You are on page 1of 16

How a

gourm
focus o et bake
n quali ry’s
ty conq
the kos uered
her wo
By Tam
rld
ar Fox
Page 4

In This Issue:

Spring Clean Your Defining Moments Is The ‘Eat My Cake Folks, It’s Still Not
Making Memories With Scrap
Job Search Too’ Generation Looking Good
By Linda Wolfe By Yisroel Kamen By Moshe Klein By Jewish Business News Staff
Page 3 Page 6 Page 8 Page 10
CONTENT FROM THE PUBLISHER
3 BUSINESS NETWORKING
CALENDAR

3 EMPLOYMENT TIPS
Spring Clean Your Job Search
By Linda Wolfe

4 COVER STORY
Zelda, the Cookie Queen
How a gourmet bakery’s focus on quality
conquered the kosher world
By Tamar Fox
Dear Reader,
6 FEATURED BUSINESS
Making Memories With Scrap The world’s largest buyer of goods and services is the United States
A Wilmette store that creates life out of
knickknacks and keepsakes federal government, with purchases totaling more than $425 billion
By Yisroel Kamen per year. The government especially encourages small businesses to
bid on contracts for some of its needs. In fact, federal agencies are
8 IN MY OPINION
required to establish contracting goals, with at least 23 percent of all
The ‘Eat My Cake Too’ Generation
By Moshe Klein government buying targeted to small firms.

9 FEATURED NETWORKERS Do you feel that your small business has a shot at landing one of
these highly coveted government contracts? Jewish Business News
9 BUSINESS ETHICS
Can I Take Advantage of Someone is trying to learn more about and advocate for entrepreneurs who
Else’s Mistake? have tried competing for the opportunity to do business with their
municipality, state or federal governments.
10 SMALL BUSINESS FORECAST
Folks, It’s Still Not Looking Good
By Jewish Business News Staff As always, JBN continues to profile businesses in Chicago that are
making an impact locally. If you would like to send information
14 JOBS BOARD about your business or event, and possibly have it featured in an
upcoming issue, please email editor@thejewishbusiness.com.

On the cover:
Cover photo by Larry Engelhart
To Success,
Publisher: Shalom Klein
Editor: Gerald Burstyn
Contributing Editors: Moshe Klein, Shalom Klein
Khane-Faygl Turtletaub
Contributing Writers: Blanca Campos, Yisroel
Kamen, Hilary Markow, Mendy Rimler.
Creative Director: Michael Borkovec
Advertising/Sales Coordinator: Leah Alpert
Distribution Coordinator: James Austin

Check www.thejewishbusiness.com for updates.

© 2011 Jewish Business News. All rights reserved.


Reproduction in part or whole without permission
is prohibited. Editorial, publishing and advertising
offices: 3564 W. Dempster St., Skokie, Ill., 60076,
Phone: (888) 477-4466.

2 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


Brought to you by
jewishb2bnetworking.com
Spring Clean Your
Job Search
Mind Over Money: By Linda Wolfe
Networking Past Your Fears
Where: Spring, a time of renewal, is also a good time to re-energize your
Teleseminar - participate from your home or office job search plan. How familiar are you with current resume trends?
When: Tuesday, May 10, 12:00pm The days of having one mass-produced resume are over. Do you
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events know your unique selling proposition? Do you have an elevator
speech? Are you networking?
May Networking Meeting - Chicago
Where: DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center Use the change of seasons to evaluate your job search techniques,
9599 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie skills and personal presentation. To land a job today takes a
888-477-4466 different search technique from even one year ago. And, as the
When: Wednesday, May 18, 7:30am summer months approach, research suggests it’s a good time to
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events ramp up your search.

An Engaging Evening of Speed Networking Try some of these tips today:


