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Georgetown Business Association VP Optimistic Entering New Year

Georgetown Business Association VP Optimistic Entering New Year

2010 was a difficult year for businesses in Georgetown, much like virtually every other area throughout the country. Some might think that the upscale shops that line M Street and Wisconsin Avenue would be immune to an economic downtown…but they would be wrong.

“The main challenge facing Georgetown businesses right now is diminished cash flow due to declining sales,” Said Rokas Beresniovas, the Vice President of the Georgetown Business Association. “In some ways, this economic downturn has brought business owners together to form groups and business forums to help strategize how to remain competitive in this kind of market. But practically, some businesses still could not make it.”

The results are evident, as boarded-up storefronts continue to appear in a community that’s used to filling space with posh shops and chic, pricey restaurants.

2010 End of the Year Tax Tips that can save you big money in the 2011 tax season.

  • Homeowners can make their January mortgage payment in December giving them one more month of interest to deduct.

 

  • Donations made to qualified charities before year’s end can result in some serious tax savings. Be sure to use a credit card because if you write a check it may not clear until next year and then you would have to wait until next year to take the deduction.

 

  • Holiday business gift deductions: If you have sent out holiday cards, business pens, calendars or other gift items to clients or potential clients. You can deduct those expenses up to $25.00 as long as the items are for a business purpose.

 

  • Contribute to a college savings plan. Save for your kids and save on your taxes. You can contribute up to $13,000 in 2010.

 

Wiki Leaks and Whistleblowers: Why Private Information Goes Public

Ask an average person to name a whistleblower and they’re likely to think of ‘private citizens’ like Erin Brokovich, Karen Silkwood, and Jeffrey Wigand or journalists like Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward.  These red, white and blue American whistleblowers have been portrayed in Academy Award-winning movies as admirable people who had the courage to reveal wrongdoing in workplaces and government agencies in a spirit of justice.  

But are there other motivations that drive people to release sensitive documents and information that bring down companies and governments?  I believe the answer is yes.  Fame is certainly a motivator...and so is vengeance.  Employers in the private and public sectors that stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the link between employee engagement and corporate security are likely to find themselves the victims of leaks. 

The Georgetown Angels Want Y-O-U to Visit the Shops at Georgetown Park

The Georgetown Angels Want Y-O-U to Visit the Shops at Georgetown Park

Have you heard of the Georgetown Angels?

Almost One Year Since Opening Big Chair Coffee Shop Benefitting Community, Battling Recession

Almost One Year Since Opening Big Chair Coffee Shop Benefitting Community, Battling Recession

“Two or three years ago, (Anacostia) was not as we see it right now.  There’s a lot of progress around here,” Bantamlak Yimenu said as he peered out onto Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue from a corner table in Southeast D.C.'s Big Chair Coffee Shop. “There’s a lot of big change coming up.”

Almost a year ago now, Yimenu and his sister kicked off that change when they opened Big Chair, the first true sit-down coffee shop East of the Anacostia River.

“There are a number of people who live in this neighborhood who want gourmet coffee, (and a) gourmet coffee shop,” Yimenu said.  “Instead of going across the River to get that kind of place, we’ve brought it here.”

Foggy Bottom Community Awaits the Opening of "The Avenue"

Foggy Bottom Community Awaits the Opening of "The Avenue"

When I first set eyes on "The Avenue", the construction across from the Foggy Bottom Metro station, in its early stages, I was skeptical of the structure.

The building, which will feature condominiums, shops, and offices, is really huge.  When it first broke ground, I wasn't all that comfortable with the idea of yet another giant building in the middle of Foggy Bottom, adding clutter to an already packed neighborhood.

But now, just months before the building is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2011, I'm starting to think differently.  While I'm not crazy about the fact that the building has crushed Foggy Bottom's remaining views of the horizon, in my opinion, the positives of the construction will far outweigh the negatives.  Why?

New District measure requires six-months of mediation before foreclosure.

The District Council recently passed a measure that requires that mortgage lenders work with homeowners for six months through mediation before they will be able to foreclose on a home in the District. Mediation allows the borrower and the lender to negotiate with the guidance of a neutral third party possible alternatives to foreclosure.

What this means for struggling homeowners is that they now have an opportunity to work with their lender and possibly save their homes from the auction block. This is especially helpful in the District since there isn't a requirement that courts review foreclosure cases. In the District alone, there are more than 3,000 homes in the foreclosure process.