SHOPPE BLACK

Black Owned Dental Practice Lands Partnership With NBA Team

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Smile Savvy Cosmetic Dentistry is a Black owned dental practice based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founders Joya and Drew Lyons took their first step from small business to big partner this year.

The duo joined the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets as a dental partner alongside big brand names such as Coca-Cola, Lowe’s, and NIKE.

black owned dental practice
Drew and Joya Lyons

The dental practice isn’t the only small business the Hornets signed on with, but it is the only local Black-owned business to make corporate partner with the professional NBA team, and one of only a small few among all NBA partners.

“As one of the few Black owned businesses to partner with the Hornets, we’re just happy to break barriers while continuing to give back,” Dr. Joya Lyons remarked.

Though the monetary details of the partnership are mostly unknown, Josh Rosen, senior director of corporate communication at Hornet S&E, confirmed that it is a multi-year partnership. As part of the deal, Smile Savvy will now be the primary sponsor of the well-loved “Smile Cam” and their branding will be displayed alongside birthday announcements during home games.

Additionally, Smile Savvy will be launching the “Smile Savvy Smile Watch,” in which neither the fans, coaches, staff nor the Hornets players themselves are exempt from being the subject of impromptu photos within this new digital series. Smile Savvy now also retains the rights to use Hornets logos and marks.

black owned dental practice

Furthermore, two lucky fans will get the opportunity to enter sweepstakes for the classy “Date Night” package. Smile Savvy and the Hornets will team up to present the winners with premium tickets, fine dining from the renowned chefs of the Crown Club, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes pregame experience.

The Smile Savvy duo aren’t strangers to giving. After opening their dental practice in 2014, the Lyons lamented the fact that a new smile was a luxury that many couldn’t afford. To remedy that, they launched the Lyons Share in March 2019, a charity organization that aims to give at least 4 people from underserved communities a smile makeover.

The couple rebranded and renewed their interest in cosmetic dentistry during the pandemic, finding the opportunity to present adults with new smiles more important than ever in a time so harrowing and uncertain.

“Smiles are a major part of human connection and interaction,” Dr. Drew Lyons said during a press release. “During the pandemic, people not only missed seeing the smiles of others but also realized how valuable they are when it comes to employment and other opportunities. By partnering with the Charlotte Hornets, we know that we can touch more who desire to have healthy smiles to open more doors through both our office and our charitable arm, the Lyons Share.”

Hornets President and Vice Charmain Whitfield shares the sentiment in his statement. “We look forward to bringing them into our Hornets family and teaming with them to help share healthy smiles.”

As proud dental partners of the Hornets NBA team, there’s no doubt Smile Savvy’s addition will result in healthier smiles and happier hearts team and nationwide.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Father and Son Duo Close over $1 Billion Launch Podcast Focused on Building Black Wealth

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NEW YORK – National Standard Abstract is launching a new podcast centered on the economic empowerment of Black communities. With the Black buying power expected to reach $1.5 trillion this year, the Black- and family-owned business is now streaming interviews with industry leaders and influencers to help propel students and professionals towards entrepreneurship and sustainability.

The podcast, “All Boxes Checked,” will be hosted by the father-son duo behind National Standard Abstract, a full-service title insurance agency that has closed over $1 billion since 2015. From commercial and residential real estate to financial investment and community empowerment, this podcast will educate listeners on building wealth while circulating money within the Black community.

national standard abstract
Osei and Nadir Rubie

The “All Boxes Checked” podcast will feature guests such as business professionals and philanthropists to public officials and government agencies that will share their insights on the real estate and title insurance industries in addition to the growth of Black-owned businesses.

As the former epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic, New York City businesses and homeowners faced financial uncertainty and ruin. The health crisis spanning nearly two years threatened to destabilize the Black community, which faced a higher unemployment rate, foreclosures, evictions, and business closures without emergency federal coronavirus relief funding. National Standard Abstract is closing the opportunity gap – one conversation at a time.

Some of these guests include Quentin Hardy of Movement Mortgage, who is among the top one percent of loan originators in America; Ralph McDaniels, founder of the Video Music Box who was at the forefront of broadcasting hip hop culture; and other notable individuals whose invaluable expertise will help shift the paradigm.