Where:
The Metropolitan Club - Willis Tower
233 S. Wacker, Chicago Update your social networking presence: If you don’t have a
When: presence on LinkedIn, get one. If you do, update your profile.
Wednesday, June 1, 5:30pm Employers check social networking sites regularly to locate
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events potential candidates. You should include a current and professional
photo on this site.
The Power of LinkedIn: Increasing Profitability
and Revenue Network, network, and network: Increased outdoor activities
Where: provide additional opportunities in a fun and non-threatening
Webinar - participate from your home or office environment. Since over 80 percent of all jobs are found through
When: Tuesday, June 14, 12:00pm networking, make a commitment to reconnect with the people
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events in your current network—your family, friends, neighbors, and
mentors. You may also want to volunteer to build a new network
July Networking Meeting - Chicago and add new skills. While networking, have a quick and simple
Where: prepared elevator speech that defines what you’re looking for and
The Standard Club what you can offer a company.
320 South Plymouth Court, Chicago
When: Thursday, July 14, 5:30pm Research companies and industries: Stay abreast of news and
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events
current affairs in your desired industry. Search companies that
interest you and focus on what’s happening within those companies.
Breakfast and Networking with West Ridge You need to go beyond the on-line job board. Send cover letters to
Chamber of Commerce your interested companies asking for an informational interview
Where: and ensure you follow up that letter with a telephone call.
Devon Fish & Pizza
2848 W. Devon Avenue, Chicago
When:
Improve your marketability: What makes you unique or different
Wednesday, September 14, 8:30am than other candidates? If you believe your skills aren’t strong and
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events current, you can quickly become obsolete. Take a free course to
update your skills.
Small Business Legislative Forum
Where: Practice interviewing: One of the most overlooked areas of job
Skokie Theatre hunting is preparing and practicing for job interviews. Take the time
7924 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie to do the necessary research on the company, learn the anticipated
When: questions and develop strong answers that will tell your story in a
Monday, September 26, 6:00pm friendly, conversational way.
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events

If your job search suffered a bad case of the winter blues, by


Chanukah Networking Event implementing these strategies, you are bound to find a renewed
with Treasurer Dan Rutherford | Co-Sponsored energy in your search. A career counselor at JVS Chicago can help
by America-Israel Chamber of Commerce you with all of these tips and strengthen your confidence throughout
Where: your entire job search process.
Grossinger City Autoplex
1561 Fremont, Chicago Linda Wolfe is the director of career services at JVS Chicago, a
When: 125-year-old non-profit, non-sectarian social service agency. To make a
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 6:00pm complimentary appointment with a career counselor at JVS, call 847-745-
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/events 5464 or search for jobs online at www.ParnossahWorksChicago.org.

www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 3


Zelda, the Cookie Queen
How a gourmet bakery’s focus on quality conquered the kosher world

By Tamar Fox

I In 2002, when Linda Neiman was ready to return to work after


stores around Chicago, and even around the country. She hoped that
Zelda’s would be able to do sweet catering, maybe even savory catering
raising four children, she found that the computer science had changed for kosher events. And she hoped for a positive reception from the
significantly since her departure. Faced with the prospect of retraining community. But, she says, “I don’t know that we understood the scale
after 15 years away from the industry, she decided to reinvent herself. that we were capable of.”

For years Neiman, the daughter of a TV technician and a stay-at- Within nine months of opening it become clear that Zelda’s had the
home mom from West Rogers Park, had been known for making opportunity to expand into the gourmet markets on the East Coast. And
exceptionally good pastries at home, and she noticed that high quality from there the company has continued growing.
kosher baked goods were hard to find in stores. If a kosher consumer
wanted to send a gift basket, or bring a cake to a friend, he or she was Aside from the Skokie, Ill. storefront, Zelda’s also operates a 1,200
stuck with options that were either poor quality, or unattractive. Why, square-foot warehouse for wholesale baking and shipping, along with
she wondered, wasn’t there a high quality and visually appealing option the Passover baking, and the sweet catering. Neiman has about 20
for the kosher consumer? employees (some of her work is seasonal, so some workers come on
for a short time), and Zelda’s revenues are in the seven figures. Despite
During her time at home with her sons (today aged 17 to 27), Neiman had the poor economy, Zelda’s has experienced growth every year since
volunteered to help edit a community cookbook, and had successfully it opened, including 2008 and 2009, when many otherwise successful
convinced Barnes & Noble stores across the country to carry the businesses floundered.
cookbook in their stores. This experience gave Neiman the idea that
she might have a knack for marketing. With both marketing and baking Zelda’s products can be found in grocery stores like Jewel, Sunset
skills under her belt, and a healthy dose of optimism, Zelda’s Sweet Foods, and Treasure Island, and they are carried in Whole Foods stores
Shoppe opened its doors in 2003. (She called the shop Zelda’s instead across the Midwest, Southwest, and Rocky Mountain region. In fact,
of Linda’s because she felt it suggested traditional value, old-fashioned Neiman says, you can buy Zelda’s products in over 200 locations across
quality, and at the same time conveyed a sense of “something trendy, the country. And Zelda’s has a full-service Web site, where you can buy
exciting and new.”) custom cookies, chocolates and other baked goods for special occasions
and holidays. Zelda’s also creates sweet tables for catered events like
Today, Neiman says that the main idea behind her business was “to weddings and fundraisers and has recently begun full-service catering,
create products that were equivalent to their unkosher counterparts.” going beyond desserts.
And while Zelda’s is a business created to make money, Neiman says
that as much as profits, “the idea was more community oriented, so Feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.
the Jewish community could say we can get kosher goods—kosher “In the beginning we actually received a little bit of pushback from
chocolate, kosher bakery items—which are equal or actually even non-kosher buyers who assumed that the kosher products couldn’t be
better than their non-kosher counterparts.” as good,” Neiman says, but that problem seems to have faded away
almost immediately. Now, Neiman notes that she gets about one call a
When the store opened Neiman had high hopes—she thought that day from satisfied customers wanting to thank her for her tasty treats
one day her baked goods and chocolates might be carried in grocery and excellent service. “It’s made me feel a little bit bad because as a

