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Preparing for 2021 (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Elwin Green on November 10, 2020 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (37)


This is the second in a 2-part series. The first part is here.


Yesterday, I stated my first goal for 2021: "in 2021, I want to add $1 million to Homewood's economy by helping at least 20 Homewood residents earn at least $50,000."


I then said a little about why I have committed to that goal.

 

Today, I'll say a little about how I intend to accomplish it.

 

In 2021, I want to help at least 20 Homewood residents earn at least $50,000.


I will do this by partnering with a $2.2 billion company to offer Homewood residents the opportunity to establish their own businesses, and assistance in growing their businesses until they have generated $50,000 in income for the business owner.


The company is LegalShield (formerly known as PrePaid Legal).


I consider LegalShield an especially good fit for Homewood, for several reasons.


1) Its employment of the network marketing business model. I believe that model provides the best avenue for a beginning entrepreneur to earn money while learning entrepreneurship. In this video, Eric Worre lays out eight reasons for saying so (Worre is a former network marketer who left the profession iin order to serve the profession, by developing training materials for practitioners).


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I think the points that Worre makes are especially applicable in a neighborhood like Homewood, whose residents certainly do not have tens of thousands of dollars to invest in a new business, nor the ability to work 50 or more hours a week to get their business started.


I don't believe that anyone has ever focused the power of the network marketing model on a single neighborhood before. When I speak of helping 20 people to earn $50,000, I'm speaking of adding $1 million to the neighborhood economy, in one year. I believe that would be historic, and I want to make history.


2) The nobility and practicality of its vision,  "To provide equal access to the liberty, equality, opportunity and justice that every human deserves." To be more specific, I believe that every American deserves legal representation, and that every Black American absolutely needs it. To be even more specific, I believe that every child in Homewood with a cell phone should be able to use that phone to call their own attorney, 24/7.


3) Its embrace of technology.  In recent years, the company has adopted such a strong "mobile first" approach that being a LegalShield representative is no longer a home-based business; it's a phone-based business that can be conducted anywhere. Pressured by the pandemic, LegalShield has replaced weekly hotel meetings with a daily menu of Zoom calls that present the business opportunity to whomever tunes in, dozens of times weekly. This allows associates to earn more money, faster, than ever before. Which leads to...


4) The generosity of compensation offered. With 15 separate streams of income available to representatives, a  person without a college degree can earn $50,000 in their first year. As someone who believes that every child in Homewood deserves properous parents, I consider that hugely important.

 

If you are not familiar with them, here's an introduction.

 

And here is a complete presentation of their services, as well as the business opportunity.

 

By the way, when I speak about earning $50,000 in 2021, that doesn't mean waiting until January to start. On the contrary, the big idea here is to start 2021 now. TODAY. 


WHY? Because a person who starts, RIGHT NOW, TODAY, can join me and more than 100,000 others in the Go Pro 7-Day Recruiting Challenge, a FREE event put together by Erici Worre is bringing together training by such leading practitioners as Brian Carruthers, and coaching by such personal development experts as John C. Maxwell - and I have to mention that Sylvester Stallone will be in the house. All of it is to create the biggest recruiting blitz in the history of network marketing, and someone who starts RIGHT NOW, TODAY can launch their business by being a part of it.


And THAT could mean earning $2,000 - $3,000 by the end of next week.


Why am I telling you all this? Because you may know someone in Homewood who is willing to work hard for an extra $2,000 - $3,000 this month, and an extra 50,000 in 2021. If so, please share this piece with them - or have them shoot me a text at (412) 508-4088. Let's get this party started!

Preparing for 2021 (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Elwin Green on November 9, 2020 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (3)



Are you ready for 2021?

 

I don't just mean, are you ready for 2020 to be over? I think all of us are.

 

But are you ready for 2021 to begin? Have you set any 2021 goals, or made any plans for achieving them?

 

If not, now might be a good time to start that process.


Millions of people begin each year by declaring New Year's resolutions, then disappoint themselves by not achieving them. It's easy to list reasons why this happens,  But it's also easy to overlook one of the most basic reasons people do so poorly at carrying out their New Year's resolutions - namely, because they make no plans for executing them. And without any sort of plan for getting them done, their motivation for doing them fades, and by mid-February they have totally settled into, and settled for, continuing to do what they did the year before.

 

Hands up if you've been there and done that.

