Advanced Water Products – Services designs, installs, and services water treatment


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Advanced Water is owned by Environmental Technical Group, Inc. (ETG), a full-service environmental consulting
and training organization. ETG specializes in Health Safety Training and Environmental Inspection Services
(asbestos. Phase I) for commercial, institutional, and residential clients.

Advanced Water has been solving water problems in homes, businesses, and municipalities since 1977. Unlike
most water companies who are more sales organizations than service providers, Advanced Water is owned, staffed,
and supported by an experienced team of experts who care about you and the water problems affecting you and
your family.

Based in Central New York. we service Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, Cayuga, Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne Counties
and beyond efficiently from our Syracuse headquarters. Our Homer, NY branch office services Cortland, Tompkins,
Broome, and Chenango Counties. Supported product sales are available to customers nationwide.

Advanced Water designs custom systems to eliminate simple to severe water problems including hardness, iron,
sulfur, bacteria, sediment, odor, color, chlorine and trihalomethanes, organic compounds, tannins, colloidal clay,
lead, mercury, stained fixtures, and others. We use proven components and sensible designs carefully selected to
give our customers what they are looking for: Good Water!

Our residential and commercial products and systems include: softeners – including state-of-the-art self-sanitizing
systems; reverse osmosis (RO) units – both point-of-use and whole-house; carbon filtration systems; chlorination
systems; filters; ultraviolet (UV) sterilizers; and more.

Whether you have a problem with e-coli or coliform bacteria, hard water, rotten-egg odor, brown or red water, lead,
rust, cloudiness, corroded or crusty fixtures, stained fixtures or dishes, or a multitude of other water problems – we
can help. We can test for many problems right on the spot – for free. Some tests require a laboratory – we can
provide bottles, instructions, and guidance in choosing the correct tests for your particular needs.

Advanced Water supports it’s products and systems with service. Whether it’s routine or emergency, our technicians
and trucks are on call when you need them. For annual system checks. parts, filters, lamps, upgrades, and any
other service need on an Advanced Water system and many other brands, we’re just a phone call away.

Advanced Water also performs Septic Dye testing and Well Flow testing for real estate transactions.

Advanced Water
995A North Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13206
(315) 451-2233 phone
(315) 458-0526 FAX
For more information click here
For Directions to Advanced Water click here

Copyright 2005-2013 Environmental Technical Group, Inc.
www.etgonline.com


25/09/2017

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Why the Latest News on Marijuana and Car Crashes Has Some


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Why the Latest News on Marijuana and Car Crashes Has Some Experts Skeptical

Bad car crashes

States that legalized marijuana sales have higher rates of car crashes than neighboring states that don t allow pot sales. At least, that s what researchers from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an insurance group, concluded, after scouring 2.5 million insurance claims that drivers filed over the last three years.

The group found that Colorado, Oregon and Washington all saw increases in damage reports compared to other states. That was true even after its researchers tried to take into account weather, types of vehicles, population density and other variables that might otherwise explain the increases.

Every measurement that we took indicated that crash risk had increased, says Matt Moore, a senior vice president at the institute, which is affiliated with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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The exact size of that increase is not as clear. In Colorado, for example, the institute determined that claims were 13.9 percent higher than the combined rates of neighboring states of Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming. But there were sharp differences among those states. Colorado s claims rate was 21 percent higher than Utah s, but only 3 percent higher than Wyoming s.

Researchers used state-to-state comparisons, rather than before-and-after analyses, so that the results aren’t skewed by factors that are unrelated to marijuana legalization. Year-to-year changes in the economy and weather patterns, for example, can affect the numbers of crashes. By comparing different states in the same time period, the researchers can focus on the differences among states.

Still, Moore says the overall trend is evident. We can be confident that after each of these states legalized recreational use, crash risk increased, he says. If those who are making laws are concerned about highway safety, they need to be concerned about the increased risk associated with recreational use of marijuana.

But that doesn t mean it s an open-and-shut case. Other experts, looking at other data, have seen no significant effect in the number of crashes since the first three states legalized marijuana sales. Some research even suggests that crashes have declined.

The Colorado State Patrol, for example, actually saw a slight decrease in the number of crashes involving impaired drivers it responded to between 2015 and 2016, from 1,582 crashes to 1,508. That category covers drivers under the influence of any substance, including alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers from Texas published a peer-reviewed study in the American Journal of Public Health last week that showed only a small difference in Colorado or Washington s crash rates, and they said it wasn t significant. The effect of 0.2 fatalities per billion vehicle miles traveled, would equate to approximately 77 excess crash fatalities (of 2,890 total) over nearly 38 million person-years of exposure in the three years since legalization. We do not view that as a clinically significant effect, but others might disagree, they explained.

The health researchers work had several key differences with the study by the insurance group. They examined data from the federal government, which only includes information on fatal crashes and is collected by police officers rather than insurance agents. The health researchers also compared Colorado and Washington to a different group of control states than the insurance researchers had.

All of that makes Mason Tvert, the communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, skeptical of the insurance industry study. The insurance study, Tvert notes, doesn t look at the causes for the increase in collisions they found. It only highlights the correlation between legal pot sales and increased insurance claims.

They re a well-respected organization, and it s great they re taking a look at this, Tvert says. But you need to take a holistic look at this issue. You can t look at just one study. There are as many studies showing no reason to be concerned as there are studies that might make you concerned.

The Marijuana Policy Project supports legalization of marijuana, but it also supports policies to crack down on people who drive while impaired by the drug. Even though it is legal to buy marijuana in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the drug in those places.

One of the biggest problems police face in cracking down on driving under the influence of marijuana is that there is no uniformly accepted way of measuring marijuana impairment yet. Urine samples don t reliably indicate how recently someone used pot, because chemical indicators of marijuana use can stay in someone s system for days. Even blood samples, which are more reliable than urine tests, have limits. After smoking marijuana, for example, the THC blood levels will decrease much more rapidly in occasional users than it will for chronic users.

Bad car crashes


23/09/2017

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Business Loan for SME in Malaysia #business #loan, #loan #malaysia, #small


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SME Loans

Need a business loan but have minor CCRIS problem and no guarantor?

Need additional working capital but have no asset or collateral?

We are a business loan consultancy team consisting of ex bankers and lawyers. We assist SME and SMI entrepreneurs to arrange for credit facilities from conventional or islamic banks. Common needs for financing include:

Loans for Asset Acquisition

Asset acquisition is one of the many strategic ways to expand your business. Some of the available business loan products for asset acquisition include:

Term Loan
Term loan is for a specific amount that has a specified repayment schedule and a floating interest rate. It is useful for acquiring assets such as land, buildings and vehicles.

Bridging Facilities
An interim financing (usually one year) to allow the borrower to meet current obligations by providing immediate cash flow pending the arrangement of larger or longer-term financing.

Leasing
Leasing is a contract by which one party conveys land, building, equipment or machinery to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment. It enables SME to acquire the usage of physical assets without having to purchase.

