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Business Investments You Need to be Prepared For

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Every company owner needs to be prepared to spend more than their fair share of money if they want to succeed. Despite the high cost of these investments, it’s a great way to build up your assets. Furthermore, there are some investments that are mandatory to have. Thing is, you’re not sure how to go about things. In this article, we’ll be going over a few investments every business owners need to be prepared for.

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The Use Of Crowdfunding Sites By Self-employed People To Support Their Businesses May Have Tax Ramifications

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As a much-needed funding alternative to conventional financing methods like bank loans and venture capital investment, crowdfunding has changed the game for entrepreneurs. People who are self-employed in particular have been swarming to crowdfunding sites since they may fundraise for their enterprises there without giving up ownership or control. Crowdfunding has many advantages, but there are also some significant tax repercussions that self-employed people should be aware of.

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The Importance of Commercial General Liability Insurance for Businesses

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Running a business comes with various risks, and it is crucial to have commercial general liability insurance to protect your business from any unforeseen damages or losses. Commercial General Liability (or CGL) insurance covers various critical aspects, making it an essential component for the long-term success of any business.

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The Coalition for Downtown Ridgewood Businesses Endorses Mayor Susan Knudsen and former Fire Chief James Van Goor

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Gary Kolesaire is the President of Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce,” When people who have their skin in the game are speaking out about the risk of a regular implementation of the pedestrian mall, we should listen to them.”

Continue reading The Coalition for Downtown Ridgewood Businesses Endorses Mayor Susan Knudsen and former Fire Chief James Van Goor

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What Issues Startup Business Owners Are Facing? All You Need To Know

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Small business owners are inherently the underdogs in every industry as they are consistently against larger corporations for a share of the pie. That is why one-fifth of small businesses fail and fold in their year. And is raised 50% by the fifth year and up to 80% after a decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Understanding the factors that burden these entrepreneurs will help you see why the statistics are grim for those who take the risk. Here are some of the issues that are staring at small businesses owners:

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Business Owners Concerned about Taxes and Affordability in New Jersey


June 27,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood Blog

MOUNTAINSIDE NJ  The Hugin for Senate campaign continued a statewide tour of roundtable events to discuss the affordability crisis gripping New Jersey and the impact of the proposed state budgets in Red Bank this morning.

Speaking to local business owners, Hugin discussed taxes, burdensome regulations, and healthcare with the group. John Dwyer, who represents the Hazlet Business Owners Association that includes more than 150 local businesses, kicked off the discussion on the impact of tax hikes on employees and employers.

“More taxes aren’t the solution, they’re only going to make things worse,” said Dwyer. “My employees are hard working folks that know how to hustle, but elected officials needs to wake up and realize they are hurting employees and employers with their pie in the sky efforts.”

“What government doesn’t understand is that we have to look at everything. Healthcare, for example, for employers is out of sight. If we can figure out that issue, it would probably solve most of the problems we as business owners have,” said Rena Levine Levy, co-owner of WindMill Restaurants, a chain that started in 1963 in Long Branch.

“Making New Jersey more affordable means seeking ways to support small businesses and encourage job creation. The fight in Trenton—over which taxes to increase—isn’t addressing the problem: the state is becoming an increasingly unaffordable place to live and operate a business,” said U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin.

Hugin’s affordability tour will continue tomorrow in Toms River where he will be meeting with young professionals and later in the day in Bayville where he will be meeting with seniors.

Bob Hugin, a Marine Corps Veteran and business leader who has created thousands of New Jersey jobs, is running for U.S. Senate to challenge incumbent Senator Bob Menendez. For more information visit

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The Village of Ridgewood The Estate Card Tax Savings Program

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July 16,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Coming your way! For Ridgewood residents and Ridgewood business owners. The Estate Card is on its way- to help residents with tax savings and discounts and business owners to increase revenue with local traffic.

Time to start shopping locally and get your rewards!

