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This month, Among the Animals columnist Christie Lagally is on hiatus. We hope you enjoy Amy Webster of the Humane Society in her place.
Signal Hill police on Thursday asked the public for help in nabbing a man they say attempted to rob two fast-food restaurants in recent days. Police said a black man between the ages of 20 and 25, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds, with brown eyes and a thin mustache, attempted to rob a Jack in the Box at 3399 E. Pacific Coast Highway around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
National Ice Cream Cone Day is Thursday, and if there is one place to celebrate, it's Utah. All over the state, there are dozens of authentic and delicious ice cream shops unique to Utah.
Kaley Foster is a green business entrepreneur who runs an all-natural beeswax candle company, Urban Buzz, from her home in Akron, Ohio.
Like many in her generation, Foster, a Millennial, age 29, shares grave concerns about climate change and its impact on the environment.
“When I founded my candle company, I focused on using beeswax, which is more environmentally-friendly than other types,” Foster told Small Business Trends in a telephone interview. “I’m not the greenest person in the world but had the idea of sustainability in the back of my mind. My choice of wax brought it to the forefront and, from there, things began to snowball.”
Foster combined her entrepreneurial talents and passion for sustainability to crowdsource the Akron Sustainer Project to teach area residents, small business owners and non-profit organizations about the many uses of environmentally-friendly construction. And she’s doing it from inside a shipping container!
Foster recently started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money and awareness for the project, which utilizes an 8′ by 20′ shipping container built from reused and repurposed materials, to act as an educational hub where she and others conduct workshops and teach courses on sustainability and green practices. Her goal is to raise $10,000.
The idea for the project sprang from an experience Foster had using a shipping container to sell her products.
She had participated in a project run by The Better Block Foundation, which promotes the revitalization of blighted urban areas.
In this case, the foundation had invited local business owners and entrepreneurs to set up shop in one such neighborhood. Another participant moved a shipping container to an empty lot, from which Foster and others sold their wares.
“I had heard of people turning shipping containers into homes, restaurants, art installations — all sorts of crazy things,” Foster said. “After conducting more research on their use, I applied for and received a grant from Torchbearers, a local activism organization I belong to, which enabled me to start.”
Work began on the shipping container in January of this year. Since its completion, Foster, in concert with other organizations, has been able to educate more than 10,000 visitors on sustainability, as well as on the shipping container movement that promotes the reuse of recyclable materials.
Through the project, which is now in phase two, Foster plans to feature eco-friendly materials such as solar panels, vegetative roofs, rain barrels and rainwater catchment systems, to name a few.
She is also inviting other organizations to make use of the space, taking it over for a month at a time.
Visit Foster’s GoFundMe page to learn more about the project or to donate.
Images: Kaley Foster
This article, "This Green Entrepreneur Teaches Sustainability — in a Shipping Container" was first published on Small Business Trends
Chipotle is still trying to bounce back after those norovirus and E. coli outbreaks that hurt the company’s sales over the past year. So far, the company has given away free burritos, started a rewards program and even offered free drinks to students after classes.
But none of those efforts have been able to get the food chain’s sales back to where they were. And now the company is trying another tactic. Chipotle just released a video that features the company’s CEO Steve Ellis talking about the importance of food safety and the additional steps Chipotle has taken to make sure similar incidents don’t happen again.
There’s no guarantee that this video campaign will work. It’s possible that it could have an impact, given that the video actually addresses consumer concerns instead of just offering them something in the hopes they’ll forget about those issues. But it’s likely that Chipotle will still have a long way to go to recover.The Key is to Be Proactive Not Reactive
It is possible for businesses to rehabilitate themselves after a major setback, but it’s an uphill battle. That’s why paying attention to major issues like the safety and quality of your products is so important. If Chipotle had been able to avoid this situation in the first place, if the company thought to be proactive not reactive, it wouldn’t have to work so hard just to get back to where it started.
This article, "Chipotle Still Trying to Recover From Norovirus and E. Coli Outbreaks (Watch)" was first published on Small Business Trends
Data recently surfaced about which jobs and positions at small businesses across the U.S. are in high demand.
Small businesses have added tremendous amounts of help in the transportation and material moving categories in the last few years. But it seems automation of a lot of small business operations have led to a decline in the demand for the people that used to fill those jobs.
The latest set of data from Indeed backs that up fairly strongly.Low Demand Jobs at Small Businesses
In looking at small business jobs that have declined recently (between the years of 2014 and 2016), Indeed found that business and financial operations jobs have dropped sharply in that time, 58 percent. Office and administrative support jobs have dropped significantly, too, at a rate of 36 percent.
Jobs in the computer and mathematical category also saw a sharp drop, as have sales and related jobs at small businesses, falling 33 and 32 percent, respectively, over the same time.
Though Indeed does not come right out and say why these jobs are in such rapid decline at small businesses, it is reasonable to believe that a big reason behind this is the automation tools available to companies now — that weren’t necessarily available prior to 2014 — that can replace or at least attempt to replace these positions.
Until driverless rigs and drones dominate the roads and skies in this country, jobs in transportation and related categories would appear to be safe.
Other job categories on the decline within small businesses, according to Indeed, are food prep and serving (18 percent), installation, maintenance, and repair (17 percent), management (16 percent), healthcare support (15 percent), and architecture and engineering (13 percent).
Do these numbers relate to your small business? Have you seen less of a need for the positions less in demand most recently? Or is your business bucking the trend? Let us know in the comments below.
This article, "These Jobs at Small Businesses Are the Least In Demand" was first published on Small Business Trends
In this photo taken Monday, May 26, 2014, Molly Schuyler, of Bellevue, Neb., smiles after eating two 72-ounce steak meals in under 15 minutes at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. The competitive eater set a record, finishing both meals in 14 minutes, 57 seconds.