News & Events

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New Jersey Marketing Expo at Raritan Valley Community College – Oct. 28

expo-logorvcc-logo-sept-2016New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College

Join us at Raritan Valley Community College, Main Campus, Conference Center on Oct. 28th for the New Jersey Marketing Expo

The NJ Marketing Expo is a unique event, bringing together experts on email marketing, content marketing, social media, branding and website development to help you promote your business or not-for-profit organization.

This educational summit features an agenda full of learning opportunities to help you take advantage of the latest tactics and proven strategies for successful digital marketing. Every session will fuel you with actionable insights and tools to help you boost your business. The event includes morning coffee service, lunch and afternoon refreshment

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, join us! #BeaMarketer

Click here for InformationAgenda and to Register ($30  – Please note: Registration is through the NJ Marketing Expo portal, not RVCC website)

Hosted by: NJ Marketing Expo & the NJ SBDC at Raritan Valley Community College

When: 

Friday October 28, 2016 from 8 AM to 4 PM EDT

Where: 

Raritan Valley Community College

118 Lamington Rd
Conference Center
Branchburg, NJ 08876

Contact: 

Maria Semple of The Prospect Finder LLC
908-256-4433
team@njmarketingexpo.com

 

 

September 13th, 2016|Categories: All|

NJ SBDC Regional Director Harnden to Receive State Star Award

SBDC at RVCC Regional Director Bill Harnden

SBDC at RVCC Regional Director Bill Harnden

William Harnden, Regional Director of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), has been selected to receive the NJSBDC State Star Award for 2016. The award, which recognizes Harnden’s outstanding performance in assisting small business, will be presented at the 36th Annual America’s SBDC Conference, September 19-22 in Orlando, Florida. America’s SBDC represents the country’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers–the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States and its territories.

Selected annually from each of the state, regional or territorial SBDCs, the State Star Award is determined by exemplary performance, significant contribution to the state or regional SBDC program, and a commitment to small business. All of the honorees will be recognized at the formal ceremony in Orlando.

As Regional Director, Harnden manages the center’s delivery of technical assistance, training courses and free counseling services to small business owners and entrepreneurs in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. His contributions to the SBDC include focusing on database management and analysis to improve operations, establishing and building relationships with local and educational organizations to support small business efforts, and broadening communications and outreach to the community.

Harnden began his business career with General Motors, managing several Accounting and Systems Development departments. In 1995, Harnden left to become an entrepreneur, owning and operating a successful franchise store. After selling his business in 1998, he joined the RVCC Finance Office, handling bursar activities, contracts and grants accounting. In 2004 he was selected as Assistant Director of the SBDC, providing business and loan package development counseling. Four years later, he became the center’s Operations Director and in 2012 was promoted to Regional Director. Harnden is an active member of the Somerset County Business Partnership and the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.

The SBDC at RVCC is located at 14 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater (Bldg. B). For additional information, contact the SBDC office at 908-526-1200, ext. 8516, or sbdc@raritanval.edu. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

 

September 8th, 2016|Categories: All|

Upcoming: SBDC@RVCC Courses for September 2016

Below are the courses being offered in September 2016 at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Raritan Valley Community College. The SBDC is located at 14 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater, NJ, 08807.  Phone: 908-526-1200, ext. 8516.  Email: sbdc@raritanval.edu Click on the title of the courses listed below for additional information and to register online.  A complete listing of current training courses can be found in our online Fall 2016 brochure.

Dates   Course Title
Sept. 12 & 15 Accounting Fundamentals

Learn fundamental accounting procedures that complement QuickBooks for Small Businesses. Master concepts needed for bookkeeping and learn accounting terminology used to operate financial software (6 hours).

Course fee: $129            CRN 50002

Also available in Oct. & Nov.  Check schedule.

