It’s Greek Fest Time!

It’s Greek Fest Time!

Join us for Great Food, Vendors, and Fun

The weather is perfect and with so much to do here in Southwest Florida, now is the time to get out and enjoy the fun events around town. The ArtFest, Bike Night, Taste of the Cape, and Food Truck Wars started the season with breaking record crowds and revenues.  This weekend the Edison Festival of Lights and the much-anticipated return of our Greek Festival will be the focus of fun and good food.

Is your Business Pivoting with Technology and Online Ordering?

Most businesses have pivoted to curbside or pickup services for their restaurants or retail establishments. If not, they are less likely to be found, limiting their exposure and greatly reducing sales. Consider beefing up your site, adding online ordering, or implementing a third-party app to facilitate delivery.  Remember to make order in-store, pickup, or delivery easier for your business.

When are Delivery Apps Beneficial?

Third-party apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash have their place as they give your restaurant great exposure to first-time diners and support their delivery needs. Just make sure you control your online pickup orders, or they can take a big bite out of your profits. Also, take advantage of all the social platforms to market your events and link to your online ordering page. Use two buttons, one for online pickup and the other for the delivery app.

Digital Menus for Order Ahead 

Our POS Software and POS Apps can create an easy-to-read menu with links for you to post everywhere. If you are not adopting this technology you are less likely to be found. These simple tools enable your customers to review your menu prior to ordering. This not only saves time, but also turns tables faster, and reduces your precious labor costs.

Florida Restaurants Begin to Open up for Business

Florida Restaurants Begin to Open up for Business

Governor Ron DeSantis announced phase 1, the first steps to open Florida

The Governor held his press conference this afternoon and announced phase 1 of reopening May 4th.  He is allowing certain industries to open with restrictions.  “We need to focus on facts and not fear,” DeSantis said in a news conference today.  He also stated that this will be a gradual reopening with all but Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in Phase 1

Here is a quick snapshot:

  • Essential businesses will operate as usual
  • Elective Surgeries can resume
  • Outdoor Seating for Restaurants is permitted with the 6-foot social distance requirement
  • Indoor Seating is permitted at 25% capacity
  • Retail Businesses may open with 25% capacity
  • Bars, Gym & Salons are still prohibited from opening

This is great news for the sunshine state, however, we all need to be aware and take precautions. Our restaurants and retailers that have been offering curbside pick-up have been extremely cautious.  The Blue Coyote Supper Club protected its diners with sanitizer, gloves, and instructions outside for customers protecting their staff and patrons when picking up orders. Their Clover Station faced customers with NFC enabled to creating a touchless environment.  They also offered onetime use disinfected pens, to protect all.  Another great example of the new normal we will all be faced with in the years to come.

 

Creating A Holistic Happy Workplace

Creating A Holistic Happy Workplace

A holistic workplace offers benefits to employers and employees and creates a thriving business environment. Businesses who recognize an employee’s mental well-being create a better work environment and tend to retain valuable employees. Research conducted at the O.C. Tanner Institute suggests six essential elements of a great workplace. Purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being, and leadership. These elements are shown to improve the attitude and motivation of employees and employers. Savvy business owners are taking steps to create an environment that makes employees want to work and perform well. Companies such as Starbucks recognize this and offer additional benefits such as backup child or elder care.

The Staggering costs of Illness in the workplace

Even smaller businesses, restaurants and retailers are providing employees with emotional and physical support by offering flexible scheduling, group fitness, financial education, and even drug rehabilitation.  Holistic programs are especially important in protecting the health of employees. 1 in 3 adults are affected by behaviorally linked health issues, and illnesses cost companies approximately $530 billion every single year.  It’s essential to make your employees feel appreciated to maintain a healthy work environment.

What can you do today to make a difference?

  • Treat your staff to an impromptu lunch or coffee break
  • Give a Gift Card or Gift Certificate for outstanding performance
  • Collaborate with your staff on important projects

Simple acts of kindness can motivate your employees to work hard and be productive. Having birthday or holiday parties can make your employees feel respected and build a healthy workplace dynamic. Recognizing the individuality of your employees is essential for you, your employees and your customers. Remember, your employees are the lifeblood of your business and it’s always the little things that make a difference and set you apart from your competition.

Links:
https://www.coalesse.com/blog/the-holistic-approach-to-workplace-wellbeing/
https://blog.wellable.co/unwell-employees-cost-us-employers-530b-in-lost-productivity

Memorial Day Credit Card Skimmer Warning 

Memorial Day Credit Card Skimmer Warning 

 

New Credit Card Skimmers found inside card readers at gas pumps at many 7-11 stores 

 

Look for the red tag on the pumps or go into the store to pay. Some 7-11 stores have installed temporary locks on pumps until permanent locks arrive. 

 Fraud Facts

Florida is number one in the country for crimes related to fraud, mainly because dozens of people are being targeted at the pumps by skimmers a day.  

This year alone, 561 skimmers have been found at gas stations in the State. Due to this growing number of skimmers, State Leaders are making fraud prevention a priority. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is pushing gas stations in Florida to install encryption readers by November of 2020. The encryption readers will scramble your cards information so that your number can’t be grabbed by another device to steal your information.  

Tuesday, the Lee County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the Fuel Pump Security Ordinance. Both Charlotte County and The Cities of Cape Coral and Punta Gorda have ordinances in place already to protect you at the pump.

