West Virginia is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful states in all of the United States. With a small population and thousands of square miles of untouched nature whether you want to visit bridges, forests, or see how oil drilling works (one of the most popular and lucrative industries in West Virginia) there will be plenty of places to visit and fill your time.

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is the capital of West Virginia making it a very important stop on any WV trip that you may take. The West Virginia Power minor league baseball team is based in Charleston with one of the most exciting events of the year is the annual 15 miles Charleston Distance Run. Apart from all the hometown activities Charleston is also home to the headquarters of one of West Virginia’s biggest industries, oil and gas. Cunningham Energy is one of the largest oil and gas companies within West Virginia and the United States, always fun to visit the headquarters and learn a little more about how the different industries affect the West Virginia economy.

Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry is abundant with different history exhibits scattered throughout the town. While browsing around you will have the opportunity to meet different Civil War era characters and learn more about the history of West Virginia and the United States at the beginning of creation. Last but not least be sure to take a hike on the Appalachian Trail to either start your day off with a sunrise hike or end your day to see the sunset, try to avoid the hot sun during the day when hiking.

New River George National River
New River is one of the oldest rivers on the continent and features miles and miles of different activities: go river tubing, whitewater rafting, take a swim, hiking, zip lining, and many other outdoor activities. The New River has all of these activities available for you, be sure in your West Virginia trip to go visit the river and check that one off your bucket list.

No matter which place you decide to visit or which activity you decide to partake in you will soon learn all the new, fun, and exciting activities that West Virginia has to offer.

Earlier this year, South Florida-based Turnberry Associates and LeFrak, of New York City, announced they were pooling expertise and resources on a joint venture project – SoLē Mia Miami, a 183-acre master-planned community in North Miami. In June, the partners formally broke ground on the multi-use development.

The Miami Herald’s article on the event reported construction is scheduled to begin in little more than a year. The initial phase of the project’s retail component – SoLē Mia Mainstreet – will take shape during that first stage of construction, overseen by Turnberry Associates Co-Chairman and CEO Jackie Soffer (married to Craig Robins).

In addition to SoLē Mia, Soffer leads the retail development for Turnberry’s Aventura Mall. Turnberry and LeFrak plan to create a pedestrian-friendly “lifestyle center” at SoLē Mia Mainstreet.

For SoLē Mia Mainstreet, Soffer expects to create a strong mix of local and national chef-owned restaurants, bowling, a dine-in movie theater, and a combination of nationally renowned and locally established boutique shops. She already has announced a Warren Henry auto showroom featuring Infinity, Jaguar and Land Rover will be located at the community.

SoLē Mia Miami’s first phase of retail will encompass approximately 500,000 square feet. Ultimately, SoLē Mia Mainstreet will offer 800,000 square feet of retail with upscale shopping, fine dining, 37 acres of parks and recreation, and a wide array of world-class amenities.

Designed to become South Florida’s next iconic neighborhood, the SoLē Mia Miami community also will feature parks, swimming lagoons, and more than four thousand apartment residences. A 50 percent partner in the project, Turnberry Associates will be the development’s primary manager.

A rally in Microsoft and other technology shares pushed U.S. stocks up sharply for a second day on Friday as earnings came in stronger-than-expected, while healthcare shares rebounded from recent losses.

An unexpected rate cut in China added to the positive tone.

Microsoft shares (MSFT.O) rose 11.6 percent to $53.66, their highest in 15 years, after the company’s adjusted revenue beat expectations for the ninth quarter in a row.

Microsoft gave the biggest boost to the three indexes, accounting for a fifth of the Dow’s gain and leading a strong rally in technology stocks. The S&P technology sector .SPLRCT jumped 3.4 percent, leading sector gains for the benchmark.

Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Google’s new holding company, and Amazon (AMZN.O) soared to record highs after their results beat expectations. Alphabet was up 7.5 percent at $732.44, while Amazon rose 7.2 percent to $604.77.

