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U.S. Sees Sharpest Rise in Independent Workforce in More Than 50 Years

MBO Partners

MBO Partners released its 11th Annual State of Independence in America report, the country’s longest-running end-to-end study of the American independent workforce. In the year of the Great Resignation, there was a record-breaking 34% surge in people choosing independent work. This segment jumped from 38.2 million in 2020 to a whopping 51.1 million in 2021. “This year may be remembered as the seminal moment when work forever changed,” said Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners. “An undercurrent that has been simmering reached a boiling point when people were forced out of the office and into alternative work arrangements. This is the largest shift we have seen in the workforce in decades.” Below are five trends revealed in this year’s data report. Workers cut the cord on fixed locations. Freed from the confines of working in a single onsite location, many took remote work on the road. The number of digital nomads rose from 10.9 million in 2020 to 15.5 million in 2021, a 42% increase. Most of the nomads were traditional workers, but the number of independent digital nomads rose 15%, from 4.6 million in 2020 to 5.3 million in 2021. Collaborators are the new colleagues. Independents refer work and share the load with other independents. Twenty-five percent find assignments through other independents. And in the past 12 months, 25% of full-time independents said they had teamed up with independent workers or microbusinesses in their work, up from 19% in 2020. Collaboration is even higher for independents in the creator economy with over half (55%) reporting that they are teaming up with other content creators on projects. Even independents are haunted by the 1%. The U.S. has long been seen as a two-tier economy, with those at the very top thriving while many at the bottom struggle. We see this effect replicated in the independent workforce with those having in-demand skills and credentials able to charge a premium for their work. Inflation drives moonlighting 2.0. The rising cost of living and the loss of payroll jobs is driving more people to supplement their income with independent work. Part-time and occasional independents are the fastest-growing portion of the independent workforce. For those who became part-time independents in the past year, 73% cited supplementing their income as the reason. Platforms become independent launching pad. As independent work has become more mainstream, we have seen a rise in businesses that facilitate this way of work. Online platforms and marketplaces are powerful facilitators that let independents find work, learn new skills, and explore new markets. The trajectory of these platforms has been one of the most powerful growth stories in this survey. In 2011, only 3% of independents reported using an online talent platform in the previous 12 months. But in 2021, an impressive 40% said they had done so in the past year. And an even higher number – 43% – said they planned to use an online talent platform in the coming 12 months. For more information or to obtain a copy of the 11th annual State of Independence report, please visit https://www.mbopartners.com/state-of-independence/​. About MBO Partners®​ MBO Partners is a deep job platform that connects and enables independent professionals and microbusiness owners to do business safely and effectively with enterprise organizations. Its unmatched experience and industry leadership enable it to operate on the forefront of the independent economy and consistently advance the next way of working. For more information, visit​ ​mbopartners.com​ Contact Details Karen Swim +1 586-461-2103 karen@wordsforhirellc.com Company Website https://mbopartners.com

December 07, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Minuteman Press Highlights Year of Helping Independent Print Center Owners Sell Their Businesses

