Local News

FAST to reinstate fares July 1

8bFayetteville Area System of Transit (FAST) will reinstate collection of fares for all fixed route and paratransit services on July 1 after suspending collecting fares in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

“FAST was among many transit agencies in the nation to suspend fares in order to limit unnecessary interactions between riders and operators,” said FAST Director Tyffany Neal.

Over the past three years, FAST worked tirelessly to keep both employees and passengers safe by implementing new safety measures and procedures such as rear door boarding and sanitizing vehicles and facilities daily.

FAST will begin selling passes on June 1. Riders can purchase passes at the Transit Center located at 505 Franklin Street. Some Carlie C’s locations will also sell FAST passes, however, options are limited to 5-Day, 5-Day Discount, 30-Day, 30-Day Discount, 30-Day Youth and Summer Fun Passes. The four Carlie C’s locations are Eutaw, Bordeaux, Reilly Road and Cedar Creek.

Riders should have their fares prepared prior to boarding the bus and provide exact change as operators cannot handle cash and make change. City of Fayetteville employees can continue to ride fare free by displaying their City identification badge.

FAST is encouraging staff and customers to wear masks in FAST facilities and vehicles, however it is not mandatory.
Providing excellent service and maintaining the health and safety of our staff, operators and passengers continue to be our priorities as FAST strives to be a choice mode of transportation, Neal said.

Visit www.RideFAST.net for more information. Download the free TransLoc Rider app to see buses moving in real-time, see the location and heading of buses in their vicinity and get accurate arrival predictions.

MiLB launches 2023 Campaign with American Cancer Society

8aMinor League Baseball recently announced plans for a fundraising campaign during the 2023 season in support of the American Cancer Society. The “Hope At Bat” program will consist of four “Donation Days” across the country, where on-field performance by players will generate donations to the ACS.

The “Hope At Bat” campaign’s donation days will be on Mother’s Day (May 14), Father’s Day (June 18), the Fourth of July, and September 3.

On Mother’s Day, every strikeout in a MiLB game was worth $10 to the ACS as part of “Strike Out Breast Cancer Day” across the 60 MiLB games.

On Father’s Day (June 18), each home run hit in the 60 MiLB games will be worth $100 to the ACS as part of “Knocking Cancer Out of the Park Day” to fight prostate and colorectal cancer.

On the Fourth of July, every double hit in the Minor Leagues will be worth $50 to the ACS as part of “Doubling Down on Sun Safety Day.”

On September 3, MiLB clubs will join Major League Baseball clubs in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. For every run scored in the Minor Leagues that day, MiLB will donate $15 to the ACS as part of “Give Every Child a Chance to Run Day.”

Woodpeckers fans can look forward to the home game on June 18 to cheer on the team as they play to raise money for the ACS.

For more than 100 years, the American Cancer Society has been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support. To learn more, visit cancer.org.

For more information about the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, please visit www.fayettevillewoodpeckers.com.

How to choose the best deal for you and your business

17Anyone thinking of selling their business needs to be prepared to negotiate. Why? Because your goals and the buyer’s goals may be the same — to get the best deal — but that doesn’t mean the same thing for both parties. It will take time, and some give and take on both sides to arrive at an optimal deal for everyone involved.

Ensuring that you are negotiating from a position of strength is vital, and the best way to create a favorable negotiation process is by understanding and following a few tips.

Price is not always everything.

You want the largest return on your investment possible when selling your company. But it is essential to understand your motivating interests in selling and the buyer’s interest for buying. Believe it or not, their number one reason for buying or your main reason for selling may not be money.

The truth is, there are many non-monetary ways to be compensated for selling your company. For instance, you may want to be retained as a consultant. You may want to ensure your employees’ positions are safeguarded. Or you may simply want to secure the legacy of your business. Spend some time thinking about your reason for selling and what you hope to accomplish for yourself and the company with the sale.

