combsandco


Episode 4 – Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum

Host: Colleen M Blum

Guest: Sebastian Rusk

Have You Ever Wanted To Start A Podcast?! All Of The Who/What/Why I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Podcast! check out what the Expert himself, Sebastian Rusk has to say about it!

Have you ever dreamed about starting YOUR OWN podcast but you have used ANY & EVERY excuse under the sun to just push it to the “one day” plan?? Well then THIS EPISODE is all for YOU!!

Sebastian Rusk is the go to man for all of the how to when creating a podcast from idea to inception. Sebastian is the Founder of the Podcast Launch Lab, he is also a kick ass Social Media Speaker, Author and Digital Story Teller. – guys if I knew Sebastian before I started this all I could have saved a good 3 weeks of my life from the countless YouTube clips I watched. Listen along to today conversation about all the questions I had when debating whether to start this show or not.

BTW: Secret for you! For 2 years I pushed down this idea of actually getting my show started because I just didn’t even know where to start. It’s time to put your fears aside & just make the jump! You can do this, I believe in YOU!

Guest Instagram: @podcastlaunchguy

Host: @tryandstopmepodcast



Episode 3 – Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum

By Colleen Blum

Standing OUT Against the Instabody “Perfect” World – What IS That?! With Jess Mazzucco CEO of The Glute Recruit

What are we teaching our girls they need to be through social media? Do I need to take butt selfies to grow my fitness business? CEO of The Glute Recruit – Voted Best Personal Trainer in Westchester answers all. Jess tells her story about her journey through the corporate fitness world which lead her to create her own company. Jess touches on the unrealistic expectations that social media has and how she is trying to be the change in her industry by getting away from those never changing butt selfies and teaching our little ones to be strong & not focus on skinny.

Guest: @thegluterecuit

Host: @tryandstopme_podcast

Use Code: COLLEEN20 for 20% off your GluteRecruit resistance band!

https://www.thegluterecruit.com/shop

To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE

#MotivationMonday



Episode 2: Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum with Guest Stephanie Virchaux

Podcast:  Try and Stop Me

Host:  Colleen Blum

Guest: Stephanie Virchaux, of SV Empowerment

On Episode 2, we sit down with my dear friend Stephanie Virchaux.

Stephanie is the Founder of SV Empowerment, she is a Motivational Speaker and an Energy Healer.

Stephanie had over a decade in the corporate world marketing for some of the top beauty brands in the industry. She was making well over 6 figures in the “opportunity of lifetime” position.  Despite all of the perks, at the end of the day, it just wasn’t what her gut was telling her to do. Listen along as she shares her journey which lead her to her coaching business where she was able to use her own tools to help her through some extremely difficult times of her own.

Instagram: @tryandstopme_podcast

Guest Instagram: @stephanievirchaux

To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE or check it out on Spotify!



What’s the good news, ladies? August edition

Original Post: BenefitsPro Broker Innovation Lab

By Susan L Combs | August 14, 2020 at 06:58 AM

Guess what’s next week?! It’s BenefitsPRO Broker Expo time! This is one of my favorite conferences every year and this year we are doing the Fast & Furious Session from the main stage! So if you haven’t already registered, make sure you handle that ASAP! Since it is virtual this year, if you are a broker or agent, you can get in on the fun for no charge and learn what the rest of us already know about this great show!

In July, we kicked off our Wonder Woman Mastermind group, which was the brainchild of this series. We had a wonderful first meeting, where we shared some excellent marketing ideas with each other. If you are looking to be inspired by more women in our industry, please meet Bobbie and Deidre. Both women are breaking down barriers for women in our industry with personal impact and mentorship.

Bobbie Shrivastav, Benekiva

“The past 12 months have been focused on growth, speaking and mentoring! Due to all of our recent exposure and hard work, Benekiva was invited to participate in Mass Challenge FinTech Accelerator. We were selected out of over 300 applications globally and are proud of this recognition! Our impact in the industry has also increased as we’ve grown the number of carriers we work with from three to nine over the past 12 months. Personally, I was invited to speak at over 25 events in the last year, on topics such as InsurTech, innovation, customer experience, digital transformation, Blockchain, startups, women in tech, and diversity and inclusion. I’ve meet so many dynamic people along the way. Lastly, we have been able to mentor many startups and logged over 250 hours to help the startup community nationally.”

Deidre Wright, Strategic Stories

“I constantly think about the legacy I want to leave. My goal is to diversify the C-Suite and change the image of what a leader “looks like.” While companies promote diversity and inclusion, data shows the existence of pay disparities and glass ceilings amongst employees. Last December, I took the leap to become a full-time entrepreneur, providing personal brand coaching to ambitious but undervalued diverse talent. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. The biggest surprise has been, that in the midst of a global pandemic, unstable economy, and racial unrest, my clients are winning. For example, Uche, a first-generation African American woman, just landed a new job making 20% more pay and with the dream title we planned together. Why am I celebrating this as a personal win? It debunks the myth that top-notch diverse talent doesn’t exist. So. I encourage us all to mentor, hire and promote diverse talent.”

