Vermont’s economic competitiveness ranks 49th in nation

first_imgAccording to a new study from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Vermont s economic outlook now ranks 49th out of 50 states. The second edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index offers a roadmap for economic recovery based on state policies that have a proven impact on growth. High personal income taxes, high property taxes, along with some of the highest labor costs in America all hurt Vermont s economic outlook. On the positive side, the study gives good marks to Vermont for a relatively low sales tax burden and a quality legal system.Among bordering states, New Hampshire ranks 37th, Massachusetts ranks 26th and New York ranks 50th.The report shows how federal stimulus dollars may simply encourage out-of-control state spending, which is up 124 percent over the last 10 years, without requiring states to make the tough decisions needed to bring about financial stability. States were quick to increase spending and add programs during the good times, said Senator Kevin Mullin, ALEC s VermontState Chairman. We need to make tough choices to live within our means and prioritize our budget. The best solution to our budget woes is to control state spending and promote policies that foster economic growth and job creation.Co-author and renowned economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer summarized the report’s findings when he said, States cannot tax their way into prosperity. Rich States, Poor States presents rankings of the 50 states based on the relationship between policies and performance revealing which states are best positioned to make a recovery, and which are not.Laffer and his co-authors, Steve Moore, senior economics writer at The Wall Street Journal, and Jonathan Williams, director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for ALEC, analyze how economic competitiveness drives income, population and job growth in the states. They found that, states with a high and rising tax burden are more likely to suffer through economic decline, while those with lower and falling tax burdens are more likely to enjoy robust economic growth. The top performing states keep taxes, spending, and regulatory burdens low, while the biggest losers in the book tend to share similar policies of high tax rates, unsustainable spending and regulation, said co-author, Jonathan Williams. State governments that believe they can bring about economic recovery by growing government and increasing taxes are sadly mistaken. Top Fives StatesBottom Five States1. Utah46. New Jersey2. Colorado47. Maine3. Arizona48. Rhode Island4. Virginia49. Vermont5. South Dakota50. New York To read more about the state-to-state comparisons, see the individual state analysis, and view the full report, download it for free at is external).last_img read more

Are you ready to take a stand? Three ways financial institutions can leverage social media to amplify impact

first_img Respond to current eventsWhen current events surface that relate to your cause, a swift but thoughtful response on social media channels can help you leverage external momentum and bring prospective members into the fold. Wildfang, an apparel company for “tomboys,” is famous for reacting to current events in unexpected, clever ways that not only generate positive PR but also help to elevate their causes. When Wildfang reacted to Melania Trump’s jacket that read “I don’t really care, do u?” by creating its own jacket, “I really care, don’t u?” the company not only generated over 23,000 likes on Instagram and press coverage in hundreds of media outlets, it also donated over $250,000 worth of proceeds to the jacket to RAICES, The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.  Just remember, don’t take a stand for the marketing value alone. Today’s consumers are particularly savvy to inauthenticity, which can backfire spectacularly. On the flip side, as the movement to vote with your dollars continues to grow, taking a genuine stand on an issue can unite and energize your base. It also offers an avenue for differentiation that your products don’t. If your cause resonates with your brand and your community, social media can help to amplify your impact, engage your current members, and grow your membership base. While the #bankblack movement was not started by a specific financial institution, OneUnited Bank did an excellent job of incorporating the movement into its marketing because it was already part of its brand identity. If used wisely, this approach can be powerful because while people don’t need to be familiar with the brand to use the hashtag, they may be introduced to the brand through the hashtag. Is it time for your financial institution to take a stand? Many credit unions give generously to local nonprofits, but it is one thing to support local high schools and quite another to rally against education funding cuts.According to a 2015 study, 91% of Millennials say they would switch brands to one associated with a cause. Another study by Sprout Social revealed that 66 percent of survey respondents say it’s important for brands to take a public stand on social and political issues, and 58 percent prefer this to happen on social media over other channels.Businesses tend to shy away from social and political issues for fear of being divisive. The fear is understandable, but taking a stand can also unite and energize your base. If your cause is authentic and genuinely resonates with your core membership, you are more likely to garner their loyalty and support than cause unwanted controversy. Here are three tangible, effective ways to highlight your cause on social media: Tell the stories of your members and employeesIt’s one thing to rant and rave; it’s quite another to share multimedia stories that humanize the issue at hand. If your cause resonates with your members, chances are, they have some stories to share. As one of the only financial institutions in Oregon that provides lending to non-citizens, immigration policy is always a top concern for Point West Credit Union. Point West published a Declaration of Beliefs emphasizing their commitment to a diverse, inclusive community — which included stories from their members — and shared it via an award-winning social media and print campaign. Capture the conversation with a hashtagA hashtag helps to bring your members into the conversation across social media channels. Not only can a hashtag further engage members but it can help to bring more visibility and build more momentum for the cause. PointWest invited its members to contribute using the hashtag #CitizensofPW, which not only highlighted the needs and challenges of the “underbanked,” but also resulted in positive word-of-mouth marketing for the brand. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kerala Taylor Kerala Taylor is a Digital Strategist at PixelSpoke, an award-winning certified B Corp that works with credit unions to create delightful online experiences. See case studies and contact us to … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Heineken Introduces New Brands in Liberia

first_imgHeineken, one of the leading international premium beer brands, in partnership with a Lebanese-owned Abi Jaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation in Liberia, on Saturday, November 9, introduced its newest brands, the Sol Cervaza, Legend (extra stout) and Star Beer on the Liberian market.These three new products, according to Heineken management, add to the already Heineken and Amstel, which have been on the Liberian market for over 30 years.The decision, according to Heineken International representative, Andre Woldt, is to increase and drive more variety on the beer market front in the country as this innovative move offers beer drinkers a whole new choice in their selection of size and quantity.Woldt said these new brands, which have already been introduced to other African markets will add more piquancy (spice) to consumers’ taste of the beverages.He said Heineken International as a premium entity in the alcoholic beverages world, is always concerned about adding new spices to its products, “this is why we selected Liberia.”He said there are plans that Heineken International wants to implement with its partners, having completed 30 years of successful partnership, “because at the end of the day, we will show you what we believe is the most powerful portfolio of beer brands that many of our friends in Liberia would want to drink.”Following presentations of slides at a resort in Monrovia, Woldt describes his product as the undisputed global leader of international premium beer segment, which according to him, Heineken among them as a truly global icon that is set out from any other beer in the industry.Also discussing the Legend, the company’s brand of stout, he said that it is for people with an appetite to enjoy life whatever comes, and are always looking on the bright side. The new brand of stout, launched under the name “Legend”, will be sold for L$2,400 per crate or L$260 per bottle.In brewing process, Woldt added that the Legend has edge over Guinness Stout, because it is all natural and full of brewing. “It is distinct and full –bold stout and has 7.5 percent alcohol. As for Sol, which is one of the company’s newest brands, he added that it has a global footprint, and light taste, which was born in Mexico in 1899.Woldt told the gathering that Star Beer, which is referred to as the real beer, is made of malt, barley, sorghum, hops and water.He said that Legend and Star Beer will be sold cheaper than the current beer and stout on the local market.Woltd assured customers of Heineken International’s commitment to customer satisfaction.Earlier, Abbas Karnoub, expressed delight for Heineken International’s partnership with Abi Jaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation. He assured his business partner that all will be done to foster the partnership and assured customers of providing quality services.Meanwhile, Madam Josephine Yorbutey has won the Heineken Award, which automatically guaranteedd her a trip to Paris, France, to watch a Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League which Paris Saint German will participate.Heineken is a family-owned brand and has been in the hands of the same family since 1873.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more