Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chick-fil-A coming to BYU-Idaho

Chick-fil-A will be opening later this summer inside The Crossroads food court at BYU-Idaho.

Construction is expected to begin in July in the food court, which is inside the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center.

The BYU-Idaho Chick-fil-A location will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. As with all Chick-fil-A locations, it will be closed on Sunday. The restaurant will be open to students and the public.

Chick-fil-A is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States with 1,816 locations in 39 states and annual sales of more than $5 billion. The chain has almost 260 licensed locations on college and university campuses and inside business complexes and airports.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mega-garage sale is in slightly more than two weeks

There are two weeks and a day left until East Idaho’s Biggest Garage Sale, in the Hillcrest High School parking lot.

This year it will be June 14 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you are interested in getting a booth there, it would be wise to act now. There are a limited number available, all first-come, first-served for commercial and non-commercial vendors.

Non-commercial/residential booths are specifically for household items that you want to sell. Rather than having your own garage sale, this is an opportunity to join hundreds of other garage sales in one big, festival event. The sale is being advertised on all five Riverbend radio stations. Last year, nearly 10,000 people came to the event.

Cost for a non-commercial/residential booth (20x20) is $30. A double booth of 20×40 is $60.

Commercial booths are specifically for businesses and manufactured items that you would normally sell in a brick & mortar or online business. Traditionally, you would have a to get a sellers permit/license and to conduct business as a business owner. East Idaho’s Biggest Garage Sale is a non-traditional trade show/event where you can meet thousands of people in a “sidewalk/clearance sale” style. This event also does well for direct sales types of businesses such as Scentsy or Pampered Chef.

Cost for a 20x20 commercial booth is $250, and a double booth, 20x40, is $400.

There will be no refunds available on booth space.

Tables are available for rent from Signature Party Rentals for $20 each. Chairs are available for $5 each.

Want to know more? Click here or e-mail adella.sutton@eiradio.com.

Vendors will be allowed to set-up from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 13. Exhibits must be fully set-up by 6:30 a.m. on June 14, subject to a $50 penalty.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teton Volkswagen plans to open doors June 6

Teton Volkswagen on Sunnyside Road is planning to open its doors June 6, with a grand opening to follow in August.
Teton Volkswagen, currently on Anderson Street, will start moving its cars June 6 to its new Sunnyside Road building.

"The doors will be open, and we anticipate moving all the cars there between the sixth and the 10th," said Doug Swanson, marketing manager for Teton Volkswagen and Teton Toyota. A grand opening has been set for Aug. 7, in conjunction with a Business After Hours.

Teton Volkswagen opened on Outlet Boulevard, on the west side of Interstate 15, in January 2013. Earlier this year it moved its operations to Anderson, in a holding pattern as it built the new dealership on Sunnyside.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Grape Van Gogh opens on 17th Street

Amber Birch, owner of The Grape Van Gogh, a studio and performance space on 17th Street where participants can come to drink wine while they learn to paint.
If you've ever thought you might have a remnant of Rembrandt or a piece of Picasso inside you, Amber Birch of The Grape Van Gogh, 2289 E. 17th Street, would like to ease you into the process.

Birch, formerly a nurse at Bingham Memorial Hospital, opened her business this spring after visiting a paint and sip in Utah last year. It was in the middle of an eight-month vigil for her infant daughter Ava, who was at Primary Children's Medical Center until she passed away in November. In the middle of this emotionally devastating ordeal, a friend took her to drink wine and paint under the direction of an experienced art teacher.

"It was so freeing," she said.

Birch went on to do research and discovered that Pinot's Palette was rated one of Entrepreneur's top franchise opportunities of 2014. Painting With a Twist was another one. Although she could see the advantages of franchising, she decided to pattern Grape Van Gogh after those businesses while keeping her independence.

With 2,250 square feet and several tables, the business is big enough to accommodate large parties. Birch has four instructors -- Jaidyn Erickson, Becca Towler, Christa Nycamp and Tamarine Henslee -- who work from the stage, directing even first-time painters on how to get great results with acrylics.

A private party of adults must be 10 people or more, each paying $35. This covers the cost of instruction, canvas, brushes and paints. Kids' parties, ages 4 to 7, are $15 a person and $25 for kids 8 to 15. People 21 and over can bring their own beer or wine to functions. For youngsters, Birch has a bar equipped to serve Italian sodas.

A grand opening is scheduled for June 20. For more information, call 524-2202, visit the Grape Van Gogh's Web page here or its Facebook page here.

The slow, painful death of the employer benefits package

I was lucky in college -- extremely lucky, in fact -- when it came to my career. At age 19, I landed a job as a benefits specialist for Workscape, Inc., where I worked the entire time I went to school. I took my job seriously and worked hard. I knew a lot was expected of me working for a corporation that size so early in my career.

After completing my 90-day probationary period, I was handled an envelope titled “Benefits Package.” I had no idea what a benefits package was, nor did I care. I threw the package away within a few days of receiving it. There wasn’t anything I really needed, nor did I want to pay for anything that would have taken away from my “fun fund” for weekend parties and shopping trips.

My mother, who covered me under her benefits, felt differently. This became apparent after her open enrollment period opened the following fall. So I finally bit the bullet and enrolled in medical, dental, life insurance, and disability because my mom said I had to.

As I dove into my career in HR, I was quick to learn the value that a benefits package has in attracting good employees and retaining them. Working with companies like GM, IBM and Nokia, it became clear to me from the top down benefits were serious business with employees. Open enrollment period was always a hectic nightmare from August through December. The headaches during that time didn’t even begin to shine a light on the enrollment issues that happened in January and February with the transition from old benefits to new benefits, file transfers to carriers, and let’s not even talk about new id cards for group health benefits. After a year or two it became clear to me that benefits had a major impact on businesses. So I adopted the same thinking.

For decades, employer-provided benefits have been a key to securing and retaining qualified talent. As Baby Boomers leave the work force and Millenials step up, however, businesses are taking a hard look at their benefits packages and their value to employees.

While federal law does not require basic benefits offered to employees beyond workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and accurately paying/reporting wages and taxes for employees, most full-time employees expect to be offered some minimal benefits. In fact, businesses of any size need to consider what benefits they can offer to employees that provide value beyond a steady paycheck and fair salary.

Long gone are the days of basic and boxed benefit packages. Employees in today’s workforce are demanding benefits that add value to their lives in and out of the office. What employees value most differs from workplace to workplace, and from employee base to employee base.

Without employee input, it would unreasonable, unfair and not financially feasible to determine and pay for the benefits you feel your employees value most.

Have you ever conducted a benefits survey or asked your employees what benefits mean the most to them and why? You might be surprised to learn some of the least expensive “benefits” may be the most valued by your employee base.

For example, flexible and fair paid time off programs (including vacation, sick and holiday pay) are one the most highly demanded benefits by employees in companies of any size. Employees need time away from work and don’t want to suffer any economic hardship. Another highly popular benefit that companies can offer are product or services discounts such as company cell phone service discounts or discounted gym memberships. These often cost a company little to nothing but can be used by employees and their family members.

While there is no magical answer as to what benefits should or shouldn’t be offered, it is still clear that the right benefits still have an impact on today’s workforce. Companies should challenge themselves to seek out and offer benefits that are perceived as being valued by their employees if they wish to remain competitive in attracting and retaining a solid and loyal work force.