Month: April 2024

Binghamton University graduate programs ranked among best in nation by U.S. News

Several of Binghamton University’s graduate programs placed prominently on this year’s prestigious U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools list.

This year’s highlights include business and pharmacy programs cracking the top 100; and three programs from the College of Community and Public Affairs.

“I’m happy to see so many Binghamton graduate programs recognized on this well-respected list,” said President Harvey Stenger. “These are top-tier programs that provide students with the knowledge and preparation they need to become experts in their fields, and this ranking affirms that.”

Each year, U.S. News ranks graduate programs based on business, education, law, nursing and other fields; more than 80 programs were ranked this year. Rankings are based on statistical surveys of programs and reputation surveys sent to academics and professionals. Some programs are ranked by a unique methodology. For example, business rankings compare full-time MBA programs on “career placement success, student excellence and qualitative assessments by experts.”

Rankings for 12 of the disciplines this year are based on surveys from academic leaders at peer institutions. Highlights from this year’s rankings include:

  • The College of Community and Public Affairs saw its public administration program jump from #72 to #65; social work was ranked #77 and education was ranked #130.
  • The School of Management jumped from #104 to #90 for business, reaching the top 100 for the first time.
  • The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was tied for #95 for pharmacy.
  • Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science saw its computer science program jump from #105 to #96.
  • Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences was ranked #102 for nursing and #159 for occupational therapy.

“That several programs across a wide variety of disciplines were named to this year’s list speaks to the strength of our graduate offerings and the breadth of

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Businesses need to pay CEBA loans or lose free money — because the deadline isn’t changing

Some businesses in Canada who took out a CEBA loan may be hoping in vain for a last-minute reprieve and one more chance at free money from the federal government, but others involved say it’s time to move past trying to shift the deadlines for repayment.

The federal government has indicated the deadline to pay back up to $60,000 in loans issued as part of the Canada Emergency Business Account, or CEBA, program isn’t going to be postponed again after being extended to Jan. 18.

If the loans are paid back by that date, businesses could have up to $20,000 forgiven of the loan. Loans that are not paid back before the deadline will start to accrue interest.

  • Do you have a story to share about CEBA or CERB repayment? Tell us in an email to [email protected]

More than 885,000 small businesses and not-for-profits took out CEBA loans, totalling more than $48 billion.

Speaking to hundreds of people at a luncheon put on by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in French that the deadline for the loans had already been extended twice and it was time to move forward

He repeated that message Wednesday, saying it’s time to wind down pandemic programs.

WATCH | Ottawa says no more extensions for CEBA loans: 

Federal pandemic-era interest-free business loans come due Thursday

The federal government has told businesses that took out an interest-free Canada Emergency Business Account loan that it has to be repaid by Jan. 18 or they will have to start paying interest. Borrowers will also miss out on the up to $20,000 that could be forgiven if it is paid off.

‘Unfair’ to forgive loans, says one CEBA recipient

It’s a message echoed by some CEBA loan recipients

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U.S. News & World Report Again Ranks UConn MBA Among the Best

U.S. News & World Report has again ranked the UConn School of Business’ part-time MBA program, known as the FLEX MBA, as among the top graduate business programs in the nation.

The 2024-25 Best Graduate School Rankings were released today and the UConn program now ranks at No. 33 in the nation. That’s up from No. 37 last year and reflects a steady increase from the No. 70 ranking in 2018-19.

Mia Hawlk, Executive Director of MBA Programs, attributes the ranking increase to a commitment to the student experience, the creation of innovative courses, and the dedication of faculty and staff.

“To see our ranking go up that much over six years is really impressive,’’ she said. “We find ourselves in the company of private colleges, but we are delivering the same level of excellence at a much lower cost.’’

“Our program is never stagnant. We’ve recently added innovative courses, addressing sustainability in business, artificial intelligence for managers, emotional intelligence in business, and revolutionary technologies,’’ she said. “These are just some of the many ways we distinguish ourselves from our competitors.’’

Professor Jose M. Cruz, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at the School of Business, said it is an honor to rank so highly in such a competitive hierarchy.

“The UConn MBA program has consistently defined the pinnacle of excellence in a fiercely competitive landscape,’’ Cruz said. “Renowned for its rigorous curriculum, active student involvement, emphasis on vital leadership cultivation, and robust career support, the program stands as a beacon of quality and innovation.’’

Cruz said students appreciate the ability to tailor their studies with specializations that include business analytics, digital marketing strategy, finance, management, or supply chain management. They can also opt for a comprehensive general MBA degree.

The FLEX MBA program is offered in-person in Hartford

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Top Social Media Marketing Agencies for 2024

The days of restricting your media to traditional channels are well gone. Most businesses have a finite social media marketing budget, so it makes sense to spend it carefully. Marketing through social media can be highly effective and cost-efficient. If your customers and potential clients are on social media, then you need to be visible there too. 