Minuteman Press International Inc

Minuteman Press International, the world’s leading design, marketing, and printing franchise, is proud to announce additional successful conversions of independent print shops to Minuteman Press franchises in 2021. Through the Minuteman Press International Conversion Program, independent printers are able to sell their printing business at no cost to them. Minuteman Press Franchise Conversion Program – 2021 Highlights Through this program, Minuteman Press International helps sellers of qualified printing businesses find qualified buyers within a reasonable time frame. All of the businesses highlighted below were listed for sale in mid-2020 and sold through 2021. Minuteman Press, Red Bank, New Jersey (formerly All American Print & Copy Center) Jason Carris is the new owner of Minuteman Press in Red Bank, NJ, which is part of the Middletown Township. He purchased All American Print & Copy Center, which was in business for 40 years, and took over the business in September 2021. Jason says, “ The biggest advantage of buying this business was having an established clientele. We did our research and made sure the owners were respected by their clients. There was also 40 years of history and track record as well.” He continues, “Minuteman Press and our Regional Vice President Jim Galasso guided us through the purchase of the business step by step. Jim made the process easier to manage and I couldn’t have done this on my own without the help from the team at Minuteman Press International.” Prior to franchising, Jason worked in medical publishing and digital marketing. He also ran a number of small consulting businesses in his career. He says, “A combination of things – including the pandemic and economic forces – made me decide to go fully into business ownership. My wife Renee has an entrepreneurial spirt as well.” Why Minuteman Press? Jason answers, “We did a lot of research and Minuteman Press jumped out to us on a number of levels. They were on a lot of top franchise lists, they appealed to people who hadn’t owned a business, and the business seemed easy to learn. In addition to being a highly respected franchise, Minuteman Press had a reasonable cost of entry and I appreciate their cap on royalties.” He adds, “The support has been wonderful. Because there is a 40-year history of the independent print shop we purchased, we have been transitioning the business. It’s great to have the training and support especially since I had not run a business of this scope before.” What is it like for Jason to be a business owner? He says, “Once you make that leap, it’s a very exciting experience to own your own business. We have a vibrant community here and I see the long-term growth potential. I am looking forward to making Minuteman Press a real pillar and trusted business partner in Red Bank / Middletown Township.” Jason further explains, “I think we have a tremendous opportunity to expand our wide format printing business with banners, posters, and signage remaining in high demand for our clients. I am also looking forward to bolstering our in-house mailing and direct mail services to help other local businesses reach their target audiences.” “I think the two biggest keys to owning a business are to really make sure you feel 100% comfortable with the business model, and to believe in your products and services. Also, it is important to be proactive but also have patience after buying the business. Think about growth potential, and understand there is a learning curve. That’s normal for everyone.” -Jason Carris, owner, Minuteman Press franchise, Red Bank, NJ (formerly All American Print & Copy Center) For more information on Minuteman Press in Red Bank, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/nj/red-bank. Minuteman Press, Longmont, Colorado (formerly Ron’s Printing Center) Avi Kumar has been part of the Minuteman Press franchise family since May 2016 as the owner of Minuteman Press in Greeley, CO. In February 2021, Avi had the opportunity to buy Ron’s Printing Center located in Longmont, CO, which was in business for 40 years. Avi converted Ron’s Printing Center into his second Minuteman Press franchise location in February 2021. Avi says, “Our Regional Vice President Jack Panzer told us about this established business for sale in Longmont, which is 40 minutes from us. The main advantage was to extend profitability and expand our business in Northern Colorado.” He continues, “Another advantage was that we did not have to spend a lot of extra effort in marketing this as a new business because Ron’s Printing Center had been established for a long time. The employees were all very hands-on and diligent and we were able to retain them all. Within the second month, we added mailings, promotional products, and apparel to their product lines. In fact, we just wrapped up a 30K mailer for a local non-profit organization and secured a large apparel order as well.” Prior to franchising in 2016, Avi worked in retail as a convenience store manager of several locations. “I used to manage some stores in Illinois for a big outfit out of Wisconsin. I finally got tired of answering to my boss and decided I wanted to own my own business. I moved on to better pastures and we decided as a family that Colorado was our calling.” Avi is thankful for being able to work with Minuteman Press and Jack Panzer over the past five years in Greeley and on the conversion in Longmont in 2021. He says, “Working with Jack is amazing as he is very thorough and helpful. Since I started my business in Greeley in 2016, he has been a huge resource for us and very supportive. As we start to build in Longmont, we are also expanding in Greeley to a new 5,000 sq. ft. facility – remodeling is under way as we speak. We started small and grew the business, and now we are building on that success at the right, consistent pace.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Longmont and Greeley, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/co/longmont or https://minuteman.com/us/locations/co/greeley. Minuteman Press, Missoula, Montana (formerly Advertiser Montana Printing) Rebecca and Kirk Treece are the new owners of Minuteman Press in Missoula, Montana. They purchased Advertiser Montana Printing, which has a 40-year history in Missoula, in January 2021. Rebecca says, “It is a real honor to become part of Missoula’s thriving business community. The Palmers (former owners) had a 40-year long relationship with this community and their loyal customers have welcomed us and trusted us with their service, which has given us a great start here in Missoula.” Prior to Minuteman Press, Rebecca and Kirk had varying careers. Rebecca shares, “Before owning my own business, I was utilizing my teaching degree as a vision therapist at an optometry office in Missoula, working with children and adults to improve their visual skills. My husband Kirk was previously a financial and operational manager for a large company. He and I also own a franchise of Fish Window Cleaning and Sunbelt Business Brokerage. We are familiar with business and the franchise concept, but were really drawn to the Minuteman Press structure, training, support and record of success.” While Rebecca and Kirk have experience owning a business, they had never been involved in the printing industry before. Rebecca says, “Advertiser Montana Printing was an independent print shop that had been in business for 40 years and they had a very loyal base of long-standing customers. An established customer base was the opportunity we were looking for when buying a new business. Our goal is 100% retention and we have worked diligently to meet and develop relationships with each customer. We hit the ground running and it gave us an opportunity to get experience across the board. Our local Minuteman Press field representatives were able to train us on every aspect of the business, which gave us the confidence to meet the demands of our customers.” Rebecca continues, “The support from Minuteman Press has been exceptional. The training was very comprehensive, and we felt like we were well-prepared for starting up and getting straight to work. We also know exactly who to call when we have a question or issue to manage. The network of Minuteman Press is amazing in the way that everyone is there for you at any time and in any capacity that you need. The expertise of the training and the continual mentoring are the powerful tools we need to succeed.” One of the ways Rebecca is looking to stand out as a new business owner is by expanding on the products and services offered by Minuteman Press and educating clients on what is in high demand right now. She explains, “Our high-demand products are business cards, menus, point of sale products like invoices and forms, and medical facility materials. As businesses open up, the demand for envelopes, letterhead, and other consumables has grown. Being part of Minuteman Press family has given us a huge opportunity to share with customers our expanded line of products like mailing, signage, apparel, promotional items. It has really given us the ability to help people promote their business.” As for Minuteman Press in Missoula, Rebecca and Kirk know exactly where they want to go. She says, “Our goal is to become the premier printing and advertising design company in Missoula and the Greater Northwestern Montana area. We want to develop the reputation for supplying the highest quality products and having superior customer service. We strive to make Minuteman Press in Missoula the place to go for all advice and services. The main lesson Minuteman Press impressed upon me is that if you do not like the current state of your business, change it! Get up, get out there, market, make connections, and grow your business. We have been given the tools and the support to create something great and that is extremely exciting for us.