VEDA approves $3.9M in projects

first_img$3.9 MILLION IN PROJECT FINANCING COMMITMENTSAPPROVED BY VERMONT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTAUTHORITY (VEDA) BOARD OF DIRECTORSStowe, VT A Bennington manufacturer will expand operations, a NortheastKingdom logger will purchase a protected forest parcel, and a Barre video companywill renovate their headquarters with $3.9 million in financing assistance approved bythe Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) Board of Directors.Approved projects are:Vermont Composites, Inc., Bennington A $2.6 million industrial revenue bondinducement, and an $800,000 direct loan were approved by the VEDA Board, enablingVermont Composites, Inc. (VCI) to purchase the former Bijur Lubricating building, andexpand their manufacturing operations. Key Bank and the Town of Bennington arealso financing partners in the project. VCI is a leading manufacturer of carbon fibercomposite materials used in the aerospace and defense, medical equipment,automobile, and sporting goods industries. VCI employs 104 people, and it isanticipated that within three years, the expansion project will increase employment to182. In addition to land and building acquisition, Phase I of the $4,000,000 project willinvolve the installation of new production facilities and equipment. Phase II, to becompleted in spring, 2005, will involve re-roofing the facility and installation of a newautomated paint line.Peter Zaun and Dorene DeLuca, West Burke A $357,500 Farm Ownership Loanwas approved through the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), VEDAsagricultural lending program, enabling established logger Peter Zaun and DoreneDeLuca to purchase a protected 935-acre forest parcel on Nurse Mountain in Granbyand Guildhall. The parcel, currently owned by the Trust for Public Lands, is subject to aVermont Forests and Parks Department easement requiring that the property bemanaged and timber removed in such a way that lasting adverse ecological impacts areminimized, wildlife habitat is enhanced, and a continuing, renewable, and long-termforest is assured.VideoVision Video Production Company, Inc., Barre A $163,000 SBA 504 loanwas approved, enabling Anthony and Cynthia Campos to renovate two buildings inBarre, parts of which are used to house VideoVision Production Company. TheCampos have owned and operated VideoVision since 1988; the company producescommercials and other videos for local companies, and films municipal meetings andsports events for broadcast on Central Vermont Community Television, a tenant in oneof the buildings. Total renovation costs are $397,319; the Merchants Bank is alsoparticipating in the project.VEDAs mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providingfinancial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, andtravel and tourism enterprises. In its thirty-year history, VEDA has made financingcommitments totaling over $1 billion.-30-last_img read more

