Cash & the Legislation: Laws on over-the-counter listening to aids nonetheless awaited | Enterprise

Back in August 2017, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration’s Reauthorization Act in a remarkable (these days) bipartisan effort. Among other things, this law instructed the FDA, an agency of the Department of Health, to establish a class of hearing aids that can be bought over the counter, such as toothpaste.

The FDA was given until August 18, 2020 to issue a draft ordinance to implement the law. This regulation should provide adequate guarantees of safety and effectiveness; Set output limits and labeling requirements; and otherwise establish rules for how over-the-counter hearing aids are sold in-store, by mail, or online. The FDA should issue a final ordinance no later than six months after the draft ordinance is drafted. But it is now September 12, 2021; There is no such regulation, and the FDA blaming COVID has apparently left the project behind.

This failure by the FDA to fulfill a clear mandate from Congress despite COVID has disheveled some feathers. Last November, two senators who supported the 2017 hearing aid legislation, Elizabeth Warren and Charles Grassley, then head of the FDA, wrote a letter asking him to do what Congress told his agency – to pass the ordinance . The senators said, “Hearing difficulties are linked to depression and dementia and increase the risk of falls in older adults.” In addition, hearing aids are expensive as prescription products and are usually not covered by health insurance.

Then, on July 9th of that year, the Biden government issued a far-reaching executive order directing all government agencies to get to work to create a competitive marketplace that is “critical to maintaining America’s role as the world’s leading economy ” is. This implementing ordinance contained an instruction to the Secretariat for Health and Social Affairs to issue the ordinance on over-the-counter hearing aids required by the 2017 law within 120 days (by November 6). So we’ll see what happens.

Of course, a delay in the availability of over-the-counter hearing aids doesn’t disappoint. In Colorado and elsewhere, licensed hearing aid manufacturers and audiologists benefit from a prescription marketplace and may need to adjust their business models if they compete with companies like Amazon.

Until over-the-counter hearing aids become a reality, some people with hearing problems may receive help from a “personal sound amplification device”. These are usually low-tech products that work on the same principle as turning up the volume on your TV, and they are not allowed to be called hearing aids. However, they can be purchased without a prescription and are much cheaper than real hearing aids.

In the event that older readers are wondering about this, despite careful research, I have not yet found anything in the law that prohibits hearing aid sellers from knowing your age and informing you after your 60th birthday.

Jim Flynn works for Flynn & Wright LLC in Colorado Springs. You can reach him at

Placing a refund in your pocket | Enterprise

The current low interest rate environment offers a tremendous opportunity to refinance your existing loans. You may be familiar with mortgage loan refinancing, but the same benefits apply to auto loans, RV loans, boat loans, motorcycle loans, and more.

When you have a loan, you may have the option of lowering your interest rate, paying off your loan earlier, or reducing your monthly payment with a refinance.

Why refinance?

Refinancing existing loans can increase your disposable income – putting your money back in your pocket literally every month with lower payments. There are, of course, many uses for the extra cash, but you should consider putting some of the extra cash aside in a savings account.

According to a CNBC poll from 2021, only 39% of Americans could pay $ 1,000 for emergencies.

Life happens, so it is important to start a rainy day fund for yourself and your family. Once this is clarified, you can start investing for longer term goals such as: B. to save for the education of a child or grandchild.

Other common reasons for refinancing are home renovations, paying education, consolidating bills, or going on vacation.

Mortgage loans are what we often think of when we think of cash withdrawals, but if you have equity in your vehicle, the current low interest rate means you may also be able to withdraw cash for a vacation while your payments stay the same around the area.

Is Refinancing Right For You?

This question depends on a variety of factors and each of the different scenarios should be considered. For example, refinancing a car loan can be done very quickly and easily. It is not an extensive process and there are usually no costs for this. The documents can usually also be signed electronically from the comfort of your own home.

The bottom line is that when it’s free and you’re saving money, refinancing your loan is a breeze.

With a mortgage, however, the closing costs must be taken into account. These often run into the thousands of dollars when all titles, reviews, and required third party fees are considered.

While these fees are the same as most mortgage lenders and can usually be included on your loan, you should make sure you understand any fees charged by the lender, which can vary widely.

With today’s historically low interest rates, refinancing a mortgage can still be a huge benefit. We often find that mortgage borrowers can overcome closing costs in a year or two with payment savings. If your goal is to stay in your home for the next five to ten years, it probably makes sense to consider refinancing. If you’re moving or selling your home in a year or two, refinancing may not make sense.

The best way to determine what is best for your situation is to discuss your options with a trusted financial partner. Each scenario is a little different. In central Kentucky, we face the challenge of a lack of housing availability. Hence, we see a lot of cash-out refinancing when homeowners decide to add square feet or a swimming pool and turn their current homes into their dream homes.

Home equity lines of credit, commonly called HELOCs, are another option to accomplish many of the same things without refinancing your existing mortgage. It’s a great time to make big improvements while the interest rates are very, very low.

When discussing your options with a local lender, it is important that you familiarize yourself with your current payments and interest rates. This will help your trusted financial professional see if they can save you money quickly and allow you to easily compare your options.

You may want to start by inquiring online, calling, or dropping by a local branch to discuss what is available to you. We look forward to cooler weather and more money in our pockets this fall.

Chuck Eads is the Chief Lending Officer for Abound Credit Union.

Chuck Eads is the Chief Lending Officer for Abound Credit Union.

Walmart launches supply enterprise to attach different native retailers with shoppers

Walmart announced Tuesday the launch of a delivery service called GoLocal that will move goods from other local retailers to consumers.

The company said it expects delivery to begin in late 2021 and that the delivery fleet will include newer technologies like self-driving vehicles and drones.

“It’s about bringing the skills we at Walmart have focused on building and connecting for our own customers to life for local and national businesses,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of Last Mile at Walmart CNBC.

Walmart said GoLocal will be a white label service, which means deliveries will not be made on Walmart-branded vehicles. The company said it will offer two-hour shipping at competitive prices, as well as a two-day delivery option. Deliveries are handled by a combination of staff, gig staff, and sometimes other delivery companies.

Walmart is currently partnered with FedEx for online parcel delivery. The company wouldn’t say if FedEx is being used for GoLocal.

However, Ward said the company will find innovative delivery partners including Cruise, a self-driving electric vehicle startup that the retailer invested in last year, as well as Waymo and Nuro. The delivery of drones will also be a focus Partners like DroneUP, another company Walmart invested in last year, as well as ZipLine and FlyTrex.

“We’re excited to have all these different disruptive technologies as we scale up that bring the final mile together at Walmart,” said Ward.

Walmart has spent the past five years building its ability to deliver goods to customers. In August 2016, it acquired the e-commerce start-up for $ 3.3 billion. In March 2018, Walmart launched its Grocery delivery serviceTo fulfill orders from Walmart stores. The company started Walmart Fulfillment Services in February 2020 to compete with the growth of marketplace-centric websites like Amazon and Shopify.

The company closed down in May 2020, but CEO Doug McMillon credited the acquisition Supporting Walmart in expanding its delivery network.

Amazon has a similar service called Amazon shipping, in 2018 designed to compete with UPS and FedEx, however it has stopped working in June 2020.

David Vernon, senior transportation analyst at Bernstein, said a retailer’s local delivery service was unlikely to have a significant impact on FedEx and UPS revenues.

“The local delivery market has 230,000 companies competing in every city across America,” Vernon told CNBC. “There are two national packet networks. They have some overlap; business is shifting towards part of this local business. But in the long run, it’s not exactly the same.”

GoLocal already has contracts with a number of national retail customers, according to Walmart, and will begin accepting applications for new partners starting Tuesday.

