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Business & Finance

Burglars Rampage Chaldean Owned Ramona Market
By Huda Metti :: 36053 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

California, USA - Three hooded and masked burglars smashed their way into the Ramona Market on Main Street Sunday, March 2, at midnight.   Having disabled the store’s redundant security alarm systems, the burglars rampaged through the store for 30 minutes, breaking registers with a crow bar, strewing papers and inventory all around the store, smashing bottles, and destroying as much as stealing.  Security cameras captured the burglary, showing the robbers wearing hooded sweatshirts, or “hoodies,” over ski masks and wearing gloves.

Main phone lines were cut before they even started the break-in, said store owner Rami Yousif after ordering a third redundancy on the store’s security system. Damage and theft add up to more than $40,000, he said.  Safety was one of the most important reasons the Yousif family bought the Ramona Market, Yousif said.

“My family chose Ramona when we bought the store 15 years ago because it was a nice place to be at, people seemed to be nice, willing to do business. We knew that it would be safe,” he said.  “Five years ago there were times when I forgot to lock the door overnight and everything would be untouched. It was Ramona.”

Not anymore.

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What Makes Your Business Different?
By David Najor :: 40350 Views :: Business & Finance, Opinion and Editorials, Chaldean American Professionals

Every Chaldean business entrepreneur is in business to make a profit.  That means having customers, and lots of them.  It goes without saying that location is important.  Having a hotel by an airport, business district, or entertainment district is a “no brainer”.    Opening a store at the crossroads of a busy intersection or highly dense residential area is just as simple.  So simple that you will find four convenient stores facing one another or two hotels across the street from one another.  Location is one of the primary deciding factors for guests. 

If the hotels are next door to each other; one isn’t closer to the airport.  One isn’t closer to downtown. If the location could sustain a million dollars in sales and there are four stores vying for that million we can safely estimate $250,000 each.  Can we?  Will each business operate the same?  Will each owner carry the same goods or offer the same service?  Drive by any corner crowded with businesses and you would be stunned at how similar they are.  There is nothing unique about any of them.  They are virtually indistinguishable from each other.

Limited business entrepreneurs turn to the easiest solutions to differentiate their business.   Lower prices or give more goods away.  This simplistic solution may be a good short term solution but in the long run hurts the business.   The long term fix for any Chaldean business owner is to differentiate their business by offering better service and developing meaningful customer relationships.

And this is how to do it…..

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Chaldean Loses Millions in Store Fire
By Rita Abro :: 26146 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance

California, USA – “Everything I have worked so hard for over the past four years, I have lost in one night,” said owner Andy Kakoz.

A crowd of about 50 people gathered across the street to watch firefighters douse the flames of a million dollar discount store in Downtown El Cajon, California. At one point, water from three ladder trucks was being poured on the roof while firefighters on the ground busted windows to pour water on the flames. Firefighters from four agencies fought to bring the fire under control. Even two hours after it started, some flames were still coming of the roof.

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Over 100 Chaldean Property Investors File $60 Million Lawsuit
By David Najor :: 47 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance

Michigan, USA - "My clients are bleeding to the tune of about half a million per month," says Shallal, a shareholder in the Southfield, Mich.-based law firm Mekani Orow Mekani Shallal Hakim & Hindo PC.

Nearly 115 Chaldean property investors have joined hands to teach Ginn Co. a costly lesson. 

The federal suit alleges the Celebration-based developer misled them on the investment potential of nearly 130 home sites in four luxury communities in Florida.  The Chaldean investors claim Ginn Co. violated interstate land laws, SEC rules, perpetuated a Ponzi scheme after buying lots in Bella Collina, Reunion and other Fla. communities.

The Chaldean plaintiffs include well known and respected community leaders outraged over the alleged deceit and deception. 

