Rebecca Harris

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.

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.

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.

TV Program Shows How to START UP a Company

Nov 5, 2013

Many Americans dream of owning their own business, but too often statistics and a fearful economy stop their progress- not Gary Bredow.

He started his own production company after quitting his desk job and he now hosts the public television program, START UP, where he talks with American entrepreneurs.

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.

Temporary Art Installations Boost Economy

Oct 22, 2013
Rebecca Harris

Temporary art installations are all the rage—while they’re around. This past summer Pittsburgh has seen a host of exhibits including the “yarn-bombing” of the Andy Warhol Bridge and, of course, the Rubber Duck Project.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the economic impact of these visiting art projects.

Hauntrepreneurs Thrive in Halloween Season

Oct 15, 2013
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Fear and fright have become big business.  Young “hauntreprenuers” thrive during the Halloween season by enticing thrill-seekers to commercial Haunted Houses and families to Halloween attractions

Business contributor Rebecca Harris says the Halloween attraction industry appeals to 18-34 year olds looking for a fright and the big corporation looking to grab the young market.

The Business of Pharmacies Expand & Evolve

Sep 24, 2013
Assia R / flickr

No longer are pharmacies the corner soda shop drug stores of the past.

Modern pharmacies and drug store chains have expanded their role from prescription outlets to alternative venues for medical treatment.

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, many drug stores are going above and beyond their traditional roles by offering immunizations and flu shots for all ages throughout the year. She says because they deal with prescriptions daily, pharmacists often know more about the latest medical trends than doctors and can be a valuable partner for consumer health.

Hispanic Business Contribution in Pittsburgh

Sep 17, 2013
Market on Broadway IGA / Facebook

As the Hispanic population in the Pittsburgh region grows, businesses touting authentic Latin food are flourishing.

These stores bring culture and exposure to the region, says business contributor Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.

They’re also providing area grocery stores with Latin American and Mexican items to fill the ever-increasing demand. 

The Diet Industry is Big Business

Sep 3, 2013
Lululemon Athletica / flickr

As obesity rates rise in the United States, so too do the amount of citizens annually attempting to diet. Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, says studies show at any one time, America has an estimated 108 million people on diets.

She notes that most are women, most make four or five attempts per year to diet and an overwhelming majority are trying to lose weight by themselves, without a plan or program.

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.

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.”

Digging Deeper Into the Business of Farmers Markets

Jul 30, 2013
Rhonda Schuldt / Local Goodness

For many, farmers markets are one of the wonderful diversions of the summer season, where practical shoppers and foodies alike can peruse the offerings of local farmers. They provide community, frugality and an opportunity to skip the supermarket. But what are the business benefits of participating in a farmers market?

According to business contributor Rebecca Harris, the sellers in a farmers market get to see some clear benefits, one of which is the direct connection to their customers.

“It’s direct consumer marketing and the farmers get to decide on the pricing,” which helps them ensure they get fair pay for their hard labor.

The Business of Ice Cream with Rebecca Harris

Jul 23, 2013

In the world of “frozen dessert products,” ice cream is still king, reports business contributor Rebecca Harris. Though recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of numerous frozen treat fads, the U.S. still consumed more ice cream than anything else by a long shot. In 2012, 899 million gallons of the frozen treat were doled out in cones, cups, pints, and tubs, compared to 467 million gallons of low fat ice cream and only 74 million gallons of frozen yogurt.

If those numbers aren’t eye popping, think of it this way: the US market for ice cream has been more than $10 billion. And according to Harris, “It’s all about the tub. Well over half the US $12 billion in annual sales is served in pints or half gallons.”

The Business of the 4th of July

Jul 2, 2013

For most people, the fourth of July is the last day to think about business. However, there's big money to be made in the celebration of our nation's independence.

Essential Pittsburgh business contributor Rebecca Harris broke down the tremendous amounts of money Americans drop on what we've come to think of as necessities for this patriotic summer holiday. The sums are eye-popping.

The Business of Landscaping with Rebecca Harris

Jun 24, 2013

A recent national survey showed 81 percent of people with a yard say the upkeep is important to the look of their home. This week it’s all about the curb appeal and joining us to talk about the business of landscaping and what it can do for your home is business contributor Rebecca Harris.

The Business of Non-Profits: Part II

Jun 18, 2013
Marcus Charleston / Essential Pittsburgh

Business Contributor Rebecca Harris, speaks with Peggy Outon, the Executive Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University  in part two of her series on the business of nonprofits.This week the focus is on women who comprise the majority of people working at nonprofits.

The Business of Non-Profits

Jun 10, 2013
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Business Contributor Rebecca Harris and Peggy Outon, the Executive Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University discuss the business of nonprofits, and how the nonprofit sector enhances the business environment in our region.

For statistics on earnings in the non-profit industry visit the United Way of Allegheny County  and Guidestar,  a resource for statistics on all things nonprofit

The Business of Outdoor Recreation

Jun 3, 2013
Schultzlabs / Flickr


Whether it’s hiking, biking or some other activity, outdoor recreation is big business. A coalition of non-profits in the region is proclaiming this the Summer of Outdoor Recreation. for those looking to get into the business of recreation, The Progress Fund supports local entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. Trail Towns is also a resource for businesses along the Great Allegheny Passage.

Local environmental resources like Family Tyes and Friends of the Riverfront teach kids about our waterways. And the PA Environmental Council and Sustainable Pittsburgh offer a wide range of eco-friendly outdoor ideas.

And for active explorers there's the Three Rivers Rowing Association,Venture Outdoors, and Bike Pittsburgh.

Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Graduation season is here and as a new group of college graduates enters the real world, how do you stand out in a tough job market? This week, business contributor Rebecca Harris offers suggestions for building the perfect resume. And find some surprising and not so surprising facts on new graduate employment.

Business Basics 101 Part 2

May 13, 2013
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Many people dream of running their own business but don't know how to get started. Business contributor Rebecca Harris continues a two-part series on the basics of starting a business. She talks with business mentor and attorney Beth Slagle about choosing the best business entity, from partnerships to sole proprietorships.

Business Basics 101

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

Many people dream of having their own business but how do you get started? Business contributor Rebecca Harris begins a two-part series on the basics of starting a business. She talks with attorney Beth Slagle about what you need to know from writing a business plan to hiring employees. Also take a look at some of the State websites for proper business licensing and fees:

The Business of Running Shoes

Apr 29, 2013
Timothy Takemoto / Flickr

Whether you’re a marathoner or recreational runner it goes without saying, the most essential piece of running equipment is a good pair of running shoes. This week, our contributor Rebecca Harris discusses the business of running shoes.

Interested in the running shoe business? Find out more about the athletic footwear industry and pick up some tips for training for a marathon:

The Business of Security with Rebecca Harris

Apr 23, 2013
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

In light of everything that happened last week in Boston, our business contributor Rebecca Harris focuses on the business of physical and personal security. What do you need to consider if you are setting up your own security company? She also comments on Work Force Violence and the connection to the security industry. Read more about the growing security industry:

Rolling in the Dough Rebecca Harris on Running a Bakery

Apr 16, 2013
Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Before she became the Essential Pittsburgh's business contributor and Director of Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, Rebecca Harris ran a bakery. Today, we'll look at the business of bakeries and what it takes to turn a hobby into a business.

Read more about the business of baking: