West Hartford Business Buzz: August 17, 2015

A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.

By Ronni Newton

Business Buzz almost took a vacation today.

That’s partially because I am on vacation, as are many West Hartford people based on the postings I’ve been seeing on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve actually been on vacation since Aug. 6, but I’m hoping I wasn’t missed too much since I have continued to do some work and have also had the great support of Joy Taylor and Katie Cavanaugh.

Working during [short] breaks from beachtime is still better than being home, but I’ll be heading back to West Hartford on Monday and back to reality Tuesday. We’ve been in Nantucket visiting my in-laws, and would love to stay a bit longer, but unfortunately obligations prevent that. My son, who is entering his senior (yikes!) year at Conard is beginning training as a Link Crew leader (a freshman orientation that is new to Conard this year but has been in place at Hall for several years) first thing Tuesday morning, and my daughter, who is entering her junior (yikes!) year at UConn is preparing to move into her first apartment (double yikes!) later this week so we are jumping right into preparation for fall.

tax free logo

The other reason Business Buzz was considering going on vacation is that there hasn’t been much happening in West Hartford. But here’s what I have to share for this week:

  • It’s Tax Free week! Although the benefit of Tax Free week is not quite as great this year, it does save you the 6.35 percent sales tax on all qualified items that cost less than $100. In the past that threshhold has been $300. Tax Free week runs through Aug. 22, and qualified items include most clothing and footwear for adults and children that cost $99.99 or less, after any coupons or discounts are applied. However, if something costs $100, you’ll pay the full $6.35 in tax; it’s not that the first $100 is non-taxable. Tax Free week is intended to provide some relief to those shopping for back-to-school items, but note that it only applies to clothing and footwear – and that does not include specialized footwear like cleats. Backpacks and school supplies are also excluded and subject to tax.
  • Some stores, like BK&Co. in West Hartford Center, are augmenting Tax Free week. BK&Co. is paying the tax on all items over $100, so customers will enjoy a 6.35 percent savings on everything. Actually, they’re even kicking in an extra 15 percent discount, so the savings is even greater. If you know of another merchant doing something like this, please add it in the comment section below!
  • BlumShapiro has once again been named to INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top National 100 Firms. According to a news release, BlumShapiro has increased its placement on the list from #56 to #53. BlumShapiro’s higher position in the IPA Top 100 Firms Rankings for 2015 is based on the firm’s 5.6% increase in net revenues to more than $68 million, according to IPA. “Every day the entire BlumShapiro team, including partners, senior managers, administrators and support staff, provides exceptional service to our clients. It is why we continue to be a top accounting firm in the United States. I thank all of my BlumShapiro associates for their consistent and effective work,” said Carl Johnson, BlumShapiro Firm Managing Partner, in the release.
  • Fleet Feet Sports does more than just sell athletic shoes and clothing. This past week, the store hosted a program on sefl defense for runners, with advice provided by two-time Olympic distance runner and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Todd Williams. Click here to read the full story.
  • There is still a little bit time left to vote for Best of West Hartford! Voting closes in a week – on Aug. 24. Click here to vote. There’s just a little more time after that to buy tickets for the first annual BOWH awards celebration on Sept. 10. Click here to buy tickets.

Remember, if you have any business news to share, remember to add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].

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