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2018-9-4

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will meet on Thursday, October 18, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.  The public is welcome to attend.

Small Businesses and Workers Benefiting from Tax Cuts

BY: SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian

President Donald J. Trump had taxpayers and small business owners in mind when he signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law December 22, 2017. The new law cut corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% for 2018 and lowered income tax at nearly all levels. Tax cuts for working families allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and provide more opportunity for everyone to achieve the American dream.

Cutting back taxes for American business owners allows our nation of entrepreneurs to grow the economy from within while competing globally with international businesses interests. A lower tax rate opens the door to new and better opportunities. It also enables employers to reward their employees with higher wages, bonuses and better benefits, which frees up hard-earned capital for growth-minded businesspeople to reinvest in their companies by hiring more workers, buying better equipment, and building new facilities.

The new tax cuts are applied nearly across the board, but with emphasis on businesses that are key to stimulating economic growth as a benefit to the whole country. Lower taxes mean more of our own money is free for us to grow and create jobs ourselves. When we pocket more of our salaries and more of our business profits, we are more likely to spend that “newfound” money, which continues to bolster the economy so we all benefit from this increase in our “bottom line.” As I travel across SBA’s Mid-Atlantic Region to speak with business owners, they tell me they are using these tax savings to reinvest in themselves, and their communities.

As a direct result of the new tax law, Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh earlier this year announced $2,000 permanent raises for their employees making $60,000 or less per year – about 60% of their 1,300-person workforce. NexTier Bank in Butler, Pennsylvania paid out $1,000 bonuses for all employees and is using their tax cuts to fund tuition reimbursement, on-the-job training and wage raises for hourly employees.

Please be sure to think ahead about how this tax relief law affects you and your community. Look over the new tax rules with your accountant if you use one, or speak to one of the thousands of SBA-sponsored SCORE mentors or with your local Small Business Development Center for advice on the next steps for your small business. Take advantage of the extra money in your pocket and reinvest in yourselves, your business, and your country. We have a great opportunity to once again prove what small businesses can do for the economy when we remove barriers to their success.

BEAT Procrastination by Changing your Direct Deposit Early

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

September 6 is National Fight Procrastination Day. With our busy lives, it is easy to fall into that cycle of constantly postponing some tasks because of other things we need to address right now. This may be true for you when it comes to changing your payment method for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, procrastinating on reporting changes can lead to delayed payments, resulting in undue hardship with bills and living expenses. Ultimately, it’s less hassle — and less stressful — if you report a direct deposit change as soon as it occurs. 

How can you change your direct deposit information with Social Security? The most convenient way is by creating a my Social Securityaccount online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Once you create your account, you can update your bank information without leaving the comfort of your home. Another way to change your direct deposit is by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make the change over the phone. If you prefer to speak to someone in-person, you can visit your local Social Security office with the necessary information.

What exactly will Social Security need to make the direct deposit change? Because we are committed to protecting your personal information, we need some form of identification to verify who you are. If you are online, we verified your identity when you initially created your my Social Securityaccount. All you need to do is log in at www.socialsecurity.gov/signin with your secure username and password to gain instant access to your information.

If you call Social Security, we will ask identifying questions to ensure we are speaking to the right person. If you visit the office, you will need to bring a driver’s license or some form of ID with you. Once we have identified you are the correct person and are authorized to make changes on the Social Security record, all we need is the routing number, account number, and type of account established. We don’t ask for a voided check, nor do we obtain verification from the bank. Therefore, you should be sure you are providing accurate information to us.

The day of the month you report the direct deposit change makes all the difference. Though the exact date varies each month, generally, you will need to report changes by the 15th to see the effect on the next check. When the 15th falls on the weekend or a holiday, the cutoff is usually the previous business day. For example, if you switched banks or have a new account in September, you will need to provide the new information to Social Security by September 14 to receive your next payment in the new account. If you don’t report this change to us until September 28, your next payment will go into the old account.

Because you may be unsure if your direct deposit change will affect your next payment, we highly recommend that you do not close the old bank account until you have seen your first Social Security deposit in the new bank account. That way, you can feel secure you will receive your benefits on time, regardless of when the change was reported to Social Security. Waiting until you see the deposit in your new account also gives you the extra peace of mind that we processed the change correctly.