4 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


customer before we opened the store I don’t think I ever did that…It People should be proud to keep kosher.” And her hope is that with her
never even occurred to me to do that, but it’s a really nice aspect of the products, people won’t be thinking, “This is kosher,” they’ll just be
business.” thinking, “This is delicious.”

One such happy customer is Liz Bennett of Wilmette. “We used Zelda’s In some ways, the success of Zelda’s seems to prove that within the
for the sweets for our son Nathan’s bar mitzvah. I thought working with Jewish community the standards for kosher goods have been rising.
the owners was great and we were very pleased with the product.” “Over the last decade, the kosher food world has made great strides.
Kosher consumers are increasingly looking for delicious alternatives
Caroline Musin, of Lincoln Park, is using Zelda’s to cater her upcoming to the old standards,” says Leah Koenig, kosher cookbook author and
wedding. “We knew that the sweets would be delicious, but we were food columnist for the Forward, the national Jewish weekly.. Zelda’s
amazed by the variety and flavor offered in the rest of the catering book.” is happy to oblige these customers with their more sophisticated and
demanding palates.
‘Despite the poor economy, Zelda’s
has experienced growth every year Packaging and publicity are the pieces that Neiman points to as the next
most important components of her success. She noted that she worked
since it opened.’ “extremely hard” to publicize Zelda’s, and said that “Good local
reception from wholesale markets has helped us tremendously as well.”
A buyer who encounters Zelda’s products in a store (as opposed to at
an event) will likely notice Zelda’s distinctive branding and packaging. And Zelda’s is not done growing. When asked about expansion Neiman
The vice-president and marketing director of Zelda’s is Lindsay says she’d like Zelda’s products to be in 1,000 stores, and would like to
Martenko, a former student of graphic design who started at Zelda’s see the catering arm of Zelda’s take on more business. She’s quick to
in 2005, two years after the store opened. Martenko designs the point out that these goals aren’t “pie in the sky.” They certainly seem
wholesale packaging for Zelda’s products, and has managed to convey doable for a company that has seen such unprecedented success thus
a sense of fun and whimsy in all of Zelda’s branding. Neiman says far. And considering that Zelda’s has achieved all of the goals Neiman
that having Martenko as an in-house designer has been a real asset, had for it at the outset, it seems likely that the company will meet these
because she truly understands what the company and the products are goals, and go beyond them.
about. Martenko is also able to use her creative talents for all of Zelda’s
Tamar Fox is an associate editor at MyJewishLearning.com. Her writing has
marketing. She works closely with Neiman, who calls their working
appeared in the Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post, Nerve.com, and Jewcy.
relationship a “win/win.” com, where she was the religion editor.

Jodi Wittenberg, owner of The Chosen Knish, a kosher store in Atlanta,


Ga., wrote in an email that, “My customers and I agree that their
packaging is exciting and attention grabbing, the price points are good,
but the products are outstanding.” She adds that, “Everyone that we
have introduced to Zelda’s usually starts with the Caramel Popcorn
then comes right back to try more goodies, such as brownies, mandel
breit and chocolate frogs.”

Clearly, the combination of Martenko’s packaging and Neiman’s


baking is at the root of the company’s success. Kosher consumers are
developing more refined and particular palettes, and demand sweets
that are worth paying for. When asked what the secret of her success
is, Neiman comes back to recipe development, the thing that got her
started, and the part of her job she still enjoys most.

In 2008, Zelda’s Pecan Pie was chosen as Best in Show and Best
Dessert at Kosherfest, the largest international kosher food trade show.
The same year at Kosherfest, Zelda’s also took home prizes for Best
Snack Food and Best Packaging Design. In 2009 at Kosherfest, Zelda’s
Orange Chiffon Cake won the prize for Best New Product-Passover
Product.

