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The Vermont Country Store and the Vermont Community Foundation create fund to benefit employees

first_imgVermont Country Store,The Vermont Country Store is partnering with The Vermont Community Foundation to create an innovative model program that will assist VCS employees experiencing disasters and other hardships. The program, called the Good Neighbor Fund, is the first of its kind in Vermont, and enhances The Vermont Country Store’s longstanding philanthropy program, which provides support to over 600 non-profit and community organizations annually in the 65 communities where its employees live and work.While The Vermont Country Store will provide program funding, the Vermont Community Foundation will manage the process of accepting tax-deductible contributions to the fund, confidentially review and consider VCS employee applications, and make independent grant decisions and payments. The Good Neighbor Fund is the first of what The Vermont Community Foundation expects will be similar partnerships with other Vermont companies.‘The aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene last August opened our eyes to the value of creating this program,’ said Eliot Orton, co-proprietor of The Vermont Country Store. ‘We provided basic necessities like clothing and bedding to our employees after the storm, but we didn’t have a meaningful channel to help employees who needed to get back on their feet. The Good Neighbor Fund will fill that void not only when disaster strikes, but in times of personal crisis.’Soon after the storm, The Vermont Country Store contacted the Vermont Community Foundation, which has been working with donors and other partners to facilitate donations for flood relief and recovery efforts. It turned out that in response to a request from another Vermont-based company, the Foundation had already started to research developing a turnkey service for companies that wanted to offer an assistance program to their employees.‘To the best of our knowledge, this is a unique service that gives Vermont companies another way to give back to their communities and to support their employees,’ said Vermont Community Foundation President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. ‘It allows a company to quickly and easily put in place a program to help employees get through some of the toughest stretches of their lives. For a company like The Vermont Country Store, which has a long history of community philanthropy, this is a wonderful complement to their existing efforts and we’re delighted to be a partner.’As a family owned business, The Vermont Country Store places a high value on trust, and fosters an atmosphere of caring for its employees that made developing the Good Neighbor Fund an easy choice. ‘We have always said that our employees are our greatest asset,’ said Bill Shouldice, President and CEO of The Vermont Country Store. ‘Through the Good Neighbor Fund, we are making an investment that will have a tremendous impact on the lives of some of our employees and their families. For us, establishing the Good Neighbor Fund was just the right thing to do.’The Vermont Country Store and the Community Foundation are looking forward to sharing their experiences and knowledge with other Vermont companies to help perpetuate this giving model throughout the state.In 1946, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalogue’just 12 pages and 36 products’and mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list, and sixty-five years later continues to be Orton family owned. As Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, The Vermont Country Store operates as a multichannel merchant through its mailed catalogs, e-commerce web site and two retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, VT.The Vermont Community Foundation was founded in 1986 and is Vermont’s largest homegrown foundation, managing a collection of over 600 charitable funds that invest more than $18 million annually in Vermont through grants, loans, and other investments. In addition, it helps keep Vermont’s nonprofit community vital by offering endowment management and planned giving services, and providing leadership in charitable giving of all kinds. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the Foundation worked with donors and other partners to facilitate donations for relief and recovery efforts.MANCHESTER, Vt-BUSINESS WIRElast_img read more

PODCAST: The pandemic’s economic impact

first_img continue reading » The coronavirus outbreak, while first and foremost a humanitarian crisis, will have a substantial financial impact on credit unions and their members.While the extent of that impact isn’t clear, Mike Schenk, CUNA chief economist/deputy chief advocacy officer, says one approach will keep credit unions on the right track: Be flexible and continue to engage with and assist members to the best of your ability.This episode of the CUNA News Podcast examines the potential impact of the pandemic on the economy, credit unions, and consumers; how near 0% interest rates will affect credit union operations; lessons from the Great Recession; and more. CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenkcenter_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Jan. 6

