Rebecca Harris

How the Business of Weddings is Changing with the Times

Jul 22, 2014
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:

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

Jul 8, 2014
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.

The Business of the Barbecue (And Grilling)

Jul 1, 2014
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.

The Business of Soccer

Jun 24, 2014
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Arguably the biggest sporting event in the world is currently taking place down in Brazil. The World Cup draws big numbers of television viewers across the planet, making it a great opportunity for companies looking to get their brand in front of a global market. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of soccer.

“It’s a widely viewed sport. It has a cumulative audience, in the 2006 figures that we looked at, 26 billion people watched it over a course of a month, with an estimated 715 million people watching the final match, which is 1/9 of the entire world’s population. When we talk about those numbers, automatically that translates into television advertising, sports apparel sponsorship, infrastructure building in the host country, think about what's been built in Brazil alone, it’s just remarkable. So this really is big business.”

Keeping the Business of Invention Alive in Pittsburgh

Jun 10, 2014

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.”

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. 

Pittsburgh's Summer of Festivals Brings Big Business

May 27, 2014
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer season. In Pittsburgh, no matter where you go there will be festivals a plenty, celebrating everything from ice cream to the arts.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the economic impact of these festivals citywide, especially when it comes to the diversity of events.

“Everything from huge outdoor concerts, to massive fairs, to small outdoor events, to cinema in the parks, to neighborhood festivals. There's really just about something for everybody."

Exploring Pittsburgh's Forms of Alternative Transportation

May 20, 2014
Marnie Schleicher / 90.5 WESA

According to a Census report released last week, Pittsburgh ranks third among large cities with commuters walking to work. As residents of cities look for alternative transportation the reasons they cite include convenience, affordability and environmental awareness.

According to Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University,  gridlock on Pennsylvania roads costs commuters “billions in terms of time lost at work as well as increased gasoline expenses.” 

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.” 

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. 

Businesses Based on Recycling

Apr 29, 2014
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.

Celebrating Earth Day In Pittsburgh

Apr 22, 2014
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.

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. 

Kyle Huff / flickr

From film festivals, to movies and TV shows, Pittsburgh has become one of Hollywood's leading locations for motion picture and television production.

This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the business of filmmaking in the Steel City.

Pittsburgh has a variety of organizations that help bring Hollywood the the city, which are listed below. These organizations work with different groups and people in the community to make it possible for films and television shows to come to life in Pittsburgh.

The Business of French Products

Mar 18, 2014
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:

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.

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.

Candies and Flowers and Cards--Oh My!

Feb 11, 2014
Selena N.B.H / flickr

Shopping bags will overflow with candy, cards, flowers and jewelry this Friday as Valentine’s Day approaches.

The holiday was originally associated with traditional romantic love in the Middle Ages, but became commercial in the early 18th century when lovers began giving gifts and making each other cards.

Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, shares some of the numbers that will be seen this Friday. 

The Business of the Winter Olympics

Feb 4, 2014
http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2009/12/does-sochis-olympic-logo-work/

The 2014 Winter Olympics open this Friday. While they are taking place a world away, how will they impact local businesses? We posed that question to our contributor Rebecca Harris.

There are seven Pittsburgh Penguins headed to  the Olympics, along with bobsledder Lauryn Williams and a local Pittsburgh nurse going to provide medical care, so Pittsburgh will be well represented in Sochi.

While airlines and travel agents are booking low numbers of trips to Sochi, local advertising sales are up because of the large amount of TV viewing and streaming that NBC will be offering during the games.

Super Bowl Viewers to Order 1.23 Billion Chicken Wings

Jan 28, 2014
Anthony Quintano / flickr

While the beloved Steelers won’t be playing in this year’s Super Bowl, residents of the City of Champions still enjoy watching the annual football game.

As one of the largest watched TV broadcasts each year, the economic impact of the football game reaches all facets of the tradition.

Super Bowl revenue includes everything from commercial payments to transportation and restaurant packages. This year the game will be played on February 2nd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Rebecca Harris, business contributor and Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University explains that this game will be a first for shared hosting by New Jersey and New York, as well as the first time the game will be played outdoors in cold weather conditions.

Why Today is a Good Day to Buy a Convertible

Jan 21, 2014
David Defoe / Flickr

One thing you couldn’t escape during the holiday season were year end close out deals enticing you to purchase a new car. But, when is the best time to buy a new car?

Should you buy American or foreign, new or used? This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of car buying. 

The Business and Popularity of Knitting

Jan 14, 2014
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Whether its mittens, afghans or sweaters, knitting has made a comeback in recent years. Young and old are spinning yarns and contributor Rebecca Harris, has been looking at the business of knitting.

She finds that while many think of knitting as something for the old, an increasing number of young people are taking the time to learn to spin yarn as a means of building communities.

Many of the stores that sell yarn and supplies have a large part in this trend. 

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.

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.

Chris Wieland / Flickr

The bad weather currently blanketing the northeast did not keep our intrepid business contributor, Rebecca Harris from making it to the nation's capital Monday.  She sat on a business roundtable at the White House which focused on the government's interest in local businesses. 

Harris received the invitation from Sam Brown, Director of the White House Business Council, a part of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.

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.

Millennials Return Home: The Business of the Boomerang

Nov 26, 2013
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

As Thomas Wolfe famously stated, “You can’t go home again.” Yet millennials in Pittsburgh aren’t taking heed.

Along with Cleveland and Albuquerque, Pittsburgh was recently listed in an article by The Atlantic as a town luring back its townies.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris comments on this trend and how it can affect the city’s demographics and economy.

Trend Shows More Shelter Animals Find Homes

Nov 12, 2013
Jerry Wong / flickr

Lost and stray animals are finding their way to better homes, according to a recent trend at animal shelters.

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, fewer pets are landing in animal shelters and the number of euthanized dogs and cats has decreased. What has emerged is a trend toward adopting these unwanted animals, instead of going to a pet shop or breeder.

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