Small Business Checklist for Tax-Time Technology

(NewsUSA) – Anyone who operates a small business, home-based business, or even a home office knows that tax time can be stressful. However, investing in the right equipment and technology can help a small business navigate tax season – and every season – smoothly and efficiently.Some tips to make technology work for you at tax time:- Digitize: Making the transition to digital documents can be a big step for a small business, but converting documents to digital is becoming increasingly simple and popular.Advantages of scan-to-digital at tax time include less paper to sort through and easy access to a variety of records.- Go mobile: Try using a mobile device or laptop and a portable scanner to digitize tax documents while on the road.Portable scanners can save space in the office setting as well, by reducing the amount of space needed to store paper records and documents.Printing from a mobile device or laptop to a wireless-enabled printer also helps save time, especially during tax season. And many printers have security features for output management and ease of use.When choosing the right office products, key points to consider include:- Convenience. Equipment that is easy to set up and use saves valuable time for small businesses. For those on the go, portable products such as the Canon imageFORMULA P-215II Scan-tini handle document scanning for individuals on the road or working remotely. A lightweight design allows for easy document digitization from a range of locations, such as a hotel, airport, offsite meeting venue, or a home office.- Confidence. Investing in technology with a trusted reputation means less worry that an office solution – hardware or software – might fail at a crucial time. The technology of scanners designed for small businesses has improved in recent years."Small businesses with limited resources demand reliability and dependability in their document management technology," says Nobuhiko Kitajima, VP and general manager of Canon USA Inc.’s Business Imaging Solutions Group.One example, the Canon imageFORMULA DR-M260 Office Document Scanner, provides small businesses with reliable and efficient performance, and comes with an industry-leading, five-year warranty.- Protection. Data security is essential, especially for businesses that work in the cloud. Be sure to choose products with security features, such as password protection, multi-factor log-in and output file encryption.For more information about optimizing technology for an easier tax season, visit 

Investigational Therapy May Change How Urinary Tract Cancer is Treated

(NewsUSA) – An investigational drug for a rare cancer of the upper urinary tract is currently being studied in over 25 centers across the United States.The cancer is called upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). It affects the lining of the kidney and the ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder.UTUC can be classified as high-grade or low-grade. People diagnosed with the high-grade disease usually must have their kidney, or both their kidney and ureter, removed. Those with low-grade UTUC can sometimes be treated by tumor removal using a special scope.Unfortunately, the procedure to remove the tumor is associated with a high rate of recurrence, and repeated procedures are often required. Around 20 percent of patients with low-grade UTUC eventually require kidney and ureter removal due to disease recurrence or progression.There are about 7,500 new cases of UTUC diagnosed in the United States annually. To date, no drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of UTUC.The challenge of treating UTUC is rooted in the way the body functions. Urothelial cell cancers in the bladder are treated by surgical removal followed by chemotherapy instilled in the bladder and applied directly to the cancer cells. This approach is extremely challenging in the kidney and ureter because the flow of urine rapidly washes the medication away before it has time to work."It is exciting to have a clinical trial underway to study an investigational drug that may allow chemotherapy drugs to remain in the upper tract for a prolonged time," notes Diane Zipursky Quale, Co-Founder of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.Well-designed clinical trials are the best way to determine whether an investigational drug is safe and effective and offers an acceptable balance of risks and benefits."The OLYMPUS study may shift how low-grade UTUC is treated in the future," says Karim Chamie, MD, MSHS, Associate Professor of Urology at UCLA. "As a urologist, I am excited about the possibility of providing an alternative to surgery for my patients diagnosed with low-grade UTUC."If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials for investigational treatments of low-grade UTUC, such as the OLYMPUS trial, speak to your doctor about the possibility of participating in a clinical trial.You can also visit or go to (NCT02793128) to find a clinical trial site in your area.