Industrial Hire Purchase
Financing to upgrade or buy machinery and equipment as part of expanding your business capacity without incurring high upfront payment thus freeing up funds for other uses.

Short Term Financing for Working Capital

To run smoothly, your business needs working capital i.e. the cash available for day-to-day operations of an organization. There are various products offered by financial institutions to provide additional liquidity to your business. And these include:

Overdraft
An overdraft is a credit facility loaded to your current account where the bank extends credit to meet working capital needs such as payment of salaries, purchases, utilities and other unplanned expenses. Although overdraft provides flexibility and convenience the interest is high as it is calculated on a daily basis on outstanding balance at the end of each business day.

Revolving Credit
Revolving credit (also referred to as line of credit LOC) is a type of credit that does not have a fixed number of payments. Corporate revolving credit facilities are typically used to provide short term liquidity for a company s day-to-day operations.

Factoring
In Factoring, SMEs can sell their accounts receivables (i.e. invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. The purpose is to obtain cash advance to meet urgent cash obligations.

Trade Financing

Another option to provide short term financing is trade financing. Some of the common trade financing facilities provided include:

  • Letter of Credit (LC)
  • Bills of Exchange Purchased (BEP)
  • Trust Receipts
  • Foreign Exchange Contracts
  • Bankers Acceptance
  • Export Credit Financing

21/09/2017

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Picosure Laser Tattoo Removal #picosure, #laser #tattoo #removal, #green #tattoo, #tattoo


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PicoSure Laser Tattoo Removal Now Available to Phoenix Scottsdale!

The PicoSure Laser is the fastest laser in the world for tattoo removal, clearing tattoo ink in about ½ the number of treatments required by older lasers in the Arizona market (for a list of old lasers see PicoSure facts below). PicoSure is changing the tattoo removal experience with fewer sessions needed, with less pain, and at a lower price. Now is the time to remove that old tattoo!

  • • FDA approved for tattoo removal in December 2012
  • • Phoenix Skin is the only practice in Arizona to offer the PicoSure Laser and one of about 30 locations in the US. The PicoSure laser delivers energy to the tattoo ink in picoseconds, which is one hundred times faster than old technology that only delivers energy in a nanosecond.
  • • Faster laser = quicker clearing of tattoo ink.
  • • Less time is needed between treatments (PicoSure 4 weeks) versus existing lasers that require 6-8 weeks.
  • • Easily removes blue, green, orange and yellow inks, which were once considered the toughest colors to remove with existing nanosecond technology (aka the older tattoo removal lasers).
  • • Studies reveal greater than 75% overall ink clearance in only 1-2 treatments.*
  • • PicoSure is removing tattoos in about ½ the number of treatments required by older lasers on the market. Older lasers on the market aka old technology include: Q-Switched Ruby, ND YAG, RevLite, AlexELETE, Astanza, MedLite, Sinon, Palomar and Spectra.

PicoSure Questions and Answers
Q. Can I book my first treatment without a consult?
A. Yes, Phoenix Skin can provide an initial complimentary consultation, then treat the tattoo immediately after the consult.

Q. How many treatments will I need?
A. The number of treatments depends on the size, ink color and depth of the tattoo, but since PicoSure is 100x faster than any other laser on the market, fewer sessions will be required.

Q. Why is the price per session more expensive than other places in town?
A. PicoSure has a couple of advantages over other tattoo removal companies: shorter timeframe between treatments and fewer treatments necessary for removal (about ½). If you do the math, the cost is less and the tattoo is removed sooner. Additionally, Phoenix Skin has no hidden charges for numbing (unlike other practices who add it to the cost of the treatment) and no office visit minimums.

Q. I have three tattoos that fit into the “box. Can I get that price instead?
A. No, each tattoo is priced per treatment, per individual tattoo.

Q. Is there a discount available for multiple tattoos?
A. Largest tattoo is regular price. 25% off for any additional tattoos (based on quote from consultation). Discount applies on all tattoos treated at the same appointment.

Q. Can I purchase a package of treatments at a discounted rate?
A. Phoenix Skin does not offer discount packages because the PicoSure Laser removes ink so quickly, it is difficult to estimate how many treatments will be needed.

Q. Does PicoSure work on permanent makeup?
A. Eyebrows only they are $150 per session to treat both eyebrows. PicoSure cannot be used on permanent eyeliner.

Q. Does PicoSure remove red ink?
A. The Revlite laser removes red ink more effectively than PicoSure. If you happen to have a tattoo that contains red ink, Phoenix Skin will use the PicoSure for removal, paired with the Revlite to handle the red ink at no additional cost.

Q. Will the PicoSure treatment hurt?
A. The treatment feels somewhat similar to getting a tattoo. Our staff can numb the area prior to the procedure if necessary for comfort. Patients may experience some redness, bruising or crusting after being treated that will quickly subside within about one week.

Q. Does Phoenix Skin do multiple treatments on the same tattoo in a single appointment?
A. Some practices offer multiple treatments in a single appointment, known as the R20between treatments, which means that you will be spending up to 2 hours being treated. Lastly, the time between appointments is extended to between 3 and 6 months.

Q. Why do I have to wait 3-4 weeks between treatments?
A. The PicoSure laser tattoo removal treatment will break up the ink pigments into smaller pieces. The time required between treatments allows your body to naturally remove them. The PicoSure difference is that those broken up ink pigments are smaller than other lasers on the market, allowing your body to more effectively remove them, thus the recommended time between treatments is shorter.

Q. Is PicoSure used for removal of anything else?
A. Yes, it is also effective in clearing, age spots, Café au lait, brown spots, Nevus of Ota and birthmarks. In some cases, PicoSure can also address traumatic scars. Scheduling a complimentary consultation is recommended for evaluation of the area to be treated.

Tattoo Cover Up
Want to replace a tattoo, but are not interested in a much bigger more elaborate costly design? Let Phoenix Skin Dermatology prepare you for that tattoo cover up using the same laser tattoo removal process allows the tattoo to fade enough for a tattoo artist to easily cover it with a new tattoo! See below for tattoo removal before and after pictures and witness how the tattoos fade with each treatment.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Laser tattoo removal is the most effective, non-invasive method of safe tattoo ink removal. The lasers used at Phoenix Skin Dermatology for tattoo removal are designed to effectively target the ink that resides just under your skin. Using different wavelengths of light to address the many different colors used in tattoos, the laser breaks down the ink particles into smaller fragments which are then removed through your body’s natural cleansing process. This cleansing process generally takes between 3 to 4 weeks to remove the maximum amount of ink pigments. Scroll down to check out the tattoo removal before and after pictures of our clients.