And it’s not just in the kosher world that Zelda’s is winning accolades.
In 2008, Zelda’s won the Hot Chocolate award at the AIDS Foundation
of Chicago “World of Chocolate” event. Neiman is adamant that,
“There’s no reason kosher [food] can’t be as good as not [kosher food].
It should be even better. Our ingredients are really quality ingredients.

www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 5


Making Memories With Scrap
A Wilmette store that creates life out of knickknacks and keepsakes
By Yisroel Kamen
In an age when digital media reigns supreme, Jocelyn Tobias is sticking, Cindy Tobias and her
quite literally, with scrapbooking. daughter Samantha
turned a love of
scrapbooking into a
“It’s very therapeutic,” she remarks from the creative confines of her business venture.
downtown Wilmette store, which features a blooming expanse of
meticulously hand-crafted albums surrounded by walls teeming with
decorative stickers and other colorful accessories.
of boys) who will descend upon the store to decorate picture frames,
Tobias, 60, who opened Defining Moments last spring with her artistically albums, clocks and other gifts to mark the occasion although.
inclined daughter Samantha, 30, has coupled a personal approach to
scrapbooking with her passion for the time-honored craft to quickly It may appear otherwise, Tobias is quick to point out that scrapbooking
attract a loyal base of customers. is not strictly a feminine pursuit, noting that two great male Americans
– Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain – were both “huge” scrapbookers.
“A lot of women walk in apprehensively,” she says, describing those who
enter the store for the first time. It doesn’t take long, however, for them “Twain sold his scrapbooks through the Montgomery Ward catalog,” she
to channel their creative juices into designing that perfect keepsake at a muses, acknowledging that some young men “in their late 20s or early
birthday party or “lady’s night” with friends. 30s” arrived at the store before Valentine’s Day with photos for her to
assemble into a unique album for their wives and girlfriends.
Cindy Krizman discovered Tobias’ oasis along with her teenage daughter
about a month after it opened. A self-described regular, Krizman credits “Custom work is fabulous,” she says, praising the bread and butter of her
the owners’ inviting approach to personal creativity with allowing her to business model that can keep her busy upwards of 20 hours on a single
unleash an inspired potential that lay dormant for years. project.

“We share our ideas with Jocelyn and she shares her ideas with us,” relates Kari Amundson, who works down the block from the store, believes
Krizman, a “crafty” Wilmette resident, who is “not an artist,” to be sure. that Tobias excels through her desire and willingness to work with each
While her daughter enjoys making gift albums alongside Samantha in customer in harnessing their individual creative spirit.
the store, the “mostly self-taught” mother prefers to purchase materials
to work on projects at home. “I wouldn’t normally go to a scrapbook store,” she confides. Nevertheless,
she became hooked after purchasing a premade letter holder for her artist
sister.
The scrapbooking bug bit Tobias early on and transcends the generation
gap. She credits her father with teaching her younger self how to compile “I couldn’t believe how perfect it was for her studio,” she says, revealing
keepsake records of family vacations and other momentous events that that the two will mark her sister’s 50th birthday this month with a joint
would later be vividly relived through an earlier attention to detail; album-making adventure at Defining Moments.
seemingly mundane artifacts such as candy wrappers, napkins and the
like accompanied photographs in those first scrapbooks to magically “It’s a great place to go and get creative.”
illustrate a time and place in her life that would have otherwise faded
into history. Describing a recent bridal shower at the store, Tobias recalls how
she worked alongside each respective guest to fashion a unique page
Shortly before foraying into the world of professional scrapbooking, displaying their favorite recipe. At the end of the evening, the group’s
Tobias presented her octogenarian parents with a new book she created collective output was assembled into a custom cookbook and presented
from the leftover “shoebox” mementos of her childhood years. She’s to the bride-to-be, who “absolutely loved it.”
thankful that her mother was able to enjoy her “heartfelt” work before
she passed away and beams that her 88-year-old father still takes pride in “They all walked out happy about what they just made,” she beamed.
showing the book to “everyone he knows.”
For Jocelyn and Samantha Tobias, that’s what it’s all about.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Defining Moments is gearing Yisroel Kamen is a freelance writer in Chicago. To respond to this column,
up to host a throng of mostly 10-15 year-old girls (and a smattering write: yk@thejewishbusiness.com.

