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Father and Son Open New Hardware Store Franchise in Their Neighborhood

Warren Pegram and his stepson, Charlston Austin, have opened an Ace Hardware franchise in their neighborhood in the city of South Fulton, Georgia. It is one of the first hardware stores in their community.

According to the City of South Fulton Observer, the new store is a great addition to the current retail lineup at the Old National Marketplace. Its opening came right on time as the city has been encouraging more small businesses to do business in the area.

The Ace Hardware franchise promises to particularly offer home improvement products that are most needed in the community. Pegram said that unlike other franchises, they will also sell party rental equipment such as commercial grade snow cone machines, inflatables, popcorn machines, and many more.

Austin, who used to work as a former retail account executive, is making sure to connect with the community to know the products they need and to be able to provide it in their hardware store. His father, on the other hand, is ensuring the high level of customer service so everyone who comes to the store will have an awesome shopping experience.

Because of the newest hardware store in the area, residents in the community don’t have to go further away for their home improvement needs. They are also hoping to inspire the younger generations to become entrepreneurs.

To keep their customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are currently offering pick-up and delivery options. They are located at 6385 Old National Hwy Suite 120, South Fulton, GA.

This article was originally published by BlackBusiness.com.

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Colorado nursing homes face new pandemic challenge: staying open

A decrease in the number of residents living inside, combined with increased costs, has led many facilities to financial trouble.

DENVER — The number of new cases of COVID-19 in long term care facilities has decreased since the beginning of the pandemic. Now nursing homes are facing another challenge: staying open.

Many facilities have had to invest more money into securing personal protective equipment to keep employees and residents safe. They’ve also had to pay employees overtime and bonuses for working through the pandemic. On top of that, the number of residents living inside these facilities has dropped sharply.

Doug Farmer is the president of the Colorado Health Care Association, representing senior care centers across the state. He estimates the number of residents living inside nursing homes has decreased between 15% and 40% in some places.

“When they start to see a decrease in the number of people that they care for, and therefore their revenue, they have to make some very difficult choices about how or if they can proceed to exist,” said Farmer. “I think people are waiting to make sure that things have leveled out, to see if there’s a vaccine, or other things that can be done to ensure the safety of their loved ones.”

Up north, at the Estes Park Health Living Center, there are 52 licensed beds. Right now, less than half are occupied. The facility expects to lose $1.4 million this year, about $56,000 for each of the empty beds, according to documents on the facility’s website. 

The financial strain brought on by the pandemic has forced the owners to propose closing the entire facility. 

9NEWS reached out to the facility requesting an interview but did not hear back. 

The Estes Park Living Center is still looking for alternative options that would allow

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Green Homes Grant Applications Now Open

Applications for the government’s Green Homes Grant, available to homeowners in England, can be made from today (30 September 2020) via the dedicated website.

Crucially, the work must be completed by 31 March 2021.

Tradespeople can also use the site to register their interest in undertaking work generated by uptake of the grant.

The government has also announced plans to upgrade the energy efficiency of privately-rented homes by 2028, and £50 million will be spent to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in England.

Here’s a summary of how the scheme works and how you might benefit, along with details of measures for those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Government goes for green

In July, chancellor Rishi Sunak used his summer economic statement to unveil £3 billion of support to fund a ‘green recovery’ following the economic downturn triggered by coronavirus.

He said £1.5 billion will be used to fund Green Homes Grants paid via vouchers that households can put towards the cost of energy-efficient improvements.

The government says work done on a home courtesy of the scheme could lead to annual energy bill savings of £600. It says up to 600,000 homes will benefit.

A Local Authority Delivery scheme will allocate £500 million of funding to local authorities to support low-income, ‘fuel-poor’ households. The aim is to lift 900,000 households out of fuel poverty*.

The remaining £1 billion will be spent on increasing the energy efficiency of public buildings, including schools and hospitals, through a Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund. The government’s policy is to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

Here’s what you should know if you’re thinking about applying for the Green Homes Grant…

How much is the voucher worth?

For the majority of households, vouchers will be worth around two-thirds of

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Hotline is Open to Report Contractors’ Defiance of New EO on Diversity Training

The Labor Department launched a hotline on Tuesday to report any non-compliance by federal contractors with the Trump administration’s recent ban on certain employee diversity and inclusion training. 

President Trump’s executive order last week, along with the supplemental guidance issued on Monday, cracked down on employee diversity and inclusion training for federal agencies, contractors, grant recipients and the military that is “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.” The order required Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to launch a hotline for complaints on contractors not following the order. It can now be reached at 202-343-2008 or [email protected]

The hotline can be used for the recent executive order as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity executive order, signed in 1965, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis on sex, race, skin color, religion, gender identity, national origin or sexual orientation. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will investigate complaints and “take appropriate enforcement action and provide remedial relief, as appropriate,” said Trump’s directive last week. 

“OFCCP’s Division of Policy and Program Development will monitor the hotline. Complaints requiring an investigation will be sent to the appropriate Regional and District Offices for review and handling,” a Labor Department spokesperson told Government Executive. The hotline “accepts complaints 24/7” and complainants “will receive a response confirming receipt soon after.” The spokesperson did not say how many employees will staff it. 

Overall, the executive order requires that federal contractors not use employee training material that has any type of race or sex “stereotyping” or “scapegoating,” send each labor union or collective bargaining representative a notice (provided by their contracting officer) that outlines their commitment under the executive order and include provisions from the executive order in all subcontracts or purchase orders,

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B&M discount chain to open up to 45 stores

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Discount chain B&M has said it will open up to 45 new stores this year after sales soared during the coronavirus lockdown.

It said its business model was “well-attuned” to customer needs, with discount goods being sold at out-of-town stores.

Retailers have had mixed fortunes during the coronavirus pandemic.

In August, retail sales were boosted by increased spending on DIY, but clothing sales still lagged.

Supermarkets and DIY stores are among the retailers that have seen high demand during the pandemic as people stocked up on food and home improvement goods during and after lockdown.

Last week, Tesco and Morrisons again put limits on the number of some items that shoppers could buy to try to prevent a repeat of panic-buying which led to shortages in March.

Rising to the challenge

B&M, which sells goods including DIY and foodstuffs, said its staff had done well to keep up with demand during the half year.

It initially closed 60 stores in shopping centres during the pandemic, but reopened them quite quickly.

A spokesman for the group said that a lot of people were looking for ways of keeping spending down during the lockdown, which attracted new customers.

Those customers have kept coming back.

Group sales jumped by 25.3% between 29 March and 26 September, and the retailer raised its earnings forecast for the period to about £285m from its previous estimate of £250m to £270m.

“Our people have risen to the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, not least in serving our customers through a period of high demand, keeping our shelves filled, providing a clean and safe shopping environment, as well as sourcing higher volumes than we had planned,” said Simon Arora, B&M chief executive.

“I thank them all for their commitment, hard work and

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