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Concentration Station: How to Create a Home Office

Posted on September 05, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, close to 25 percent of all employed Americans work from home at least some of the time. This is hardly surprising given increasingly longer commutes and the growth of the gig economy. If you’re part of this trend of telecommuters, you probably already know that working from home has its upsides and downsides. The key to staying on task while surrounded by the distractions of home is to create a home office where you can be your most productive. Let’s go through the steps.

Step 1: Establish Your Work Station

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated room for a home office, Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Improvement
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Happy Returns: 5 Tips for Filing Your Taxes

Posted on February 21, 2017 by James Florence

With the holidays behind us, it’s time to get ready for the next seasonal milestone: tax season. While few would consider it “the most wonderful time of the year” (save for those expecting a substantial return), it doesn’t change the fact that tax season is something we all have to partake in. Anyone who has gone through the process knows that filing taxes can be difficult and frustrating, which is why it helps to know a few basics out of the gate. Whether you’re filing your taxes independently or having a professional handle it for you, check out these tips from industry experts on maximizing your return:


1. Get organized. Read more

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Posted in: Financial
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(Un)Paving Paradise with Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

by Jennifer Chan

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” -Joni Mitchell

Welcome to November: the start of shopping season. Whether your holidays include hot cider, tamale-making or Chinese food on Christmas, they probably also include spending. In 2015, the United States spent more than $630 billion on holiday shopping (about 20 percent of the retail industry’s total sales for the year). American shoppers spend around $900 on gifts alone every holiday season, plus more on food, entertainment and travel. Read more

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Posted in: Consumer News, Consumer Events, Consumers, Diamond Certified Extras, Personal Stories
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A Local Perspective: Rediscovering the Value of Communal Commerce

Posted on June 28, 2016 by James Florence

When it comes to shopping, most of us take a pragmatic approach, seeking the shortest route possible to procure what we need—an understandable hallmark of our fast-paced yet time-constrained mode of modern life. Hence the predominance of “big-box” megastores, where you can find virtually anything you need under a single roof, often at a cheaper price. Moreover, with the advent of online shopping, a growing number of consumers are eliminating the need to visit stores in the first place. After all, why leave the house when you can have your groceries and other goods delivered right to your door? Read more

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Posted in: Consumers
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Tech Support: How to Care for Your Computer

Posted on June 25, 2015 by James Florence

In today’s world, computers have become integrated into nearly every aspect of life, from entertainment and education to finances and even relationships. While we’ve yet to reach a futuristic reality where our devices have literally become appendages, when it comes to characterizing the role computers play in our everyday lives, a term like “sidekick” may be apropos—after all, does a day go by that we don’t spend time on our computers? And how many of us never leave the house without our smartphones, laptops or tablets? You might start to think of your devices as programmable pals, binary buddies, computerized companions…you get the idea.

Considering the pivotal position they inhabit, Read more

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Posted in: Consumers
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Savvy Consumer Tip: Organize Your Home Office

Posted on July 02, 2013 by Chris Bjorklund

Learn how an organized home office can help you be more productive. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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Empowered Employees Can Make or Break a Business

Posted on May 29, 2010 by Chris Bjorklund

You can tell when you’re dealing with empowered employees, can’t you? They’re agile. They step up and solve your problem. They aim to please, and make it look like no trouble at all.

Here’s what I’m talking about. I was going to a show at the brand new Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona. A reggae band was performing in a rather small concert hall. It dawned on me, right before the lights when down, that my 89-year old mother might have trouble with the loud music. We didn’t have earplugs with us, so I decided to run out and ask guest services where I could buy some.

The employee hesitated for a moment, Read more

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Posted in: Customer Service