Is Social Media Hindering the Business of Golf?

Jun 3, 2014
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. 

A Week-Long Celebration of Small Businesses

May 13, 2014
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.”

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. 

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

May 6, 2014
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. 

What to Know About Financial Planning, Post-Great Recession

Apr 30, 2014
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.

Businesses Based on Recycling

Apr 29, 2014

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.

Celebrating Earth Day In Pittsburgh

Apr 22, 2014


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.

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

Apr 15, 2014
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.

Take A Trip To Canada, In Downtown Pittsburgh

Apr 8, 2014
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.

Corporate April Fool's Jokes Going Viral

Apr 1, 2014

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. 

The Business of French Products

Mar 18, 2014,_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:

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

Mar 11, 2014
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.

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

Mar 4, 2014
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.

The Business of Gluten Free

Feb 25, 2014
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.

A New Intern's Guide to Professional Wear

Feb 25, 2014

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.

The Good & The Bad for Businesses in the Winter

Feb 18, 2014
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.

The Business of Outdoor Winter Recreation

Jan 7, 2014
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.

Namaste and the Business of Yoga in Pittsburgh

Dec 17, 2013
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.

Millennials Driving the Business of Tattoos

Dec 3, 2013
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.

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.

What Conventions Mean for Pittsburgh

Oct 8, 2013
glindsay65 / Flickr

Pittsburgh may be known as the city of bridges, but it also holds many different conventions.

The reason for the popularity of Pittsburgh for conventions comes down to accessibility, maximum capacity, pricing, availability, and external attractions according to business contributor Rebecca Harris.

The “buy local” movement gets a lot of attention for efforts to get communities to shop locally and buy local food, but buying local can also extend to industry. That’s the message of the second annual Buy Pittsburgh First Expo.

The Business of Major League Baseball

Sep 10, 2013
Jwalter522 / Flickr

Pittsburgh Pirates fans are rejoicing after last night’s win against the Texas Rangers. The rare inter-league game insured the Bucco’s first winning season in 20 years.

This resurgence of Pittsburgh baseball has not only bolstered the morale of the Steel City, but proved to be monetarily successful. The Pirates have produced larger revenue this year than any other since tracking began in 1998. Business contributor Rebecca Harris speaks with reporter Jonathan Mayo and Boston Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino about the business of baseball.

The Business of Labor Day

Aug 27, 2013
Curtis Publishing / Wikipedia

More than 34 million Americans are projected to travel 50 miles or more this Labor Day weekend. This brings big profit opportunities for  businesses throughout the country.

Since its inception in 1882, the holiday has been marked by icons like Rosie the Riveter, barbecues and family gatherings.

Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, says Labor Day weekend travelers will spend an estimated $800 on dining, shopping and gifts.

The Business of Couponing

Aug 20, 2013
The Coca Cola Company

Always one for quirky trivia, Essential Pittsburgh business contributor Rebecca Harris fills us in on the origins of the now ubiquitous coupon. Perhaps more intriguing, however, is the coupon’s future. Though 80-90% of the coupon market still lies in print, the online coupon market is exploding. This is especially true when it comes to smartphones, with the mobile market projected to be $46 billion by 2016. Harris says, the advent of personalized coupons means mass coupon printing is no longer necessary. “You don’t have to be a huge retailer,” she says, to enjoy the benefits of the mobile coupon craze.

The Business of Beauty Salons

Aug 13, 2013
Bryan Costin/Flickr

The state of hair can tell us a lot about the state of the economy, says business contributor Rebecca Harris. According to Harris, beauty salons are not only a big business, employing close to 2 million people in a $50 billion market, the recent growth of the beauty industry gives us an idea of the extent of America’s economic recovery.

Fast Growing Occupations

Aug 6, 2013
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

When business contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the US News and World Report’s list of the top 100 best jobs for 2013, she noticed the effect that the aging baby boomers were having on the economy. The rapid rise of healthcare related jobs reflects this trend. Another important shift in the economy can be seen in the advent of the Chief Listening Officer position in some companies. She says this job’s rise to prominence shows that “before social media, business was really a one way when consumers talk, businesses have to listen.”

The Business of Manufacturing With Rebecca Harris

Jul 16, 2013
Amy Buser / Flickr

The resurgent manufacturing sector has been a boon in America’s struggling economy, but women are being left out of the action. In her second segment on the upswing in manufacturing jobs in the US, business contributor Rebecca Harris talks about the way that the new world of manufacturing is keying off of cutting edge innovation to create jobs.

PA to Use Tax Credits to Spark High Tech Start Ups

Jul 12, 2013

Established, financially successful companies are looking to reduce their tax liability. Nascent tech firms are looking for an infusion of capital to jump start them. A new program that’s included in Pennsylvania’s tax code, signed this week by Gov. Tom Corbett, aims to accomplish both.

“Innovate in Pennsylvania,” sponsored by State Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna), allows the commonwealth to auction $100 million in tax credits to insurance companies that will then use those credits to trim their tax liability in the future.

Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, rumors of American manufacturing's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The manufacturing industry in the United States is growing in a very real way, contributing roughly $1.74 trillion to the US GDP on an annual basis for the past several years and continuing to grow. According to Harris, many large name American companies, including GE and Whirlpool, are actually bringing parts of their manufacturing operations back to the US, thereby adding even more manufacturing jobs and openings. Over the past 3 years, manufacturers have added roughly 500,000 new jobs to their operations.

Harris adds that the manufacturing sector isn't close to slowing down.  There are still vacant jobs to fill. The only problem is finding well-trained laborers to fill it.