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Missoula, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/mt/missoula. Minuteman Press, Hove, England (formerly TJ’s Branding Solutions) Romi and Russell Pinsent are the new owners of Minuteman Press in Hove, England. They purchased TJ’s Branding Solutions, which operated for 30 years, in June 2021. Romi says, We are so excited to carry the legacy of TJ’s Branding Solutions and expand our products and services through Minuteman Press to benefit our local business clients and community.” TJ’s Branding Solutions laid a solid foundation for Romi and Russell as they look forward to continuing to build the business that was started by original owner Tony Jenner. Romi says, “The store that we have bought has predominantly been a sign writing store that already supports existing businesses and has a good customer base. The work done within the store already supports local businesses by assisting them to promote their own business by way of designing logos, shop fronts and vehicle livery.” On selling the printing and sign business through Minuteman Press, Tony Jenner says, “Minuteman Press Regional Vice President Mark Jones approached me at a good time and asked me if I was interested in selling my business. I have been running TJ’s Branding Solutions for over 30 years and was looking at a change of direction. I was looking to retire and enjoy what I have achieved and spend more time with family. This was a great opportunity to sell at a good price with no broker fees. What was there not to like? It was a smooth exchange and transfer that was done – I would recommend it.” Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Romi and Russell were no strangers to running their own business. Romi shares, “Before franchising, our background was and still is running care homes. It is an enjoyable business to run, supporting the more vulnerable people within society but it is riddled with legislation and we wanted to explore a new venture that was more creative and had an opportunity for growth. We wanted a change for us and a new business venture seemed the way forward.” Why Minuteman Press? Romi answers, “We have over 40 years of business experience between us however we were cautious about moving into a new industry as our experience is only in our other business. We visited a franchise show with the intention of looking at a hospitality franchise but quickly realized that this wasn’t something we wanted to explore due to having to work evenings and weekends.” Romi adds, “The intention at the start was to purchase a new store and grow it from the ground up however once we had decided on the franchise, [Regional Vice President] Mark Jones undertook some market research and found an existing independent print shop in TJ’s Branding Solutions where the owner wanted to retire. As a result, we began the process of purchasing the store.” “Throughout the whole process, Mark Jones supported us in liaising with the seller, solicitors, and accountants to make the process as easy as possible. There was never a question that couldn’t be answered! We secured the store on the 3 rd June 2021. Russell and I are both excited to work with the Minuteman Press franchise support team and to grow the business in the local area. Russ has lived in the city since he was 5-years-old and I have lived here all my life. We are proud to call Brighton and Hove our home, we love where we live and want to offer the best service to all local businesses here!” -Romi Pinsent, co-owner, Minuteman Press, Hove, England (formerly TJ’s Branding Solutions) Romi concludes, “Overall, As a local business ourselves, Minuteman Press in Hove is excited to work with other local businesses. We look forward to seeing where this incredible journey takes us as we build and grow together.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Hove, England, visit https://hove.minutemanpress.co.uk. International Minute Press, Nampa, Idaho (formerly Custom Printing) Sheryl and James Wisler are the new owners if International Minute Press in Nampa, Idaho. They purchased Custom Printing from Mike Cutler, who operated the independent printing business for 25 years. Seller’s Perspective from Mike Cutler, Retired Owner of Custom Printing Mike Cutler built up Custom Printing from a print shop out of his garage in 1996 to a successful printing business that averaged over $1 million in gross sales over the past 5 years. He tried to sell his printing business for six to eight months before realizing it was going to be harder than he thought. That is when he turned to Minuteman Press. Mike says, “I tried to sell the business that I worked so hard to build for six to eight months on my own. I was also preparing to let it go at a very undervalued price as I couldn’t find the right people to buy the business and I found many of them were time-wasters and tire-kickers. On top of that, when I consulted with a business broker, they were asking me for 10% off the top of the sale, and they also wanted a percentage of my lease agreement.” After experiencing these challenges on his own, Mike turned to Minuteman Press International to help sell his printing business. “One of the franchisees I knew locally in Idaho referred me to Chris Jutt, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President. After our first phone call, I felt confident that Chris had the ability, drive and connections to make this dream a reality for me. Our meetings were always super easygoing and comfortable. Chris took all the pressure off of me and said to focus on my successful business and he would do the rest. That is just what he did.” “We set a price for my independent printing business that was significantly higher than I anticipated, and Chris Jutt recommended some terms. Within one week, I had several very interested parties. Chris found the perfect people to purchase my business – James and Sheryl Wisler – that will continue what I started some 25 years ago. Minuteman Press International knew that the most important things to me were my long-term employees, my clients, and the reputation I had worked so hard to build. Chris found buyers that valued the same things. He and the entire team at Minuteman Press International delivered on all of my expectations and exceeded in most of them. Looking back, if I knew this was going to be this easy, I would have contacted him years ago.” -Mike Cutler, retired owner, Custom Printing (now International Minute Press, Nampa, Idaho) After the sale of his business, Mike quickly realized how beneficial it was to have the team at Minuteman Press International assist with all aspects of the transition to the new owners. He shares, “At first, I was apprehensive about how the transition would go. I was immediately relieved when I saw how Minuteman Press International took the reins to teach and train James and Sheryl. We are only two and a half weeks into the transition phase, and already I feel like I am not needed as much as I thought I would be. My employees are in great hands, my clients are being taken care of, and James and Sheryl are doing a fantastic job.” He adds, “The entire team both here locally and at their corporate headquarters has been phenomenal. No matter who I’ve talked to or worked with during this entire process, everyone has been professional as well as instrumental in making this happen. It’s a win-win situation all around.” “The smooth transition has reassured me that it was the right move to sell my business with Minuteman Press International. They have the right plan, the right experience, and everyone has been incredible to the very last detail. In my acquisition experience, nothing has ever been as easy as this. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose, and there were absolutely no hiccups along the way. I would easily rate my experience as 10/10.” -Mike Cutler Advice to Other Sellers When asked what advice he would give to other print and sign shop owners looking to sell, Mike answers, “Don’t even waste your time trying to do this yourself. When you try to sell on your own, there are so many bottleneck issues and you will likely undervalue your business. I couldn’t find the right buyers on my own and I had to spend too much time to meet with people repeatedly while still running my own business.” Mike concludes, “Minuteman Press International alleviated the bottlenecks and came forward with qualified buyers who were ready to write the check for the right price. I am 100% satisfied beyond my expectations. This was a total team effort by everyone, and they all came through for me.” For more information on International Minute Press in Nampa, Idaho, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/id/nampa. For more information on how to sell your printing business or sign business through Minuteman Press International’s Conversion Program, visit https://bit.ly/minutemanpressconversions Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

