Insight News

Monday
Dec 22nd

Business

Save a stamp – pay your property taxes electronically

The first half of Hennepin County property taxes is due Monday, May 16. (Property taxes are split into equal payments due May 15 and Oct. 15 each year. This year May 15 falls on a Sunday, so taxes are due on Monday.)

Are you still paying the old-fashioned way – writing a check and rushing to the mailbox?

Pay your taxes online by E-check at www.hennepin.us/echeck.  It’s easy, convenient, secure, fully automated – and it’s free. 
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Minneapolis awards nearly $500,000 in small business grants

Mayor R.T. Rybak and the Minneapolis City Council approved funding of nearly $500,000 in grants to Minneapolis business districts. Grants, through the City’s Great Streets Neighborhood Business District Program, support technical assistance—planning, financial management and education in legal and tax matters—for small businesses. Grants also support business recruitment and marketing efforts aimed at bringing customers to a business district. The program is one of several finance tools the City offers in support of its small business community.
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Feeling groovy at work

Feeling groovy at workFeelin’ Groovy is an old song; ask an old person and they just might remember the catchy tune and the words: Slow down, you’re moving too fast.

Lately, I have been required to ask competency-based questions during dozens of interviews.  These questions aim to reveal a person’s strengths and weaknesses through their own descriptions of specific experiences.  My task is to ask about a situation, find out how the candidate approached the challenge, and then learn what they learned or took away from that event. 
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Black corporate board seats decline

Black corporate board seats declineWashington, D.C. - The release of a corporate board census by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) on May 2, 2011 reported a surprising decline in the combined number of seats for women and minorities on the boards of the nation's leading corporations. The largest decline was among Blacks. This year's report found that in the Fortune 100 between 2004 and 2010, African Americans lost over 40 board seats while white men increased their presence on corporate boards, adding over 30. Overall, women did not see an appreciable increase in their share of board seats.
 
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Ask: Because you never know what you don’t know

Ask: Because you never know what you don’t knowIt was just a report.  A straightforward spreadsheet.  A list of text and numbers lined up in long columns, a few formulas, some formatting and Voila!  A report.  Unfortunately, the recipient of the report did not appreciate its simplicity.  “What about that other column?” he asked.  “And where did those numbers come from?”  Working in fits and starts, three days later, the reporting dynamo had produced the report he was looking for and pulled out most of her hair in the process.
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Banks collect overdraft opt-ins through misleading marketing

CRL survey finds low opt-in rate, high number of misconceptions

Banks use scare tactics and other misleading practices to persuade consumers to opt into high-cost overdraft programs for debit card purchases, a new CRL survey finds. Even so, the survey finds, most consumers choose not to opt in. The survey results contradict claims that consumers overwhelmingly want to sign up to pay nearly $35 on average each time they overdraw their checking account by a small amount with their debit card.

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Why saving money matters - tips for saving

Why saving money matters - tips for savingThere is a great amount of attention being paid to saving money these days. It’s no surprise following a stormy economic downturn that caught many Americans with too much debt and not enough money in their rainy day funds. Saving is surely something banks are thinking about as more and more customers say, “I wish I could save more.”

Saving money is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because it helps build a financial safety net for life’s unexpected changes. Loss of a job or a surprise addition to the family can send families scrambling to figure out how they are going to make ends meet.
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