 

I've begun writing a different story for myself for 2021, by formulating my first 2021 goal early enough so that I have time to plan for its execution.  Here's the goal:

 

In 2021, I want to add $1 million to Homewood's economy by helping at least 20 Homewood residents earn at least $50,000. 

 

The $50,000 would be in addition to any income they already have, so someone now at $15,000 would wind up earning at least $65,000, and someone already at $50,000 would wind up earning six figures.

 

Why do I want to do this?

 

Because I am absolutely convinced that many of the problems experienced by my neighbors in Homewood are rooted in the simple fact of them not having enough money. I want to help make those problems go away.

 

Further, I know that Homewood is in the midst of a transformation that could result in some of my neighbors being pushed out because they can no longer afford to live here. I want to help prevent that problem.

 

That's WHY I want to help at least 20 of my neighbors earn at least $50,000 in 2021.

 

I'll say more later about HOW I intend to accomplish this. For now, I just wanted to get it out there, in hopes of sparking some conversation.

 

1. Have you set any goals yet for 2021?

2. Do you see how you could benefit from doing so now, rather than waiting until January?

3. Would you be interested in becoming part of a group of people who study together how to get better at setting and achieving goals, and who encourage one another in those things?


Let's talk!

***********************************

This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Part 2 is here.

 


OPINION: The Worst Is Yet To Come

Posted by Elwin Green on September 30, 2020 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (87)



For months now, I have done nearly all my writing on Twitter, due to issues I don't have time to discuss right now.


I'm back.


This post is not specifically Homewood-related, but it's about a bit of national news that could affect Homewood - namely, last night's verbal altercation between Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Chris Wallace (I refuse to call it a debate).

 

My biggest takeaway was not that Trump refused, as so many people have noted, to condemn white supremacy (what else is new?). My biggest takeaway was something that I haven't seen anyone comment on yet - namely, that he threatened to incite America's first civil war.


The 1860s war between the Union and the Confederacy was not a civil war. A civil war occurs when two factions fight for control of the government. The Confederacy wasn't trying to take over the U.S., they were trying to leave it.

 

Trump intends to fight for control of the government.


Joe Biden's and the Democrats' shared goal is to win the election, so he says to his supporters, "vote." Donald Trump's goal is to remain in power, regardless of the election, so he says to his supporters, "Stand by."

 

But that was not the most terrifying/enraging line.


The most terrifying/enraging line was not what he said to the Proud Boys, but what he said to the rest of us: "This is not going to end well."

 

HE SAID IT TWICE.

 

Reporters and pundits need to stop asking if he will assure a peaceful transfer of power, when he is assuring a violent one.


Ever since his 2016 campaign rallies, when he promised supporters that he would pay their legal bills if they were sued for roughing up protestors, Trump has consistently fed his supporters' appetite for violence. And while some Republicans have fled both him and the party, his hardcore base are doubling down in their devotion. Can anyone doubt that some of them are willing to kill, and perhaps to die, for him? Or that he is willing for them to do so? That would be the ultimate proof of the loyalty he craves.

 

I believe that all of us who find Trump's presidency oppressive, repugnant, or otherwise unacceptable must vote for Joe Biden. But voting for Joe Biden will not prevent a civil war.


When it becomes apparent that he has lost the popular vote, Trump will certainly launch litigation to contest the results, all the way up to the Supreme Court, if necessary. But I also expect him to continue his rallies, rebranding them as "peaceful protests". He has already begun using the label; after the election it will apply specifically to protesting the election itself. By Jan. 20, his supporters will be so primed that violence will be likely, if it has not occurred before then.


The only way I see to prevent a civil war is to compel Donald Trump to resign. I've been working on that since June 20, and last night's display simply deepened my commitment to keep at it.

 

If you see another way, please share. But if you say he will never resign, I won't take time to argue. I only have time to work with those who say, with me, that he must, to see how we can make him.

Markets Plunge Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Posted by Elwin Green on February 27, 2020 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (114)


(Since this story is about investing, here's an investment image, showing what has happened recently with a slice of Tesla stock - not even a share, just a slice - purchased in Jan 2018 for $25.00.)


I need to do a piece (or a series?) sometime about what stock market activity means for Homewood, and for neighborhoods like it. I see no obvious connection, so whatever I do would have to suss out non-obvious ones.


