Finance

Starting a Business? The Keys to Becoming More Profitable

(STL.News) The new year means new trends, new gadgets, and fresh ways of selling.  For owners of small businesses, there are several ways to catch the upswing in interest for several products and services.  You don’t need to be a major retailer or service provider to latch onto hot products, add a few things to your offerings, and enhance your bottom line.  But what if you’re just starting out and still in the decision phase about what to sell or what kinds of specialty services you’ll provide?  Here are some suggestions that can help you get off on the right foot and make your first year as a business owner a profitable one. Sell Craft-Related Products One of the unexpected developments since the coronavirus pandemic struck has been the increased interest in crafts, craft kits, a...

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Finance

Brelen Vonfange Pleads Guilty To Armed Robberies

Wichita Man, Brelen Vonfange Pleads Guilty To Armed Robberies WICHITA, KN (STL.News) A Wichita man pleaded guilty today in connection with a series of armed robberies, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said. Brelen Vonfange, 28, Wichita, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a robbery.  In his plea, VonFange admitted doing a robbery at a Kwik Shop at 3601 E. 47th South, as well as brandishing a firearm during another robbery at a QuikTrip at K-15 and 31st South. In addition, VonFange admitted committing other robberies that will be considered during sentencing.  Those include robberies at a Kwik Shop at 710 W. 29th and a Kwik Shop at 3959 S. Hydraulic. In September, co-defendant Shaiquille Harris, 26, Wichita, Kan., was sentenced to 1...

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Finance

Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin ATMs

(STL.News) Bitcoin ATMs have grown in popularity over the past couple of years, with projections suggesting that they might topple online exchanges soon.  Still, not many people know the first thing about these machines and how they can impact their trading experience.  This article will introduce you to Bitcoin ATMs and some of the basic things you need to know about them. 1. ATMs are not just for buying Bitcoin Bitcoin ATMs are commonly known as kiosks, where you can buy Bitcoin using cash.  Modern ATMs offer more than that; they support the selling of Bitcoin for cash too like this St Louis Bitcoin ATM.  Note that despite the increase in demand for machines that support both purchasing and selling Bitcoin, one-way ATMs still make up around 70% of installations worldwide, so the sear...

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Finance

Credit Card Scams to Watch Out for In 2020

(STL.News) In an age where cash is increasingly becoming an antiquated method of payment, the risk of credit and debit card fraud is higher than ever. In fact, a recent AARP survey found that 47% of Americans have experienced a fraudulent transaction on a credit or debit card purchase.  Yet, only 14% of the victims opted to freeze their credit cards—a necessary step to keep scammers at bay. Bottom line: Credit card fraud is a real threat, and it can fall upon anyone—whether you own a personal or business credit card. And no matter how modern your credit card issuers’ security systems are, scammers are never far behind.  That being said, we’ve identified some of the common credit card scams to watch out for in 2020 alongside information on how to stay vigilant. 1. Card Skimming Scam Cre...

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Finance

TurboTax to Help Millions of Americans Get Their Stimulus Payments

TurboTax to Help Millions of Americans Get Their Stimulus Payments with Launch of Free Stimulus Registration Product TurboTax Encourages Taxpayers to File Their 2019 Tax Return to Receive Their Refund and Stimulus Payment Faster or Register through the TurboTax Stimulus Registration to Ensure They Receive Their Stimulus Payment SAN DIEGO, CA (STL.News) TurboTax, the nation’s leading online tax preparation service from Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), today launched a free, Stimulus Registration product designed to help millions of Americans who are not required to file a tax return easily register with the IRS to get their stimulus money. According to the IRS, 80% of Americans are eligible to receive a stimulus payment.  For the tens of millions of taxpayers, who have already filed a 2019 t...

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Finance

Frauds Targeting Main Street Investors

Washington, DC (STL.News) The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force are issuing this Alert to educate Main Street investors about current investment frauds, including scams related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fraudsters often seek to use national crises and periods of uncertainty to lure investors into scams.  They may play off investors’ hopes and fears, as well as their charity and kindness, and may try to exploit confusion or rumors in the marketplace. Like the rest of the SEC, the Division of Enforcement continues to execute on its mission of protecting investors and remains fully operational.  The agency is actively monitoring our markets for frauds, illicit schemes and other misconduct affecting U.S. investors relating t...