Sept. 14 Legal I

Be knowledgeable about the laws affecting business. Business owners will learn how to choose the appropriate business structure, assess business risks, provide adequate protection and establish proper record keeping and controls (3 hours).  Course fee: $59                 CRN 50014

Sept. 14 Create Your Local Business Listing on Google, Bing and Yahoo 

Getting found in the search engines is critical for your business. This hands-on workshop is intended for small business owners with brick and mortar stores/offices. We’ll show you how to create a Google My Business account, and how you can create similar local business listings on Bing and Yahoo. Class size is limited to 10 attendees and you must have an active Gmail account (Be sure to bring your password.  (3 hours).   Course fee: FREE           CRN 50057

*(Please note – Pre-registration is required for all “SBDC FREE COURSES.” To register, email your name, home street address, contact phone number and the free course title(s) you would like to register for to: sbdc@raritanval.edu.)

Sept. 14 Maximize Your Trade Show Investment  

Don’t underestimate the value of trade show and event marketing– the most powerful tools in your marketing mix for uncovering and landing new business opportunities.  Find out what you don’t know about trade shows and how to choose your exhibit space, budget time and resources, promote your participation, increase booth traffic, and get the best follow-up results (3 hours).  Course fee: FREE   CRN 50056

*(Please note – Pre-registration is required for all “SBDC FREE COURSES.” To register, email your name, home street address, contact phone number and the free course title(s) you would like to register for to: sbdc@raritanval.edu.

Sept. 19 & 22 QuickBooks for Small Business

Learn how QuickBooks can simplify the accounting process for a small business. Set up a business, record transactions, understand the reports generated from QuickBooks and the components of financial statements. Prerequisite: Accounting Fundamentals or a good working knowledge of accounting principles (6 hours).  Course fee: $129    CRN 50003

Also available in Oct. & Nov.  Check schedule.

Sept. 20 How to Purchase a Business or Franchise

Learn how to identify and then research a credible franchise or existing business (3 hours).  Course fee: FREE   CRN 50059

*(Please note – Pre-registration is required for all “SBDC FREE COURSES.” To register, email your name, home street address, contact phone number and the free course title(s) you would like to register for to: sbdc@raritanval.edu.

Also available in Nov.  Check schedule.

Sept. 21 Legal II

Attain a basic understanding of contract law, legal ownership of a business, stock, and partnership agreements (3 hours).

Course fee: $59    CRN 50015

Sept. 21 Planning Your New Website

Learn the biggest mistakes to avoid when building a website and what the search engines want. Find out how to register your domain name, choose web hosting, accept payments online, and evaluate whether to do it yourself or hire a professional (3 hours).

Course fee: $59    CRN 50028

Sept. 22 Beyond Watermarks: Copyright Protection for Photographers

If you are a photographer, learn what a copyright is and how you can attain one, what types of agreements to use and tips for minimizing infringement, and what steps to take in the event of infringement (3 hours).

Course fee: $59     CRN 50035

Sept. 26 Crowdfunding:  A New Alternative for Raising Working Capital

Crowdfunding has become a great alternative for small business owners to raise working capital for their business ventures. Our workshop will help participants understand the principles associated with building successful Crowdfunding campaigns and will show you how to use Crowdfunding to finance your goals (3hours).  Course fee: FREE CRN 50061

*(Please note – Pre-registration is required for all “SBDC FREE COURSES.” To register, email your name, home street address, contact phone number and the free course title(s) you would like to register for to: sbdc@raritanval.edu.

Also available in Nov.  Check schedule.

Sept. 27 & 29, and Oct. 4 & 6 Lose the W.A.I.T.

Is procrastination affecting your business?  Learn how the new W (What and Why) A (Acceptance) I (Imagination) T (Take action) program can help you develop the tools to transform your business and personal goals (12 hours).   Course fee: $229    CRN 60086

Sept. 27 Outside-the-Box-Marketing

Gain the multiple exposures you need to gain brand recognition and trust within your target market. Design and launch the best tactics to achieve the repeat and referral business you need to achieve your goals (3 hours).