Other areas that may matter as much, or more, than your asking price are the payment terms. Will there be an earnout? How will the payout be structured? These are questions whose answers will factor into what you ask for your business and why you are asking that amount.

Be prepared with a walk-away number.

Negotiations are part of most if not all, business sales. Before you start selling your business, you need to have a target price range in mind that you want to hit, as well as a dollar amount that you won’t go below.
Once you have established your walk-away number, the next step is to verify the buyer’s financial wherewithal. Has a lender qualified them? Do they have the deposit money readily available? The answers to both these questions need to be yes before you proceed.

Be comfortable making concessions.

We mentioned negotiations above, and part of that process is being comfortable with making concessions to your buyer. It can help to see things from their point of view. For instance, why might someone be interested in buying your company? What could they be hoping to gain?

Additionally, you’ve devoted your time and energy to this business. Most likely, you have an emotional investment in it, as well as a financial one. If you don’t work to check your emotions, to limit how much personal feelings sway you, you will find the idea of concessions much more challenging.

Understand how to best leverage the buyer’s demands with your demands to achieve the best outcome for yourself and your company.

Understand who you are negotiating with.

Because you are so invested in your business, negotiating can be tricky. Prepare yourself in advance for the idea of negotiating by knowing your expectations. Think about what compromises you are willing to make. Imagine potential outcomes if you don’t reach your end goal. Being prepared ahead of time prevents potential pitfalls like negotiating for the sake of it or negotiating with yourself instead of the potential buyer.

That is where a business broker can provide invaluable assistance. A qualified advisor can help you map out concessions once they know what your sacred cows are, set expectations for the process once it begins, and help you keep emotions out of the equation.

Be ready to move the deal along.

Selling a business takes a bit of homework. You need to be ready to drive the deal at specific points. Start by gathering all the outside valuation information to determine a value for your business. Are there any liabilities or other issues connected to your business that you must address to ensure the deal can move smoothly?

Delays can cause a buyer’s interest to dampen or heighten their concerns. Be prepared to quickly answer any questions the buyer may have to keep the process moving along.

Realize it is okay to say no and move on.

Not every buyer is a good fit. Sometimes the timing is off. Negotiations breaking down is a part of the process. If your buyer isn’t moving or the process has stalled, it may be time to walk away.
If you determine this transaction isn’t happening, consider alternatives that will make it easier for you to move on when necessary. And should you have to walk away, take time to reflect on why things went south so you can avoid this result in the future.

Last but not least, it’s never dead enough.

People’s minds can change over time or after some reflection. You may find that the buyer who didn’t work out a few months ago returns after their circumstances change. Be open to the process and whatever it brings.

Negotiations can be tough. And not everyone has the skills to manage them. Working with business advisors can help. Trained business brokers protect you and your business throughout the sale process. The safest and quickest way to sell your business begins with a conversation with a broker.

Editor’s note: Ashley Kelsey is a Business Broker at Transworld Business Advisors of Eastern North Carolina. She can be reached at 910-302-6447.

How your blood type can affect your overall health

16 Most people do not give much thought to the blood running through their veins. However, it may pay to learn more about your blood type, as it can affect your overall health in a variety of ways.

What is blood type? The American Red Cross says there are four main blood types, which are determined by the presence or absence of A and B antigens on the surface of red blood cells and the presence of antibodies in the blood plasma. Blood type is further affected by a protein called the Rh factor, which can be present (+) or absent (-).

Here’s a further breakdown.

  • Type A: Only the A antigen on red cells (and B antibody in the plasma).
  • Type B: Only the B antigen on red cells (and A antibody in the plasma).
  • Type AB: Both A and B antigens on red cells (but neither A nor B antibodies in the plasma).
  • Type O: Neither A nor B antigens on red cells (but both A and B antibodies in the plasma).

