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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mohawk Billboard
Posted On April 26, 2013 Posted By: admin

Here is a clever and quite unique idea. Charging companies to advertise their business and products on your very own mohawk. Not only are companies willing to pay for this, but some of them are doing it at a substantial rate. Several South Florida company have taken to the mohawk billboard.

DeliverLean, Taxes Your Way, Co. and Chinaman Media Network are some of the businesses that have been on Gasmy Joseph’s head lately. On his mohawk, to be exact.

For a year now, Joseph – better known as Mohawk Gaz – has been a human billboard spray painting his 10-inch high hairdo for South Florida businesses exploring new and adventurous ways to reach customers. He charges from $500 to $2,000 to paint logos or business names on his attention-grabbing mohawk.

“We use him all the time. I think it’s very effective, cool, fun and edgy,” said Scott Harris, owner of DeliverLean, a Boca Raton-based gourmet food caterer. “He walks around, hands out flyers, engages people in conversation. He’s a mobile billboard that helps sell your product.”

Leaders of the local chambers of commerce say they definitely haven’t seen a mohawk ad business represented at their meetings lately. But they marveled at Joseph’s entrepreneurial spirit, one marked by taking chances, having a vision that is out of the ordinary and enjoying what he’s doing.

“To say the least, I cannot say that I have ever seen anything quite like this,” said Laurel Baker, executive director of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Carolyn Michaels, the executive vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, agreed. “It certainly is creative and will make people look twice,” she said.

On Wednesday, Joseph sat outside his friend’s spray painting store at the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale as the spray paint artist Avi Ram wrote DeliverLean in orange and black. People walking by widened their eyes, tapped their friends and pointed, chuckled shaking their heads, and even stopped to snap pictures and shoot videos.

“That’s different, unique,” said Tre Williams, 26, gazing at the mohawk.

The first time Joseph painted his hair was just for fun, he said, it was the time and address of his friend’s birthday party. It was a hit.

“They were like ‘Oh my God, that’s crazy, that’s the best idea ever’,” the 34-year-old Pompano Beach resident said.

So he decided to keep doing it and charging people for being their walking advertisement. Joseph said prices vary depending on how long the customer wants the logo on his head, if it’ll be one side or both sides of the mohawk.

Jim Gilbert, president of the Florida Direct Marketing Association, said Joseph’s idea was cool, “very untraditional, very out-of-the-box.”

“But I find it questionable whether he’s going to actually make any sort of lasting, credible impact for most companies that he would be advertising for,” he said. “Does that brand recognition turn into clients and customers? I don’t know.”

Harris said his healthy food delivery business was booming, though he couldn’t say if it was a direct reflection the mohawk advertisement. But he didn’t discount it either.

“Everything helps,” he said.

Now that people are paying attention, Joseph needs to create a business plan to make the most out of his mohawk, said Jeff Mustard, who leads an advertising agency in Delray Beach.

This is a pretty cool idea. What are your thoughts? Would you invest some of your companies marketing budget on Mohawk Gaz?

South Florida Unemployment Rate Still Improving
Posted On April 19, 2013 Posted By: admin


More great news for the South Florida economy. The labor market is definitely on the mend and has been recovering in a healthy fashion. The South Florida unemployment rate is comparable to that of the State, and it is below that of the national average. Shaun Bevan states that:

South Florida’s jobless rate declined in all three counties in March, matching up with the state’s unemployment rate.

The tri-county area had a not-seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 7.5 percent, down from 8 percent in February and down from 8.5 percent from the same period last year, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent, the lowest since October 2008 when it was 7.4 percent. There were 706,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9.4 million.

“Solid growth in business payrolls and a declining unemployment rate were welcome news only tempered by a decline in the laborforce,” said University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith. “Florida is batting two for three in the monthly jobs reports thus far in 2013, if we can keep this average up it will help speed the recovery in the state’s labor market.”

The state’s unemployment rate dropped below the national average in March, which was 7.6 percent.

The employed workforce in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties declined by 4,064 jobs during March to 2.7 million. The labor force also declined last month by 18,811 workers to 2.9 million. During the last 12 months, the region added 51,468 jobs, and decreased its unemployment rate by 10 percentage points from 8.5 percent in March 2012.

By individual counties, Miami-Dade lost 13,534 jobs in March, but the county’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 9.2 percent. That number is 0.1 percentage point higher than the jobless rate one year ago. The county’s labor force declined by 19,374 workers in March.

