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PNLV Blog

Under Construction!

In these continuously uncertain times, we are revamping how we assist our friends and neighbors within the community. To that end, we have begun the process of reconstructing everything from our website to processes within the office. You will see some changes on this site soon, a brand new PNLV site for an all-new way of sharing our work, as well as helpful information for all. We will continue to reach out and assist via our social media platforms, please follow us for updates on COVID responses as well as holiday and winter assistance as it becomes available.

Follow PNLV on FB: https://www.facebook.com/PromiseNeighborhoodsoftheLehighValley/

Follow PNLV on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/promiseneighborhoodslv/

Follow PNLV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pnlehighvalley

If you are not familiar with Promise Neighborhoods, we are a non-profit community organization in the Lehigh Valley. We run mainly on grants, as well as the kindness of everyday persons such as yourself, and the generosity they extend to us. Every single person that lends a hand, a dollar, a lead to someone that is in need of assistance is an ally and we appreciate them greatly. We wish to continue to lift our community, all of us growing together.

If you would like to donate to Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, we have a few options available and as always, are incredibly grateful for those of you that allow us to continue our work in the community!

Checks can be dropped off and/or mailed directly to our office:

1101 Hamilton Street, Suite 102; Allentown, PA 18101. Alternatively, we have a Paypal donation button that can be utilized as well. If you are needing further assistance, please call us directly at 610-351-4288. Thank you for your support!

Also, Promise Neighborhoods participates in AmazonSmile. To support your favorite non-profit, simply shop on smile.amazon.com and choose Promise Neighborhoods as your charity and a small percentage of all your purchases will be donated to PNLV!

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PNLV Blog

COVID19 – What to know

I. Unemployment

https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing%20Instructions.aspx

What you need to file unemployment:

  • SSN
  • Home address and mailing address (if different)
  • Telephone number
  • Valid email
  • PIN if you’ve filed for unemployment before
  • Direct deposit bank information (optional) – bank name, address, account and routing number.
  • Employer’s name, address and phone number
  • Employer’s PA UC account number (if known)
  • First and last day worked with employer
  • Reason for leaving
  • Pension or severance package information (if applicable)

If your claims are filed on time, you’ll get payment in four weeks if your claims are filed

You need to say you’re “available” for work—You won’t get benefits if you don’t

Every Sunday you file for the previous week

II. Paid Sick Leave

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

Paid Sick Leave Q and A

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions#12

You can get two weeks (up to 80 hours) paid at your regular amount if:

  • there is a quarantine or isolation order from your local authorities, or
  • you’re experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis, or
  • you’ve been told by a doctor that you might have COVID-19

You can get two weeks (up to 80 hours) paid at 2/3 your regular amount if:

  • you’re taking care of someone who’s quarantined, or
  • you have to take care of a child whose school is closed

You can get 10 more weeks at 2/3 your regular amount if you have to take care of a child whose school is closed.

https://www.lvhn.org/mylvhn

To be tested for the Coronavirus you must have used one of the above resources. If you don’t have insurance you’ll receive a bill for testing but won’t be required to pay.

If you go into the Assess and Test office, you will check in at the registration desk. Provide your number and wait in your car. They will call your phone when you can be seen for your test.

LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test–17th Street 
1730 Chew St., Allentown, PA 18104
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 (Other LV sites on the website)

Saint Luke’s

– Download the app for a video visit

https://stlukesapp.org

– Saint Luke’s Coronavirus hotline: 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 7

PA Department of Health—General points

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

– If you don’t have a healthcare provider and are experiencing extreme symptoms (trouble breathing, pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to move, bluish lips/face): call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

If that doesn’t work, call your local emergency department. Say you have suspected COVID when you call. Try to put on a mask before going into any medical offices.

– To get a test, you might need preregistration and a doctor’s script

– If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741-741.

PA Department of Health—Health Insurance and COVID-19

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus-Insurance.aspx

  • All ACA-compliant plans cover testing—Some cover without a co-pay  
  • Medical Assistance covers testing and treatment—If you can’t afford a co-pay you will not be denied treatment, although you might be sent a bill
  • IF YOU HAVE MEDICAID you will not have a co-pay for testing

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

More info on scenarios in which people would and would not get the stimulus:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here-tool-scenarios

General info on filing taxes:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/whats-hot

  • $1,200 per person, $500 per child
  • You can get the stimulus if you’re a US citizen, permanent resident or qualifying resident alien AND have a social security# valid for employment

NOTE on SS# and “valid for employment”:

  • If you were a U.S. citizen when you received your SSN, then it is valid for employment.
  •  If “Not Valid for Employment” is printed on your Social Security card but your immigration status has changed and you’re now a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, ask the SSA for a new Social Security card.
  • If “Valid for Work Only With DHS Authorization” is printed on your Social Security card, the required SSN only as long as the Department of Homeland Security authorization is valid.
  • The deadline to file and pay taxes is extended to July 15, 2020
  • Do NOT use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Heretool if you have or will be filing 2019 taxes.
  • The following people will get stimulus checks automatically:
  • Individuals who filed a federal income tax for 2018 or 2019
  • Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) WITH NO DEPENDENTS
  • Recipients of Veterans Affairs benefits WITH NO DEPENDENT
  • Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits WITH NO DEPENDENTS
  • You SHOULD use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Heretool if you:
  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • Had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019, and
  • Did not file a return for 2018 or 2019 and were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019.

Part-time employees can also get sick leave. Sick leave is calculated based on the number of hours you work.

* Only for companies of less than 500 people and more than 50 people.

III. What to do if you have the Coronavirus/ Think you have the Coronavirus/ How to prepare generally  

https://lulac.org/covid19/Covid19_Flyer-IamSick.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fhcp%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

If you have mild symptoms:

Wash your hands

Cover sneeze/cough

Don’t share cups, bowls, towels, limit what you touch

Isolate yourself if possible

Wash and disinfect surfaces

Wear a mask

Wash laundry

Throw away tissues

Avoid preparing food

Spray with disinfectant and air dry

Close the door but open a window

Take acetaminophen to bring down your fever

Call before going to the doctor’s office or hospital

Do not bring children or family members to the doctor if you have to go

Come out of isolation when it’s been three days without a fever (without meds), seven days since symptoms started, and respiratory symptoms are improving

Masks—Wear a homemade or cloth mask—Remember the saying: “My mask protects you, my mask protects me.”

Lehigh Valley Health Network

– If you think you have coronavirus or have been exposed, you can have a free video screening or e-visit at

https://www.mylvhn.org/MyChart/Authentication/Login?

  • You can also call the nurse information line at

1-888-402-LVHN.

  • You can also complete a video visit by downloading this app:
  • If you have to go to the ER and have COVID-19, insurance carriers must cover emergency service at in-network levels
  • Call the PA Insurance Department if you have any questions about your coverage or have an unexpected bill (877) 881-6388
  • If you have Medicare and have questions, call (800) 548-9034
  • If you have Medical Assistance and have questions, call 1-800-537-8862 .

PA Department of Heath—For community leaders

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/index.html

CDC—How to Prepare yourself and your family

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/checklist-household-ready.html

  • Ask neighbors how they’ve planned
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
  • If you are living with a high-risk individual it’s essential to know what medications they’re on and to have extras on hand. 

CDC—Living in close quarters

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/living-in-close-quarters.html

  • Choose two lower-risk people to run errands
  • On public transit, keep a 6-foot distance. Try to aoid touching handrails, etc. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible after leaving.
  • Try to avoid sharing a car with another household. If you must share a car, try to keep windows open or put AC in non-recirculation mode.
  • People over 65 and people with serious medical conditions should avoid watching children
  • If someone in the house is sick, choose one person to take care of them. Have another adult care for other household members.

Sharing a bedroom with someone who is sick:

  • Keep air circulating—Window or fan
  • Sleep head to toe
  • Put a curtain, large cardboard, screen etc. around the sick person
  • If possible, the person who is sick should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including in the bathroom

IV. Stimulus

General Stimulus Q & A

  • Receive veterans benefits, veterans disability, or veterans pension and did NOT pay 2018 or 2019 taxes

Use this link for the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Heretool

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

  • Additional info on stimulus qualifications and payments:
  • If someone else would claim you as a dependent, you do NOT get a stimulus check.
  • If you have a child 18 or older, it is better to NOT claim them as a dependent. If you claim them as a dependent, they won’t be able to get a stimulus and you won’t receive the $500 child credit for them.
  • You can get the $500 credit for grandchildren if you’re the primary caregiver.
  • Other general info:
  • How long are stimulus payments available? Payments will be made throughout the rest of 2020. If you don’t receive a payment this year, you can also claim it by filing a tax return for 2020 next year.
  • Your stimulus payment will NOT be reduced if you owe taxes or owe other debts, EXCEPT if you owe past-due child support.
  • If you don’t have a bank account on file with the IRS your paper check will be mailed to the address on your most recent tax return or the most recent address on file with the post office.
  • If the bank account on file isn’t valid anymore, the bank will reject the deposit and a paper check will be sent.
  • Beware of scams! The IRS will never:
  • Contact you to request personal or bank information.
  • Demand immediate payment with a prepaid debit gift card, gift card, or wire transfer
  • Threaten to arrest you or call the police
  • Demand you pay without giving you a chance to appeal
  • Ask for credit or debit numbers over the phone