Know a great rockstar woman in our industry who’s doing amazing things? If so, I’d love to connect! You can just shoot me over an email with their information or feel free to make a virtual introduction to me at scombs@combsandco.com. Stay safe and mask up my friends. Hope to see you August 18th-20th at the BenefitsPRO BrokerExpo!



Episode 1: Try and Stop Me Podcast by Colleen Blum

Podcast:  Try and Stop Me

Host:  Colleen Blum

Guest:  Tony Pec, Y Not You Media

Our guest Tony Pec is the go to man for social media and all things business.

Hear how he saw the potential in Instagram growth which led him to say “forget the college degree” and dove right into creating his own Forbes Accredited Marketing agency!

Take a listen the preview below!

To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE or check it out on Spotify!

 



Dynamic Identification

By:  Sean C. O’Rourke, Cyber Liability Consultant, Combs & Company, LLC

How often do you think about the information contained on a state-issued identification document (such as a driver’s license)?  How about your passport, which is internationally recognized?  The data on your credit card’s magnetic strip?  Pretty sure most people would answer never or infrequently to any or all of these questions, which is why there are folks like James (Jim) Mottola.

Jim spent 26 years at the Secret Service, thinking a lot about identification documents and the information contained – and not contained – on them.  To law enforcement, identification is a vital part of the job.  But with COVID-19, questions about identification data have taken on new forms and urgencies, beyond law enforcement and the ability to get on an airplane or drive a car.  A great many of those questions revolve around health ID’s; documents that could confirm a person has the COVID-19 antibodies, or never tested positive for the virus, or received the proper immunizations before traveling to other parts of the world.

Would a health ID work, especially here in the United States?  If so, how would it work and most importantly, how would you protect the data?  “Dynamic Identification” is a conversation I recorded with Jim to discuss these questions and others.  It’s a topic that touches on every citizen and business.  If interested, just click on the video below.

 



Cyber Insurance 101

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By:  Mitchell R Ledven, Insurance Advisor, Combs & Company, LLC

The current landscape of the U.S. workforce is quite different than it was six months ago. In a world once consumed by daily human interaction, we now find ourselves spending most of our days sitting in front of a screen and talking behind a keyboard. Some may say that this is just a short-term solution to the problem at hand, while others say it will be the way of life moving forward. While we don’t know for certain which answer is correct, we can agree that one thing is for sure and that is every day you log into a computer, there is a risk that someone is out there trying to take advantage of you. That person could be your next door neighbor or a 12-year-old hacker sitting in their parent’s basement on the other side of the globe.  The point of this blog isn’t to shake you out of your boots, but it is to inform you about a way to protect your business and its assets. Enter Cyber Liability Insurance, a coverage that helps protect data and operations of your business if you find yourself the victim of a cyber related attack. Here’s how it works:

Cyber Liability Insurance helps protect your business from losses resulting from online threats. These breaches can be suffered on a 1st and/or 3rd party basis. This is a responsive coverage to help soften the blow due to a cyber-attack.

What it Protects Against:

  • Username and password theft
  • Phishing emails
  • Ransomware/cyber extorsion
  • Defense costs, fines, and penalties
  • Business interruption after a cyber related incident
  • Breach response
  • Funds transfer fraud
  • Crisis management/PR
  • Website is hacked

In a Nutshell: If you store data or have systems connected to the internet, you are exposed to cyber threats.

Is it required?: No. However, all states have laws regarding breach notification. Some states have laws dictating cyber protocols. For example, NY has DFS rule 500 and the SHIELD Act, while California has the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).

 



Feature Friday: A Human Resource Leader’s Guide to Corporate Messaging on Racism – Mike Veny

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Click Here for the original post on The SHRM Blog!

 

As a mental health speaker, much of my work is focused on supporting HR leaders around mental health initiatives. This usually involves addressing the mental health stigma. I’ve learned having uncomfortable and awkward conversations is the critical key to transforming this stigma.

We don’t usually like to have these types of conversations. But they help us reach a place of understanding.

The same is true for navigating racism.

We will only make real and lasting progress in this area when we focus on empathizing with people who have different perspectives than us. It’s important to understand that we’re never going to fully understand someone who is living in a different set of shoes. But we can do our best to have empathy so we can reach a place of connecting better. And ultimately be able to get more done together.

