Garden City Santaland Parade Marks 54th Birthday

Garden City Santaland Parade Marks 54th Birthday

With the theme,  “Christmas through the Decades,” the Garden City Santaland Parade  included more than 60 entries. The parade’s grand marshals were Miss Michigan 2014 KT Mavigliav and six Garden City medalists from the Wayne County Senior Olympics.

This year’s parade also featured four high school marching bands. Along with regular contributors Taylor Kennedy, Livonia Franklin and Garden City, the award winning Oak Park Marching Knights participated for the first time ever.

And of course, the most important guest of honor, Santa Claus, got an enthusiastic reception from his fans young and old.

See photos from the parade.

November Meeting: GCBA Moves Forward With Organizational Steps

November Meeting: GCBA Moves Forward With Organizational Steps

The November 7, 2014 GCBA meeting detailed the changes that the GCBA is going through as it moves forward with the formal establishment of its existence.

With the help of State Senator David Knezek and the Small Business Association, the initial steps have begun toward becoming a 5013c organization. With the tax I.D. number a checking account can be opened.

The SBA also suggested that the GCBA develop a set of bylaws and articles of incorporation. Sen. Knezek and the Straight Farmhouse’s Mark Hammer have offered to help. Hammer went through the process with the Straight Farmhouse several years ago.

Future activities for the GCBA were discussed including a Dine & Dash, Sidewalk Sake and Business Expo. Committees to explore these ideas more thoroughly will be formed at the January meeting.

There will be no December’s meeting, instead there will be a Holiday Mixer at the Straight Farmhouse on December 12, at 6:00 pm. Prospective GCBA members from the Garden City business community will be invited to attend.

The GCBA will also be part of this year’s Santaland Parade on November 29 at 10:00 pm. GCBA members will be marching with the organization banner.

How Does Your Site Look on a Phone? A Tablet? It’s Important to Know

How Does Your Site Look on a Phone? A Tablet? It’s Important to Know

By Katherine Palmer
President of Palmerworks

According to recent Pew Research results, 63% of cell phone owners now go online using their mobile phones. According to this Media Post article…

Since 91% of Americans are cell phone owners, this means that 57% of all Americans now go online using a mobile phone. The steady increase in cell phone internet usage follows a similar growth trajectory for smartphone ownership. Over half of all adults (56%) now own a smartphone, and 93% of these smartphone owners use their phone to go online.

Wow – that’s 6 in 10 cell phone users. Now, more than ever, it’s important for your website to be a mobile-friendly experience.

Think about how often you use your phone or tablet on the road. As the passenger, I’m always looking up restaurants and businesses in the area while my husband drives. Don’t you look up the menu and prices before trying a new restaurant? When traveling, wouldn’t you like to see the reviews of a motel before staying there? How about that local small business that sells the widget you need – what hours are they open? and where exactly is that store located?

Face it. Checking out businesses and eateries on your phone has become second nature.

When your potential clients look for your site, will they be able to read it on the small screen? Try this mobile phone emulator to find out.

Since 2012, Palmerworks has designed all of our new client sites in a format that looks good on a smart phone, tablet, and your personal computer. This is called responsive design. Check out the GCBA website on your phone. It’s done using responsive design as well.

Save Money at  Garden City Businesses on the Discount Coupons Page

Save Money at Garden City Businesses on the Discount Coupons Page

Garden City Business Alliance Members are now offering discounts on their goods and services via the Discount Coupons page on the group’s website. Customers are welcome to print the coupons at home and bring them to the business, or display the coupon on their smart phone or tablet. Each coupon displays an expiration date for the respective offers. The advertising business owner is solely responsible for the redemption policies.

Lucky Dog Launches a Food Drive for People and Pets

Lucky Dog Launches a Food Drive for People and Pets

Lucky Dog Luxury Daycare & Boarding is starting an annual holiday food drive for people and pets. It will run today through December 20th. People food will be donated to our local food banks at Garden City Maplewood Community Center & First United Methodist Church. Dog and cat food will be donated to Safari Rescue, Last Day Dog Rescue and Cats Cradle Rescue.

