The Latest On What's Happening With The Chamber & Our Members


Junior League of Winston-Salem to Host Boutique on December 9th and 10th

The Junior League of Winston-Salem’s seventh annual holiday shopping market, Boutique, will be held Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10, in Piedmont Hall in the Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem.

Holiday shoppers can get a start on their purchases at Boutique, where they will find unique and specialty gifts from vendors to mark off their holiday list.  Participating vendors will offer holiday décor, fashion accessories, clothing, jewelry and much more. The fantastic vendors participating will offer endless possibilities to ensure a one stop shop for holiday shopping.

The Junior League of Winston-Salem offers several shopping opportunities to make Boutique accessible for everyone.  Boutique general shopping hours will start on Friday, December 9 from Noon to 5:00 pm.  Saturday hours will be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Admission tickets are $7 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-12.  Children 5 and under are free.

The popular kick-off to the event, Girls’ Night Out, will be held this year on Friday, December 9 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. This event will include wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres for attendees to enjoy as they shop the different vendors and bid on a variety of items from the silent auction. A cash bar will also be available.  Tickets are available in advance for $30 or at the door for $35.

Santa will be at Boutique on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Children are welcome to join for a photo op with Santa and parents can take home a professional photo from the event for just $10.

New this year at Boutique will be a gift wrap station.  Students from Forsyth Country Day School will be on hand to wrap gifts for a small donation.  Also part of Boutique this year will be the JLWS Dewey’s fundraiser.  Dewey’s items ordered from a JLWS member through December 1 will be available for pick-up at Boutique.  A portion of the sales will be returned to the JLWS to support and continue the mission.

“We are gearing up for another fantastic year at Boutique,” said Katy Ringeman, President of the JLWS. “There’s no better place to tackle holiday shopping – we will truly have something for everyone on your list.  And most of all, shopping at Boutique goes to help fund all of the great work the Junior League is doing in our area.”

The money raised through Boutique furthers the Junior League’s mission to encourage volunteer development, and strengthen and support the community. For more information or to purchase advance tickets to Boutique, please visit www.jlws.org.  Tickets will also be available at the door.

About the Junior League of Winston-Salem

The Junior League of Winston-Salem is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. With approximately 1,000 members, the Junior League of Winston-Salem has helped to inspire and establish vital Winston-Salem-based community organizations and events, including the Arts Council, Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, Ronald McDonald House, SciWorks, Komen North Carolina Triad Race for the Cure, READ TO ME and BOOKMARKS Festivals.  Visit the Junior League of Winston-Salem website, www.jlws.org, for more information.

The Best Place For The Business of Winston-Salem

Now’s the time to advertise in WS Works, the local magazine produced by the Chamber and the Winston-Salem Journal that is dedicated to spotlighting the people, trends, businesses, and innovators that make our unique community grow!

The 2017 issue will be our 4th annual edition and will feature a look at what makes our community special, as well as some businesses that are celebrating landmark anniversaries. The magazine is mailed to Chamber members and widely distributed throughout the community, including in many corporate relocation packets for potential newcomers to our community.

For more information, contact:

*Angie Tedder at (336) 944-4275 or atedder@wsjournal.com 
*Allison Shore at (336) 727-7494 or ashore@wsjournal.com 

For pricing, click here. Space is limited, so reserve yours today!

AT&T supports WSSU’s Gap Scholarship Fund

AT&T has awarded Winston-Salem State University $26,000 that will provide scholarships to help students stay on track and graduate.

The donation will support WSSU’s Gap Scholarship Fund, which helps students who need financial assistance to continue their education. The gift will allow WSSU to award need-based scholarships to about 20 students, ranging from $1,000 to $1,500.

“Thanks to investments from corporate partners such as AT&T, WSSU students are succeeding,” said Michelle Cook, vice chancellor of university advancement and executive director of WSSU Foundation. “The ultimate goal of the program is to increase college completion rates for students who are contending with unforeseen personal and financial circumstances that may hinder their ability to complete their education at WSSU.”

In the last three years, WSSU has shown the greatest increase in first-year retention in the 16-member UNC System, from 71 percent to 80 percent.

Nearly 90 percent of WSSU students received need-based financial aid, and 60 percent have no family assistance in paying for their college expenses.

“At AT&T, we understand that the future of our country, and our business, depends on a well-educated, well-prepared workforce, said Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina. “More than at any time in history, it is critical that we invest in young people to develop a diverse talent pipeline with the skills to help society prosper. We are excited to join with Winston-Salem State University and support students who are committed to completing their education and pursuing their dreams.”

The Gap Scholarship Fund is administered by the Winston-Salem State University Foundation and the Office of Financial Aid. Financial Aid officers work in partnership with academic success counselors and faculty advisors to identify students who are in need of these scholarships.

About Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be through leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

Small Business: 10 Big Mistakes to Avoid in a Crisis

Get tips at a free webinar hosted by SBA and Agility Recovery 

Small business owners put themselves in financial risk by not being prepared for the inevitable crisis. Failing to properly insure a company from revenue losses that follow operational downtime is a huge mistake, and could force a business to shut down permanently.

Learn how to protect your assets and develop a resilient organization on Tuesday, Dec. 6, during a free webinar hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. True stories about business owners’ pre-disaster missteps, and how those companies learned from their mistakes and recovered, will be discussed.

Since 2009, the SBA and its partner Agility Recovery have offered free business continuity webinars each month. Visit the “PrepareMyBusiness website at www.preparemybusiness.org to view previous webinars and to download disaster planning checklists.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

WHAT:          “The Top 10 Most Common Mistakes During a Crisis”
A presentation followed by a question and answer session

WHEN:          Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 2-2:30 p.m. EST

HOW:             Follow this link to register for the webinar. Registration includes access to the presentation, so if you’re unable to join the live webinar, you can view it at your convenience.

Employment Law In Focus – November 2016

Recruiting Employees and the FTC/DOJ – Opening the Door to Criminal Liability!

So you need to hire some employees, and you want to pay them well, but not more than necessary. You call a friend who works for one of your competitors and ask what her company is paying new hires in these positions. Your friend tells you, and also mentions what benefits they’re currently offering. You say that your company will “cap” its offered salaries so they don’t exceed what your friend’s company pays – then proceed with your hiring plans.

Believe it or not, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ), you and your friend have likely just committed a per se violation of the U.S. antitrust laws that can result in civil and criminal liability for you and your friend and your respective employers.

The FTC and the DOJ have jointly issued Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals and a related document entitled Antitrust Red Flags for Employment Practices. According to the Guidance, the following practices are unlawful:

*Agreeing with a competitor to set wages or benefits at a certain level, or agreeing that you will offer similar terms and conditions of employment.

*Agreeing not to hire a competitor’s employees.

*Exchanging company-identifiable information with competitors about employee wages, benefits, or terms and conditions of employment – whether formally or informally, in writing or orally, at work, at trade shows, or in social settings.

*Discussing any of the above topics with competitors.

The White House has also issued a Fact Sheet on the FTC-DOJ Guidance, tying it in with other Obama Administration measures designed to protect workers, including requiring paid sick leave and discouraging aggressive use of non-compete agreements. It is unclear at this time what position President-Elect Trump will take on these issues.

The guiding principle behind the antitrust laws is that competition is good for consumers because it allows companies to improve their products and lower prices. When companies get together and agree that they will not undercut each other’s prices, refrain from operating in another company’s geographical area, or not implement certain innovations or improvements, those “conspiracies” hurt the consuming public.

Applied to the hiring and recruitment process, the FTC-DOJ Guidance document says, “Just as competition among sellers in an open marketplace gives consumers the benefits of lower prices, higher quality products and services, more choices and greater innovation, competition among employers helps actual and potential employees through higher wages, better benefits, or other terms of employment.”

Per Se Violations

Certain practices are treated by the FTC-DOJ as “per se violations,” meaning that they violate the law whether they actually have an adverse effect on competition or not.

“Wage-fixing.” An agreement between competitors to keep compensation and benefits at or below a certain level is called “naked wage-fixing” by the FTC-DOJ and is subject to criminal penalties, as well as civil damages for the employees who were adversely affected. Charges may be brought “against the culpable participants in the agreement, including both individuals and companies.”

“No-poaching” agreements. An agreement between competitors not to recruit or hire each other’s employees, like a naked wage-fixing agreement, is considered “hardcore cartel conduct” and is subject to criminal and civil liability. However, the FTC-DOJ qualify this: “Legitimate joint ventures (including, for example, appropriate shared use of facilities) are not considered per se illegal under the antitrust laws.”

Other Violations

Sharing information with competitors about wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. Merely sharing information with a competitor is not per se illegal and does not result in criminal prosecution, but it may result in civil antitrust liability if the FTC-DOJ find that it has an “anticompetitive effect”. According to the Guidance, an industry Human Resources organization was sued for facilitating the exchange of wage information for nurses employed at various member hospitals. As a result, the wages for nurses in the relevant geographical area were kept “artificially low”. (The HR organization entered into a Consent Judgement to resolve the case.)

On the other hand, information exchanges may be lawful if:

*a neutral third party manages the exchange;

*the exchange involves information that is relatively old [according to guidance issued by the FTC-DOJ in the 1990s (Statement 6) “old” would be three months old or older];

*the information is aggregated to protect the identity of the underlying sources; and

*enough sources are aggregated to prevent competitors from linking particular data to an individual source [according to the same 1990s guidance referenced above, this would mean a minimum of five sources].