** Watch out for websites and social media posts that say you need to pay to get your stimulus!

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PNLV Blog

Promise Neighborhoods has had an equity centered response to COV19

We belong to an amazing and giving community that takes care of their own during times of crisis.

Thank you to all of the donors and volunteers that are working with us on our diaper delivery program. If you would like to support our efforts, please consider visiting http://promiseneighborhoodslv.org/donate/ and donating towards the purchase of more infant and child supplies for our community. Alternatively, purchasing online and delivering to PNLV office would be greatly appreciated as well. Sizes 5-7 are in most demand for diapers, but all sizes welcome. Formula and wipes also needed and greatly appreciated.

To get on our list to receive diapers in Allentown, please call our helpline at and leave a message. Someone will return your call within 24 hours: PNLV Diaper Hotline 484-519-0357

If you shop Amazon.com, please consider utilizing smile.amazon.com for your purchasing, and choose Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley as your non profit so we may continue our work in the community.

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News & Reports PNLV Blog

COVID-19 Response

To my Friends, Family, and Neighbors:

The COVID-19 has significantly impacted our world, our country, our community and our lives and has been declared a “public health emergency of international concern”.  This pandemic confirms how connected we are and that health, economics, and justice everywhere directly impacts life in the Lehigh Valley and has the potential to disrupt our lives.  

I have been inundated with calls, emails and social media requests from our neighbors and leaders across our community for a public response to the virus, pandemic status, and prevention strategies.  One of our guiding principles is that “healing occurs in authentic relationships and within community”, I firmly believe that it is through community that wellness is achieved and that during challenging times,  community and relationships are needed more than ever.  

The current public health emergency will force us to make changes to our daily lives while still being in community and in relationship with one another. While “social distancing” has been universally recommended, it is possible to both commit to safety and commit to community when one is centered in principles that symbolize that community is needed for safety and wellness.  

From a public health and disease control perspective we encourage our neighbors to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO):  

  • Wash Hands Frequently… 20 seconds with soap and warm water. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol listed in the ingredients.
  • Practice Social Distancing- maintain a distance of 3-6 feet from people. 
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene.  (For example, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or, a tissue, and do it away from people. )
  • If you have fever, cough and have a hard time breathing, seek medical attention.  Do not go to the emergency room.  Call your family doctor or call 1-888-402-LVHN and they will help you find the best treatment option.
  • Avoid travel, crowds and public places. 

We as a community must take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and increase our efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, promote wellness and enhance our commitment to building community during these challenging times. By taking this seriously, we will be leaders in keeping ourselves, our families, friends, loved ones and neighbors healthy.

I believe in this moment we are going to have to look to technology as we temporarily redefine how we come together in community and value the groups in which we belong.  We must practice social distancing and limit unnecessary travel, while at the same time remaining committed to increased communication with our neighbors and a commitment to our community’s wellness by:  

  • Engaging with friends and family via telephone, text messaging, video calls, letter writing and social media.
  • Committing to mental and physical wellness by spending time daily enjoying fresh air and outdoor activities when possible such as walking, hiking, biking, gardening and visiting parks and greenspaces. 
  • Maximizing time-off with children and family members by playing games, watching movies, telling stories, cooking together, sharing meals and reading, and looking at photo albums if you have them.
  • Staying informed through reputable news sources, such as 69 News.
  • Limiting exposure to stressful media or social media coverage if it makes you too upset or worried.
  • Spending time journaling, reading, meditating, practicing new hobbies or rediscovering old hobbies.

I also want to acknowledge the strong distrust within communities of color towards the medical and public health community due to a lengthy history of medical apartheid, racism, neglect, abuse, deception and bias.  This painful history has a legitimate impact on how our community will respond to this pandemic and the critical need for effective messaging, credible messengers and culturally relevant health prevention strategies when working within historically vulnerable and oppressed communities.    

COVID-19 has disrupted our wellbeing and functioning as a society and as with most public health pandemics, has the potential to disproportionately impact communities of color, elders, our neighbors living with pre-existing chronic medical conditions; those suffering from housing, food and income insecurity and our incarcerated family members or neighbors housed in institutions due to cruel immigration practices.  

