Business

Essential Pittsburgh
5:35 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

How the Business of Weddings is Changing with the Times

One of the many changes in the wedding business is an increase in destination weddings.
Credit Grand Velas Riviera Maya / Flickr

From bridal shops to reception venues and more, weddings are big business. Whether you’re part of the wedding party or simply attending the event you can expect to shell out some serious coin.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris revealed some facts that show weddings are changing.

One of Harris's discoveries was that June and September are now the most popular months for marriage.

"15% of US weddings take place in each of those months. It used to be summer time but as you can see from a day like today, people are really selecting to get married in cooler months."

The cost for weddings is also at a record high as Harris reported the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $30,000. With these rising costs the wedding business now makes up $40 billion of the economy.

Among other changes are the ages of the people getting married. The average age of a bride is 29 while the average age of a groom is 31 and Harris noted, "It used to be much younger."

Another major change is the increase of destination weddings, which now make up 24% of all weddings. But as Paul Guggenheimer pointed out this increase in destination weddings means a higher cost for the guests.

Check out these websites and ideas for keeping wedding plans local:

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:43 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

The Business of Breakfast (Why It's The Most Important Meal)

Pamela's Diner in Millvale
Credit Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Breakfast is, as the saying goes, "the most important meal of the day," and businesses are really catching on.

Taco Bell has recently begun to offer breakfast choices, joining a long list of restaurants that seek to help you start your day in a tasty, if not exactly healthy way.

Business contributor, Rebecca Harris has some statistics that may make you, and food businesses, think twice about skipping breakfast.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:26 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

The Business of the Barbecue (And Grilling)

Credit Gepat / Flickr

This Friday is July 4th, and to commemorate the nation’s 238th birthday people across the country will march in parades, watch fireworks and, of course, fire up the grill.

Tons of hot dogs, burgers, steaks, and propane will be sold in the lead up to Independence Day, the biggest grilling day of the year. So it seemed to be an appropriate time to discuss the business of grilling with contributor Rebecca Harris.

Harris says that even though humans have been cooking meat for hundreds of thousands of years, backyard grilling didn’t truly become popular until the 1950’s. The sudden increase in popularity was spurred by the creation of suburbs, and the creation of the backyard grill.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:46 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Keeping Ties In Their Place

George Howard with his creation, the Ziggi Tie Piece.
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Men’s fashion is famously static; while women’s fashion has changed greatly over just the past decade or so, men’s fashion really hasn’t changed that much over the past half-century. But every once and awhile, something catches on and changes the direction of men’s clothing. Local entrepreneur George Howard believes he has created that something.

His creation, called the Ziggi, is a small piece of cloth that attaches to a shirt’s buttons and goes through label tag, holding ties in place. Howard said that he created the Ziggi out of necessity: during a photo shoot last year, his tie would not stay in place.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:34 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Keeping the Business of Invention Alive in Pittsburgh

Inventors across the globe believe they’ve just created the Next Big Thing when they unveil their inventions, but few of these inventions are put into wide scale production and fewer still become the big thing their creators envisioned. The long odds do not discourage these inventors, and a sizeable amount of them will convene in Pittsburgh next week for the Invention & New Product Exposition (INPEX).

Business contributor Rebecca Harris stopped by to talk about what it takes to get an idea off the drawing board and onto the shelves. Harris explained why Pittsburgh’s culture of innovation makes it ideal for hosting INPEX.

“There is so much going on from technology to robotics to regular innovations and inventions. When you think of things like 4moms ... a lot of what they build is technology based on robotics ... and we’re also looking at also some inventions here in Pittsburgh helping to increase high-performance, high-quality 3D scanners at a fraction of the cost, and certainly so many inventions and patents are coming out of our universities every day, it’s quite remarkable.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:04 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Is Social Media Hindering the Business of Golf?

Credit Easy Being Greener / Blogger

Golf has been described as a “good walk spoiled.”

The rise of Tiger Woods brought an increased interest in the sport along with a new generation of fans in the early part of the century. However, recent stories from CNN and Bloomberg news report a declining interest in the game.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, looks at the business of golf.

According to the National Golf Foundation, more than 400,000 players, mostly men, left the sport last year. This may be attributed to the wicked winter weather on the east coast delaying the start of the game.

Golf club and gear sales also declined due to the new technology being phased into the sport, which older players may be slower to pick up. But Harris believes that another form of technology has had a negative effect on the sport as well. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:43 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

A Week-Long Celebration of Small Businesses

Rebecca Harris is the Executive Director of the Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

This week is National Small Business Week. Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, discussed the week-long celebration. 