Trail Mix: Visiting The Carter Family Fold

first_imgI have lived in the mountains of Southwest Virginia for thirteen years now. For much of that time, I have dabbled in both festival promotion and music writing, and a significant part of my focus in both has been on Appalachian folk music and bluegrass.So, you can imagine my shame when, as I was chatting with Rita Forrester, the granddaughter of A.P. Carter, best known as the patriarch of country music, that I confessed to never having been to the Carter Family Fold.Located in Hiltons, Virginia, less than an hour from my house and only minutes from Maces Spring, the ancestral home of A.P. Carter, the Carter Family Fold is, arguably, the epicenter of Appalachian music. The groundwork for the Fold was laid in 1974 by Janette Carter, daughter of A.P. and Sara of the Carter Family, and the Fold began with a simple, but incredible, purpose – to honor the contributions of The Carter Family to American musical culture and to preserve the musical traditions of the Appalachian Mountains.Now run by Rita, Janette’s daughter, the Fold hosts bluegrass and old time concerts each weekend. I recently caught up with Rita to chat about The Carter Family Fold, her role in maintaining its legacy, and all the fine music and food visitors can partake of every weekend. BRO – I know you spent a lot of time with your grandfather in your childhood. He had retired by then, but do you have any memories of him singing?RF – I did spend time with my Papaw, as he lived with us in the years prior to his death. As I was only six when he died, my memories are mostly of him as my grandfather. A.P. wasn’t in the best of health when I was born. Having retired from music, he was running the little one-room country store he built, the A.P. Carter Grocery. When family members visited, though, there was singing. We’d all get together. There would be lots of good food, catching up with all that was going on with those we hadn’t seen regularly, and usually singing at the end of the get together. I remember lots of people – fifty to a hundred or more, normally. Those get-togethers brought my Papaw great joy.BRO – When you think of the many shows you have experienced at the Fold, is there one memory or moment that jumps out at you that is particularly incredble?RF – There have been so many iconic, historic performances at the Fold that it’s difficult to pick just one that stands out. One of my favorites was the 50th anniversary of the Bristol Sessions in 1977. My grandmother, Sara, and my great aunt Maybelle attended. All of their children were there, as was Johnny Cash. My grandfather died in 1960, so he was the most notable missing family member. As it turned out, it was Maybelle and Sara’s last performance together. Maybelle died in the fall of 1978, and my grandmother passed in January of 1979. They had the honor of being the first two women inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame, along with my grandfather, of course, as the original Carter Family. All of Johnny Cash’s performances, especially his last ones, would rank at the top. Those were done after June’s death and just prior to his death. Marty Stuart and Tom T. Hall have presented memorable performances, as did Grandpa Jones and Waylon Jennings. We even had John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on our stage one night.BRO – Where do you see The Carter Family Fold in the musical legacy of Southwest Virginia?RF – The Carter Fold is so unique that it’s actually worth describing how it all came about. My mother, Janette, started music shows in her father’s old grocery. A.P. had started music shows in what he called the park in the early 1950s. Just prior to his death, he asked my mother to see that his musical legacy lived on after he was gone. Starting the weekly music shows in 1974 was her way of fulfilling that promise. The shows quickly outgrew the grocery, and the Fold was built in 1976. The grocery was converted to the Carter Family Museum. Later, A.P.’s birthplace cabin was moved and restored on the grounds. My mother established a rural, nonprofit arts organization at a time when virtually none existed, creating a museum and reconstructing her father’s birthplace home – both historic landmarks. Never having finished high school, she accomplished all of this