Tattoo Removal Before and After Photos

*Individual Results May Vary

Tattoo Removal Cost

The cost per treatment starts at $45 for a 1” x 1” size tattoo and increases based on the dimensions of the tattoo. Please reference our pricing chart below for PicoSure tattoo removal cost. Military discount of 10% is available (must show id). No office minimums are required as you may find elsewhere (please call to schedule a free consultation to get PicoSure cost). Also unlike other practices, there is no pressure to prepay for treatment packages. Care Credit financing is also available.

Up to 1 Square Inch, $45
Up to 5 square inches, $100
Up to 10 square inches, $150
Up to 15 square inches, $200
Up to 20 square inches, $225
Up to 25 square inches, $250
Up to 35 square inches, $275
Up to 45 square inches, $300
Up to 55 square inches, $350
Up to 65 square inches, $400
Up to 75 square inches, $450
Up to 90 square inches, $500
Up to 100 square inches, $525
Up to 125 square inches, $600
Up to 150 square inches, $650

Are you one of the thousands living with bad tattoos? Are you thinking about a tattoo cover up? Or are you just tired of your tattoo? Bad tattoos are no longer a permanent mistake. Call today for a complimentary tattoo removal consultation at (602) 222-9111!

FOX10 News Segment on the new PicoSure Laser at Phoenix Skin

All PicoSure photos contained in this web page are protected by
Phoenix Skin copyright and may not be copied, linked, or redistributed in any form

How much does it cost per treatment?

Tattoo Removal Prices
Up to 1 Square Inch, $45
Up to 5 square inches, $100
Up to 10 square inches, $150
Up to 15 square inches, $200
Up to 20 square inches, $225
Up to 25 square inches, $250
Up to 35 square inches, $275
Up to 45 square inches, $300
Up to 55 square inches, $350
Up to 65 square inches, $400
Up to 75 square inches, $450
Up to 90 square inches, $500
Up to 100 square inches, $525
Up to 125 square inches, $600
Up to 150 square inches, $650

How long does the procedure take?

Tattoo removal treatments can range from 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the area(s) treated and if topical anesthetic is being used or not.

What can I expect post-procedure?

You may experience mild-moderate inflammation and redness post treatment for 1-10 days. You may also see a white tissue response called “frosting” which subsides within a couple hours. Total healing time can range from 1-3 weeks. You will need to keep the area bandaged during the healing process and avoid prolonged sun exposure during the course of your treatments.

When will I see the results?

Each tattoo is very different and there are many factors to consider like depth of the ink in the skin, how your body metabolizes the ink and how many/ which colors are used. Most patients see a 10-20% reduction after each treatment.

How long do the results last?

Laser tattoo removal results are permanent.


20/09/2017

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Best and Cheap Instant Payday and Cash Loans Online, Bad Credit


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Instant Loans

Need some money fast? We can help!

Swift Loans Australia provides super fast, easy cash loans online, and once approved , we transfer the funds from our bank account within 60 minutes *.

Our brilliant application process is really simple and quick to complete, and the great thing is that you will know exactly where you stand really fast.

After approval, our secure online system then transfers the money from our bank account within the hour*, and you re then good to go.

What s more, we give you the option of repaying your loan over 10, 14 or 18 weeks, so that you re comfortable paying us back over a time frame that suits you.

Once you ve successfully taken out a loan with us, we ll make you a Swift Loans VIP member, so that the next time you need some emergency cash, the process is even faster!

So, Apply Now, and we ll arrange for some Swift Cash for you today!

*NB. We will always aim to transfer the loan funds from our bank account within 60 minutes of receipt of signed contract, if during AEST standard bank hours. The processing of, and subsequent deposit into your account, will always be subject to your financial institution, which is outside of our control.

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WARNING – Do you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

  • Check your options before you borrow:
  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Email: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/advancepayments

The Government’s MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

WARNING – Do you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

  • Check your options before you borrow:
  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink:

The Government’s MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

Privacy Consents Electronic Authorisation

Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd has a comprehensive Privacy Policy that outlines the ways in which the company collects, manages, distributes and stores information provided by our customers. This policy also outlines the ways in which the company provides access to this information for collection, as well as the procedure for contacting Swift Loans should you have any questions. To access this policy, please click on the Privacy Policy tab at the bottom of our website or click here

By consenting to the terms and conditions outlined in Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd s Privacy Consents and Electronic Authorisation, you agree for the company to collect, use and disclose personal information about you.

The information that you provide may be used for the purpose of providing you with a loan, for marketing purposes, or in conjunction with our affiliates and/ or business partners. Should you wish to gain access to this information for any reason, please contact Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd. Should you wish to not receive any marketing or promotional material, please also contact Swift Loans Australia and they will remove your details from marketing distribution.

By consenting to this policy, you agree that Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd and their associates may undertake any of the following at any time:

a. Assess an application for credit by you by seeking and using Credit Information about you.

b. Request and use information about your current and previous employment history in order to assess your application for consumer credit.

c. Using the services of a credit-reporting agency, such as Veda Advantage, Dun Bradstreet or Experian, Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd may disclose information about you, the customer, for the purpose of receiving a credit report to verify your information and assist in the processing of your loan application. Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd may also use the services of these companies in order to assess your credit history, past and current loan status, overdue accounts and details of the loan requested from Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd.

d. It is a requirement by law, that Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd discloses information about you to any organisation involved in the provision of credit to you, anybody in connection to a complaint concerning you or the services provided by Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd, any of our associates, or any third party wishing to invest in Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd.

e. Contact you directly to discuss your suitability in relation to the services provided by Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd or any of our associates and/or business partners.

f. Any or all of the actions as outlined in the Privacy Policy of our website.

As a customer of Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd, you consent to the company contacting you via email, or via our VIP Member area website as ways in which to distribute documents and information relating to the status of your loan(s). You understand and agree that by giving this consent

a. You must regularly check all nominated addresses, VIP Member area and your phone for notices

b. Unless required by law, Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd will not send hard copies of any documentation

c. You may withdraw your consent to receive electronic documents and notices at anytime, and only with the provision of an alternative means of communication.

d. Should Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd provide information that can only be viewed in the customer s VIP Member login page, the company will contact you via email with information to this effect.

e. Swift Loans Australia Pty Ltd will make all notices, statements of account, copies of the contract, Terms and Conditions, statutory notices (including the Credit Guide and Information statement) available for a reasonable period of time in the www.swiftloans.com.au VIP Members Area for access by you, using your nominated login and password.

f. By clicking I agree you will be creating a binding legal obligation where indicated.


20/09/2017

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Microloans: Small Loans for Small Businesses – The Simple Dollar #loans


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Microloans: Small Loans for Small Businesses

Microloans and microcredit are a form of business funding that many people often associate with developing countries and particularly impoverished and disenfranchised populations.

That may be due to the fact that microlending is generally considered to have originated in Bangladesh, where Grameen Bank founder Muhammed Yunnus began giving small loans to the rural poor decades ago.

Such microloans, as Yunnus envisioned them, have many noble goals, including providing an alternative to loan sharks, supporting entrepreneurship, alleviating poverty, empowering women, and by extension, uplifting entire communities. All of which led to Yunnus winning the Nobel Prize in 2006 and the concept as a whole spreading around the world.

