First of all, we want to thank the thousands of people who entered their local food banks to win in our $5,000 in merchandise giveaway. Eighteen winners were randomly selected and here they are! Congratulations to the winners. Each winner will receive a phone call or email with instructions on how to redeem their award! If you see your nomination, call them to let them know!
|Orting Food Bank||Orting||WA||500.00|
|Hosea Feed the Hungry||Atlanta||GA||100.00|
|Foof fof People||Eureka||CA||100.00|
|Leife Net 4 Families||Lauderhill||FL||100.00|
|Food Bank NYC||New York||NY||100.00|
|Covenant Soup Kitchen||Willimantic||CT||100.00|
|Adair County Resource Center||Stilwell||OK||100.00|
|Cae rFood Shelf||Elk River||MN||100.00|
|Greater Chicago Food Depository||Chicago||IL||100.00|
|Audrey’s Outreach||Brook Park||OH||100.00|
|Friends of Night People||Buffalo||NY||100.00|
|Food for Thought||Santa Rosa Beach||FL||100.00|
|Laredo Regional Food Bank||Laredo||TX||100.00|
|Mary Martha Outreach||Bartlesville||OK||100.00|
|Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma||Tulsa||OK||100.00|
|The Open Cupboard||Clinton||NJ||100.00|
Be sure to enter our April contest by nominating a small business in your community! DollarDays loves small business!
April 3, 2014 No Comments
The Small Business Act of 1953 established the Small Business Administration (SBA) which came into existence on the grounds that small businesses are essential to a free enterprise system. It was the intent of establishing the SBA to “deter the formation of monopolies and the market failures monopolies cause by eliminating competition in the marketplace,” according to the Congressional Research Service. Today there are over 5.6 million employer firms who employ 113 million people with a total payroll of $5.16 trillion. Sixty two percent of these employers have four or fewer employees, 89.8% have fewer than 20 and 98.3% have fewer than one-hundred. The SBA has 1,047 different classifications of businesses. The current definition of small business is companies with not more than $15 million in tangible net worth and not more than $5 million in average net income after federal taxes. Overall, the SBA classifies 97% of all employers as small business. These same small firms represent 30% of our receipts in our economy, which means big business is still 70% of our economy. Back in 1953 when the SBA was established, the split was 34% of all dollar value of all sales was small business and 66% was big business. Not much has really changed over the last 60 years despite all the rules, regulations and the formation of the SBA.
Our country has always been a country of small businesses. In colonial America, 20% of the crops raised and handicraft products made were exported by these small businesses. At the time of our revolution, because of domestic economic growth and exports, Americans had a standard of living higher than most Europeans. Increasing an individual’s standard of living has been the driving factor to open a small business throughout American history. But Gallup just reported that the total number of new business startups and business closures per year, known as “the birth and death rates of American companies,” just crossed for the first time since this measurement began. Annually, 400,000 new businesses are now being born nationwide, while 470,000 are dying each year across the country. This is a trend we must reverse and we need our government’s help to do this.
Sure we can blame it on the recession we have been battling for the last several years, but it is much deeper than that. In addition to new regulations for small businesses in health care reform, an increase in regulatory activity in several industries, and the uncertainty about taxes, several other causes come into play making it hard to open a business today. One reason is there continues to be a shortage of financing alternatives to open a new business. Before the recession entrepreneurs could use the equity in their homes, but in today’s world, how many of us have significant equity in our homes? Another reason is technology, which we think is helping to streamline work and create Internet related businesses, but is also responsible for displacing independent businesses across several verticals. Look at the travel agents who have lost their businesses or the video store, the record store and the bookstore. A third reason is the well-financed big businesses are killing the little guy. Home Depot is pounding the hardware stores, the same thing Best Buy is doing to the electronic stores. Walmart controls close to 50% of some lines of the grocery and general merchandise business, where a generation ago thousands of families made their living selling these goods.
On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed into law the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act. He said at the time “for start-ups and small businesses, this is a potential game changer. For the first time, ordinary Americans can invest in entrepreneurs they believe in.” This law relaxed regulation for businesses that are emerging growth companies, created a “crowd funding” exemption to allow private companies to raise up to $1M and raised the limit of small offerings from $5M to $50M. It is two years later and nothing in this law is implemented. Anyone close to this new law, such as legislators, practitioners and potential small business owners, have voiced their frustrations with continuing delays in adopting final rules, but to no avail. And we ask ourselves how our government has led us to the tipping point where more businesses close than open.