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWe must fix our past to have our futureHas anyone realized how smart our country is with new electronics every few months?So called smart phones, iPads, computers, you name it, we make it. Along with all the new electronics, we have cars that drive themselves, along with flying cars being tested, little robots that clean your floors.What a futuristic world we live in. Or do we?Our roads are too old to handle the traffic, our bridges are crumbling and becoming safety hazards and our water systems underground must be replaced. Millions of autos and trucks have defects and are being recalled. The list goes on.Don’t forget our landfills; some are open but many are closed. The ones that are closed look nice, with green grass or solar panels. But they continue to poison our earth, water and air. Trains that carry oil all over our country are a catastrophe waiting to happen. Our infrastructure is falling apart right under us. We look for ways to get money to fix it and yet not much is done to correct the problem. We are building our future on quicksand. Are we smart or what?If we don’t slow down and fix the past, we will not have a future.We need to do what must be done to get the United States of America back on track.We are the best country in the world. Let’s keep it that way. We need peace and understanding in our land. God bless America, its government and all that live in our land.Sid GordonSaratoga SpringsTake action to close the racial wealth gapThe Gazette has often printed news stories and commentaries about reparations for black Americans to compensate the descendants of the formerly enslaved for centuries of slavery, segregation, and racism that continue to impose unequal access to jobs, justice, health and wealth.  The Gazette has also often reported on the racial wealth gap.The median wealth (assets minus liabilities) for white U.S. households is more than 10 times that of black and Hispanic families. We also have enormous wealth gaps between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us.  I know some whites oppose paying reparations to black Americans for many reasons, one being that many white families are struggling themselves.Are we as a nation serious about closing the white-to-black and white-to-Hispanic wealth gaps? If so, how?Can we raise the wealth of the poorest three-fourths of Americans while vastly increasing the wealth of black and Hispanic families?A large majority of us are not racist or try not to be.I urge that we get serious about electing candidates at all levels of government who are serious about closing the overall and racial wealth gaps.Closing these gaps can help unite us in a worthwhile goal.Tom EllisAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformsFoss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people togetherEDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: No chickens in city without strong regslast_img read more

Brighton offices

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Jubilation as Prescott quashes Walton’s Liverpool scheme

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Greater Jakarta must limit transportation to cut COVID-19 chain: BPTJ

first_imgThe Transportation Ministry’s Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency (BPTJ) has recommended that regional governments limit the use of inter-regional transportation services when widespread social restrictions are put into place as a way to stop the spread of COVID-19.Following the issuance of the 2020 Government Regulation on Large-Scale Social Distancing, BPTJ issued a circular concerning restrictions on the use of transportation from and to Greater Jakarta during the pandemic.The new regulation on large-scale social distancing limits the movement of people and goods by closing schools, workplaces, places of worship and public spaces within a controlled zone, but it does not restrict access between regions. “For areas in Greater Jakarta that later have a large-scale social distancing status, this BPTJ circular can be a guideline for limiting transportation services,” Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said in a press statement on Wednesday.Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo said the Jakarta administration would follow the recommendation after it obtained a large-scale social distancing status.“Once we have a decision from the Health Minister, yes, of course the transportation sector will carry out the restriction steps,” Syafrin said on Wednesday.Syafrin argued that such extreme social restrictions should not be done in Jakarta alone but in Greater Jakarta as a whole, which had been hard hit by the pandemic.“Greater Jakarta is already integrated with its inter-line services. It has become one unit and can no longer be seen by its administrative divisions but by the massive movement of people from and to the areas,” he added.Topics : Through the circular, the BPTJ suggests transportation agencies and companies in Greater Jakarta temporarily stop some or all inter-regional transportation services.It also recommends the Public Works and Housing Ministry, the Indonesia Toll Road Authority (BPJT) and all relevant stakeholders block all or some facilities, including toll roads, national roads and public transportation services to and from airports and sea ports.Despite the bold recommendations, the Transportation Ministry said regional governments could only place such restrictions on transportation if they formally obtain approval from the Health Ministry regarding the declaration of large-scale social distancing measures in their regions.In accordance with the new government regulation signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Tuesday, regional heads must first make proposals to the Health Ministry, which later determines the implementation of large-scale social distancing measures in the areas, as stipulated in Article 6 of the regulationlast_img read more

Governor Wolf Outlines Restore Pennsylvania Infrastructure Plan to Fix Homes and Businesses in Pitcairn