December 06, 2021 09:10 AM Eastern Standard Time

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NCMA Announced Award Recipients at GCMS

National Contract Management Association

The National Contract Management Association announced recipients of the Advancing Professional award, Chapter Excellence award, and Outstanding Chapter Volunteer award. These outstanding achievements were honored at Government Contract Management Symposium 2021. “Congratulations to this year’s award winners,” said Kraig Conrad, NCMA Chief Executive Officer. “This powerful group of leaders demonstrates dedicated service to both NCMA and the contract management and acquisition profession. It is an honor to celebrate the impact our members have.” This year’s awardees are: Advancing Professional Award Eileen Tobin, CPCM, CFCM – Dulles Corridor Chapter Chapter Excellence Award Small – San Gabriel Chapter Medium – Jacksonville Chapter Large – East Tennessee Chapter Extra Large – Tyson’s Chapter Outstanding Chapter Volunteer Award Catherine Lambert, CFCM – Rio Grande Chapter Vicki Dyer – East Tennessee Chapter The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), which was founded in 1959 and is the world’s leading association in the field of contract management. The organization, which has over 18,000 members, is dedicated to the professional growth and educational advancement of procurement and acquisition personnel worldwide. NCMA strives to serve and inform the profession and industry it represents and to offer opportunities for the open exchange of ideas in neutral forums. To find out more, please visit www.ncmahq.org. Contact Details Jennifer Knowlton +1 571-382-1127 jennifer.knowlton@ncmahq.org Company Website https://www.ncmahq.org/

December 02, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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COMCAST'S INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM AND SERJOBS ANNOUNCE TECHNICAL SKILLS TRAINING PARTNERSHIP AND $30,000 DONATION