“Six years ago, National Standard Abstract and Shoppe Black were established with a common goal – to advance cooperative economics. Today, we are forging ahead with the launch of a podcast that amplifies Black voices and elevates our culture. We are dedicating resources to engage in conversations about race, education, and economic mobility,” said Osei Rubie, president and founder of National Standard Abstract.

“It has always been our commitment at National Standard Abstract to serve as a bridge to building community at a time. We are excited to launch a new podcast that will connect listeners of any age at every stage of their careers with resources to become financially secure,” said Nadir Rubie, a partner at National Standard Abstract.

“Shoppe Black is excited to assist National Standard Abstract with the launch of a platform that will complement the work that we do every day – promoting all things Black-owned, globally. We are excited to create new spaces and opportunities for people to connect and exchange ideas. By working together, we are expanding our reach while empowering our audience to grow as individuals and professionals,” said Tony O. Lawson, CEO and co-founder of Shoppe Black.

National Standard Abstract is a full-service title insurance agency with expertise in faith-based developments, residential and commercial real estate transactions. Since launching in 2015, the family- and black-owned firm has closed over $1 billion in transactions within the New York metropolitan area.

As the bridge to building one community at a time, National Standard Abstract expanded its footprint into philanthropy through the Osei Rubie Charitable Fund to help end racial inequity and support the organizations working on the ground to create real change.

All Boxed Checked will be available on YouTube, listening apps, and streaming services. 

How is Cryptocurrency Taxed? Everything You Need To Know

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Cryptocurrency continues to be the talk of the town, with the whole world watching the increasing price of Bitcoin as it hit its highest ever price twice this year. In October 2021, its price reached $64,000.

As of October 2021, the total crypto market cap reached $2.6 Trillion. With such an increase in adoption, it’s important to understand how cryptocurrency is taxed so that they can better manage their wealth.

Here in this article, we have discussed everything you need to know about how cryptocurrency is taxed.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that does not depend on intermediaries such as banks. Instead, it utilizes blockchain ledger technology to store and verify transactions.

The ledger is secured using strong cryptography. Cryptocurrency is designed as the medium of exchange.

Many different types of cryptocurrencies are available globally, such as Ethereum, Dogecoin, Cardano, Aave, etc.

How is Cryptocurrency taxed?

Many people believe that the government does not back cryptocurrency; therefore, it does not involve taxation. However, that is not true. In the United States, cryptocurrency is taxed almost the same way as traditional assets.

Crypto exchanges report user activity on gains and losses to IRS (Internal Revenue Service) because the IRS treats cryptocurrency as a capital asset which one must pay tax on gains and losses.

How to calculate tax on your Cryptocurrency

Tax on cryptos depends on various factors such as:

Capital gains: When you sell crypto, and its price exceeds the original cost.

Capital loss: When you sell crypto, and its price is less than the original price.

Duration: The length of time you held the assets. The time duration of holding assets determines the gains or losses as “short term” or “long term” and are subjected to tax differently.

Short-term capital gains or losses: If you buy a Cryptocurrency and sell within 365 days, it is considered a short-term gain if the cryptocurrency made a profit.

According to IRS, the Short Term Capital Gain Tax on Cryptocurrency profits is 10% to 37% in 2021.

Tax Rate

Single Married

Head of Household

10%

$0 – $9950 $0 – $19,900 $0 – $14,200

12%

$9951 – $40,525  

$19,901 – $81,050

 

 

$14,201 – $54,200

22%

 $40,526 – $86,375  

$81,051 – $172,750

 

$54,201 – $86,350

24%

$86,376 – $164,925 $172,751 – $329,850  

$86,351 – $164,900

 

32% $164,926 – $209,425 $329,851 – $418,850

$164,901 – $209,400

35%

$209,426 – $523,600 $418,851 – $628,300 $209,401 – $523,600
37% $523,601 or more  $628,301 – more

$523,601 – more

Long-term capital gains or losses

If you own a crypto asset and sell it after one year, the difference between the sale price and purchase price determines long-term capital gain or loss.  Long Term Capital Gains are 0% to 20%, which depends on your income.

The chart below shows how cryptocurrency profits (Long Term Capital Gains) are taxed when held for more than a year.