Fifth Annual Fire Department Contest Highlights Grain Bin Safety

(NewsUSA) – The risk of becoming trapped in a grain bin while trying to remove clumped or rotting grain remains a real hazard for farmers and their employees, who could be buried within seconds by fast-flowing grain.To help reduce the risk of death and injury from grain bin accidents and to educate first responders about rescue procedures, Nationwide, the number one farm insurer in the United States, is sponsoring its fifth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week.The goal of the campaign is to educate farm workers and first responders about safe bin-entry procedures, including maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases, and wearing proper safety equipment.Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training sessions to 48 fire departments in 18 states."It felt like an eternity," Glenville Fire Chief Matt Webb, of Glenville, Minnesota, a recipient of Nationwide’s grain bin rescue training, said in an interview.Webb put his skills to the test when he saved a man who had fallen into a bin of rotting corn."The grain rescue training came back quickly, and it was a relief we had our own equipment. The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county," he says.Grain Bin Safety Week 2018 takes place February 18-24. Grain Bin Safety Week and the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are hosted by Nationwide and made possible by the donations of industry sponsors."Grain Bin Safety Week would not happen without the generous support of our sponsors," Liggett adds. "We would like to thank every sponsor for making this week and contest a reality."Grain Bin Safety Week has been officially recognized by governors of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Each year, the NECAS director visits training locations with a grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube to conduct training sessions in rescue and safety procedures."Nationwide created this program and joined forces with partners across the country to make it happen for a single purpose – to save lives," says Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness.Applications for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30, 2018. Winning fire departments will receive grants for grain bin rescue tubes and training for grain bin rescue procedures.For more information about the contest or the nomination process, visit more information about Nationwide, visit

New Non-Prescription Medical Food Offers Help For Meal-Triggered Indigestion

(NewsUSA) – Recurring indigestion that is frequently triggered by a meal is a problem without a solution for many people. The medical condition, known as Functional Dyspepsia, has no known organic cause. No FDA-approved prescription products are currently available for meal-triggered indigestion or Functional Dyspepsia, so sufferers often turn to off-label products, including proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole and esomeprazole), antacids, and antidepressants, among others, to ease symptoms.The most common symptoms of meal-triggered indigestion or Functional Dyspepsia are nausea, bloating, belching, inability to finish a normal-size meal, feelings of fullness and pressure in the upper belly and upper-belly pain or burning.But sufferers may find help with FDgard, a new non-prescription medical food specially formulated for the dietary management of meal-triggered indigestion or Functional Dyspepsia, which affects an estimated 1 in 6 adults in the U.S.FDgard is the only non-prescription medical food clinically studied for this relatively common but frustrating condition, and it’s available in local pharmacies nationwide. Each FDgard capsule contains targeted-release microspheres of caraway oil and l-Menthol, the primary component found in peppermint oil, engineered for release in the upper belly, where discomfort most often occurs. The combination of caraway oil and l-Menthol have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing or improving dyspepsia discomfort, including feelings of pain and burning, early fullness, pressure, and bloating, which makes FDgard an ideal pre-meal companion to help control meal-triggered symptoms.Based on results of two peer-reviewed and presented studies at the American College of Gastroenterology meeting in October 2017, FDgard showed a high level of patient satisfaction and rapid improvement of Functional Dyspepsia symptoms. In a first-ever clinical study conducted in eight centers across the U.S., known as FDREST (Functional Dyspepsia Reduction and Evaluation Safety Trial), FDgard showed significant reduction and rapid relief of Functional Dyspepsia symptoms in 24 hours. In a second real-world, patient-reported outcomes study of 600 patients, called FDACT (Functional Dyspepsia Adherence and Compliance Trial), the findings showed a high level of patient satisfaction and overall symptom relief with FDgard.More and more doctors are turning to FDgard for the management of meal-triggered indigestion or Functional Dyspepsia. In fact, in a recent nationwide survey of 200 gastroenterologists, FDgard was the number-one-recommended herbal product for Functional Dyspepsia."Functional Dyspepsia can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life," says Michael Epstein, M.D., F.A.C.G., A.G.A.F., a leading gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Advisor of IM HealthScience, LLC."People are afraid to eat, they are afraid to go out to restaurants, they are afraid to sit down and enjoy a meal with friends," he says. "I explain to my patients that what we are dealing with is not a life-threatening medical condition."Dr. Epstein says that in his experience, FDgard is a great addition for fast relief of frustrating Functional Dyspepsia symptoms, especially since some patients want to take a natural product with minimal side effects. "I appreciate having this effective, non-prescription option for my patients, so more patients can proactively manage their Functional Dyspepsia symptoms."He explains that the combination of l-Menthol and caraway oil works synergistically to address the pain, pressure and early fullness that people with meal-triggered indigestion or Functional Dyspepsia experience.FDgard should be taken under a doctor’s supervision; the usual adult dosage is two capsules twice daily. FDgard is available in the digestive aisle at Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid nationwide.Learn more by visiting

Retirement Score In America Hits Historical High

Americans are more financially prepared for retirement than they have been in quite some time – with special kudos to millennials for the amount of money they’ve been putting away.