She explained that more than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, and each year these businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the United States.

“[This week] is really designed to recognize the nation’s top businesses, the entrepreneurs,and really the business advocates. There are a number of activities; there are panel discussions, there are forums, there are workshops, there are webinars,” Harris said.

“It’s a big, big venture and it culminates with the naming of the Small Businessperson of the Year in Washington D.C. at the end of the week.” 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:18 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

With a Raise in the Minimum Wage, Where Would Businesses Find the Money?

What approaches can be taken to improve wages for restaurant employees and keep customers?
Credit LetsGoDine.com

Last Wednesday, the US Senate voted down a proposal by President Obama to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.

Many contend that such a steep raise would cripple job growth and small businesses. Others say more money and spending power for workers would be a boost for the economy overall. 

Art Helms, a Wendy’s employee and member of One Pittsburgh has been organizing for fair pay and a union for fast food workers in Pittsburgh.

He said he makes less than $10 per hour and has worked for Wendy’s for 27 years. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:08 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

From Politics to Consumerism, The Business of Mother's Day

Credit Etsy ketsy / flickr

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s presidential decree that made Mother’s Day a national holiday, and in that time it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending in the United States and around the globe.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris points out that Mother’s Day was not always about gift-giving. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:18 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

What to Know About Financial Planning, Post-Great Recession

Credit Ken Teegardin / www.SeniorLiving.Org

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 crippled many Americans' personal finances and caused a lot of uncertainty when it comes to future financial planning choices. 

"As a result of Dodd-Frank, the capital requirements of banks have increased dramatically. Banks have had to go through initial stress tests and ongoing stress tests. So the banking system is certainly shored up and the TARP program helped that immensely by injecting capital into both banks and into private corporations like General Motors. That helped stem the notion of rampant unemployment because people kept their jobs, and banks didn't collapse, and people didn't lose money. And it was good so there was stability there," said Paul Brahim, Chairman and CEO of BPU Investment Management Inc., and a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Financial Planning Association board of directors.

He talked about some of the changes in our financial systems for consumers, the markets, and regulators, since 2008 and how to make sound investments with the right kind of advisor.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:02 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Businesses Based on Recycling

Recycling bins are becoming more common at businesses and institutions like colleges, who are trying to become more environmentally conscious.
Credit Wikimedia

Now that Spring is here households and businesses are no doubt doing some Spring cleaning. But if you want to help the environment or earn some additional cash, where and how do you recycle some of the items you're discarding? This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the business of recycling. 

Recycling is now mandatory in residences, businesses, offices and institutions in Pittsburgh, so these companies have become more important in the city. The average American generates 4.6 pounds of garbage per day, and only recycle a pound and a half.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:56 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day In Pittsburgh

Frick Park hosted a 2-day Earth Day event earlier this month, teaching park-goers about local ecology and the park's habitats.
Credit Wikimedia

    

Virtual Earth Day

A virtual Earth Day party takes place this week. One of the highlights will be a new environmental music video on how consumers can save money and energy. The video even features a cameo from Mayor Peduto. We got details on the video and event from Joylette Portlock, President of Communitopia and creator of the Don't Just Sit There, Do Something About Climate Change web series.

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Economy & Business
3:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Business of Summer Camp, from Architecture to Arts & Crafts

Summer camps give kids structure during their off time from school, and lets them learn and grow while making new friends.
Credit Adrián Merinero Sánchez / flickr

While winter is hardly a distant memory, it’s time to start making summer plans. If summer camp is in your child’s future, contributor Rebecca Harris says now is the time to sign-up. This week she focused on the business of summer camps.

More than six million children attend summer camps each year, and there are many different options. There are day camps, sleep away camps and even summer camps for adults. Rebecca has suggested just a few to check out before sessions fill up.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:04 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Take A Trip To Canada, In Downtown Pittsburgh

This maple syrup poster is just one of the many Canada-themed images on display at Pop Up Canada on Smithfield Street.
Credit Marnie Schleicher / 90.5WESA

This week our neighbors to the north – Canada - will be celebrated in Pittsburgh via a temporary Canadian consulate. Canada is Pennsylvania’s largest trading partner and export market, receiving 30 percent of the state’s foreign-bound goods. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the state’s business connections to Canada.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:33 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Corporate April Fool's Jokes Going Viral

Cheetos perfume, Taco Bell purchasing the Liberty Bell and American Beagle dogwear.

