Turning around a failing institution like the former Framingham Savings Bank in Massachusetts is no small feat, but it’s one that led to Irene A. Schmitt’s latest role as an agent of change in a firm she founded and owns.
What’s your business worth? That’s a potentially important question for many reasons, not just selling. But most owners have only a vague idea of what their business would really be worth. And most of those who think they know are probably wrong.
Direct selling may never totally shed the image of Tupperware and restless housewives that make it seem stuck in the 1960s. But the loosely affiliated networks of independent salespeople pitching to friends and acquaintances make up a formidable industry. Timothy J. Brown, president of Jamie Oliver at Home North America, is a longtime champion of direct selling and believes its heyday is now. After leaving Taunton direct-sales firm Princess House in 2006, Brown was looking for his next project when he fell under the spell of British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, whose commercial empire has only begun to reach across the Atlantic. more
Employee theft is one of the most serious problems facing small-business owners in the U.S. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, an employee is 15 times more likely than a nonemployee to steal from an employer, and employees account for an estimated 44 percent of theft losses at stores. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that nearly one-third of business failures are related to employee theft or fraud.
Lending to small businesses through U.S. Small Business Administration programs is on the upswing in Rhode Island, thanks in large measure to the efforts of community banks, although a traditional SBA powerhouse is back on course in the Ocean State.
Despite relatively strong growth in the number of women-owned businesses in the state, Rhode Island ranks near the bottom of the nation in the overall strength of that segment of the state’s economy.
By Brendan L. McKenna
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.