Accessing Capital for Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects

Since 2017, the COSE Interest Rate Buydown Program has invested $123,403 in 8 small business energy efficiency projects that have resulted in 1,728,372 kWh savings across the 300,000 square feet of commercial space. These projects have generated $1.3 million of total development.

Share
  • Email
  • Compass Payroll

    Featured Project: Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy 

    Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is one of the largest and most respected compounding pharmacies in the country with a new location in Beachwood coming soon.

    COSE performed a comprehensive (ASHRAE Level II) energy assessment of the 20,620 square foot former bus garage to assess the potential for cost effective Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) (a $3,000 value, paid for by FirstEnergy and an exclusive benefit to COSE/GCP members). 

    Working with a raw space with intended new usage, the COSE Energy Team identified 23 main ECM’s for consideration during the retrofit to provide the maximum utility and O&M expenditure reduction.

    Extensive upgrades are being made to the building to accommodate the Pharmacy, including LED lighting and HVAC. 

    Benefits of working with the Energy Team included:

    • Captured $2,698 in cash rebates for lighting; 
    • Leveraged COSE’s Interest Rate Buy-down Program and saved $68,422 on its loan for LED lighting and HVAC measures through KeyBank (a 3.5% interest rate reduction) 
    • Lee Silsby leveraged more than $73,000 in total value through their relationship with the GCP/COSE energy teamFeatured Project: Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy 

    Contact the COSE Energy team today to learn more about the program at 216-592-2205 or email energy@cose.org

    Pre-Check
    Next up: Affordable Change to Exit Signs Results in More Energy Savings for You
  • More in Operations
  • Affordable Change to Exit Signs Results in More Energy Savings for You

    When looking for energy savings, sometimes it’s the little changes which create the most value.

    When looking for energy savings, sometimes it’s the little changes which create the most value.

    Share
  • Email
  • Compass Payroll

    Something that small business owners don’t think too much about is a business requirement, exit signs. All businesses have them and most probably do not give them a second thought, but small business owners will see a quick payback when they upgrade to a more efficient solution.

    The average exit sign in existing buildings is several years old and uses incandescent light bulbs. They use 40 watt bulbs and are on 24/7. This small amount of energy output really adds up. New signs using 2 Watt LEDs would save 38 watts an hour, adding up to over 330KW annually. The payback for this upgrade is usually less than a year and the greatest benefit is in the lifespan of the bulb which can last approximately 10 years. Think of all the time and effort saved in not having to replace the light bulbs in your signs year after year. Time, effort and electric savings highlight the benefit of making this small change now.

    If you have additional questions about money saving tips for your business, contact me at 216-592-2432.

    Pre-Check
    Next up: An In-Depth Look at How connecTel Partners with Your Business
  • More in Operations
  • An In-Depth Look at How connecTel Partners with Your Business

    Few companies have the dedicated staff or time to continually monitor trends in the telecommunications industry. The good news is the connecTel team does and can provide a single point of contact for local, long distance, wireless and data services. This partnership saves time and money and allows connecTel clients to focus their energies on growing their businesses.

    RELATED: Get to know your newest member benefit: connecTel.
     
    Thanks to years of experience and long-standing partnerships, connecTel can evaluate the latest technologies and trends, recommending the best solutions to lower costs, streamline services and enhance functionality. The company also continually reviews and manages services to further save time and money. And finally, connecTel acts on their clients’ behalf for service problems and troubleshooting with carriers.

    Here’s a closer look at the ways the experienced team at connecTel helps businesses.

    Alpha Services

    Alpha Communications Technologies has completed a merger with connecTel, Inc. as of Jan. 1, 2017. The new Alpha connecTel Technologies LLC, is positioned to better serve shared customers in this ever-changing telecommunications landscape. Hosted services, IT, premise-based PBX equipment, and traditional telecom are converging rapidly. This new entity has the resources and expertise needed to more effectively support customers and quickly adapt with ever-evolving technology.

    Voice

    Voice service is one of the more common telecommunications offerings, encompassing local dial tone, long distance, international, toll-free and sundry usage plans. These services can be provided over copper, fiber, coaxial cable or even wireless transport medium. connecTel can also advise you on a wide range of hosted (cloud) voice options. Simply put, we can discuss all your voice service options with multiple carriers. And connecTel works with businesses to explore what products best integrate with your organization—both for today and in the future.

    Hosted and cloud services

    Cloud services means services made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider's servers as opposed to being provided from a company's own on-premises servers or premised based PBX. Cloud services are designed to provide easy, scalable access to applications, resources and services, and are fully managed by a cloud services provider.

    Share
  • Email
  • Compass Payroll

    A cloud service can dynamically scale to meet the needs of its users, and because the service provider supplies the hardware and software necessary for the service, there’s no need for a company to provision or deploy its own resources or allocate IT staff to manage the service.  Examples of cloud services include Hosted PBX, online data storage and backup solutions, Web-based e-mail services, hosted office suites and document collaboration services and database processing.

