Business & Economy
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by QCCVB   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 15:21
You can shop small this holiday season.  Small Business  Saturday is November 29th.  Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday® is a day to celebrate the small businesses that help support your neighborhood and is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday has been embraced as part of the holiday shopping tradition as each year shoppers, businesses and public officials come together to Shop Small® and show their neighborhood pride. #ShopSmallQC
- At checkout on Small Business Saturday, select one of the presents to reveal your savings!  Anywhere from 10% to 25% OFF your entire bill!

- The first 25 customers receive a canvas Shop Small tote bag!

- Enter into a drawing to receive a $50 gift card!
Quad Cities Gifts                      Union Station Visitor Center
1601 River Drive, Ste 110       102 S. Harrison St.
Moline, IL  61265                      Davenport, IA  52801
Phone: 309-736-6833             Phone: 309-736-6834

Small Business Saturday Hours: 10 am-4 pm
Show off your Quad Cities hometown spirit with our new hooded sweatshirts. Perfect for a holiday gift, they come in a variety of colors (red, brown, white, gray, pink, turquoise). Full zipper front with pockets. Sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL
Price: $20.00

What You Need to Know Before Reading New Social Security Statements PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jason Alderman   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 15:00

No matter how far away you are from retirement, it's important to understand your Social Security benefits – and there's a particularly good reason to do it now.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is bringing back annual paper benefits statements for the first time in three years. It stopped in 2011 to save money on printing and postage, but Congress and consumer advocates complained that workers needed better access to their data. In September, the agency reversed its decision and announced it's resuming the practice of mailing paper statements to workers in two categories:

  • Those who are not receiving benefits and are within three months of turning 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60. (After age 60, workers will receive a statement every year.)
  • Those who still haven't registered for a My Social Security ( online account.

Why is this important? First, if you've paid into the Social Security and Medicare system, you should understand the benefits you've earned. Second, as the SSA has been closing field offices and reducing services to the public, despite the fact that Baby Boomers are starting to flood the system. It's a good time to confirm and correct benefits due to the longer wait times on the agency's toll free telephone line and field offices.

Start by waiting for your next paper benefits statement or sign up at My Social Security website to review your current data. Here's a quick overview of what your statement tells you:

  • Introduction and your estimated benefits. This section covers four categories. The first is your retirement benefits, which are based on your age when you start drawing them. The calculations are based on three critical ages as examples: 62 (the earliest age you can draw retirement benefits), 67 (the full retirement age for anyone born after 1960) and age 70 (the oldest anyone can start drawing benefits, generally at the highest level if you can wait). The second is disability, which refers to the amount of your monthly disability benefit if you qualify. Third, your family/survivors benefits if a loved one dies. And lastly, your Medicare eligibility and the particular facts to support that conclusion.
  • Your Earnings Record. This is a summary of your earnings that you need to verify for accuracy. Pull your annual tax returns as far back as you can to confirm this information, and if you work with a tax or financial planning professional, double-check their conclusions if you plan to challenge any errors with the SSA.
  • Some Facts About Social Security. Provides additional definitions and guidelines to better understand your statement and includes key contact information.

Most experts will tell you that when it comes to retirement, time is your biggest ally – it gives you the opportunity to invest, save and adjust your plan strategy. Use your statement to do the following:

  • Spot and correct errors. If you and your tax professional spot disparities in your benefit statement make careful notes, gather your evidence and consult the SSA's contact page ( to start the correction process remotely or in person.
  • Blend Social Security into a broader retirement plan. Most experts agree Social Security alone won't provide a comfortable retirement. It's never too late to plan.

Bottom Line: Even if you're years away from retirement, make sure you understand your Social Security benefits, and that they're accurate and fit into a broader financial plan for your retirement.

Long-awaited opening of new Hilltop business November 15 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Scott Tunnicliff   
Monday, 17 November 2014 12:18

The building at 1329 Harrison Street stood neglected and vacant for many years, like too many of the buildings in the Hilltop Campus Village. Then, thanks to the vision and hard work of new owners, it was cleaned up and painted, brightening the Harrison corridor and making everyone who walked or drove by wonder

“What’s gonna go in there?” Now it can be told.

D’Allen Salon Suites and Bass Blessed Boutique will have an Open House on Saturday, November 15 from 1pm to 4pm. The owners, Martha and Alan Spears have been working on the interior spaces, separating the L-shaped building into distinct units that separates the clothing boutique from the D’Allen Salon Suites.

Martha Spears says “D’Allen Salon Suites represents the latest concept in Booth Rental Salons that provides licensed beauty professionals with the freedom and flexibility of their own private studio.” It will provide an upscale environment without the upscale price, featuring fully-equipped private studios with on-site management.

The Bass Blessed Boutique will carry the latest in fashion for men and women.“We have known for a while now what Martha and Alan were planning, and got ot see some of the interior as it was going up,.” Said Hilltop Campus Director Scott Tunnicliff. “This block has been the latest extension of the commercial corridor re-development, with improvements and expansions also made by Hilltop Grocery, Spears Resale (Brenda and Curtis, no relation to Martha and Alan) and the Hilltop Law Offices.”