and went on to receive the Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, their most prestigious award. I believe the Fold will go down in history as having given an honorable and respectful home to old time and bluegrass music. The Fold’s contributions to preserving not just our Appalachian musical heritage, but the wonderful and often unseen beauty of the culture of Appalachia, are immeasurable.BRO – Carson Peters returns to the Fold this weekend. Is it fair that a kid that young has a talent that big?RF – I fell in love with Carson and his family when we met. They personify all that’s good in our music and the very essence of the beautiful place we are so fortunate to call home. Steadfast Christians, they truly are some of the best people I have ever met. Carson will be the first person to tell you that his talent is God-given, and it truly is. He doesn’t take it for granted; he embraces it. If all kids Carson’s age had the wisdom, respect, and love for his fellow man that Carson does, what a great difference it would make in the world we live. Carson has worked very hard to get where he is, and his parents, family, and friends have been behind him 100%. It’s more than fair that he has the tremendous talent he does. He’s deserving of it, respectful of it, and appreciates all that comes with it. Yet, he still finds time to just be a kid. He’s simply amazing. You have to see him to believe just how great he is. I’m one of his biggest fans, and I feel like he’s my own child or grandchild. That’s how much I love him and how proud I am of him and what he’s accomplished. I cry just thinking about how much he and his family mean to me.BRO – I hear you are still top chef, so to speak, at the Fold, and I hear that the food is always awesome. Got any recipes you can share with us?RF – I am still the person who cooks the bulk of the food at the Fold. Working full time makes preparing all the good food a challenge. I often cook until 2 or 3 A.M. on Saturday mornings. Most of the recipes were my mom’s. She was the best cook ever, so I can only hope my cooking is a fraction as good as her cooking was. She was especially proud of the homemade chili for the hot dogs, and it’s still prepared the way she did it. The egg salad we have every week is from her recipe. We always have a special. Sometimes it’s soup beans and cornbread. Last week we had Amish soup and vegetables, from one of June’s recipes. We have served ham biscuits, my Aunt Nancy’s homemade chicken salad, and many other mountain dishes. I can’t take credit for the desserts. Various volunteers bring the wonderful cakes we have each week. Southern Food Ways came to the Fold to highlight the food we serve on Saturdays and at our festivals and events. You can find recipes for our hot dog chili, soup beans and cornbread, and chicken salad on their website. Rachel Ray has even featured our food in her magazine. Mom always wanted the food we serve to be part of the experience of a night at the Fold, like a little taste of Appalachia. She actually wanted folks who come to the Fold to feel like they were visiting her home. Her house was always warm and welcoming and full of love and good food. Hopefully, the Fold and what all the folks experience there is just the same.As is the custom, the coming weeks feature a bevy of old time and bluegrass performers at the Fold. This week, as mentioned, sees Carson Peters & Iron Mountain returning to the stage. Scheduled performances for March and April include, among others, JP Mathes & Fiddlin’ Leona, Jeff Little Trio, and Whitetop Mountain Band. For more information on the show schedule, or just to learn a bit more about this national treasure, be sure to check out the Carter Family Fold’s website.If you are going to be in the area and want to get to the Fold this weekend – say, Saturday night – take a shot at our trivia question down below. In conjunction with the Fold and Heart of Appalachia, Trail Mix is happy to be offering up two tickets to see Carson Peters & Iron Mountain on Saturday. A winner of the two passes will be chosen from all correct responses sent to by noon on Friday, March 24th.Question . . . . Carson Peters appeared on what NBC show hosted by comedian Steve Harvey?Remember . . . . email your answers in! Don’t post them here!Good Luck!last_img read more