Still, Fidelity Investments’ latest biennial Retirement Savings Assessment study (which is mostly upbeat), states that many of those surveyed remain “at risk” of not being able to fully cover essential expenses in retirement if they don’t turn things around.

Could Fewer New Year’s Financial Resolutions Be A Sign of Apathy?

Even as America enters its nine-year run in a bull market, the sheer number of people making year-end financial resolutions is at an all-time low, according to the ninth annual “Fidelity Investments New Year Financial Resolutions Study.” The reason? Because so many “are feeling better about their personal financial situation and are generally optimistic about what 2018 will bring,” according to the study.

In fact, only 27 percent of respondents say they intended to make a financial resolution this year. That’s down 16 percent from the high of 43 percent who answered similarly heading into 2014, and this is what could signal a worrisome sense of “inertia.”

America’s Retirement Score Hits All-Time High

(NewsUSA) – American savers are more financially prepared for retirement than they’ve been since the dawn of YouTube. And Millennials deserve an extra special shout-out for how much money they’ve been socking away.That’s according to Fidelity Investments’ latest biennial Retirement Savings Assessment study, which – while mostly upbeat – also makes clear that all too many of those surveyed remain "at risk" of not being able to fully cover essential expenses in retirement if they don’t turn things around.Specifically, after totaling up the assets of the 25- to 74-year-old respondents earning at least $20,000 annually – and that included current or expected Social Security benefits – Fidelity estimated that the typical saver is on track to have 80 percent of the income he or she will need to cover retirement costs. That’s the highest it’s been since the study was first conducted in 2005, when the same figure was 62 percent and people were just beginning to know the joys of watching videos of cats performing weird tricks."It’s a significant improvement," says Ken Hevert, Fidelity’s senior vice president of retirement, who attributed the rise to both a higher median savings rate compared to 2006 (8.8 percent vs. 3.6 percent) and better portfolio asset allocation.Even more comprehensively, four color-coded categories were used to show where households fell on a retirement preparedness spectrum based on their ability to handle estimated expenses in a down market:* Dark Green Thirty-two percent were on target to cover more than 95 percent of their freight (up 1 percent from 2016).* Green. Eighteen percent were looking good as far as essentials go, but not discretionary items like travel and entertainment (down 1 percent from 2016).* Yellow. Twenty-two percent were off track, with "modest adjustments" likely required to their planned lifestyles (down 1 percent from 2016).* Red. Twenty-eight percent definitely "need attention," to put it kindly (up 1 percent from 2016).Perhaps the biggest surprise in the study had to do with Millennials.For the first time ever, those born between 1981 and 1992 surpassed the older Generation X in Fidelity’s unique cross-generations scorecard. The latter are on track to have 78 percent of the retirement income they’ll need, while the former lags behind by 1 percent – though that’s presumably after many of them dipped into their own savings to pay the college tuitions of their Millennial offspring. "Millennials are clearly putting money aside for retirement and taking more control of their personal situations," says Hevert.And Baby Boomers? Collectively, they’re in the best position of all, especially those Baby Boomers with increasingly rare pensions, and are on course to have set aside 86 percent of the money they’ll need.For those curious where they stand, Fidelity allows anyone to access their retirement score online. And if you really want a cushiony retirement, keep in mind that you could have 108 percent of what you’ll need by embracing all three of the following "accelerators": saving at least 15 percent of your income yearly; ensuring an age-appropriate asset mix; and deferring Social Security benefits till at least 66 or 67."While these actions taken separately are clearly helpful," says Hevert, "doing all three could help bring you from good to great." 

These 4 Tips Can Cut Your Home Energy Bills in Winter

You know it’s cold outside when Florida gets snow.