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Finance

OCC Announces Paycheck Protection Program Listening Sessions

Washington, DC (STL.News) The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Tuesday announced that its Office of Innovation will host three listening sessions on April 16, 20, and 21, to discuss issues and potential solutions relating to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Listening sessions are used to inform the OCC and participants about emerging topics, issues, or concerns of stakeholders such as banks and non-banks, including financial technology (fintech) companies. These sessions will focus on three aspects of the PPP: payroll verification, fraud identification, and back-end processes. Payroll verification – April 16, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (eastern).  The OCC seeks to facilitate discussion aro...

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Finance

Federal Reserve Board issues Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

Washington, DC (STL.News) Financial circumstances were generally positive for most adults at the end of 2019.  However, the Federal Reserve Board’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, Featuring Supplemental Data from April 2020, found that financial conditions changed dramatically for people who experienced job loss or reduced hours during March 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 intensified in the United States. The report draws from the Board’s seventh annual Survey of Household Economics and Decision-making (SHED), which examines the economic well-being and financial lives of U.S. adults and their families. The 2019 survey of over 12,000 adults was conducted in October of last year, offering a picture of personal finances prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pande...

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Finance

Attorney Mitchell Reed Sussman Provides a Guide to Timeshare Cancellation for COVID Stricken Owners

PALM SPRINGS, CA (STL.News) Attorney Mitchell Reed Sussman Provides a Guide To Timeshare Cancellation. As many Americans struggle to pay rent due to COVID-19 sequestration mandates, some cities are barring landlords from evicting tenants while many landlords are offering temporary leniency on payments.  Unfortunately, the timeshare industry is not as understanding, according to Mitchell Reed Sussman.  “They still demand that fees be paid even though the properties are on lock-down.” In an effort to help beleaguered Timeshare owners find relief during this unusual time, Sussman offers some DIY tips: While it’s true that a timeshare contract is a legally binding document, it is mistaken to think that such a contract cannot be cancelled. Contracts are cancellable for a variety of reasons....

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Finance

How People Have Saved on Auto Insurance Throughout 2020

(STL.News) We all know that being able to drive a car means greater ease and convenience in our lives.  However, there are also many expenses you have to think about when you own and drive a car.  This includes the cost of filling up the tank, repair and service costs, and the money you have to pay out for car insurance.  When it comes to the latter, some people end up spending a fortune on their insurance.  The good news is that there are ways to save money on the cost of this coverage. So, how do people save on auto insurance costs?  Well, there are various steps that you can take in order to do this and taking the right steps can make a huge difference to the amount you spend.  Many people have been able to reduce the amount they spend on their coverage by familiarizing themselves w...

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Finance

Is Retiring In Spain Worth It? Here’s What You Need To Know – STL.News

(STL.News) As retirement approaches you may be starting to think about how you want your twilight years to look.  And for many, this means living a Mediterranean lifestyle.  If you can imagine yourself while away the hours on a sunny beach and then hitting the tapas bars after dark, then Spain should be on your list. But, what is the reality of returning in Spain like?  Surely, there must be some challenges?  Anytime you are considering an international move there need to be things to consider. In this article, I will go over several of the things to be aware of before booking your one way flight to Spain. 1 – Find your climate Spain is a small country with a climate that varies wildly depending on where you live.  You can find just about any type of weather you prefer, but you also co...

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Finance

Why are Investors Becoming More Discerning in Their Choices? – STL.News

(STL.News) It has always required a special sort of business to be able to capture the attention of an investor.  However, recently, it has also felt rather like it is near impossible to find investors willing to take the chance on businesses unless they are truly exceptional.  Let’s take a look at why many investors have chosen to become a little more discerning. Packed Industries Many industries have become oversaturated with new companies and entrepreneurs trying to push their own ideas. A classic example of this is in the tech industry. Every few years, a major discovery is made that then causes a flurry of copycats. To attract attention from an investor, a business needs to be completely unique and innovative.  This is harder than it might initially appear.  There are so many aven...

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