    Internet

    Internet services encompass everything—including dial up, broadband, dedicated and wireless connectivity—and can be provided over copper, fiber, coaxial cable or wireless transport medium. Each client’s size, number of users and types of traffic—in conjunction with the degree of mission-critical requirements—all combine to determine the best recommended options. Often, a mixed portfolio of tiered services is the answer, and connecTel is uniquely qualified to design these customizations. We will also work closely with internal IT staffs or outside network integrator, so the connecTel team’s recommendations seamlessly integrate into unique business environments.

    Data services

    Data Services include all WAN (Wide Area Network) designs. These product offerings are provided over copper, fiber, coaxial cable or wireless transport medium. They can be dedicated circuits or controlled over the Internet by a VPN solution, and can be used to link multiple locations, small offices or remote home office environments. And they also can be dedicated point-to-point circuits (via MPLS, VPN and Frame Relay) with speeds ranging from 56K 1.5M T1 to OC levels. Each data solution is tailored to the customer and configured to the unique needs of each location. connecTel will take into consideration all the interoffice voice and data requirements to customize a recommendation to meet specific needs and budgets and, as mentioned before, will work closely with internal IT and outside vendors to ensure the exact needs of your business are met.

    Consulting and auditing

    Many connecTel clients benefit from our extensive consulting services, which range from comprehensive bill auditing, carrier services RFP development and project management, as well as pursuit of billing credits on a contingency/shared savings basis. Support includes:

    • Communicating with phone equipment vendors to coordinate proper use of the system.

    • Verifying tax exemption certificates with all carriers.

    • Identifying potential areas of telephone over-billing.

    • Interacting with carriers on the client’s behalf regarding service-related issues.

    • Pursuing credits.

    Mobility management services

    Most companies and organizations view mobility as a necessary but frustrating expense in their organization. Additionally, mobility is viewed as a mandatory tool for employees—one that helps drive efficiency, collaboration and competitiveness. However, company resources and oversight for mobility often fall on the list of priorities.

    By allowing connecTel to manage wireless devices, clients realize lower internal administrative costs, expedited support and trouble ticket resolution for users, decreased costs, and greater accountability for users and locations. With proprietary analysis software, connecTel imports entire bills into their system and then perform checks and balances for each individual phone on the account. As each bill is reviewed, connecTel provides information to you if any modifications need to be made or any billing issues are found. When we uncover these issues, connecTel Wireless resolves them.

    Mobile device management

    connecTel’s mobile device management (MDM) offerings provide organizations of any size with oversight, control, security, management and real-time visibility for any type or number of mobile devices regardless of operating system, ownership, carrier or email platform. Support includes:

    • On-premise and cloud delivery

    • Centralized dashboard monitor

    • Policies and security

    • Application management and file share

    • Compliance manager and alerts

    • Wireless usage and monitoring

    • Real-time device statistics and location

    • Report generation and logging

    Learn more about how connecTel’s telecom solutions can free your team up to focus on what matters most: your business. Visit connecTel’s site by clicking here.


    Pre-Check
    Next up: And the Award Goes to: Announcing the 2018 Best of Tech Winners
  • More in Operations
  • And the Award Goes to: Announcing the 2018 Best of Tech Winners

    Miss out on OHTec's #NerdOscars (also known as the Best of Tech Awards)? Read below for a summary of who took home awards this year and the reaction on Twitter.

    More than 220 tech leaders from across Northeast Ohio gathered at the Tenk West Bank to see which companies would be honored at OHTec’s 12th annual Best of Tech Awards, which recognizes the highest performing and most innovative technology companies in Greater Cleveland.

    Share
  • Email
  • Compass Payroll

    Winners and finalists are listed below:


    Large Tech Company of the Year

    Award Winner: OverDrive

    Finalists: MRI Software; Park Place Technologies; MCPc

    Small Tech Company of the Year

    Award Winner: Futuri Media

    Finalists: Realeflow; Briteskies; e2b teknologies

    Tech Department of the Year

    Award Winners: n2y LLC

    Finalists: e2b teknologies; Foundation Software, Inc.; Hyland Software

    Best Tech Services Company

    Award Winner: Accellis Technology Group

    Finalists: Briteskies; Park Place Technologies; QualityIP

    Most Promising Startup

    Award Winner: Data Genomix

    Finalists: Convey, Inc.; Votem; Bezlio

    Best Software Device/Product

    Award Winner: 7SIGNAL

    Finalists: Dolbey Systems; BrandMuscle; e2b teknologies

    Best Use of Tech for Social Good

    Award Winners: Cleveland Metroparks (public entity) and n2y LLC (for-profit)

    Finalists: The Cleveland Museum of Art; Cleveland Metropolitan School District

    Best Support of the Tech Community

    Award Winner: OEC

    Finalists: Expedient; Tech Elevator; Inforce Technologies

    Twitter recap

    Missed out on this year’s show? Check below for some of the highlights of this year’s #NerdOscars!