6 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 7
The ‘Eat My Cake Too’ Generation
By Moshe Klein

“Good help is so hard to find.” As a small business owner, I It’s interesting to me in this day and age of high unemployment
have been employing and contracting with workers for decades. how so many young people still don’t get it.
I thought that I had seen it all. I have seen workers come in late
because they overslept. I have seen workers leave early because Ernest Hemingway said: “I will have to work hard tomorrow.
they have tickets to a concert or plans to “go out” with friends. Work could cure almost anything, I believed it then and I believe
I have seen workers on the phone for hours making personal it now.”
travel plans, etc., while on company time. These things have
become so commonplace that you almost can’t get around them Hard work is many things. We live in a complicated, fast world,
anymore. However, it was always a given that your employees surrounded by distractions. Getting down to work can be a way to
worked – and worked hard. free yourself of all things extraneous. It can be a stress reliever,
a form of meditation. Conversely, it can be a punishment for
But nowadays, even hard work seems to be a quality in some enjoying yourself too much the night before. The quote from
people that is hard to find. They are the “entitled to it all” Hemingway is from “A Moveable Feast,” a narrative account
generation for whom hard work is an alien concept. of Hemingway’s time as a poor, young writer living in Paris.
The book is filled with advice on living, on writing and on the
Today’s young workers, it appears, believe they deserve jobs importance of discipline and hard work. The quote stuck with
with big salaries, status and plenty of leisure time, without me because in my opinion, it’s true.
having to put in the hours.
Moshe Klein is an accountant and small business consultant. His firm, Moshe
It appears, according to a study in the Journal of Management, Klein & Associates, Ltd. is based in Chicago and services clients throughout
the United States and Canada. To respond to his column, write to:
that those born in the late 1980s—the so-called “Generation
mk@thejewishbusiness.com.
Y”—expect to “have their cake and eat it too.” Young workers
see employment simply as a means for paying bills. They seem
to value leisure time far more highly than older members of the
workforce and are much more likely to want a job with an easy
pace and lots of holidays. They are also less likely to want to
work overtime.

Generation Y see work as less central to their lives and are more
likely to agree that “work is just making a living.” But they
place great importance on salary and status. In other words,
said the researchers, the younger generation wants to “have
their cake” in big salaries and “eat it too” by retaining a healthy
work-life balance.

For the study, researchers compared the work values of three


generations and found distinct differences.

The Generation Y tag refers to those growing up in the


INTERNET age, the most technologically-savvy generation yet.

Before them came Generation X, born in the late 1960s to early


1980s. They grew up in an era of increasing equality for women,
a struggling economy and increasing divorce rates. Their attitude
is typically described as “work hard, play hard.”

Baby Boomers were born in the late 1940s and 1950s. As


children of the post-war years, they are associated with
prosperity and optimism. They were wealthier and healthier
than any generation before but were prepared to work hard to
achieve their success. They can be loosely described as the “live
to work” generation.

8 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


Todd Bermont Can I Take Advantage of
Online Instructor, Founder and Dean of
The Careers College
My motto: To help jobseekers sell the world’s most
Someone Else’s Mistake?
valuable solution … themselves. By Rabbi Asher Meir
My work: Online courses and programs that
radically transform the job search. Is it ethical to take advantage of someone else’s mistake in
What sets me apart: I enable jobseekers to develop the business? Jewish law on this question really falls into three
skills they need to sell themselves and land a great job. categories:

• When the benefit is something that both parties have equal rights
Joel Lewison to. In this case there is no problem taking advantage of someone
Swim Instructor
else’s carelessness to obtain something that I have every right
My motto: To strive for perfection and settle for
to—as long as I don’t actually deceive them.
excellence.
My work: Swim instructor for all ages and levels.
What sets me apart: My ability to communicate • When the benefit is at the expense of the mistaken individual.
and criticize in a constructive fashion so that the Jewish law does not allow us to benefit from someone’s mistake
smiles grow larger and larger. in order to obtain his or her property or private information.

• When the benefit is in the framework of negotiations, we have


an intermediate situation. All negotiations involve give and take
Jeff Rosset that, in some sense, are at the expense of one side or the other. In
Director of Marketing & Business
Development at MidwestHR, LLC this case it is forbidden to deceive the other side, but permissible
My motto: Happily doing anything possible to to negotiate an advantageous deal.
serve my clients and colleagues.
My work: We help organizations dramatically The most interesting case is that of negotiations. The ethics of
decrease their health insurance premium costs. negotiations is an underdeveloped area of ethics generally,
What sets me apart: Specialize in working with because negotiations are a paradoxical interaction. Negotiations
professional services firms and religious organizations. receive their validity from consent and agreement, yet the very
nature of negotiations is uncertainty as to what the other side
Locate these and other business networkers and create your own profile online at
really is willing to pay or how much they are really willing to
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/directory give up. A certain amount of hidden information is natural. At
the same time, if the sides are totally deceitful then no effective
negotiations can ever take place. So negotiations take place in the
gray area where each side is obligated to “reveal one handbreadth
and hide two.”

