Chamber Review

Each month, the Chamber Review newsletter lets our members know what's happening in Greater Concord: where and when our upcoming networking and committee events will be...what forums are slated for discussion...and which educational topics we think are beneficial to you. Business Focus articles are written and sponsored by members of the Greater Concord Chamber. Read on and benefit from your fellow Chamber members' expertise on a range of topics of interest to the business community: 

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April edition

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Recent Business Focus Columns:

Aging senses and keeping them healthy

By Caitlin Cawley, Home Instead Senior Care

Our five senses—sight, sound, touch, taste and smell—allow for us to maintain healthy, satisfying and independent lives. As we age, our senses can become diminished. Here are some of the ways our senses can change throughout the aging process and impact health and quality of life—more in the April edition.

Filing status and individual income tax returns

By Rodger O. Howells, CPA, MST, Rodger O. Howells, LLC

Generally, filing status reflects a taxpayer’s marital status on December 31. Filing status is used to determine a taxpayer's tax rates, standard deduction amount, and eligibility for credits such as the child tax and education credits. The most favorable tax rates are associated with the filing statuses of married filing jointly and surviving spouse. Single taxpayers and married individuals filing separate returns are subject to the least favorable tax rates—more in the April edition.

Foot pain: How to spot, treat and heal plantar fasciitis

By Dr. Ronald B. Resnick, Concord Orthopaedics

All feet are different; yet, many will share a common ailment: plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis, also known as heel spur syndrome or inferior heel pain, is pain on the bottom of the heel. It is by far, the most common foot complaint that I see in my orthopaedic foot and ankle practice. Everyone gets it. The good news is that almost everyone gets better —more in the March edition.

Build emotional intelligence for personal and career success

By Kathy DesRoches, EdD,  Granite State College

Daniel Goleman found that emotional intelligence is present in the most effective leaders. "From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it." Emotional intelligence skills are rated as more crucial than technical skills by many employers—more in the  February edition.

Cyber breaches abound in 2019

By Schyler Jones, MiradorIT

News of high-profile cyber breaches was uncharacteristically high in 2019 after somewhat of a lull compared to the previous 2-3 years. The rise of technology and the growing reliance on IT systems and networks for the storage, use, and access to data has presented cyber criminals with further opportunity to make (or steal) money or access (or steal) information.Cybercrime pays, and it pays handsomely — it is the world’s biggest criminal growth industry. Bottom line is, cyberattacks will be even more rampant in 2020 as chronically improving malware will be deployed more aggressively on more fronts—more in the  February edition.

Tax consequences of the sale of a gift or inheritance

By Rodger O. Howells, CPA, MST,  Rodger O. Howells, LLC   

A gift is an asset acquired from a person while they are alive and an inheritance is an asset acquired from a person upon death or from a decedent’s estate. The receipt of a gift or an inheritance is never taxable. A gift or estate tax (a tax on the transfer of wealth) may be assessed on the transferor. If a gift or inheritance is later sold, there may be an income tax associated with the sale—more in the  January edition.

The power of the humanities in the workplace

By Rebecca Kinhan, New Hampshire Humanities

Most organizations, from manufacturing to accounting, understand the need to attract and retain employees who are not only capable of doing their jobs, but also of bringing new perspectives, critical thinking, and creative problem solving to the workplace. In response to the changing nature of work and our mission to engage increasingly diverse audiences in experiences that enrich their lives, New Hampshire Humanities has developed an employer-based initiative called Humanities@Work (H@W)—more in the  December edition.

Retirement planning options and how to utilize them

By Monique Brown,  Ledyard National Bank/Ledyard Financial Advisors

When you are young and just starting your career the last thing you may think about is your retirement. Even as you begin your family life, you may not be thinking of your retirement. Retirement planning should be considered early on in one’s work life in order to take advantage of saving over a longer period of time. The retirement process is actually very simple and based on financial factors that will be somewhat in your control, in your total control and not in your control—more in the  December edition.

Reducing holiday stress

By Caitlin Cawley,  Home Instead Senior Care

The holidays can be a stressful time for individuals, particularly those who are balancing work, families and taking care of an aging loved one — it’s become a season where there is a lot of hustle and bustle and not as much time for reflection and self-care. Here are a few simple ways that you can reduce stress this time of year—more in the  November edition.

New England states take the lead on noncompete reform

By Adam M. Hamel, McLane Middleton, Professional Association

More than a third of all workers in the United States have been subject to a noncompetition agreement at some point in their careers. Most states, with the notable exception of California, have long enforced noncompetition agreements. However, in recent years, difficulties experienced by employees subject to noncompetition agreements finding new work, and overreach by some employers, have led to increasing calls for noncompete reform. The New England states have taken a leading role in this area, with four states recently enacting laws affecting noncompetition agreements, and a fifth considering a bill on the subject—more in the October edition.