The moral of the story is that these types of loans are also available in the United States, for small businesses that may not have a substantial credit history or that are perhaps owned by women or minorities populations that typically do not have as much access to financing.

In fiscal year 2016, for instance, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Microloan Program provided 4,472 microloans totaling more than $60 million, and about 40% of the loans went to minority-owned small businesses and nearly 40% went to women-owned businesses.

In addition, more than 40% of all of the microloans closed under the SBA program during 2016 went to small businesses that were just two years old or younger.

“Microloans are more targeted to people who have trouble accessing traditional credit,” explains Joyce A. Klein, director of the Aspen Institute’s Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination (FIELD). “Microlenders tend to be more flexible then banks are. If someone doesn’t have great credit, if they have thin credit, not that they haven’t performed well, but rather don’t have an extensive credit history, then microlenders are more willing to look at other factors, such as the cash flow of the business.”

If your business fits this description, or if all you’re seeking is a small infusion of cash to carry your business forward, then read on for some of the key details about microloans.

How much money can you borrow using a microloan? The microloan borrowing limit is $50,000, but the average loan size is around $13,000, according to SBA.

What can the money be used for? Businesses may use the funds as working capital or to buy needed inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery, or equipment.

Typical repayment terms. Loans closed under the SBA Microloan Program cannot exceed six years, and generally carry interest rates below 10%, according to Jamie Davenport, the SBA’s acting director of the Office of Economic Opportunity/Capital Access.

The nationwide network of SBA program lenders however, are just one example there are many other nonprofit microloan lenders out there. “Most have traditional loan terms,” says Klein. “But if you were comparing microloans to larger, long-term business loans, the (microloan) rates may seem expensive.”

That’s because, according to Klein, the business borrowing the money may be relatively young, or possesses weaker credit or weaker collateral, which makes the loan riskier in some ways.

Documentation Required to Obtain a Microloan

The SBA suggests having a business plan prepared. If that sounds intimidating, the good news is that the SBA provides resources such as Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers that can help with writing a business plan, says Davenport.

In addition, microlenders will typically want to look at some financial information from the business, says Klein, of the Aspen Institute. This may be in the form of a businesses’ tax returns, or the businesses’ bank statements.

And depending on the lender, still more financial information may be requested.

“Different microlenders use different criteria,” Klein explains. “They typically look at someone’s personal credit report. But one of the features of microlenders is that they are more flexible in terms of how they look at someone’s credit then a traditional lender, but they still look at personal credit.”

“Like many traditional lenders, they’re trying to get a sense of what the financials of the business looks like,” Klein adds.

How to Choose a Microlender

Through the SBA Microloan Program there are specifically designated intermediary lenders across the country. These lenders are nonprofit organizations that have experience in lending and in providing small businesses with technical assistance.

The SBA website provides a directory of its participating lenders, which are located all across the country, from Alabama and Arkansas to California, Tennessee, and Vermont.

One way for small businesses to find an SBA lender in their area is to use SBA’s LINC tool, says Davenport. A business answers some simple questions about their business and their financing needs, and then we instantly connect or match that small business with lenders in their community.”

The upshot of using an SBA microlender is that in addition to money, the lender is required to provide the business with technical assistance and guidance, such as free management training.

This combination of free training and reasonably priced capital gives small businesses the best chance to grow and be successful, says Davenport.

But the SBA program is just one option there are many other microlenders out there as well. Klein points to the nonprofit Justine Petersen in St. Louis, noting that the organization is doing interesting work helping small businesses build credit, as well as providing a source for funding.

The Opportunity Fund is another well-known and respected name in the industry, and is California’s largest microlender.

And one last organization worth noting, Kiva. is an online nonprofit organization that connects microlenders and borrowers. To date, a total of $936.5 million has been lent through the site, in 82 countries. About 1.6 million borrowers have accessed funding through Kiva and the repayment rate has been 97.1%.

One caveat with Kiva, however: In order to receive an interest-free loan through the organization, borrowers first must have friends and family members contribute to their venture. This helps establish the creditworthiness of the borrower.

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Get rid of high interest debt with a 0% balance transfer credit card


18/09/2017

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Online Loans South Africa – Home Loans #home #loans,personal #loans #bad


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Home Loans – Approved Loans

What is a Home Loan?

Every person wants a home, may it be an apartment, a mansion or just a simplex. Whether you are refinancing a bond/mortgage or purchasing your little paradise, you sure will need to have a home loan that you is just right for you. There are a lot of financial institutions or lending companies or even banks which offer hassle- less home loan processing.

First time home buyers usually get a home loan more easily. There is a wide variety of programs that have restrictions that come with the contract. Others find this too perfect for them, but for some, this may be a wrong choice.

First time home buyer loan

All first- times can be a big deal. It consumes too much time, effort and money. Some people usually seek the aid of a first time home loan to hurdle the issues with money. The program varies depending on the location but generally, the idea of a first time home loan is to give qualified borrowers the financial assistance.

Some financial institution would offer the home loan in the following way:

  • Low to no down payment
  • Limit fees
  • Defer payments and offer grants
  • Subsidize the cost of the interest

These are but a few examples of the benefits first time home buyers may take advantage of but take note that not everything in the list can be made available for you to take advantage of.

Who can take advantage of a home loan?

Anyone can take advantage of a home loan; but first time home owners are good candidates. Some programs usually offer home loans to people who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. Again, programs vary depending on the area so it is good to check if any lending company or institutions offer this in you area.

Are there any restrictions?

Like any other, home loans also have restrictions. Most of home loan programs put a R limit on the property that you are going to purchase. You may not be able to get a home loan for the most expensive property round the town but you will instead be limited to properties that are at the bottom of the pyramid. The idea is to provide margin and benefit to people who are in dire need.

It is not advisable to use the first time home buyer loan for a rent. You are given the opportunity to own a home so grab it. Finally, the house that you are to purchase must also meet some physical requirements.

The challenges.

You may be faced with a few challenges when getting a first time home buyer loan:

  • The home may not be the home you want
  • You may lose the benefits if you sell your house too soon
  • Paying tax for some benefits you received
  • Shared home value increase with the program you signed up with

With these restrictions, you will be armed with knowledge when you decide to get a home loan for you family. It is a must for you to find out the ups and downs of something before you even decide of saying yes to it.

Home Loan FAQs

A home is an important asset especially if you have a family. This is where you raise your children, eat, sleep and entertain family and friends. Owning a home is better than renting since you are building up equity. Is a home loan right for you then?

There are First Time Home Buyers programs out there. Check with the local lenders to find out.

You can often refinance at local bank with no closing cost home equity loan. That is, provided that you meet standard ratios of debt to income, that you have adequate equity in the home, and that your credit is very good. If you do not meet these qualifications, then you need to go elsewhere for a more traditional home equity loan.