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Obamanomics: Meet Four Business Owners Squeezed by Operation Choke Point


Meet Four Business Owners Squeezed by Operation Choke Point
Kelsey Harkness / @kelseyjharkness / August 12, 2014

With no explanation, Brian Brookman last month lost the bank account for his pawn shop.

He had no idea why. Brookman says his store in Grand Haven, Mich., never had been in trouble with federal or state officials. And being in the pawn industry, he was required by law to get a city license every year.

“If there was ever a problem, they wouldn’t renew my license,” Brookman, a former police officer and Army veteran, told The Daily Signal.

After researching his case on the Internet, Brookman says he concluded that his banker, JP Morgan Chase, closed the account because two of his business activities — dealing in vintage coins and selling firearms — were labeled “high risk” by federal bureaucrats as part of an Obama administration initiative called Operation Choke Point.

Critics say Operation Choke Point, so dubbed by Department of Justice officials, seeks to weed out businesses that the White House considers objectionable.

The Justice Department contends the goal of the program is to combat unlawful mass-market consumer fraud, although recent evidence suggests otherwise.

A House report indicates that a primary target of Operation Choke Point is the short-term lending industry. A more expansive list of out of favor, non-financial businesses includes certain ammunition merchants, coin dealers, home-based charities, and sellers of pharmaceutical drugs – also lawful enterprises.

Alden Abbott, the Rumpel senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, describes how Operation Choke Point works: Banks receive notifications from federal regulators, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the agency responsible for insuring bank deposits), that the government considers certain types of businesses “high risk.” Banks then are pressured, though the implied threat of government investigations, to sever ties with customers engaged in those enterprises.

This puts business owners such as Brookman in jeopardy of losing their livelihoods without ever being prosecuted for doing anything illegal. Abbott said:

Government officials have no authority to deny lawful industries access to credit merely because the government dislikes their line of business. That runs counter to the rule of law. Only unlawful activity merits sanction.

Though they consider themselves in peril of losing customers and coming under further government scrutiny, Brookman and three other owners of small businesses spoke with The Daily Signal about being caught up in Operation Choke Point. One is a cancer survivor,  one used to run a manufacturing company, and one is an Air Force veteran who moved back to his hometown to open a store.

Each previously came forward through the United States Consumer Coalition, a grassroots, free-market organization that encourages business owners to share their stories.

Steve Stratford, 72
Secure Account Services, LLC
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Stratford’s business provides payment-processing services to a variety of client companies and law firms in the debt-relief industry. Because of Operation Choke Point, he says, it has been on the verge of collapse twice in the past year.

Stratford  says he worked in commercial real estate development after moving to Arizona to enjoy boating and desert exploration. In 2009, he  started Secure Account Services.  In the 1990s, he operated a business that manufactured rescue equipment, and had worked in the ski industry  from the late ’60s to the mid-’80s.

In spring 2013, Stratford was surprised when both Chase Bank and Horizon Community Bank closed his business  accounts, one after another. By law, his company’s funds must be held in a government-insured bank account. Without one, Stratford — whose title is director of operations – can’t do business.

“At the time these events were taking place, we were completely at a loss to explain what might have gone wrong,” recalls Stratford, who has two grown children and five grandchildren.

Doing some research, he came across information on Operation Choke Point. He then contacted the banks to ask whether government officials had exerted some “undue influence.”

A risk management representative for Chase confirmed his suspicion.

Confidentially, Stratford says, the bank employee told him Chase had sent letters to “hundreds of companies in similar industries in obedience to directions from several federal agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency at the Department of Treasury.”

The banker told him that if his Chase branch didn’t “mitigate that risk,” all of its accounts could be audited.

“We can imagine the agony there,” Stratford says. “For what little gains they get off of a small company like ours is simply not worth their resources.”

Stratford and his seven full-time employees found another bank, but he remains uneasy about Choke Point.

“If there has been something that we were doing wrong, we would certainly like to know what that is so we could rectify that,” he says.

Sandra Perry, 72
Cash Express
Las Vegas, Nev.

