Galveston Financial Capital: About The GC SBDC

What is the SBDC?

The Galveston County Small Business Development Center (GC SBDC) provides free business consulting and affordable training seminars to small and medium-sized business owners and managers. The GC SBDC is a business consulting and training center of the UH SBDC Network, which serves 32 counties in Southeast Texas through 15 business consulting and training centers.

How can the center help my new business?

The GC SBDC offers affordable training seminars on business topics for start-up and pre-venture entrepreneurs. Our training seminars are designed to help broaden your business knowledge and are focused on business basics that will help you make your business a success. GC SBDC consultants help entrepreneurs assess their business idea and assist with the creation of a solid business plan at no cost.

My business has been established for some time. How can the center help me?

GC SBDC consultants help business owners develop strategies, attract customers, increase sales and improve productivity and profitability, all at no cost. Our consultants have extensive, practical experience in varied fields, including marketing, finance, retail and management.

Our center offers affordable training seminars taught by instructors who share their practical business experience with you. Business topics include marketing, finance, management, computers, taxes and executive skills enhancement.

The GC SBDC also offers specialty assistance for entrepreneurs wanting to sell to the government, do business internationally, or commercialize their technology.

Does the center charge for its services?

GC SBDC offers free consulting and very affordable training seminars and workshops.

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Galveston Capital Tourism and Marketing: Galveston Things To Do – Attractions And Must See

Galveston Things To Do

Before you go, here are some of the most entertaining things to do on Galveston Island.

The Beach

There is plenty of room to lay out and the water stays a comfortable temperature due to its southern location. While it is a little murky and the waves are small, you can hop on a boogie board or inner tube and float around. You may even be able to catch some waves that are big enough to surf. It’s definitely recommended to bring plenty of water and some food, as the beach gets pretty warm especially in the summer time. For those who are looking for the best beach to go to, many tourists and locals recommend Stewart Beach

Moody Gardens

For those who love the beauty of exotic nature, Moody Gardens should be the first stop on your travel list of activities. This nature and discovery center, which is geared towards kids, is an awesome place for family friendly fun. From outside, you will see multiple large pyramids, each of them containing a different theme. You can enter the discovery pyramid, the aquarium pyramid, a rainforest pyramid. Overall, it’s a great place for families to adventure around in.

The Strand

Galveston’s historic Strand has many different restaurants, activities and other things to excite locals and tourists alike. Back in the early days of Galveston, the Strand is where the locals came for a night out on the town. There are still some hotels, trendy restaurants, an amazing candy shop, and a large chess board where you can play life-size chess. They also have their Mardi-Gras celebration here, which has been called the second best Mardi-Gras outside of New Orleans! Don’t forget to take in all of the historic buildings while your there, because you will see a lot of historical state landmark plaques!

Galveston Financial Capital: Resources

Newsletters:

Star members and clients of the GC SBDC have access to a wide variety of resources to assist them in market research, general business management, or in getting their business started.  The Director and the Consultants frequently write articles and are featured in newsletters addressing the concerns of business owners.  As a Star member, you will receive our future newsletters as they are published.

Articles:

The GC SBDC maintains a library of articles of interest to business owners and managers.  Some are written by our own consultants and some are written by other experts.  You can search these articles by topic here.  If you do not find an article that answers your question, please call us for more information, or search the additional resources provided at the Regional center.

Regional Resources:

The GC SBDC is a member of the University of Houston SBDC Regional Network.  We have access to a wide variety of specialty services offered through the University.

Galveston Financial Capital: About Us

The Galveston County Small Business Development Center (GC SBDC) provides business consulting and training to help entrepreneurs and small business owners at every stage of your business development.  Our assistance is customized to your needs, whether you need help evaluating financing alternatives, developing a loan package, reviewing and updating your business plan, or improving productivity and profitability.  We can also help you evaluate new market opportunities selling to federal, state and local governments or to customers outside the United States.