    Pre-Check
    Next up: API as a Business Strategy
  • More in Operations
  • API as a Business Strategy

    API (Application Programming Interface) is not just for developers any more. While in the past APIs were considered a purely technical concept, the increasingly interconnected nature of the modern computing landscape is changing how we think and leverage them. Today, an API strategy is a key business element for technology vendors large and small. In addition to helping break down silos and accelerate delivery of internal products, APIs play a key role as a business differentiator on multiple fronts:

    API (Application Programming Interface) is not just for developers any more. While in the past APIs were considered a purely technical concept, the increasingly interconnected nature of the modern computing landscape is changing how we think and leverage them. Today, an API strategy is a key business element for technology vendors large and small. In addition to helping break down silos and accelerate delivery of internal products, APIs play a key role as a business differentiator on multiple fronts:

    Share
  • Email
  • Compass Payroll
    • Many corporations look to APIs as a key enabler to launch their mobile solutions. When partnering with an external mobile development vendor, standard-based, well-crafted APIs are key to rapid, successful delivery.
    • Some look at APIs as a developer-friendly, economically successful platform to increase the value of their traditional solutions by integrating them with 3rd party products in order to solve customer needs in new, innovative ways.

    No matter the motivation, API as a business strategy is here to stay. The companies that embrace this opportunity need to position their API solutions for long term success - treating APIs as a product; engaging the third-party developers in a two-way dialog to win their hearts and minds; and external and internal marketing and advocacy are just a few examples of where the traditional thinking needs to evolve to ensure long term success. It is not always an easy task, often requiring teams to embrace a new state of mind and take a few risks in the process. But the return is more than worth the effort, opening new potential sources of revenue for many years to come.

    Pre-Check
    Next up: Ask the Expert: Are You Ready For the EMV Revolution?
  • More in Operations
  • Ask the Expert: Are You Ready For the EMV Revolution?

    EMV is a form of contactless payment and is now the global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards, or “chip cards.”  You might also hear EMV referred to as “chip cards,” “chip and PIN,” and “chip and signature.” The term EMV comes from the developers of this technology – Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. Some credit/debit cards already use this technology in the U.S., while other regions of the world such as Europe, China and Canada have been using it for years. EMV uses a small microprocessor that’s embedded into a credit or debit card. Banks and credit card companies want you to use them because they’re more secure than magnetic strip cards.  

    What is EMV?

    Share
  • Email
  • Compass Payroll

    EMV is a form of contactless payment and is now the global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards, or “chip cards.”  You might also hear EMV referred to as “chip cards,” “chip and PIN,” and “chip and signature.”

    The term EMV comes from the developers of this technology – Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. Some credit/debit cards already use this technology in the U.S., while other regions of the world such as Europe, China and Canada have been using it for years. EMV uses a small microprocessor that’s embedded into a credit or debit card. Banks and credit card companies want you to use them because they’re more secure than magnetic strip cards.  

    How will EMV affect my business?

    Most cards in the U.S. today do not have this embedded chip. Some cards have a magnetic strip and chip, but eventually magnetic strips will go away entirely. The reason EMV is receiving so much attention is starting in October 2015, all major credit card companies — Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express — have said that if EMV capability has not been implemented on your POS terminals, the merchant will be liable for all counterfeit transactions made.

    This chargeback liability shift will not have a huge impact on merchants that have a low incidence of chargebacks today. But for merchants who are fraud targets or sell high ticket items that can be easily resold on the streets, the shift will have a much greater impact.

    If you are a Card Present environment where you are face-to-face with your customers and are swiping credit cards within a point-of-sale or terminal, or, if you accept payments both face-to-face and over the phone or Internet, the chargeback liability pertains directly to you and is vital that you begin to talk with your credit card processors and vendors now to be ready for the October changeover.  (Note: This does not mean you must be set up to accept chip payments by October 2015. There is no law or statute that will put you out of PCI compliance by not being EMV compliant.)

    If you are a Card Not Present environment where you only accept credit card payments over the phone or Internet, you do not need to worry too much about EMV, but you will want to be aware of the changes and how they could impact your business in the case of fraud in the future. 

    How can I ensure I am EMV compliant?

    EMV compliance is fairly complex, but here are four quick tips to make sure you stay compliant with the liability shift: 

    • Start early – like now. Buy devices and systems you can scale over time. 
    • Communicate with your staff so they understand the change process to ensure a smooth transition.
    • Make a list of potential suppliers, identify the questions to ask them, and choose the one that best meets your needs.  Working closely with a payment solutions provider can ensure you are up to date on any changes.
    • Create a budget – Expense will be driven by options. Choose a provider that has more than one EMV solution.

    Even though there is no legal obligation to comply with this shift, it’s still wise to do so. Your company might be able to sustain the new losses because of your increased liability—for a while. But at some point, not upgrading your EMV compliance will cost you more than upgrading. 

    BRENDAN HICKEY is director of Business to Business Solutions for Solupay Processing Solutions in Twinsburg.

    Want more expert advice? Check out COSE Expert Network, an online forum connecting business owners with creative solutions to the tough questions they face every day. 

    This article originally appeared in the July 27, 2015, edition of Small Business Matters.


    Pre-Check
  • More in Operations