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Business & Finance

Chaldean Entrepreneur Snacks His Way to Success
By David Najor :: 12579 Views :: Business & Finance

H. Michael Robin arrived in Detroit from his native Baghdad, Iraq, in 1968. The Chaldean immigrant found a job loading potato chips onto delivery trucks.

That modest beginning led to Grandpapa’s, a snack food manufacturer that is part of Robin’s $15-million-a-year snack food business. From a newly renovated 140,000-square-foot factory at 6500 Davison in Detroit, Robin ships pallets stacked with cheese curls, cheese balls, and other snacks around the globe.

Locally, Grandpapa’s may be best known for its line of pork rinds, although that particular snack food is just the tip of a business operation that ships 99% of its production overseas.

From loading trucks to owning a far-flung export business was a journey of hard work and luck and seizing every opportunity.
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Building a Well-Run Chaldean Family Business
By David Najor :: 15883 Views :: Business & Finance

 

The biggest challenge for Chaldean family businesses is being isolated from the outside world says small business consultant Norman Haisha.  Chaldean’s work long hours, weekends, and holidays.   The incredibly long work schedule is a huge sacrifice.  Another is the boundary issue.  Chaldean business leaders are often forced to look at all family and business challenges as being intertwined.  So they’re making business decisions based on family issues and vice versa.Great Chaldean family businesses share certain traits: loyalty among the team, vigilance and competitiveness in their fields.

Those that pass successfully from one generation to the next have a sense of cohesion because, deep down, Chaldean family members really do care about each other and they can get through the hard times. They’ve found ways to manage conflict—not always resolve it, but manage it. They’ve also figured out ways to make decisions when there are differences of opinion. Yet, real pitfalls lurk.

The payoff for family businesses that can make it, though, can be great. “When a family business works well, you can’t beat it,” says Haisha. Family businesses “pull together for the right reasons and it’s not just for profit sake. Profit is not the purpose, but only one of many ways to stay alive and stay fulfilled.  That type of thinking means it’s for the good of the family, good for the employees, it’s good for the community, and it’s long-term. It’s really hard to compete against them. You think about a business that is saying: I’m going to sacrifice so much for my family, my employees, and my community.”

So how can Chaldean family businesses avoid the pitfalls? Here are some keys:
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The Master Behind Lights and Music Mixes
By Mary Esho :: 51237 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Business & Finance

Michigan, USA - One of the best DJ artists, David Boji, 28, has helped amplify the nightlife scene for metro Detroiters.  “If you are ever in a mood for a good party, the nightlife scene in Detroit is something to brag about because of him,” says Janel Ashtari  from Warren.   “He really knows how to make a party happen.  He is super talented and an incredible promoter."

Along with his many accomplishments, in 2008, Boji opened up for hip-hop star Flo Rida at Acapulco, Mexico, in front of over 4,500 screaming spring breakers.   Later that year, he opened up for a sold-out Detroit stadium of over 21,000 fans for “The New Kids On The Block Reunion Tour.” 

He later joined Channel 955’s Bomb Squad, an exclusive 5-member group of top mix-show DJs that infiltrate the air waves of Metro Detroit. It is at Channel 955 that David B developed his loyal following as he launched his “Ministry of House” movement.  Over the following 4 years, he went on to open up for myriad A-List artists, including Pitbull, David Guetta, Steve Angello of The Swedish House Mafia, Nadia Ali, Black Eyed Peas, Jason DeRulo, Iyaz, Taio Cruz, Big Boi of Outkast, Fabolous, & Monica.

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On the Job: He's Living the American Dream
By Guest Reporter :: 23541 Views :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance
   Doug Williams of the santee.patch.com 

 

For Lee Wazzi, co-owner of Santee's Lake's Market Liquor & Deli, the journey from Iraq to the United States opened doors of peace and opportunity for which he will always be grateful.