Five Tips to Fight Fraud

Here are five tips for consumers to avoid credit card fraud by gas pump skimmers, listed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 

  • Avoid using pumps that are open or unlocked, have had the tamper-evident security tape cut or removed, or otherwise appear unusual.  
  • Use a credit card – not a debit card: If a credit card number is skimmed, you’re protected by the card issuer’s zero-liability policy – but a stolen debit card number could be far more damaging.  
  • Pay inside, with cash or credit, instead of at the pump 
  • Choose gas pumps closest to a physical building: Don’t use gas pumps out of the attendant’s line of sight, such as those around a corner or behind a building. 
  • Check your card statements and sign up for fraud alerts 

 

NBC-2 Related News Story 

In Memory of Barbara Dell, SW Florida Dress for Success Founder

In Memory of Barbara Dell, SW Florida Dress for Success Founder

In recent news you may have heard that our community suffered a great loss on New Year’s Day, that loss was our beloved Barbara Dell.  Of course, she wasn’t just any woman; she was an entrepreneur and a visionary that turned out to be a true blessing for all the women that walked through the doors at Dress for Success in Southwest Florida.

Barbara was unstoppable. Her presence would light up a room and she was a true inspiration to all women; not just as a leader but also as a friend.   She was the type of woman that inspired everyone with her constant passion to help the women of SW Florida turn their lives around.

Our company first became involved with Dress for Success due to the volunteers’ enthusiasm at one of their first Shop for Success events at the Bell Tower in Fort Myers.   There was no job too big or too small for any of the volunteers because it was delightful helping a good cause and working under Barbara.  Read more here. 

She will be truly missed but will live in our hearts forever. We can all commemorate a great woman not only by supporting Dress for Success but other charities as well. Pay it forward for Barbara; she would have wanted it that way.

A celebration of Life held for Barbara at the Broadway Palm on February 8th at 2:00-4:00.

Expense your Equipment and POS System with the Section 179 Deduction

Expense your Equipment and POS System with the Section 179 Deduction

The purpose оf Section 179 in thе tаx соdе is tо givе buѕinеѕѕеѕ thе орроrtunitу to deduct thе entire price оf ѕоftwаrе аnd еԛuiрmеnt рurсhаѕеd during thе еligiblе tаx уеаr inѕtеаd оf write-offs through dерrесiаtiоn. It is designed to еnсоurаgе buѕinеѕѕеѕ tо invеѕt in thеmѕеlvеѕ аnd rесеivе a tax break in еxсhаngе fоr doing ѕо.

It hеlрѕ to undеrѕtаnd exactly how thе tаx соdе wоrkѕ with a real-life еxаmрlе. When a ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ buуѕ a piece of еԛuiрmеnt оr оthеr need for the business, it саn writе thе соѕt оf the рurсhаѕе off in ѕmаll increments thrоugh dерrесiаtiоn. This iѕ bеnеfiсiаl, but it саn take уеаrѕ tо rесоuр thе full invеѕtmеnt cost. With Section 179, small businesses can writе оff the full рurсhаѕе рriсе in thе same уеаr thаt thеу buу it.

This part of thе tаx соdе еnсоurаgеѕ ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ owners tо upgrade еԛuiрmеnt аnd ѕоftwаrе ѕinсе thеу knоw thаt thеу саn rесеivе thе full аmоunt in dеduсtiоnѕ fоr the уеаr thаt thе рurсhаѕе wаѕ made. Thiѕ hеlрѕ bоth thе business оwnеr аnd stimulates the оvеrаll есоnоmу.

There are limits tо Sесtiоn 179 tо рrеvеnt аbuѕе аnd еnѕurе that it funсtiоnѕ thе wау it was originally intеndеd. Thе tоtаl аmоunt that саn bе written off iѕ limited to $500,000 fоr 2018, аnd thе total рurсhаѕе рriсе саnnоt exceed $2,000,000. Thе dеduсtiоn ѕtill applies bеуоnd $2,000,000, but it рhаѕеѕ оut on a dоllаr-fоr-dоllаr bаѕiѕ. Thiѕ еnѕurеѕ that thе bеnеfit trulу dоеѕ help the small аnd medium buѕinеѕѕ owners аѕ оriginаllу intеndеd. Lаrgе businesses benefit in аnоthеr wау ѕinсе they саn tаkе a bоnuѕ dерrесiаtiоn of 50 реrсеnt оn any аmоuntѕ thаt exceed thе $2,000,000 thrеѕhоld.

Any business thаt buys, lеаѕеѕ or finances less thаn $2,000,000 in either uѕеd or nеw equipment during thе tаx year is eligible tо bеnеfit frоm Sесtiоn 179. If thе business is unрrоfitаblе for thе year and dоеѕn’t рrоduсе аnу taxable inсоmе, they can ѕtill bеnеfit by uѕing thе рurсhаѕе fоr a futurе уеаr’ѕ tаx bеnеfit when thе buѕinеѕѕ еаrnѕ a profit. Quаlifуing рurсhаѕеѕ must be рut intо ѕеrviсе аnd used in the buѕinеѕѕ аt some роint bеtwееn Jаnuаrу 1ѕt and Dесеmbеr 31ѕt оf the tаx уеаr tо соunt fоr thе dеduсtiоn. Mоѕt gооdѕ qualify for thе dеduсtiоn inсluding mасhinеѕ, реrѕоnаl рrореrtу uѕеd in thе buѕinеѕѕ, buѕinеѕѕ vehicles, соmрutеrѕ, ѕоftwаrе, office furniture аnd equipment.

Now is the perfect time to make those investments in inventory, office equipment or even a new Point of Sale System that can help grow your business and reduce your tax bill. Check with your CPA to see how the Section 179 Deduction can benefit your business..