first_imgDear Administrator Mills, Thank you for the support provided by your agency to Vermont small businesses in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.  The SBA was helpful in getting our state on the road to recovery and your assistance was very much appreciated by Vermonters. Based on feedback I have received from businesses harmed by this devastating storm, I am writing today to request that you create a new category of disaster loans for micro businesses that would be more accessible to small businesses like too many in Vermont that were unable to make use of existing SBA programs.  While I appreciate your recent efforts to streamline the disaster loan program, creating a microloan category will more directly address the challenges experienced by Vermont businesses. Over the last nine months, I have spoken with many affected business owners. I heard countless, inspiring stories of the community spirit that emerged to help many them recover. I have also heard the heartbreaking stories of businesses shutting their doors and laying off employees.  The feedback I received exposed a gap in support the federal government provided to recovering businesses. To illustrate the problem, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications in Vermont in the days and weeks following the storm.  Only 234 businesses were ultimately able to submit a completed application, of which only 137 were approved for a loan. Many of our small businesses were besieged in the aftermath of the storm. Employees were working around the clock with a monumental clean up task. They simply were unable to simultaneously compile the paperwork required to apply for a SBA disaster loan.  In some cases, the required three years of financial history had just been washed down the river. Others did not have the systems in place to access information in time to meet the deadline. The documentation required for a loan was simply too onerous for too many damaged and distressed small businesses. Importantly, the businesses needed small amounts of cash immediately in order to make necessary repairs to reopen. Their financial needs were far below the maximum loan amount for a SBA disaster loan. The SBA disaster loan process was simply too complicated and too time consuming for the small amount of money they needed to reopen.  The Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program for businesses needs to be more accessible to micro businesses in rural states like Vermont. Nearly nine out of ten businesses in Vermont have less than ten employees. These businesses are the backbone of our rural economy.  The current program should accommodate their special circumstances with smaller loans, faster turn-around times, and less paperwork. I request that SBA create a new microloan category of disaster loans tailored to meet the needs of businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Small microloans would be a minimal risk to the federal government because of the significantly lower maximum loan amount and would, in a disaster, quickly get cash into the hands of the very small businesses that are essential to the economic health of rural states like Vermont.  I would like to discuss this proposal with you at your earliest convenience.  You can reach me at (202) 225-4115. Sincerely, PETER WELCHMember of Congress In meetings with Vermont small business owners in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, Representative Peter Welch heard one recurring message: Federal disaster relief programs did not always meet their urgent needs. In response, Welch today proposed a new federal disaster relief program tailored to meet the needs of small businesses affected by natural disasters. In the days and weeks following Irene, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications. Only 234 businesses submitted a completed  application, of which only 137 loans were approved. In a letter sent today to the Small Business Administration (SBA), Welch is asking SBA Administrator Karen Mills to create a new microloan category within the existing SBA disaster loan program. Targeting businesses with fewer than 50 employees, this new loan program would provide smaller, expedited loans with reduced paperwork requirements. In his letter, Welch reported to Mills that, â Many of our small businesses were besieged in the aftermath of the storm. Employees were working around the clock with a monumental clean up task. They simply were unable to simultaneously compile the paperwork required to apply for a SBA disaster loan. In some cases, the required three years of financial history had just been washed down the river. Others did not have the systems in place to access information in time to meet the deadline. The documentation required for a loan was simply too onerous for too many damaged and distressed small businesses.â  Welch’s proposal grew out of meetings with small businesses throughout Vermont. In addition to visits in the immediate aftermath of Irene, Welch in April conducted a small businesses listening tour to gather feedback on federal disaster relief programs. Welch visited Snowfire Auto and Arvadâ s Grill and Pub in Waterbury, North Star Bowling in Wilmington and WW Building Supply in Newfane. Photo: Kerosene leaks at a mobile home park in Waterbury.Welchâ s full letter to SBA Administrator Mills is copied below.July 9, 2012 The Honorable Karen G. MillsAdministratorUnited States Small Business Administration409 3rd Street, SWWashington, DC 20416last_img read more

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first_imgBerkadia announced the recent sale of Valencia Crossing, a multifamily property located in Mesa. The $27.25 million sale – completed on April 8 – reflected a per-unit price of $68,640.Valencia Crossing is located at 111 N. Gilbert Rd., near U.S. Route 60 and Loop 202. It is less than five miles from Hohokam Stadium, spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics and Mesa Riverview Shopping Mall. Top employers in the area include city and state offices, Empire Southwest and Otto Trucking.The apartments are along a future light rail line.Vacancy in the Phoenix multifamily market lowered 30 basis points over the course of 2015, reaching to 5.6 percent by December 2015. During this time, metro-wide asking rents advanced 6.2 percent annually to $914 per month, up from 4.9 percent growth in 2014.Senior Managing Director Mark Forrester, Managing Director Ric Holway, Vice President Dan Cheyne and Associate Tom Wolff of the Phoenix office helped facilitate the sale.The seller was Bridge Investment Group of Salt Lake City, Utah. The buyer, Janet LePage, of Vancouver, British Columbia, plans to renovate unit interiors through upgrading appliances, such as adding washers and dryers.“Valencia Crossing is an attractive investment with strong value-add potential,” Forrester said. “In addition to planned improvements to the property’s already desirable amenity package, completion of the nearby light rail station in 2018 will further boost renter demand.”Built in 1984, the 397-unit property includes one- and two-bedroom floor plans with standard amenities such as air conditioning, dishwashers, and kitchen appliances.  Select units also include walk-in closets. Community amenities include a clubhouse with kitchen and wet bar, fitness center, pool and spa, tennis, basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts, horseshoe pit, laundry facilities, shuffleboard and a car care area.last_img read more

