Operation HOPE and Popular Community Bank celebrate a milestone event in Harlem

Pictured left to right (front row): John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.; Brian Doran, NY Metro Region Executive, PCB; Mary Hagerty Ehrsam, CEO, New York and Division President, HOPE Youth Empowerment Group Operation HOPE, Inc.; PCB Assistant Branch Manager Charlene Wint; Manuel Chinea, COO of PCB; Stephanie Penceal, Small Business Program Manager, HOPE Inside. (Back row) left to right: Rafael Sanchez, PCB Regional Manager, Manhattan North, Bronx & Queens; Malik Hodges, PCB 125th Street Branch Manager

Pictured left to right (front row): John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.; Brian Doran, NY Metro Region Executive, PCB; Mary Hagerty Ehrsam, CEO, New York and Division President, HOPE Youth Empowerment Group Operation HOPE, Inc.; PCB Assistant Branch Manager Charlene Wint; Manuel Chinea, COO of PCB; Stephanie Penceal, Small Business Program Manager, HOPE Inside. (Back row) left to right: Rafael Sanchez, PCB Regional Manager, Manhattan North, Bronx & Queens; Malik Hodges, PCB 125th Street Branch Manager

A celebration to commemorate the opening of the HOPE Inside took place yesterday on April 1, at Popular Community Bank’s Harlem branch in New York City – the same location where aspiring entrepreneurs are learning the basics of building their own business by attending these free workshops with a trained Operation HOPE counselor.

“Operation HOPE is proud to join Popular Community Bank to celebrate the launch of the first HOPE Inside for the state of New York, said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Operation HOPE, Inc. “The HOPE Inside model is an important part of Project 5117, our national initiative to continue Dr. King’s work to bring economic justice to underserved communities. It is my sincere hope that this first location in Harlem actually represents the first of many more to come, in addition to the three additional locations that are already planned.”

“We are thrilled to share the same commitment Operation HOPE has of helping others secure a brighter financial future,” said Brian Doran, New York Metro Region Executive, Popular Community Bank. “With small business employing over half of the country’s workforce, the support and growth of entrepreneurs and small business is critical in order to have a healthy community and robust local and national economy. We strive to provide the necessary tools, education, advocacy and guidance to the small business community.”

There are two options offered through HOPE Inside:

The Technical Assistance Program – in a private consultation with a trained Operation HOPE Counselor, candidates are helped with establishing their goals and needs, review of their credit report, business plan and financials, and are provided assistance through referral programs.

The Entrepreneurial Training Course – is a 12-week program supplying entrepreneurs with simple, practical information to help them succeed, as well as feature a variety of guest speakers. Topics covered include evaluating feasibility, selecting a business name, conducting market research, advertising, securing startup money, types of distribution channels and where to access capital.

Mansur Abdus-Salaam is also a participant in the 10th class of Operation HOPE NY’s Entrepreneurial Training Program. He is a native Harlemite who has years of cooking experience and training from his family. Inspired by his mother, he is starting Griffith’s Food Products, a company that will feature all-natural, organic food products, featuring his special hot sauce made from a secret process that he learned from her.

Mansur Abdus-Salaam is also a participant in the 10th class of Operation HOPE NY’s Entrepreneurial Training Program. He is a native Harlemite who has years of cooking experience and training from his family. Inspired by his mother, he is starting Griffith’s Food Products, a company that will feature all-natural, organic food products, featuring his special hot sauce made from a secret process that he learned from her.

Chauntee Jackson is a participant in the 10th class of Operation HOPE NY’s Entrepreneurial Training Program. She and her partner, Taneesha Woodyear also an ETP participant, are starting Two Wives, Inc. Cleaning Service. Chauntee currently works as a direct care provider for the mentally challenged where cleaning is a part of her daily job. She and Taneesha are forming their cleaning company to help take the stress and strain from working parents, so that they can come home to comfortable clean home.

Chauntee Jackson is a participant in the 10th class of Operation HOPE NY’s Entrepreneurial Training Program. She and her partner, Taneesha Woodyear also an ETP participant, are starting Two Wives, Inc. Cleaning Service. Chauntee currently works as a direct care provider for the mentally challenged where cleaning is a part of her daily job. She and Taneesha are forming their cleaning company to help take the stress and strain from working parents, so that they can come home to comfortable clean home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The partnership to develop HOPE Inside program commenced in November 2013 with a commitment of $300,000 from Popular Community Bank for four locations. Seeing value in the program, Popular Community Bank has already committed to launch three additional HOPE Inside locations this year, in the New York area.