Tax Rate

Single Married

Head of Household

0%

$0 – $40,400 $0 – $80,800 $0 – $54,100
15% $40,401 – $445,850  

$80,801 – $501,600

 

 

$54,101 – $473,750

20%

$445,851 – more  

$501,601 – more

 

$473,751 – more

 

The Bottom Line

The taxation of cryptocurrency is not as simple as it seems. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, therefore, challenging to determine tax. However, crypto gifts below $15,000 do not involve taxation but are subject to capital gain tax if you sell the gift. Inherited cryptos are also subject to tax like other assets.

Its also important to stress that not reporting your Bitcoin earning is considered tax evasion by the IRS, and you have to pay the penalty if you don’t pay the tax after the deficiency notice from the IRS.


Presented by CryptoShare, a lending platform that allows people to lend and borrow money without banks or credit checks.

Black Owned Restaurant Fighting For Survival after Legal Battle with Gentrifying Developers

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Bintimani is a Black owned restaurant operated by Sierra Leonean natives, wife-and-husband duo Baindu and Sahr Josiah-Faeduwor. Earlier this year, Bintimani, a pillar of Boston’s West African dining scene at the time, was forced to leave the space they’ve called home since 2009.

We caught up with their son, Aiyah to find out more about a situation that is both heart wrenching and heartwarming.

black owned restaurant
Aiyah Josiah-Faeduwor

Briefly describe your parent’s journey to the US?

My dad came from Sierra Leone, West Africa in the late 70’s on a student visa with the goals of becoming an engineer, starting a family, and pursuing the “American Dream.” By his 30’s, he had amassed 5 advanced degrees in the agriculture and engineering fields, been working for NASA, and he and my mom were forming a solid foundation for me and my 4 siblings to reap the benefits of their sacrifice.

However, life happened, my parents separated, and my Dad was awarded custody of 5 children under the age of 13. Unable to maintain jobs in such a highly demanding industry, my Dad was forced to figure out another way to support his family. As we hauled our worldly possessions into a small Uhaul, we came to Boston, to live with my aunt, and it seemed my parents’ American Dream was all but deferred.

black owned restaurant
Baindu and Sahr Josiah-Faeduwor operated Bintimani in Roxbury for 11 years until they were evicted. (Terrence B. Doyle/Eater)

What challenges did your parents face as immigrant entrepreneurs?

In 2008 my dad eventually re-married, and he and my step-mom, a recent Sierra Leonean immigrant, chose to be entrepreneurs, as not many “traditional” career paths were available to either of them given their various constraints.

They started a fresh fruit market in Roxbury’s Dudley Square, which eventually became a West African Cuisine restaurant they named “Bintimani” after Mount Bintimani, the tallest peak in Sierra Leone. As Africans, in a historically and predominantly African-American community, they had much adjusting and learning to do to be “accepted” and supported within this community, not just by residents/potential customers, but also by government and business institutions needed to build capacity.

For much of their 13-year journey, they fought with and against the current, to pass health code requirements, in a dilapidated and neglected building, within a significantly under-resourced and overpoliced community. Through determination and quality cuisine, they built a strong and loyal customer base that ultimately garnered the recognition of trusted critics like Boston Eater, which in 2019 named Bintimani one of New England’s 38 Essential Restaurants and featured regularly in their publication.

It would have seemed that my family, even though pivoted and delayed, was on its way to the destination my parents dreamed of upon their arrival to the States — until the Boston Real Estate Collaborative (BREC) purchased the building that housed Bintimani for 13 years with the aims of converting the space into luxury co-living apartments.

What sparked the legal battle between your parent’s business and BREC?

Originally BREC communicated their intent was to close the building down for renovations, and then allow the 15 or so East and West African micro-business tenants to apply for tenancy in the new development upon completion. Without guarantees of tenancy, if/when, or a communicated plan for how these businesses would operate in the interim without a physical place of business, the intentions were clear, that this was a de facto gentrification-induced displacement in the newly re-named district of “Nubian Square.”

Out of options, my dad called me, because he had no one else, but also given my background in community engagement around issues facing BIPOC folks, and a current MBA and City Planning student at MIT. I reached out to my community organizing contacts, and the City of Boston municipal network, and we were able to obtain 1 year commitments to not-evict tenants until construction began, giving the businesses a year to sort out their affairs and eventually leave on their own accord.

This pyrrhic victory not only did not yield the ideal outcome of guaranteeing a sustained plan for this group of businesses, but it also position Bintimani as rabble rousers in the eyes of the developers, putting a target on my parents’ back that ultimately resulted in the landlord’s pursuit of their eviction, catalyzed by the pandemic. Unable to keep up with rent, as soon as the moratorium on evictions was lifted,  Bintimani was ousted. 