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first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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first_imgThe Ministry of Justice risks making ‘ill-informed’ cuts to services when attempting to slash £2bn from its budget, unless it gathers adequate data and fully understands what it spends, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said today. In a report on financial management at the MoJ, the government spending watchdog says there is a risk that, in cutting its budget by 23% from £9bn to £7bn, the ministry ‘will not achieve best value for money and will not understand properly the impact of cost reductions on frontline services’ without ‘combined financial and operational performance data’ and ‘a full understanding of its costs’. The report says that the MoJ ‘lacks a consistent approach’ and that until recently was ‘failing to place a sufficiently strong focus’ on financial management. However, the report says that ‘the general direction of travel is right and the ministry is to be congratulated on its improvements so far’. The PAC report also criticised the failure of the MoJ to recover £1.5bn in uncollected fines and penalties, up from £900m in 2005/06. Committee chair Margaret Hodge MP said: ‘If the Ministry of Justice is to minimise the impact on its frontline services of its tough spending settlement, it must fully understand the cost and value of those services. But the ministry and its arm’s length bodies currently lack that detailed information. ‘It is simply not acceptable that, after two years’ work, the ministry still does not fully understand the cost of its staff activities in its largest executive agency. This is indicative of the poor state of financial management in this ministry. ‘We do not share the view of the ministry that there is little it can do to influence the behaviour of its arm’s length bodies. Improvement is badly needed here, as it is in the area of fee recovery and fines collection.’ Hodge criticised the MoJ for being the only government department to deliver its accounts late in 2009/10. ‘There is a risk that the ministry will make ill-informed cuts to services if it makes cost savings without a proper understanding of value for money,’ the report says. ‘Given the size of the central resource available to the ministry, a comprehensive understanding of the costs and value of services must be a priority.’ In October, the government ordered the MoJ to cut its budget by 23% from £9bn to £7bn by 2014/15. The Public and Commercial Services Union warned at the time that 15,000 of the department’s 80,000 jobs would be put at risk. In November, the PAC grilled MoJ permanent secretary Suma Chakrabarti after a July report of the National Audit Office found that the MoJ lacked understanding of the costs of its policy proposals, and did not properly understand the costs of its activities in prisons, the probation service and the courts. Chakrabarti admitted at the time that the department had a ‘fair way to go’.last_img read more

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first_imgThe takeover, which was agreed at the end of November, will help Gebrüder Weiss expand its service into countries such as Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Southern Federal District of Russia, says the company.Far Freight, which has extensive experience in the handling of land, air and sea transport, as well as project business in the Caucasus and other CIS nations, will keep its company name as well as its 20 existing employees.”With the integration of Far Freight into the Gebrüder Weiss network, our customers benefit from well-established transport routes and an excellent knowledge of infrastructure, law and bureaucracy in these regions,” said Thomas Moser, regional manager of the south-east and CIS at Gebrüder Weiss.As part of its ongoing expansion into Central Asia, Gebrüder Weiss also commissioned a new logistics facility in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in the summer of 2013, which was reported by HLPFI on September 25, 2013.  www.gw-world.comwww.far-freight.comlast_img read more

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first_img Author: Associated Press Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Essentia fires about 50 workers for refusing to get flu shot Published: November 23, 2017 9:21 AM EST center_img DULUTH, Minn. (AP) A Minnesota-based health system has fired about 50 employees who refused to get a flu shot.Essentia Health announced last month that employees would be required to get vaccinated for influenza unless they received a religious or medical exemption.The company said it wanted to help keep patients from getting sick at its 15 hospitals and 75 clinics in Minnesota, Idaho, North Dakota and Wisconsin.MORE: Mother shares story of how daughter died from fluEssentia says 99 percent of the company’s 13,900 eligible employees had gotten the shot, received an exemption or were getting an exemption by the Monday deadline.The United Steelworkers filed an injunction to try to delay the policy, but a federal judge denied the request. Minnesota Public Radio reports at least two other unions are filing grievances on behalf of workers who lost their jobs.MORE: Can’t get sick? Track illness from your smartphone SHARElast_img read more