Meanwhile, just a quick hit here to note that today, for the second time this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1,000+ points. At close, the index rested at 25,762.33, down 1190.95 from yesterday, a 4.43% slump.


The loss was in line with tumbles in other indices. The S&P 500 lost 137.94 points, or 4.43%, for a 2,978.45 close; and Nasdaq fell 414.29, or 4.61%, to land at 8,566.58.


Two things make today's losses especially significant - if not for Homewood specifically, then for the economy and the nation generally.


First, the fact that they exacerbate what has already been a rough week for investors. On Monday, the Dow lost 1,032 points; Tuesday, it shed another 879 points, for the greatest two-day decline ever.


Second, that they came after a White House press conference yesterday evening, in which Trump tried to calm people regarding the spread of coronavirus by saying that the U.S. is "very, very ready" to deal with a possible pandemic- and announced his selection of Vice-President Mike Pence to oversee the federal effort to combat the disease (and perhaps more importantly, the federal messaging about it).


Investors were not persuaded.


Indeed, Goldman Sachs issued a note today stating their view that the ripple effects of coronavirus will torch profit growth for U.S. companies in 2020. Torch as in, reduce to ZERO. They even raise the spectre of recession.


Such a forecast increses the odds that tomorrow will be another down day for the Dow, and for equities in general. But if this week is a wrap, will next week be any better? Or are the markets in the early stages of a long-term slide, just days after the Dow had its highest close ever?


If it turns out to be the latter, that could hurt Trump's re-election chances (assuming that he is the Republican nominee, which I don't expect to be the case). During his entire presidency, he has boasted about the continuing bull market (which began under President Obama). It will be a lot harder to boast if the remainder of his term is a slide toward or into a recession.

The Disappearance of Donald Trump

Posted by Elwin Green on November 20, 2019 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (8)


On October 13, the night of the last Democratic debate, I wrote:

 

I tuned in to the Democratic debate a little late. Joe Biden was speaking - apparently, about funding a new fight against cancer - and within 60 seconds, he said, "...once we get rid of Donald Trump."


I've put off saying this for at least a month. But here goes.


Democratic candidates need to stop talking about getting rid of Donald Trump. Debate moderators need to stop asking Democrats about beating Trump. Pollsters need to stop polling people to try to figure out who has the best chance of beating Trump. Democratic voters should definitely ramp up efforts to get out the vote in 2020, to take over the Senate, but not to defeat Donald Trump.


Democrats need not concern themselves with defeating Donald Trump.


Donald Trump will not be the Republican candidate for President.


He can't be.

*****************

When I wrote that, the impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 24 was in its closed-door phase. But the impeachment process was not my reason for writing it. Indeed, I had been saying it to friends and family long before the impeachment inquiry was announced:


"Donald Trump will not be the Republican candidate for President, because he can't be. He can't be because he has dementia. His mind is going, and it will be gone long before the Republican convention."

*****************

The single most important thing to know and remember about Donald Trump is that he is 73 years old.


Alzheimer's disease typically manifests in one's 60s.


The second most important thing to know and remember about him is that his father, Fred Trump, had Alzheimer's.


Alzheimer's tends to be hereditary.


When I look at Donald Trump with those facts in view, I see a man losing brain function - if not to Alzheimer's, then to some other form of dementia.


Incidents that I might otherwise dismiss or make light of as instances of mere stupidity appear much more significant.


Last month, he stumbled while speaking about his son Barron. While announcing coming restrictions on vaping products, he referred to his wife's concern for young people who may be affected:


"That's how the First Lady got involved. She's got a son - together - that is a beautiful young man and she feels very strongly about it."


That second sentence does not make sense when you read it. It also doesn't make sense when you hear it (at the 1:00 mark):


Verbal confusion has been a regular feature of Trump's speech for some time now. Remember when he said he hoped to see someone look into the oranges of the Mueller investigation?


And who can forget his July 4 reference to the Continental Army taking over "airports"?

*****************

I have six minutes until the start of tonight's Democratic debate. Not enough time to discuss instances of slurred speech, or Trump's diminishing vocabulary, or his mobility issues - a weakening gait and problems with balance. Or the moments of just plain weirdness, such as when he said that Melania Trump had "gotten to know" Kim Jong-Un, when she had never met him. Or him saying - multiple times -that his father, who as born in New York, was from Germany.