The Open House will be an opportunity for everyone to have their curiosity satisfied. Join Martha and Alan on Saturday November 15.

Additional questions of the owner can be directed to Martha Spears, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 309-631-3891.

Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors to Tour Davenport Projects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ashley Jared   
Monday, 17 November 2014 12:13

DAVENPORT - On Tuesday, November 18 the Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors and City officials will be touring Davenport projects and highlighting local developments.


TIME: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Bus Tour of local housing, water quality and community development initiatives

The bus will depart from the Hotel Blackhawk, (200 E 3rd St.) at 12:00 p.m. and will return at 2:00 p.m.

There will be media availability before and after the tour at the Hotel Blackhawk.

Planned tour highlights:

  • Warehouse District, 500 Iowa St.
  • 5th & Brady Lofts, 501 W. 5th St.
  • Taylor Renaissance, 901 W. 15th St.
  • Jackson Renaissance, 1420 W. 16th St.
  • West Side Diversion Tunnel, 3040 N. Division St.
  • Fairmount Pines Phase I/II/III, 4205 N. Fairmount St.
  • Dover Court Project, 2905 Dover Court
  • Harrison Lofts, 1402 Harrison St

5 Tactics to Defy the Impossible in Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 17 November 2014 11:11
Research Shows Women CEOs Falter at the $1 Million Threshold

In terms of growth in business ownership, women have been soaring past men, averaging increases 1.5 times the national average, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express Open.

There are nearly 9.1 million women-owned businesses providing jobs for nearly 7.9 million people and generating more than $1.4 trillion, according to the report.

Leading the skyrocketing growth are women of color, who now own one of every three female-owned businesses – up from one in six in 1997. Black women alone generate $49.5 billion a year in revenue.

“What’s interesting is that these businesses match or exceed their peers in terms of numbers, employment and revenue – until they hit the $1 million mark,” says Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, Inc. (, a coaching business that helps black women -- and men and women of all ethnicities -- break the seven-figure ceiling.

“At $1 million, they start lagging behind. Despite their bigger-than-average numbers, women’s businesses are still smaller than average.”

Reese says female CEOs black and white tend to unconsciously start sabotaging their success just as they’re growing into greatness. Why?

“From the time we’re babies, society – often our own families, too -- measure our worth based on how we measure up to their expectations. So we end up measuring our value on those same expectations, not the values that come from our true, authentic self. That sets up some real conflicts as we build successful businesses,” Reese says.

How to overcome that? To “defy impossible”?

Reese, who went from living on the streets as a teen in Baltimore to earning her Ph.D. from Stanford, shares these tips:

•  Know your worth in dollars and cents.
Most women tend to accept the unspoken expectation that people will notice and reward us. That’s a mistake. If you over-give or over-work, you actually train your environment to expect you to give without compensation. Start calculating the time, money and resources you bring (or save) your clients or company. Write it down. When you are ready to up your rates or ask for a raise, you will not be depending on good will. You will have hard data to back up your hard work.

•  Trust that you are more than enough.
Too often we look outside of ourselves for validation. Sometimes we think a degree or a title will give us the “right” to be paid top dollar. You are brilliant. Start noticing that when you show up, things get better, they get done, and people soar. When you trust that you are enough, you stop backing down and you start standing for yourself — no credential needed.

•  Heal your heart.
Money is a heart condition. Think of money as energy. Energy needs a conduit. Most women lead with our hearts. Whenever you are harboring resentment, regret, anger, resignation or fear, you are blocking yourself from your seven-figure future. When our hearts are congested with negative energy, we block our wealth.

•  Invest in yourself.
As her business grew, there came a point when Reese realized she – and it – had outgrown many of the support staff that had been perfectly suitable when she was just starting out. To get the people she needed, she doubled and, in some cases, quadrupled salaries.

“I believe in putting money in me instead of on me,” she says. “When I hire proven professionals, I am investing in my peace of mind and quality time with my loved ones. When you ‘hire up,’ you say to yourself and the Universe, ‘I trust you and I trust me to produce a return on this investment tenfold.’

“Now that I have a top-tier team, I have the mental space, creativity, and peace of mind to focus on high-level joint ventures.”

•  Learn how to monetize.
Until you can reliably bring in new money, you will be a slave. The best investment Reese says she ever made in herself was learning how to package, position, and price her expertise.

“When you learn how to monetize, you get freedom. You don’t have to depend on a man, or a job, or the government for security. And when you learn how to close sales with confidence, your money skyrockets!”

About Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, Inc. (, is an acclaimed international speaker; CEO Mindset, Messaging and Marketing Mentor; and entrepreneur coach. She holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and worked as a university professor before investing in herself by testing her entrepreneurial skills. Her business, Defy Impossible, grossed $1.2 million less than three years after launching.

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