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Announcing Landmark Changes to New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law

In a landmark judgment by various governors, New York’s almost century-old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law will be modernized to better suit retail sales, producers, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries. With all that said, the new regulations will allow for three times the amount of new fully licensed liquor selling and the creation of new establishments.  According to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, one of the many state representatives who helped to bring the new law into effect, the new Alcoholic Beverage Control Law will “overhaul this state's archaic blue laws and will build upon these ongoing efforts by knocking down artificial barriers for restaurants and small businesses and helping this industry grow even stronger.” In essence, much of the legal red tape that prohibited businesses from selling alcohol will be removed. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie hopes that the law will “encourage new business development, inspire tourism and open the door for new ventures. ...
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How to Choose the Best Home Insurance in Central New York

If you see the words “home insurance” and your mind suddenly starts wondering, you’re not alone. Selecting home insurance in Central New York is an incredibly important yet complicated decision to make, and for many, deciding which type of home insurance coverage to acquire can be stressful. Here are helpful suggestions that will take the stress out of choosing the right home insurance coverage for you. Average Costs for Homeowner’s Insurance  The average annual cost for homeowner’s insurance in all of New York State is $1,130. (ValuePenguin, 2016)  There are, of course, hundreds of variables that are factored in to determine the cost of coverage, but keep these numbers in mind when receiving quotes. Factors that influence the price of your homeowner’s insurance include: • Crime rate in your area • House size • General condition of your home • Homeowner’s credit score • Previous claims Coverage Types  Guaranteed r ...
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Successful vs Unsuccessful People

Are you a successful person? If not, which traits do you require in order to become the most successful version of yourself? Those inquiring about insurance for Madison New York are individuals who want to protect themselves and their assets – this is one of the important traits forward-thinking people possess and a fine indicator for someone who plans to achieve in their life. With all of this in mind, we’ve located an excellent infographic that shows you what traits the most successful people have. Don’t be worried if you have some traits from the “unsuccessful” section as even the greatest business moguls (such as Steven Jobs and Warren Buffet) would occasionally be angry and unsure of which direction their business was headed in. Our advice is this: no-one is perfect and even billionaires who’ve built their business empires around solid investments would occasionally fear change and criticize others. Sadly, it is part of human nature to doubt ourselves. As long as mos ...
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Is Your New York Home Insured for Hurricane Season?

  Hurricane season is approaching; now is the time to consider, or at the very least, recheck your homeowner’s insurance in New York. The season has officially begun and with it comes thousands of claims by those who will be affected by these literal home-wrecking metrological disasters. Ensure that your homeowners insurance in New York is up to date, as the deductible alone can be $500 to $2500. Our advice: contact your insurer today and ascertain as much as possible about your homeowner’s insurance policy. It works as such: your NY based insurer will specify (once they have discussed the options with you) an Insurance Trigger. This is essentially a condition like a named hurricane (one that is officially announced on the news) that is covered under extremely specific circumstances. For many of these insurance policies, these triggers are also tied to time periods, such from June to November, the typical monthly length of hurricane season. Many insurance policies will have a wind, floor ...
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US DOL Releases Overtime Rule - See How It Affects Your Business

Yesterday the US Department of Labor (US DOL) released their overtime ruling.  This has been highly anticipated for the past several months and is now final. President Obama directed the DOL to update and modernize the regulations governing the exemption for certain employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) back in 2014.  A preliminary rule was released in July 2015 and hundreds of thousands of comments were received which lead to this final version released yesterday. Following are the key provisions of the final rule: The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for EAP workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule: 1.Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South, which is $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full-year worker; 2.Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly ...
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NYS "Have A Plan" Mobile App Released

The New York State Governors Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation are proud to release our brand new Have A Plan mobile app.  This app provides you with timely and convenient resource that enables you to locate and call a taxi service, program a designated-driver list, educate yourself on Blood Alcohol Content levels  as well as information on DWI laws and penalties or even report a suspected impaired driver.

The app is available for Apple, Droid, and Windows smart phones. To download the app, simply visitwww.stopdwi.org/mobileappusing the phone you want to download the app to and click on the link to the store of your operating system.

StopDWI Have a Plan 15HD from STOP-DWI New York on Vimeo.

Staying Safe From Huge Liability And Lawsuit Bills

Imagine what it would be liked to be saddled with a debt you can't clear for the rest of your life. I know of people in exactly that position after a disastrous incident, and it's not because they weren't insured. It was because they didn’t have enough insurance. Here's the problem: Every day, American courts and juries are making lawsuit awards that go way beyond anyone's expectations for things like injuries, lost wages, medical costs, property damage, libel and slander, and several other personal liabilities. Most people on the receiving end of these awards thought their homeowners or auto insurance would protect them but, with high settlements and soaring legal costs, their coverage won’t stretch far enough. Now, I'll let you in on a little secret: You can easily avoid this risk with low-cost protection called Umbrella Insurance. OK, you may already know that. The point is that for around 50 cents to a dollar a day (as a very rough average), umbrella or excess liability insuranc ...
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10 Keys to Happiness for 2016

Happy New Year! We say that so easily to one another, don’t we? And yet we also know that happiness can be an elusive emotion. So much depends on our personal and family circumstances, of course, so that wishing happiness can sometimes seem a bit hollow. But I’ve noticed more and more that true happiness has become a real quest for many people, fed up with the uncertainties of life and full of realization that happiness is often found where you least expect it. What does happiness mean to you, I wonder? For this seasonal time, I came across this little collection of 10 quotes on how other people viewed it. There are some real nuggets of wisdom buried inside them.     1)One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory – Rita Mae Brown (In other words, forget the past!)    2) The secret of happiness is freedom and the secret of freedom is courage – Thucydides     3)Life’s truest happiness is found in friendships – Unknown (Stressi ...
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NYS Minimum Wage Changes Effective 12/31/2015

As the end of the year is fast approaching it is important to be aware of some minimum wage changes for New York effective December 31,2015 so businesses can start planning accordingly.  Restaurants also will see an entirely new class of worker with which a separate minimum wage will apply.  I will give you a hint that this is the class of worker that sent everyone into a tailspin when it was announced that $15 would be the minimum wage by December 2020. Employers, especially restaurants and those in the hospitality industry need to be sure they are compliant with these changes prior to January 2016. • The minimum wage will increase from $8.75 to $9.00. This applies to all employees who do not receive tips as part of their wages. • The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase from $5.00 to $7.50. Previously there were different rates for different tipped employees, however, starting December 31, that will no longer be the case and ALL tipped employees will need to be paid $7.50 pe ...
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Prepare for a Flood: Hurricane Joaquin & Heavy Rains

As hurricane Joaquin moves up the coast we want to be sure you have as many resources as possible to deal with the heavy rains that may impact our clients.  Please the website for the National Flood Insurance Program for lots of free resources about flood and the risk from heavy rains.   The NFIP recommends the following:   Review your current homeowners insurance policy and become familiar with what is and is not covered, as damage due to flooding is typically not covered. Make a flood plan and plan evacuation routes. Itemize and take pictures of possessions. Keep valuable items and family heirlooms on the upper floors of your home or building.  We offer free home inventory information & forms on the free reports section of our website or by clicking HERE. ​BEFORE A FLOOD OCCURS ​ Prepare your house. First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let ...
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