Course fee: $59     CRN 50031

Sept. 27, 29 & Oct. 6   QuickBooks Accounts Receivable & Accounts Payable

In a simulated real business environment learn how to manage both the Customers/Sales and Vendors/Expenses capabilities in QuickBooks. Perform and practice Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable transactions and reporting. Prerequisite: QuickBooks for Small Businesses and a good working knowledge of accounting principles (9 hours).  Course fee: $169      CRN 50004

Sept. 28 How to Network for Success

Explore the why, where, and how to network offline and online. Learn to write and deliver an attention-getting “elevator speech” that really works. Start networking immediately: bring your business cards and brochures to class (3 hours).   Course fee: $59       CRN 50032

Sept. 28 Introduction to Search Engine Optimization

Understand how to improve website visibility in the major search engines. Participants learn SEO best practices to follow and have the opportunity to have websites critiqued during the session (3 hours).

Course fee: $59     CRN 500296

Sept. 28 Mastering the Mental Side of Building a Business

Learn how to proactively handle and even benefit from the inevitable challenges and setbacks you’ll face along the way building your business. Finish up with solid ways to build your confidence in any situation, work through habits and fears that can hold you back, and create a support system that will help lead you to success (3 hours).

Course fee: FREE          CRN 50016

*(Please note – Pre-registration is required for all “SBDC FREE COURSES.” To register, email your name, home street address, contact phone number and the free course title(s) you would like to register for to: sbdc@raritanval.edu.

Also available in Nov.  Check schedule.

Sept. 29 Marketing to Millennials Demystified

Participants will explore the challenges of marketing to the millennial generation (ages 18 to 35 years).  Learn what makes them tick and how to structure your marketing and sales strategies to attract this generation to your business. (3 hours).   Course Fee: $59    CRN 50053

 

August 3rd, 2016|Categories: All|

SBA Offers Helpful Blogs, Webinars, Events on Variety of Small Business Topics

 U.S. Small Business AdministrationVisit the Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov for helpful information designed to assist entrepreneurs, including starting and managing a small business, loans, updates on federal guidelines and policies and more.   Resources include:   

Courses   

Take Your Business Global – An Introduction to Exporting

Take Bus Global logoThis course is intended to be a guide for small businesses to help determine if exporting, as a business strategy, makes sense and whether the basic ingredients for export readiness are in-place

Upcoming Webinars  

What the Healthcare Law Means for Your Small Business

Register | Thursday, July 21, 2016 | 2pm – 3pm ET

Find out how to navigate the opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series. Registration is free, but required.

Unexpected Ways to Grow Your Blog Subscriber List

Register | Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | 2pm ET

How can we afford to write new content weekly? The internet is cluttered with advice on how to grow your blog subscriber list. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to optimize and automate your content marketing to save your team time while building a truly efficient and effective content creation engine.

Protecting Your Business Data in Todays Inter-Connected World

Register | Thursday, July 28, 2016 | 8:30am – 9:30am PST

The threat landscape in cyber-space keeps evolving. Cloud technologies are designed to continuously identify and mitigate risks, and can help small businesses leverage the best of breed security and privacy capabilities, while focusing on their core competencies. Join this webinar to learn more about how cybersecurity threats are evolving, what risks they pose, and best practices to protect your business information in the digital age.

Blogs

Email Marketing Basics for Small Business
Email marketing is just one of many ways to engage customers and ultimately lead them to purchase a product or service.

Helping Employees TaxWise Who Work from Home     

If your business has employees who work from home, understand the tax rules they face for claiming a home office deduction and what you can do to help them.

How to Immediately Become a More Credit Savvy Business Owner
Credit plays an important role in your personal and business life. It impacts your purchasing power, the interest rates you’ll pay, and the terms of repayment.

SBA Learning Center logo

For more small business training, tools, and local assistance information, visit the SBA Learning Center.