Focused on small business development the first Workshop took place in mid-February and the next workshop started March 5 – focusing on business ideas ranging from real estate financing to components of a business plan, to help these entrepreneurs of tomorrow achieve success.

For more information or to sign up for the Small Business Development Program speak with the Operation HOPE representative at the 125th Street Popular Community Bank Branch or call (917) 477-2800.

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Job Seekers Alert- Lookout for Scams!

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Finding a job can be tough in this economy. So when an opportunity comes along, many are quick to accept it without due diligence. Today, online job seekers have become the targets of job scams.

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2012 close to 290,000 people submitted complaints related to online scams with a total loss of $525 million dollars1.

A great number of these scams come in the form of online job postings where victims are asked to complete tasks that result in fraudulent and illegal activity in exchange for a commission.  It could be simple tasks such as receiving funds in your account and transferring funds through a currency exchange to a third party that you don’t know.

Falling victim to this type of scam can result in legal action against you, monetary loss and identity theft.

What are the signs of a job scam?

  1. Large salary for little work
  2. Unsolicited email opportunities
  3. Earning money by transferring funds
  4. Having to pay to get the job
  5. Job postings that are poorly written
  6. Little or no information about the company

Tips to protect yourself

  1. Be suspicious of offers that seem too good to be true
  2. Never pay money to a potential employer
  3. Never agree to transfer money from or to third parties that you don’t know
  4. Research the company that is offering the job.  Be very skeptical if there is not a lot of information about the company or if they are not being very forthcoming

Were you scammed?

If you believe that you’ve been a target of a job scam, you must take steps to report it right away.

  • If your bank account was involved, please contact us at 1-800-377-0800
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Report it to your State Attorney General and local State Department of Labor

It is very important that you remain very vigilant about these types of scams and that you report them in a timely manner. Your financial future depends on it.

12012 Internet Crime Report 

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Simple Ideas to Stay on Top of Your Finances

We at Popular Community Bank want everyone to stay financially prepared so that they can thrive. Here are some simple ideas to help you stay on top of your finances:

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Severe Weather Alert

Due to the winter weather conditions affecting the Northeast region, our branches in New York and New Jersey will have a delayed opening at 11:00 AM ET today, Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014.

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If you have immediate account questions or concerns, you can still access Popular Online Banking or call 1-800-377-0800 for customer service.

Stay warm!

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Winter Weather Announcement

Due to the winter weather affecting the Northeast region, our branches in New York and New Jersey will have a delayed opening at 11:00 AM ET today Friday, January 3rd, 2014.

If you have immediate account questions or concerns, you can still access Popular Online Banking or call 1-800-377-0800 for customer service.

Stay safe and warm.

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Making Friends Count: Why Networking is Crucial for Business

Loyal customers are currency in any business, and having talkative friends is the best form of advertising any business could hope for. But where do you turn when you can’t find the answers to some of your tough questions?

The idea of networking is as old as time. Simply put, networking is using personal and business connections to bring business through your doors.

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Plan To Save in 2014

As people all over the country begin making (and, in some cases, breaking) their New Year Resolutions, many consider including financial goals and commitments.

As the axiom reminds us, a failing to plan is a plan to fail.

If you’re one of those who is considering saving goals in the new calendar year, here is a look at how to establish a systematic approach to saving.

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Smart Businesses Get Paid Faster

In the past, we have looked at a few ways small business owners can establish a competitive advantage in their market place, and discussed reasons to evaluate a business plan in the new year.

Making some necessary changes can also help business owners have more control of the money they’re making, especially if you accept credit cards.

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How, and Why, To Run A Greener Small Business

There are a number of phrases that small business owners hear on a regular basis that all circle back to the idea of sustainability.

From “going green” to having a”clean office,” everyone is more mindful of the impact our work has on the world around us. Whether you use the word green or clean or have concerns about your office’s footprint, there is a lot to consider.

As you start thinking ahead to 2014, why not examine a few ways your business being more environmentally friendly?

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Holiday Giving: Some Tax Tips For Charitable Donations

Are you considering a charitable donation during this holiday season? If you plan on giving this year, it’s a good idea to plan ahead, and know where your money is going.

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