If the US government, who has good intentions but poor follow through, cannot help small businesses, then who can? The Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation created Startup America Partnership, which helps entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground by delivering free or low cost services and connecting them with larger corporations for mentoring. Score is a nonprofit association that helps small businesses succeed by using volunteer mentors who share their knowledge in an effort to give back to their community. At DollarDays, on our Facebook page in April, we are giving away $5,000 worth of products to help small businesses launch or expand, so please nominate a small business in your community that deserves our help.
Every big company started small. Look at Wal-Mart, where even today over 50% of the company is still owned by the Walton family. Or Bill Gates who is still the largest shareholder in Microsoft. We as a country can’t afford more businesses dying than are being born. The government has let us down with sequestration, shutting itself down when we need it the most, battles over healthcare and battles over the debt ceiling and budgets. When they finally pass a law that makes sense like the JOBS Act, they still can’t implement it after two years. All of us need to reach out to our representatives and tell them to get their “act” together. Here is the link to contact Congress. And if they do not react, we need to vote them all out and start again.
April 3, 2014 No Comments
National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day celebrates small business owners, much like the business owners DollarDays serves every day. These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. The workload demands coupled with the lack of a hired staff, often translate into late hours and long days. There are missed family and personal events, but they love what they do because they are their own bosses.
New businesses have always been a vital, yet not fully appreciated, part of the U.S. economy. On they retail side, they bring different and unique products to the marketplace. They provide stellar and personal service support. When you call, you are more likely to get a real, live person. And unlike big national chains, they know their products. They are outstanding performers in niche markets. In manufacturing, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products. According to the US Small Business Association, there are more than 27 million small businesses in the US today.
Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, every day, by showing your support…shop their stores!
Nominate your favorite Mom & Pop store here and we’ll enter them into a drawing for $5,000 in Merchandise from DollarDays!!
April 2, 2014 No Comments
Facebook is an amazing tool to meet new people and help others.
Today we are honored to give a helping hand to one of our biggest fans on Facebook, Mrs. Julie Ahern, a second grade teacher from Andrew Cooke Magnet Elementary School in Waukegan, IL. Mrs. Ahern won $500 in merchandise from DollarDays in our May 2013 “Nominate Your Favorite Teacher” promotion. She was so thrilled to win and buy supplies for her classroom! Her class sent us this photo and a handmade thank you card signed by every student—it is a treasure for us at DollarDays, as it reminds us that we are helping others. The card is on display in our office. Since meeting Mrs. Ahern and her students through the Favorite Teacher promotion, we have exchanged many conversations via Facebook and we have even visited her classroom. She is an amazing teacher with a heart the size of Texas. She’s the kind of teacher you hope your child would be lucky enough to have for second grade.
It’s no secret; we are a BIG fan of Mrs. Ahern! This is why we are calling on you to give her a hand—it’s only a mouse click and will literally take five seconds! Julie was nominated by one of her colleagues for an American Federation of Teachers Everyday Heroes Award. She is one of the five national semi-finalists! (WOW!) The finalist will be determined by a daily voting contest that ends on April 20. The winner will be able to go to the summer AFT convention in Los Angeles. Julie would LOVE to represent her community of educators and visit California for the first time.
Ready to help send Julie to the American Federation of Teachers Convention? Click here and Julie’s name is the very first nominee. Click the radio button to the left of her name, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “submit” button. You can vote once a day through April 20, 2014.
Thank you for helping Julie Ahern receive an honor that she so deserves!
March 27, 2014 No Comments
Some of you know that DollarDays’ CEO, Marc Joseph, authored the book, The Secrets of Retailing or How to Beat Wal-Mart! to help small businesses compete in the world of big box stores. In fact, DollarDays.com has a wealth of Marc Joseph’s business and entrepreneurial articles, focusing on small businesses for you to enjoy.
But this time, Marc didn’t do the writing; he was interviewed by Success Magazine for an article they titled “Want to write a book? Our step by step guide.” Marc gave his candid advice for wannabe authors including how writing a book can ultimately help your business. You can read the article here.
March 24, 2014 No Comments
In the United States, one in five children live in a household with not enough food to eat. Feeding America reports that 15.9 million kids under the age of 18 live in this condition where they are unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life. Last month Congress passed a sweeping that cut an additional $8.6 billion from food stamps (SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the next 10 years. This is on top of the $5 billion the program lost last November because the 2009 Recovery Act stimulus bill expired. Forty-seven million Americans currently participate in SNAP, up 47 percent since the Great Recession started in 2008. This means that 15 percent of us rely on this program to eat. Last year the US spent $78 billion on the SNAP program.