Comcast Houston

Comcast's Internet Essentials program today announced the award of a $30,000 financial grant and donated 1,000 laptops to SERJobs, whose mission is to help individuals from low-income communities transform their lives through education training, employment, and financial empowerment services. The grant and donation are part of a new partnership to fund technical skills training and readiness certifications for clients of SERJobs. This program will offer digital skills training opportunities, including Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel and professional development. “SERJobs is excited to celebrate 10 years of Comcast's Internet Essentials program,” said Sheroo Mukhtiar, CEO, SERJobs. “The Workforce Development Rally highlights the importance of digital literacy in our increasingly virtual world—especially as technology and the needs of our economy evolve. We are grateful to Comcast for their ongoing partnership and support of SERJobs’ and our members.” The announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities; and coincides with the 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, which has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people to the Internet at home – most for the very first time. Comcast’s expanded eligibility for Internet Essentials, now including all Federal Pell Grant recipients within its service area, will enable even more students to stay connected as they continue to pursue degrees at colleges, universities, and technical schools. “Ten years is a remarkable milestone, signifying an extraordinary amount of work and collaboration with our incredible community partners across Houston,” said Toni Beck, Vice President of External Affairs, Comcast Houston. “Together, we have connected hundreds of thousands of people to the power of the Internet at home, and to the endless opportunity, education, growth, and discovery it provides. Our work is not done, and we are excited to partner with SERJobs to ensure the next generation of leaders in Houston are equipped with the technical training they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.” Comcast’s top priorities are connecting people to the Internet at home, equipping safe spaces with free WiFi and working with a robust network of nonprofit community organizations, city leaders, and business partners to create opportunities for low-income Americans. As the nation’s largest internet provider, Comcast supports cooperation between communities, businesses and non-profit organizations to enhance digital equity. Comcast’s $1 billion commitment will include investments in several critical areas, including: additional support for the Lift Zone initiative, which establishes free WiFi access in 50 community centers in Houston, and 1,000+ community centers nationwide, for students and adults by the end of 2021; new laptop and computer donations; over $100,000 in digital equity grants for local Houston nonprofit community organizations to create opportunities for low-income Houstonians – particularly in media, technology, and entrepreneurship; and continued investment in the company’s landmark Internet Essentials program. Project UP & Comcast’s $1 Billion Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity: For over a decade, connecting more people to the Internet and the technology they need to participate and excel in an increasingly digital world has been a core focus for the company. Looking toward the next ten years, Comcast is building on that foundation and expanding its impact through Project UP, a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people, Project UP encompasses the programs and community partnerships across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky that connect people to the Internet, advance economic mobility and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators. For more information on Project UP and the latest news on efforts to address digital inequities visit https://corporate.comcast.com/impact/project-up. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, Peacock, NBC News, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. About SERJobs: SERJobs Houston, a regional affiliate of SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc., is a nonprofit organization empowering individuals to transform their lives through education, training, employment, and financial empowerment services. Founded in 1965 as a volunteer job bank for Hispanic veterans, SERJobs has evolved, and now operates offices in Houston, Galveston and Fort Bend. SERJobs serves individuals in 13 Texas counties and assists more than 4,000 members access better opportunities every year. For more information, visit serjobs.org Contact Details Comcast Foti Kallergis +1 832-986-0196 Foti_Kallergis@comcast.com SERJobs Christi Vasquez +1 832-890-3606 Company Website https://houston.comcast.com/

December 02, 2021 09:01 AM Central Standard Time

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Kitchen Magic Announces 2022 Kitchen Design Forecast

Kitchen Magic

Kitchen Magic, a family-owned and operated kitchen remodeling company with over 41 years of experience under its toolbelt, announced today its forecast for what the top trends in kitchen design will be in 2022, keeping homeowners informed on how to stay on the cutting edge of remodeling in the new year. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, elevated spending on residential remodeling projects will continue well into 2022. After a time of unprecedented change that spurred an exponential increase in the time homeowners spent at their homes and in their kitchens, kitchen design as we knew it, changed forever. Homeowners are still looking to further improve their kitchens, inspired by a renewed appreciation for the most used room in the home. With the new year presenting a much-needed fresh start for many, Kitchen Magic is committed to keeping clients on the forefront, uncovering ways to refresh the kitchen by way of remodeling, thus, helping them achieve their renovation resolutions. “In 2022, homeowners will be looking to optimize space and service areas in the kitchen,” said JT Norman, Product & Design Innovation Lead for Kitchen Magic. "Building up these functional areas sets the stage for a sleek and clean kitchen aesthetic.” The company’s design and innovation experts have pulled together a forecast that truly coincides with the clutter-free and practicality often associated with a new beginning. A small sampling of the 2022 Kitchen Magic design trends forecast includes: Knobs & Pulls: The Jewelry of the Kitchen Brass, gold, and champagne tone fixtures are the latest in kitchen hardware. A gold finish is one of the best ways to a add a touch of glamour to the kitchen. Forest Bathing This trend brings the outside inside using materials such as wood, stone, and greenery. When deciding on a palette, think deep, rustic hues and use of color in unexpected places such as appliances and hoods. Scandinavian Influence This trend can be described in 3 words: Clean. Minimalist. Simple. This motif features smooth, straight lines; open floor plans; large glass windows; low profile cabinetry; and geometric shapes. Vinyl is in Vogue Product manufacturing technology has come a long way with homeowners impressed by the fact that they are unable to distinguish vinyl flooring from real wood or stone. It’s one of the more cost-effective flooring options on the market. This product trend will continue past 2022 because of vinyl flooring’s durability and designs. While many homeowners are waiting for January 1 st to commence any remodeling projects, Kitchen Magic hopes that this kitchen design forecast will inspire clients to be “out with the old, in with the new” ahead of the new year. Kitchen Magic’s full 2022 kitchen design trends forecast can be downloaded here. Kitchen Magic has teams of consultants across the Northeast to help homeowners in these regions envision their upcoming projects. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, visit www.kitchenmagic.com. About Kitchen Magic Kitchen Magic is a kitchen remodeling company with headquarters and manufacturing facilities located in Nazareth, PA. Kitchen Magic has been family-owned and operated since 1979. Using an exclusive cabinet refacing process, Kitchen Magic has transformed nearly 60,000 kitchens. Today, Kitchen Magic serves CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, PA, and RI. Kitchen Magic is recognized by Qualified Remodeler as #1 in kitchen remodeling nationwide, an 11-time Angie's List Super Service Award winner, a Best of Houzz winner for design & service 10 times, and an honored 8-time winner of The Morning Call's Top Workplace Award. Contact Details Kitchen Magic LInda Fennessy +1 800-237-0799 linda.fennessy@kitchenmagic.com Direct Linda Fennessy +1 610-217-0964 Company Website https://www.kitchenmagic.com