Why the Foam Ban Being Overturned In NYC Is a Good Thing

On July 1, 2015 the city of New York had implemented a citywide ban on foam. This New York foam ban pertained to foam packaging and products which are commonly used in the restaurant and retail industries. Single use EPS products are the primary target of the ban. EPS stands for Expandable Polystyrene Foam and this material is commonly used on product such as cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers and trays. It is also used as a packing material for many products. When the ban was put into effect all businesses that used EPS were required to remove this product from out of their establishments. At the time they had six months to become compliant or they would have to face stiff penalties and fines.

The Ban Is Overturned

On September 20, 2015 New York Supreme Court judge had overturned the New York foam ban. The judge reached their decision on by stating that the ban was the city’s Department of Sanitation’s order to ban the items was arbitrary, capricious and irrational. EPS products have not been conclusively proven to cause illnesses and disease and they are recyclable.

The Foam Ban Would Have Caused Restaurants Economic Hardship

Many businesses in the greater New York City area happy about the overturn on foam based products. Many of food service businesses were already paying out a lot of money for their operations. A foam ban would have probably forced a small percentage of local food service businesses to close their doors. Switching out a fairly inexpensive storage supply for a more expensive alternative is going to a financial strain on any enterprise. So, overturning the ban has helped many businesses to avoid this issue.

Also, the ban would have temporary limited some of the sales of restaurant owners. Remember, that most organizations were expected to switch out their supply inside of six months. The truth is that a lot of businesses in the New York area would not have been able to meet this deadline. Many of these organization already have deals in place with suppliers and the ban would have caused millions of dollars in foam product sales to be lost.

Many Restaurants Are Expected To Slowly Phase Out Their Foam Products

Keep in mind that New York City officials still want foam products to be removed from commercial restaurant operations. However, they realize that this should be a gradual removal and not a forced ban. Once again, a ban would literally cause millions of dollars in monetary lost for foam product suppliers and for restaurants that rely on these items as a part of their operations. The whole issue surrounding the New York foam ban has caused many restaurants to reconsider foam products for more feasible alternatives.

Throughout the counties that make up West Virginia, it is clear that oil exploration and drilling play a major role in the state’s economy. West Virginia is a prime oil drilling location that attracts a number of different oil and gas companies to the area such as:

Apollo Oil
Apollo Oil focuses on Automotive, Aviation & Marine, Commercial, and Industrial Manufacturing when it comes to oil. Their oil is mainly focused on lubrication of different transportation vehicles in the commercial sector. They have five different facilities and have over 2.5 million gallons of bulk oil storage. Whether you are trying to get to work or trying to make your next vacation it is almost guaranteed that you have somehow used Apollo Oil’s oil at some point in your life. This shows how important oil and oil drilling is, it is just something to think about next time you are on the metro or in a car.

Cunningham Energy
Cunningham Energy is focusing on drilling and supplying oil to help new technologies in the field of efficient energy production. While based in West Virginia, Cunningham Energy provides hundreds of jobs to the local economy and is also helping technologies that are trying to help the current energy issues the world is facing. The newest technologies in the green field still require bits of oil in order to run and provide energy to hundreds and thousands of different people around the country and world. This focus on new energy efficient technologies will help Cunningham Energy ever develop and also allow for them to employ more and more of the surrounding community while new technologies are constantly being developed.

Berry Energy
Berry Energy focuses on a more hometown Appalachia West Virginia based company. While they do supply commercially and independently their first and foremost focus is on the surrounding community and economies. Whether it be working to supply them with oil as soon as needed or whether it is to give jobs to people who have been laid or veterans coming back from war who are in need of a job. This focus on the surrounding Appalachian community has created a certain trust between Berry Energy and the communities’ opinions about oil drilling.

Each of these West Virginian companies is helping to improve the state’s economy by creating access to a natural resource and by providing residents with jobs.

Buying a New Home Beats Renting in South Florida

Buy? Or rent? Trulia.com says, throughout South Florida, that decision is a no-brainer.

