EarlyShares is equity crowdfunding for businesses
By now, you’ve heard of Kickstarter.com and probably scrolled through the massive number of insanely creative art projects, tech innovations, startup ideas, and gotten inspired to kick over a few dollars in the hopes that the project meets its funding goals so it becomes a reality and you get your hoverboard in 2013, which is critical to society, given that Back to the Future promised them by 2015. Crowdfunding has become a popular alternative to traditional banking, but what about crowdfunding for real businesses that already exist or have a business plan or a real promise of actually making it to market? How do you invest in or find investors to crowdfund business?
Enter EarlyShares, the first equity based crowdfunding platform wherein entrepreneurs and investors are connected securely through their easy to use website. The company explains that “unlike traditional funding sources, which can be expensive, difficult to access, or simply not suitable for the needs of many startups and small businesses, EarlyShares allows like-minded individuals to come together and pool the resources (i.e. knowledge, energy, commitment and, of course, capital) needed for entrepreneurs to succeed.”
How it works, why crowdfunding is popular
With EarlyShares, anyone around the globe (be it your college buddy in New Jersey, your old boss in San Francisco, your aunt in Boston, or that guy you met once at a conference but haven’t spoken to since) can chip in to fund your business in exchange for shares of ownership (equity) in the company, giving your business the capital to grow.
Crowdfunding has become a popular alternative not simply because of tight lending conditions and pooling of resources, but because the entire concept vets a project early and reduces the risk – if consumers want something so badly that they’ll literally invest in it before it exists, the idea could be a winner, but if no one cares to invest, it might not have done well on the market anyhow.
EarlyShares believes in the broader crowdfunding movement
On the crowded floor of the SXSWi Trade Show, EarlyShares CEO and Founder, Maurice Lopes stands out. To be specific, his jeans stand out because they are newly pressed, and could not be more than 24 hours old.
When they came up in conversation, Lopes told AGBeat that they were, in fact, new, and that an audience member at his SXSWi panel shouted that he had this great idea and had produced jeans with a thigh-level pocket for smartphones. Lopes shouted that he’ll take a pair, the last pair, and while his fellow panelists continued, he jumped off stage, bought the jeans produced via crowdfunding, put them on behind the scenes, and popped back on the stage, wearing his new jeans.
Lopes doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk, completely devoted to the crowdfunding movement, spending endless hours in D.C. as a leading supporter of the JOBS Act, and serving as a leader at the Crowdfunding Professional Association, helping to shape the very direction and regulations of crowdfunding.
Weed greed: Some states are raking in the tax dollars on cannabusinesses
(FINANCE) The tax profits from weed sales in these states just may be enough to push politicians toward legalizing the drug cross-country.
States are making bank on weed taxes
The Marijuana Policy Project makes the case to legalize cannabis with its recently released report. According to the report, as of December 2021, states that legalized adult-use cannabis brought in a combined total of $10.4 billion in tax revenue since 2014. This tracks the 18 states where marijuana is legalized for recreational use. It does not include medical marijuana, which would dramatically increase the figure. The figures also don’t include local tax revenue, just tax revenue at the state level, nor does the report include any licensing or business fees that are generated by the industry.
Which states are bringing in the money with cannabis taxes?
Eighteen states have legalized marijuana for adult use. In some of those states, the laws were just approved, so tax collections have not begun or not yet available. Here are some of the figure’s from the MPP report.
|State||Tax collection in 2021||Total taxes received since cannabis was legalized|
|Colorado||$367+ million (thru November)||$1,791,138,715 (2014)|
|Washington||$480+ million (thru September)||$3,051,390,820 (2014)|
|Oregon||$138+ million (thru September)||$635,512,128 (2016)|
|Alaska||$24+ million (thru October)||$95,004,906 (2016)|
|Nevada||$471+ million (through September)||$471,544,647 (2017)|
|California||$976+ million (through September)||$3,123,477,637 (2018)|
|Massachusetts||$205+ million (through November)||$384,529,750 (Nov. 2018)|
|Michigan||$188+ million (through November)||$271,129,649 (Dec. 2019)|
|Illinois||$387+ million (through November)||$562,750,974 (2020)|
|Maine||$11+ million (through November)||$13,063,204 (Oct. 2020)|
|Arizona||$121+ million (through October)||$121,463,757 (2021)|
Most states have legislation that puts the tax revenue toward specific initiatives. In Illinois, 20% of the revenue goes into mental health services. In Michigan, many of the funds have been put toward schools and transportation. California directs its revenues toward local non-profits that benefit “people adversely impacted by punitive drug laws,” and invests a portion of the money in environmental programs.
