop accepting “third-party payments,” but this weekend (February 8th), CMS stated unequivocally that “federal rules do not prevent the use of Ryan White funds to pay for health care plans.” BCBSLA said it is “reviewing and considering this new information,” but we need commitments to help save and extend hundreds of lives in Louisiana.

As someone living with AIDS who helped found the local organization in Shreveport that oversees Ryan White funding, I know these funds change lives — and I’m afraid that if BCBSLA gets away with denying this coverage, other insurers across the country could follow suit. Please join me in tell BCBSLA to accept federal funding for people living with HIV and AIDS and to stop this discrimination.

Hydroxatone … but is it really risk free?

This is a personal product review, maybe a warning and most definitely a rant/complaint … “free”

So, I was reading something online, when out pops an ad for Hydroxatone. I have seen this product before and though I have by passed it many many times before I thought at $1.99 sample is not bad … Who knew that either the original ad doesn’t actually give all of the fine print information, read it wrong or sump thin. I admit that the original contact was a third party, which takes you to a website that has huge font features and pictures. I have to say, I did not listen to that logical gal on my shoulder saying don’t do it was held down with the thought of a moisturizer that says it’s an anti-wrinkle cream with an SPF15 … hmmm. It took a week and the wrinkle cream showed up including some toner and for some reason it included a second shipment of eye cream …hmmm all for just $$$ – uh. definitely red light, alarm, watch out signal but I figured I would just send it back or cancel … the terrible horrible very bad experience begins with the operative word  cancel. I used to pride myself for reading all the directions loopholes wacko directions and that did not stop me.  I called to cancel and of course they  tried to sell more offer more options, while giving additional discounts I had enough to last forever please cancel … ok, says the customer service person and I ask can I just cancel the eye cream because I really didn’t want it … uh, no you need to do them separately. So, the eye cream comes and while I didn’t want it, cancelling it was anything but easy risk free because the customer service people I had to deal with were hard core nasty we’ve got your cc number kind of folks and we will use them. I spoke to three people and English was not only a problem, it was used to manipulate my repeated requests to speak to a supervisor to which I was told there was none available then someone got on the phone and was just or even more nasty, stating send it back. The nasty customer service person says it’s not free it’s risk free and we will charge you if you don’t send it back because you paid only for shipping&handling.  This product is really worth $279 and they opted to ignore the 3rd party ads that say try it out FREE.  These roughnecks tell me, you have 30 days to try it out.  What? That is not what the 3rd party ad says. I was told that if I keep the product my cc would be charged because canceling means sending it back. I was then given the RMA number and told; now that you have cancelled you have 2weeks to get this back to our company. What? I said uh, you know it’s the holidays right the idea that it will get there , then I was told oh just take it to USPS pay  to send it back everything will settled.  The cost to send this back will be more than the s&h … so, they still make $$ from unhappy customers! Dang, I just got screwed and now apart of a large group of folks complaining about the process, though the company is not suffering a bit.

I have no idea if the product works or not, though they asked me several times, as if you are supposed to see a difference in 2weeks. I can honestly say that it was creamy/oily, smelled bad and saw no difference but I also had no bad skin reaction either, which is a good thing.  If there are folks out there who bought in and decided to go the distance, let me know what you thought. I give them two Thumbs down for extremely BAD Customer Service and a nasty gesture to them all for what seems like a bait and switch set up. I looked them up and while there seemed to be plenty of consumer complaints they are rated high … that surprised me but it was more like the women complaining weren’t satisfied with the effort the company put forward to solve the issue… don’t be fooled …that is a part of their script.

I love products, this will not stop me from trying others but this gal is going back to Neutrogena for a while until or if I find more “samples” to try and review , including  customer service people who hopefully aren’t or trained to be cowboys.

Yes, you need to make up your own mind … read the fine print of course. Now, I belong to a group of folks of approximately 200 having had negative experiences either with the product or those who call themselves customer service representatives or the next level after the product reaches your home … just saying

Small Business – Happy Entrepreneurship Month


Celebrating America‘s Entrepreneurs

It’s National Entrepreneurship Month!

SBA is excited to work with the  White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to support  and celebrate National Entrepreneurship Month. At SBA and OSTP, we’re focused on the intersection of private  enterprise finance, capital investment, technology-driven innovation,  and high-growth small businesses.

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Inspiring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs 

SBA introduced a video in recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), to encourage and inspire entrepreneurs to collaborate, innovate, and  explore international business opportunities. Every November, GEW brings together  innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to  life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

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Nominate a Business for the 2014 National Small Business Week Awards

Are you a small business owner with an  amazing success story to tell? If so, submit your nomination today for  the 2014 National Small Business Week Awards. Nominations are currently being accepted online at http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/.

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Link Detroit: A Small Business Matchmaking Summit

To provide the tools and resources small businesses need to become effective suppliers, the SBA is collaborating with other agencies and companies on the American Supplier Initiative, which includes a series of supply chain events across the country – continuing in Detroit.

  • WHAT: Link Detroit: A Small Business Matchmaking Summit
  • WHERE: Wayne State University – Community Arts Auditorium
  • WHEN: Tuesday, December 10 | 12:00-6:00 PM ET

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Free Affordable Care Act 101 webinar covering healthcare reform and your small business hosted by SBA and Small Business Majority. Click to RSVP today

Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars – December Dates

With new health insurance marketplaces open, the SBA and Small Business  Majority are excited to announce the  next set of dates for our free Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinars  so small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable  Care Act and how they can enroll in health insurance  marketplaces.

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TIP! BusinessUSA’s health care tool can help you better understand what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act and your health insurance options.

Webinar Series—How Small Businesses Can Gain Competitive Advantage through HUBZone Certification

Are you a small business owner located in or relocating to an  economically distressed urban or rural community? Is your company  seeking a competitive advantage in the federal contracting arena? Then the HUBZone certification may be for you. Learn more with this webinar series.

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5 Tax Rules for Year-End Bonuses

If 2013 has been a profitable year for your business, you may want to share your good fortune with your staff – perhaps with year-end bonuses. Before you cut a check, understand what these  bonuses mean to your business and your employees as well as some  alternatives to cash bonuses.

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