Workplace investigations—steps for getting it right

By Beth A. Deragon, Esq., Pastori | Krans PLLC

Workplace investigations are conducted for multiple reasons and vary in scope. Employers are required to conduct a prompt investigation after receiving a complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. Employers may also have specific policies (e.g., anti-bullying, whistleblower) that create an obligation to investigate those particular situations. An investigation is also advisable to protect the company from liability such as when there are potential criminal violations or allegations of other employee misconduct like theft and drug use. Every complaint does not require a full-blown formal investigation, but it does require the employer to assess the complaint carefully to ensure that a sound investigation is conducted—more in the  September edition.

NH’s water: contaminants you should be concerned about

By Dan Grace,  Capital Well Clean Water

What’s in your drinking water? A subject that’s become a growing concern among New Hampshire residents after news broke that officials discovered high quantities of man-made chemicals known as PFAS in the water of residents near companies in Merrimack and Portsmouth. As a result, New Hampshire is set to become one of only a few states with its own regulations on PFAS in drinking water. Here are other common water contaminants that you should be concerned about—more in the  August edition.

Make project management work for you

By Karen RJ White,  Granite State College

Within your day-to-day operations, have you ever struggled to get your entire team on board with a project? Are you continuously challenged by deadlines? Have you ever missed an important to-do item and had to back track to keep things moving forward? In these moments, you may wonder: How do other companies pull it all together? The answer is often project management—more in the  August edition.

Members eligible for major federal income tax deduction

By John Cunningham,  Law Offices of John M. Cunningham, PLLC

On January 1, 2018, with the enactment of Internal Revenue Code section 199A, a major new federal income tax deduction became available to closely held businesses, including businesses that are members of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Under section 199A, if you are the owner of a pass-through business, you can deduct up to 20% of your net business income for federal income tax purposes. The vast majority of Chamber businesses are pass-through businesses—more in the  July edition. 

Self-service tech: why and how to implement

By Advanced Kiosks

Consumers today are more informed, tech-savvy and pressed for time than ever before. They want to meet their own needs and solve their own problems, fast. In fact, the Harvard Business Review found 81% of customers across all industries try to resolve issues themselves before reaching out to a real person. Whether you are trying to educate, serve, sell or some combination of all of the above, self-service kiosks enable people to engage with your brand on their own terms, when and how they want—more in the  July edition.

Mindfulness: Good for you and the bottom line 

By Dan Huston,  NHTI—Concord's Community College

Did you know that businesses right here in New Hampshire are providing mindfulness training and experiencing its benefits? One of the benefits is that it helps increase self-awareness and provides people with an increased ability to identify and modify unproductive patterns of behavior. These discoveries and changes take place at home and at work, both of which impact one’s ability to interact productively with others, including colleagues and customers—more in the June edition.

Investment real estate—important steps for success 

By Robert Christensen, Ledyard National Bank/Ledyard Financial Advisors

There’s much to think about before purchasing an investment property. The first step is to know and understand your goals, as well as the realities of owning a rental property. What are your goals? How long do you want to own it? Stated another way, what is your target return on investment (ROI)?  Did you include your time in that equation? Knowing answers to these questions can help you decide if investment real estate is right for you—more in the  June edition.

Three things to know about workers compensation 

By Patrick J. Casey, MD,  Concord Orthopaedics

Every 7 seconds a worker gets injured on the job, according to reports from the National Safety Council, resulting in over 104 million production days lost due to work-related injuries. Total costs of work-related injuries in 2017 was a staggering $161.5 billion. The workers compensation process can be confusing for patients and their employers—more in the  May edition.

Is your business Alzheimer’s friendly?

By Caitlin Cawley,  Home Instead Senior Care

Businesses and organizations that are open and welcoming places for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as their families and caretakers can have a very positive impact on local communities where isolation may be a problem— more in the  April edition.

The true cost of borrowing—how a private banker can help

By William Logan, CWS®, Ledyard National Bank

When you purchase a home or investment property, there are many important elements that require your attention. It’s crucial to understand and evaluate the true cost of borrowing the funds from a bank, independent lender or mortgage broker. The phrase “buyer beware” is an ever-present concern because the cost of the loan can vary in many different ways and through different banks/lenders, attorneys/title companies, and third parties related to the transaction—more in the  April edition.

Interested in contributing a Business Focus article?

Contact Kathy Bacon for more information.