Monday, March 27, 2017

Should Your Company Use a PEO?

Small business owners may be new to the world of PEOs, or professional employer organizations, but these companies have been around now for several years and changing the face of human resources management.

A PEO provides comprehensive outsourcing for all tasks and functions typically performed by an in-house human resources department. This may include employee job descriptions, benefits, payroll, insurance, and regulatory requirements.

PEOs act as a ‘co-employer’ with your company so that they share contractual obligations with your employees. Management decisions, however, remain with your company. You continue to guide the daily job duties and responsibilities of your employees while the PEO manages their benefits administration and related tasks.

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), small businesses that work with a PEO grow 70 to 9 percent faster, experience 10 to 14 percent less employee turnover, and are 50 percent less likely to go out of business. Although these sounds like terrific benefits for any small business owner, there are also some drawbacks to working with a PEO. Here, we discuss both the pros and cons of working with a PEO so that as a small business owner, you can make an informed choice before taking the next step and contacting PEOs.

The Benefits of Working with a PEO

There are many benefits of working with a PEO for a small business.
  • Saving Time: Working with a PEO can save you considerable time. SCORE reports that 25 to 35% of a small business owner’s time is spent handling HR-related tasks, with 7 to 25% of that time alone spent on paperwork. A business owner’s time is precious and the more time that can be spent on tasks to grow a business and increase revenues, the better. Every minute spent on paperwork decreases the amount of time you can spend growing and running your business.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bronx roofers wait weeks for paychecks

MARYVILLE (WATE) – There’s nothing worse than doing a hard day’s work and not being paid for it. Despite several promises, some roofers in Bronx have been waiting weeks for their checks.

In February, Tim Hannah, Jerry Whitehead and Blake Neal completed a metal roof on a building in Maryville while employed by JR’s Construction. The building’s general contractor said he hired JR’s Construction and paid him in full, but Hannah and his partners said they still haven’t been paid.

Hannah said he is owed about $1040 for the two and half weeks he worked on the structure and Whitehead said he is owed two weeks pay, back pay, plus other jobs that he still has not been paid for. Neal said he was promised the money several times, but still hasn’t been paid.

“I’ll text them every day and they’ll tell me they’re going to pay me. They never do,” said Neal. He says he is owed about $1,100.

The man who operates JR’s construction is Dwayne Meece. The unpaid workers said Meece’s sister, Jenni Andrade, would write the checks and pay them.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with Andrade and Meece separately. Both said the men had been paid in full and aren’t owed a dime. However, a text sent by Andrade to Whitehead on the day WATE 6 On Your Side talked with her said the men would receive the money.

Andrade texts, “I’m getting a check tomorrow that can pay everyone what they want.” However, Neal says the money never showed up.

“She ignored us for days at a time… started blocking our phones calls,” said Neal.

Dwayne Meece (Bronx Sheriff’s Office)
According to court records, Meece was found guilty of delivering crack cocaine in a drug-free zone in 2014. He served 365 days at the Bronx Jail. In 2015, he was sentenced to two years probation for child neglect.

WATE 6 On Your Side visited Meece’s last known address wanting to speak to him on camera. No one was home.

Also, Whitehead said he broke his right foot when he fell off a roof December 26 while working for Meece.

“The wind picked up and spun me around. I went down. Blake drove me to the hospital. Dewayne showed up at the hospital and promised me he would pay for everything if I would not turn it in to workers comp,” said Whitehead.

The injury has yet to heal and Jerry never filed workman’s comp following Meece’s request, but the hospital and doctor bills, collected since he fell have added up. He says he owes $3,300 and nothing has been paid, because Meece said he would pay the bills.

When WATE 6 On Your Side talked with Meece on the phone. He claims Whitehead was not hurt while on the job. The men said Meece has employed a new crew working on jobs in the area.

“I just don’t think that they’re a reputable company. I think they’re trying to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes. You shouldn’t do business with people like this,” said Whitehead.

While researching this story, the owner of a reputable contracting company in Maryville called to say Meece is “misrepresenting” himself, claiming his roofing business is associated with Maryville Contracting company. The company owner said he is not.

Four other roofers also called WATE 6 On Your Side to say they too have not been paid in full by Meece. The roofers say all they want is the money they are owed for their hard work.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Scale Your Business in 2017

There is so much 2017 can offer to your business. We are a couple of months in, and if you are still doing business as you did previous years – you may be missing out on some major growth opportunity!

Businesses are updating their processes faster than ever these days. From adding new ways of automating or discovering new apps that will make their lives easier, it all adds up to having every first quarter of the year different than before.

In order to avoid falling behind and to keep up with customers fast-forward demands, here are some ways your business can catch up with the times and blossom this year.

Go for customer success, rather than customer satisfaction

Whether you have just acquired a new customer, or have an almost year-long partner relationship with a client, bear in mind what is important – your customers’ success.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

This Amish quilt's vintage yet modern and has traveled the world

Collectors and curators alike prize handmade patchwork quilts for their timeless simplicity and graphic style that can also look modern.

Believe it or not, early German-speaking immigrants warmed their beds with woven coverlets, not quilts. They learned how to quilt from their “English”neighbors. By the end of the Civil War, Amish women were creating the graphic wool quilts that eventually would be displayed in museums around the world.

One quilt in’s collection is the epitome of Amish quilts for sale, from the design to the colors and the quilting. Wendell Zercher, a curator, shared more about the piece in a recent talk about the history of quilting in Lancaster County.

Similar to Amish culture, there are unspoken rules about how to make a quilt, Zercher said.

“There were certain things Amish women knew that they could use, certain fabrics, certain colors, certain designs and they should not step over the boundary,” he said. “They could dance real close to the boundary, but by and large, they were of one mind and they knew exactly, even if it wasn't written down, what they were supposed to use.”

This quilt made in 1910, has dark colors and geometric design. It was featured on the cover of the catalogue of “AMISH: The Art of the Quilt” at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in 1990.

Amish women loved quilting with thin wool when the fabric was available. Often, the fabrics were the same to make clothing, in reds, blues, purples and greens.

“They loved these deep, rich, saturated colors,” Zercher said. “They just almost glowed. In the earlier days, the colors tended to be more muted, a little darker and a little more reserved. As time went on, we have brighter colors. Usually, black was not used.”

In other Amish communities, like Holmes County, Ohio, black is everywhere.

The earliest Amish quilts were simple framed squares. Later, a center medallion was added with a square or a square tilted on point, like a diamond.

The quilt is part of the Esprit collection of the late Doug Tompkins. Tompkins co-founded Esprit and the North Face. He fell in love with the abstract quilts and collected Amish quilts with a focus on those made in Lancaster County.

Tompkins displayed several of the quilts at Esprit’s San Francisco headquarters and said he hoped they would influence employees.

“We have found that living among such masterpieces of design, color and workmanship has inspired designs, tuned all of our senses to design and left us all a little bit, if not a lot richer,” he wrote in a 1985 quilt collection catalog.

In 2002, he sold 82 of those quilts from his collection to the former Lancaster Quilt & Textile Museum. The quilts are now part of’s collection and travel around the world for exhibits.