THE BUSINESS OF LOVE [INFOGRAPHICS]

Being in love can end up being pretty pricey in the United States. In fact, total spending on Valentine’s Day this year is expected to reach $19.7 billion (that’s billions with a B). But just what are we spending all that money on? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when it comes to presents on the most romantic day of the year, 50% of Americans plan to give candy, which is followed closely by greeting cards (47.9%), an evening out (38. 3%), flowers (36.4%) and jewelry (19.9%). Here’s a deeper look at the numbers behind Valentine’s Day, courtesy of a consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics for the National Retail Federation.  

THE BUSINESS OF LOVE [INFOGRAPHICS]

Creating opportunity

The Rise of the L.A. Fashion District

In a field dominated by big designers backed by even bigger fashion houses, one small part of downtown Los Angeles is shaking up the fashion industry. The 100-block LA Fashion District, home to more than 4,000 businesses and around 1,500 showrooms, prides itself on fostering a creative, entrepreneurial spirit that helps lesser-known designers thrive. Take Bri Seeley, for instance. The native Minnesotan brought her brand from Seattle to the City of Angels in 2013. “My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was about seven, so this has been something that’s just been in my blood,” said Seeley. “Being a fashion entrepreneur is a lot less about being a fashion designer than it is about being an entrepreneur.” While LA may lack the international profile and couture designers of New York or Paris, its fashion district is a major manufacturing hub that acts as a home base for dozens […]

The Rise of the L.A. Fashion District

America at work

Innovation that matters

 

Hot Startups Are Heating Up Atlanta

Atlanta is heating up, and we’re not just talking about the weather. The southern city famous for its musical talent and humid climate is attracting more and more tech companies from across the country, thanks to a low cost of living and a growing number of financial opportunities.   “It used to be that you would see talent leave and go to [Silicon] Valley, but that doesn’t happen anymore,” says Adam Harrell, co-founder of digital startup Nebo Agency. “Now talent stays here, builds companies here, recruits here, and it works really well.” The entrepreneur, who also acts as executive director of Startup Atlanta, started his business in the city 11 years ago and has seen it grow and change over the years, thanks to an influx of Fortune 500 companies and profitable startups.   The region has seen a 19 percent increase in the number of high-tech jobs between 2003 and […]

Hot Startups Are Heating Up Atlanta

Creating opportunity

Death, Taxes, and Data Theft – You Can Only Protect Yourself From One

Online hacking isn’t new. People have been hacking computers and handheld devices for years—either with aims to improve what exists, or with more nefarious goals like identity theft. Recently, however, it seems like the number of malintended digital attacks have increased not only in frequency — but also in intensity. Last year, security officials disclosed that hackers stole financial records and fingerprints for millions of federal employees during what is described as one of the biggest government data breaches in history. Meanwhile, on the other side, consumers have seen more and more breaches for everyday gadgets ranging from baby toys to smartphones. So, what can consumers and businesses do in response? “There are a lot of things [they] can do to protect their security,” says William Budington (@legind), a software engineer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “Using encryption is a big part of that — well vetted end-to-end encryption […]

Death, Taxes, and Data Theft – You Can Only Protect Yourself From One

Creating opportunity

Fashion Week on Free Enterprise

With New York Fashion Week just days away, we’re kicking off a weeklong series that highlights the small businesses and rising entrepreneurs of the fashion world. From a design and manufacturing hub in L.A. to a new wave of clothing brands sweeping the nation, we’re taking a closer look at the new faces and places of the industry.   But before we get started, a brief history: Fashion week was founded in New York City in 1943 by a woman named Eleanor Lambert, who was a prominent publicist in the art and fashion world. She saw that designers were lacking a way to show off their collections to the international press, and thus, Fashion Press Week was born. The semi-annual event was held throughout the city each February and September, often in difficult-to-reach or unsafe locations. So, when Lambert created the Council of Fashion Designers of America (the CFDA) in […]

Fashion Week on Free Enterprise

America at work

Why paying it forward is a business in itself

The oft-repeated phrase “pay it forward” has slowly evolved from a karmic expression into a popular entrepreneurial business plan over the years. These days, creating a business that is focused on helping others or supporting worthy causes has become so popular that there’s now a name for it: social entrepreneurship.   One entrepreneur who has built a successful business on helping others is Chase Garbarino, CEO and cofounder of a company called VentureApp. The company’s mission: helping local groups turn their ideas into success. The business connects entrepreneurs with others that can help with everything from legal work to health plans. “Fortune 500 companies have divisions dedicated to researching suppliers, service providers, price negotiations and determining what services and products are best for the company,” says Garbarino. “Small to medium-sized businesses are cash-strapped and resource-light.” With that in mind, VentureApp has built up a marketplace of vendors that can help […]

Why paying it forward is a business in itself

Doing good

The Super Bowl: Made in America? Not Entirely.

This story originally appeared on Above the Fold, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s digital platform featuring analysis, commentary, and real stories about the intersection of government and business. Super Bowl Sunday: It’s America’s game, America’s night, and America’s traditions. Surely, there’s nothing more star-spangled spectacular than watching the big game on the big screen, a cold beer in one hand a towering plate of wings in the other. It’s a night that oozes red, white and blue. Or is it? When you really think about the things that make Super Bowl Sunday a de facto national holiday, you begin to realize just how much of the fanfare depends on a little help from our trading partners around the world. So, as we gear up for the 50th installment of the greatest night in sports, here’s a look at what the Super Bowl would be missing without global trade and our […]

The Super Bowl: Made in America? Not Entirely.

America at work

The Real Story Behind “The Real McCoy”

During each week of Black History Month,we will honor an African American entrepreneur who has made an important contribution to American society. This week’s feature is Elijah McCoy, the inventor of the automatic engine lubricator. Have you ever taken a long train ride without making countless stops along the way? You’re able to do that because of Elijah McCoy. Elijah McCoy was born in 1844 to a free family in Ontario, Canada, and moved back to the U.S. with his family at the age of three. As an adolescent, his parents sent him to Edinburgh, Scotland to attend engineering school because of his interest in the subject from an early age. When McCoy finished his schooling, he found a job as a train fireman and oilman in Michigan. As part of his job, McCoy had to make sure the train was properly lubricated. The only way to do this was […]

The Real Story Behind “The Real McCoy”

True innovation