ALCC news center
Word-of-mouth drives customer referrals Email
News
Monday, July 20, 2015 03:00 AM


Smartphone userMost business owners know that word-of-mouth is a powerful way to find new customers. In this digital age, social media has influenced the way consumers get word-of-mouth referrals. Online review sites have become part of the research process for many people when looking for products and services.

A recent study by Software Advice revealed that 38% of consumers begin with online review sites when researching residential service providers. 56% of consumers began by using search engines, which often point to online review sites in results for those searches.

Read more...
 
Who’s an employee & who’s an independent contractor? Email
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 08:58 AM

Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell. 

Earlier this year, an unsuccessful bill came before the Colorado Legislature that would have simplified the test to determine whether a person was an independent contractor or employee. Senate bill S.B. 15-269 would have repealed current standards related to the determination of independent contractor status under the Employment Security Act (unemployment insurance, or UI) and established a multifactor test to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of UI.

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More H-2B updates Email
Thursday, July 09, 2015 07:58 AM


H-2B visa legislation updateNew H-2B Rules:
Prior to the July 4 recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. No amendments were offered to try to strike the beneficial H-2B language included in the bill. The bill includes language that would:

            • Address H-2B wages and allow the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under the new final H-2B wage rule;
            • Clearly define seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the new interim final H-2B comprehensive rule;
            • Prevent DOL from implementing the provisions of the interim final rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee;
            • Prevent DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the IFR related to audit and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment; and
            • Allow for the staggered crossing of seafood H-2B employees. 
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2nd draft of Colorado Water Plan released Email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015 07:58 AM

The Colorado Water Conservation Board has released the second draft of a proposed water plan for Colorado. View the latest draft at www.colorado.gov/pacific/cowaterplan/july-2015-second-draft-colorados-water-plan

CWCB welcomes public input through September 17, 2015. ALCC and GreeenCO will also review the plan and make comments during this time.

Colorado's Water Plan timeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further reading:
Colorado's Water Plan 

 
Smart Irrigation Month can save money and win customers Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 02:49 PM

Smart IrrigationMonthIn July, celebrate Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers save water, save money and see better results.

Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use in July—traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor water use. Landscape companies that offer water-wise services and solutions can win customers and peer recognition for their efforts.

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Opportunity and growth signal a need for skilled labor Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 01:11 PM

GrowthA recent poll of Fortune 500 CEOs revealed some interesting statistics. Two telling responses reveal that businesses are expecting growth, and that the skilled labor pool may not be keeping up.

Coming in 4th on the list of challenges faced by big business is “shortage of skilled labor.” 34% of CEOs rated this one of their top issues. Any landscape company looking for irrigation technicians can surely relate to that.

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Smart irrigation technologies use water efficiently Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 12:48 PM


In California #DroughtShaming on social media is a hot trend as many people try to reduce water usage. A popular form of drought shaming involves posting photos of sprinklers spraying water on concrete, or irrigations systems running while it’s raining. There are many “smart” technologies available that can maximize water efficiency and put an end to those wasteful and embarrassing situations.

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Need help funding your business growth? Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 11:05 AM


Business handshakeAs the landscape industry in Colorado grows, some small businesses may have trouble meeting the increased demand for services. In order to expand your business, you need capital. But how to find the funding you need? The US Small Business Association (SBA) is a good place to start.

The SBA web site has information about how to secure financing throughout all stages of the business cycle. You’ll find resources for government contracting, loans, and venture capital.

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WOTUS final rule faces multiple lawsuits Email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 07:58 AM

Sixteen states and a number of state departments and authorities have filed lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the recent Clean Water Act Final Rule (“Waters of the US” or WOTUS). Colorado is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits, which claims that the Clean Water Rule affects or interferes with state sovereign authority. It also purports that additional requests related to the rule will create additional burden to state staff.

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6 wishes of a dying landscape professional Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 04:49 AM

 

Wishes of a dying landscaperIf you die with the most toys and fastest cars, have you succeeded?

Research shows that at the end of your life you will measure your success differently. In any event, dying with the fastest cars won’t get you in to heaven - and there is always someone with a faster car.

Use Jeffrey Scott's “wishes of a dying entrepreneur” as a checklist to make sure your career is giving you the life of your dreams.

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H-2B legislation updates Email
Friday, June 26, 2015 07:58 AM

Below are a few updates on the current happenings with the H2B program & grassroots action needed. Feel free to call Kristen Fefes at 303 757-5611 with questions or comments.

H-2B legislation updatesNew H-2B Rules: Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. No amendments were offered to try to strike the beneficial H-2B language included in the bill. The bill includes language that would:

  • Allow the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under the new final H-2B wage rule;
  • Clearly define seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the new interim final H-2B comprehensive rule;
  • Prevent DOL from implementing the provisions of the interim final rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee;
  • Prevent DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the IFR related to audit and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment; and
  • Allow for the staggered crossing of H-2B employees.
Read more...
 
DOL proposed rule regarding overtime eligibility for 'white collar' workers Email
Friday, June 26, 2015 07:58 AM

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding overtime eligibility for "white collar" employees:

With this proposed rule, the Department seeks to update the salary level required for exemption to ensure that the FLSA’s intended overtime protections are fully implemented, and to simplify the identification of nonexempt employees, thus making the executive, administrative and professional employee exemption easier for employers and workers to understand and apply.

The proposed rule extends overtime eligibility for nearly five million workers within the first year of its implementation. The DOL estimates that this change could cost employers an additional $1.2 billion per year. As proposed, the salary threshold would rise from $455 a week (the equivalent of $23,660 a year) to about $970 a week ($50,440 a year) in 2016. Details can be found in a fact sheet issued by DOL.

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Investigation on Herbicide 2,4-D Email
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 07:58 AM

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) has issued the following legislative alert regarding a recent investigation of herbicide 2,4-D:

Background

2,4-D, a chemical found in some herbicides used in the landscape industry, was recently reviewed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The group rated 2,4-D as 2B – a possible carcinogen. The 2,4-D Research Task Force responded, saying “the IARC classification of 2,4-D as a '2B – possible' carcinogen is at odds with comprehensive cancer reviews completed by health and safety regulators worldwide.”

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