Actions Target Iran’s Nuclear and Missile Proliferation Activities

first_img “As long as Iran continues to pursue a nuclear and ballistic missile program in defiance of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, the U.S. will target and disrupt those involved in Iran’s illicit activities,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “We will continue to work with our international partners to intensify this pressure and tighten sanctions on Iran’s energy sector as it provides much needed financial support for the Iranian regime’s proliferation activity.” In 2008, the Treasury Department identified NIOC and NICO, both centrally involved in the sale of Iranian oil, as entities that are owned or controlled by the GOI. Additionally, NIOC was determined to be an agent or affiliate of the IRGC in November 2012 and NICO was designated under E.O. 13382 in April 2013 for being owned or controlled by NIOC. In order to prevent the circumvention of the international community’s sanctions on oil trade with Iran, the Department of the Treasury later identified, among others, Switzerland-based Petro Suisse Intertrade Company SA, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)-based Asia Energy General Trading LLC, and Hong Kong-based Hong Kong Intertrade Company as front companies for NIOC or NICO. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the entities and individuals listed, and any assets of those persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. Additionally, the designations under E.O. 13382 carry consequences under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). Foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate significant transactions or provide significant financial services for these sanctioned entities or individuals are exposed to potential loss of access to the U.S. financial system. Fourteen of the entities and individuals designated are part of Iran’s international procurement and proliferation operations. These designations are being made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters. The designations focus on entities and individuals supporting previously designated entities within Iran’s proliferation network as well as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and Iran’s Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). These organizations are at the center of Iran’s continued proliferation activities. These designations include companies supporting IRGC attempts to clandestinely ship illicit cargo around the world, including to Syria. They also target the Deputy Defense Minister and Dean of Malek Ashtar University, who is responsible for significant contributions to Iran’s missile program, as well as companies and individuals supporting Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. Treasury identified Seifollah Jashnsaz, Chairman of NICO and director of Hong Kong Intertrade Company and Petro Suisse Intertrade Company SA as well as five individuals holding other leadership positions in Iran’s energy sector who have been involved in Iranian attempts to evade international sanctions. These individuals work for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), NICO, and previously-identified Iranian front companies. Specifically, they are being identified as subject to sanctions under E.O. 13599, which, among other things, targets the Government of Iran (GOI) and persons acting for or on behalf of the GOI. In addition to Seifollah Jashnsaz, the following individuals were identified: Ahmad Ghalebani, managing director of NIOC and a director of both Petro Suisse Intertrade Company SA and Hong Kong Intertrade Company; Farzad Bazargan, managing director of Hong Kong Intertrade Company; Hashem Pouransari, NICO official and managing director of Asia Energy General Trading LLC; and Mahmoud Nikousokhan, NIOC finance director and a director of Petro Suisse Intertrade Company SA. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is taking action against 20 individuals and entities for their involvement in Iran’s nuclear and missile proliferation networks and its continued attempts to circumvent sanctions. These networks are responsible for moving supplies and providing essential services to Iran’s clandestine nuclear and weapons programs. These actions are designed to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by tightening sanctions against Iran’s energy sector and exposing key proliferation related networks that span the globe from Europe to Asia. By Dialogo May 29, 2013last_img read more