I'll just say this for now: pay attention to the man himself, the 73-year-old biological entity, to see if you see what I see. I'm a layman, and I could be wrong. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But if I'm right...


Well, if I'm right, then to the extent that tonight's debate assumes - as nearly all of the political discourse about 2020 has assumed so far - that Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate, it will be delusional. 


No Democrat needs to defeat Trump. His own brain is defeating him. He will only get worse, not better. And he will get worse more and more quickly. Because that is how dementia operates. His mind is disappearing, and it will gone long before November 2020. 


In fact, I'll hazard a prediction, based on the fact that the people around him see more than we do, and they see it up close: he will disappear from the White House (via resignation, not impeachment) by Jan. 31, so that Mike Pence can be put forth in Iowa.


Second prediction: Neither Pence nor any other Republican will inspire the cult-like devotion that Trump has. And without him, the Trump Party - for that is what the Republican Party has become in everything but name - will collapse.


So, here is the question that I wish to high heaven someone would ask the Democratic candidates, but which I'm sure no one will: "If President Trump is not the Republican candidate, how would that affect your messaging to the American people? What would you put forth as your point of PRIMARY emphasis?"


Or to put it more bluntly: "What else ya got?"

Stepping Up Homewood's Media Game

Posted by Elwin Green on April 23, 2019 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (28)


HOMEWOOD NATION'S NEXT ITERATION WILL NOT LOOK LIKE THIS. AT ALL. I PROMISE.


A meeting being held at the Homewood Carnegie Library next week will offer residents the chance to voice their concerns to journalists about how the neighborhood is covered by local media.


It will also offer those residents the opportunity to help change the coverage, by learning to "commit acts of journalism" themselves.


Here are the basics:

DATE: April 30

TIME: 6 - 7:30 pm

PLACE: Homewood Carnegie Library

7101 Hamilton Ave

DINNER PROVIDED, SO PLEASE RSVP. (scroll to the bottom of the linked page)


The meeting will be the first expression of a new partnership between Homewood Nation and Point Park University's Center for Media Innovation, headed by former Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Andrew Conte - a partnership that could be described as accidental.


At least, I didn't plan it.


Quick backstory: As the president of Race Street 2050, I sit on the Homewood Community Development Collaborative. One of my colleagues is Monique McIntosh, Co-Interim Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. In January, she sent an email to HCDC chair Rev. Sam Ware and me, telling us about a Point Park University project that she hoped the Collaborative would see fit to partner on.


Point Park, it turns out, has helped to create the Bridge Pittsburgh Media Partnership, a group of more than three dozen Western Pennsylvania news outlets that are learning to - magic word again - collaborate. Ms. McIntosh's email quoted their pitch:


"...we want to host a conversation with residents of Homewood and surrounding communities about how they feel about the way the media covers their community. This would be an interactive event, with journalists and residents sitting together and talking about how they feel. The goals are to: 1. Have residents and reporters get to know ech other; 2. Encourage residents to inform reporters on how they feel their community is covered on television, on radio and in the newspapers; and, 3. Help select a topic for future coverage. We will be asking: What's an important issue that does not receive enough attention from the media?"


Overcoming initial reservations, I agreed that HCDC should hear Conte out. He spoke at a Collaborative meeting. I expressed my reservations. He assuaged them, and expressed both admiration for me for doing Homewood Nation and the desire to fully support it. Later, he and I had a one-on-one meeting, and here we are. Partners.


When we met, we agreed that to reduce the risk of the One-Meeting-Then-Nothing-Happens syndrome by planning for at least two meetings. The second will be on May 28, at the same time and location. Again, refreshments will be served.


We see this as the beginning of something that could become pretty darn big, and that would be the fulfilment of a long-time desire of mine: to free Homewood from any dependence on outside media to tell its stories, by training residents to commit acts of journalism.


The phrase "commit acts of journalism" means that these residents would not become full-time professional journalists, nor would they attempt the types of journalism that require full-time effort.


But there is a basic type of journalism that almost any literate person can do - for instance, attending a meeting and producing a summary of the key points discussed. And Homewood has lots of meetings. And graduates of - let's call it the Homewood Journalism Institute for now - will be well qualified to cover them.


In fact, meeting with Andy (yeah, he's Andy now), emboldened me to revisit, and share, my early dream for Homewood Nation - providing 100 percent coverage of the neighborhood. Still impossible, but still very much worth trying.