According to the latest Trulia survey, the cost of buying a home in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties is 50 percent under the projected expenses of renting. The website reports that’s the fifth-highest spread among the nation’s top 100 metro areas.

It is within this “buyers’ market” that Turnberry Associates has started building its newest Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., venture – Turnberry Ocean Club.

“Rents have increased faster than home prices,” Bankrate.com financial analyst Greg McBride told the Miami Herald. And, when rent for luxury apartments and condominium residences continues to soar, even the upscale home-seekers Turnberry CEO, Jeff Soffer and Turnberry Principal, Jackie Soffer (Haute Living) are targeting with this project may be more inclined to purchase, rather than rent.

Rising 649 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, the 54-story Turnberry Ocean Club will feature a rhapsody of blue glass that accentuates its private club prestige, provides panoramic views of the Atlantic, Intracoastal Waterway and downtown Miami, and redefines luxury living.

Reinforcing the enclave’s prestige, residences in Turnberry Ocean Club are priced beginning at $4 million to $35 million. Construction on the luxury tower is now underway, with completion expected in 2018.

According to Trulia, Sarasota had the biggest buy-to-rent differential, at 55 percent…just five percentage points higher than South Florida’s, followed by Fort Myers (54 percent), Baton Rouge, LA (53) and New Orleans (52).

It would appear South Florida is in the midst of more home-ownership demand.

The normal flow in a capitalist economic system relies on savings and investment to fuel growth. Venture capital is available as a source of investment funds particularly when capital markets are not accessible. This is often true for start-ups and other risky investments, where capital markets will not take on that high a degree of risk. The potential return on investment must typically exceed average expectations, in order to lure the higher risk investor. Additional incentives come in the form of a piece of equity for the investor. The equity, in turn, permits influence in business decision-making.

Capital markets are involved in issuing an assortment of investment instruments including stocks and bonds. These are medium and long term securities, with a maturity greater than 1-year. Investments with a maturity of less than 1-year, alternatively, are called money markets. Institutional investors including mutual funds, pensions, retirement funds, 401k’s, governments, banks and other financial institutions are some of the many capital market players.

Venture capital investors are willing to accept substantially more risk than the institutional investor. When an investment is too risky for capital markets, venture capital remains a viable option for those seeking investment funds. In tougher economic times, capital markets are constricted and likewise fewer venture capitalists are available as well. Money is tight. Job creation is limited and unemployment tends to be higher. That does not mean resources are not available. Capital is always available at a price.

Certified Capital Company (CAPCO) programs make capital available in underserved markets by assisting small businesses, young and start-up companies, who have a significant potential return on investment. An initial investment, from a CAPCO program, can encourage additional investment from other venture capital sources.

With many success stories as their proving ground, CAPCO programs have assisted in creating job opportunities. Often high-tech and higher wage jobs result from their investment. They assist in building local venture capital infrastructure, where previously there may not have been much, or any at all. Most importantly perhaps, the process itself builds financial linkages for future economic development.

It is advantageous for the entrepreneur to secure several sources of funding. CAPCO programs are often run statewide, but alone are not sufficient funding source for a new entrepreneurial effort. Other sources of equity venture capital are needed and can include what is referred to as “angel” investors. These are private individual investors, often who have had their own successful entrepreneurial projects that they have since sold off or retired from. Angel investors tend to bring their trusted associates that also invest, providing the benefit of the needed, multiple funding sources.

Venture capital is usually a long term investment effort which can be beneficial to the entrepreneur, diminishing initial pressure to succeed. Although ROI is anticipated to be high, the term can be substantial and is expected to be long term, but not indefinite.

The benefit to the community, particularly those in economic development zones, economically challenged areas that truly need investment and benefit significantly when jobs are created.

Continuing on its quest to dominate nearly every aspect of American consumers’ lives, Amazon has turned itself into a food-delivery service, starting in Seattle this week.