House panel considers initiative process

first_imgHouse panel considers initiative process February 1, 2005 Assistant Editor Regular News House panel considers initiative process Melinda Melendez Assistant Editor Protecting pregnant pigs, banning certain kinds of fishing nets, creating expensive high-speed trains have all found their way into the Florida Constitution through the initiative process — and sparked controversy along the way.That was the hot topic of a January 12 workshop of the House Judiciary Committee — Chaired by Rep. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs — as changes to the process for amending the Florida Constitution were debated.During the meeting, the committee took testimony from Rep. Joe Pickens, R-Palatka, an attorney who chaired the 2004 Select Committee on Constitutional Amendments, in order to consider options for the 2005 legislative session. Pickens recommended — on behalf of the select committee — that the citizen initiative process be preserved. He also, however, acknowledged flaws in the existing system that he said needed to be reformed.In his presentation, Pickens paraphrased a report on constitutional amendments by the National Conference of State Legislatures.“If you’re considering a citizen initiative, don’t do it. After that consideration, if you still think you want to do it as a legislature, rethink that position and don’t do it. If you won’t heed that warning, then by all means don’t do what Florida did, which is create a mechanism to amend the constitution via citizen initiatives without a corresponding statutory initiative, and do it at the lowest threshold possible: 50 percent plus one.”While the process of constitutional amendment via citizen initiative took some heavy fire, the select committee recommended to retain the citizen initiative process as an appropriate method to amend the constitution. The committee contended the citizen initiative process allows Florida voters the opportunity to influence the basic structure of their government, and that public testimony last year confirmed the importance of the process to voters.The select committee also made recommendations that the House consider proposing constitutional reforms that would define what is proper subject matter for constitutional amendments proposed by citizen initiative; require the identification of new revenues for initiatives that have a fiscal impact, or “no hidden taxes”; and raise the vote threshold for passage to 60 percent. Pickens expressed particular concern about voter threshold.“The constitution, at least in my view, has never been intended to be a document that espouses the will of the majority, and certainly not a simple majority,” Pickens said. “The idea that the constitution can be amended at such a low threshold and become a document that simply promotes the will of the majority, like statutes do, rather than protecting a minority, is foreign to what any state or nation that has a constitution meant for it to be. I think the first thing we need to do is look at the vote threshold.”During the 2004 legislative session, the Senate passed a bill that required a 60 percent vote threshold on all proposed amendments (not just citizen initiatives); however, the House did not.In addition to testimony from last year’s Select Committee on Constitutional Amendments, the House Judiciary Committee also took testimony from several interest groups, several of which raised concerns regarding the role of special interests in the citizen initiative process.“This is not the same citizen initiative process that was introduced in the ’60s,” Doug Bailey, chief political officer of Associated Industries of Florida, told the committee. “Too often the process is hijacked by the special interest groups.”Mark Wilson, of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, elaborated: “This problem we have with our ballot initiative process is the single biggest problem facing Florida’s future. In the last election, we had six so-called ‘citizen initiatives’ whose political sponsors and opponents collectively spent approximately $70 million. All six of these amendments used professional, paid signature gatherers; and all six of these amendments passed. Clearly this process is no longer driven by the citizens, and is completely driven by the special interests.”Ben Wilcox, executive director of Common Cause Florida, agreed and said he had mixed feelings about the entire process.“It’s not easy to get an initiative on the ballot unless you have a lot of money. The initiative process is out of reach for true grassroots organizations, and only available now to people who have enough money. The fact that the special interests are increasingly using the initiative process is not a good trend, but I think that many of the restrictions that have been proposed in the past will only make the process more special-interest driven,” said Wilcox.Wilcox, however, went on to defend the merits of the citizen initiative process and reminded the committee of its virtues.“I don’t particularly like the fact that we have pregnant pigs and fishing nets in our constitution, but, I think, we have to remember that there are also amendments to our constitution that were put there through the initiative process that do belong there, and do pertain to the fundamental workings of government,” he said.“There are some things the legislature, by its nature, will never do. Reform of the reapportionment process is one example. I would argue the constitution is a suitable place to address that issue and a citizens’ initiative is probably the only way that would happen. I think one reason for the popularity of the initiative process is frustration over legislative inaction.”At one point during the discussion of flaws in the constitutional amendment process, committee member Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, said he understood why they are popular.For example, Gelber said, proponents of the class-size amendment “never got a hearing before this body,” and yet Florida “is the very worst in class size.. . . Clearly we could have done this by statute, but we chose not to give hearings. Why can’t we create a process that allows citizens to address us, that gives them another avenue?” Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, bristled at the suggestion that legislators aren’t responsive to the people they represent.“I keep hearing the frustration of the legislative process that we won’t act. I have to respond. Many of these special interests have been brought here. The representative elected by the people told the special interests ‘no,’ so they went and found another way to ask the question. I resent [the suggestion] that we don’t do our jobs.”The Judiciary Committee will continue to consider changes to the amendment process at future meetings.“Today is just the beginning of our discussion on these very weighty public policy issues. We will then embark upon, in the next committee meetings, a very detailed analysis of these issues. We look forward to working with any persons or organizations who are interested in the constitutional initiative process and the amendment process,” Simmons said.last_img read more