Despite having an excellent track record, including an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau, Sandra Perry couldn’t find a local bank to serve her business, Cash Express.

Perry says her branch in Mesquite, Nev., which offers auto title and storefront cash loans, apparently was considered too risky by the bureaucrats running Operation Choke Point .

Three different banks and two credit unions wouldn’t let her open a local account. “I was told that the money service business is too ‘high risk’ for the banks,” says Perry, a stage IV cancer survivor.

“I was told that the money service business is too ‘high risk’ for the banks.”

Perry is still searching for a bank to do business with her Mesquite location. Without one, she has to make frequent trips between Las Vegas and Mesquite, which are 80 miles apart.

Perry also worries that future regulation leaves the viability of her business in limbo. “We don’t know what’s around the corner,” she says.

Her two employees are concerned that the job security they once had is gone.

Perry, now engaged, says she is forced to push off retirement.

“I’m 72, but because of economic uncertainty caused by Choke Point, I am not planning on retiring and sipping mai tais on a sandy beach anytime soon,” she says.

Brian Brookman, 43
West Michigan Pawn
Grand Haven, Mich.

Brian Brookman was a police office for 10 years before joining the Army after 9/11. When he got out, he and his wife of 16 years moved to Grand Haven, Mich., to start a private security agency.

Last fall, Brookman sold his agency to open a pawn shop. On the side, he sold firearms, but decided to let that license expire in June because of “overregulation.”

In July, he opened an account for the pawn shop with a local Chase Bank, where he and his wife had been private customers for years. Two weeks later, without warning, Brookman received a letter saying the bank was closing that new account.

“The only account they closed is my business account,” Brookman says. “It was strictly targeted at my business, and the only reason they would have targeted my business is because of Choke Point.”

Chase refused to elaborate, Brookman says, but he decided they either thought he was still selling firearms or categorized him as “high risk” for buying and selling vintage coins.

“There’s just no explanation,” he says.  “It has to be Operation Choke Point.”

Brookman successfully opened a business account at another local bank. To his dismay, though, he received an email from PayPal saying the Internal Revenue Service has an issue with his account because of new regulations.

“I have heard many stories about PayPal closing accounts on gun dealers,” Brookman says. “But I’m no longer a gun dealer.”

Mark Cohen, 65
Powderhorn Outfitters
Hyannis, Mass.

Marc Cohen has been a Second Amendment supporter for years. After a four-year hitch in the Air Force beginning in 1970, he moved back to his home in Cape Cod to open Powderhorn Outfitters, a sporting goods store that sells guns and outdoors equipment.

Eleven years ago, he lost his wife to cancer. He remarried five years ago, Cohen says, after he  “got lucky and found somebody else.”

Three months ago, Cohen had a rude introduction to Operation Choke Point. After approaching TD Bank for a new line of credit, he was rejected because of his involvement in the firearms industry.

Cohen says his bank manager of more than 20 years told him: “I’m very sorry to say this – I’m very embarrassed – but the bank won’t lend you money because you sell guns.”

Cohen’s TD Bank manager told him: “The bank won’t lend you money because you sell guns.”

Cohen was stupefied. “My credit and history are 100 percent,” he says.

When he came across Operation Choke Point on the Internet, Cohen was outraged.

He had bills to pay and six employees to support. “I depended on this,” he says.

Three weeks later, Cohen was able to find a bank that he says “would accept a second-class citizen.”

Now, he speaks out against the government operation.

“I can’t take on a Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,” Cohen  says. “I’d love to, but I can’t.”

Instead, he’s sharing his story, which he says has resulted in more than 600 of his Powderhorn customers leaving TD bank.

“They were livid,” Cohen says. “I had one young lady call me up and say, ‘I just closed my account from TD bank and I stood back about 10 feet away from the counter and announced to the whole bank why I was closing my account.’ ”

What does he think of the Obama administration’s actions?

“Choke Point is an affront to the American way of life.”