( https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/search/training)

 

 

July 18th, 2016|Categories: All|

NJStart Portal Streamlines New Jersey State Procurement, Bid Process

NJ StartThe State of New Jersey’s NJSTART eProcurement portal is designed to streamline the procurement process and make it more efficient for companies looking to do business with the State.

Suppliers can create their own vendor profiles through the portal, eliminating the need to file duplicate forms every time they submit a proposal for a new contract. NJSTART’s business interface also allows for the submission of electronic W-9s for the first time, and expands the quantity of electronic payments, enabling prompt payment.

To register, and for information, including a glossary, vendor reference guides and forms, help desk contacts and more, visit the NJSTART website at:  http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/purchase/njstart/vendor.shtml

In addition, the State’s Division of Purchase and Property has announced a Pilot Procurement Program of new solicitations to help introduce NJSTART.  To register, and view open bids, active contracts and registered vendors, visit:  https://www.njstart.gov/bso/

June 23rd, 2016|Categories: All|

U.S. Department of Labor Updates Overtime Guidelines

President Obama Signs Final Rule on Overtime(Excerpt from U.S. Department of Labor website article): 

“On May 18, 2016, President Obama and (U.S. Secretary of Labor) Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations, which will automatically extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. …

Key Provisions of the Final Rule

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

  1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);
  2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and
  3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.

Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.

The effective date of the final rule is December 1, 2016. The initial increases to the standard salary level (from $455 to $913 per week) and HCE total annual compensation requirement (from $100,000 to $134,004 per year) will be effective on that date. Future automatic updates to those thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020. … ”

For the entire article, and further details including webinars on the topic, please visit the United States Department of Labor website page at:   https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/

Additional articles about how the new update will affect businesses and employees include:    

June 3rd, 2016|Categories: All|

SBDC to Offer Sustainability Program to Small Business Owners

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College is partnering with New Jersey SBDC to help small businesses initiate or expand their “green” practices.

With assistance from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, established businesses will receive onsite sustainability evaluations, pollution prevention recommendations and resources for making improvements. Businesses who participate in this program will be recognized on the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry for their efforts in adopting or increasing their sustainable practices.

Small business owners also may take advantage of no-cost consulting focused on sustainability practices for their company. Whether business owners are seeking basic information, help with the registry application, or a strategy to help them deal with an existing environmental concern, the NJSBDC can provide assistance from a counselor who is knowledgeable in all facets of sustainability, pollution prevention, toxics mitigation, and disaster preparedness.

For additional information, contact the SBDC@RVCC office at 908-526-1200, ext. 8516 or  sbdc@raritanval.edu. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Any messages or emails should include that business owners are seeking information about the NJ Sustainability program.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

 

January 12th, 2016|Categories: All|

PuroClean Disaster Response – 2015 Success Award Winner

Puroclean Logo

Sandra White

PuroClean Disaster Response

432 Lincoln Blvd

Middlesex, NJ 08846

Pictured L to R; Bill Harnden, SBDC Regional Director, Sandra White, President & Rick Sobczak, Vice Pres., Sales

Pictured L to R: Bill Harnden – SBDC Regional Director; Sandra White – President & Rick Sobczak – Vice President, PuroClean Disaster Response

In 2008 Sandra White and her husband, PuroClean Vice President Richard Sobczak, decided it was time to make a change in their careers, so they began to research franchises.  They contacted Bob Johnson at FranNet, who introduced them to the PuroClean franchise.  White and Sobczak felt it was a good match because of their history of buying, cleaning up, and selling a number of houses with mold and other problems.

The disciplines of White’s education as a geophysicist provided her with “a deep understanding of the science behind water migration and drying as well as the detailed remediation” needed to clean buildings damaged by a disaster.  White also holds a number of Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) industry certifications.  The IICRC is the leading independent non-profit certification and standard-setting body within the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. She is registered and approved by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, a designation she has used to expand her business by offering continuing education training classes to insurance agents on the premises.  White’s usage of state-of-the-art remediation techniques, combined with a deep compassion for her clients, help PuroClean Disaster Response stand out from the competition.

