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Courtyard Hotel To Open In Plano, TX

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2016-10-20 08:44
PLANO, TX––Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Plano/Richardson is scheduled to open its doors in Plano, Texas on Friday, October 28, 2016. Featuring ...

A Third of U.S. Merchants Now Accept Chip Cards, Says U.S. Payments Forum

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2016-10-20 08:30

An increasing number of businesses are switching to chip cards, but at a slower pace.

That’s according to the U.S. Payments Forum’s fall 2016 market snapshot. The report has found approximately a third of U.S. merchants now accept chip-based credit and debit cards.

The U.S. Payments Forum, earlier called the EMV Migration Forum, comprises banks, merchants and technology companies.

Chip Cards Improve Payment Security

Chip cards are designed to make transactions safer. They are equipped with microprocessor chips that makes it difficult for hackers to steal account information.

Every time a chip card is used for payment, it creates a unique one-time transaction code. So even if hackers get hold of the code, they cannot use it because it doesn’t work a second time.

Payment security benefits are driving more consumers towards these new cards. Notably, about three quarters of American consumers have at least one chip card in their wallet.

Why the Slow Progress on Chip Cards Acceptance?

Although many U.S. retailers are accepting chip-based cards today, the numbers are not growing as fast as expected.

The credit card industry is to blame, say experts. Some retailers can’t turn on their terminals to accept chip cards because they aren’t certified by the credit card industry.

“The merchants are definitely behind where we projected they would be at this time, but we recognize that they’ve had some unexpected complexities due to the unique requirements in the U.S. that didn’t exist in other markets,” Randy Vanderhoof, director of the U.S. Payments Forum, told NBC News.

But retailers that have upgraded to the terminals are seeing the results already.

According to Visa, retailers who are accepting chip cards saw a 47 percent decline in counterfeit card fraud in May 2016 compared to May 2015.

Chip Card Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "A Third of U.S. Merchants Now Accept Chip Cards, Says U.S. Payments Forum" was first published on Small Business Trends

$50 Amazon Phone Makes It Easy to Go Mobile — But With Lots of Ads and Clutter

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2016-10-20 07:30

The number one seller in the unlocked cell phones category on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the $50 Blu R1 HD, which is sold out as of this posting.

This is an Amazon phone made by Blu, a US based company that offers the phone for $100, but with Amazon Prime you only pay half the price. For this subsidy, Amazon has tweaked the operating system to load the entire suite of Amazon apps. So if you don’t have a notification, you will see ads on your lock screen.

If you are a small business looking for a phone you can give to your entire staff, this may be an option. The ads don’t get in the way when the screen is active, because they only show up as notifications, just like any other message. As far as sending emails, texting and other communications, it has the necessary hardware to make it possible. This includes 3G/4G LTE bands to access the fastest networks and WiFi.

50 Dollar Amazon Blu Smartphone Specs

By now you are probably wondering, what can you possibly get for $50? The answer is enough to let you carry out many of the functions of premium phones, albeit at different levels.

  • Processor – 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor,
  • Display – 5.0” HD 1280X720 with 294ppi,
  • Storage/Memory – 16GB with 2GB RAM and 8 with 1GB RAM, optional MicroSD with up to 64GB,
  • Camera – 8MP for the main camera and 5MP Front with LED Flash,
  • Battery – 2500 mAh,
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, Hotspot, Micro USB v2.0 and
  • Unlocked for AT&T and T-Mobile with dual-SIM slots.

As far as the body and design, the device has a curved display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a metal trim.

In short, this $50 smartphone by all accounts it more than delivers when it comes to the communications functions. So the only question about whether this could make a good inexpensive business phone is whether you find Amazon apps and ads too distracting.

Image: Blu

This article, "$50 Amazon Phone Makes It Easy to Go Mobile — But With Lots of Ads and Clutter" was first published on Small Business Trends

La Quinta Inn & Suites Hotel Opens In Durango, CO

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2016-10-20 06:40
DURANGO, CO-–To serve the growing number of visitors traveling to the Durango area, La Quinta Inns & Suites announces the opening ...

Why Angel Investors Should Have an Investment Thesis

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2016-10-20 06:30

Few angel investors have investment theses, short summaries of the person’s strategy for what kinds of startups he or she will fund. Fewer still have these theses written down in a form that can be shared with others.

That’s a mistake. Angels should have clear, written investment theses. Having them imposes discipline on their investment selection and facilitates communication with entrepreneurs and other investors.

Venture capitalists all have investment theses, which they need to raise money from their limited partners. Because venture capitalists have a fiduciary duty to invest the LPs’ money in ways consistent with the approach they have outlined to their limited partners when obtaining capital, they need investment theses. The thesis allows the LPs to verify if the promised approach has been followed.

Because angels don’t raise money from others, they don’t have to have investment theses. But they should.

What is an Investment Thesis?

An investment thesis is a roadmap for investing. It guides the investor towards the investments that fit their objectives. If you invest in start-ups, founders will pitch you for money. Without an investment thesis, you are likely to find it difficult to stay disciplined and concentrate on the start-ups that match your investment objectives. At a minimum, you will find it more difficult to decide which founders to talk to and what questions to ask them. For example, you don’t want to talk to medical device company founders if you only want to invest in companies in lightly regulated industries. And you don’t want to focus your due diligence on start-ups’ financial statements if you only want to invest in pre-revenue companies. Without an investment thesis, you are likely to waste a lot of time talking about the wrong things to the wrong people.