How has the community come together to support the business?

Since moving to Providence, Rhode Island in 2009 to attend Brown University as an undergrad, I fell in love with the vibrant, quirky, and deeply interconnected community within the nation’s smallest state. As an involved and engaged community member and agent, by the time of Bintimani’s eviction, I had built a strong network and community of folks who, at the news of my family’s situation, immediately sprung to action offering sympathy and support towards an optimistic outcome.

Buff Chace, of Cornish Associates, a real estate company that owned many of the buildings in downtown Providence, reached out and offered my family tenancy in a prime location at 326 Westminster St, in the heart of downtown. Grateful and honored we gladly accepted the offer and set our sights on moving the family, and our business to Providence. The Boston Globe covered our story, and this led to an even stronger outpouring of support that both encouraged and affirmed the transition to be one that was born from turmoil but had the potential to be an even more fruitful and ideal location for our family business.

What is the status of the business now?

Since being offered tenancy, we’ve sought to raise the necessary funds to complete the build out and fit out of our space at 326 Westminster. We have utilized WeFunder, a crowd-sourced investment platform to raise $50,000 towards the build, as well as successfully obtained a $99,000 microloan from the Papitto Foundation to support capital costs.

In addition to fundraising,  we have begun catering to the RI and MA areas, and have hosted pop ups with community partners in Providence to get our cuisine out to this new market that we’re still learning about and meeting as a new business in the already vibrant culinary scene.

What are your future plans and how can we support you?

Given the ups and downs of our experience, and my background as an urban planner, and believer in the value of community-centered entrepreneurship, we have incorporated into our business plan, and the physical build of our space, the need to support BIPOC entrepreneurs as a critical component of business model.

To this end, we expect to host guest-chefs and vendors, as well as community agents, to utilize and share our space as a launch point, incubator, and community node, that operates to return the value that has been invested in us to land on our feet in this new community. In order to make this possible, we still have a long ways to go towards our needed goal of raising $400K for the build out of our space. What helps most currently is an investment in our WeFunder, contributions to our GoFundMe, and/or support and connection to capital for owners with high-risk creditworthiness.

Beyond the financial support, opportunities and platforms to share our story have been critical to our growing support, and we would greatly appreciate all support to reach more folks who resonate with our story of sacrifice, struggle, and deeply rooted belief in the immense power of community.

Tony O. Lawson


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Cancer Survivor Starts a Medical Wig Business That Caters to Black Cancer Patients

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For Black people, our hair is intrinsic to our identity—both culturally and individually. From fros to braids to wash n’ go’s, how we style our hair is fundamental to who we are, and the loss of it can be devastating.

Dianne Austin knows this better than most. In 2011, entrepreneur and founder of Coils to Locs, Dianne abandoned the years of relaxers she put in her hair and began the journey of growing out and learning to love her natural hair as it was.

medical wig
Coils to Locs cofounder and President Dianne Austin

The natural hair journey is a long and arduous one, filled with trial, error, and a lot of research to figure out what works best to keep Black hair healthy. To Black women, it’s more than just hair. It’s about self-discovery. Your hair becomes just as much a part of you as a limb.

In 2015, Dianne was diagnosed with breast cancer and discovered that with the tough treatments she’d have to undergo, she would lose both her hair and the identity she’d found with it. On her search to find a wig she could buy under her health insurance that would match her hair type, she was distraught to find out it didn’t exist, and if it did, she—and millions of other Black women struggling with hair loss—couldn’t find it.

“When I went to the hospital, I was being treated at to get a wig, I realized they didn’t have any coily or curly wig styles,” Dianne explained. “I went to some other major hospitals in the Boston area and found that those hospitals and boutiques didn’t carry wigs that looked like my hair at all. It was all just straight wigs or wavy wigs.”

Dianne learned that women with hair like her own had only one option: buy one of the straight wigs available under her health insurance and take it to another salon to have it styled to her desirability. This option forced her to pay out of pocket to retain a sense of identity.

The ratio between Black and white people diagnosed with cancer is virtually equal—so why don’t wigs represent both groups accurately? “It’s a disparity,” Dianne says and is the key reason she decided to team up with her sister, natural hair blogger Pamela Shaddock, to co-found Coils to Locs.

