• January 25, 2021

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USPS Loyalty Program Tiers Bring Added Value For Small Businesses

(NAPSI)—The U.S. Postal Service has added tiers to the USPS® Loyalty Program for business customers—a move that helps small businesses improve their bottom line through incentives. Tiers are based on qualifying shipping totals from the previous calendar year. A higher tier equals a larger benefit—and there is no limit to the amount of credit that can be earned. Going forward, Loyalty Tiers will be allocated at the beginning of each year.The USPS Loyalty Program is an incentive plan for business customers who use the Click-N-Ship® application to purchase Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® labels. All registered business users automatically are included in the program’s Base Tier. Once earned, credits are added to their USPS Click-N-Ship account and are available in 30 days. Credits expire 1 year from the date of issuance. The earned credits can be applied to future purchases of Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express labels within the shipping cart at checkout.•Base Tier users earn $40 of credit for each $500 spent on purchases up to $10,000. •Silver Tier users earn $50 of credit for each $500 spent on purchases between $10,000 and $20,000. •Gold Tier status is achieved with at least $20,000 of qualified purchases in the prior calendar year. Gold Tier users will have access to Commercial Base Pricing, on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipments. In addition, new USPS business customers using Click-N-Ship are eligible for a one-time $40 Welcome Bonus credit.Visit usps.com/loyaltybonus for more information.  

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Friday 01/22/2021
10 tips to support small businesses
Updated: January 25, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on small businesses. Whether it's a local eatery, service provider, retail store or another type of business, when you shop small, you're supporting a real person who is striving to keep his or her entrepreneurial dream alive.

Thursday 01/21/2021
3 Tips to Own Your Financial Outcome in 2021
Posted: January 21, 2021

(StatePoint) 2020 was more than just a health crisis, it had ripple effects on nearly every aspect of our lives, including our long-term financial plans.

Tuesday 01/19/2021
Financial Planning Profession Grows Diversity of its Workforce
Posted: January 19, 2021

(NewsUSA) - Celebrations of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month often prompt consideration of the United States' diversity and the many contributions made by people of different races and ethnicities. These occasions also provide opportunities for communities, organizations and businesses to reflect on their efforts to support and promote diversity.

School Choice Can Help When You’re Expecting The Unexpected
Updated: January 23, 2021 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—Count the number of neighbors, relatives, or friends who tried a new form of schooling this year…the number is surprising, isn’t it? Coronavirus has disrupted life and education for nearly a year now, and a myriad of families have considered or chosen a new learning environment. The need to share clear resources about learning choices has never been greater. 

National School Choice Week (Jan. 24-30) is a public awareness effort designed to do just that. It’s a week to spark conversation about what learning opportunities kids need, and how to increase opportunities for families in every zip code. The Week isn’t political. Anyone and everyone is welcome to celebrate, share their personal views, and show some love for their favorite school or teacher. 

School choice looks different in every community, but across America it includes six main types of schools. Many children thrive in traditional public schools. Yet, public magnet schools, public charter schools, private schools, online schools, and homeschooling bring out the full potential of other children and help them find happiness. You can learn more about what makes each school option unique at schoolchoiceweek.com/mystate.

Besides the six main types of schools, families’ choices include whether they can access scholarships and special needs resources, and what class sizes, activities, and teaching methods are offered. Each family has their own priorities, and school choice allows parents to personalize their child’s education based on those priorities and the changes life brings. 

Speaking of personalization, maybe you or a friend joined a learning pod this year. This learning model, which has surged since the pandemic, consists of small groups of kids who learn, explore, and socialize together with the guidance of an adult. Faced with unexpected health and schedule changes, some families have found a lifeline in this extremely personalizable choice. 

Amidst this past year’s challenges are pivotal reminders. For example, education has a huge impact on children’s daily life and happiness, and families urgently need customized, flexible learning environments that work in tandem with their values and routines. 

This National School Choice Week, I encourage you to learn more about how education works and what options exist in your state, so that you can better advocate for your child and your community’s learning needs. If we all do that, we can ensure that—pandemic or no pandemic—great education becomes a choice, not something left to chance. 

• Andrew Campanella is president of National School Choice Week and the author of The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child.

 

COVID-19 And “Sandwich Generation” Caregivers
Updated: January 23, 2021 - 2:34 am

NAPSI)—The Sandwich Generation, named for the population of Americans caring for both their school-aged children and an aging parent or other relative, has been uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey and white paper from New York Life, “Caregiving and COVID-19: How the pandemic is expanding the sandwich generation.” This is largely due to an enhanced demand on the typical type of care the generation provides as a result of the coronavirus’ effect on schooling, healthcare, and everyday work and life. The survey found it was largely millennials and particularly women shouldering the burden. 

How COVID-19 has Affected the Sandwich Generation 

The coronavirus is stretching both time and money thin for the Sandwich Generation, sometimes at the expense of their financial, physical and emotional well-being. 

This demographic has spent thousands of dollars in total care for their dependents over time—and the coronavirus pandemic is intensifying this budget crunch. On average, 69 percent  say they’re paying for this care out of their own daily budgets, with 27 percent working more hours to get the extra funds, 27 percent drawing from their emergency savings, 20 percent sharing costs with a sibling and 18 percent ultimately delaying paying bills.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the data found, more than half of those in the Sandwich Generation spend more each month caring for others, as nearly one-quarter of people report spending extra each month on top of the average $1,000. As a result, about four in 10 put less each month toward their savings and about one-third have less for their retirement, debt, or their personal well-being. Over time, these can make a big difference for a financial portfolio and create additional concerns for financial health. 

“As COVID-19 exacerbates the stress on the Sandwich Generation and the economic outlook remains uncertain, preparing for the unexpected becomes critical to achieving long-term financial security,” advised Dylan Huang, Head of Retail Annuities, Investment Solutions and Wealth Planning, New York Life. “While our data suggests a troubling trend of Sandwich Generation families sacrificing long-term savings for shorter term needs, the outlook is not all dark skies. This report shows that those working with financial professionals are able to improve their financial well-being and feel more confident about their financial solutions, their family’s future, and their own retirement.” 

What’s Next

As the evolving Sandwich Generation navigates its family responsibilities and day-to-day routine, it’s important to keep the financial basics in mind and prioritize time to set their family up for more success and less stress in the future. Thinking about life insurance, their emergency fund, and ensuring that their investment portfolio is diversified and within a comfortable risk tolerance, are all areas that can provide security over time and let the Sandwich Generation focus on their loved ones instead of worrying about their finances. 

Learn More

For further facts, stats, as well as to see the entire report and survey methodology, visit www.newyorklife.com.

 

Thursday 01/14/2021
3 tips to landing a PPP loan that works for your business
Updated: January 25, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - COVID-19 has sparked unprecedented impact across industries and has changed the way almost every business operates. And while many of these businesses have probably sought funding in the past — whether business loans for expansion, venture capital to launch or otherwise the concept of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that so many businesses raced to apply for, and have since relied on — just to survive is a first.

Tuesday 01/12/2021
How to solve the puzzle of paying for college [Infographic]
Updated: January 25, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - If your family is working to identify funding sources to finance a college education, there are a lot of options and resources to consider. From FAFSA and scholarships to grants and student loans, learn more about how the puzzle pieces fit together.

Digital tools can help kids build safe money habits
Updated: January 25, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The earlier kids start learning basic financial skills, the better their financial health in the long run, according to research.

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