  As he sits at a small desk in a back room at Lake’s Market Liquor & Deli, Lee Wazzi talks about his long life’s journey and counts himself a lucky man.

At age 42, he’s exactly where he wants to be.

A native of Iraq, Wazzi and his family and close friends dreamed of coming to America so they could live in peace, work hard and have a chance at success.

While many Americans don’t take time to count their blessings, Wazzi does every day. To him, the American dream isn’t just a theoretical concept. It’s his life.
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Why Chaldean Businesses Fail
By Paul Gori :: 23790 Views :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance
One of the least understood aspects of entrepreneurship is why small businesses fail, and there’s a simple reason for the confusion: Most of the evidence comes from the entrepreneurs themselves.

We interviewed a number of Chaldean small business entrepreneurs about what they believe is the cause of business failures. 

Some of the Chaldeans we interviewed had business failures themselves; others shared what challenges close friends and family members faced that caused their business to fail.  

The interviewed included a questionnaire, discussion, and follow-up questions in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges.  We sampled 138 Chaldean businesses in California, 43 in Chicago, and 206 in Michigan.  We grouped the common causes in the list below, which does not have any specific order.
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Chaldean Grocers Troubled by Democrat Pelosi’s Push for Mail Order Shipments of Alcohol
By David Najor :: 27534 Views :: Business & Finance, Government & Society

Washington DC, USA - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is championing her home state’s wine industry in an effort to defeat bill that would give states greater control over how Alcohol is distributed.   The move is causing a battle on Capitol Hill as California winemakers are pitted against beer wholesalers and distributors.   Pelosi and her wine caucus is working to stop the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness and by doing so, open the flood gate of out-of-state alcohol distribution via direct shipment.

Direct shipments of alcohol cut out the distributors and middlemen, allowing wineries to sell straight to customers who may have visited in person or browsed via the Internet.  Wineries, in particular, have considered direct shipping across state lines a retail boon.

Many states enacted laws that either prohibited direct shipping or severely restricted it.  “This legislation is urgently needed to help states defend against lawsuits that are motivated by economic gain … and are not in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the public,” Nida Samona, the chairwoman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, told a House panel recently.  (
To read Nida Samona's Testimony before the House CLICK HERE.)

The fight pits One hundred and seven lawmakers......

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Chaldean Hot Spots Get Too Hot
By Sam Yousif :: 32475 Views :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean community in Michigan were stunned to learn two of their favorite shopping locations went up in flames yesterday afternoon.  Both Kashat International Market and New Sahara Restaurant were completely destroyed by fire. 

Firefighters from Oak Park, Ferndale, and Beverly Hills spent all day Wednesday trying to get  the five alarm fire under control.  Early reports indicate the fire started in an international market and spread to the New Sahara Restaurant next door.

Both businesses have been in the community for decades.  “Almost every Chaldean family has eaten or shopped at those places,” says Alex Jabarow of Novi.  “Sahara would often stay open until two or four in the morning as Chaldeans would close their business and visit for a late night meal.  Those places have lots of history and meant a lot to many Chaldeans.  Especially those who fell in love with their house sauce.”

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Chaldean Business Leaders Continue To Help Michigan Rebuild
By Paul Gori :: 17189 Views :: Business & Finance

Michigan, USA – "Chaldean business owners prove they believe in Michigan.  They put their money where their mouth is," says Ashley Hanna of the Chaldean Education and Career Center.  "Despite the high business taxes and anti-business environment in the state, Chaldeans continue to reinvest, improve, and open new businesses in their local communities."

On Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, Mark Yaldo has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the community by becoming the new owner of an abandoned and blighted building on 3555 Washtenaw.  Yaldo has been spending money all year working with contractors to open an improved and upgraded Marathon brand fuel station and convenient store.   

