Business

Essential Pittsburgh
6:56 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Are You A PANK Or A PUNK? What These Demographics Mean for Business

"What more can we say?"- Essential Pittsburgh Assistant Producer and resident PANK, Heather McClain
Credit Sarahnaut / Flickr

In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are always looking for the next overlooked demographic to exploit. Some past examples include Young Upward Professionals (Yuppies) and couples known as DINKs (double income no kids).

The next overlooked demographic to get its own nickname are PANKs, which stands for: Professional Aunts, No Kids. 

Business contributor Rebecca Harris explains the PANK concept and their effect on the marketplace.

She says this group consists of child-loving women who do not have children of their own, and no, they're not spinsters

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

The Business of Food Banks

Credit Nancy Furbee / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's mission is to feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger.

Their vision is for a hunger-free southwestern Pennsylvania. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at food banks in the region.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Black Friday is Not What it Used to Be: A Changing Time for Retailers

Credit David Haines / Flickr

Black Friday sales are down and Cyber Monday sales continue to increase. So, what is the biggest shopping day of the year? And what is trending in Pittsburgh?

We'll talk with Duquesne University marketing professor Audrey Guskey about the ways that times are changing for retailers. 

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:30 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

A Rebecca Harris Neighborhood Spotlight: Garfield

Credit http://pennavenue.org/

Cities are made up of a collection of neighborhoods with unique features and characteristics. On the first Tuesday of the month, business contributor Rebecca Harris will focus on one of the city’s neighborhoods. Today's focus is on Garfield.

Garfield is a neighborhood by Bloomfield and Friendship with a population of about 3675 people. Rebecca tells us more about what the city has to offer such as its  organic farms, Garfield Night Market, and a monthly art show Unblurred.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:36 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Pittsburgh Businesses "On the Frontline" of Corporate Social Responsibility

The skyline of the Central Business District, which includes the headquarters of large corporate enterprises like BNY Mellon and U.S. Steel Corporation.
Credit Wally Gobetz / Flickr

  

Wall Street analysts are noting a growing trend of companies integrating sustainability and corporate social responsibility, known as CSR, with their traditional financial reporting.

A number of Pittsburgh companies are part of that trend. Joining us to address how this is making a difference in Pittsburgh are Lauren M. Odrechowski, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist with BNY Mellon and Matt Mehalik, program manager for Sustainable Pittsburgh.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:42 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

 

Entrepreneurship has become the new American dream. However, this business concept isn’t strictly American, as evidenced by this week being designated Global Entrepreneurship Week. Contributor Rebecca Harris joins us for a look at the worldwide growth in entrepreneurship.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:43 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Neighborhood Business: Greenfield

Credit KitAy / Flickr

  

Cities are made up of a collection of neighborhoods with unique features and characteristics. Beginning today, on the first Tuesday of each month, business contributor Rebecca Harris will focus on one of the city’s neighborhoods. Today's focus is on Greenfield.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:27 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

The Business of Artisanal Cheese

Credit Alex Proimos / Flickr

Artisanal cheese is becoming the latest food trend. Much like craft beers, people are using local ingredients to make their own cheeses. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of artisanal cheese.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

The Business of Fair Trade with Rebecca Harris

A Ten Thousand Villages employee arranges handcrafted scarves at the annual Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale.
Credit 12 5 12 Ten Thousand Villages POTD - Penn State / Flickr

Fair trade is a win-win proposition for nations and their citizens. According to contributor Rebecca Harris there’s a great deal of it available here in the city. This week Ms. Harris looks at the business of fair trade. Harris explains that fair trade means there’s an ethical partnership between consumers and producers around the world intended to create equity.

Principles include a minimum price for farmers’ goods, pre harvest credit, fair labor conditions, direct trade, democratic and transparent organizations, avoiding chemicals and GMOs, and so on. The latest trends in fair trade, Harris explains, include stores like Ten Thousand Villages, more fairtrade products in mainstream apparel stores, and so on. But in order for the fair trade movement to grow, consumer demand needs to expand. 

Essential Pittsburgh
5:15 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

The Business of Halloween Candy

Credit Rebecca Harris / WESA

If you’re trying to avoid sweets, October may not be the best month to test your resolve. With Halloween right around the corner, contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of candy.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
3:50 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

It's All about the Pink: Rebecca Harris on The Business of Breast Cancer Awareness

Credit SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget / Flickr

Former Good Morning America co-host Joan Lunden is the latest celebrity to go public with her diagnosis of breast cancer. 

This comes at the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness month. In this week’s business segment contributor Rebecca Harris turns her attention to the business of pink.

Harris explains that National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was organized to increase awareness of the disease and and raise funds for research.