What you need to keep in mind as an HR leader

  • Many people of color are angry, sad and scared right now. Those are difficult emotions that make it hard to focus, communicate and respond to everyday situations. They often stem from not feeling listened to or feeling a lack of control over what’s happening in life.
  • Company words right now need to be more authentic than ever and backed up by action. Your initiative cannot be about meeting the status quo to avoid being a victim of the “cancel culture”.
  • Diversity and Inclusion training needs to be an ongoing, regular part of your work. This will ultimately lead to increased productivity and profitability. You may need to use this angle when talking with your C-level executives about your initiative.
  • Learn to ask the right questions and then listen. Here are some examples:

○    “What do you see happening that I don’t see?”
○    “How do you think you are perceived by the leaders in the company?”
○    “What do you feel we need to be doing that we’re not doing?”
○    Or simply say, “Help me understand.”

Creating effective messaging

Right now, people want to hear what your company stands for. Let them know that you don’t support racism. Share your policies and what the company is doing to prevent it. Then, BE LOUD with your actions showing the follow-through. The more public you are, the more trust you will build if you follow it up with action. Don’t get caught saying one thing and doing another!

Please understand that it’s important to embrace not getting it right. No matter how much you “perfect” your message, there will be people who think you’re saying it wrong or not saying enough. We’re not going to get it just right. But the important thing is making sure that we do our best to understand and empathize with others’ perspectives. It’s really that simple.

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COVID-19 Legal Update: Amendments to PPP Loans

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Thanks to our good friend, Michael Futterman, Partner at McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli, P.C.* for the below helpful information for our clients and friends regarding the amendments to the PPP loans!

On Friday, June 5th, the President signed into law H.R. 7010 which amends several provisions of the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program. In particular, the following changes are effective immediately:

Loan Forgiveness

  • The “covered period” for forgiveness is extended to 24 weeks or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. This additional time is critical for those businesses which are just now beginning to re-open.
  • The percentage of loan proceeds that must be used for payroll costs was changed from 75% to 60%. Keep in mind, the legislation adds a new wrinkle requiring you to meet this 60% threshold to obtain any forgiveness, as opposed to previously where it was proportional. In other words, you now need to make sure you hit 60%; otherwise there is no forgiveness.
  • The period to restore the number of employees and amount of payroll to qualify for full forgiveness has been extended to December 31, 2020.
  • The reduction penalty no longer applies if the borrower, in good faith, is able to document that:
    • The borrower was unable to rehire a terminated employee and unable to hire a similarly qualified employee to replace the terminated employee;  and
    • The borrower was unable to return to the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with guidance issued by Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, during the period from March 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020, related to the maintenance of standards for sanitation, social distancing or any other worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID-19

Loan Details

  • The time to pay back any unforgiven portion of a PPP loan is increased to 5 years. This is automatic for loans submitted after June 5; pre-existing loans can also be extended to 5 years, but require agreement by the lender.
  • Payment of principal, interest and fees is deferred until “the date on which the amount of forgiveness determined…is remitted to the lender.”
  • Borrowers can now apply for loan forgiveness up to ten months from the day their covered period ends (whichever period is elected); if they fail to do so, no forgiveness will be allowed.

Payroll Taxes

  • Borrowers may defer 50% of the employer share of their 2020 Social Security taxes until end of 2021 and the other half until end of 2022, even if the borrower’s PPP loan is forgiven prior to December 31, 2020 (originally, deferral was not permitted for a borrower with a forgiven PPP loan).

*Attorney Advertising: The foregoing is a summary of the laws discussed above for the purpose of providing a general overview of these laws. These materials are not meant, nor should they be construed, to provide information that is specific to any law(s). The above is not legal advice and you should consult with counsel concerning the applicability of any law to your particular situation.



PPP Forgiveness Application Process & Documents to Prepare

Here’s a follow up on yesterday’s post, did you get the PPP loan and now you are concerned about the process and what documents you need to prepare in order to have the loan forgiven?  Check out this great video from colleague, Chelsea Whalley of J Donovan Financial.

The CARES Act requires employers to apply for loan forgiveness with the same lender they applied for the PPP loan at the end of the eight-week period following the disbursement of their loan.

When applying for loan forgiveness, employers will need to provide the following information:

  • The total requested amount to be forgiven
  • Documentation verifying the number and pay rate of FTEs on payroll:
    • Payroll tax filings with the IRS
    • State income, payroll and unemployment insurance filings
  • Documentation verifying covered mortgage interest, rent or lease obligations, and utilities
  • Certification from an authorized representative for the employer that all supplied documentation is true to the fullest extent possible
  • Certification from an authorized representative for the employer that the amount requested to be forgiven complies with PPP guidelines

After submitting an application, lenders must make a decision on whether an employer’s PPP loan will be forgiven, or how much of the loan will be forgiven, within 60 days. In some cases, a lender may ask for additional information. Employers should monitor their application and pay attention to any requests for additional information. For questions on your company’s loan forgiveness eligibility or application, contact your lender.