December 02, 2021 09:13 AM Eastern Standard Time

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UK SMEs forge ahead with cautious optimism as post-pandemic business confidence grows

Stockwood Strategy

Despite lingering anxieties about the pandemic and a variety of economic and commercial issues, the majority of SMEs believe it is now imperative to begin building back from the crisis. They are ready to step up their business investment, with ambitious plans for recruitment, renewal of equipment and machinery, and both domestic and international expansion. Fintech business lender MarketFinance asked 2,000 SME owners across the UK about their outlook for 2022 and beyond, gauging their short and long-term plans for business investment and growth. MarketFinance has today released a comprehensive research report of its findings. Confidence Analysis of the survey results has shown that business confidence amongst SMEs is improving, with many firms now focused on recovery and growth. With pandemic disruptions now largely settled, half of SMEs (48%) expect their turnover to stabilise or to increase over the next 12 months. Similarly, 50% of SMEs expect demand for their products or services to stabilise or to increase over the next six months. MarketFinance’s research has found that the majority of SMEs (63%) expect their business to grow over the next three years Investment With survival mode no longer a necessity and cash flow pressures beginning to ease, the vast majority of SMEs (70%) now feel confident enough to increase business investment over the next 12 months. A quarter of SMEs plan to hire new staff, while 24% expect to purchase new equipment and machinery. When asked how they were factoring borrowing into their investment plans, 23% of SMEs said access to a broader range of borrowing options could enable them to increase investment even further. Borrowing The research findings demonstrate that borrowing will play a key role in recovery and growth with 62% of SMEs saying that prudent borrowing could help them fund growth. However, three quarters (71%) of SMEs do not believe traditional banking products are the most obvious and convenient way to borrow for investment. Despite this lack of alignment between current finance needs and the options available through traditional routes, more than a third of SMEs (37%) are looking to take on new borrowing facilities. Growth With confidence high and a sense of having moved beyond recovery and into a new stage of growth, many businesses are looking forward to seizing a host of opportunities in 2022. Almost all SMEs surveyed (81%) plan to invest in sustainability, while 30% say they are considering merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the year ahead – more than twice as many as those primarily focusing on organic growth (14%). Over a third of businesses (34%) say they already sell overseas, or have plans to begin doing so. That figure is highest amongst the largest businesses surveyed (turnover between £5m and £6.5m) but even amongst smaller enterprises significant numbers are focused on export. Anil Stocker, CEO at MarketFinance, commented: “ It’s clear that the business environment has shifted and SMEs are looking ahead with a quietly confident and cautiously optimistic view. UK businesses intend to ramp up growth through domestic and international expansion, digital transformation and even M&A activity. But as they reset their post-pandemic goals for a post-pandemic, they’ll need to be confident of their funding base. Given that so many SMEs are looking outside of traditional routes in their search for finance, we’re particularly proud to have been accredited by the British Business Bank as one of the few alternative providers under The Recovery Loan Scheme. Schemes like the RLS are a golden opportunity for SMEs looking to gear up for growth, providing easily accessible funding at a lower cost across a wide range of products. We expect to see a large number of SMEs taking advantage of the scheme over the next 6 months as their growth and expansion efforts gain momentum and they invest in ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond.” About MarketFinance MarketFinance is a fintech business lender which believes that SMEs are building the world. By making finance frictionless, they’re solving the cash flow issues getting in the way of progress. MarketFinance uses smart technology to deliver better access to faster, more affordable finance; with one-to-one help whenever businesses need it. Since 2011, MarketFinance has advanced over £2.6 billion worth of invoices and loans, enabling thousands of UK businesses to bridge today’s funding gaps and fuel tomorrow’s big ambitions. MarketFinance is an accredited Recover Loan Scheme lender and has a wide-reaching network of strategic partners including Barclays Bank UK PLC, Tide, Equals Group and Ebury. MarketFinance is backed by Barclays Bank UK PLC, Mouro Capital, Paul Forster (co-founder of Indeed.com) European venture capital fund Northzone (invested in Klarna, iZettle and Trustpilot), Viola Capital and private equity group MCI Capital (also invested in iZettle, Azimo and Gett). Further information visit: www.marketfinance.com Contact Details MarketFinance Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://marketfinance.com/

December 01, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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RCG Ventures Taps Giovanni Cappellini to Lead Flex Employee Services