Many businesses either lack the time or skill to devote to running their social media marketing campaigns themselves. According to a marketing survey we conducted, marketers identify social media marketing as the source of their highest digital marketing ROI, with 38.5% of respondents affirming its effectiveness. Yet, it’s important to note that while social media excels in delivering immediate ROI, SEO stands out for its contribution to overall marketing objectives and its unmatched cost-effectiveness over time.

Top Social Media Marketing Agencies for 2024:


social media marketing agencies


Disruptive Advertising

Size: 50+

Best for: Businesses of all sizes

Minimum Project Price: $5,000 onwards

Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah

Channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter

Utah-based Disruptive Advertising splits its services into PPC management, site testing, analytics consulting, and software. In terms of social media marketing, their primary focus is on PPC, Facebook, and LinkedIn ads in particular.

They see their clients’ bottom line as their top priority. To maximize returns, they optimize their clients’ PPC campaigns every week. The social media marketing company continuously optimizes their ads and targeting to achieve the highest yield and lowest costs possible.

Disruptive Advertising describes itself as being on a mission to change the world—one click-at-a-time. They test and analyze every aspect of your campaign and rigorously optimize it from click-to-close. 

Although Disruptive Advertising sees Google ads as the powerhouse of PPC advertising, they recognize the importance of Facebook for B2C marketing, and LinkedIn for

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Ten Doctors on FDA Panel Reviewing Abbott Heart Device Had Financial Ties With Company

When the FDA recently convened a committee of advisers to assess a cardiac device made by Abbott, the agency didn’t disclose that most of them had received payments from the company or conducted research it had funded — information readily available in a federal database.

One member of the FDA advisory committee was linked to hundreds of payments from Abbott totaling almost $200,000, according to a database maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services. Another was connected to 100 payments totaling about $100,000 and conducted research supported by about $50,000 from Abbott. A third member of the committee worked on research supported by more than $180,000 from the company.

The government database, called “Open Payments,” records financial relationships between doctors and certain other health care providers and the makers of drugs and medical devices. KFF Health News found records of Abbott payments associated with 10 of the 14 voting members of the FDA advisory panel, which was weighing clinical evidence for a heart device called TriClip G4 System. The money, paid from 2016 through 2022 — the most recent year for which the database shows payments — adds up to about $650,000.

The panel voted almost unanimously that the benefits of the device outweigh its risks. Abbott announced on April 2 that the FDA had approved TriClip, which is designed to treat leakage from the heart’s tricuspid valve.

The Abbott payments illustrate the reach of medical industry money and the limits of transparency at the FDA. They also shed light on how the agency weighs relationships between people who serve on its advisory panels and the makers of drugs and medical devices that those committees review as part of the regulatory approval process.

The payments do not reflect wrongdoing on the part of the agency, its

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The Best Business Schools In The USA

Find out which business schools top the US News MBA Ranking in our breakdown of the best business schools in the USA

The Wharton School and Stanford Graduate School of Business are the best business schools in the USA, that’s according to the US News & World Report. 

The Wharton School has regained its number one position after slipping to third place in 2023, and Stanford shot up to first place from its position in sixth last year. 

Last year’s first place, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, dropped down to joint third place with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management which placed second last year.

MIT Sloan rounds out the top five best US MBA programs, coming in fifth. 

US News & World Report ranks the best business schools in the USA each year based on metrics including graduate salaries and bonuses, employment rates, GMAT scores and GPAs, and MBA acceptance rates.

Best Business Schools in the USA: M7 Business Schools dominate the top 10

The top five schools that make up the best business schools in the US are all members of the elite group known as the M7 business schools. The other members of that club, Harvard Business School, and Columbia Business School, sit in sixth and joint 12th place. The M7 are widely regarded as being among the best business schools in the world. 

Elsewhere in the top 10 are Yale School of Management, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and NYU Stern School of Business in joint seventh, while Dartmouth Tuck and Virginia Darden rank 10th in the US, according to US News. 

The success of this year’s winners, Wharton and Stanford, can be put down to both schools’ impressive overall performance at both the enrollment and graduation stage. Both schools boast top

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Are Candy Canes For Kids? – Advertising, Marketing & Branding

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Do candy canes have special attractiveness to kids? That was the
issue in a recent decision issued by the Distilled Spirits
Council of the United States.

The DISCUS Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol
Advertising and Marketing
prohibits distilled spirits marketers
from advertising their products to underage consumers. According to
the Code, advertising and marketing materials should
“primarily appeal” to people who are at least 21 years
old. Materials are considered to “primarily appeal” to
underage consumers “if they have special attractiveness to
such persons beyond the general attractiveness for persons of legal
purchase age.”

Sazerac’s Fireball Whisky brand ran a promotion featuring
candy cane shaped packaging. Apparently, the company sold big
plastic candy canes that included small bottles of the whisky.