We've allowed ourselves, Andy and I, to imagine having a newsroom somewhere in Homewood, with real office hours, where a resident can come in and say, "I want to do a story about x," and know that when I say "Go for it!" the structure is there to get the finished story out into the community.


But, first things first - and the first thing now is getting residents to next week's meeting. So, if you have concerns about media coverage (and my goodness, who DOESN'T?), see you next Tuesday!


(Nods off, dreams of sitting behind a big desk, puffing a cigar while telling Peter Parker that he's being replaced by this new kid, Morals - Moralis - whatever.)

For The Sake of Antwon...

Posted by Elwin Green on March 23, 2019 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (5)

The "not guilty" verdict in the trial of Michael Rosfeld, the East Pittsburgh police officer who shot unarmed teen Antwon Rose II in the back as Rose fled the scene of an arrest, has sparked protests and other expressions of rage and disgust.


I submit that in order for street protests to be truly effective, they must be combined with other efforts to build economic and political power, in that order (political power always follows and flows from economic power).


So let's talk about political power. In some parts of the country, Black people in America have only been able to vote since 1965. In some parts of the country, Black people are having their right to vote curtailed even now (fox example, in states where the franchise is denied to ex-felons, who are disproportionately black).


In Homewood, which is overwhelmingly Black, people don't vote.


Here is the framework, and some of the numbers, behind that sweeping generalization.


THE FRAMEWORK: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County together are such a Democratic stronghold that the winners in the Democratic primary in any given year will win the general election in nearly all cases.


THE NUMBERS: Homewood is the 13th Ward, made of up nine districts. In the 2007, 2011, and 2015 primary elections, the highest voter turnout among registered Democrats in those nine districts was 28.42 percent.


Again, that was the HIGHEST - in District 3, in 2007.


The lowest 13th Ward turnout in those three elections happened in District 7 in 2011 - 13.71 percent.


(All numbers here are from the Allegheny County Board of Elections website)


Nobody is turning fire hoses on us or siccing attack dogs on us to prevent us from voting. Nobody is hanging us from trees or shooting us to keep us from voting.


WHY ARE WE NOT VOTING?


I'll wait.


Meanwhile, I'll throw this in - In Pittsburgh/Allegheny County, it's not just Black folk who don't vote. NOT VOTING IS THE NORM.


In 2007, there were 541,509 registed Democrats countywide. Out of that number there were 151,594 ballots cast, or 25.51 percent. In 2011, with 544,396 voters, 128,477 ballots were cast (23.60 percent). In 2015, with 507,287 voters, 113,836 ballots were cast (22.44 percent).


In fact, in each of those elections, at least three districts in Homewood had a better turnout than the County as a whole.


But all of the numbers are shameful, and say that all of Allegheny County is politically broken.


Let's face it: a big part of the reason that things happen the way they do here is because we do not elect people to represent us and then hold them accountable. Most of us, most of the time, do not vote. Why should any elected official listen to anyone who doesn't vote, ever?


The Rosfeld verdict creates a moment that could produce change so swiftly that it will appear magical. All of us upset by that verdict can change things IN ONE DAY (May 21, to be exact), if we do two things - vote, and encourage others to vote.


We must learn, not only to vote, but to move down the ballot, to learn about positions we may not even know are elected positions. We ELECT judges. We ELECT district attorneys. Not voting keeps them in office.


(If you are on Facebook, you gotta read Keith Reed's excellent post of March 20.)


Here is an easy example: Stephen A. Zappala has been the county District Attorney since January, 1998. In 2007, 2011, AND 2015, no one even challenged him in the primaries. In 2015, out of 507,287 Democratic voters, a mere 92,040 voted for him. That means that 414,623 DIDN'T, but it was still enough to keep him in office.


This year, he has a challenger. Later, I'll do posts on him and a bunch of other candidates. For now, this is my point- on May 21, we WILL send a message to those in power: The message will either say, "Don't f*** with us," or it will say, "Keep doing what you're doing."


If we vote, we can send the first message. If we don't vote, we WILL send the second - and it will be louder than any protests.

Open House Shows Off Apartment Renovations

Posted by Elwin Green on October 22, 2018 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (50)

THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, WHILE I’M WRITING.


A Homewood apartment building that once lost its Section 8 subsidy is holding an open house today to show off the renovations performed by its new owner.