Which is exactly how 2018 began, thanks to a “bomb cyclone” that slammed the East Coast with heavy snow and temperature. Meanwhile, Embarrass, Minnesota won the unofficial title of “The Last Place in the Freezing Midwest You’d Want to Go Skinny Dipping” by hitting a low of 45 degrees below zero on New Year’s Eve.

While you’re imagining the heating bills in Embarrass (and with winter not yet over), the following tips might help you lower your own energy costs.

Entrepreneurs Stir Up Industry with Convenient Cocktail Mixers

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Remember the last time you were at the beach and craved a spicy margarita?
Or perhaps you were camping or at a tailgate party and all they served was beer and wine.
The dream of on-the-go cocktails is now a reality and you no longer have to buy and carry multiple ingredients, or have a bartender handy, to be able to create your favorite cocktail at a moment’s notice.
Minute Mixology, a Venice, Calif.-based company, believes in making cocktails conveniently, using high-quality, low-sugar non-GMO, and gluten-free ingredients.
In this way, the company says it has found a way to bridge the gap in the single-serve cocktail mixer industry and made it possible to bring the bar to you – wherever you are.
“It’s a convenient, high quality, stick-pack cocktail mixer, a perfect item for the cocktail connoisseur in your life to use anytime, anyplace,” says BJ, McCaslin, a co-founder of Minute Mixology.
“This product provides you with great-tasting craft cocktails made simple.”
In a time, when you see the spirit of entrepreneurship flailing, two friends decided there was a need for such a creation.
McCaslin and Drew Whited already had tried their hand in other businesses in the space and were successful.
For instance, McCaslin created a coconut water coffee that was acquired by Vita Coco out of New York and Whited found success in the online marketing business.
Couple McCaslin and Whited’s success with the company’s other partner, Jason Trawick, a former WME Talent agent who worked with clients such as Taylor Swift and Britney Spears, and this trio is looking to revolutionize the cocktail industry.
“It’s not just about becoming the best cocktail mixer in this space, it’s about innovation,” says Whited, co founder of the company.
“We are already selling out and planning to expand our brand and [are] designing new products.”
The team of Minute Mixology has been in the liquor space for the last two years while launching the cocktail mix in September of last year.
Currently, the product is available online, and in stores in the Midwest and the South.
The Spring 2018 Minute Mixology will be available in Target, Meijer, Raley’s and World Market.
Flavors include: Margarita, Moscow Mule, Spiced Old Fashion, Spicy Margarita, Coconut Mojito, and Michelada.
For more information, visit

Who Celebrates National School Choice Week?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – With more than 32,000 independently planned events around the country, the week of Jan. 21-27 will be the largest-ever celebration of opportunity in education.
It’s the seventh annual National School Choice Week, a nonpartisan, nonpolitical awareness event that has grown considerably every year – it’s up from 21,000 last year and 150 events in its first year.
So who are the people leading the celebrations?
Some are parents who put themselves in the driver’s seat of their children’s education. They considered their children’s unique needs, learning styles, and interests. They looked at the available options – traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, homeschooling, online schools, or a combination of these options – and chose the education environments they considered best for their children.
Some tracked down publicly or privately funded scholarships; others checked waitlists; and many others decided that their local school was, in fact, the best fit for their children.
Some event organizers are teachers and school leaders, happy to be playing such a crucial role in the education and development of children across America. Different schools offer different curricula, different approaches to education, different perspectives – and this diversity is worth celebrating. Every child is unique; every family is unique. Children who are excited about violin or Mandarin, children who need an extra lift in a particular area, children who thrive in traditional classrooms and children who don’t – everyone should be given an opportunity to excel in whatever way best suits them. And great teachers and school leaders are an essential part of that excellence.
Some events are planned by community leaders hoping to help even more children have the opportunity to reach their full academic potential by creating new paths and raising awareness about the importance of continually expanding access to effective education options for children and families.
The participants in National School Choice Week may all be different, with unique perspectives, backgrounds, and stories. But they all believe one thing: that every child, given the right environment, can succeed. No matter what school your family has chosen, National School Choice Week provides an opportunity to celebrate students and the hope of a bright future for our whole nation.