Visit us at our GC SBDC facility to meet with one of our expert consultants for a free, hands-on, one-on-one consulting session, or to attend one of our practical workshops led by experienced entrepreneurs to learn and expand your knowledge of critical business tools and technology skills.  We’ll also customize training just for you, to be held on site or at your location.

 

Los Angeles MK News

Regarding the end to Shanghai MK’s cooperative partnership

We regret to inform you that due to problems including with license renewals, Shanghai MK’s partnership with Hertz China will be terminated at the end of this year.

Hertz-MK will continue operations as one section within Hertz.

Therefore, any reservations beginning January of next year will be handled by Hertz China.

Thank you very much for your patronage to MK hire service over the years.

We kindly ask that you utilize Hertz China for your reservations in the future.

WHEREVER YOU GO, TRUST THE HEART LOGO!

One of Japan’s most appointed taxi groups is now raising the standards of car service in Southern California! MK Group has been providing Japan’s major cities with esteemed driving for over 50 years, earning high acclaim and demand as one of the most courteous companies in the country today. Now as the first car service to branch abroad, Los Angeles MK invites you to experience the convenience and economics of taxies with the high quality of limousines―an affordable yet uncompromised transportation experience unlike any other!

A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE

Los Angeles is an incredible site not only for vacation and tourism, but also for business and venture. We ensure that every visitor experiences Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California in the most suitable way. We accommodate all types of travel near and far, whether you are going from the airport to your home or hotel, exploring local hot spots and tourist sites, shopping and dining, or attending events, conventions, and meetings on business.

We travel beyond our Los Angeles headquarters, through local districts such as Orange County, San Bernadino, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura County, and Santa Barbara, all the way to more remote destinations such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Phoenix, Arizona. We service you with a broad range of clean vehicles as to better adjust to your needs. For those that are visiting California for the first time or are traveling from outside the United States, our highly skilled staff will assist you thoroughly and safely.

UK Banks Looking Into ‘Next Generation’ of Digital Cards to Help Combat Online Fraud

The digital bank cards have a security code that changes every 20 minutes.

A new form of digitally-enhanced bank card featuring an unpredictable three-digit security code is currently being analysed by UK banks and financial institutions as a way of combating increasing levels of fraud, according to security firm Gemalto.

The technology, which has been dubbed the “next generation” of payment card, is known as Dynamic Code Verification (DCV) and works by ditching the permanent three-number security strip code in favour of a digital readout that changes every 20 minutes.

Gemalto, which is developing a version of the technology, claims it will help to drastically slash the amount of card-not-present (CNP) fraud – when stolen bank card details are used to remotely make illicit internet, telephone or mail purchases.

“It means that you physically have to have the card in your possession in order to make a purchase online or over the telephone,” Lysa Coombs, spokesperson for Gemalto, told Sky News.

“If you have simply harvested the card’s details to commit fraud, you won’t be able to do that as you won’t have the up-to-date security code,” she added.

Howard Berg, the firm’s senior vice-president said UK banks are now accessing the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. “We are certainly seeing card holders like it [because] there’s little change to the process they are currently using,” he told Sky News.

A Gemalto brochure describing the technology stated: “[It] allows issuers to replace the static 3-digit visual cryptogram traditionally used for online purchases with a time based dynamic CVV/CVC displayed on the customer’s payment card or on their mobile.

“The code changes every 20 minutes, dramatically enhancing the security level of online transactions.”

According to an official report from Financial Fraud UK released in March this year, titled the ‘Year-end 2015 fraud update’, losses on purchases made remotely increased by 20% in 2015 (to £398.2m from £331.5m). It indicated the spike may be due to data stolen through “hacks and malware.”

The research paper also noted: “Financial fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £755million in 2015 – an increase of 26% compared to 2014.”

Tony Blake, a senior fraud prevention officer at the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, a police unit with links to Financial Fraud Action UK, the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office, said the new technology could help reduce online card fraud.