Find your niche in a “river” of payday lenders

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Olivier Raoust Olivier Raoust is the founder and creative force behind Raoust+Partners, a brand consultancy that has worked with almost 40 credit unions over the past 20 years. Passionate about credit … Web: Details At a time when small credit unions are shrinking or even disappearing altogether, tiny RiverTrace Federal Credit Union in Richmond, Va., has found its niche market helping the underserved. Take that, payday lenders.First, the trends that RiverTrace is bucking. The small are getting smaller. The number of credit unions with fewer than $100 million in assets dropped 20 percent from 2007 to 2012. Over that five-year period, small credit unions collectively lost $5 billion in assets and nearly six million members. Meantime, big credit unions got bigger with the top 100 credit unions accounting for 84 percent of industry growth. The top 50 credit unions in the country have assets ranging from $2.7 billion to $58 billion.Enter tiny RiverTrace Federal Credit Union working with Raoust+Partners.The credit union, with nowhere near even $100 million in assets, was founded in 1956 as RF&P Federal Credit Union to serve employees of what was then the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. When CEO Catherine McDermott came on board in 2009, the credit union offered savings, some loans and certificates of deposit. That was it.“We did not even have a cash operation,” McDermott says. “If somebody came in and wanted to withdraw money from their account, we cut them a check and said, ‘Go to your bank and cash it.’”McDermott spent two years learning the credit union and then began to lead a transformation to a full-service financial institution offering consumer loans, unsecured loans, credit cards, online bill paying and banking, mobile banking and more. Another key service has been second-chance banking to help those with less than stellar credit get back on their financial feet. The credit union also moved to a community charter—the new name RiverTrace pays homage to the nearby James River.“Most other financial institutions have had 25 years to develop all of these programs,” McDermott says. “We’ve crammed it into four or five years. It’s been a roller coaster.”In mid-2013, the credit union began working with Raoust+Partners. Before hiring Raoust, the credit union considered several major ad agencies.“With some of the larger agencies I got the feeling the plan was, ‘You fit into this price category so we’ll take a package of the shelf and here you go. We’ve used it 20 times and been more or less successful,’” she says. “We really liked that Raoust works exclusively with credit unions and had worked with credit unions our size. They had a better understanding of who we were and what we wanted to do.”The task: rebranding the credit union as it moved toward a community charter in January 2014 and then leveraging a small marketing budget to reach the more than 1.25 million people living in the greater Richmond area.The challenge: it’s nearly impossible for a small credit union with a marketing budget of $30,000 to $70,000 to compete against financial institutions with marketing budgets measured in millions. But small credit unions can thrive in this shrinking market by finding the thing they do best and then doing that thing consistently and well.Raoust+Partners helped RiverTrace focus on the underserved in the community—the invisible people who don’t always get great advice, service or even the time of day from other financial institutions. These are the people who may have taken financial hits during the recent recession. They may have lost their jobs and/or their homes but they’re working to come back now.“We are surrounded by the payday lenders,” McDermott says. “Quite a number of our members were utilizing these payday lenders. In some cases, they’re paying 300 percent annual interest. We made a strategic enterprise decision that this is a very bad thing for our members.”But some of these members and potential members had lost checking accounts at other institutions because of financial mishaps. RiverTrace instituted Second Chance Checking –- a checking account with training wheels to help these members establish themselves again. With Second Chance Checking, members can use the account for ATM withdrawals but not for point-of-sale purchases, which often lead to a cascade of overdrafts. In fact, there are no overdraft privileges –- if the account doesn’t have the money, the check is returned. Members get six mishaps and the account is closed. If they make it a full 12 months with no financial fails, then the account is converted to a regular checking account.Working with Raoust+Partners, RiverTrace tried a number of marketing strategies in 2014 to see which would yield the best results. One success: relatively inexpensive targeted postcards mailed to people living near the credit union branch outlining services and offering to give $5 (the membership fee) when they opened an account.“We had phenomenal response,” McDermott says. “People said ‘I didn’t know you were here, right around the corner. It worked out really well.Another success: after advice from Raoust+Partners, RiverTrace set up a booth at the 2015 Richmond Boat Show—a first for the credit union that now has a river in its name.“We got so much recognition and quite a bit of business,” McDermott says. “It was a really good opportunity for us to get a our name out there. If Raoust hadn’t brought it up, we never would have thought of it.”If a strategy didn’t bring results, Raoust+Partners was willing to toss it. “If something they have come up with doesn’t work, they’re not going to say ‘Let’s keep it up and see what happens,’” she says. “They say ‘Let’s cut it off and start something else.’ They know each marketplace and each credit union is different. Something that might not work for me might be going gangbusters for someone else.”Speaking of gangbusters, after moderate growth the first year working with Raoust+Partners, RiverTrace hit its stride in 2015. In December 2014, assets were $20 million with $10 million in loans. In a little less than six months, RiverTrace grew to $24 million in assets and $16 million in loans. Membership has more than doubled – from 1,200 to 2,600.“We’re averaging between 80 and 100 new members a month,” she says. “For us, it’s phenomenal growth.”Raoust+Partners is helping RiverTrace help its community.“Sometimes I feel like I am their only client,” McDermott says.last_img read more