The structure is not uncommon. Most often than not, the buyer has little to put down.

The credit score will be a bit low so the buyer will be hit by a high interest rate.

Watch out for prepayment penalties as that is also common with such a deal when the credit score is average to low.


04/09/2017

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Tax Topics – Topic 453 Bad Debt Deduction #business #bad #debt


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Topic 453 – Bad Debt Deduction

If someone owes you money that you can’t collect, you may have a bad debt. For a discussion of what constitutes a valid debt, refer to Publication 550. Investment Income and Expenses . and Publication 535. Business Expenses . Generally, to deduct a bad debt, you must have previously included the amount in your income or loaned out your cash. If you’re a cash method taxpayer (most individuals are), you generally can’t take a bad debt deduction for unpaid salaries, wages, rents, fees, interests, dividends, and similar items. For a bad debt, you must show that at the time of the transaction you intended to make a loan and not a gift. If you lend money to a relative or friend with the understanding the relative or friend may not repay it, you must consider it as a gift and not as a loan.

There are two kinds of bad debts business and nonbusiness.

Business Bad Debts – Generally, a business bad debt is a loss from the worthlessness of a debt that was either created or acquired in a trade or business or closely related to your trade or business when it became partly to totally worthless. You can deduct it on Form 1040, Schedule C (PDF), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) . or on your applicable business income tax return.

The following are examples of business bad debts (if previously included in income):

  • Loans to clients and suppliers
  • Credit sales to customers, or
  • Business loan guarantees

A business deducts its bad debts, in full or in part, from gross income when figuring its taxable income. For more information on methods of claiming business bad debts, refer to Publication 535. Business Expenses .

Nonbusiness Bad Debts – All other bad debts are nonbusiness. Nonbusiness bad debts must be totally worthless to be deductible. You can’t deduct a partially worthless nonbusiness bad debt.

A debt becomes worthless when the surrounding facts and circumstances indicate there’s no reasonable expectation of payment. To show that a debt is worthless, you must establish that you’ve taken reasonable steps to collect the debt. It’s not necessary to go to court if you can show that a judgment from the court would be uncollectible. You may take the deduction only in the year the debt becomes worthless. You don’t have to wait until a debt is due to determine that it’s worthless.

Report a nonbusiness bad debt as a short-term capital loss on Form 8949 (PDF), Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets . Part 1, line 1. Enter the name of the debtor and “bad debt statement attached” in column (a). Enter your basis in the bad debt in column (e) and enter zero in column (d). Use a separate line for each bad debt. It’s subject to the capital loss limitations. A nonbusiness bad debt deduction requires a separate detailed statement attached to your return.

For more information on nonbusiness bad debts, refer to Publication 550. Investment Income and Expenses . For more information on business bad debts, refer to Publication 535. Business Expenses .

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: April 14, 2017


29/08/2017

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Online travel agencies are not evil – but they are bad

#online travel agencies
#

Online travel agencies are not evil – but they are bad business

Jul 23.2014

Great industries are built on great partnerships, and the hospitality sector is no different.

The US hospitality industry, for example, has been built on the partnership of hotel brands and franchisees. In addition, successful partnerships enable growth for all stakeholders, which has been the case for hotel brands and owners over the last quarter-century.

NB: This is an analysis by Vikas Bhakta, founder and CEO of Ve-Go Technologies .

Since the Great Recession of 2009-2010, online travel agencies have held an increased role in the hospitality industry for room distribution.

But, unlike the successful partnership forged between hotel brands and owners, despite what others have said here on Tnooz. I believe OTAs have engaged in business practices that negatively affect not only the hotel industry, but also the communities travelers we serve.

Tax obligation

When consumers purchase a hotel room, there is a hotel occupancy tax associated – yes, the same hotel occupancy tax AirBnb is currently reviewing with regulators.

In the US, hotel occupancy tax is split between state and local and is a major source of revenue for government budgets.

The table below reflects the difference in tax obligation between OTA bookings, such as Expedia, Hotels.com, or Priceline vsersus traditional and direct hotel bookings:

NB: * refers to room rate (estimated for ease of calculation) ** refers to occupancy tax and fees : mid-range; set by governments, parity by OTAs

Magically, the OTA loophole of deducting commission before calculating tax obligation yields a difference of $3 – which would normally serve as revenue for state and local governments, is now padding OTA bank accounts and profit margins.

With our 15% occupancy tax assumption, every $100 travelers’ spend with Expedia, Hotels.com or Priceline, equals a loss of $3 for state local communities – and a direct profit for OTAs.

In 2013, OTAs are estimated to have accounted for $40B in US hotel sales, if we assume all bookings were paid through OTAs, it would equal $1.2B in annual state local tax revenue shortfall due to the bad business practices of OTAs.

Over the past few years, plenty of US state and local governments have taken the OTA tax remittance loophole to trial, yet few have prevailed .

Even more alarming is the vigorous fight and enormous bankroll OTAs employ to fight against state local governments in courtrooms across America. If you collect full taxes, but fail to remit…

It’s not a loophole, it’s bad business.

Guest experience

According to a 2012 JD Powers report. travelers who book on OTAs rated their experience 45 points lower than guests who booked or called the hotel directly.

In many instances, the lack of flexibility offered with OTA rates creates friction between hotels and their guests.

As a front desk agent, I have personally experienced guests who would like to modify/cancel their stay, but due to the lack of flexibility in OTA rate rules – we were forced to have unhappy travelers stay with us.

OTAs should ensure the entire travel experience is memorable – not simply prey on booking commissions then deliver inferior customer service along the way.

Consumers who argue OTAs ability to aggregate hotel listings has provided a huge benefit for search booking – I would agree with them 100%.

But, JD Powers North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study states travelers who book on OTAs are more likely to report problems – I’ve known more than my fair share of hoteliers who say LRA (Last Room Available) has a different meaning for OTA guests.

Unfortunately, no hotelier aspires to provide inferior service to OTA guests, they would much rather provide great service and be compensated fully for their effort. When guest experience suffers due to the distribution model…

It’s not a better distribution solution, it’s bad business.

AdWords marketing

OTAs, in their simplest form, are websites with outsized marketing budgets. which are paid for by outsized booking commissions.

For example, Priceline and Expedia two of the biggest overall spenders with Google – combine to account for $2.5 billion in annual spend on Google AdWords.

OTAs bid on hotel names to compete with hotels and drive up marketing costs for hotels, while simultaneously increasing distribution costs as each booking displaced to OTAs entails a significantly higher customer acquisition cost for the hotel.

Today, OTAs operate globally at scale and possess marketing budgets that surpass the largest of global hospitality brands.

In addition, OTAs operate with the ability to undercut savvy marketers with fewer resources. If OTAs out-bid you on AdWords, on your own hotel name…

It’s not superior marketing, it’s bad business.