‘Placing their cash the place their mouth is’: This is what three analysts should say about Coinbase’s choice so as to add $500 million of crypto to its stability sheet | Foreign money Information | Monetary and Enterprise Information

Coinbase Co-Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong

Coin base announced on Thursday that it was Add $ 500 million in cryptocurrency to its balance sheet while at the same time 10% of its quarterly net income is allocated to a portfolio of crypto assets. Insider gathered insights from three Coinbase analysts to help understand the move.

“I like that they put their money where their lips are,” said Mizuho analyst Dan Dolev.

He told Insiders that Coinbase is still heavily fiat money for a company with crypto headquarters for its business. This move changes that, although Dolev would like the exchange to go a step further and charge customer transaction fees in crypto rather than dollars.

“That would signal even more commitment to the cryptocurrency,” said Dolev.

Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas admitted that the majority of Coinbase’s financial transactions – like paying sellers and employees or investing company money – on a Friday are “heavily weighted” in fiat blog entry. But she said Coinbase wants to lead by example by enabling the adoption and use of crypto, and that investment is a step towards that goal.

“We believe that more and more companies will keep crypto assets on their balance sheets in the future,” said Haas. “We hope that by incorporating more crypto assets into our own corporate financial practices, we can take another step towards a more open crypto economy.”

Chris Kuiper, a CFRA stock research analyst, reiterated Dolev’s comment that the announcement shows Coinbase’s commitment to the cryptocurrency industry. Kupier maintained his “Buy” rating on Coinbase after it was announced that he was broadly positive on the stock.

However, adding crypto to Coinbase’s balance sheet adds an additional layer of risk as the company’s share price is already tied to the price and trading activity of Bitcoin, Chris Brendler, senior research analyst at DA Davidson, told Insider. The Coinbase share often moves in parallel with the Bitcoin price.

“That won’t necessarily make or destroy the company,” Brendler told Insider. “But it’s certainly a little scary when you put money into one of those commodities that you’re already pretty closely connected with.”

Part of this risk is offset by a cash balance of $ 4 billion that Coinbase is building in anticipation of a “crypto winter” and possible regulatory action, said Kupier.

Brendler added that since Coinbase is so tied to crypto, Coinbase will need to have more cash than other high-growth non-crypto companies in case there is a “crypto winter” or a prolonged period of low crypto prices and activity.

ON THE MONEY: chop reworking prices when wooden costs are excessive | Enterprise

Timber costs have skyrocketed in the last year, giving budding home renovators a choice of whether to wait in the price purgatory or move forward and possibly overpay.

Lumberjacks falsely predicted that the housing market would collapse under the weight of the pandemic instead of booming as before, says David Logan, senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders.

This “fatal mistake,” as Logan calls it, created a mismatch between supply and demand, which, according to data from Fastmarkets Random Lengths, a specialist publication for the timber industry.

By mid-July, timber prices had only dropped to double their spring 2020 levels, but whether the decline will continue and when lower prices will hit homeowners is not yet clear, Logan says.

Here are tips to navigate a home remodeling when the wood costs are going through the roof.


The recent drop in prices may seem like a positive sign, but Logan compares the dilemma of home remodeling to that of a homebuyer: There’s no telling when the time will be right.

“Trying to time the market is likely to cause more fear than knowing that you will get things going,” he says.

Logan says if he did a renovation, he would move on to a major renovation, like a kitchen upgrade or a room addition.

If a project requires months of planning and waiting, allow room for price and schedule changes in your contract, says Ethan Landis, principal at Landis Architects / Builders in Washington, DC. This way you won’t pay too much if prices drop before your contractor starts buying, but you can still hesitate if the project gets too expensive.


If a little DIY or good to big update could wait a few months, Logan says he would take the risk and wait for wood to become more affordable.

“I know full well that by the time I do it, the prices could be higher,” he says.

In the meantime, look for recycled, reclaimed, or alternative materials.

Ty Lindgren, a shift supervisor at a food and beverage company in Olympia, Washington, brought back leftover wooden pallets from work to build a playhouse for his children.