Mistakes in negotiations are common. One common mistake is


accidentally revealing confidential information, but on the other
hand occasionally you get away with this because the other side
assumes it must be just a ploy. More to the point, sometimes
one side fails to notice a very detrimental clause in a contract;
sometimes a side may even carelessly submit a contract proposal
that is to its own disadvantage.

The Talmud discusses a similar case and concludes that the


appropriate response is to draw the other side’s attention to the
agreement as a whole. A merchant offered Rav Kahana an unusual
bargain, which created the suspicion of a mistake; Rav Kahana
stated pointedly, “I’m relying on your calculation.” Likewise, in
a bargaining situation a person could assert: “We’re responding
to your conditions.” Your job does include making sure that the
other side understands exactly what conditions they are agreeing
to, but it is not your responsibility to ensure that these conditions
are to their advantage.

The best course of action when presented with a seeming misstep


in a negotiating situation is neither to aggressively seize the
opportunity nor to meekly yield on your vital interests. Rather,
you should ask the other side to re-examine the offer and confirm
that they understand all the conditions and are willing to go ahead.

Republished in a condensed form with permission from the Business


Ethics Center of Jerusalem (www.besr.org).

www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 9


Business Confidence (Negative)
Folks, It’s Still Not Looking Good Business confidence, also known as the purchasing managers index
(PMI), increased to 61.4 in January 2011 from 60.8 in January of
By Jewish Business News Staff 2010, according to the Institute of Supply Management. The business
confidence survey measures the level of optimism that people who run
It’s very difficult to measure the true impact of the slowly churning companies have about the performance of the economy and how they
economy on small businesses. However, we at Jewish Business News feel about their organizations’ prospects. We list this as negative since
believe it’s important to recognize the various indicators in the U.S. the confidence level is still far too low.
economy that will predict future growth. Everyone will form his or
her own opinions, but these are our informed estimates. Consumer Confidence (Negative)
In the United States, consumer confidence declined to 63.4 in
Balance of Trade (Negative) March of 2011 from 72 in February of 2011. The Conference Board
The United States reported a trade deficit equivalent to $46.3 billion Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is a barometer of the health of the
in January 2011. For decades, the U.S. has led the world in imports U.S. economy from the perspective of the consumer.
while simultaneously remaining as one of the top three exporters in
the world. Crude Oil (Negative)
Crude oil futures contracts rallied $23, or 27.18 percent, over the past
Inflation Rate (Positive) few months. From 1983 to 2011, crude oil futures prices averaged
The inflation rate in the U.S. was last reported at 2.1 percent in $33.74, reaching a historic high of $145.29 in July 2008 and a record
February 2011. From 1914 to 2010, the average inflation rate in the low of $10.42 in March 1986. Crude oil is the world’s most actively
U.S. was 3.38 percent, reaching a historic high of 23.7 percent in June traded commodity.
1920.
As a small business owner, you know that too much debt over
Unemployment Rate (Negative) too long a period without the ability to pay it off will eventually
The unemployment rate in the U.S. was last reported at 8.8 percent sink your venture. So why don’t governments understand this
in March 2011. From 1948 until 2010, the U.S. unemployment rate fundamental economic principal? Perhaps our readers can offer
averaged 5.7 percent, reaching a historic high of 10.8 percent in some explanations? Feel free to write to us. We would welcome your
November of 1982 and a record low of 2.5 percent in May 1953. thoughts and ideas about our current economy and the state of small
We list this as negative since unemployment is still far too high even business as you see it.
though it’s trending down.