The newest app on the playground – what you need to know about TikTok

first_imgAttention marketers: there’s a new social media app on the playground, and it’s taking the world by storm! Filling the void left by Vine, which was discontinued in 2016, TikTok launched in early 2018 and has already made quite an impact on how consumers are using social. Created by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, the app allows users to create 10- to 60-second looping videos with musical overlays, sound effects and image filters.In just two short years, TikTok passed the 800 million monthly active users mark, reaching mostly Gen-Z and millennial audiences. More than half of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 56% being male.To help make informed decisions about your social media strategy, here are some interesting stats on the app:TikTok was the third-most downloaded app globally as of early 2019 according to a study by Business of AppsThe app hit 1 billion downloads by February 2019, beating Instagram and Facebook in app stores according to Business InsiderAs of late October 2019, TikTok was the Top Free App in the Entertainment section of the Apple App StoreRoughly half of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 60% being between 16 and 24The app has 26.5 million monthly active users in the U.S. according to DigidayAverage users spend 52 minutes per day on the app90% of users visit the app more than once per dayAccording to Digiday, TikTok claims the average session is nearly five minutes, which is longer than Snapchat or Instagram’s average session.Because the app allows videos to be published instantly, it is a great platform for both branded and non-branded content. However, traditional marketing is not a fit. In order to grab users’ attention, marketers must get creative, and flex their comedy muscles. The most popular videos on the app include music, comedic shorts, duets and challenge videos. Some brands that saw early success on the platform include Guess with the #inMyDenimChallenge, Chipolte with the #ChipolteLidFlipChallenge and The Washington Post with their funny newsroom shorts.If you’re targeting Gen-Z and operating on a limited budget, TikTok might be worth the experiment. Users can easily find company pages, follow or search for posts. Videos can also be optimized with hashtags and keywords, making the search more user friendly than other platforms like Snapchat. However, the app is not ideal for driving website traffic, yet. Because it’s in the experimental stages of development, links on videos are reserved for only certain brands, and this feature is costly. There also aren’t many public statistics on advertising and engagement, yet. As the app aims to grow its advertisement revenue, more information can be expected to become available.As you begin brainstorming your TikTok debuts, here are some tips to help you get started:Show your sense of humorTake advantage of filters and musicUse hashtags to join conversations and respond to challenges to boost engagementConsider using the app to provide an inside look at a day in the life of your officeAnd most importantly, HAVE FUN! 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Britney Bailey Britney Bailey is the Marketing Director for Excel Federal Credit Union.  She has a decade of experience in marketing, public relations and sales.  Prior to joining Growth by Design, Britney’… Web: Detailslast_img read more

Sports tourism on Lošinj: NK Osijek is preparing on Mali Lošinj

first_imgNK Osijek, unfortunately one of the few Croatian clubs that prepare for the season in Croatia, and after Lošinj, move to Rovinj where they will play against Slovenian Gorica, Hungarian second league Duna Aszfalt and football club Domžale, a team from the upper house of the Slovenian league.  WILL WE FINALLY TURN SPORTS TOURISM FROM POTENTIAL TO A RESOURCE? The second-placed team of the First Croatian Football League, the football players of NK Osijek, are in Mali Lošinj preparing for the spring season. The Mayor of Mali Lošinj, Ana Kučić, thanked the club for choosing Mali Lošinj as a destination for preparations, and at the same time announced larger investments in sports infrastructure.  But not everything is in football, on the contrary, there is greater potential in “small” sports. The best fresh example is the 28th international karate tournament Grand Prix Croatia, which is being held this weekend in Samobor. So this weekend Samobor will host competitors from 23 countries or about 1700 competitors. When we add more coaches, support staff, fans and parents, we are talking about more than 2.000 guests. LOUD THINKING: SPORTS TOURISM IN CROATIA – THERE ARE PICTURES, BUT NO TONE. The first step is always the most difficult, but also the most important. FIND OUT HOW SPORTS TOURISM IS DEVELOPING IN MEĐIMURJE, AND IT IS NOT ABOUT FOOTBALL center_img NK Osijek chose Lošinj because of the favorable climate and terrain that meets their needs. Apart from the mentioned, they also praised the accommodation – the Aurora hotel in Lošinj, which, as they say, even the most picky guests would find it difficult to find a remark. Yes, 1.700 competitors or overnight stays. Smart all clear. “We are a destination that ended last year with record results, with 3% more arrivals on Lošinj (307.283) and 2% more overnight stays (2.372.329), which again ranked us among the leading Croatian destinations with the most overnight stays. With additional investments in the development of sports infrastructure and new sports fields, we will be one step closer to year-round tourism.. ” Kucic points out. Cover photo: NK Osijek RELATED NEWS: The potential of sports tourism in Croatia, especially on the Adriatic, is huge and has been standing for years, but it is up to us to turn those potentials into resources. last_img read more