Medical wig
Dianne Austin (R) and Pamela Shaddock (L), co-founders of Coils to Locs –  Image: Andrea Seward

Coils to Locs, a supplier of medical, afro-textured wigs that cover kinky coils, tight curls, locs, and more, launched during the winter of 2019. The company currently operates out of multiple cancer treatment centers and medical hair loss boutiques across the United States with the hope to expand to more locations.

When asked about what makes medical wigs so important, Dianne remarks that it’s about more than vanity. Going through hair loss, whether it’s due to cancer treatments or a disorder such as alopecia, is conducive to trauma.

You lose your dignity, a sense of self, and for some women, you lose your femininity. A wig can remedy those feelings and provide a semblance of control over something you otherwise are unable to. A good wig can renew your connection to yourself and your community.

Dianne believes Black women deserve the chance to retain control over their appearance and beauty just as much as other women, and she hopes her wigs can give them that chance.

 

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Black Owned Trucking Company Grows to $4M in Revenue in three years

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Fleeting is a Black owned trucking and fleet management services company with a vision to create a platform that improves the commercial freight industry by leveraging technology to match truck owners, drivers and shippers and brokers.

black owned trucking
Pierre Laguerre, Founder of Fleeting

In May of 2021, the Brooklyn, NY based company received a seed round investment of $500,000 from Kyrie Irving, NBA superstar and founder of new consulting firm, KAI 11 Consulting, and venture capital firm, Lockstep Ventures.

“I knew Pierre before he launched Fleeting and served as one of his mentors, so it was a no-brainer for me to stand behind him and invest in his company. He is an innovator and has taken great leaps to address the gaps in the trucking industry that have been overlooked for years. In addition, Pierre is using his company to help those ignored in the trucking world, such as women and formerly incarcerated individuals,” said Marcus Glover, co-founder of Lockstep Ventures.

In this interview with Fleeting’s founder, Pierre Laguerre, he shared:

  • How he ended up driving trucks early in his career.
  • What inspired him to start his own logistics company.
  • His thoughts on the current state of the trucking industry and where he sees the industry in the future.
  • Some of the biggest challenges in the trucking industry and how his company addresses them.
  • His motivation behind  helping disadvantaged people including the formerly incarcerated to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL)

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Tony O. Lawson


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Mother Creates Baby Vend, a Vending Machine Business That Helps Traveling Families

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Prior to the widespread COVID-19 shutdowns, the vending machine industry in the U.S. reached $8 billion, and global vending machine revenue topped $23 billion.

The vending machine industry took a hit during the beginning of the pandemic but is expected to rebound fully and even continue its pattern of growth now that more people are back to work and traveling more often.

Jasmin Smith is the CEO of Anchorage, Alaska based Baby Vend, a network of vending machines equipped with baby supplies. We caught up with her to find out more about her business.

Baby Vend

What inspired you to start your business?

I have always been involved in entrepreneurship and owned businesses in Alaska from business development consulting to coworking spaces and incubators but BabyVend LLC is truly special.

I found myself stuck in a mall with my twins who were babies at the time and I really needed a diaper because I didn’t pack as many as I thought.

I ran all over the mall looking for help to no avail and it was at that moment I thought I gotta do something about this. Not just something, but something unique. So, I did extensive market research to see how I could make a product that served traveling families.

Baby Vend
Baby Vend at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (Emily Mesner / ADN)

Tell us about being Black in Alaska.

Black Alaska is small and unique. People often forget and sometimes can’t believe we are here but there are many (like myself) who grew up here!

We have an extensive history and deep roots in Alaska to include business owners, elected officials, military, community activists, and more. We celebrate Black community milestones like Juneteenth and Black History Month, Kwanzaa and we also are n solidarity with movements like Black Lives Matter and had our own civil rights moments here.

We have organizations like the NAACP and Black Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Black Business Directory & Expo and many other organizations and we literally have Black community members from all walks of the diaspora. For folks who are new to Alaska, it can be hard to adjust but once you get acquainted with the community I think many see we have a lot to offer.

Being Black in Alaska is not for the faint of heart but we have a community committed to making sure we are seen and heard and empowered.


Based on research and feedback, what type of locations are these vending machines most in demand?

Definitely airports, trains, hotels, amusement parks, and anywhere else you may want to visit and don’t have quick access to leave if you find yourself without something.

