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A partnership to corral the $40 billion African Americans spend annually on travel and tourism

A partnership to corral the $40 billion African Americans spend annually on travel and tourism
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD) are now partners in a move to make sure that a significant portion of the $40 billion African Americans spend each year on travel and tourism remains in African-American hands.
 
The partnership was launched last week at the start of USBC’s professional development conference, held at the Marriott Marquis in the District of Columbia. The newly-opened, four-star hotel, next to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, was jointly financed by Capstone Development, a private, black-owned development firm.

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Why do people buy annuities?

Why do people buy annuities?
Annuities are insurance-based financial vehicles that can provide many benefits sought by retirement-minded investors. There are a number of reasons why people buy annuities.
 
Deferral of taxes is a big benefit, and so is the ability to put large sums of money into an annuity — more than is allowed annually in a 401(k) plan or an IRA — all at once or over a period of time. Annuities offer flexible payout options that can help retirees meet their cash-flow needs. They also offer a death benefit; generally, if the contract owner or annuitant dies before the annuitization stage, the beneficiary will receive a death benefit at least equal to the net premiums paid. 

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Debt settlement programs are misleading

Debt settlement programs are misleading
You’ve probably heard the advertisements on urban radio urging consumers with at least $10,000 in debt to call a number right away for a financial rescue. Promising to end debt troubles by getting creditors to somehow accept less money than what is owed can sound really appealing. In reality, however, consumers mired in debt may often find debt settlement programs to be costly, misleading, and far less helpful than the radio ad promises.
 
In the newest chapter in the research series titled The State of Lending, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) finds that debt settlement is a risky strategy that can leave consumers more financially vulnerable and still laden with debt years after they enroll in such programs.
 
Regardless of how well consumers follow the instructions of their debt settlement firm, they may ultimately be unsuccessful because many creditors simply refuse to deal with debt settlement companies.

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Too many African Americans are ‘credit invisible’

Too many African Americans are ‘credit invisible’
“I am invisible, understand,” Ralph Ellison famously wrote, “simply because people refuse to see me.”
 
He was speaking of the double consciousness that accompanied the burden of blackness in America more than 60 years ago. But according to Yale professor Frederick Wherry, this conundrum is not just social and political but also economic—and that sense of invisibility persists in the 21st century.
 
It may come as no surprise that in the nation’s supposedly colorblind age, access to income, credit and financial solutions remains riddled with racial inequity – and those on the losing end are disproportionately African American.

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The business of tipping

The business of tipping
A huge part of a restaurant’s success is the ability to maintain great wait staff.  This becomes a major challenge when customers do not adequately compensate the waiters. 
 
In some states, waiters are paid a base salary that is a fraction of minimum wage, with the expectation that tips or gratuity will make up the difference. The lack of appropriate tipping is the primary reason excellent waiters move on to better-paying gigs. Soon after great staff leaves, the service begins to suffer and customers wonder why.
 
So many situations call for tipping that it is easy to become confused.  Sit-down restaurants, buffets, bars and hair salons are only a few of the locations where tipping is not only desired but expected. Tipping is considered a part of etiquette, according to the experts at the Emily Post Institute. How much to tip and how often are the questions that perplex many.

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A trailblazer’s view of ‘Building Atlanta’

A trailblazer’s view of ‘Building Atlanta’
ATLANTA – Atlanta businessman, construction management mogul, philanthropist and now author Herman J. Russellhas released his book, “Building Atlanta: How I Broke through Segregation to Launch a Business Empire.”
 
 Award-winning broadcast journalist Angela Robinson recently hosted a book signing and interviewed Russell on his life, struggles, and how he broke through segregation to launch his business empire. The interview was serious and at times brought memories that provoked tears and laughter. 

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