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Plum Market #2 Woos Ann Arbor
By Huda Metti :: 40154 Views :: Business & Finance

Michigan, USA- In a little less than a few years, brothers Matt and Marc Jonna have added their second specialty gorcery store Plum Market in Ann Arbor.  Ann Arbor residents have fast filled the isles of the high-end grocery store. 

"We can't wait for Plum Market to become an active part of the unique community that is Ann Arbor," says co-founder Matthew Jonna. "We're looking forward to creating an environment where friends and neighbors can shop, share and just generally have a great experience."

The upscale grocer's 28,000 square feet in the Maple Village Shopping Center takes up most of the space of what was once the Foxtown movie theater.  This is the grocer's second location. Its first is in Bloomfield Township. There are also plans for one in downtown Royal Oak in the second phase of the Main North Lofts development and future ones throughout Metro Detroit.

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Chaldean Business Man Applauds Champaign Mayor’s Unofficial St. Patrick's Day Rules
By Sue Garmo :: 26852 Views :: Business & Finance, Government & Society

Illinois, USA – Chaldeans congratulate the bold move made by Mayor Jerry Schweighart.  The mayor issued an emergency order restricting alcohol sales in the Campustown area.  The order applies to this coming Friday and Saturday, Feb. 29-March 1, and is similar to the emergency order issued last year.

“The uniform rules help restaurants and party stores better serve the public,” says Jason Kemmo of Windy City Liquor.  “This is safe and fair for all those who serve and purchase alcohol.  It worked great last year and we are happy to see it again this year.  Students get carried away and most of the alcohol is served at parties which is dangerous for the public and the students.

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How to Reduce Store Theft
By Ray Yono :: 23065 Views :: Business & Finance

Chaldean entrepreneurs know how hard it is to make a buck without shoplifters helping themselves to their inventory. How do you stop them?

According to the research conducted by National Retail Federation and the University of Florida, Shoplifters in America account for over $13 billion of the total $41 billion in annual losses due to "shrinkage" (including employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error and vendor fraud).

Chaldean entrepreneurs know how frustrating theft can be when margins are slim and continue to get slimmer.  Shrinkage eats up 1.6% of the industry's sales--a huge number considering that giants Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Kroger, and Walgreen post an average profit margin of only 3.6%, according to Reuters Global Fundamentals.

What is a Chaldean business owner to do?

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Chaldeans Buying Businesses Need to Beware
By Bedre Konja :: 16721 Views :: Business & Finance

Chaldean entrepreneurs will mostly agree that buying a business is not simple; in fact, it is almost similar to starting a new venture. The struggle of finding a business that matches your capabilities and investigating the business potential to remain profitable is just the beginning.  Buying a business requires the same thoroughness as creating a business plan for starting a business. 

Edward Putrus, owner of West Coast Electrical Warehouse Supplies in Arizona says the ability to make a good business great is different than creating a new business.  Anthony Jurjus, an associate partner in the firm Rosen, Russel, and Silverman Consulting, PLC is a commercial real estate agent and business broker who often helps Chaldeans in finding and buying businesses.  “Anyone buying a business needs to do be careful, have a strategy, be patient, and persistent,” says Jurjus. 

Jurjus suggest Chaldeans follow a 10-step process in guarantying the business they buy is the right one. 

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Networking Grows A Business
By Ray Yono :: 29105 Views :: Business & Finance, Chaldean American Professionals

When Joseph Garmo attended a Chaldean wedding, he never imagined that he would hear the benefits of his own product begin shared by a fellow guest. 

There at the table, says Garmo, another guest seated with the group began to share his excitement for a new product our firm developed to help reduce check cashing fraud.  "It was like a totally unsolicited sales pitch" for the Michigan-based firm helping the Chaldean community deal with the rash of check fraud.  “The Michigan economy is horrible. Add low morals with a poor economy and you get lots and lots of crime,” says Garmo.  “Chaldeans in large part are victims of these crimes and not much is done to help them.  We wanted to change that.”

