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(NewsUSA) - There is no doubt the economy is healthier than it has been in quite some time. One has only to look to the news to discern that the U.S. is in the midst of an economic growth spurt.
Underscoring a strengthening economy is that as of last month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 3 million more Americans were earning paychecks, compared with 12 months ago. And yet, even as unemployment rates are at an all-time low and at levels not seen in six years, there are still those who are struggling to find a job.
If this is the case for you or someone you know, opportunity may be closer than you realize. Here's why: Currently there are approximately 500,000 U.S. companies with annual revenue between $5 million and $25 million dollars -- companies that have succeeded in getting start-up financing with the help of families and friends, but have since grown into needing more capital to continue.
"Today 80 percent of investments in private companies are made within a 50 mile radius of that enterprise," says YourStreet Funds CEO Stephen H. Watkins. "The problem is that Wall Street struggles to find these companies in an efficient manner."
That's where the YourStreet Funds Independent Sales Organization (ISO) members come in. The sales member identifies these "faceless" companies who are on target for growth, but have capital needs too small to attract the attention of Wall Street, yet they typically need more capital than friends or family can spare to continue their growth.
These companies, Watkins says, are where the "economic and employment growth for America will occur if given a chance."
"Unfortunately, this void of companies, this chasm, has few resources and places to go for continued financing," he says.
The answer, according to Watkins, is a joint effort between YourStreet's ISO network identifying those companies in need and the regional and community brokers and sales reps across the nation.
"Mortgage brokers in every community know all the companies that fall into this category, as well as the CEO's and presidents of these growing companies," says Watkins. "Through the ISO network, the YourStreet Funds reach a large number of profitable companies across the nation, companies who would like growth capital for their business, so that in turn, they can hire more employees."
For more information, visit yourstreetfunds.com.
To grasp the coming regulations, as imposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners need to understand the impetus behind it -- which is that, according to the DOE, by replacing residential water heaters, pool heaters and direct heating equipment, consumers will save up to $10 billion and prevent the release of up to 164 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years.
"These energy-conserving appliance standards are a critical part of the Administration's overall efforts to save energy in homes and businesses nationwide," said former DOE Secretary Steven Chu. "By raising the energy efficiency requirements of our every-day appliances, we will save money for American families and companies, reduce carbon pollu-tion, and enhance our energy security for decades to come."
While no one is arguing the benefits of going green, the down side is the upfront cost to the consumer.
"Our customers could face price increases of up to 15 percent to 35 percent," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. "Not only will the cost of water heaters increase an average of $120, but installation and maintenance costs will likely rise as well. As a result of new regulations that require a more complicated installation and increased amount of system parts necessary, homeowners could face a hefty replacement fee in the short run."
The added expense, says Thompson, comes in the form of the larger size of the new water heater units. Electric hot water heaters larger than 55 gallons -- the minimum required for most residential homes -- will require a minimum of 128 cu. ft. with a duct to a larger space in order to comply with the new standards. This means that homeowners will have the added burden of not only replacing a water heater, but potentially also undergoing a major renovation involving construction.
To combat a potentially high-priced situation, homeowners should consider checking the age of their hot water heaters. If they are getting close to the 10-year mark, they can be replaced before the new regulations take effect.
For more information on the right plan for your home, visit www.MrRooter.com.