Staying Alive: What It Takes to Be a Thriving Neighborhood Business

by Eric Jay Toll

“There’s almost nothing like the moment you’re able to take home your first paycheck from the store,” Amy Wulfert reminisces. She’s talking at the front desk in Hair of the Dog, a dog-grooming parlor in Scottsdale. “It took me about three years to get to that point. Three years of hard work, being there every day, and working with a good staff.” The neighborhood shopping … [More]

Rick Murray, Arizona Small Business Association

from Rick Murray

Small business is big in Arizona. It is both an economic force and an important employment producer, and comprises 97 percent of all businesses in the state. Contributing to this is the level of entrepreneurship here. In recent years, Arizona has been ranked by such respected sources as the Kauffman Foundation and Fast Company as the No. 1 state for entrepreneurial activity. … [More]

Bridge the CIO vs CMO Divide

By Rich Karlgaard

Behind closed doors, in the corner offices of companies throughout the nation, a heated C-suite battle rages on. On the surface it looks like a battle waged over the corporate budget — a tale as old as time — with both sides seeking to claim a bigger portion of the pie. But a closer look at the classic fight between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers … [More]

Even in the Matrix, Labor Does Have a Price

by Russell Harley

Matrix teams — formed by bringing together under a new project leader people who already report to another supervisor — is a common method of staffing projects. This is one alternative to outsourcing a project when a business has no team already available that has the requisite skill set. Matrix teams have their benefits and their challenges. There are pitfalls, however, that … [More]

Lead Us Not into Crisis

by David Wimer

Crises are hard enough in any business. But there are a number of ways to turn a crisis into a catastrophe with very little effort. Unfortunately, some of the behaviors that increase the odds for failure are considered by many to be “leadership.” The following are some of those common leadership responses. Be overly optimistic. There is a vast body of literature out there that … [More]

Hiring Practices Face Emerging Challenges 

by RaeAnne Marsh

“If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you need not apply.” This type of hiring policy has long been accepted — but such blanket policies are now starting to come under scrutiny by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The issue of blanket hiring policies, from education level to criminal history, is on the EEOC’s hot list, says Lisa Coulter, an attorney in the Phoenix … [More]

Coffee to Cash Flow

by Marc Kellenberger

Coffee beans. Espresso. Fresh-baked goods. Granola. Garden-grown vegetables. Herbs … It may come as a surprise that these items are synonymous with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. Sold in SARRC’s Beneficial Beans® Cafés and through its catering programs, these products represent a growing trend among nonprofit organizations to diversify their revenue … [More]

Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing: Changing and Adapting for 70-plus Years

by Alison Stanton

In 1942, Chas and Alice Roberts founded Chas Roberts Air Conditioning Inc. in Phoenix. Sissie Roberts Shank, current president and CEO and granddaughter of the original owners, says her grandfather handled the repairs while her grandmother stayed in the office and answered the phones. “My grandfather was one of those men who could fix anything. Over time, they hired my uncle, … [More]

New Aquarium to Make a Splash as Destination Tourist Attraction

by Alexandra Lyon

OdySea Aquarium, a tourist attraction scheduled to begin construction within the next 60 days, is an extension of current attractions Butterfly World and OdySea Mirror Maze located in Scottsdale. “What we are doing is selling an experience,” says lead developer and principal founder Amram Knishinsky as he explains the exciting visuals and unique opportunities guests will … [More]

The Power of the PAC Can Aid Businesses

by Alexandra Lyon

Dozens of local political action committees (PACs) are up and running in this election season, and local businesses as well as major corporations are finding them a viable vehicle for influencing public policy and supporting candidates who best represent their industry or interests. “Being able to be involved in the political process through a political action committee is … [More]

Regional Contractor Locates in Scottsdale

by RaeAnne Marsh

There is a resurgence of construction activity in the retail market, says Bob Benda, CEO of Westwood Contractors, Inc., which focuses exclusively on consumer retail facilities. He describes the activity as a steady, gradual improvement over the recession levels. To service its clients throughout the West and Southwest, Fort Worth-based Westwood Contractors opened an office this … [More]

Fees Due from Employers of Self-Funded Health Insurance Plans 

by RaeAnne Marsh

July 31 is the upcoming deadline for insurers and sponsors of self-insurance health plans to pay the annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund fees (usually referred to as PCORI fees for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute they fund). Fees are due for plan years that end on or between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, inclusive. They are imposed on … [More]

Marketing: Get Scooped

by Mike Hunter

Scoopr, from Scoopr Media, provides brands with authentic user-generated content to use in marketing efforts and rewards brand fans for their content. Scoopr helps brands know the difference between brand fans, brand ambassadors and brand evangelists by providing the analytics behind every photo it stores. Brands begin by creating an assignment on the Scoopr Web App. Mobile … [More]

Notary ePublic

by Mike Hunter

Notaries have been around for centuries, but with the latest technological advancements pioneered by Settleware Secure Services, the electronic and digital signature company found there’s a tech alternative — NotaryCam. Settlewareoffers the most sophisticated system available for getting documents e-signed and notarized online by providing protection and convenience. Businesses … [More]

Personal Work Force

by Mike Hunter

Ejobba offers a new Web marketplace that enables consumers to easily find qualified workers for virtually any task, from home improvement to self-improvement — creating jobs for Arizona workers and, in turn, fueling the local economy. Post a job, get estimates by qualified and reliable workers, and get the job done! … [More]

Toolkit to Trade

by Mike Hunter

Alliance Bank of Arizona and Mesa Community College have collaborated to present The Exporter’s Toolkit: How to Reach International Markets. This is a guide to getting started and includes exceptional information from Hank Marshall, City of Phoenix Economic Development Officer, and numerous other key executives and business owners who give advice, statistics and connections to … [More]

Employment Growth Opportunity in Clean Energy

by RaeAnne Marsh

Arizona made it to the short list of the top 10 states for clean energy jobs added in the first quarter of this year. Sharing this distinction with Idaho, Texas, California, Missouri, New York, Kansas, Hawaii, New Mexico and Louisiana — named in order of ranking — Arizona came in at No. 7 in the country. This was primarily due to two efforts: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in … [More]

Power Lunch: Relish the Moment

by Mike Hunter

What has become a classic and a must for lunch (and dinner, for that matter) is Relish Burger Bistro at The Phoenician Resort. This golf-course-view, second-story casual spot serves up arguably one of the best burgers in town. With menu offerings that range from the classic American burger to the Kobe beef gourmet burger, Relish is aptly named. The pairings and the inventive … [More]

Power Lunch: It’s All in the Theme

by Mike Hunter

Why not make the midday meal an adventure? Outside is out of the question this time of year, so take it inside to do that lunch meeting with ambience that will take you away. 5 and Diner These ’50s flashback diners take guests back to the diner-style soda bars and simple foods of the era. Burgers, shakes and classic American cuisine amid shiny chrome and Formica accents and … [More]

2015 Cadillac Escalade

by Mike Hunter

The luxury SUV seems to be a thing of the future and not the past given what GM put into the new Cadillac Escalade — all newly redesigned and a step up from past editions, with real wood interior trim and the new generation mechanics that are making this ultra-premium sports utility vehicle a contender for Range Rover and Infinity. Tighter steering, more nimble ride and a mild … [More]