The Pink Ribbon was introduced by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and then it became adopted by many other organizations and companies. Harris also talks about a term called, “pink washing” and what that means in the business of breast cancer today.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:28 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Robots Are Big Business in the Burgh

Credit oomlaut / Flickr

In a November 1999 article the Wall Street Journal dubbed Pittsburgh “Robo-burgh.” The city is one of a handful of locations in the U.S. leading in the development of robotics technology. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of robotics.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:38 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

How Do Musicians Survive in 2014?

Credit SouthernWI / Flickr

When Justin Currie was the lead singer for the band Del Amitri, he scored a top ten single in the U.S. and was heard regularly on top 40 radio.

But earlier this month he had sold only nine tickets to his upcoming solo show at the Club Cafe.

That's when he posted a desperate message on Facebook saying that he was going ahead with the show and that the people of Western Pennsylvania ought to show up. He joins us along with WYEP Program Director Mike Sauter to discuss the business model for the modern musician.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:45 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

A Closer Look into Pittsburgh's Bad Driver Rankings

Credit Ik's World Trip / Flickr

In a report issued by Allstate Insurance company ranking the nation’s 200 largest cities for driver safety Pittsburgh came in at 187. Is there money to made from this ranking and if so by whom? Contributor Rebecca Harris will answer those questions in this week’s business segment.

Higher Education
3:30 am
Mon September 1, 2014

With Launch of New Institute, Pitt Hopes to Give Business Students a Global Perspective

Studying abroad will have a whole new focus on studying with the launch of the Global Business Institute (GBI) next spring.

“One of the things that’s critical for business students today is that they have a global perspective," said Audrey Murrell, associate dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration. "It’s also important for them to build some competence around being able to interact with people from different perspectives and cultures.”  

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:30 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

The Business of School Lunches

A new community eligibility provision makes it possible for all students in Pittsburgh Public Schools to get free lunch and breakfast
Credit Lance Cheung/USDA / Flickr

Whether they brown bag it or purchase the cafeteria offering, lunch can be one of the most important parts of a student’s day. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of school lunches.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:34 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

The Natrona Bottling Tradition

Credit Marcus Charleston / WESA

Whether it’s called soda or pop, consumers can’t get enough of the sweet, carbonated beverage. Here in Pittsburgh the Natrona Bottling Company has been making its brand of specialty beverages for quite some time. In fact, this year marks the company’s 110th anniversary. Vito Gerasole, the “Sultan of Soda,” explains that Natrona’s dedication to product -- rather than profit -- is what makes its drinks so distinctive. For instance, Natrona still puts its sodas in glass bottles, and it uses real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

“Basically, we want to give you a good quality product that was produced 110 years ago. Our machinery is 70 years old. … No other soda producer uses this style of carbonation. … This is our defining factor.”

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:44 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

The Business of Buying Into a Franchise

Franchises are everywhere, but how difficult is it to buy into one?
Credit Mike Mozart / Flickr

Can you be an entrepreneur if you buy into a franchise? What should you know if you’re considering opening one? Contributor Rebecca Harris answers those questions this week as she looks at the business of franchises.

How does one even begin to buy into a franchise? Harris has some advice.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:02 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

The Growing Business of Childcare

With the increase of dual-income households, the need for childcare services has increased as well.
Credit Kirsten Jennings / Flickr

The cost of childcare has a significant impact on parents from all income ranges. Last year the New York Times reported the day care costs for middle-class New Yorkers can easily equal from $25,000 to $30,000 per child.

Contributor Rebecca Harris says childcare services are becoming so necessary because of the increase of households with dual incomes; both parents are working. However, Harris does not see this as a bad thing for children as they are growing up.

“Quality child care tends to lead to positive outcomes, even during the teenage years. Children that receive high quality childcare within the first two years of life, they secured higher measures of cognitive and academic achievements when they were 15 years old.”

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:34 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The Millennials Are Coming: Paying Attention to Their Consumer Habits and Traits

By the year 2025 Millennials will make up approximately 75% of the U.S. workforce.
Credit thetaxhaven / Flickr

In the next decade the economy will experience one of the largest demographic workplace changes in modern history. By the year 2025 Millennials will make up approximately 75% of the U.S. workforce, and worldwide this generation will account for 50% of those employed.

This week contributor, Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, looks at the The Business of Millennials.

There are 80 million Millennials, or those of “Generation Y” in the United States today, making up an entire quarter of the population.  Pittsburgh makes yet another list, coming in 15th in the Niche, Best Cities for Millennials list.  The best places for them to live in the city include Shadyside and Friendship

In addition to aligning themselves with brands and products with a good mission, Harris outlines just who the Millennials are.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
5:56 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Governor's Jobs 1st Summit Coming to Pittsburgh

The "titans of industry" will be speaking at a jobs summit taking place next month, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary. Julia Hearthway said the "Governor's Jobs 1st Summit" will be speaking to employers about making sure their workforce is ready to embrace a changing industry landscape. She said it will also feature a discussion between Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and business magnate T. Boone Pickens.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.”

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.” 

Read more
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. 

Read more
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. 

Read more

Pages