What can we expect from BabyVend in the new future?

We recently launched new machines that take technology to a whole new level. We expanded to more locations and are currently in 8 states with 2 more on the way and aspirations to be in 15 by the end of 2021.

We finalized our supply kit division for locations that cannot accommodate a full vending machine. We also launched our own shipping and receiving department to get our machines placed faster.

In addition to that, we are in the process of holding a huge nationwide custom vending conference to help other people launch their own companies to include getting one of our machines.

baby vend

How can we support you now and going forward?

By investing and supporting our campaign, most importantly. We are one of the largest Black owned custom vending companies in the country and the financial support will allow us to grow, hire new key departments and finalize some much needed research and development

Lastly, if you know of any airlines, Amtrak, or other transit locations that would be interested in various sized machines and products kits, contact us!

Visit Baby Vend on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or visit their website.

5 Fat Loss Tips That Actually Work

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In the United States, nearly 48% of African-American adults are obese. Compared to those with a healthy weight, obese individuals are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

Despite these sobering facts, there are some proven ways to overcome the negative effects of obesity. Each of the methods below has been proven to contribute to reducing excess calories and improving fat loss as a result.

Start Resistance Training

Resistance training is not just for professional athletes. Building lean muscle helps you to burn excess calories even when you are at rest. Muscle tissue is lean and denser than fat, and not only will it allow you to burn calories while you exercise, but it comes with health benefits that help you have more energy.

Reducing the fat around organs is vital to living well and is an added benefit of resistance training.

Increase the Protein in Your Diet

Protein builds skeletal muscle but also functions in building strong hair, skin, and nails. Proteins allow you to have a sense of fullness longer and can help reduce cravings.

In addition, protein protects the body by making antibodies that bind to and remove foreign particles from the body.

Have More, Better Quality Sleep

In a study reported by the Mayo Clinic, adults who slept just four hours per night reported much more frequent cravings and an increased appetite when compared to those who slept 10 hours. An increase in hormones responsible for managing appetite may be the cause.

Improve sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time. Be sure to keep the room dark, quiet, and free of distractions like TVs and brightly lit screens. This sleep schedule will lead to improved recovery from exercise but also from the business of the day.

Reduce or Eliminate High-Calorie Drinks

With no nutritional value, high-calorie drinks are easy options for flavor but not the best when it comes to reducing your appetite. Those calories get stored as fat and can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. This further increases your appetite and makes you feel sluggish.

Alcohol comes with excess calories, but it also slows your body’s fat-burning and turns up your appetite. Usually, when you have an alcoholic drink, your cravings are met with food choices that are not consistent with losing weight and dropping excess fat. In addition to the significant health risks of overconsumption of alcohol, it is not a wise addition to a plan for weight management. Cut out high-calorie drinks.

Adding Fiber to Feel Fuller

Fiber adds bulk to the things you eat and allows your body to rid itself of waste better than if you had too little. Drawing more water into your digestive tract means you will not be feeling those cravings so soon, and it can protect you from excess weight gain.

Fighting against unhealthy levels of weight gain is part of a plan that can work for anyone. Partnering with a professional care provider can even help address condition-specific challenges that stand in the way of your weight loss efforts. Take charge of your life and fight for your vitality.


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5 Ways You Can Avoid Being Ashy This Fall

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It’s time to say goodbye to sticky, sweaty skin and the summer heat! Because the cooler months are quickly approaching, whether you’re ready or not. But, as great as pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and “cuffing” season are to look forward to in the fall, you might’ve noticed that your skin isn’t as fond of the cooler weather.

ashy

During the winter, especially, your skin is prone to more flare-ups, dryness, or irritation due to dry, cool air outside and indoor heat that zaps the moisture out of the surrounding air and your skin.

That’s why fall is the perfect time to start paying closer attention to your skin’s hydration to prepare for the inevitable. So keep reading to learn how you can help your skin retain moisture, and most importantly, avoid being ashy this fall!

Avoid taking hot showers or baths

An extra hot shower sounds nice on a cool day, but the truth is, hot water actually dries out the skin as it strips away the skin’s natural oils. So instead of taking a steaming hot shower, keep your skin as moisturized as possible by opting for lukewarm showers that last no more than 10 minutes.