An industry member complained to DISCUS, arguing that the use of
the candy cane themed packaging violated the DISCUS Code, on the
grounds that it has primary appeal to minors. Sazerac vigorously
disputed the complaint.

The DISCUS Code Review Board said that reviewed the parties’
arguments and could not reach a majority decision about whether the
promotion violated its Code. (It didn’t share any more details
about what the specific areas of dispute were.) In accordance with
the DISCUS Code procedures, the complaint was then forwarded to the
DISCUS Outside Advisory Board for its own review.

The Outside Review Board determined – without sharing its
reasoning — that the promotion did not violate the DISCUS Code,
holding that the Fireball packaging did not have special
attractiveness or appeal to individuals below the purchase age. The
Board said, however, that “caution was warranted when using
holiday or candy themed packaging to

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Credit Card Companies Are About to Invent New Fees for Consumers

Good news! Some of those annoying fees on your credit card may soon be getting smaller. Bad news! Banks and credit-card companies are almost certainly trying to figure out where else they squeeze money out of you.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced last month that it had finalized a rule capping credit-card late fees at $8 for the first violation, cutting them down from the typical $32. Later that month, Mastercard and Visa reached a $30 billion settlement with US merchants agreeing to cap credit-card interchange fees — fees charged to retailers every time you swipe your card at their stores — for a handful of years.

Much of the industry’s reaction to the late-fees limit has been of the sky-is-falling variety, with the Bank Policy Institute, an advocacy group, declaring that such charges are “essential to efficient functioning of the market.” The response to the interchange-fee settlement has been a bit more muted: The Electronic Payments Coalition, which represents Visa, Mastercard, and other credit-card companies, said it was OK with the swipe-fees cap. This sanguine approach, however, is likely in no small part because the agreement is much less aggressive than legislation floating around in Congress. Taken together, it’s clear that many companies in the credit-card business would rather not be dealing with this situation.

For consumers, the changes could be a decent deal. By the CFPB’s calculation, late fees cost American families $14 billion a year, and it says the rule will save people some $10 billion annually. The swipe-fee cap will save merchants some money for a while, which could, in theory, be passed on to their customers, though it’s unclear how much that will happen in practice.

Banks will always be able to find other places to recoup revenue for things like this

But there’s

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3 Advertising & Marketing Stocks to Watch Amid Industry Woes

The rise in service activities, along with increased digital marketing services and the success of the work-from-home trend, is enabling the Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry to counter the prevailing revenue softness.

Customer-centric approaches to business, digital strategies, and technology investments are helping Publicis Groupe S.A. PUBGY, National CineMedia, Inc. NCMI and AdTheorent Holding Company, Inc. ADTH to sail through the current testing times.

About the Industry

The Zacks Advertising and Marketing industry comprises companies that offer an extensive range of services, including advertising, branding, content marketing, digital/direct marketing, digital transformation, financial/corporate business-to-business advertising, graphic arts/digital imaging, healthcare marketing and communications and in-store design services. Prominent players from the industry include Interpublic and Omnicom. The pandemic has changed the way industry players have conducted business and delivered services so far. Currently, the industry’s key focus is on channelizing money and efforts toward media formats and devices. To position themselves suitably in the post-pandemic era, service providers are increasing their efforts toward formulating strategic initiatives and identifying sources of demand.

What’s Shaping the Future of the Industry?

Economic Recovery: The sector is a major beneficiary of the broader economy and service activities. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in 2023 compared with 1.9% growth in 2022. Economic activities in the non-manufacturing sector are in good shape. The Services PMI measured by the Institute for Supply Management has stayed above the 50% mark for the past 14 months, indicating continued expansion.

Reviving Demand: The industry is mature, with demand for services remaining stable over time. Revenues, income and cash flows are anticipated to gradually reach the pre-pandemic levels, aiding most industry players to pay out stable dividends.

Digital Marketing Gathering Steam: Digital media consumption has shot up, with consumers spending more

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Ellington Financial Declares Monthly Common Dividend

OLD GREENWICH, Conn., April 08, 2024–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ellington Financial Inc. (NYSE: EFC) (the “Company”) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a monthly dividend of $0.13 per share of common stock, payable on May 28, 2024 to stockholders of record as of April 30, 2024.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties. The Company’s actual results may differ from its beliefs, expectations, estimates, and projections and, consequently, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical in nature and can be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “continue,” “intend,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “goal,” “objective,” “will,” “may,” “seek” or similar expressions or their negative forms, or by references to strategy, plans, or intentions. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the Company’s payment of dividends. Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future operations, business strategies, performance, financial condition, liquidity and prospects, taking into account information currently available to us. These beliefs, assumptions, and expectations are subject to risks and uncertainties and can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and strategies may vary materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements. The following factors are examples of those that could cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements: changes in interest rates and the market value of the Company’s investments, market volatility, changes in mortgage default rates and prepayment

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