COVID-19 studies examining how blood type affects overall health are ongoing, and such research garnered extra attention from the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent research indicates that blood type can affect one’s risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as the severity of symptoms.

A key finding of the genetics company 23andme indicated that people with type O had lower incidences of COVID-19 positive tests. Evidence held even when researchers took into account age, sex, body mass index, and other factors.

In one study, researchers in China found that “blood group A was associated with a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups.” Researchers at Columbia University reported similar risks associated with type A blood.

Heart disease

The protective nature of type O blood also applies to heart disease. WebMD reports that risk for coronary heart disease is lower among the O group as opposed to other types.

Stomach cancer

Individuals with A, B and AB blood types are more likely to get stomach cancer. The link may lie in the presence of H. pylori infection, which tends to be more common in people with type A blood, according to Northwestern Medicine.


Northwestern also reports that those with type A blood may have more trouble handling stress due to heightened levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Kidney stones

More than five million people in Sweden were studied to determine the link between blood type and health risks. Those with type O and type B were more likely to get kidney stones.
Blood type can shed light on individuals’ risk for various conditions, and researchers continue to study the link between blood type and overall health.

#HERPitch grant allows local photographer to expand business to add glamor shots for women, girls

11Hannah Stevenson is a maker of lovely things and a creator of a beautiful life. She approaches life as something that is beautiful and has taken that belief into her work.

Stevenson is a fashion photographer, which has been a hobby for her in the past decade. She loved taking photos of people and helping them feel their best.

“I’ve had a lot of history with fashion, and it’s definitely my passion. Photography was something I picked up because I love taking photos of what I was making. And I also just love taking portraits of people,” Stevenson said.

However, she ideally wants to design her own clothes for women. The long-term goal is to one day own a clothing brand or create a fashion label. On her personal Instagram page, @happyinhandmades, Stevenson often practices her own photography and fashion using herself as the model.

“I love photography and I love fashion, so I want to combine my passion for things in some way. So I decided I was going to get into fashion photography, where hopefully, eventually, I’m going to make clothes for women to wear for photo shoots or at least design them.”

Stevenson says she would describe her style as a mix on vintage, feminine, delicate but not too frilly. “I’m also obsessed with embroidery. I have a machine and pointers, so I try to incorporate that in a lot of the things I make,” Stevenson said.

With her fashion photography starting to become more of a passion as she used herself as a model, she decided to start her own business, Rosette Visual Arts.
Stevenson presented Rosette Visual Arts to the #HERPitch competition in March. Her idea was to have glamor-style photos for women.

“So what I presented was that I wanted to highlight ... glamor photography, kind of like in the nineties, kind of a similar concept. Women would dress up, and I would do these glamor-style photos for them, but not just like head shots,” Stevenson said. “I wanted them to be wearing pretty dresses for these photo shoots, and I was going to have like a pretty backdrop and props. I was going to set up a space to make it look fancy and luxurious. I wanted to offer that kind of service to girls and women.”11a

Stevenson says this project is so important to her because her mission is to help every woman feel beautiful and remind them that they are worthy to have these glamor photos taken. These photos aren’t just for fashion models, but for themselves.

“I truly believe that every person is beautiful. I could see something beautiful in every person I meet, and I try to let that shine through in my photos. I want them to see themselves through an artist,” Stevenson said.

Out of a dozen business owners, Stevenson was one of the four winners who received a grant for $2,500 from CEED Capital and the Women of Power Society of NC.
Stevenson will be using the grant money towards purchasing camera equipment and backdrops.

“I think what helped sell my idea was that a lot of women don’t really get to dress up and look pretty. And so I’m going to give them that opportunity to dress up and look pretty and have that ‘shining moment’ of looking beautiful, like taking photos that look like they could be in a magazine,” Stevenson said.

She hopes to launch her glamor photography around the beginning of fall. To learn more about Stevenson and her company, Rosette Visual Arts, visit her Instagram page, @rosettevisualarts.


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