After being in business for four years White identified several operational items the company needed to improve in order to grow.  In May of 2012, White contacted the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) and requested assistance with marketing, sales, and cost control.  After meeting with NJSBDC counselor Ed Dolan to discuss business development, White and PuroClean Office Manager Sue Terracciano met numerous times with SBDC counselors Linda Dousis for QuickBooks assistance, Carla Fallone for cost analysis, and Rita Auld for human resource issues. White and Terracciano also attended training from the NJSBDC at RVCC, and both received an Accounting and QuickBooks certificate.

The assistance the NJSBDC at RVCC provided PuroClean helped them improve their business from a staff of five fulltime employees and sales revenues of $500,000 to a staff of nine with an estimated $750,000 in sales revenue in 2015.  White’s future plans for PuroClean include further business expansion – she plans to increase the facility’s physical footprint through the purchase of nearby warehouse space and to begin exploring a potentially new market for her company in the procurement area.

January 11th, 2016|Categories: All, Awards|Tags: , |

SBA Reopens Disaster Loan Filing Period for Superstorm Sandy Survivors

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it has reopened the filing period for survivors in all states affected by Superstorm Sandy on December 2, 2015 to apply for low-interest disaster loans. The new filing deadline for physical damage and economic injury losses is December 1, 2016.

“The additional time for businesses, homeowners and renters to request federal disaster loans will go a long way in continuing to support the rebuilding efforts of the communities affected by Superstorm Sandy,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “I want to thank the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Small Business Committees for their leadership on this issue. We look forward to working with them to make sure the needs of small businesses are met.”

The recently approved Recovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015 gives the SBA Administrator the authority to make disaster loans for Superstorm Sandy for a period of one year. The bill authorizes SBA to revise the disaster deadline for major Presidential declarations for Superstorm Sandy in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Additionally, SBA will be accepting applications under its related agency declarations for North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Virginia, West Virginia and certain counties in Maryland.

The SBA will open disaster centers across select counties in the affected areas and review activity levels on a continuous basis.   (For a list of Centers in New Jersey, click here.)

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit
organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms
are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Survivors may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure
website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Additional details on the locations of recovery centers and the loan application process can be
obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the
deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 1, 2016. The
deadline to return economic injury applications is December 1, 2016.

###

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at:  www.sba.gov/disaster.

December 22nd, 2015|Categories: All|Tags: , , |

Affected by Hurricane Sandy? Assistance Available at NJ SBA Centers

ATLANTA – New Jersey businesses and residents that were affected by Superstorm Sandy are now receiving one-on-one assistance from SBA customer service representatives. Survivors are encouraged to visit the centers to apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans. No appointment is necessary.
The Centers are open until further notice, with location and hours of operation as indicated:

Atlantic County

City of Atlantic City

1301 Bacharach Blvd, Room 129

Atlantic City, NJ  08401

Hours:  8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday

Bergen County

Bergen Co. Office of Emergency Management

285 Campgaw Road

Mahwah, NJ  07430

Hours:  8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Essex County

Essex County Hall of Records

Business Resource Center, Room 447

465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Newark, NJ  07102

Hours:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Hudson County

Hudson County Plaza Building

Hudson Co. Minority & Women Business Enterprise

257 Cornelison Avenue, Room 2106

Jersey City, NJ  07302

Hours:  8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Monmouth County

Monmouth Co. Emergency Operations Center

300 Halls Mill Road

Freehold, NJ  07728

Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday

Ocean County

Miller Air Park, Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management

101 Airport Road

Bayville, NJ  08721

Hours:  9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday – Friday

Union County

Union County Administration Building

2nd Floor, Department of Human Services Suite

10 Elizabethtown Plaza

Elizabeth, NJ  07202

Hours:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov(link sends e-mail).

Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 1, 2016.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Dec. 1, 2016.

For more information, visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website:

December 21st, 2015|Categories: All|