Garmo explains how the table guest began what would continue on as a 15- to 20-minute discussion between the guests at the table about his company's product. “It was hard to keep quiet, but I did.  I wanted to hear what they would say,” he says. “I wanted to learn if our idea could make a difference.”

It was also the moment he realized the power of his connections. He hadn't spent a dime on marketing his product and before him was a table filled with his target market discussing his Check cashing prevention system.  Listening to the Chaldean business talk, Garmo realized where the guest had learned about his product. 

How did he do it?

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8 Tips For Home Sale Investment by Chaldean Real-Estate Agents
By Salam Abbo :: 71569 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Business & Finance

Johnny Bitti hopes to sell his home before July.  Raymond Kalu, Century 21 Hometown agent from Sterling Heights, Michigan says, “Bitti needs to start thinking about how to make his home stand out from the rest.  The trick is to spend time and money on fix-ups, getting the house to look neat and open instead of spending money on remodeling projects.” 

Kalu seems to have his hand on the pulse of the market.  Remodeling magazine completed a study of homeowners across America and the result is that the owners aren't recouping as many improvement costs as they could in recent years.   In fact, real-estate agents advise clients not to overdo it, regardless of what the local market conditions are like.

The investment for any remodeling projects is added to the selling price of the home.  Chaldean real-estate agents say that the buyers market is fiercely competitive and sellers will have trouble selling a home with value added costs added to the bottom line.   The reason is that asking prices are based largely on comparisons with similar homes in the area, Kalu says. “And in the many markets that aren't exactly booming right now, buyers have more negotiating power over the price of a home,” he adds.

www.CHALDEAN.org contacted a number of Chaldean real-estate agents and asked them for their best tips for Chaldean homeowners looking to sell.  Here is what they had to say…

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Chaldeans Fast Learning About Legal Muscle
By Neda Ayar :: 37723 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Chaldean Justice League

California, USA - Chaldeans are very fast learners.  All it took was a number of passengers in 1999 that were stranded in Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan to sue Northwest airlines for wrongful imprisonment.  The 11 hour snowstorm and Northwest’s decision to keep everyone on board affected 7,000 passengers and ultimately cost them $7 million in an out of court settlement. 

Unlike Chaldeans in Michigan, Kate Hanni can’t stand the cold.  The California resident made that painfully clear after American Airlines diverted her flight for more than eight hours a year ago.  The law suite filed by Hanni and another passenger alleges false imprisonment, fraud and negligence. 

“Chaldeans are fed up of being taken advantage of because of our accents, hard-work ethics, or family togetherness.  From my personal experience, people are envious of Chaldeans and don’t like the fact that we are a devoted community,” says Ann Kareem, a Michigan native who was part of the Northwest class action suit.  “Homeowner’s association try to take advantage of Chaldeans, school districts, and clubs do the same because they think they can get away with it or are upset that Chaldeans are successful or how our family’s remain so close.  Whatever the reason, you can ask any Chaldean and they will tell you they are often treated unfairly. I am glad Kate is suing in California, more Chaldeans need to sue.”

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Chaldeans Watch Closely as Costco Battles with Distributors
By Crystal Dallo :: 29673 Views :: Business & Finance, Chaldean Caucus

California, USA - Chaldeans have long complained of the unfair practices of distributors.  However, the lack of an organized business voice has left Chaldean store owners with slimmer margins and less service.  “Distributors have long capitalized on the backs of Chaldean community who maintain a market for products in areas where retail giants fear to tread,” says Nick Mansour, owner of Gas and Go in Dearborn, Michigan.  “They pre-price their products, refuse to take damage goods, and treat the businesses with a lack of respect.  How can we compete and give customers a better price when the distributor forces you to charge a certain amount.”

Lobbyist groups like the Anti-Saloon League long convinced U.S. politicians that it was in the country’s best interest to give distributors free market protective status.  They made the case so effectively that, even after Prohibition was lifted in 1933, most states insisted on keeping alcohol manufacturers far away from alcohol sellers. The favored solution: a three-tier distribution system requiring manufacturers to sell to wholesalers, and wholesalers to sell to retailers.

