COVID-19 Regulations: New York

A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, together with recent amendments to the insurance and banking regulations (the “regulations”) issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (“Department”), extend grace periods and give you other rights under your life insurance policy or annuity contract if you can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus (“COVID‑19”) pandemic. These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department’s website at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/coronavirus for updates. A copy of the Executive Order and regulations can be found at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency and https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/re_consolidated_amend_pt_405_27a_27c_new_216_text.pdf, respectively. Insurance Payments - Grace Period If you can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer must extend to 90 days the applicable grace period for the payment of premiums and fees under your life insurance policy or annuity contract. If you do not make a timely premium…

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Surprising Leadership Lessons From Jazz.

  Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership lessons from Jazz. Frank J. Barrett Fix your business like a Jazz musician improvises.  In his book Yes To the Mess, Dr. Barrett,  a Management Professor, and accomplished jazz pianist, talks about performing and experimenting simultaneously. Miles Davis, the great trumpeter, bandleader, and composer, had a favorite saying about jazz musicians: "If you're not making a mistake, it's a mistake." "The improviser may be unable to look ahead at what he is going to play, but he can look behind at what he has just played; thus each new musical phrase can be shaped with relation to what has gone before. He creates his form retrospectively."  In other words, if you made a bad decision, fix it creatively. I was once taking a jazz guitar solo in a workshop of fellow jazz enthusiasts. I was feeling good about my uptempo solo to Golson's "Whisper Not". So, after…

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Why Key Managers and Young Owners Need To Be Thinking Succession.

      Try to have a conversation with a 20 or 30+  owner or manager about the business exit strategy, and you're bound to get blank looks. At last winter NAMM, I got my share. Here's a typical conversation. Scenario 1. JB- Hey Lew. Are you enjoying being the general manager at the music store? Lew- Yea. The only problem I see, is that I got the promotion, I got the raise, but the owners are still doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I guess it's hard for them to let go. JB- Have you spoken to the owners about it? Lew- Believe me I have tried. They just keep telling me they are too busy. So now I'm thinking-  that's the reason why you promoted me- Isn't it? This scenario is all too common. Young key managers, who are supposedly being groomed to take over the the music business,…

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Peer Accountability With Individual + Group Support= Succession Success.

Recently I've noticed an increase in the number of  music retail sharing groups, who are expressing an interest in having me add a succession planning component to a member meeting. Having participated in several, I'm a huge fan of the sharing group format. Often, other music retailers, those who are in the trenches every day, are your best advisors. Sharing groups are nothing new.  Business owners long ago recognized the value of peer accountability and support. In 1946, Bert Scull a C.P.A., started bringing some of his non-competing clients together to share ideas. Today some groups are sharing or buying groups only, and some are hybrid. For example, MIIG, Music Industry Insights Group, has been around since 1960 and is considered a sharing group. On the other hand, AIMM, the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants is essentially a marketing/buying group and alliance of retailers and manufacturers. Joe Lammond, NAMM President/CEO is also a…

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Winter NAMM Preview: “But What If I die?”— Succession Tips For Music Retailers.

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by since my debut talk at last winter NAMM. If you missed it, click on the video link for the short reader's digest version. Those who attended my talk, or who read my Music Inc. column, may remember that in my previous life, I was a school music dealer, and attended NAMM as a member in the 1980's. So my reunion with my fellow NAMM members is special and personal. For winter NAMM 2017, I'm really pumped, because I will have the opportunity to co-present with music retailer accountant Guru, and my buddy, Alan Friedman, CPA and partner at Friedman, Kannenberg & Co. If you have attended any one of Alan's many NAMM presentations over the past years, you'll know you'll walk away with important music retailing financial and business info delivered in a most entertaining way.. Throw me in the mix and…

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Never Underestimate What You Are Selling! The healing power of music.

Roughly 40 million family caregivers nationwide provide unpaid care valued at about $470 billion a year to adults who need help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation and managing medications, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute.The need to provide elder care for a loved one can certainly derail even a well developed succession plan. While some music makers may lack the temperament or time to care for the physical needs of loved ones, music makers are uniquely qualified to tend to their spiritual needs. When dad was 92, he was beginning to lose his capacity to speak. His language turned into gibberish. He did manage to get out one coherent sentence that I’ll never forget. He said I don’t know what I need. I knew I had to take a different strategy, so I used the most powerful tool in my tool box. Something that my dad…

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Thinking Different. Expanding your audience.

  The Sound of Money® An Artful Way To Talk About Money. Jaimie M. Blackman “Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Meet Kevin Higgins. Kevin  lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident 19 years ago.  The horrific phantom pain from nerve damage caused by the traumatic amputation caused a downward spiral to a life filled with pain medication and failed relationships.  Until the day Kevin walked into a Yamaha music store and played one of the few songs he remembered from childhood piano lessons, “Open Arms”, by Journey.  Kevin realized that while playing the piano his pain went away. He returned to the music store day after day for relief from his excruciating pain.  When Kevin’s mom shipped his old piano 300 miles to his home, Kevin’s life turned around forever.  Music saved…

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Too Busy To Think About Your Exit Strategy? It just got easier.

It's late. I'm tired. I had a full day. All I can think about is my nice soft pillow. I'm just about to shut my smart phone off and begin the ritual of night charging. But wait. The smart phone is forcing me to come between my beauty sleep, and yet another annoying technology task. It's insisting on an update. I have to make a decision. Now, or Schedule it.  No "Later" option. The image command is not going away. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Shut the damn phone off and go to sleep. Still, you know that annoying command is just going to be there when you wake up. It's now, or now. I'm being forced to act, to make a decision even though I really don't want to. Sometimes, I wish I had a venue to promote the same type of forced action when it comes to longer range…

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