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South Side Business News & Notes

1/2/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer


Greater Akron Chamber plans 2014 travel

GREATER AKRON — The Greater Akron Chamber is offering its members and the entire community new travel destinations for 2014.
The Canyon Country trip will take place in Arizona, Utah and Nevada June 12-20. This program includes round-trip airfare from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, with highlights that include Scottsdale, Oak Creek Canyon, Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Las Vegas and more.
Book by Jan. 12 to save $100. The regular price is $3,379 for a single, $2,729 for a double and $2,699 for a triple.
The trip to Tuscany and the Italian Riviera will be Nov. 3-10. The program will include several unique culinary experiences, according to chamber officials. The excursion includes round-trip airfare from Cleveland, with highlights that include a Tuscan estate, Tuscan winery, Florence, Uffizi Gallery, Siena, Monteriggioni, Lucca, Pisa, the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre, Portofino and more.
Book by April 28 and save $250. The regular cost is $3,749 for a single, $3,449 for a double and $3,419 for a triple.
For more information, contact Maria Edwards at AAA Travel Agency at 330-762-0631 or medwards@akron.aaa.com.

Torchbearers to develop programs to attract, retain  new talent in Akron

AKRON — Torchbearers, a local organization that supports young professionals, is developing two programs aimed at attracting and retaining Greater Akron’s next generation of leaders.
The programs are supported by $65,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Intern Edge will connect Akron summer interns in both for-profit and nonprofit companies to community life and foster connections among interns, community leaders and other civic players. Interns will gain exposure to new places to live, play and volunteer while building relationships with peers and community changemakers. The six- to eight-week program aims to create a deeper sense of attachment to Akron and help local companies attract young talent to the area. It also will provide career resources to interns who want to return to or remain in Akron.
Torchbearers will partner with Leadership Akron in designing and administering the program.
In addition, Torchbearers Ambassadors will help promote Akron as a vibrant place to work and live. Ambassadors will work with human resources representatives in local companies to connect with job applicants after interviews and inform them about places to live, play and connect in Greater Akron and the region. The goal is to help local employers recruit and retain more employees, particularly young professionals.
The Knight Foundation is providing $45,000 to support the internship program and $20,000 for the Ambassadors pilot. The funding will go to resources needed to develop the programs and inspire participants to pursue careers in Greater Akron, according to Torchbearers officials.
“These two programs will highlight Akron’s rich community life and encourage talented professionals who are considering Akron as a career destination to make it their home,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for the Knight Foundation. “Building on the existing talent pool in Akron will add to the vitality of the city and create more opportunities into the future.”

The Torchbearers Ambassadors pilot will begin in early 2014, and Intern Edge will launch in the summer of 2014. Both programs will ultimately be maintained through fees from participating companies. Torchbearers will announce an application process and additional program details in early 2014.
Contact Kyle Kutuchief at KyleKutuchief@gmail.com for more information.

Lake Chamber launches new website

LAKE — The Lake Township Chamber of Commerce has launched a new website that allows more flexibility and freedom to add and update pages.
The chamber partnered with WRL Advertising, of Canton, to select a template, create a site plan and build a site that would successfully reflect the values of the chamber while giving the general membership a trusted resource to aid in its day-to-day business, according to chamber officials.
Some of the new features of the site are pages for member resources, a membership list, events calendar, online membership application and access to event registration.
“As the Lake Township Chamber grows and demonstrates new ways it can serve our membership, we needed to make a technology upgrade that reflects our growth, mission and structure,” said Chamber President Christa Kozy. “We are grateful to WRL Advertising for their part in providing the web application support that was integral in customizing the template.”
The website can be accessed at www.lakechamber.com.
For details, contact the chamber at 330-877-5500.

Fast Track Settlement program now available to help small businesses under audit

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the nationwide rollout of a streamlined program designed to enable small businesses under audit to more quickly settle their differences with the IRS.
The Fast Track Settlement (FTS) program is designed to help small businesses and self-employed individuals who are under examination by the Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) Division of the IRS.
Modeled on a similar program long available to large and mid-size businesses (those with more than $10 million in assets), FTS uses alternative dispute resolution techniques to help taxpayers save time and avoid a formal administrative appeal or lengthy litigation, according to IRS officials. As a result, audit issues can usually be resolved within 60 days, rather than months or years. Plus, taxpayers choosing this option lose none of their rights because they still have the right to appeal even if the FTS process is unsuccessful, according to IRS officials.
Jointly administered by SB/SE and the IRS Appeals office, FTS is designed to expedite case resolution. Under FTS, taxpayers under examination with issues in dispute work directly with IRS representatives from SB/SE’s Examination Division and Appeals to resolve those issues, with the Appeals representative typically serving as mediator.
The taxpayer or the IRS examination representative may initiate FTS for eligible cases, usually before a 30-day letter is issued. The goal is to complete cases within 60 days of acceptance of the application in Appeals.
SB/SE originally launched FTS as a pilot program in September 2006. For more information on taking advantage of the FTS program, view the FTS video at www.irsvideos.gov. Additional background is available on www.IRS.gov on the Alternative Dispute Resolution webpage and in IRS Announcement 2011-05.

Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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