Apply moisturizer as soon as you cleanse and dry your skin

Unfortunately, your skin will release its moisture unless you trap it in with a sealant. So, if you want your skin to be ash-free for as long as possible during the day, don’t skip on this step. Apply a generous amount of moisturizer to the skin within a few minutes of washing your face or stepping out of the shower.

ashy

Add moisture to your space with a humidifier

We know that dry air makes for dry skin, so bring the moisture to you by plugging in a humidifier. Not only will your skin thank you, but your houseplants will love it too!

Don’t go without lip balm

Dry, chapped lips are uncomfortable and even painful at times. Keep your lips moisturized and cared for by including lip balm or petroleum jelly in your skincare routine. If a lip balm stings or burns when you apply it, that’s your cue to switch to a different product.

Exfoliate less

Exfoliating is excellent for getting rid of dead skin cells and making your skin soft and supple. However, exfoliation also strips the skin of its natural oils in the process. So to avoid drying out your skin, it’s best to cut back on exfoliation during the cooler months.

Final thoughts

Keeping your skin moisturized during the fall is essential, and it’ll prepare your skin to shoulder the even colder months ahead. So stay hydrated and hone these tips this fall for healthy, moisturized skin!

Written by Reese Williams


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10 Ways To Create a Strong Online Presence For Your Business

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The average person spends roughly eight and a half hours a day online. Between work, streaming, social media, and shopping, that leaves a huge window of opportunity for your business to reach those high valued target customers.

Make it easier for your target customers to find you online by creating a strong online presence. Here are a few ways to start:

1 – Mobile Responsive Website

The majority of consumers now use their mobile devices to browse the internet. That means your website needs to look as engaging and attractive on a small smartphone screen as it does on a desktop.

2 – Content Creation

Marketing today is all about maintaining high-quality customer relationships, and that requires keeping consumers attention. The best way to do that is to have a content calendar that prompts your business team to update your website and social media with fresh visual, written, and audio content.

3 – SEO and Location Data

Every company needs a search engine optimization, or SEO, strategy to organically appear higher in popular search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Hiring a professional digital marketing team is an excellent way to improve your website SEO, especially if you are a local business. Google loves to elevate search results based on your physical location and area of service.

4 – Managing Your Website & Online Reputation

Having so many review-based services is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you get to know which restaurants, bars, and stores your community likes the most. On the other, one bad review can mean the difference between being #1 and #5. Therefore, you need to manage your online reputation and mitigate as many bad reviews as possible, so your final rank appears good enough to draw in customers. 

 5 – Engage in Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. The benefits of directly connecting with your clients far outweigh the minor inconvenience of staying up to date with new content. The good news is you do not have to engage in every single platform. Stick to the 1-3 platforms that work naturally for your business and focus your efforts on growing your viewership.

6 – Create with Sharability in Mind

The more your original content can be easily shared across multiple platforms, the faster you will organically improve your brand reach. It is not uncommon for a store in Denver, CO, to feature some excellent content noticed by tourists from New York City. You never know who you’ll reach, but at least you’ll know you are reaching them. 

7 – Leverage Google My Business

Google My Business is a profile service where your registered company shows up at the top of Google’s search result page when people search for your industry, company, service, and location. It is a great way to stay top of mind for anyone looking for your business. 

8 – Video is Best

If you have the option, always elect to create content with video elements. Consumers are more attracted to video media and will spend more time browsing your website and social accounts if there are explainer videos, daily vlogs, or tours of your office.

9 – Be Accessible

There are many tools available to check the overall accessibility of your website. The general trend is for search engines to start offering preference to websites built with more accessible layouts and options. This is because it is the right thing to do and helps ensure your site has a clean, easy-to-understand design.

10 – Unify Your Brand Presence

Every single instance of your company online needs to have the same contact information, brand color, slogan, identity, and themed content. Consumers want to feel a connection with their brands, and that means offering them a unified presence. Search engines will also appreciate that all your information is the same and rank a little higher.

Consistency Equals Growth

Building your online presence to shine through your competitor’s noise is crucial to growing your business and reaching more target markets. Following a few of these tips will help you on your way, but the most essential factor is consistency. 

Like every other relationship in the world, people want to know they can trust and rely upon you to offer the same quality content and service every time they contact you.

If you would like to find out how we can help you improve your online presence, email us at agency@shoppeblack.us

 

Tony O. Lawson


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