He estimates the cost of the project was reduced from $ 1,000 to about $ 100 when the pallets were used in place of the high-priced two-by-four pallets.

If you don’t have access to additional unclaimed wood, you can buy it.

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has over 900 locations, many of which sell recycled wood or wood items that you can rehabilitate or turn into something like shelving. In some locations, you can search your inventory online.

Your local wood or flooring liquidator may have enough wood to renew the flooring in a small room or on a single floor of your home, says Rebekah Hernandez, a Dallas-based interior designer.

“You can’t be choosy because there aren’t many options, but they are out there,” she says.

Affordability first

If you decide to postpone the project to wait for lower prices or to save, Hernandez says small changes like a new rug, decorative pillows, and updated art may do for the time being.

“All of these things, while subtle and minor changes, ultimately help make you feel happier and better in your space,” she says.

A renovation out of pocket is always the cheapest way. But only fund the project if you can get a low interest rate and affordable monthly payments, says Larry Pershing, a Chicago-based certified financial planner.

Pershing says home equity lines of credit have low interest rates and you can typically withdraw the money over a 10 year period. That means you can borrow as much as you need, up to your limit, whenever you need it when a large project has unpredictable costs and schedules.

An FHA 203 (k) loan enables home buyers to combine the cost of a fixer upper and renovations into a single mortgage. Pershing recommends them for homebuyers who do not already have a lot of equity.

A home finance loan provides project funding quickly, and you can often pre-qualify to estimate your monthly payments and interest costs.

With a flat rate loan like a personal loan, try to keep an eye on a final price. If wood prices go up, you can’t go back and borrow again.

‘Enterprise is nice’: Northam hails $2.6 billion surplus in speech to cash committees | Govt-and-politics

Senator Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, left, chairman of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, and Del. Luke Torian, D-Prince William, chairman of the House Budgets Committee applauded Governor Ralph Northam’s speech at a joint Legislative Monetary Committee meeting on Wednesday highlighting Virginia’s record budget surplus and economic outlook.

Governor Ralph Northam speaks at a joint Legislative Committee meeting where he highlighted Virginia’s record budget surplus and economic prospects.

In a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam praised the state’s historic revenue surplus of $ 2.6 billion – and pledged a portion of that money in his upcoming budget for pandemic recovery, state police salaries, and that using the state’s battered behavioral health system.

Northam, who will propose a new biennial budget in December before stepping down in January, praised the COVID-19 vaccine, financially conservative decisions at the state level, and the federal government’s financial support for businesses and families.

“We need to understand how this happened: 2020 was a deeply difficult year, but Virginia is open to business – and business is going well,” Northam said during a joint meeting of the General Assembly’s monetary committees.

“We achieved all of this during a pandemic that many expected to be beyond our budget – and have done just that with many other states,” added Northam.

The government first announced sales in July when it confirmed the state had raised an additional $ 3.1 billion from the previous fiscal year. That is a growth of 14.5% compared to the expected 2.7%.

In an otherwise celebratory speech, Northam highlighted the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose to Virginia and its economy.

“We don’t know what the future holds. If you’d asked me about the pandemic in June, I would have said we could have a fall that looked almost normal. But now we know that won’t be the case, thanks.” on the Delta variant, “Northam told lawmakers.

Will a Prime-style subscription service take Albertsons enterprise to a brand new degree? – RetailWire


Following the playbook of some of the most innovative personalities in retail, Albertsons is launching its own subscription service with a key Amazon Prime-style perk.

The program called FreshPass allows subscribers to get unlimited free grocery deliveries, reports Progressive grocer. FreshPass, an optional service added to Albertsons’ existing apps, costs $ 99 per year or $ 12.99 per month. With a subscription, buyers get free shipping for orders of $ 30 or more.