They’re all examples of corporations getting into to spirit of April Fool's. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of April Fools. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:31 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Business of French Products

Macarons come in a rainbow of colors and can be just about any flavor imaginable.
Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Multi-coloured_macarons,_September_2010.jpg

This week, contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the connection French businesses and products have to our commercial sector.

France is the sixth largest foreign investor in the Pittsburgh region, with 27 French-owned companies that operate about 50 establishments in the area.

Here are some Pittsburgh businesses with a French connection:

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:24 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

The Business of St. Patrick's Day in America & Ireland

Anne Flynn Schlicht modeled a Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day parade t-shirt and tasted "Irish Potatoes", a coconut creme confection sold in the US. She was not impressed.
Credit Katherine Blackley / 90.5 WESA

From parades to shamrocks and the wearin’ o’ the green you see a lot of people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Pittsburgh. But how does the U.S. celebration of this holiday differ from Ireland’s?

Anne Flynn Schlicht, Assistant Director at the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and a native of Cork, Ireland, discussed the business of St. Patrick’s Day.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

From King Cake to Fish Fry, the Business of Lenten Season

Paczkis, pronounced like push-key, is a popular pastry eaten on Fat Tuesday
Credit Rmhermen / wikipedia

It’s Fat Tuesday, or as it’s known in New Orleans, Mardi Gras.

This celebration prior to Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) is celebrated in high style with beads, baked goods and more.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris explained the business and significance of Fat Tuesday and the religious season of observance.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:16 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

The Business of Gluten Free

Rebecca Harris and Paul Guggenheimer
Credit Gregory Kallenberg

One of the newest food trends in recent years is an increase in gluten-free products. From grocers' shelves to bakeries, you're finding them everywhere. Contributor Rebecca Harris looks at gluten free products in this week's business segment.

The market for gluten-free is growing, and it took second place in Time Magazine’s top ten food trends in 2012.

The Girl Scouts have introduced a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, and many people are just avoiding gluten in general.

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Project Millennials
1:55 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

A New Intern's Guide to Professional Wear

Tanger Outlet Mall, Washington, Pa.
Credit www.tangeroutlet.com/pittsburgh/

With the spring semester underway, many Pittsburgh college students are involved with internships. The transition from a closet full of T-shirts and yoga pants can be a hard one, so here are a few tips to start putting together a professional wardrobe.

1. Professional clothes can be expensive, so shop around.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

The Good & The Bad for Businesses in the Winter

Credit Marcus Eubanks / flickr

With the abundance of cold weather, there has been no shortage of news stories about the climate, energy issues and snow-related complications.

But in addition to an increase in coverage by media outlets, many businesses that sell winter items and services are seeing a big boom in revenue. While others may see a decrease in earnings as a result of the unsettling weather.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris divides the good from the bad and shares the implications of a long winter.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:47 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

The Business of Outdoor Winter Recreation

Business contributor Rebecca Harris and Host Paul Guggenheimer brave the cold outside our studios.
Credit Marcus Charleston

Now that the holidays are over there are plenty of long gray days ahead.

Rather than give in to cabin fever, strap on some skis or snowshoes, get outdoors and enjoy the white stuff!

Business contributor Rebecca Harris has been looking at the business of winter recreation and shares some interesting info about the profitability of the ski industry, how resorts are focusing on sustainability, and some local ideas for a snow day.

Economy & Business
4:09 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Namaste and the Business of Yoga in Pittsburgh

An outdoor yoga class in Grandview Park
Credit BYS yoga studio / Facebook

From the downward sun salutation, to the archer, yoga enthusiasts are striking poses across the country. And yoga studios are springing up everywhere.

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, the classic techniques of yoga date back more than 5 thousand years, and come from a desire to develop greater personal freedom, health, and self understanding.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:06 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Millennials Driving the Business of Tattoos

Over one-third of all Millennials have at least one tattoo.
Credit Kenzie Saunders / Flickr

Tattoos were once the domain of sailors and bad guys in movies and television. Over the past two decades the art of inking has increased.

Tattoo parlors are everywhere and they’ve achieved the ultimate pop culture status of reality shows devoted to the craft.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris says Millennials are driving the trend.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:31 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Pittsburgh International Airport Has Steady Growth Without Being a Hub

Credit flickr user PIT Airport

While we're no longer a US Airways hub, the Allegheny County Airport Authority continues to bring new development and flight routes to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Through internal modifications and innovative marketing and promotional strategies, the Airport Authority has managed to maintain a positive impression and steady growth.

“Pittsburgh is always on the top of the list when airlines need to land or take off in an emergency…from hurricanes to blizzards,” says Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.

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