The Billboard Effect

In 2010, hoteliers were led to believe OTA presence would lead to an increase in overall bookings, as well as direct bookings. At face value, more bookings and more revenue seem great, but as plenty have found, an increase in bookings and top line revenue does not always translate to profits.

In fact, HAMA HotelAVE published their findings on profit reduction due to OTA payment structure.

In particular, the Expedia Partner Preference program has been found to decrease profitability for hotel owners. This begs the question: what are the risks associated with OTA bookings eroding profit?

Incremental revenue at the expense of profit undermines a hotels’ ability to deliver quality product service on a daily basis, as well as invest in refurbishments capital expenditures on an on-going basis. If incremental revenue erodes profit…

It’s not incremental, it’s bad business.

Risk versus Reward

For hotel owners, the worst business practice employed by OTAs is the commission structure: 15-30%. For decades, the industry-standard for distribution commission has been 10% – at that commission fee, all partners can succeed without endangering the other’s ability to grow and expand.

Since 2010, OTAs have experienced a meteoric rise in share of bookings; in turn, hotel owners have experienced a reduction in profit margin, relative to top line revenue increase.

In other words, OTAs are eroding the profitability experienced by hotel owners during previous economic expansion cycles – and in some cases, OTAs have eclipsed profits margins of hotel owners.

Coming off the worst recession in the history of the US hotel industry, owners expect the greatest reward, for bearing the greatest risk – owning the real estate.

But, OTAs, and their irrational commission fees, have changed the risk/reward relationship for hotel owners.

As good investors do, when risk outweighs reward, they find somewhere else to invest.

For example, as the US hotel industry exceeds 2008 Occupancy, ADR, and REVPAR levels and nears the peak of the cycle, construction activity fails to match previous cycles – with a 50% reduction in new rooms opened 2014 YTD .

Furthermore, secondary tertiary markets – with the exception of Oil Gas markets – have almost non-existent supply growth when compared to previous cycles.

Muted supply is considered healthy for the economics of current hotels – but comes at a loss for travelers seeking more options at competitive prices. If the risk of building a hotel is greater than the reward, hotel owners stop building hotels…

It’s not rocket science, it’s bad business.

For most industries, distribution costs are marginal, at best. Amazon  has built an empire by lowering distribution costs for a number of verticals.

Their margin is our opportunity.

Amazon prides itself on lowering prices for consumers, by lowering distribution costs. Conversely, OTAs are increasing prices for travelers, by increasing distribution costs.

Today’s OTAs may be a necessary evil. but with the explosion of smartphones, mobile apps, and open APIs – the possibilities are endless for tomorrow’s mobile travel agencies





24/08/2017

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10 Badass Celebrities Killed in Car Crashes – PopCrunch #pics #of


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10 Badass Celebrities Killed in Car Crashes

Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse, may have been the motto of a young John Derek in the 1949 movie Knock on Any Door. but not all of popular culture s most iconic figures went out in a blaze of glory while they were still in their youth. Indeed, some celebrity badasses have lived to a ripe old age before meeting a messy end in a car crash. Yet whatever their age at the time they were killed, for these legendary stars, even death had to be a spectacle — everything fading to black at a hundred miles an hour.

10. Cliff Burton

Legendary metal bassist Cliff Burton was most famous for his time spent with Metallica. He appears on this list due to his introduction of epic bass guitar solos to heavy metal and his contribution to badass music — Bay Area thrash in this case. Burton was not only a cool guy, but was so respected that after his death in 1986 he was admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Burton died on the road at the age of just 24 when his tour bus skidded off the road and overturned in Sweden, crushing the bassist, who had been thrown from one of the windows. He had just switched bunks with guitarist Kirk Hammett, after winning a game of cards with an Ace of Spades.

9. Albert Camus

It s not just musicians, actors and sportsmen who can be real badasses; Albert Camus conducted his badassery with a pen. As one of the founders of the existentialist movement, he challenged the intellectual system of the time and promoted radical politics with his philosophical writings and works, such as The Outsider (L Étranger ), which included some of the most influential literary works of the 20th century. In 1960, Camus died in a car crash with his publisher after accepting a ride at the last minute. He was 46. Following his death, the French author s train ticket was found in his coat pocket.

8. Alexander Fu

Alexander Fu s badassery began at a young age, when despite his wealthy background he spent his time fighting in the streets and training in judo and karate. He became a major Hong Kong martial arts movie star in the 1970s and fought his way back from injuries such as a completely shattered leg to continue kicking ass and taking names. He died at the age of 28, on July 7 1983, while traveling with his brother, who crashed the Porsche 911 Targa they were riding into a cement wall. A final symbol of Fu s badassery was the shrine that was constructed in his old makeup cubicle to appease his ghost, which is believed to haunt his old movie sets.

7. Jayne Mansfield

A surprising entry, maybe, but Jayne Mansfield s badassery was illustrated by her total willingness to do anything to get ahead, and her complete understanding of the way her natural assets could be used to her advantage. When compared to other movie stars of the 1950s, she once said: I don t know why you people [the press] like to compare me to Marilyn or that girl, what s her name, Kim Novak. Cleavage, of course, helped me a lot to get where I am. I don t know how they got there. She famously even used her impressive bust to steal the limelight from Sophia Loren at a party that was held in the Italian star s honor by leaning over and exposing a nipple. In 1967, the car in which she, her driver, her lover, Sam Brody, and her three children were traveling in rear-ended a truck. The children survived, but the adults in the front were killed instantly. Mansfield was 34.

6. Carlos Arruza

One of the most famous bullfighters of the 20th century, Carlos Arruza began his bullfighting career at the tender age of 14. Regardless of the ethics of his trade, anyone who thinks bullfighters aren t badasses needs to get up close and personal with an angry bull. Nicknamed El Ciclón ( The Cyclone ), Arruza met his end not on the horns of a tormented bull but in a car crash outside of Mexico City in 1966. He was 46.

5. Joe Rollino

Joe Rollino didn t need recognition from anyone else; in the 1920s he named himself the world s strongest man. In his peak physical condition, this second generation Italian American was able to move 3,200 pounds (1,500 kg) with his back, and he once managed to lift 450 pounds (200 kg) with his teeth. What s more, all of these feats of physical strength were performed on a vegetarian diet. He managed to find time in between work-out sessions to become a decorated WWII veteran, hang out with Harry Houdini and act as bodyguard to famous celebs like Greta Garbo, and he was still trucking in 2010 when, at the age of 104, he was hit and killed by a car.

4. Lisa Lopes

When thinking of badasses, not many people s minds would immediately jump to members of R B girl groups like TLC. Rapper and singer Lisa Lopes might be the exception, however, if only because of the extremes she went to to deal with her boyfriend, NFL star Andre Rison, during an argument. When angered by Rison, Lopes set fire to his tennis shoes, and the fire spread and destroyed their entire mansion. Notwithstanding, she was also remarkably candid about her abusive background as well her own alcohol issues. Lopes died at the age of 30 after swerving off the road in order to prevent a collision with several other vehicles, causing her car to hit two trees and roll, throwing all the passengers from the windows.