Next World Bank, IMF meetings to be virtual: World Bank chief

first_imgThe World Bank and International Monetary Fund will hold their annual Fall Meetings online in October because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass said in a letter to the Bank’s governors.Malpass also encouraged those countries that are considering appointing new executive directors to represent them on the Bank’s boards to factor gender diversity into their decisions. Only five of 25 current directors are women, he said.The decision to meet virtually, rather than in person in Washington, was widely expected given rising infections in the United States, and continuing travel restrictions. Topics : The two international finance institutions also held their Spring Meetings online in April, and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other officials have said they expect to shift more of their work to virtual meetings in the future.In his letter, posted on the LinkedIn business networking site, Malpass underscored the Bank’s commitment to addressing the economic impact of the pandemic and helping developing countries take steps toward recovery.”The COVID-19 crisis and economic shutdown threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent years and throw hundreds of millions of people back into poverty,” Malpass wrote.He said the Bank had approved emergency health projects in over 100 countries and was providing working capital and trade finance for the private sector in developing countries.The Bank’s preliminary and unaudited commitments in fiscal 2020 would likely total about $74 billion, up sharply from fiscal 2019, with total financing in the 15 months ending June 30, 2021, to reach as high as $160 billion, he wrote.Malpass called again for additional steps to help some of the poorest countries deal with unsustainable debt burdens, in addition to an offer by the Group of 20 major economies to freeze debt-service payments through the end of the year. last_img read more

Jakarta asked to evaluate odd-even plate policy as public transportation use surges

first_imgThe National COVID-19 task force has called on the Jakarta administration to evaluate the odd-even license plate policy currently in force, as it has caused a spike in the number of public transportation passengers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.“Following the implementation of the odd-even plate policy, data show that there has been a 3.5 percent increase in commuter line [KRL] passengers from an average of 400,000 passengers a day,” task force head Doni Monardo said in a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing social affairs on Thursday.The 3.5 percent increase in the number of passengers had increased the passenger density in train cars, he said. The city-owned bus rapid transit (BRT) service, Transjakarta, has also seen its passenger numbers jump by 6 to 12 percent since Jakarta reimposed the odd-even plate policy in early August, Doni said.He further revealed that 62 percent of the 944 coronavirus patients hospitalized at the COVID-19 emergency hospital in the Kemayoran Athlete Village in Central Jakarta were users of public transportation.Read also: Return of odd-even policy increases ridership, Jakarta Police say“Therefore, we ask the Jakarta administration to evaluate the odd-even plate policy to reduce crowds on public transportation,” he added.Doni, who is also the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said the task force had also reminded the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry and State-Owned Enterprise Ministry to prevent its employees from using public transportation.The odd-even plate policy, which was lifted by the city in March following the outbreak, has been implemented on 25 roads in the city since Aug. 3. The policy is in place from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo said the city decided to reimpose the policy to limit car travel because of increased traffic as the capital no longer required an entry and exit permit (SIKM) to travel in and out the city, which previously had limited people’s mobility. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

Lynch, Brocksieck, Becerra take Quincy feature wins

first_imgBy Jack WalbringQUINCY, Ill. (June 29) – Jim Lynch, Aaron Brocksieck and Austin Bercerra all took IMCA feature wins at Quincy Raceway on Sunday.Beau Taylor took over the lead of the Powder Coat Plus IMCA Stock Car main event on the fourth lap and powered to a comfortable lead as the field behind him battled for position. A caution flag brought the field to Taylor’s rear bumper on the 14th lap and that was all Lynch needed to make his bid for the lead. Lynch pulled close to Taylor on the final lap and made an incredible pass for the lead on the low side to take the win by a fender over Taylor who had to settle for second.Brocksieck kept his cool throughout the entire 18-lap Summy Tire and Auto Center IMCA Northern SportMod main event. Brocksieck maintained the lead through several caution periods and was challenged by several different drivers during the event but managed to hold off all their efforts to take the lead to score his second feature win of the season.Becerra scored his latest feature win of the season in the Mach-1 Sport Compact main event as he overtook early leader Brandon Lambert on the fourth lap. Becerra then held off Lambert the rest of the way.last_img read more