first_img Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Restore Pennsylvania Pitcairn, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today toured damage from flooding in downtown Pitcairn and saw the extensive blight affecting this borough in western Pennsylvania. After the tour, the governor outlined the components of the most aggressive infrastructure plan in generations, Restore Pennsylvania. The governor’s plan will help communities such as Pitcairn mitigate the effects of localized flooding, address blight, and expand broadband access and green infrastructure to restore communities after long neglect.“The effects of severe rain and unprecedented weather and the ongoing issues with blight we saw today in Pitcairn are not unique,” Gov. Wolf said. “These situations exist across the commonwealth and are creating lasting, negative effects on communities, businesses, and residents. We need an unprecedented plan to make sure Pennsylvania is a leader in the 21st century.”Gov. Wolf outlined how his Restore Pennsylvania plan, funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax, will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure.Encompassing new and expanded programs to address five priority infrastructure areas, including high speed internet access, storm preparedness and disaster recovery, downstream manufacturing, business development, and energy infrastructure, demolition, revitalization, and renewal, and transportation capital projects, Restore Pennsylvania projects will be driven by local input about community needs. Projects identified by local stakeholders will be evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high priority, high impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.Gov. Wolf was joined by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Senator Jim Brewster and Representative Brandon Markosek on a tour of Pitcairn.“I support Governor Wolf’s initiative to deal with infrastructure issues through the implementation of a severance tax,” Sen. Brewster said.“It is a wonderful opportunity to have Governor Wolf visit the 25th District, particularly here in Pitcairn. It is important that the governor see first-hand the issues facing our community,” said Rep. Markosek.While in Pitcairn, the governor and elected officials saw the lasting effects stream flooding and a mudslide have had on this community in Allegheny County. As well, blight is evident with more than 500 rental structures, many in need of remediation or demolition. Other renovations needed in the borough are cost-prohibitive.“I’ve been traveling across the state to see what’s needed and to ask Pennsylvanians to reach out to their legislators to tell them to support Restore Pennsylvania and vote for the funding we need now to support our communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “The time is now for Pitcairn and many other communities across Pennsylvania.”Demolition, Revitalization, and RenewalBlight Demolition and RedevelopmentRestore Pennsylvania will increase resources for addressing blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings in order to create new development opportunities or provide new green space. The funding will be administered by entities established by the legislature as land banks or demolition funds.Brownfield Clean-UpRestore Pennsylvania will provide funding to ensure the continuation of Pennsylvania’s Brownfields program, ensuring that more sites can be returned to use for recreation, or returned to the tax rolls as commercial, residential, or industrial sites.Contaminant RemediationRestore Pennsylvania will fund expanded efforts to remove lead and other contaminants from communities.Green InfrastructureRestore Pennsylvania will provide significant new funding to enable new environmental projects and new recreational opportunities across the state, including infrastructure and maintenance in state parks, creation and revitalization of new local parks, and funding for new hiking, biking, and ATV trail projects.View the full Restore Pennsylvania plan here. March 06, 2019 Governor Wolf Outlines Restore Pennsylvania Infrastructure Plan to Fix Homes and Businesses in Pitcairncenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

EIOPA sponsor-support assessment could ‘mask’ risk – PensionsEurope

first_imgProposals by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to assess the value of sponsor support could be overly simple and mask important risk-management information, PensionsEurope has warned.The lobby group also warned that models proposed by the European regulator’s discussion paper on sponsor support ­– published over the summer and now closed to consultation – risked causing problems for companies with multiple pension funds or multi-employer schemes, such as those common in Germany and the Netherlands.PensionsEurope’s response reiterated it does not support the proposed holistic balance sheet (HBS) approach for which the technical specifications under consideration could be employed.However, it welcomed aspects of the consultation – such as EIOPA’s suggestion to provide a “practical and proportionate” method for measuring support by employing sponsor credit ratios. It said EIOPA had “clearly put thought into designing a system that draws on existing information” by suggesting an approach that would seek to grade firms on a six-step scale broadly equivalent to AAA-CCC credit ratings, but that it would still demand that “detailed work” be produced by scheme advisers.“If, as seems likely, this is additional to existing work, then it would be a significant increase in the scheme’s overheads,” the response said.“Furthermore, it is still very unclear how to apply these ratios to group entities, multi-employers schemes, multinationals, public sector funds and industry-wide funds.“In addition, the access to the relevant and complete information is likely to be difficult.”PensionsEurope also raised concerns the six-step scale would fail to define the levels of support.“For instance, there is an enormous gap between ‘weak ’ and ‘very weak’,” it said, levels that EIOPA equated to a credit rating of B and CCC in its discussion paper.The lobby group further said the approach could result in an “oversimplification that will mask important risk-management information”, and that every approach that differed from a basic formula of a single sponsor and single IORP with one pension promise in one country would prove difficult to assess.In suggesting other measures to assess the likelihood of a sponsor default, the response suggested that funds sponsored by relatively large companies could employ credit default swaps.“The credit spread in the cost of funding of the sponsor could also be examined as a possible measure,” it added.It also urged EIOPA not to penalise sponsors deemed strong by shortening the potential period for recovery payments to only five years.“Penalising stronger sponsors is not an adequate way of regulating the pension sector,” it said. “The stronger the support, the less the imperative for shorter recovery periods.”PensionsEurope stressed the importance of local protection funds when asked to say whether pension funds should be barred from being a creditor upon sponsor default, but it said it was “too strict” to rule out any recovery of assets, especially as this was often regulated on a national level.It also rejected EIOPA’s suggestion that a recovery rate of 5% would be appropriate for most sponsors, saying it was “very likely” to be higher.“For example, in Germany, sponsoring employers of Pensionsfonds are legally obliged to pay into the national insolvency protection system (Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein), which would lead to a probability of recovery close to 100%,” it said.It therefore urged that the default probabilities be adjusted according to the individual IORP’s wishes based on the likelihood of asset recovery.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to PensionsEurope discussion paper responselast_img read more

