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Best Time to Shop for Deals

With Christmas behind us, the end of year bargains are here! Don’t you want the best deals you can find — especially during these tough times? Whether you are looking for specific items like winters clothes, warm coats, holiday decorations or a new car, these deals start now with many more are to be found all year long.

December is typically one of the best months to purchase a several items like a new car. Edmunds.com reports the highest discounts off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, 6.1% on average.  Salespeople work on goals, monthly, quarterly and yearly that combined with new models make it a great time to snap up a deal. And starting the day after Christmas, look for deep discounts that are many times 50% or more off on decorations, ornaments, artificial trees, and similar wrapping paper.

Sale ads, coupon savings are everywhere but if you can wait till the end of the month it is truly the best time to shop. Are you wondering what you should purchase this month, or wait until 2021? Below are tips on when to purchase popular big and small ticket items as some months in the year are better than others for certain purchases. Here is a plan that can help you to save money throughout 2021.

January
New Year’s presents a fresh start to 2021 and for shopping deals.

  • Gym Memberships- COVID permitting, gyms offer sales to help get new members signed up.
  • Fitness equipment- Time to get in shape and retailer offer fitness equipment and apparel sales.
  • Bedding and linens- Department stores hold bedding and linen “white sales” in January with deep discounts on sheets and towels.
  • TVs and electronics- Just before the Super Bowl, retailers normally discount TVs and other home-theater essentials.

February
The month of love and gifts, plus time to buy major items.

  • TVs- Sales into February and with Super Bowl being the primary reason and the best time to buy a new TV.
  • Winter items- With cold weather winter tapering off, retailers look to selloff inventory of cold-weather products like apparel and winter sports gear.
  • Home goods- Retailers run home and apparel sales before Presidents Day.

March
March is a little slower but there are always sales to be found.

  • Tax software- With tax-prep ahead, retailers many times will discount items.
  • Grills- Get ready for summer grilling now so you can avoid the price increases when summer arrives.
  • St. Patrick’s Day essentials- Retailers, bars and restaurants usually discount green-themed clothing, party supplies, food and drink specials.

April
April showers bring spring deals.

  • Tax themed items- Retailers and restaurants offer Tax Day discounts and freebies on services.
  • Vacuums- Need a new vacuum, manufacturers like Dyson many times have nice markdowns.
  • Easter candy- Take advantage of the day after Easter for big markdowns on stuffed animals, plastic eggs and more. Buy now and save for 2022!

May
May flowers are here and sales are too!

  • Small kitchen appliances- Time to find discounts on your favorite kitchen appliances.
  • Furniture- Memorial Day is one of the three best months to buy furniture and home décor.
  • Spring apparel- By May, retailers will discount spring clothing that has already been hanging on racks for a month or two.

June
June brings opportunities to snag deals.

  • Gym memberships- Summer is a good time to look for membership or class package deals.
  • Lingerie- Yes Victoria’s Secret host its Semi-Annual Sale. Stock up now and save!

July
July temperature goes up but prices fall.

  • Patriotic items- Look for Fourth of July red, white and blue products, sporting goods, and outdoor furniture.
  • Personal electronics- Retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon (Prime Day) run July promotions.
  • Apparel- No need to wait till end-of-summer, sales start now.

August
Summer product close out sales!

  • Outdoor products- Price slashes on lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment.
  • Back to school month- Time to buy pencils and expensive laptops.
  • Swimsuits- Swimming isn’t over days, but swimsuits are all on clearance so buy for next year.

September
September has its fair share of good buys too.

  • iPhones- Apple usually announces and unveils its new iPhones and many times drops prices on the current phones.
  • Appliances- Expect a series of blowout deals in the week leading up to Labor Day, including promotions on appliances big and small.
  • Mattresses- Time for Labor Day mattress sales at both department stores and mattress centers.

October
Halloween season brings deals on these products.

  • Jeans- New inventory arrives for Fall so grab a new pair of jeans.
  • Outdoor furniture- Temperatures drop and patio furniture, outdoor living products go on final clearance.
  • Candy- Halloween brings discounted candy for trick-or-treaters. Many times the larger bags are a better buy.

November
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales at last!

  • Electronics- Look for deep discounts on smartphones, TV’s activity trackers, computers and gaming systems.
  • Home appliances- Time to buy washers, dryers, dishwasher and refrigerators.
  • Tools- Home items like ladders and toolboxes are also on sale.

December
Holidays bring gifting discounts across all areas.

  • Toys and games- Retailers run toys and games specials to move the items.
  • Electronics- Black Friday promotions run from over into this month.
  • Winter Clothes- Shoppers can take advantage of after Christmas sales on fall clothing!
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No Contact Matters More Now Than Ever

The Thanksgiving holiday has set a record only it is not the kind of record to brag about. The U.S. is experiencing a surge in COVID- 19 cases. As Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year’s approach, no contact matters now more than ever before!