10 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 11
A Notice for Additional Taxes in Your Mailbox?
What to do now
By Linda Forman

A thick envelope comes in the mail, bearing a proposed federal or rollover information and you should not owe any additional
state tax assessment for an omission or error in a prior year return. tax.
You may have received it in the last few months – and may have let
it sit because you weren’t sure what to do. Now you have received a • There are also coding errors on Form 1099-R that go
demand for payment that looks pretty serious. Before you grab for unnoticed by unsuspecting taxpayers. Most common is a
that checkbook, take a breath and carefully read what is really in death benefit distribution where the distribution code is
that first notice. Here are some of the common proposed “omissions wrong. Death benefits are not subject to the 10 percent early
and errors” that I have seen in recent notices – where a quick withdrawal penalty if you are under 59 ½. IRS will assess the
response to the Internal Revenue Service or the state often resulted penalty unless you can get the 1099-R corrected for the death
in no tax due. benefit coding. I have had clients who need corrected coding
and the institutions keep issuing wrong 1099-Rs year after
• W-2 withholding is missing. For some reason, the year. Be vigilant and ask for corrections so that IRS’s records
withholding information doesn’t get matched with the return, will match reality and show a death benefit code.
so sending in a copy of the W-2 will solve the problem. With
state returns, this sometimes happens when a large refund is So don’t panic when you see a tax notice and don’t ignore it. If you
due. have let it sit, get your information together and respond right away.
And if you do owe money for an honest omission, own up now and
• Income is reported in one part of the return, but is shown make a payment plan if you can’t pay in full today.
differently on Form 1099. This often happens when mutual
fund dividend income is shown as interest on Schedule B Linda Forman CPA has a tax and accounting practice in downtown Evanston.
but should be reported as dividend income. Indicating that She is past vice president and board member of the Illinois CPA Society.
the income was reported (just not in the right place) will set
things straight.

• Proceeds of stock sales. Whoops, you forgot to report the


sale of a stock. IRS will report the sales proceeds as income
without any reduction for the cost/basis of the stock and will
show the income as ordinary income rather than capital gain
income. Provide the IRS with the cost/basis and acquisition
date of the stock so that only the net gain or loss would be
reported – and the lower capital gain tax rate applied if the
stock is held long term. Who knows, with a capital loss you
may even get a refund for the IRS’s catching this omission.

• Health care professionals receive notices that include


Form 1099 income not shown on their personal returns.
This income was reported on a business return but the
professional’s social security number was used on Form 1099
instead of the business EIN (employer identification number).
When you get your Form 1099’s each year for the business,
make sure that the company EIN is used instead of your
social security number. If a 1099 uses the wrong number,
ask to have it corrected. If it is not corrected quickly, add
an informational schedule to your tax return listing the 1099
income reported using your social security number – and the
name and EIN of the business return where the income was
properly recorded.

• Distribution errors. If you withdraw an IRA from one


account and roll it over to an account in another institution,
the IRS may not pick up the rollover if the transaction was not
shown correctly on the return. Provide IRS with the timely

12 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 13
Find out more about these jobs and over 100 more online at
www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs
Design Engineer, Skokie, Ill. Tax Specialist, Chicago, Ill.
Candidate will have 1-3 years of mechanical engineering Responsibilities will include preparation of tax return work papers
experience in a manufacturing environment and a Bachelor’s for certain corporate tax adjustments and preparation of Form 1120
Degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related four-year technical pro-forma returns using the Company’s tax preparation software.
degree from an accredited college. See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.
See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.
Manager, Marketing Communications, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Paralegal Assistant, Chicago, Ill. Responsible for implementing various marketing communication
Requires skill equivalent to completion of four years college with projects with creative staff and global marketing managers.
related coursework in areas as pre-legal, medical or premedical, See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.
English, and statistics; paralegal certificate preferred; requires travel.
Part-time Bookeeper, Bannockburn, Ill.
See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.
Looking for a Part-Time Bookkeeper with experience in law firm
Compliance/Legislative Affairs Manager , Cook Cty, Ill. bookkeeper. Experience with PC Law preferred, and desirable.
Organizes, manages, and administers the Health Facilities and This is a position that probably requires 4 to 5 days per month.
Services Review Board’s (State Board) compliance activities as Time and days flexible. Can be fixed fee, or hourly.
mandated by State statute and State Board rules. See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.
See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.
Youth Director, Skokie, Ill.
Information Technology Summer Intern , Chicago, Ill. Seeking an organized, energetic, creative, self starter to be the
These full-time, paid internships enable you to gain hands-on face of our shul’s growing youth department. The Youth Director
experience while contributing to programs, helping us meet will work with the leaders to provide meaningful and enjoyable
customer needs, and learning from experienced professionals. Shabbat group experiences .
See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs. See complete listing @ www.jewishb2bnetworking.com/jobs.