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Where Did all The Small-Business Loans Go?
By Paul Gori :: 32173 Views :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance

Chaldean business owners know if you want to expand your business, you're going to need some cash.  Money still isn't falling off trees for small businesses, and the lending process can be a challenge to navigate. As a professional loan officer for a large banking company Haisha helps small businesses prepare loan request packages.  He also serves as the corresponding secretary of a private Chaldean investment group in Michigan.  The Chaldean group pulls their financial resources, investor connections, and business expertise together to help fund new Chaldean business ventures. 

Banks have tightened their lending policies, and it is more difficult for a Chaldean entrepreneur to get financing.  “The difficulty in getting a loan from a bank is causing many Chaldean small-business owners to have to get creative with finding sources of capital.”  Haisha adds, “Many Chaldeans have great businesses ideas, but do not have the money, business contacts, or expertise to make a go of it.  Chaldean entrepreneur candidates submit loan or investment requests to our members and we decide as a group, which we will fund.”

The Chaldean venture capitalists group is mostly composed of successful business entrepreneurs, professionals with funds to invest, and businesses able to provide services to new businesses.  The group tend to invest or loan money to Chaldeans who have developed a thorough plan for the success of their business.  Loans are provided with untraditional collateral requirements and terms. 

Chaldeans have received hundreds of thousands in loans by offering gold for collateral, property in Iraq, or agree to equity shares of their business says Haisha.  “Our members each buy shares into a proposed business opportunity.  Shares prices range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on the amount needed by the business selected to be funded.”

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Chaldean Hardware Store Owner Committed to Detroit Neighborhood
By Paul Gori :: 17282 Views :: Business & Finance

Michigan, USA – Back in September 2008 Chaldean businessman Sal Yono received devastating news that his Pro-Hardware business on Davison near Dexter was burnt to the ground.  The fire completely destroyed the 60 year old hardware store and left a dilapidated neighborhood in even worse condition. 

Many of the Detroit residents relied on the business to purchase needed hardware supplies.  “We don’t have much in the city and the hardware store was the only place we could get to fix up something in the house,” says customer Gary Harris. “He was an angel.  If we didn’t have the money to buy some needed tools he would loan the tools to us for free.  We were all upset when we heard the store burned to the ground.”

People in the neighborhood were shocked to learn Yono would rebuild as more and more residents and businesses were fleeing the city.  Residents cheered when the hardware store re-opened with a million dollar investment by the owner.  Many of the people who work at the hardware store can walk to work. The $1 million investment raised more than a few eyebrows in an area where abandoned and boarded up homes dot the landscape.

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Dog Gone: Florida Health Dept. Tosses Cody Onto The Unemployment Line
By Britney Hermiz :: 38382 Views :: Health & Fitness, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Florida, USA - If you ask the Clearwater BP gas station owner Karim Mansour, he will say they had a bone to pick with Cody and they won.  Florida’s health department inspector says the dog will no longer be able to join his owner to work. 

“Successful Chaldean business owners are known to fight for their employees.  It is perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why they are successful.  You treat your workers great, they are loyal and work hard to make the business a success,” says Angela Yousif, a member of Clearwater areas Chamber of Commerce. 

Mansour, received a warning from the Florida Department of Health on Thursday, informing him that Cody would have to go or all of the store's food - mostly bottled soda, candy and other snacks - would be declared unfit for consumption.

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Store Owners Faced Civil Lawsuit After Beating Store Robber
By Paul Gori :: 40680 Views :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – “It is hard enough to make a living in Michigan. Now we have to give up the right to protect ourselves when our lives are being threatened.  This state is getting way out of control,” says Andrew Gabara, of Clinton Township. 

Gabara’s comments are in light of the ongoing frustration Chaldeans in Clinton Township are feeling regarding the Nick’s Party Stop robbery.  “This state is backward.  They were protecting themselves form being robbed and now they are being sued.  Where is the justice?”