Families were asked not to gather but many didn’t listen. As a result the U.S. has set a record number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and the numbers are continuing to rise daily! One of the biggest problems America is now facing is hospitals are almost at full capacity. There are very few beds available and emergency rooms are filled! Feeling the strain, some hospitals have resulted to setting up tents. Governors’ in many states have re issued stay at home orders in regions where hospitals surpassed 85 percent intensive care occupancy.

Even though the FDA has approved the first of two vaccines, the public still needs to do their part to control the pandemic. To help mitigate the spread, implementing safety into your everyday work and personal lives is easy. Wear a face covering to cover your mouth and nose in public at all times. The mask will help to protect you in the event you come in contact with someone infected. Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily which include doorknobs, handles, light switches, tables, desks, phones, keyboards, computers, as well as sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.

The bigger issue is COVID may be spread through people not showing any symptoms. According to the CDC, the virus is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person. Which is why it may spread between people you are in close contact or through droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs nearby. Healthy practices are essential to protecting you and your love ones.  Follow the obvious guidelines like avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands were just cleaned.  Make sure to wash your hands often, with soap and for a minimum of 20 seconds.  And wash again after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing. Always avoid close contact with anyone sick.

Eliminate sources of infection

Businesses also need to eliminate as many sources of potential infection. Finding contactless touchpoints will also help reduce the possible sources of infection. Going contactless may become the new normal. There are free apps like QR menu and payment apps which are the safe and secure to use. Anyone can view menus and make payments from their own mobile devices. No fees to sign up or to down load the apps.

It has been reported that even religious organizations are weighing their options for the well-being of their congregations. Many have set up make shift arrangements for outdoor services and have incorporated Zoom worship services, video and phone calls.

With very few beds remaining the biggest takeaway is to eliminate crowded places, limit holiday social gatherings and large family parties.  Staying safe should be top priority. Making sure you everyone wears masks and stays at least 6 feet apart at all times. Keep plenty of clean masks around, place hand sanitizer throughout your business, house and car.

For an up to date data snapshot of how COVID-19 is impacting individual hospitals in your area visit Healthdata.gov.

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California Small Businesses Get Help to Stay Open During COVID

COVID-19 has presented several challenges for small businesses, employers and their employees because cases are rising at an alarmingly rapid rate. Most especially for businesses in California where more than 1 million cases have been identified as of December 2020.  Big cities have been the most effected. In Los Angeles alone it was reported by the NY Times more than 370,000 people have had the virus. The state is struggling as they are experiencing the fastest increase in cases to date.

California is home to 4.1 million small businesses which represents 7.2 million workers in California. The state’s mom-and-pop business owners were slowly beginning to reopen after suffering through months of shutdowns. Small business owners were eager to get back at it. Now with the numbers on the rise and partial closures back in place, there are a number of different resources to take advantage of.

State resources

Small businesses drive growth and create jobs for the state and should implement all resources available to them. California Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 can take advantage of temporary Tax Relief in way of state grants and free business apps to stay open. Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced the state will support business throughout the pandemic.

  • Main Street Hiring Tax Credit, which authorizes $100 million in hiring tax credit for qualified small businesses. The credit is equal to $1,000 per qualified employee, up to $100,000 for each small business employer- application opened December 1, 2020
  • Automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax.
  • Extends existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales.
  • Expanded interest free payment options for large businesses affected.
  • $500 Million for New COVID Relief Grant for Small Business administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA).  Funds are awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants up to $25,000 small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits are eligible for these grants. Visit here for updates on availability.
  • Click here for the full list of state support for businesses.

Small business online resources to stay open safely

Small businesses should also do their part to keep their customers and employees healthy.  It is so important to maintain a safe environment for everyone who enters their location. There’s a lot to think about and staying open looks different depending on your business. Here are some free resources and tip to help.

  • Advertise health and safety measures on your website, window or email communication. Let them know they can expect a safe COVID free zone.
  • Implement touchless menus. Free QR menu codes offer contactless ways to view your menu and works with restaurants, bars, spas, and any business with a list of services.
  • Contactless health assessments are a smart, germ free way to screen customers. QR health assessment provides free QR codes.
  • To make contact tracing easier have all customers fill out a free online assessment, print it and keep on file for 30 days.
  • Prevent germs by using free QR payments, a contactless way to accept payment for goods or services.

Income loss from COVID-19 has presented significant challenges to small business owners and their employees. With the new the state support, business should jump on the financial opportunities the governor has created. Whether you’re open or planning to reopening, it’s a smart idea to also implement new COVID resources now or develop a plan so you are ready. Customers want to feel safe.