It is critical that our leaders of disparately impacted communities not allow indifference, distrust and hopelessness to impact our decision making in response to the COVID-19, the subsequent state of emergencies or the inevitable suffering caused by lost wages, lack of health access and the predictable mental health responses to isolation.  

Please take care of yourself, your family and your community and stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable amongst us. Our organization will be providing critical updates and information on resources via our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook. Be wise, be safe and be kind.  

Respect,

Hasshan Batts, MSW, DHS.c 


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PNLV Blog

2020 Census – Informed!

Facts about Census 2020

  • It’s for everyone – The census will NOT ask about citizenship or immigration status.
  • It’s protected and confidential– your Census data will not be shared with other Federal, State, and local government agencies.
  • Being counted in the census means $2,049 per person that comes back to Allentown every year for 10 years.
  • A good census count means good roads, better schools, and fair representation now and in the future.
  • Responding to the census is safe, quick and simple.
    • Online. Go to the official census website, enter your household ID, and then answer the questions.
    • By phone. Call the Census Bureau to answer the census by phone and ask questions about the census (1-800-923-8282).
    • Or by paper questionnaire.

Census 2020 is live online beginning March 15, 2020

For more information on Census 2020 visit: https://2020census.gov/

Useful Census2020 video: https://youtu.be/tunMBo2GifQ

Datos sobre el censo 2020

• Es para todos – El Censo NO preguntará sobre la ciudadanía o el estado migratorio.
• Está protegido y es confidencial: Sus datos del Censo no se compartirán con otras agencias gubernamentales Federales, Estatales y Locales.
• Ser contado en el Censo significa $2,049 por persona que regresa a Allentown cada año durante 10 años.
• Un buen conteo del Censo significa buenas carreteras, mejores escuelas y una representación justa ahora y en el futuro.
• Responder al Censo es Seguro, Rapido y Simple.
• Internet: Vaya al la oficial página de web del censo, ingrese la identificación de su hogar y luego responda a las preguntas.
• Por teléfono: Llame a la oficina del Censo para contestatr el censo por teléfono y hacer preguntas sobre le Censo (1-800-923-82820).
• O por cuestionario en papel.

El Censo 2020 esta en el Internet en vivo a partir del 15 de Marzo de 2020

Para mas información del Censo 2020 visite: https://hagasecontar.org/es/

Census2020 video: https://youtu.be/tunMBo2GifQ

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PNLV Blog

Zero Youth Violence Summit

Please join PNLV to work together as a community to find a solution for youth violence at this important event coming up in June.

 

Zero Youth Violence

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PNLV Blog

PPL Blog Post – April

Last time we saw leaves, we were hurrying to rake them off the lawn before the fall snow arrived.

But now a warmer season is here, and the trees are ready to start sprouting this summer’s cover again. It’s a nice part of every spring.

We’re proud to say that 20,000 brand-new trees in central and eastern Pennsylvania will be planted this year – hopefully to provide shade, cover and beauty for decades to come. It’s part of a recently launched program we call Community Roots.

Through Community Roots, PPL Electric Utilities offers free tree seedlings to schools, local governments and environmentally focused groups. We also provide planting and care instructions, so each seedling has the best chance of putting down some real community roots.

We introduced the program last year, and it’s been such a hit that we quickly received orders for all available trees. Those who were chosen to receive seedlings this spring will receive them this month and next. Ordering for spring and fall 2019 for qualified groups and schools will be available April 18 through our website, www.pplcommunityroots.com.

Why give away trees? Trees have many benefits, including helping to reduce air pollution. In addition, they provide much-needed shade in parks and other green spaces and beautify our neighborhoods.

The only concern trees cause is if they’re planted too close to power lines. Trees are the leading cause of storm-related outages. We provide Community Roots tree recipients with guidance on how to plant safely for the future. (Even if you’re not on the list for Community Roots trees, you can see useful information on planting trees and power lines at www.pplelectric.com/planting.)

We also urge anyone with a digging project – including tree planting – to call Pennsylvania 811 at least three business days before digging starts. Your underground utility lines will be marked so you don’t dig into them. Hitting an underground utility line can put you at risk for serious injury, and can also disrupt your service.

If you’re a tree lover, Pennsylvania is a great place. More than 130 species of trees are native to the state, and forests cover about 60 percent of the state.