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first_imgThe preservation of cross-border legal practice rights should be among the top priorities for negotiating the UK’s new relationship with the EU, MPs say today. Reporting on its inquiry into negotiating Brexit priorities for the justice system, the House of Commons Justice Committee urges ministers to ensure that both criminal and civil links are preserved whatever happens elsewhere in the negotiations following the triggering of article 50. Echoing the findings of a House of Lords inquiry earlier this week, the committee says the government should maintain access to the EU’s regulations in inter-state commercial law and retain efficient mechanisms to resolve family law cases involving nationals of EU member states. Cross-border legal practice rights and opportunities must also be preserved, saying that there is ‘clear evidence of reciprocal benefit’. The report recommends that the government should consider and promote the legal services sector in the context of its post-Brexit trade recalibration and the pursuit of new deals.Co-operation on criminal justice should continue ‘as closely as possible’, the report says. This would include retaining the European arrest warrant, as well as access to investigative resources in the Europol and Eurojust agencies and sharing data on suspects’ criminal records and biometric information.Committee chair Bob Neill MP said: ‘We welcome the government’s signals that it intends to continue to cooperate with the EU on criminal justice. The seriousness of the matter and the degree of mutual interest give weight to the suggestion that this aspect of negotiations be separated firmly from others – it is too precious to be left vulnerable to tactical bargaining.’The Law Society, which gave evidence to the committee, strongly welcomed the report. Society president Robert Bourns said: ‘English and Welsh law not only underpins global trade but the jurisdiction of England and Wales is also a first choice for business because of our world-renowned legal sector. The justice select committee report highlights this and it also emphasises the importance of cross-border co-operation on tackling crime and family law as well as addressing issues like the near-automatic recognition of civil and commercial judgments, and enabling business.’It is in the interests of both the UK and EU that legal certainty is maintained throughout the process of our withdrawal. Businesses and individuals need time to adjust – so transitional arrangements and a proper implementation period should be agreed well ahead of entering into a new framework.’The Bar Council said the committee had reached ‘some sensible conclusions’. It said that ‘effective cross-border arrangements to ensure continued co-operation with the EU on criminal justice need to be maintained. Likewise in civil justice, choice of jurisdiction together with mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments (as well as equivalent arrangements in family law) are in the UK’s interest as well as in the EU’s interest post-Brexit.’last_img read more

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first_imgSolicitors are being asked to help identify gaps in the law exposed by the Grenfell Tower fire, in which at least 80 people died when fire broke out at the 24-storey block in June.The universities of Kent and Bristol are conducting research for Shelter, a homelessness charity, about the challenges tenants face to ensure their homes are safe.Shelter wants to identify: gaps in current legislation which may make housing less safe or prevent residents from remedying problems; where the lack of enforcement undermines existing legal protections; and legal remedies to strengthen tenants’ protection.Following the fire the charity and the Housing Law Practitioners Association worked with North Kensington Law Centre to provide free daily drop-in advice clinics. Alison Mohammed, director of services at Shelter, told an all-party parliamentary group meeting on legal aid that many residents wanted to know their housing options.The universities are seeking evidence from tenants, social landlords, lawyers and other professionals. The survey’s findings will be included in an anonymised report for Shelter.Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chair of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, is expected to hold a preliminary hearing this month. Last month the prime minister, Theresa May, accepted the retired Court of Appeal judge’s recommended terms of reference for the inquiry.The terms will cover the fire, the building’s history, its most recent refurbishment, the state of building and fire regulations, and aspects of the relationship between the tower’s residents and the local authority, including the days immediately following the fire. Local and central government response in the days following the fire will also be included.However, London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, which is representing some of the victims, warned that the terms may not satisfy the government’s legal obligations to investigate the full circumstances of the tragedy.The universities’ survey closes at the end of this month.last_img read more

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first_img 217 Views   one comment Sharing is caring! The Division of Culture has released a mini documentary on the making of craft products from the Screw Pine plant. The video entitled Screw Pine was released on social media, a first for the Division. It will also be shown on conventional media such as the television channel of the Government Information Service (GIS) and in particular the Division’s Culture in Action television programme. The video details the process of preparing the screw pine leaves and the making of typical craft items such as hats, belts, table mats, hand bags, letter holders and fans. The production was coordinated by Cultural Officer Carlton Henry and the technical aspects were managed by Cultural Officer Earlson Matthew.Screw Pine is the Cultural Division’s first in a series of videos on various aspects of Dominican culture to be published on social media such as You Tube and Facebook. The documentary can also be viewed on the Division’s Official website, www.divisionofculture.gov.dm. The Division is seeking to make cultural information more readily available to wider audiences especially the young, using the latest information and communication technologies.The general public can look forward to videos on other topics and various activities being carried out by the Cultural Division. Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share EntertainmentLocalNews Screw Pine Craft documentary released by: – June 15, 2015last_img read more

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