3. Marc Bolan

Legendary frontman of T-Rex, Marc Bolan was one of the central architects of the 1970s glam rock scene. His badassery stems from his successful efforts to start a trend that had the balls to challenge sartorial and behavioral gender norms, challenging society in bold new ways. He died instantly in 1977 — just weeks before his 30th birthday — when the car he was traveling in sped into a tree in London. The spot was soon turned into a shrine, which is now officially recognized. Tragically, Bolan s bandmate Steve Currie was killed in another car crash four years after the singer s accident.

2. Ryan Dunn

Famed for his appearances as a central personality on the MTV show Jackass and subsequent movies, Ryan Dunn was a member of the gross-out, balls-of-steel school of comedy. Though it scarcely needs mentioning, Dunn was a true badass, showing a carefree attitude toward stunts that required a complete absence of fear and even less shame. Just recall the occasion when he surprised a doctor with an X-ray that revealed a toy car had been inserted into his butthole, in a skit in Jackass: The Movie Dunn s career — and life — was of course brought to an abrupt end this year when his Porsche 911 GT3 hit a tree at 140mph. His blood alcohol levels registered at twice the legal limit. He was 34.

1. James Dean

The most iconic of culturally recognizable badasses, James Dean made rebellion cool, even for the mainstream, in his 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause. He was a consummate badass on screen; the personification of teenage angst wearing a leather jacket — and the ultimate enigmatic persona. In his private life he had tempestuous affairs with beautiful women, including young Italian actress Pier Angeli, and avoided the US draft by calmly declaring himself a homosexual (he later denied that this was his sexual orientation). On September 30, 1955, Dean died of a broken neck in a head-on collision involving his Porsche 550 Spyder and a Ford coupe, aged just 24.


09/08/2017

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Bad Credit OK Credit Cards and Prepaid Debit Cards #bad #credit


Bad Credit OK Credit Cards and Prepaid Debit Cards

Credit cards and prepaid debit cards for “bad credit” feature approval standards geared toward helping consumers with an imperfect credit history obtain a line of credit. Many cards feature monthly reporting to the major consumer reporting agencies, which enables the cardholder to have their payment history added to his or her credit profile. See below for today’s top credit card and prepaid debit card offers for people with bad credit, along with links to each card’s secure online application.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

  • Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We’ll let you know as soon as you’re eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that’s right for you in less than 60 seconds.
  • Eligible purchases will automatically get you 1% cash back, terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card not a debit, prepaid, or secured card. No need to load funds or tie up cash in deposits. There are no out-of-pocket costs to open your account.
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Email and text alerts remind you when your bill is due, your payment posts, or your available credit is running low

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®

  • No security deposit required. Get a 100% unsecured card that can help grow and build credit.
  • Focused on growing or rebuilding your credit? We report account activity to all three major credit bureaus each month to help keep your credit score up-to-date.
  • Find out if you’re Pre-Qualified without harming your credit score. It’s fast, easy, and secure.
  • Looking for more credit? Get credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply
  • Get 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
  • Your account is safeguarded against unauthorized charges with Zero Fraud Liability at no additional charge
  • Stay in-the-know about your account with custom email and text alerts that remind you of your payment due date, notify you when a payment posts, or warn you if your available credit runs low
  • Show off your style with a premium card design, a fee may apply.
  • Checking Account Required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus

The First Access VISA® Credit Card

  • Get the security and convenience of a full-feature, unsecured VISA Credit Card accepted at millions of merchant and ATM locations nationwide and online
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won t
  • You may be eligible for a Credit Line Increase after six months
  • If approved, pay a Processing Fee and you can access the $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Receive your card more quickly with optional Expedited Processing (additional fee applies)
  • Get a result in as little as 60 seconds upon completion of the online application
  • Online Customer Center available 24 x 7
  • Issued by Mid America Bank Trust Company, Member: FDIC

02/08/2017

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BAD travel Agent – Singapore Forum #cheap #flights #and #car #rentals

#super travel
#

BAD travel Agent

Do NOT book from SUPER TRAVELS! I book a tour with them and paid $1000 for 2 to Perth only to be told that they cannot find hotels for me. I told them to find any hotels and say I don t mind topping up the money. They told me to wait for 5 days and after I called after 5 days, they ask me to wait another few days! It is like less than a month to my tour date. I asked for a refund and I was told to wait for 2 weeks. There is always a penalty when a customer pull out of a tour booking and that penalty is based on the number of days to the tour date, then why is that tour agencies can get away with it when they have accepted a booking by a customer and yet not deliver it when it is less than a month to the tour date?

Super Travel is ONLY good for booking of Coach to KL. THAT ALL

Going to perth? U should be able to plan the whole trip urself, using the ever efficient Internet Portal.

S$1000 for 2? That s for 4day 3nite? And does it cover any tours? Which month would that be for? If it covers Tours During a Peak Period, that could explain why Super Travel cannot book any Hotel for U, cos they prolly under quote U ^___^.

The last time I did most of Perth (Self-Planned) 7Day 6 Nite, I spend only S$1250 travelling on SQ (slightly off peak with Airticket + Hotel + Guided Tour == All booked separately). Aussie is very easy, U dun even need those travel agency to do the booking nowadays.

In ur case, if U have not manage to get Super to refund U in Full, I would advise U to make a report with NATAS, so that if Super were to penalise U later for cancellation, U got a backup for it is their inability to deliver their service with the constant delay, which could have let U replan the whole trip.





11/06/2017

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Online travel agencies are not evil – but they are bad

#online travel agencies
#

Online travel agencies are not evil – but they are bad business

Jul 23.2014

Great industries are built on great partnerships, and the hospitality sector is no different.

The US hospitality industry, for example, has been built on the partnership of hotel brands and franchisees. In addition, successful partnerships enable growth for all stakeholders, which has been the case for hotel brands and owners over the last quarter-century.

NB: This is an analysis by Vikas Bhakta, founder and CEO of Ve-Go Technologies .

Since the Great Recession of 2009-2010, online travel agencies have held an increased role in the hospitality industry for room distribution.

But, unlike the successful partnership forged between hotel brands and owners, despite what others have said here on Tnooz. I believe OTAs have engaged in business practices that negatively affect not only the hotel industry, but also the communities travelers we serve.

Tax obligation

When consumers purchase a hotel room, there is a hotel occupancy tax associated – yes, the same hotel occupancy tax AirBnb is currently reviewing with regulators.

In the US, hotel occupancy tax is split between state and local and is a major source of revenue for government budgets.

The table below reflects the difference in tax obligation between OTA bookings, such as Expedia, Hotels.com, or Priceline vsersus traditional and direct hotel bookings:

NB: * refers to room rate (estimated for ease of calculation) ** refers to occupancy tax and fees : mid-range; set by governments, parity by OTAs

Magically, the OTA loophole of deducting commission before calculating tax obligation yields a difference of $3 – which would normally serve as revenue for state and local governments, is now padding OTA bank accounts and profit margins.