Quoted from FTC-DOJ Guidance at 5.

In the context of a merger or acquisition, “[s]uch information gathering may be lawful if . . . appropriate precautions are taken.”

The same legal principles apply to all types of HR information sharing among competitors, regardless of whether the sharing is in writing, oral, “unwritten,” via a “gentleman’s agreement,” or through a trade show or industry organization. There is no exception for non-profit organizations, and a desire to cut costs is not a defense.

Preventive guidance for employers

The Antitrust Division of the DOJ offers a “business review process” that allows employers to ask in advance about whether a proposed practice or merger would be deemed to be a violation of the law. Alternatively, employers can request an “advisory opinion” from the FTC. Employers should consult with their antitrust counsel before pursuing either of these routes.

“Leniency” policies: Throwing each other under the bus?

The government encourages companies and their HR professionals to turn each other in by way of its “corporate leniency” and “leniency for individuals” policies. These policies essentially provide that the Antitrust Division will not bring criminal charges against the first person or entity to report the alleged violation if certain other conditions are also present. If, for example, an HR professional at Company A suggests entering into a no-poaching agreement to an HR professional at Company B, the latter may report the conduct to the Antitrust Division. If Company B and the HR professional at Company B meet the other requirements for leniency, then the government will not pursue criminal charges against Company B or its HR professional.

On the other hand, if Company B and its HR professional keep quiet about the conversation and then Company A gets caught, it will be too late for Company B and its HR professional to qualify for leniency, and they may be subject to prosecution as well.

Employers and HR professionals who are considering reporting violations or seeking leniency should obtain advice from their antitrust counsel before doing so.

This article was written by Robin Shea of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

Winston-Salem Urban League Joins National Campaign to End Senior Hunger

When it comes to eating a healthy diet, millions of Americans 65 and over face a double whammy: a fixed income, and rising food costs.

Nationally, adults aged 65+ have an average annual income of $46,627, and they spend more than $5,500—or nearly 12%—on food. Additionally, this year those who rely on Social Security received just a 0.3% increase in their Cost of Living Adjustment. Their friends just 10 years younger have a greater income (averaging $75,262 annually), and they spend less (9.3%) on groceries.

The Winston-Salem Urban League was recently awarded a grant to support a National Council on Aging (NCOA) nationwide effort to help older adults struggling to buy groceries apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to supplement their food budget.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that just 2 out of every 5 seniors who are eligible for SNAP are enrolled in the program. This means that millions of low-income older adults are missing out on this vital program, which provides an average monthly benefit of $110 to help participants buy healthy food.

The Winston-Salem Urban League is one of more than 30 community organizations across the country that is stepping up its efforts to assist seniors in applying for SNAP. Since 2014, the initiative has screened almost 400,000 people for SNAP eligibility, and helped nearly 70,000 seniors apply for SNAP.

“We’re excited to be part of this proven effort that has the potential to help low-income older adults in North Carolina improve their health and financial security,” said James Perry, President and CEO of the Winston-Salem Urban League. “The Urban League has a strong history of helping seniors in need. We’re confident that increasing SNAP enrollment with proven outreach methods will have a profound effect on lives of seniors in North Carolina.”

To find out more about SNAP eligibility, contact Carmen Melendez by telephone 336.725.5614 ext. 1024 or by email: cmelendez@wsurban.org.

For more information on NCOA’s senior hunger initiative, visit ncoa.org/SeniorHunger.

 

About The Winston-Salem Urban League

The Winston-Salem Urban League is a non-profit organization focused on helping community residents secure economic self-reliance to meet the demands of today’s job market through training and education. The agency provides a comprehensive training and paid work experience program for over 300 seniors annually as well as a summer youth program for the general public.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.

New Book Inspires Spiritual Growth and Helps Sick and Injured Pets

Karen Fullerton, founder and CEO of The Sergei Foundation, announces the release of her book, Sergei’s Eyes: Reflections of Soul Lessons. Published in time for “Giving Tuesday” (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving designated for charitable donations to non-profit organizations), all proceeds benefit The Sergei Foundation’s mission to help sick and injured companion pets received critical veterinary care. Paperback copies are available on Amazon for $19.95 with a Kindle E-book version for $7.99. Copies will also be available at two local book signings with the author, detailed below. For retailers, copies can be ordered through Ingram Spark (ISBN: 9780692801918).

Book Summary: Karen shares memoirs of ordinary life moments with her Siberian Husky, Sergei, and transforms them into insightful soul lessons for the reader’s reflection. Her courage to share personal experiences of life’s hurdles and triumphs creates “Me-too!” moments uniting us in compassion and the healing of our emotional wounds. These true stories tell why Sergei was her greatest teacher and how he became the legacy for The Sergei Foundation.