Marijuana is profitable
The Hustle reports that Denver generated over $237 million and West Hollywood in California has generated $2.2 million in one year from 6 dispensaries in less than 2 square miles. The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma, which has only legalized medical marijuana, collected over $55 million in 2019. With more Americans leaning toward decriminalizing marijuana and making it legal, the profits to be made from marijuana sales may push politicians toward legalizing weed.
Get outstanding invoices paid to you by following these 7 steps
(FINANCE) For a freelancer, it’s more important than ever to bring up the issue of getting paid on time. Here are 7 tips to get your money.
For many, an awkward topic of conversation revolves around getting paid. Whether asking for a raise or asking to borrow money, people often feeling uncomfortable when talking money.
This is equally, or possibly even more so, true for freelancers who are solely in charge of their finances. Without a system of weekly direct deposit, freelancers have to work overtime to keep their earnings in order.
The issue with this is that clients also have a lot on their plates, and something as simple as a freelancer’s paycheck is common to fall through the cracks. This causes freelancers to have to work friendly reminders into their repertoire.
However, freelancers may not always be knowledgeable of the best ways to keep their finances in check (no pun intended). Below are seven ways to enhance payment methods.
- You have to be willing to make billing a priority. Due to the fact that money is awkward to talk about, as aforementioned, many let this fall by the wayside. The best way to do this is to keep up to date with your invoices and send them as soon as they are done. Making a calendar specific for billing can help with this idea.
- This second bit dates back to when we were young and learning our manners: it is crucial to be polite. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also increases speed in payment. Using “please” and “thank you” in invoicing emails are said to get you paid 5% faster.
- It is best to try and keep a complicated concept like finance as simple as possible. Make sure you are creating specific due dates. This will help to signify importance of payment.
- Now that virtually anything can be done online, it would make sense to use electronic payment verses an old-school check. Accepting online payments will get a user paid, on average, eight days faster as opposed to a check.
- This is an important notion to keep in mind for any aspect of your business life: be professional. Invoices are often seen by many eyes so it is best to include your business’s logo on said invoice. This has been found to increase chances of being paid on time by 10%.
- Specificity is urged again in the form of transparency. Make sure you are giving detailed descriptions on each invoice so that anyone looking at it knows exactly what you are being paid for. By doing this, you are 15% more likely to be paid on time.
- While you may be invoicing month by month, try to avoid sending on the 30th or 31st. Being that everyone, generally, sends their invoices in on these dates, it takes 10 – 20% longer to be paid. With everyone sending it at the end of the month, it has a tendency to back up payroll.
The most important thing to remember is that while the topic of money may be awkward, it is your money. If you let a few invoices fall behind because you are uncomfortable reminding your client, this has a way of adding up. Be sure to keep on track with your finances to earn what you are working for.
Why you will pay more to live in larger metros: job opportunities
(BUSINESS NEWS) Small to mid-sized metros offer higher adjusted salaries, but don’t pack your bags just yet because your job may not be there
When I told my parents how much my partner and I would be paying for rent at our new apartment, they quickly pointed out that I could purchase a home for that kind of money in my hometown.
My parents are right, I could literally buy a home for the amount of money I pay in rent every month to live in a large metro area. But the equation that determines where I and many other workers should live, is more complex than salary minus housing.
These areas are cheaper to live in, in part, because they may not offer the kind of job opportunities, and therefore social mobility, you see in larger metro areas. Sure, I could make my money go further in my hometown, but the chances of me finding a job in my industry there are smaller.
Your field of work does matter when considering whether or not the “small-city advantage” could work for you. If you work in tech or finance, two traditionally high-paying fields, then this advantage doesn’t apply.
“Before adjusting for living costs, typical technology salaries are 27% higher in two-million-plus metros than metros with fewer than 250,000 people. Even after adjusting for those costs, tech salaries are still 5% higher in the largest metros than in the smallest ones,” finds Indeed.
If a huge tech company offering thousands of high-paying jobs moved into a smaller city on the map, over time, it would get more expensive to live there. It’s the hamster wheel that is currently driving income inequality in some of America’s largest major metro areas.
Finding the right place to call home is never going to be a single factor decision. Yes, salary is a huge factor, as is the cost of living, but there are also lifestyle factors to consider. What kind of opportunities would you have in this city? How much will it cost to move there? How will this affect the other members of your household?
It’s nice to play the ‘ditch the corporate world and buy a country house’ fantasy after a long day at work, but the reality is far more complex.
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