To donate, bring any non-perishable food items to Lucky Dog, 5921 Middlebelt Road in Garden City. People items best for donating are canned meals, meats, fruits and veggies, peanut butter & jelly, noodles & sauce, beans, baby food, snacks, crackers, cereal, tea, coffee, ketchup, mustard, mayo, soap and toothpaste & tooth brushes. Any pet food, dry or canned, plus treats are always acceptable.

Let’s all help stamp out hunger!

There’s Still Time to Act to Avoid Surprises at Tax-Time

There’s Still Time to Act to Avoid Surprises at Tax-Time

By Joe Bartley,
J&J Taxes and More

Even though only a few months remain in 2014, you still have time to act so you aren’t surprised at tax-time next year. You should take steps now to avoid owing more taxes or getting a larger refund than you expect. Here are some actions you can take to bring the taxes you pay in advance closer to what you’ll owe when you file your tax return:

Adjust your withholding
If you’re an employee and you think that your tax withholding will fall short of your total 2014 tax liability, you may be able to avoid an unexpected tax bill by increasing your withholding. If you are having too much tax withheld, you may get a larger refund than you expect.
In either case, you can complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate and give it to your employer. Enter the added amount you want withheld from each paycheck until the end of the year on Line 6 of the W-4 form. You usually can have less tax withheld by increasing your withholding allowances on line 5. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form.

Report changes in circumstances
If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may receive advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2014. It is important that you report changes in circumstances to your Marketplace so you get the proper type and amount of premium assistance. Some of the changes that you should report include changes in your income, employment, or family size. Advance credit payments help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you avoid getting too much or too little premium assistance in advance.

Change taxes with life events
You may need to change the taxes you pay when certain life events take place. A change in your marital status or the birth of a child can change the amount of taxes you owe. When they happen you can submit a new Form W–4 at work or change your estimated tax payment.

Be accurate on your W-4
When you start a new job you fill out a Form W-4. It’s important for you to accurately complete the form. For example, special rules apply if you work two jobs or you claim tax credits on your tax return. Your employer will use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to withhold from your pay.

Pay estimated tax if required
If you get income that’s not subject to withholding you may need to pay estimated tax. This may include income such as self-employment, interest, or rent. If you expect to owe a thousand dollars or more in tax, and meet other conditions, you may need to pay this tax. You normally pay the tax four times a year. Use Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure and pay the tax

Community Chat to Podcast From GC Fire Department Open House

Community Chat to Podcast From GC Fire Department Open House

Mark your calendars! Garden City Community Chat will be doing its next podcast #218 from the Garden City Fire Department’s Open House, Saturday Oct 11th, starting at 1:00 pm. Stop by and join Kerry, Richard, Tom & Derek for some Community Chat. We’d love to have you. The Open House runs from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm and our show once again starts at 1:00 pm. Bring your cameras and the kids. There’s a lot going on. This will be our third year at the Open House and we are looking forward to seeing you there!!

Support the Garden City Historical Museum With a Memorial Brick Paver

Support the Garden City Historical Museum With a Memorial Brick Paver

The Garden City Historical Museum is offering a unique opportunity to make your mark in your City’s history by purchasing a memorial brick paver in the just completed extensionn of the Memorial Walkway on the grounds of the Straight Farmhouse.  Your contribution of $50.00 for each 4” x 8” paver brick and/or $75.00 for each 8” x 8” paver brick will be used to fund the operation and maintenance of the Straight Farmhouse, and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  

Your contribution will help the Friends of the Garden City Historical Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provide a public museum dedicated to preserving the history of Garden City and serve as an educational center for generations to come.

The GCBA Formally Endorses Their Mission Statement

The GCBA Formally Endorses Their Mission Statement

The GCBA unanimously endorsed their mission statement at the October 3, 2014 meeting of the group. The statement reads:

The Garden City Business Alliance is a resource for the citizens, business owners, and community of Garden City, Michigan.

Our objective is to create an extended support network for fellow business owners, offer an improved shopping experience for our customers, and work with the city to make our community a better place to live.

We will do this by employing the energy, expertise, and talent of the Garden City business community.