The first step in fighting procrastination is increased awareness. Knowing how easy it is to report a direct deposit change, what information to report, and when, can encourage you to get in touch with Social Security at the earliest possible moment. In addition, making sure we know about a change early ensures we help make the transition as smooth as possible.

When you have to report changes, be sure to contact us or visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Social Security always strives to put you in control by providing the best experience and service no matter where, when, or how you decide to do business with us.

"Just Two More Miles'

Yes if just two more miles
of flowers we would plant
I'm sure the city could apply
for an agriculture grant.
 
We then could have open conventions
to be held here every year
just by supplying Pretzels and Peanuts
along with cold Virginia beer.
 
The schools could have; Name the Flower Field Trips
and see who gets the most right
Award them with a passing grade maybe
or no homework for that night.
 
Yes you can not stop to enjoy them
for a lot of traffic is in the way
still if they put them all around the bowling alley
they could have a huge display.
 
Well they certainly do have ample help
and have lowered the unemployment I've found
yet since they borrowed some from the trash detail
our waste is blowing all around.
 
                    Roy E. Schepp

REMEMBERING REEKES BY PLAYING HIS GAME

Members of the Freddie Reekes Memorial Golf team are shown at the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation's Annual Golf Tournament at Lake Gaston Golf Club.  They are (Left to Right) Ken Peace, David Talbert, Ryan Henry and Shep Moss

Freddie Reekes was memorable.  The definition of the word memorable is ‘worth remembering or easily remembered, especially because of being special.’

Freddie was a coach, a mentor, a friend, a teacher, a golfer, a dad, a husband, a grandpa, an all-around good guy. Four men who share memories of Reekes renewed their bond at a 30th high school reunion.  They have continued their reconnected friendship and recently decided to honor Reekes by playing golf in the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation Golf tournament named for him.

In 2008, Bobby Wrenn of Emporia and Reekes of Lawrenceville coordinated the 1st Annual Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic.  Funds raised through the event support student scholarships.    The SVCC Foundation Board voted to rename the annual golf tournament the Fred "Freddie" Reekes Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic, after he passed away on May 7, 2017.  Freddie spent 40 plus years in education.  He taught in the Brunswick County Public Schools and later recruited students to SVCC. He was also a legendary basketball coach for both girls and boys at Brunswick.  In addition to being an educator, Freddie was an avid golfer and his team, "Old Coach", was a consistent participant in the Golf Classic.

Reekes was an integral part of making the tournament successful for many years, even helping after he retired from SVCC.

Shep Moss, Ken Peace, David Talbert and Ryan Henry were students of Reekes in driver’s education and played on the golf team at Brunswick Senior High School that he coached.  Interestingly, the high school golf team at the time played at the same course that now hosts the SVCC Tournament, the Lake Gaston Golf Club in Gasburg.

Moss remembers traveling to play and practice in the old, beat-up station wagon that served as the activity bus for the golf team.  He remembered that the late Donnie Bane Clary also coached the team. 

About their decision to play in this year’s tournament, “We wanted to do something to honor Freddie, he was our mentor and even after we got out of school, we kept the relationship with Freddie through the years,” Moss said. 

The team played in the 2018 tournament and, did not win but came close, Moss said.  The team played wearing baseball caps that honored Reekes by sporting a bulldog emblem (mascot of Brunswick High) and the name of the tournament; all in bulldog blue and gray, of course.

Another player, Henry noted, “I played in the tournament because I felt it was the least I could do to support the cause.  Freddie was a father figure and mentor to many of us growing up in Brunswick County.  His constant encouragement pushed us to want to be the very best at whatever we did in sports and more importantly…in life.”

The four men all celebrate or have celebrated their 50th birthdays this year.  They have tried to get together for those celebrations.  Moss now lives in South Hill, Talbert and Peace in Richmond and Henry in Virginia Beach.   They plan for this event to become an annual get together for them and a way to remember a man who made a difference in their lives.   

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