RCG Ventures

RCG Ventures (RCGV), a wholly owned subsidiary and venture arm of River Capital Group Holdings (River Capital), a leading family investment office, today announced that it has appointed Giovanni Cappellini as Managing Director of its portfolio company, Flex Employee Services (Flex). Founded in 2015, Flex Employee Services is the leading provider of national recruiting and enterprise staffing solutions. Prior to joining Flex, Cappellini served as the Senior VP of Sales and IT recruiting for Solomon Page Technology Partners. During his 18-year tenure with Solomon Page, Cappellini recruited hybrid, dynamic technologists for hedge funds, global financial institutions, boutique investment practices, and global management consulting firms. Cappellini also helped Solomon Page optimize outdated processes, build new offerings that drove significant ROI, and created a consistent, sustainable, hyper-growth model. In his new role, Cappellini is tasked with creating a next generation recruiting and staffing strategy, through which Flex provides talent and solutions to support the various Workforce and Human Capital Businesses and thousands of clients serviced through the RCG Ventures (RCGV) umbrella. “The strategy Giovanni will execute will be critical to the growth of Flex, RCGV and all of the family of companies that River Capital Supports” said Vince Puma, CEO of River Capital Group Holdings. As an ever-growing lack of skilled workers, a global pandemic, and a universal shift to hybrid working has manifested into a worldwide crisis, Cappellini will optimize overall business processes at Flex, empowering the company to operate with velocity while supporting dynamic scale. In addition, he will oversee the rebranding of the company’s identity and website to reflect its core strengths and strategy. “The global staffing shortage is an epidemic that will cripple economies if not addressed in the very near future,” said RCG Ventures Managing Partner, Jeff Kaplan. “The ability to tap into a population of thoroughly vetted professionals through Flex Employee Services is integral to RCGV’s active investment strategy, adding value that extends well beyond access to capital.” “The lack of qualified candidates for vacant positions in accounting, corporate finance, and IT has led many companies to outsource hiring of key personnel, creating a significant opportunity for Flex Employee Services,” said Cappellini. “I’m excited to join this all-star team because we not only help organizations overcome today's staffing challenges, but, with the support and backing of RCG Ventures, can also prevent future workforce issues from manifesting.” ABOUT FLEX EMPLOYEE SERVICES Founded in 2015 by River Capital Group Holdings, Flex Employee services is a leading provider of national recruiting and workforce management solutions. Through both strategic acquisitions and organic growth, Flex boasts a best-in-class leadership team of staffing and personnel management professionals. Headquartered in Manhattan, NY with offices nationwide, Flex Employee Services actively seeks out opportunities for continued growth, recruiting top talent that supports each River Capital Group subsidiary and partner. Visit www.flexemployeeservices.com for more information. ABOUT RCG VENTURES RCG Ventures (RCGV) is a wholly owned subsidiary of River Capital Group Holdings (River Capital), a leading family investment office. RCGV represents an active investment strategy that combines access to capital with management resources, infrastructure, an expansive global business network, and hands-on strategic guidance from an elite, tenured team of business, financial, marketing, operations, and capital markets leaders. Our target partners develop breakthrough innovations in blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, workforce services, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and extended reality (XR). For additional information, please visit www.RCGV.com. ABOUT RIVER CAPITAL GROUP HOLDINGS Founded in 2013, River Capital Group Holdings (RCGH) is a leading family investment office headquartered in Manhattan, NY. In addition to funding, River Capital Group also offers strategic counsel, management resources, and access to its expansive network of capital markets, finance, and institutional investment professionals, without requiring partner companies to cede operational control. River Capital Group makes opportunistic investments in growth companies with investments ranging from five hundred thousand to $50 million. Specifically, RCGH identifies forward-thinking companies for which its capital, financial expertise, and relationships would add both significant quantitative and qualitative value. River Capital Group Holdings is industry agnostic with a track record of backing and supporting companies that deliver above average returns and exceed industry expectations. Invested capital is only that of River Capital Group Holdings’ principals. For additional information, please visit www.rivercapitalgroupholdings.com. Contact Details Mostafa Razzak JMRConnect: Shaping Influence® PR +1 202-904-2048 m.razzak@jmrconnect.net

November 30, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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DonorsTrust Celebrates Record-Breaking Donations On Giving Tuesday

Donors Trust

The team at DonorsTrust, a donor-advised fund (DAF) committed to encouraging philanthropic giving and protecting donor intent, is celebrating “Giving Tuesday” amid a record-breaking pace of donations. Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, is a global celebration of generosity. All are encouraged to help others and consider giving their time and resources. “DAFs remain positioned right now to serve the public good, especially in these continued uncertain times,” explained Lawson Bader, CEO of DonorsTrust. “Charitable contributions from DAFs met the challenge of 2020 for a multitude of charities and kept the pace going throughout 2021.” DonorsTrust is on pace to set a new record in 2021, already distributing grants totaling more than $140 million through mid-October. In 2020, DonorsTrust paid out more than $186 million to charitable causes. With an expected surge in additional giving around the holidays, the amount in 2021 is on track to be significantly higher. In 2019, DonorsTrust accountholders recommended $163 million in grants to 751 charities in nearly every U.S. state, representing an increase of 12% from 2018. DAFs are like a charitable savings account that provides donors more time to think about which charities to contribute to over time, all while their money is growing in the fund, increasing the impact of giving from both a timing perspective and amount, too. “Giving from DAFs is increasing as philanthropists look to give more, and more strategically – on Giving Tuesday and beyond - making up for the unanticipated needs and demands many non-profits are currently experiencing,” Bader continued. “Despite these fears and uncertainty from the pandemic and economic uncertainty, giving expectations were surpassed as donors continue to step up and support non-profit organizations.” DAFs provide a key source of income for charities. The charitable vehicle is growing in popularity, with nearly 1 million Americans utilizing DAFs to centralize and simplify giving. Low new account minimums make them the great democratizers of philanthropy – available to all, not just the privileged few. To learn more about how DAFs and DonorsTrust are making a difference, please visit http://www.donorstrust.org. ### Established in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) public charity, DonorsTrust is a community of donors devoted to creating a better future. Our donors support charities they believe protect our Nation’s constitutional liberties and strengthen civil society through private institutions rather than government programs. Our boutique size lets us offer our donors personal attention and advice that helps them achieve their philanthropic goals. We ensure that our donors’ intentions are protected and offer simple, effective, and tax-advantaged, ways to give. Since its inception, DonorsTrust granted over $1.6 billion to more than 4,000 charities that protect our constitutional liberties and strengthen civil society without government funding. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website https://www.donorstrust.org/