14 Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. www.thejewishbusiness.com


CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING
Business Services loved one to assisted living, handling an
estate of a loved one, divorce, or facing
Need help writing brochures, foreclosure, we can help you get the most
newsletters, websites, company histories for your possessions. We are properly
or ads? Midwest Writers to the rescue. insured, compassionate, and totally
We’re a group of communications honest (after all it is in “OUR NAME”).
specialists who can market your Please call for a free no obligation
company with the right message to the consultation to Jackie @ 708-253-9489.
right audience. Call Mira Temkin, www.integrityestatesales.net We work
President, 847-433-2109, STRICKLY on commission!
www.midwestwriters.com. Email: E-mail: integrity1998@sbcglobal.net
miratemkin@gmail.com
FOR RENT
Israel Sport Center For The Disabled
Join us for the 2011 Israel Sport Center Creative Apartment Rental
for the Disabled Texas Hold’Em Poker Bernard Small of “Creative Apartment
Tournament, Grand Prize is a $10,000.00 Rental” Guarantees Tenant’s Rent
seat in the World Series. May 7, 2011 & Direct Deposit. Referrals are
at the Mart Plaza. All proceeds go to investors, property owners, individuals,
buying Wheelchairs for the children at management with dwellings to rent:
condo, house, apts., etc. Anywhere in
the Center.
Chicago & surrounding suburbs.
Sign-up at www.iscdpoker.com.
773-875-2425 Contact: 773.354.1066,
creativeapartmentrental.com
Embassy Bankcard
Embassy Bankcard has the best terms, Help Wanted
service, and solutions available for credit
card processing all at wholesale pricing. AAA Michigan
EBSI has a special on gateway processing We are looking to hire! AAA is looking
for limited time, that may save hundreds for new agents to join our team in
in transaction fees. Chicago. To find out more information
Call Barry Bass at 877-982-0700 about this lucrative employment
opportunity, contact Peter Fenner at
Fleapay 313-336-4194.
Accepting credit cards? Fleapay is a Email: pmfenner@aaamichigan.com
simple shopping cart system that works
with your existing website and payment Miscellaneous
gateway. Get a Fleapay account and start
selling Contact: (773) 276-8066.
www.fleapay.com/jbn. Email: DISTINCTIVE HANDMADE
partners@gulosolutions.com JEWELRY
Custom orders welcome. Marla
Guogos Wolfinger. ETSY.COM: MiriDesigns
Lights, Camera, Success: The time for Home:847.674.6677, Fax:847.674.5606
Online Video Marketing is now. Create Email: Hatzabarim@aol.com
a video business card with Guugos.
com and jumpstart your marketing / White Noise
career search efforts! Guugos is coming White Noise is coming to town!
to an area near you! Call us directly to Whoopi Goldberg and the producers are
book your video cover letter shoot at extending a special offer to the JB2BN
1-877-8GUUGOS. community to see it first. JBN readers are
Email: steven@guugos.com being offered $40 tickets to any preview
performance between April 1, 2011
Steven H. Jesser, Attorney at Law, P.C.
and April 8, 2011. Visit Ticketmaster.
Steven H. Jesser, Attorney at Law, P.C.
com, call The Royal George Theatre
experienced legal representation of
Box office at 312-988-9000 or stop
businesses and professionals in contract
by the Royal George Theatre at 1641
negotiation/transactional, realty, regula-
tory, licensing, trial, and appellate prac- N. Halstead Street and mention code
tice. Northfield office. Admitted in IL, NOISE1 to take advantage of the offer!
AZ, NY, WI, MN, DC, GA, MA, TX, NE. Email: jelewis18@gmail.com
Contact: 847-424-0200, 847-212-5620
mobile. Email: shj@sjesser.com, DejaViews
www.sjesser.com. Anxious to see the photo album of your
recent event? Show the pictures AT the
SEO-TV Communications event with DejaViews photography.
Search Engine Optimization. We Train Send us your event info at 877-DEJA-
Your Staff. Simple. Become Experts VIEWS or www.dejaviewsusa.com
in Months. Video Marketing, Email
Marketing Solutions for Entrepreneurs. Buddy’s Lawncare
Website Backoffice Solutions-Manage Contact the BEST in lawn maintenance
Your Own Website. and landscape! Contact Budd’s
Contact: Mike Fisher, SEO-TV Landscape & Construction, Inc at 312-
Communications,Inc., 312-725-0107 504-1455 or www.buddyslc.com for a
Email: mfisher@eo-tv.net free estimate!
Email: chriscail@sbcglobal.net
Integrity Estate Sales
Integrity Estate Sales We are a full
service liquidation company. Whether
you are moving, downsizing, relocating a

Place your classified ad for as little as $25!


Contact us at www.thejewishbusiness.com/advertise

www.thejewishbusiness.com Jewish Business News - A publication of Jewish B2B Networking, Inc. 15