The grocer is offering a 30-day free trial with a five percent discount on some of its private label products and ongoing perks like food and wine experiences to encourage adoption. Albertsons is also introducing two more new digital offerings – a Deals & Delivery app and an improved loyalty program. The loyalty program called Albertsons For U will automatically include members of the grocer’s previous program.

The cost of the Albertsons FreshPass program is roughly the same as the new one from Walmart Walmart + Subscription service (which offers unlimited free shipping and various other perks) and about $ 20 cheaper per year than Amazon Prime.

Even before the novel coronavirus pandemic, surveys showed that a majority of customers preferred free and fast shipping for e-commerce orders. The dramatic increase in the use of grocery delivery since the beginning of the pandemic has caused grocers to compete to provide such services to a greater extent than ever before.

However, some of the biggest names in retail are starting to pay customers extra for the privilege of fast delivery in some cases. Amazon recently announced that Whole Foods’ grocery delivery, which was previously free with Amazon Prime membership, costs an additional $ 9.95 in some pilot markets.

Albertsons, once regarded as a latecomer among grocers, has improved and redesigned its operations in recent years. The chain has piloted micro-fulfillment centers for online orders, in-store robots, automated grocery pick-up kiosks, and other new omnichannel technologies.

The grocer too went public in June 2020 and finally completes its IPO after several failed attempts.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will a membership program with unlimited free delivery work for Albertsons and its existing customers? What does Albertsons need to do to differentiate its offering from other providers of similar subscription services?

Brain trust

“Albertson’s ‘Prime-like’ subscription program is a must to keep the banner competitive.”


Husband-and-wife staff shares ideas for working a enterprise collectively

As the man-woman team behind it Clothes rental app Style Theory, Raena Lim and Chris Halim are united not only in marriage but also in business.

That “definitely has some really good advantages,” said Halim CNBC does it.

And it also has its downsides: “Work longer,” laughs Lim.

But after spending five years perfecting their approach, the 32-year-old couple has advice to share with other co-founders of the couple – both in and out of the business.

Play to your strengths

First of all, they say, it is important to identify certain areas of focus that showcase an individual’s strengths.

“Chris is really analytical so he makes a lot of business and financial decisions,” said Lim of her husband, who is the Singapore fashion company’s chief executive officer.

Focus areas that belong to her will call her and focus areas that belong to me I’ll make the call.

Chris Halim |

Co-Founder and CEO, Style Theory

“Rae is much more focused on the branding side, the human resource side of things, the operational side of things,” Halim said of his wife as chief operations officer.

Each party should then own these areas and take responsibility for important decisions.

“She will call focal points that belong to her and I will call focal points that belong to me. That worked out quite well for us,” said Halim.

Separate work and leisure

That demarcation should also extend to the separation of work and pleasure, the couple said.

Although it was not always easy – especially in the early days of the company – it was vital to their effective and harmonious work.

Raena Lim and Chris Halim, the couple behind the Singaporean clothing rental app Style Theory.

Style theory

“The first few years were tough,” said Halim. They would work Monday through Sunday and would not take a vacation for a “long time”. “But we learned,” he said.

“We had five years to refine it,” added Lim. “Weekends are for personal life, and we really make the most of the days of the week to really make sure we get our jobs done.”

Build a strong team

Much of this structure was made possible with the help of their 150-strong team, the couple said.

“What really keeps you going is finding people who are passionate about the mission you’re on. In difficult times, they’re the ones who motivate you more than you do,” said Lim.

The 100% alignment is really very helpful and super important when you are making important decisions together.

Chris Halim |

Co-Founder and CEO, Style Theory

ON THE MONEY: $20Okay or extra to broaden your loved ones? The way to pay for adoption | Enterprise

Sarah Bailey’s adoption experience began in 2013 when she contacted an adoption placement agency and paid fees for a parenting course and advertising to birth mothers for a year.

In 2014, and still without a successful adoption, Bailey began paying a monthly advertising fee of $ 340 every time an adoption failed.