With our 15% occupancy tax assumption, every $100 travelers’ spend with Expedia, Hotels.com or Priceline, equals a loss of $3 for state local communities – and a direct profit for OTAs.

In 2013, OTAs are estimated to have accounted for $40B in US hotel sales, if we assume all bookings were paid through OTAs, it would equal $1.2B in annual state local tax revenue shortfall due to the bad business practices of OTAs.

Over the past few years, plenty of US state and local governments have taken the OTA tax remittance loophole to trial, yet few have prevailed .

Even more alarming is the vigorous fight and enormous bankroll OTAs employ to fight against state local governments in courtrooms across America. If you collect full taxes, but fail to remit…

It’s not a loophole, it’s bad business.

Guest experience

According to a 2012 JD Powers report. travelers who book on OTAs rated their experience 45 points lower than guests who booked or called the hotel directly.

In many instances, the lack of flexibility offered with OTA rates creates friction between hotels and their guests.

As a front desk agent, I have personally experienced guests who would like to modify/cancel their stay, but due to the lack of flexibility in OTA rate rules – we were forced to have unhappy travelers stay with us.

OTAs should ensure the entire travel experience is memorable – not simply prey on booking commissions then deliver inferior customer service along the way.

Consumers who argue OTAs ability to aggregate hotel listings has provided a huge benefit for search booking – I would agree with them 100%.

But, JD Powers North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study states travelers who book on OTAs are more likely to report problems – I’ve known more than my fair share of hoteliers who say LRA (Last Room Available) has a different meaning for OTA guests.

Unfortunately, no hotelier aspires to provide inferior service to OTA guests, they would much rather provide great service and be compensated fully for their effort. When guest experience suffers due to the distribution model…

It’s not a better distribution solution, it’s bad business.

AdWords marketing

OTAs, in their simplest form, are websites with outsized marketing budgets. which are paid for by outsized booking commissions.

For example, Priceline and Expedia two of the biggest overall spenders with Google – combine to account for $2.5 billion in annual spend on Google AdWords.

OTAs bid on hotel names to compete with hotels and drive up marketing costs for hotels, while simultaneously increasing distribution costs as each booking displaced to OTAs entails a significantly higher customer acquisition cost for the hotel.

Today, OTAs operate globally at scale and possess marketing budgets that surpass the largest of global hospitality brands.

In addition, OTAs operate with the ability to undercut savvy marketers with fewer resources. If OTAs out-bid you on AdWords, on your own hotel name…

It’s not superior marketing, it’s bad business.

The Billboard Effect

In 2010, hoteliers were led to believe OTA presence would lead to an increase in overall bookings, as well as direct bookings. At face value, more bookings and more revenue seem great, but as plenty have found, an increase in bookings and top line revenue does not always translate to profits.

In fact, HAMA HotelAVE published their findings on profit reduction due to OTA payment structure.

In particular, the Expedia Partner Preference program has been found to decrease profitability for hotel owners. This begs the question: what are the risks associated with OTA bookings eroding profit?

Incremental revenue at the expense of profit undermines a hotels’ ability to deliver quality product service on a daily basis, as well as invest in refurbishments capital expenditures on an on-going basis. If incremental revenue erodes profit…

It’s not incremental, it’s bad business.

Risk versus Reward

For hotel owners, the worst business practice employed by OTAs is the commission structure: 15-30%. For decades, the industry-standard for distribution commission has been 10% – at that commission fee, all partners can succeed without endangering the other’s ability to grow and expand.

Since 2010, OTAs have experienced a meteoric rise in share of bookings; in turn, hotel owners have experienced a reduction in profit margin, relative to top line revenue increase.

In other words, OTAs are eroding the profitability experienced by hotel owners during previous economic expansion cycles – and in some cases, OTAs have eclipsed profits margins of hotel owners.

Coming off the worst recession in the history of the US hotel industry, owners expect the greatest reward, for bearing the greatest risk – owning the real estate.

But, OTAs, and their irrational commission fees, have changed the risk/reward relationship for hotel owners.

As good investors do, when risk outweighs reward, they find somewhere else to invest.

For example, as the US hotel industry exceeds 2008 Occupancy, ADR, and REVPAR levels and nears the peak of the cycle, construction activity fails to match previous cycles – with a 50% reduction in new rooms opened 2014 YTD .

Furthermore, secondary tertiary markets – with the exception of Oil Gas markets – have almost non-existent supply growth when compared to previous cycles.

Muted supply is considered healthy for the economics of current hotels – but comes at a loss for travelers seeking more options at competitive prices. If the risk of building a hotel is greater than the reward, hotel owners stop building hotels…

It’s not rocket science, it’s bad business.

For most industries, distribution costs are marginal, at best. Amazon  has built an empire by lowering distribution costs for a number of verticals.

Their margin is our opportunity.

Amazon prides itself on lowering prices for consumers, by lowering distribution costs. Conversely, OTAs are increasing prices for travelers, by increasing distribution costs.

Today’s OTAs may be a necessary evil. but with the explosion of smartphones, mobile apps, and open APIs – the possibilities are endless for tomorrow’s mobile travel agencies





17/04/2017

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BAD travel Agent – Singapore Forum #travel #distance #calculator

#super travel
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BAD travel Agent

Do NOT book from SUPER TRAVELS! I book a tour with them and paid $1000 for 2 to Perth only to be told that they cannot find hotels for me. I told them to find any hotels and say I don t mind topping up the money. They told me to wait for 5 days and after I called after 5 days, they ask me to wait another few days! It is like less than a month to my tour date. I asked for a refund and I was told to wait for 2 weeks. There is always a penalty when a customer pull out of a tour booking and that penalty is based on the number of days to the tour date, then why is that tour agencies can get away with it when they have accepted a booking by a customer and yet not deliver it when it is less than a month to the tour date?

Super Travel is ONLY good for booking of Coach to KL. THAT ALL

Going to perth? U should be able to plan the whole trip urself, using the ever efficient Internet Portal.

S$1000 for 2? That s for 4day 3nite? And does it cover any tours? Which month would that be for? If it covers Tours During a Peak Period, that could explain why Super Travel cannot book any Hotel for U, cos they prolly under quote U ^___^.

The last time I did most of Perth (Self-Planned) 7Day 6 Nite, I spend only S$1250 travelling on SQ (slightly off peak with Airticket + Hotel + Guided Tour == All booked separately). Aussie is very easy, U dun even need those travel agency to do the booking nowadays.

In ur case, if U have not manage to get Super to refund U in Full, I would advise U to make a report with NATAS, so that if Super were to penalise U later for cancellation, U got a backup for it is their inability to deliver their service with the constant delay, which could have let U replan the whole trip.





13/02/2017

Posted In: NEWS

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