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The ‘start-up visa’ may vanish before anyone gets one

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

The International Entrepreneur Rule, which goes into effect on July 17, is referred to by many as the “start-up visa.” It’s a special visa established in the final few hours of Barack Obama’s time in office and it encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to stay in the United States (after all, over half of venture-backed companies are reportedly founded by immigrants.) The ruling extends the time for immigrants to stay (30 months, with the opportunity for a 30-month extension) in order to grow their businesses and work until they (hopefully) receive a more permanent immigration status.

The visa isn’t easy to come by.  Entrepreneurs, who must own at least 10 percent of their company, also have to show how they’ll contribute to economic growth and job creation here in the United States. The immigrant entrepreneur also needs to attract a minimum of $250,000 from a “reputable investor” in order to qualify. It’s not a new concept–other countries, like Australia, Canada, Chile, Ireland and New Zealand, have similar programs. Here in the U.S. about 3,000 entrepreneurs would likely qualify.

Well, not so fast. Read More…

A new bill could boost pay for the disabled–to at least the minimum wage

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Did you know that if you are an employer you are allowed, by federal minimum wage law, to pay your disabled workers less than minimum wage? You can. But a new bill may change that.

The bill, called Raise the Wage Act, is sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Reps. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and aims to increase the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to $15.00 per hour nationally by 2024. However, the bill would also mean the elimination of a long-standing provision that would allow employers to pay a “sub-minimum” wage to workers in service industries (like restaurants), jobs filled by teenagers…and the disabled. Read More…

Why a Chicago restaurant agreed to hire more African Americans

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Rosebud is a well-known and popular Italian restaurant brand with eight locations in the Chicago area and many loyal customers, including celebrities, politicians and global leaders.  The restaurant’s founder – a “legendary Chicago restauranteur” named Alex Dana – believes that “you can’t look back if you want to move ahead” and has built the business from a single location in Chicago’s Little Italy to a chain of eateries that “has been woven into the very fabric of Chicago,” according to their website.

There’s just one problem. Some claim they didn’t seem to be hiring black people. Read More…

These two young men are growing their nest egg with funky chickens

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

When coming up with your next start-up idea you may be thinking of a great new app, a hot new technology or a cool restaurant. Marcus Guerassin and his brother Bailey were thinking about something else when they started up their business just a few years ago. They were thinking about funky chickens.

In Australia, where the two brothers are from, these are commonly referred to as fancy chooks. Regardless, funky chickens–which are just normal chickens but groomed to look…well…kind of ridiculous–have been a hit and business has been booming. Who’s buying? “Normally, it’s little kids and they come with their parents and pick a chook or it’s husbands getting their wives a good present,” Marcus told ABC Rural. Getting their wives a good present? Read More…

Offended by remarks, Mexican attorney rolls out new Trump toilet paper

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Not only are socially conscious companies popular in the United States, but a few entrepreneurs across our southern border are looking to support causes that are important to them, too.

Back in August, 2015, for example, Mexican lawyer Antonio Battaglia was offended by Donald Trump’s remarks about immigration. He was also very concerned, even before the real estate developer announced his candidacy, that Trump could actually win the presidential election – and what that would mean for immigrants and other foreigners in the United States. Read More…

This 27-year-old ex-con is now giving ‘clean shaves and proper fades’…and business is booming

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

He’s pretty young to be a successful business owner. But 27-year-old Tony Covert owns a profitable barbershop in Fredericksburg, Va. called The Gentleman’s Club and he’s getting ready to open a second location this July in Richmond. That’s pretty impressive.

What’s even more impressive is that Covert did all this after serving two years in prison. Read More…

54 percent of American workers don’t use all their vacation days

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Ninety-one percent of full-time U.S. workers receive paid vacation from their employers, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. That’s nice. What’s not nice is that, according to two new reports, the average worker only takes half of their vacation days earned a year – which means that they’re forfeiting hundreds of dollars annually back to their employer.

Is it because we work so hard? Not really. The main reason is…fear. That’s what Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst at Glassdoor who authored one of the reports said in this Market Watch report. He called fear the “underscoring theme” of the study. Dealing with heavy workloads, more than one-third of the 2,200 workers surveyed said they’re afraid of falling behind and 30 percent of them believe that no one else can do their job when they’re out. Read More…