Scott Zielinski, who was found guilty and sentenced to prison for the November 2007 robbing Nick’s Party Stop in Clinton Township sued the store owner and employees from prison for beating him up during the robbery.  John Acho, and three employees including Acho's nephew Justin Kallo, who shot Zielinski twice were named in the suit. 

Zielinski, 23, filed the lawsuit in April after he was shot while robbing the store on Cass Avenue, south of 19 Mile Road, near Chippewa Valley High School. Zielinski, wielding a knife and wearing a mask, entered the store about 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 2007, and demanded cash and cigarettes. As he fled out the front door carrying a bag of money and cigarettes, he was shot in the arm.

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American Iraqi Business Group Reveals Successful Iraqi Oil Bids Awarded
By David Najor :: 21741 Views :: Business & Finance

Baghdad, IRAQ — Efforts by Western and Iraqi business leaders help secure a new chapter in Iraqi’s economic stability and growth.  A major breakthrough for Iraq’s oil industry is made after three international oil consortiums accept Iraq’s terms to develop two oil fields. 

American Iraqi Business Group (AIBG) chairman, Sam Yono shares that recent developments have changed; more companies have agreed to meet Iraq’s price requirements for oil.   

Yono leads the largest consortium of independent Western businesses seeking to conduct business in Iraq.  AIBG offers education and assistance to Iraqi and Western corporations on securing bids from Iraq and better understanding business opportunities.  The business group helps to form collaboration, consortiums, and build synergies to meet the needs of the reemerging Iraqi market. 

After a successful endeavor of a winning bid for BP-China’s CNPC consortium which bid $2 per barrel produced to develop the 17.8 billion barrel Rumaila field with a targeted production of 2.85 million barrels per day, up from its current nearly one million barrels a day, more oil consortium’s sought to bid more competitively. 

AIBG reports that they can now share that, that a total of three other consortiums also were awarded.  One led by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, another by ConocoPhilips, and a third by Russia’s Lukoil. 

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8 Free Business Growth Solutions
By CE&CC :: 32781 Views :: Business & Finance, Chaldean Education & Career Center

When sales slump due to a slow economy, a Chaldean business owner’s first inclination is often to cut the marketing budget. After all, one has fixed costs and cash flow can be irregular. But marketing should be the last activity Chaldeans eliminate or you risk an even faster downward spiral.

Advertising your business and attracting new customers must be an ongoing process, and there are many things Chaldean entrepreneurs can do that cost absolutely nothing.

Here are just a few suggestions.

Present

Professional event and meeting planners are always looking for presenters and workshop leaders for conferences. Chaldean entrepreneurs can research contact names in the Directory of Event Planners or partner with a local church, community center, or event planner to organize a community workshop related to your expertise.  When you do get the opportunity to make a presentation or speak to group of people, be sure to collect business cards for a drawing to win a book or other prize related to your business.

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Armed Robbery Spikes in U.S. and U.K. Causing Concerns Among Chaldeans
By Paul Gori :: 19883 Views :: Business & Finance

The U.S. and the U.K. may be mired in what was once thought of as a Third World style of financial crisis, but what was once considered the Third World is not.  Local, state, and national governments in both America and Europe are seeing a significant spike in crime and fraud. 

“Giving home loans to every person that walked into a mortgage or bank loan office is the root of all the problems,” says Mary Hessu, a banker with Community Bank in Michigan.  “America was supposed to be about equal opportunity and earning your way.  Giving undeserving people loans for some social engineering experiment has rocked the world.”

Hessu says the consequences of America’s politicians poor decisions is unemployment and crime.  “Crime is skyrocketing and Chaldeans who happen to own businesses are the victims.  Stores are being burglarized, check cashing fraud, and identity theft is hurting out community.”

All experts agree that the very best way for Chaldeans to prevent an armed robbery is to send a message that your business is not an easy target and not worth the effort. In this article, www.CHALDEAN.org covers the most helpful tips in preventing armed robbery for Chaldean small business owners. 

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