Stock shortage drives speedy sales

first_img An unrenovated two-bedroom unit at 4/4-6 Peak Ave, Main Beach sold for $445,000 in 24 hours.“We had six private inspections on the Sunday and an offer the next day which was accepted,” said agent Nicole Bricknell of Cole Residential – Isle of Capri who sealed the deal on 4/4-6 Peak Ave at $445,000.Harcourts Coastal reports 61 sales at a value of $52,647,800 in April, including 26 sales in the final week of that month. At the top end of town, three luxury properties on Sovereign Islands changed hands over a four-day period last week including 1-3 Knightsbridge Pde East which fetched around $6 million in a deal handled by Ray White Sovereign Islands agents Ali Mian and Edin Kara. Suburb booming with mega sales Spa king’s beachside trophy home for sale Across Australia, properties were listed for a median 52 days in April 2020 compared with 60 days for the same period in 2019, despite restrictions and economic disruption from COVID-19.A number of speedy sales are being reported across the Gold Coast, with one Main Beach unit going under contract within 24 hours of inspections late last month. MORE: Every day’s a holiday in this home A luxury six bedrooms home at 1-3 Knightsbridge Pde East, Sovereign Islands sold for around $6 million in April. Search activity on the risecenter_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 For sale search activity increased by a further 4.7 per cent over the past week, marking the sixth consecutive week in growing search activity.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“We are seeing sizeable pools of buyers who have sold their properties over the past few months now looking to purchase their new homes,” said Andrew Bell, CEO of Ray White Surfers Paradise Group. “We are also seeing many buyers who have moved from interstate now looking to purchase instead of continuing to rent.” 4/4-6 Peak Ave, Main Beach went under contract within 24 hours of inspections late last month.Homes have been selling faster despite COVID-19 disruptions as an increasing number of buyers compete for fewer properties.Sellers are the main ingredient missing in the real estate market recovery on the Gold Coast which is showing strong signs of a bounce back as the state eases its way out of restrictions. Data from listings site realestate.com.au (REA) shows homes are spending less time on the market than the previous year while buyer activity is increasing every week. Listings volumes are still well down, however, with sellers slower to regain the confidence to go to market.Andrew Henderson, Real Estate Industry of Queensland Gold Coast Zone Chair, said the easing of restrictions in Queensland from this weekend should stimulate a boost in listings.“Getting sellers back in to the market will be the key going forward,” he said.“Hopefully we should start to see a change as restrictions ease and sellers find the confidence to go to market.”last_img read more

Bridal Shop Latest Target of Angry Gay Marriage Protest (US)

first_imgThe New American 15 August 2014The owner of a bridal shop in Pennsylvania has become the latest target of angry criticism due to her refusal to validate a behavior her Christian faith condemns. Victoria Miller, the owner of W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, has been skewered on Facebook and in the media after she refused two women who allegedly wanted her shop to fit them for bridal gowns for their same-sex wedding.According to one of the two women, who insisted on not being identified, when she called the store to make an appointment, she was put on hold for about five minutes and then was told that no appointment would be scheduled because the bridal shop did not service same-sex couples.Explaining her decision, Miller told a local newspaper, “We feel we have to answer to God for what we do, and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law.”http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/18918-pennsylvania-bridal-shop-targeted-for-refusing-same-sex-couplelast_img read more