“It is a huge growth area and criminals are always looking at new ways to make money as more of us go online to do our shopping,” he told Sky News. “The dynamically changing digital security number on the back of the card is one of the things in development which looks quite promising.”

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: Chilling mob-style hits reveal fraud’s violent roots

dr_ira_bernsteinMob-style hits sought in name of insurance money

Recent charges against a foot doctor challenge a belief among many consumers that insurance fraud is a relatively low-level, white-collar scam.

The issue: fraud as violence.

Foot doctor Ira Bernstein allegedly tried to hire thugs to beat up two insurance-fraud investigators and throw them off the track.

The Ramapo, N.Y. man and his girlfriend met with someone they thought was a hitman to kill his wife Susan — and rough up the fraud investigators, federal prosecutors contend. The investigators were looking into whether Bernstein bilked health insurers with false claims.

The purported hitman was a wired informant. He revealed the suspected plot to police.

Police also set up Hollywood-style murder photos. They applied makeup so the investigators would look mugged. The snitch then showed Bernstein the seemingly grisly images to fool the foot doctor into revealing more suspected evidence.

Bernstein could be innocent. He’ll have his justly deserved day in court.

Whatever the outcome, the case shines a light on a broader concern that insurance fraud is widely perceived as a relatively tame white-collar scam with few real victims.

Once embedded as a norm … this lax attitude edges dangerously closer to making an $80-billion insurance crime a socially acceptable way people can lard their bank accounts, live well, or exact policyholder revenge against insurers for high premiums paid out without claims.

Insurance fraud has a seedy history of Mafia-style violence — or threatened harm — against against investigators … judges … witnesses … and other hardworking professionals just trying to do fair justice. Blind panic and fear when cornered by courts and investigators can turn swindlers into murderers.

An insurance agent shot and killed two fraud investigators who were looking into his practices. Rhett Jeansonne and Kim Sledge were with the Louisiana insurance department. John Melvin Lavergne gunned them down at his Ville Platte agency, then shot himself.

Alarmed insurance regulators around the U.S. quickly strengthened procedures for how investigators can stay safer when visiting a suspect’s office or home.

Sallie Rohrbach died doing her duty as well. She was an auditor with the North Carolina insurance department. A troubled agent clubbed her to death with a chair while she was in his office reviewing his books for  possible theft of client premiums.

Tyesha Towanda Roberts offered to hired someone to shoot a witness involving insurance torchings of a home and two vehicles. The Baltimore woman wanted $10,000 to set up the murder. A cohort offered to help shoot the witness himself. Except that Roberts and her cohort spilled the plot to an undercover officer. Roberts was convicted, and will be sentenced in August 2016.

Nightclub insurer mogul Jeffrey Cohen plotted to assassinate the judge overseeing the bankrupt insurer’s liquidation.

Cohen deceived regulators into thinking his failing insurance empire was financially solid.

A former nightclub bouncer, Cohen drew up a hit list of Maryland and Delaware officials involved with his case. Plus driving directions to the home of the judge overseeing the insurer’s liquidation.

Seven assault weapons were seized at Cohen’s home. “Society needs to look at the fact that killing isn’t wrong in certain circumstances, and killing culls the weak,” he said in a sound recording. Cohen was handed 37 years in federal prison.

Buying the narrative that insurance fraud is tame feeds the dystopian mindset that eggs people to use violence to defend their schemes. Even seemingly average people can become killers when their fraud plots start unravelling.

So when you think of insurance fraud as a soft and minor crime … just visit Sallie Rohrbach’s grave. She’s buried in Raleigh Memorial Park in Fuquay-Varina, N.C.

Proposing ongoing blog about all things insurance fraud. Consumer attitudes that let fraud thrive … strategies for changing minds … new fraud trends and why they’re important …

Profile how people are victimized. How fraud crimes are investigated and convicted. Highlight breaking cases and fraud trends — and why they’re important.

Also look on light side — knuckleheads who bumble to bogus fake workers comp injury claims.