Amazon is testing restaurant delivery in select areas of its hometown for members of its Prime Now service, the company said Tuesday. Prime Now is an additional benefit of Amazon Prime only available in 10 cities, including Portland, Ore., and Seattle, offering one-hour delivery on orders for $7.99 or two-hour delivery for free. Amazon Prime is a $99-a-year program that gets you free two-day shipping and access to video and music streaming.

Customers will be able to browse menus and place orders with participating local Seattle restaurants via the Prime Now app and get their food within an hour or less. Delivery is also free for a limited time. Amazon has not responded to questions about what delivery will eventually cost or whether it plans to expand into other markets.

With Prime and services like AmazonFresh, Amazon has made itself a brand that permeates the way we get our groceries, order household products, listen to music and watch movies and TV shows, in addition to being a destination for buying just about anything else. Now restaurant delivery puts Amazon on track to compete with companies including GrubHub, Seamless and a growing number of start-ups that provide restaurant delivery through apps.

Continue reading the full story

Source: USA Today

E-Trade Financial expects to post a loss for the quarter as it reworks its balance sheet.

The online brokerage firm said Tuesday that it is restructuring balance sheet liabilities to eliminate $4.4 billion of its wholesale funding obligations by the end of the quarter. It will take a pre-tax charge of $410 million because of it.

E-Trade Financial Corp. said that the maneuver will improve its balance sheet by removing high-cost funding and put it on a path to normalized earnings.

Shares jumped 7 percent to $27.23 by midday following the announcement. E-Trade’s shares are up roughly 16 percent over the past year.

Read more on the market.

Source: Fox Business

How to Get a Good Start


You surely know that starting a business it is hard work. We’re not talking about physical work, but about planning and thinking it all at least two or three times. When starting a business, you need to have a clear mind and think everything a few times, because a business means also money. Even if you decide on starting a business with hand made products, you still need to take into consideration what money should be used, not only the passion that you have or the knowledge to do something.

The Business Plan

This is the most important think when starting a new business, as here is the basis of what you want to do. The ideas that you have must take a written form. There are countless available resources in the online environment and you can use any of them to write your own business plan. From name to goal, the plan will contain anything of relevance. What is important is that this plan will help you better to know your finances, find investors and create marketing strategies for later.

Training and Assistance

Use the online resources to get training. It’s easy to get free courses and use them for improving your knowledge in this area. You’ll learn a lot more about creating your own plan for the business and how to get financial security, how to expand your business later and even how to relocate your business.

Get the Location

Once you know what you want to do and you already have a sketch for your business plan, start looking for the location. If it’s not something that you can do in your own kitchen – like making candles, hand-made envelopes or any other thing that doesn’t require too much space, then you need to look for a good place.

There are plenty of ads to choose from, but consider that the rent can be higher if the location is in a central part of the city. Make sure you have enough money to pay the rent for at least 6 months.



You need to consider how you will finance what you want to start as a business. There are also businesses that don’t require a lot of investment, but also there are some that do require a lot of money. If you want to start something hand-made, you may already have the means to finance it. The start up costs for a very small business may be indeed very small – for example, if you want to make candles all you need to do is buy the basic materials for making them.

In addition, you need to find investors if the business plan is for something larger.

The Legal Structure

As you may already know, a business involves contracts, taxes and even permits. A legal advisor is needed, especially if you know nothing about what you want to start. There are rules and regulations applying in certain areas, and a legal advisor is the best person who can tell you what is legal and what is not. In addition, an accountant is needed for your business, as running a business involves making money circulate.

The Brand Name

There is an office that registers all the names of the businesses that run in the certain area. Think of the name of your business and register it within the state government office. This ensures you are legal and that nobody else can use the same name for something else.


As you already have a legal advisor, it’s time you use his services and ask him to get the license for your business. You need to have a tax ID number and also what else you need to be able to run your business in the limits of the law.

Once you’ve made your plan, your team, and all that is needed for a good start, all you have to do is run it!

Come and see us at SC Group and we’ll show you the way!