We don’t have to be math whizzes to know that a 47 percent increase in participation coupled with a reduction in the funding of $13.6 billion spells misery for millions of Americans. This program has been the federal social safety net for low-income Americans and now this safety net is beginning to tear.
The New York Times reports that more and more people are beginning to show up at soup kitchens and food pantries. The first reduction in November cut out 23 meals per month for a family of four. In New York City, the number of people seeking food aid grew by 85 percent after the November cuts while 23 percent of the city’s food pantries and soup kitchens reduced the number of meals they provided. Food stamps were the signature program of President Johnson’s War on Poverty during the 1960s which led to fewer poor children going hungry or having nutrition related developmental delays. Birth weights also grew for children of poor mothers on food stamps. As a nation, we can’t afford to go back to the nutritional standards before the War on Poverty.
Luckily for us, our nonprofit organizations are stepping in and have created food banks to help fill the void continually shaped by Congress. The world’s first food bank started in 1967, right after the War on Poverty began. St. Mary’s Food Bank was started by John Van Hengel who was volunteering at St. Vincent DePaul in Phoenix, Arizona, serving dinners to those in need. A mother told him the soup kitchens and grocery store dumpsters were the only way she could feed her children. John went to the local parish, St. Mary’s Basilica and shared his vision of collecting food and money for food and depositing it where those in need could withdraw it. They gave John $3,000 and an abandoned building to get the food bank up and running. Today food banks touch just about every corner of the USA.
For example, Ozarks Food Harvest, one of the Feeding America food banks in Springfield, MO, distributes food to 320 hunger relief organizations across 29 Missouri counties reaching 41,000 people a month. To help hungry children, they have a weekend backpack program, where they fill 1,500 backpacks with food so these underprivileged kids can have something to eat when they can’t eat at school. How can you not love an organization that takes care of others every day of the week!
The State of Kentucky is setting an example for the rest of government in how to encourage its citizens to help others. Its legislature has made it easier for Kentuckians to donate to the Farms to Food Banks Program by just checking a box on their state tax returns to have part of their tax refunds to automatically go to this program which brings farm food directly into the food banks. This is how the government should behave in inspiring it citizenship to help each other.
Once again, we as individuals must step in to fill the gap recently created by our Congress. If you can’t devote your time, start by helping with cash to donate for food to our food banks. Here is a link to all the Feeding America Food Banks in your area. Here is a link to helping Meals On Wheels, which brings together 5,000 local nutritional programs for seniors and deliver over 1 million meals a day. And at DollarDays on our Facebook page, we are giving away $5,000 in food and products to local food banks, so make sure you nominate the one in your town.
General Motors Foundation last month donated $500,000 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen serving the people of metro Detroit. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida recently donated $250,000 to the Florida Association of Food Banks. The Alaska Federal Credit Union donated money to 17 food banks. Businesses with a conscience are beginning to step up to fill this massive void, but so far there is too big a gap to fill. We have got to make up the billions of dollars lost to support those in the most need in this new order of priorities created by Congress. We as citizens of this fine country need to create a new grass roots effort for this latest War on Poverty. Having 47 million Americans in need of food is not the country our forefathers envisioned. It is also not the country we want to leave to our children.
March 4, 2014 No Comments
On Facebook, during March 2014, DollarDays is asking its fans to nominate a local food bank to win in the $5,000 food and merchandise giveaway. DollarDays donates $5,000 each month to charitable organizations that help communities, nominated by their fans.
On March 31, 2014, 18 organizations will be randomly selected to receive the following awards (thanks to you!!):
- First Place: $2,000 shopping spree
- Second Place: $1,000 shopping spree
- Third Place: $500 shopping spree
- Fifteen organizations will each receive $100 shopping sprees. One hundred dollars may not sound like a lot, but when you consider our wholesale pricing and free shipping, $100 goes a long way!!
Spread the word and be sure to visit our Facebook page to nominate a food bank in your community!
March 3, 2014 No Comments
During February, DollarDays held a Facebook contest where our fans nominated their favorite childrens’ charities to receive flip flops in our 1,500 pair giveaway. The response was huge to help the kids! We randomly selected five organizations to each receive 300 pairs of flip flops for boys and girls.
And the winners are:
• Star of Hope, Houston TX
• Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix AZ
• Pine Street Inn, Boston MA
• Soles4Souls, Old Hickory TN
• Children of the Night, Van Nuys CA
Each organization will be contacted via email to let them know they won and to expect the arrival of their flip flops next week.
