Page 9 - Business Facts

Carlos Vasquez shows his gratitude by cleaning clothes for the unemployed for free. Why he started doing so is a sad story

Because first impressions really do count, Carlos Vasquez decided to help unemployed people to make a good one. He owns the upper East Side's 'First Professional Cleaners' dry cleaning establishment and he taped a sign in the window that reads, "If you are unemployed and need an outfit clean for an interview, we will clean it for FREE."

"It's just something I do to give back to the community," says Carlos, who owns the business together with his wife, Arelis. "It's to thank them for the support that I get around here, for letting my business keep going by bringing me their clothes."

He put the sign up after he heard that some of his regular customers were laid off work. Vasquez sees the sign as some form of lucky charm and believes it brought some customers good luck. "Two of my customers, they used that sign," he said. "When I gave them their clothes, I said, 'Good luck, you're gonna get a job.' And they did."

It is not the first time Carlos has put the sign up in his window. The first time was after 9/11 when he lost at least 32 clients. Asked why he does this, he responded, "We do it for the community because I consider myself lucky just to own a business in this city."


If you're a Mac user, you may not be seeing the best deals on!

The travel site Orbitz was the center of a bit of controversy in 2012 when it was reported that they target higher priced hotel rooms to Mac users. It's important to note that the company didn't offer the same rooms at different prices, but rather tailored it's "suggested" rooms depending on what type of computer you were using.

In response to the controversy, Orbitz' PR firm released a statement which clarified, saying that the company has found that Mac users are more likely to book high-end hotels, and even when they book the same hotels as PC users, they would book the more expensive rooms.

The company claims that it tries to suggest the most relevant rooms to it's customers and uses data that is automatically sent to them when you visit their website to do this. They call this "predictive analytics."

What this boils down to is that Mac users aren't being shown the best deals by default. All users do have the option to sort rooms by price and none of the rooms are only available (or not) to certain groups.


Ikea uses an insane amount of wood every year—I couldn't believe just how much!

Ikea seems like the place to go for people looking for cheap furniture. The Swedish company owns and operates 349 stores in 43 countries and had total revenue of over $28.5 billion in 2013.

Such a large company, whose products are almost all partially made of wood, is bound to use quite a bit of it. Indeed, the retailer uses 1% of the world's entire commercial wood supply, which amounts to about 17.8 million cubic yards of lumber.

Ikea is very conscious of this and is doing a lot to become more environmentally friendly. The company has a long-term goal to have all of it's materials come from forests that have been sustainably managed and harvested.

Idea wants to have 50% of it's wood to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council by 2018, and currently have 25% of their wood certified this way. They also participate in several forestry projects aimed at improving the company's environmental impact, such as Sow a Seed and WWF.

Whether you're a fan of Ikea's furniture or not, there's no denying that they're doing their best to be environmentally friendly and reduce their environmental impact.


Some awesome lists!

The Acclaim, Activision and Accolade video game companies chose their names to be before Atari in phone books!

Accolade was a gaming company founded in 1984 by Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead, the same people who had previously started up the gaming company Activision.

Activision was the world’s first ever third party game developer. Miller and Whitehead chose the name Activision, because it came before Atari alphabetically and likewise they chose Accolade, because it came before Activision alphabetically.

Each was to make a statement of superiority over the rest; the whole “you want to be at the top of the list in the phonebook” idea. Later some other ex-Activision employees started up their own gaming company, Acclaim, named for, you guessed it: it being alphabetically ahead of Accolade.

Then, another group of ex-Activision employees said “hey, we can do it too!” and they started up Absolute Entertainment, which became the ultimate alphabetically first gaming company. So, the real question to ask is whose controller is bigger and better?


Millions of disposable chopsticks used in China are made in America! Find out why the Chinese have to import chopsticks

How many products that you use on a daily basis carry a “Made in China” label? Cameras, computers, mobile phones and many toys, do. But here is a surprise – a product that is so quintessentially Chinese like the chopstick, and are used in China by the millions every day, now carry the label “Made in U.S.A”!

In the south-eastern state of Georgia, a small company is producing chopsticks for shipment to China and other countries. “Right now we are making about two million pairs of chopsticks per day but we are increasing," says Jae Lee, president of Georgia Chopsticks.

China is apparently running short of wood, but wood is something the U.S. Town of Americus (where Georgia Chopsticks is located) has no shortage of. Sweet gum and poplars grow like weeds in central Georgia, and, as luck would have it, these trees make for the perfect chopsticks because their wood is pliable, straight and has a pleasant color. Georgia chopsticks, unlike their Chinese counterparts, do not have to be lightened with bleach or other chemicals, and that makes them even more attractive for health-conscious consumers.

When Georgia Chopsticks opened, they employed 57 people. Lee hopes to ramp up production and to hire more employees, as the area had a 12% unemployment rate in 2011.



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