Additional Benefits of an Investment Thesis

An investment thesis is also a clear indicator to start-up founders of whether you are the right investor for their companies. If the only thing founders know about you is the size of your net worth, they are going to ask you for money even when you are not going to give it to them. That’s a waste of their time and yours. Moreover, your investment thesis provides founders with insight into how you will work with them post investment, and what kind of information you will seek from them. This is also important in getting the right kind of founders to match up with.

A third benefit of having an investor thesis is better communication with co-investors. Deal flow is very important to the success of angel investors, and those deals often come from other angels, venture capitalists, accelerator directors — other early stage investors. People do not like to refer deals if the person receiving the referral isn’t interested. That makes the referrer feel like they are bothering the recipient and makes them look like they don’t know what they are doing to founders. Simply put, other investors will find it easier to make referrals to you if you have articulated your investment thesis to them.

While you don’t need an investment thesis to get the capital to invest in start-ups if you are an angel, you should have one. It will make you more disciplined in your approach to investment and allow you to communicate more efficiently with founders and co-investors.

Angel investor Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Why Angel Investors Should Have an Investment Thesis" was first published on Small Business Trends

Fast Food Gets in the Brunch Game with Jack in the Box' New All-Day 'Brunchfast' Menu

Topix - Thu, 2016-10-20 06:10

It was only a matter of time before some fast food industry titan hopped on the brunch bandwagon. And now Jack in the Box, the same company that brought us a round-headed mascot and combo meals that treat tacos like side orders, has developed Brunchfast, the all-day, drive-through friendly take on brunch.

Categories: Today's Food News

Taco Bell aiming to look like 'healthiest fast food chain,' while...

Topix - Thu, 2016-10-20 06:10

If you've been thinking "outside the bun" lately, you may also want to be eating "outside the taco shell," because what's lurking inside that "crunchwrap supreme" and the "volcano taco" is only about 35 percent actual meat, and the rest is well ... grade F "stuff." In order to counter rumors that Taco Bell was using grade "E" meat , the fast food monster has launched an advertising campaign to span the mass media saying they are quickly becoming the "healthiest fast food chain," but the facts all beg to differ, despite the consultation made by a corporate dietician and product developer .

Categories: Today's Food News

How supply chain technology helped 2 brands save money, drive profits - Thu, 2016-10-20 06:00
With the proper software, restaurant management can provide predictive and actionable insights into entire food supply chains, enabling greater visibility, control and savings.

Hawthorn Suites By Wyndham Serves Up Homemade Hawthorn Bringing Chef-Curated Eats To Travelers On The Road

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2016-10-20 05:19
PARSIPPANY, NJ-–Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham® says ‘NO MORE’ to cold delivery, solo bar snacks and downright bad travel meals. Wyndham Hotel ...

What Makes a Successful Business Conference? (Infographic)

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2016-10-20 05:00

Last, week Salesforce wrapped up its annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco where an overwhelming 170,000 attendees flooded the city for the event. While it may seem like the average tech conference gets bigger and flashier each year, it’s important to address the value and purpose of these conferences and how they will help actually meet business goals.

Planning a Successful Business Conference

We created the below infographic to explore what makes a successful business conference, how these have evolved over time and why our very own NextCon can provide the purpose, perspectives and advice your business needs.

Take a look and we hope to see you in Scottsdale next month for NextCon16!

Images: Nextiva

This article, "What Makes a Successful Business Conference? (Infographic)" was first published on Small Business Trends

Could Tegel's pain be KFC's gain?

Topix - Thu, 2016-10-20 04:02

Tegel 's pain should be Restaurant Brands ' gain when it comes to the fast-food operator's crucially important KFC division. The NZX-listed firm reports its half-year result on Wednesday, which may reveal a bottom-line boost from a slump in chicken prices, the result of oversupply issues facing local poultry producers.

Categories: Today's Food News

MaidPro Shines as Top Low-Cost Franchise

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

MaidPro has been named a 2016 Top Low-Cost Franchise by Franchise Business Review.

(PRWeb October 11, 2016)

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Taradel Mails 100 Million Every Door Direct Mail® Pieces

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

Firm’s technology powering direct mail usage among small, large advertisers

(PRWeb October 11, 2016)

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Mechanical Engineer Changes Careers, Launches Creative Colors...

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

Industry Leading On-site Repair and Restoration Franchise Saves Local Customers 90% on Replacement Fees

(PRWeb October 10, 2016)

Read the full story at

Dutch Bros’ Buck for Kids Day Raises Over $400,000 on National Coffee...

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

To celebrate National Coffee Day, Dutch Bros held its annual Buck for Kids Day and raised over $400,000 for local youth organizations.

(PRWeb October 10, 2016)

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Local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Kicks Off Movers for Mutts Drive to...

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

Animal Protection Society of Durham Partners with Local Moving Company for Six-Week Collection Drive and Donation Push

(PRWeb October 10, 2016)

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Dental Savings Club Ranks No.274 on the 2016 PROFIT 500 of Canada’s...

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

PROFIT and Canadian Business unveils 28th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies where Dental Savings Club ranked No.274 on the 28th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s...

(PRWeb October 10, 2016)

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Kickstarter's Temple Wars Is The World's First Fan-Funded...

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

Temple Wars is a transmedia project aiming to get backers to co-create a new marvel-esque universe.

(PRWeb October 07, 2016)

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Helen Doron English Maps Successful Growth in Asia

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

Helen Doron English responds to high demand for English language courses for children in China, South Korea and Thailand

(PRWeb October 07, 2016)

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Engel & Völkers With RPM Mortgage Show Continued Support of...

PR Web - Thu, 2016-10-20 03:30

Dedicated to culture and community, the lifestyle real estate brand proudly sponsors this season’s event

(PRWeb October 07, 2016)

Read the full story at