Be sure to participate in our March Facebook $5,000 giveaway to local food banks! Click here!
March 3, 2014 No Comments
The online store business (e-commerce) has come a long way in the past few years, which is good for those who want to open an e-commerce store to supplement his or her income or to go into business full time. The cost is low, the ease of creating your new store has never been easier and adding products to sell is a breeze!
Now, with DollarDays’ Dropshipping Program, a store owner no longer has to invest in expensive inventory. Customers order from your website that has been populated with some or all of DollarDays’ 300,000 products and DollarDays ships the product(s) to your customer with a packing slip that has your store’s name on it. Pretty simple, right?
Watch this quick video to see if an e-commerce store is for YOU!
February 17, 2014 No Comments
by Marc Joseph, CEO of DollarDays; reprinted from The Huffington Post
The compromise spending bill for $1.1 trillion keeps the government open through September, according to CNN. It increases funding to Head Start by $1 billion for early childhood education which makes sense after its recent low point with the forced budget cuts last year. It increases the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel by one percent. It reduces funding to the IRS and Environmental Protection Agency. It launches policies at getting more low-risk passengers through security quicker at airports. So it has a little bit in it for just about everyone. But once again, Congress is kicking the can down the road because we are going to have this same contentious conversation next fall when this extension expires.
The New York Times broke down the cost of this new budget per each US resident: $259 goes to food stamps now known as SNAP, $61 goes to the child school lunch program, $30 goes for crop insurance and $40 to loans and direct payments to farmers, $2,672 covers Social Security and $1,591 for Medicare, $26 goes to the FBI and $22 to the Federal prison system.
These budget impasses remind me of the movie “Groundhog Day,” where we wake up and repeat the same mistake month after month, year after year. There has got to be some innovative thinkers outside and inside of government that can get us out of this rut of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
One big idea is coming from Ron Unz according to USA Today. Mr. Unz is a Silicon Valley multimillionaire and registered Republican, who is pushing a California proposal to boost the minimum pay rate to $12 an hour. Unz believes that taxpayers, for too long, have been subsidizing low wages since the government pays for food stamps and other programs these workers utilize. He feels raising the minimum wage to $12 would lift millions of people out of poverty, driving up income and sales tax revenue; at the same time saving taxpayers billions of dollars, since these workers would no longer qualify for many of the welfare benefits.
Another big idea came out of Chicago under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He created the small business center in City Hall last spring to streamline small business services. The city has reduced the number of business licenses from 117 to 49, which has saved small businesses $700,000 in just the last 6 months. Chicago is phasing out the Head Tax which saved small businesses $4.8 million in 2013. This is just an example of how cities can cut through the red tape to not only make its citizens’ lives easier, but to actually save money.
TOMS is a for profit company that whenever it sells a pair of its shoes, another pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child. Additionally, when TOMS sells a pair of eyewear, part of the profit goes to help restoring sight in those who need help, and according to their site, “helping to restore sight restores independence, economic potential and educational opportunity.” They have taken the “giving back” theory a step further and last fall launched TOMS Marketplace , that gives socially conscious suppliers a platform to sell products that help support causes ranging from education and health to nutrition and clean water.
Most organizations don’t have the resources like the city of Chicago or TOMS to help make a major impact in changing our country or making our Federal Budget a non-issue. The largest charity in the US is the United Way which is a network of 1,800 United Way communities and manages $4.26 billion. They “envision a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.” The second largest is the Salvation Army, that manages $4.08 billion to carry out their mission of “to feed, to clothe, to comfort and to care.” These budgets seem small compared to the $1.1 trillion Federal Budget, yet they do take some pressure off the government in taking care of everything the underprivileged need. I guess it is up to all of us to do our best to relieve some of this pressure. At DollarDays on our Facebookpage, we are giving away hundreds of flip flops (the TOMS model inspired us) to organizations who help kids in need, so make sure you nominate a worthy organization.
Sometimes I think we put too much faith in our government that they will take care of pushing our economy forward as well as taking care of those most in need. Gallup Poll just reported that just 13% of Americans approve the job Congress is doing. If that was the approval rating in any other part of our society, they would all be gone. This is the group we must rely on next fall to permanently fix our day to day operations of our government. Based on their recent history, I am skeptical this will happen. That is why the rest of us have to step up with the “big ideas” to make our civilization work with or without our government’s support.
February 6, 2014 No Comments