New York is the most expensive city in the world for business travel

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Travel is always a part of the job for most business owners and managers–now more so than ever. The Global Business Travel Association, a travel industry trade group, predicts business in the corporate travel sector will have increased between six and seven percent by 2019 and 2020.

Of course, many American cities top the list of the most-expensive places for business travel, but can you guess which city is the most expensive in the world? Using data compiled from Business Travel News’ Corporate Travel Index, Expert Market, a business-to-business office equipment marketer, has concluded that three American cities take the top spots. New York City wins the crown. The typical business traveler spends about $549 per day in New York, compared to $534 in San Francisco and $511 in Boston. Tokyo and Zurich round out the top five. Washington and Chicago are also in the top 10.

The biggest cost are hotels. The average one-night stay in the Big Apple costs about $385.

So what’s the cheapest American city for business travel? At only $241 per day, less than half of New York, that would be Bakersfield, Calif.–a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles. If you’re going overseas, you may want to consider doing business in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the average daily cost is just $174. Any customers there?

There are some tactics business travelers can use to control their costs in 2018. A recent report looking at holiday season business travel by Concur, an expense management software provider, recommended business travelers shift travel days to Monday, Tuesdays or Fridays, consider local airports as an alternate to major hubs and avoid booking last-minute flights which could raise costs by as much as 44 percent.

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Can You Guess The Worst Industry for Sexual Harassment?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a big story currently and all the headlines are about the celebrities, politicians and well-known men who have – allegedly – used their positions of power to take advantage of women.  What’s not making the news is all the similar stories that are also happening in small and larger businesses throughout the country.

The website Buzzfeed published data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about this problem and what they found is startling: between 1995 and 2016 more than 170,000 claims of harassment were filed with the EEOC. It’s likely that these claims only represent a fraction of actual incidents that occurred because many are either resolved internally or otherwise go unreported. But the numbers are educational. Read More…

Bots Are Stealing Christmas…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Holiday bots are stealing Christmas.

‘Toy bots’ are scooping up the hottest toys this holiday season and selling them on secondary websites at higher prices. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York is asking retailers to crack down on these cyber scammers and wrote a letter to the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association suggesting they investigate the bot issue on their members’ websites—in an attempt to ensure parents get fair access to popular merchandise for their kids. (Source: USA Today)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

A restaurant in upstate New York is accepting bitcoin. Should you?

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Bitcoin, the digital currency, is making headlines as its price goes up and up. Its meteoric rise has made millions for many people willing to take big risks. More importantly and as its name-recognition grows, many online stores including Expedia, Microsoft and Overstock.com are accepting it as payment and services like PayPal are making it easier to deal with the currency.

But should small businesses accept bitcoin as payment? It’s difficult to find any that do, particularly if they’re brick and mortar. That’s likely a good thing. The currency is extremely speculative and even a relatively small shift in its price could wipe out a merchant’s profit on a sale. However, those risks aren’t stopping one restaurateur in Upstate New York. Read More…

If you’re in the cannabis business, you better not go bankrupt

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

There’s no question that the business of marijuana is booming. Twenty-nine states now allow it for medicinal purposes and nine other states either allow or have proposed laws to allow it to be used for recreational purposes. Some estimates are saying that the industry could generate revenue surpassing $24 billion by 2025.

So yes, it seems like a good time to be in the marijuana business. Well, it better be. Because if you’re in the business and you file for bankruptcy protection don’t expect any help from the federal government. Read More…

Move over Pokémon . . . CryptoKitties are going viral

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Want to be the proud owner of a CryptoKitty? You can be if you’re willing to pay anywhere between $12 and $113,000 for one — and that’s using the current exchange rate between the dollar and the digital currency Ether, an exchange rate that we all know could dramatically change by the time I finish writing this sentence.

The newest viral sensation was created by AxiomZen, a Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio, and the craze is, according to TechCrunch’s Fitz Tepper, “the latest fad in the world of cryptocurrency.” Read More…

Philadelphia is considering whether to ban barrier windows inside shops

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Running a small business is challenging — but even more so for merchants who open up shop in neighborhoods where there is a higher incidence of crime. For years, one way these shopkeepers try protect themselves and their employees against theft or harm is to install thick plexiglass at the counter between the cashier and the customer. But is this a good thing?

Some people in Philadelphia don’t think so and now one local councilwoman is introducing legislation to force the city’s shopkeepers to take the glass down. Read More…