November 30, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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International Association of Political Consultants Democracy Medal Presented to Women of Belarus at recent ceremony

International Association of Political Consultants

Former International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) President Sepp Hartinger accompanied by IAPC member Christoph Hofinger and Secretary General of the Austrian Journalists Club, Barbara Meister presented the Democracy Award to Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Veronica Tsepkalo and imprisoned Maria Kalesnikaya, who was not able to attend, for their work in the promotion of democracy in Belarus. The IAPC awarded the Democracy Medal in 2020 but due to the pandemic was not able to present the award until now. Mauroicio de Vengoechea, President of the IAPC said, “Individuals are at the heart of democracy and the political process. Through their actions, these three courageous women have demonstrated how to engage their fellow citizens in a positive, non-violent effort to bring about democratic change in their country.” In his remarks, Hartinger spoke of the fate of all fighters for democracy who are in political prison and thanked the women for their exemplary commitment to democracy. "This honor should not be a one-time effect, but the beginning of a closer cooperation to make democracy possible in Belarus and to strengthen it worldwide." In their speeches, Tsikhanouskaya and Tsepkalo expressed their gratitude for the award and particularly emphasized the solidarity that can be felt worldwide. About the recipients Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of the democratic forces in Belarus who, according to independent observers, defeated autocratic President Aliaksandr Lukashenka in the August 9, 2020 presidential election. She had entered the race after her husband was arrested for running for president. Lukashenka publicly dismissed her as a "housewife" and claimed a woman could not become president. Tsikhanouskaya united Belarus's democratic forces along with two other leaders ¬- Maria Kalesnikaya and Veronica Tsepkalo. After her forced exile, Tsikhanouskaya provoked unprecedented peaceful protests throughout Belarus, some of which were attended by hundreds of thousands of people. She visited more than 20 countries to rally support for a free Belarus. She is campaigning for the release of more than 500 political prisoners and peaceful change through free and fair elections. In her meetings with Chancellor Merkel, President Macron, President von der Leyen, President Charles Michel and other world leaders, she emphasized the need for a bolder response to the actions of the Belarusian dictatorship. Tsikhanouskaya became a symbol of the peaceful struggle for democracy and female leadership. Among dozens of other awards, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was honored with the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament. In 2020, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Lithuanian President Nauseda and Norwegian MPs. She was included in the TOP-50 most influential people by Bloomberg, in the top 12 most influential women by Financial Times and in the top 28 most influential Europeans by POLITICO. Veronica Tsepkalo One of the three leaders of the national democracy movement in Belarus. Together with Swiatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Maria Kalesnikava, she managed to bring together an unprecedented number of people to protest against a regime that violates human rights, falsifies presidential elections and uses brutal violence against its citizens. The trio was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has already received the International Democracy Prize and the Sakharov Prize. Currently, Veronica supports Belarusian women who have been victims of the regime's cruelty in recent months. Maria Kalesnikaya Kalesnikaya is a currently imprisoned civil rights activist in Belarus, political prisoner, and music educator and flutist. Through her relationships with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Veronica Tsepkalo and friendship with Viktar Babaryka, as well as political developments in her home country, she became a human rights activist and non-partisan politician. In 2020, she became internationally known for her role in the Belarusian opposition. In early September 2020, Kalesnikaya "disappeared" in Minsk in an as-yet unexplained manner; her family was able to report two days later that she was in state custody. In February, the prosecutor expanded the charges against her: she was alleged to have participated in a conspiracy to seize power in an anti-constitutional manner and to have founded and led an extremist association. For this she was sentenced to eleven years in prison. About the IAPC Democracy Award Since 1982, the International Association of Political Consultants has been a pioneer in awarding an organization or an individual who in the judgement of its membership has worked courageously to foster, promote, and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world through our Democracy Medal, the first international award of its kind. -30- Established in 1968, The International Association of Political Consultants is committed to fostering democracy and the democratic process throughout the world. Members span a variety of political backgrounds and activities fostering the growing and diverse profession of political consulting as well as the practical aspects of democratic elections. Contact Details IAPC President-elect Matt Klink +1 310-283-6267 matt@klinkcampaigns.com IAPC President Mauricio de Vengoechea devengo@icloud.com IAPC Communications VP-elect Marcel Wieder +1 416-907-2126 marcel@aurorastrategy.com Company Website https://www.iapc.org

November 24, 2021 04:12 PM Eastern Standard Time

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