Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Has a Serious Temper

Here in Connecticut, this morning’s whirling winds and pelting rain provide only a tiny glimpse of what is to come within the next several hours. Hurricane Sandy swiftly approaches the northeastern United States; merging forces with a true Nor’easter as it makes landfall. This combination, reminiscent of the “perfect storm” back in 1991, could prove to be absolutely devastating. Expected to result in up to 2 feet of snow in areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as causing gale force winds and torrential downpours throughout the entire eastern coast, Sandy will be causing more bad hair days than a blind hairdresser.
Residents of the Northeast are not used to seeing this type of wind, and they may not be certain of what to expect. No, panicking mothers, cows will not be flying around like you saw in the movie, Twister. That was a movie, and a tornado is an entirely different natural phenomenon. Sadly, George Clooney and Marky Mark won’t be joining us for the ride either; that is, unless you are smart enough to have both a generator and a copy of a really awesome movie they both star in. What you can expect, however, are a whole lot of power outages as a result of downed trees. That gigantic 300 year old tree in your backyard may finally fall down, so stay in an area of your home where it isn’t likely to fall on your head. Moreover, if you don’t have a generator, get plenty of candles, nonperishable items, and some flashlights in case you do lose power.
 Get the shop-vac’s ready because you can bet that underground basement you have that leaks a little when it rains is going to turn into the Nile River after this storm passes through. Flash floods are inevitable when you get more than 3 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. If you live near the water, especially the Long Island Sound, make your way inland. Storm surges are expected to hit 11 feet above high tide by tomorrow morning. That means if you live anywhere less than 11 feet above sea level, anywhere around the coast, your house will more than likely be completely flooded. In all seriousness, make a hotel reservation just in case the worst does happen and you do need to leave your homes. Most importantly, keep yourself and your families safe from this storm. Stay inside, whether at your homes or in a shelter, and try not to worry too much about potential property damage. Belongings can always be replaced.
Michael Iovino, Intern, Benay Enterprises.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Time Machine in a Garage Building

Two weeks ago, green land use development corporation, Rubicon Seven, opened the doors of their newest development. Though simply named, the Art House proved to be far more than your typical gallery. The building itself, once used as a garage space and formerly unoccupied, has been reborn and transformed into a wonderful world reminiscent of the small-town New Canaan of the early 18th century. Thanks to the innovative thinking of Principal, J. Tedrowe Bonner, a once useless piece of property has become a cultural center for citizens of all ages. Strongly emphasizing a sense of communal pride and togetherness, Bonner created the Art House with the idea of un-industrializing the rapidly growing New Canaan community. Instead of further development and building modern architecture, Bonner has utilized a building that has been standing for the greater part of a century. Moreover, the new project aims at “regenerating the unique nature of New Canaan” (Bonner), a town brilliant artistic minds such as the husband-wife  duo, Katherine and Gordon Brinley, as well as the controversial acting brigade known as the Sillies once called home. Once a rich and diverse community with a large influence from its many Italian immigrants, New Canaan has diverted from the “global antique center” Bonner remembers from his childhood. This project aims at putting the locomotive back on the old tracks, so to speak, and reestablishing a unique cultural identity within Bonner’s beloved city.                
On October 12, 2012, the Art House hosted its very first event, celebrating the creative spirit and history of New Canaan. During the event, Bonner announced the gallery’s exciting partnership with Norwalk Community College, which will allow students from the university’s art, architecture and design program to research, plan, and program everything for the new project. Soon, this building will be filled with beautiful artwork, all from local artist. As an added incentive, Bonner has reduced the cost of studio rent with one small stipulation; that the local artists come to the gallery and teach their craft to young children and art lovers, alike. If you would like to view the exhibit for yourself, you can plan your trip to visit 100 R Elm Street, New Canaan, CT in the near future.
Michael Iovino, Intern, Benay Enterprises, LLC.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Growth Accelerates at Soho Press

Coming in 2013
Kudos to Benay's client, Soho Press, on launching its newest imprint, Soho Teen.

Coming in 2013, Soho Teen publishes a select list of young adult mysteries and thrillers by international bestsellers, award winners, and debut novelists with stellar credits.

Soho Teen's titles include the paranormal and dystopian, the humorous and realistic, the tragic and uplifting - whatever serves a great story best.

Soho Teen is unique in that every title - whether sci-fi, contemporary, paranormal or historical - has a high-stakes, page-turning puzzle at its heart.

Check out the video of Soho Teen authors talking about their books:

Do what you do best, and let Benay do the rest!

Bronwen Hruska
Vision and infrastructure are required to accelerate business growth. Since 2009 Soho Press has expanded with the support of Benay's financial management services. Out-sourcing non-core business activities has allowed Soho Press to focus on growing its business by developing authors and publishing new titles.

At the same time, Soho's publisher Bronwen Hruska has written her own debut novel, Accelerated. Published by Pegasus Books this month, Accelerated is a sexy thriller based on the irresponsible over-medication of children in a culture obsessed by success. Read the backstory in the LA Times.,0,5842745.story

Bronwen worked as a journalist and screenwriter for 20 years before taking over as publisher of Soho Press. Congratulations, Bronwen!

Benay's financial dashboard tells clients like Soho Press exactly what's going on in their business. To see how our dashboard can help accelerate your growth, give me a call or an email.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Communications Tools 101: Use an Employee Handbook

As we head toward the end of the year, now is a great time to update the policies and procedures in your company handbook.

What? You don't have an employee handbook yet?

It's easier than you think to create a handbook. But first a few words about why you need this critical document.


There's no law that requires you to have a company handbook. But there are laws that require employers to provide certain employment-related information to employees in writing, including:

  • Equal employment opportunity statement
  • Sexual harassment policy
  • Compliance with immigration laws
  • Wage and hour laws 
  • Accident, emergency, safety and fire procedures


Beyond legal requirements, an employee handbook saves time for everyone. Employees have a resource to consult instead of asking managers basic questions about time off, health insurance, tuition reimbursement and other company benefits.


A handbook also covers expected employee standards of conduct like attendance, punctuality, substance abuse, and use of company property. By communicating your expectations in writing, it's easier to apply your employment policies consistently. That demonstrates fairness and helps deter claims of discrimination.

Smart employers require staff members to acknowledge in writing that they have received the company handbook when joining your company. You may also want employees to sign a statement annually confirming that they have read the updated handbook.

Do What You Do Best, and Let Benay Do the Rest!

Creating an employee handbook may feel daunting, but you don't need to start from scratch.

Clients of Benay Enterprises enjoy use of the ADP Employee Handbook Wizard. It's an easy-to-use online tool that lets us help you to create a professional quality employee handbook based on federal employment law.  

In addition to boiler-plate policies, we can customize your handbook with policies based on your company's culture and practices. (You'll want your business attorney to review your handbook for state-specific requirements and issues unique to your industry.)

Best of all, we can update your handbook easily as conditions change. That saves time, so you can focus on growing your business.

To discuss your employee handbook options, just give us a call or an email. We're here to help!