Broward saw an increase of jobs with an increase of 5,752 employed workers in March and 604 people added to the labor force. The county’s jobless rate decreased 0.5 percentage points to 5.7 percent, according to state data.

Broward has added 28,951 employed workers over the past 12 months. Over the same amount of time, the county’s unemployment rate dropped 1.9 percentage points from March 2012’s rate of 7.6 percent.

Palm Beach County added 3,718 jobs and its unemployment rate decreased 0.6 percentage points to 6.9 percent in March. The county’s labor force decreased by only 41 workers from February to March. Over the past 12 months, the county decreased its jobless rate by 1.9 percentage points from 8.8 percent.

The economic indicators are clearly pointing to an economy that is improving in South Florida. Although we are not out of the woods by any means it is comforting to see that we are definitely trending in the right direction. Keep it South Florida!

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Wages Still Rising in South Florida
Posted On April 12, 2013 Posted By: admin

More good news South Florida. Whereas the rest of the country on average had their wage declined, South Florida’s increased year over year, and quarter over quarter. According to the South Florida Business Journal:

South Florida wage growth has again reached a new high in the first quarter, according to the PayScale Index.

Wages in the tri-county area jumped to a three-year high of 3.8 percent growth in the first quarter, compared to the same time last year, and 0.9 percent growth compared to the previous quarter.

The PayScale Index tracks the 20 largest metropolitan areas and reveals how much an employer pays a worker today, compared to last year, for the same job. It also shows how much employees can expect to earn in the same position compared to last year’s wages.

The increase in South Florida is largely driven by what is happening in the local economy, said PayScale Lead Economist Katie Bardaro. The South Florida real estate market, which was hit hard during the housing bust, contributed to the wage growth more so than any other industry, as people have become more confident and desire to buy a house, she added.

The finance and insurance industry, which includes accounting firms, venture capitalists and insurance agencies, also has not fared well in the past and saw significant improvement in the first quarter.

Many South Florida industries, hospitality, transportation, finance and real estate, were among those that have seen positive change, Bardaro said.

Nationally, wage growth declined 0.1 percent in the first quarter, compared to the prior quarter. The drop is fairly significant because it indicates that people are feeling uncertain about the economy, amid sequestration, she said.

The PayScale Index does not track public jobs since they are not necessarily driven by economic factors but more by policy, Bardaro said.

This increase in wage is actually a good sign for South Florida because it means the unemployed pool is getting small due to small businesses feeling more confident in the local economy. With the array of positive metrics that we have been observing lately it seems that it won’t be long before South Florida is back to its usual self.

Entrepreneurship in South Florida
Posted On April 4, 2013 Posted By: admin

South Florida is becoming more and more of a destination for entrepreneurship and tech startups. Although Silicon Valley, and Austin are well know technology meccas, South Florida is getting some serious traction as a location for young businesses to innovate.

The Technology Business Incubator at the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University will add an additional 10,000 square feet this month.

The expansion is the second in 10 months for the incubator that serves as a resource center and office for entrepreneurs from FAU and the South Florida community, according to a news release. The added space is to allow the incubator to better accommodate current client companies and to house new companies that have been on a waiting list. This expansion brings the incubator to a total of 25,000 square feet and will accommodate an additional 15 companies, with individual offices ranging from 120 to 1,000 square feet.

“The TBI is an exceptional facility which has attracted entrepreneurial attention to our brand of specialized assistance available to startup technology companies,” said Andrew Duffell, president and CEO of the Research Park at FAU, in a news release. “Resident companies collaborate and find the resources they require to make their business a success. Whether in need of mentors, investors, community collaborators, and business services such as human resources or accounting, everything is under one roof and in close proximity to FAU research and faculty.”

The expansion will also feature a 4,000-square-foot, co-working center operated by Caffeine Spaces. The co-working environment will incorporate independent entrepreneurs, programmers and service providers for the startups to bond with and draw talent from, adding to the entrepreneurial culture, according to a news release.

The Technology Business Incubator is currently home to 23 early-stage technology companies. The Enterprise Development Corp. of South Florida in partnership with the Florida Atlantic Research & Development Authority founded the incubator in 1999.

Click here to learn more about technology incubators in South Florida and what they can offer entrepreneurs.

This expansion of space will permit an injection of brain power and innovation to the South Florida region which will undoubtedly benefit the local economy. Still rebounding from the real estate and financial crash, South Florida is expanding its portfolio of industries beyond just real estate and hospitality, and is now becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Biotech, and High-Tech arenas.

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