A system Chaldeans have long contested as a state sanctioned monopoly that hurts the consumer.  All that may soon change, when giant warehouse retailer Costco weighs in on what Chaldeans have long said, “Distributors are anti-competitive.”   

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Semara Rayes Reveals the Fashion Marketing Profession's Top Secrets
By Bedre Konja :: 22075 Views :: Business & Finance

New York, USA - Every day Chaldeans are bombarded with one persuasive message after another. These messages convince Chaldeans not through reasoning, but through manipulation.  They target the foolish by agitating emotions, exploiting insecurities, capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending the rules of logic.

Most all businesses use marketing and advertisement to help sell their products.  However, there are industries that have emphasized branding in order to overcharge gullible consumers.  They target those with little achievement to their name, those who are insecure about their look, weight, or reputation, or those unsure of themselves.

Some key industry leaders are experts on preying on the insecure and those with low self-esteem and a desire to belong.  “It is like make-up for their insecurities,” says Semara Rayes, a marketing researcher and ad campaign specialist who works for an undisclosed top New York advertising firm.  “We conduct the research and marketing campaign that gives useless products some use.”  Semara attests to using psychological warfare against vulnerable consumers in order to get them to buy a specific clothing line or convince them that jewelry is important or to engineer a new fad. 

Lots of research has gone into the study of mass consumer manipulation.  The result is a strategy that is simple but closely guarded called Complimentary Emotions says Semara.  “First, we expose the consumer to a subtle negative emotion and then make an overt claim that the showcased product can make them feel happy.”  That strategy has made all the difference in getting consumers to spend and at times to go into severe debt. 

In this one-on-one candid interview Semara Rayes explains the inside tricks of the fashion marketing trade. 

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Hunting Down the Right Job
By CE&CC :: 38871 Views :: Career & Education, Business & Finance, Chaldean Education & Career Center
Michigan, USA - Chaldeans should know that a job search is less like a sprint and more like a marathon.  Without this attitude, Chaldean job-hunters will view every day as a laborious burden that does not produce results. You’ll risk losing focus, motivation, and direction. You’ll neither write nor interview well, and your search may take even longer.

In today’s challenging job market, many Chaldean job-hunters are finding that the search takes somewhat more time than they anticipated. Regardless of what expectations you may have or may hear, Chaldeans should assume a time frame of at least 10 months for their search. Chaldeans in Michigan, due to their poor economic condition and high taxes, should consider a year to a year and a half. 
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Chaldean Justice Leagues Releases Their “Chaldean Christmas Scrooge List”
By Rita Abro :: 46861 Views :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance, Chaldean Justice League
Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Justice League has released their “Chaldean Christmas Scrooge List” informing Chaldeans to steer away from businesses that refuse to recognize Christmas. Rather they suggest Chaldeans invest in the “Santa” group that recognizes the gift giving season has a reason.  The community justice group continues to build on their impressive momentum after leading the Chaldean Miller Boycott that helped bring the beer company to its senses. 

“Retailers which seek to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist should realize they have offended the vast majority of Americans who enjoy Christmas,” says Hadeer Allos, the Chaldean Justice League’s Christmas watchdog.  “This Christmas season, whether a store greets you with ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ makes all the difference where you should do your shopping.”

The Chaldean Justice League is urging Christians to fight back to save Christmas from being erased from the public sphere by shopping at stores that honor instead of disregard Christmas.

Home Depot was among the stores that made the “Scrooge” list. Phrases such as “Holiday Gift Center” and “Holiday Decorations” adorn the store’s website without any mention of Christmas. Even Christmas trees are simply described as “Artificial Trees.”  Other business on the “Scrooge” list included K-Mart, Nordstorm, Best Buy, Gap, Sprint, and Office Max, among others.

“Chaldean customers have a choice,” said Allos, “we will not patronize corporate Scrooges.”
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