About the Author: Karen Fullerton is the founder and CEO of The Sergei Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 2009 to help lower-income families obtain emergency veterinary care for their pet. Prior, she was a strategic marketing professional having worked at both the University of Michigan and General Growth Properties. Obtaining her MBA from Gardner-Webb University, Karen teaches higher education business courses as an adjunct instructor and is a Reiki Master/Teacher.

Sergei’s Eyes is Karen’s first book, which was inspired by her love for Sergei and all animals. Her varied soul lessons and life experiences in corporate business, education, and Reiki have all finally come together to fulfill her passion for being of service to others – both in her nonprofit work and now through her writing. As an author, she hopes to encourage readers to see their lives from a new viewpoint, to realize they are not alone, to heal and inspire them in the direction of their dreams. For more information, visit KarenFullerton.com.

About The Sergei Foundation: The Sergei Foundation was incorporated in 2009 and is a 501(c)(3) North Carolina nonprofit organization with a mission of saving companion pets’ lives by providing veterinary financial aid to families unable to afford emergency, life-saving care. To date, the organization has helped hundreds of dogs and cats across North Carolina receive emergency veterinary medical attention. For more information, visit SergeiFoundation.org

Book Signings:

Saturday, December 3: 10am-2pm:
Winston Cup Museum Special Event Center (as part of its “Claus for a Cause”)
1355 N Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, (336) 724-4557

Saturday, December 17: 1pm-3pm:
The Natural Dog Pet Food Market, with special guests the White Christmas Carolers
29 Miller Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27104, (336) 997-9023

Open Invitation to visit Belk’s New Fine Jewlery Counter

There is exciting news about our NEW Fine Jewelry Department! Belk Hanes Mall has recently changed their fine jewelry inventory and now has a large selection of Effy and LeVian Fine Jewelry!

This change comes at a great time of the year. With the holiday season upon us, Belk Hanes Mall invites you to come in and view their new product lines. They are currently pre-selling in the fine jewelry department for their Thanksgiving Sale. All sale-priced Fine Jewelry will be an extra 25% off and clearance jewelry will be 75% off for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday… but you can come in now and reserve your jewelry selections!!

Please share this news with coworkers, friends and family.

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For more information, contact Nichole Cook at 336-768-9200 x206.

Gracy Goose Touring offers early bird special

Starting in December 2016, Gracy Goose Touring is offering an early bird special on every trip! You’ll receive a $5 discount per person for paying at least 5 working days before the trip. If you cancel after pre-paying, you can apply your pre-payment to another trip or, if you prefer, receive a 50% refund. If you pay for the trip the day of the trip, only cash will be accepted.

The holidays are right around the corner and its time to shop, shop, shop til you drop!!! 

Nov. 17th….Downtown King…Fall Frolic
Come shop at a great selection of local stores. Park your car, walk to some stores and be shuttled by Gracy Goose Touring to others. No charge for the shuttle but tips are greatly appreciated! A great time to support local small businesses.

Dec. 10th……Ikea/Concord Mills $35

Or maybe you’d rather sit back, relax and enjoy some festive lights.

Dec. 17th……McAdenville $35
(Known as Christmas Town USA)

If you have a group that would like to do the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood, please contact Kathy Shoaf at 336-671-5493.

Participate in The Salvation Army’s 2016 “Corporate Angels” Program

The “Corporate Angels” program is where The Salvation Army partners with local businesses, civic groups, church groups, etc. to collect new toys – or adopt Angels.

There are two ways to participate in the “Corporate Angels” program:

* Decorate a tree, box or a barrel … whatever strikes your fancy … and ask your employees to fill it with new toys! (to save money – this year we are asking you to provide your own tree, box or barrel for toy collection. If this is not possible, please contact us and we will make other arrangements)

* E-mail The Salvation Army (see below) and request the number of Angels your group would like to adopt.

* We will mail you the Angel tags – which has a wish list and particular information. You can specify how many Angels, what age, and what gender – or we will pick for you!  

* Shop for that child using the information provided

* Attach the “Angel” tag to your purchases.

* Bring the unwrapped gifts to The Salvation Army, or call us for a pick-up.

That’s all there is to it!

Who are these Children?

These children (ages 12 and under) are part of a family that has come to The Salvation Army needing help over the holidays.

The families have been screened and you can be confident there is a real need for Christmas assistance.

Angels are available for adoption from November 1 – November 30. All gifts for Angels must be returned by Friday, December 2.

Contact: deborah.colbert@uss.salvationarmy.org

Christmas Hotline: 336-723-6366 ext. 109