The six-unit building at 7301 Hamilton Avenue was part of Bethesda Homewood, a real estate portfolio of more than 100 units that failed inspections by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for three years in a row before HUD pulled the portfolio’s Section 8 subsidy last fall.

 

In February of this year, the properties were acquired by Omicelo, a Strip-District based real estate investment firm, and renamed Esperanza Homewood (“esperanza” is Spanish for “hope”). The Hamilton Avenue building is the first property in the portfolio to have its renovations completed.


Referring to the quality of the renovations, Omicelo founder Joshua Pollard said that while the units will remain affordable, “These look like market-rate units. That’s sort of the point for us.”

 

Pollard is an area native (“I grew up on the border of Rankin and Braddock.”) who returned to Pittsburgh in 2014 after graduating from the University of Rochester with a double major in economics and statistics and doing a stint at Goldman Sachs, where he became a vice-president before turning 30.

 

As a real estate investor, Pollard’s vision goes beyond return on investment measured in dollars. In conjunction with Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services and the nonprofit Community Human Services, Omicelo has created the Family Navigators Initiative. Each family who moves into the newly-renovated Esperanza units will be assigned a “family navigator” who will help tenants to navigate four areas of life - physical health, behavioral health, workforce development, and experiential education, “to help someone find the kind of education that makes them happy and could lead to higher incomes.”

Of the Queen, her queendom, and Homewood estates

Posted by Elwin Green on August 22, 2018 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Hey y'all -


It's been so long that it's going to take me a minute to get back into practice, to reconnect with the flow. So this is just a practice piece, and I'll keep it short.


Homewood and the rest of the planet suffered a loss last week with the passing of Aretha Franklin, at the age of 76. Just three years ago, she showed that she was still - well, a goddess, basically - when she brought down the house during the Kennedy Center's honoring of Carol King. 


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I don't know what anyone else in Homewood did last Thursday. I spent at least a couple of hours YouTubing Aretha videos. In doing so, I learned about her remarkable and unexpected performance at the 1998 Grammys, when she stepped in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti and OWNED one of the world's most well-known operatic arias.


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Now comes the disappointing news that she died without a will or trust. Now the disposition of a reported $80 million will become the focus of a grieving family and the topic of public discussion for who knows how long. This, after the same thing happened with Prince. And with James Brown.


Creating paperwork to guide the disposition of one's estate can feel like playing air guitar - an imaginary act that has no impact. But in fact, it is one of the most impactful things a person can do. Likewise, failing to do so is one of the most impactful things a person can do. The impact can go beyond a family to affect an entire community - one big reason that Homewood looks the way it does is because for decades, homeowners have died without wills. Last week, dozens of pieces of real estate in Homewood were offered at the County Treasurer's sale. My guess is that the majority of them were owned by dead people, or by negligent heirs. 


Shall we top this off with a taste of irony? Okay - August is National Make-A-Will Month.


So I'm going to close with this: if you want to do the right thing by everyone and get a will done, without spending hundreds (or thousands) of $$$, shoot me a text at (412) 508-4088. I can help you make that problem go away.


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned!

Business Expo In Second Year

Posted by Elwin Green on November 17, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The Homewood-Brushton Business Association's second annual Business Expo will be held tomorrow (Saturday), Nov. 18, at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA.


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The full-day event is divided into two major parts. A set of workshops for business owners will run from 8 am to noon. The workshops were scheduled with pre-registration, but business owners can still register onsite for $25.


Then, from noon to 4 pm, the expo will be open to the public.


HBBA president Vernard Alexander said that former board member Marteen Garay was "pretty much the catalyst that got the ball rolling" for the first expo, which was held last year. Fleshing out the idea happened through a partnership with Penn State University and Urban Innovation21.


There were 25 vendors and another 15 businesses that participated as sponsors, Alexander said. This year, there are again 25 vendors, but fewer sponsors, about 10.


Still, Alexander sees this year's expo as an improvement on the first in at least a couple of ways.


First, four of this year's sponsors will offer youth activities, to make this year's event more family-friendly.


"While the parents were shopping, so to speak, we wanted to make sure that we had activities for kids, to keep them engaged."


Second, this year's location, the YMCA, is more centralized than the site of last year's expo, Bridgeway Capital's 7800 Susquehanna building.


"There's going to be a lot of foot traffic (in the YMCA) already," Alexander said.


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