We’re proud to serve our area of Pennsylvania, and pleased to contribute to its abundance of tree life. And we hope our Community Roots trees will someday provide you and your neighbors with a shady place to sit or a lovely fall view.

If you have to do the raking … well, it’s a small price to pay, really.

 


 

La última vez que vimos hojas, nos apuramos para sacarlas del césped antes de que llegara la nieve del otoño.

Pero ahora estamos en una estación más cálida y los árboles están listos para comenzar a retoñar de nuevo para este verano. Esto es algo bueno de cada primavera.

Estamos orgullosos de decir que este año se plantarán 20,000 árboles nuevos en el centro y el este de Pennsylvania, con la esperanza de que proporcionen sombra, cobijo y belleza en las décadas por venir. Esto es parte de un programa creado recientemente al que llamamos Community Roots (Raíces en la Comunidad).

A través de este programa, PPL Electric Utilities ofrece semilleros de árboles gratis a escuelas, gobiernos locales y grupos enfocados en el medio ambiente. También ofrecemos instrucciones para la siembra y el cuidado, para que cada semillero tenga la mayor oportunidad de echar buenas raíces en la comunidad.

Presentamos el programa el año pasado y ha sido tan exitoso que rápidamente recibimos pedidos de todos los árboles disponibles. Este mes y el próximo recibirán semilleros los elegidos para recibirlos esta primavera. Los pedidos para la primavera y el otoño de 2019 para escuelas y grupos calificados estarán disponibles el 18 de abril a través de nuestro sitio web: www.pplcommunityroots.com

¿Por qué regalar árboles? Los árboles traen muchos beneficios, que incluyen ayudar a reducir la contaminación del aire. Además, aparte de embellecer nuestros vecindarios, brindan muy necesaria sombra en parques y otros espacios verdes.

Los árboles solo causan preocupación cuando se plantan demasiado cerca de líneas eléctricas. Ellos son la principal causa de los apagones relacionados con tormentas. También brindamos orientación sobre cómo plantar de manera segura para el futuro a quienes reciben árboles de Community Roots. (Incluso si no está en la lista para recibir árboles de Community Roots, puede ver información útil sobre la siembra de árboles y las líneas eléctricas en www.pplelectric.com/planting).

Igualmente, instamos a que todo el que tenga un proyecto de excavación, incluida la siembra de árboles, llame a Pennsylvania 811 al menos tres días hábiles antes de que comience la excavación. Sus líneas subterráneas de servicios públicos serán marcadas, para que no excave sobre ellas. Golpear una línea subterránea de servicios públicos puede ponerlo en riesgo de lesiones graves y también puede interrumpir el servicio.

Si es un amante de los árboles, Pennsylvania es un excelente lugar. Más de 130 especies de árboles son nativas del estado, y los bosques cubren aproximadamente el 60 por ciento del mismo.

Nos enorgullece servir a nuestra área de Pennsylvania y nos complace contribuir a su abundancia de vida arbórea. Esperamos que nuestros árboles de Community Roots algún día les proporcionen a usted y a sus vecinos un lugar sombreado para sentarse o una hermosa vista en el otoño.

Si tiene que rastrillar… bueno, en realidad es un muy pequeño precio que vale la pena pagar.

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PNLV Blog

Millennial Spotlight – Carlos Pujols

In our first profile we interviewed Carlos Pujols, Family Support Coordinator with Lehigh County Juvenile Probation.

image1 copyWhat do you love about Allentown?

What I love about Allentown is its uniqueness. Allentown is the perfect combination of urban life with hints of rural scenery. When in Allentown I feel the energy of the city within me, but I also appreciate the calmness of the mountains and grassy greens that set the backdrop for our beautiful city!

 

What means the world to you?

Family means the world to me. Family members are not limited to only blood relatives but can be people in your life that show good intent and want the best for you.

 

What’s one word that best  describes you?

Resilient.

What does love mean to you?

Love equals sacrifice. If you love someone, you will sacrifice and compromise in ways you would have never imagined.

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PNLV Blog

Sharing Solutions event

Join PNLV and The African American Business Leaders Council to learn about free state certifications that you may qualify for if you are a DBE.

DBEs are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.

At this forum, we will review all factors of becoming a DBE certified business. Get tickets HERE.

 

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PNLV Blog

Vision Board Party with PNLV

Join us as we create vision boards, a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Creating and using vision boards serves several purposes, some of which include helping you to:

1. Identify your vision and give it clarity
2. Reinforce your daily affirmations
3. Keep your attention on your intentions

Let’s create our vision together! Free event!

VIsion Board Party