“I wasn’t expecting the monthly fee,” says Bailey, a mental health program director for Indianapolis. As spending continued into the second year of an expected year-long process, Bailey became discouraged.

“For me there was a point where I almost gave up,” she says.

She insisted, and by 2015, Bailey had paid over $ 22,000 to adopt her son.

The cost of adoption by a private agency can range from $ 20,000 to $ 45,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service provided by the Children’s Office of the Federal Office of Administration for Children and Families.

The price may include legal fees, home study to check the security of your home, and advice.

However, adoption may include unplanned costs – such as living expenses and hospital expenses for the birth mother during pregnancy – that vary by agency, state, and adoption period.

To manage costs, experts recommend families plan ahead and use a variety of types of funding, from raising funds to borrowing. Here are strategies that you should consider.


When you work with an adoption agency, you usually get a list of costs before you apply, says Blake Jones, adoptive parent, certified financial planner, and founder of Pomegranate Financial, a Utah-based financial planning firm.

Use this information to help create a schedule of what expenses you will have over the next six to 18 months before signing the application for adoption, he says.

Then, look at the financial resources you have access to – savings, home equity, grants – and align your existing resources if necessary, advises Jones.

Building your savings is the best option, says Marta Shen, a certified financial planner at Spring Street Financial of Raymond James in Atlanta and an adoptive parent who advises clients on managing adoption costs. Paying back a loan on top of new parenting expenses like childcare can be financially stressful, she says.


During her adoption process, Bailey reached out to her community to raise funds.

“I bought a puzzle and sold pieces so people could be part of my child’s life,” she says. For “everyone who bought one, I wrote their name on the back.”

The finished puzzle is in her now 6-year-old son’s room – a reminder of everyone who helped connect them in 2015.

Aaron Johnson, a father of two adopted children from Orlando, Florida, also raised funds for his first adoption in 2017. Johnson raised over $ 10,000.

“We did a GoFundMe on social media, so a lot of our friends, church members, and other family members donated to it,” said Johnson, who since adoption has started a nonprofit that gives grants to help other black families adopt Helping children.


An adoption grant – money that does not have to be repaid – is another way to finance adoption. and the Gift of Adoption Fund offer grants to help cover adoption costs.

With organizations like these, you need to review deadlines and eligibility requirements such as parental status and financial need. When submitting the application, you may be required to pay a fee, provide references, and provide evidence of approved home study.


A home equity line of credit provides access to cash based on the value of your home. It allows you to withdraw money and repay it monthly. It’s more flexible than a loan, Shen says.

Some people prefer a fixed amount that they know they have to pay back, like a one-time lump sum on a personal loan, Shen says, while others are okay with a HELOC’s revolving credit line. If parents aren’t sure how much they will need upfront, a HELOC may be a better option.


When fundraising isn’t enough, you’re not eligible for a scholarship, or don’t own a home, a personal loan may be worth considering. Borrowers with strong credit ratings can qualify for interest rates between 12% and 17%.

Before taking out a loan, make sure that the monthly payments comfortably fit your budget.

Shen advises customers to avoid too many financial obligations that can weigh on a new family.

Enterprise Highlight: Horst Excavating celebrates 60th anniversary | Cash

Company name: Horst excavations.

Number of years in business: 60.

Founders: Abram Horst Jr. and Clyde Horst.

Founded: 1961.

Location: 320 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster.

Key Executives: Randall Horst, Owner and Chairman of the Board; Harry Scheid, President and CEO; Brian Kane, vice president of corporate acquisitions; and Jason Hess, head of project management.

Number of employees: 100.

The key to corporate success: Real partnership with our customers and doing the right thing, even if it’s not easy!


Phone: 717-581-9944.

Business Spotlight illuminates company anniversaries beginning with the 10th anniversary and then in five-year steps. To submit a Business Spotlight, go to and click Money on the main menu, then click the Business Spotlight form. All of the information in the story was submitted by the company. The Reading Eagle reserves the right to edit submitted copies for style, clarity and length.