Victory State Bank Points to Helpful Shopping Tips


With back to school shopping quickly approaching for elementary and college students alike, Victory State Bank knows the appeal of a good sale. These tips from the Federal Trade Commission will help you have a happy and cost-effective shopping experience.

  • Shop around. A “sale” price isn’t always the “best” price. Some merchants may offer a sale price on an item for a limited time; others may discount the price on the same item everyday. Having an item’s manufacturer, model number, and other identifying information can help you get the best price for the item you want.
  • Read sale ads carefully. Some may say “quantities limited,” “no rain checks,” or “not available at all stores.” Before you step out the door, call ahead to make sure the merchant has the item in stock. If you’re shopping for a popular or hard-to-find item, ask the merchant if he’d be willing to hold the item until you can get to the store.
  • Take time and travel costs into consideration. If an item is on sale, but its way across town, how much are you really saving once you factor in your time, your transportation, and parking?
  • Look for price-matching policies. Some merchants will match, or even beat, a competitor’s prices — at least for a limited time. Read the merchant's pricing policy. It may not apply to all items.
  • Go online. Check out websites that compare prices for items offered online. Some sites also may compare prices offered at stores in your area. If you decide to buy online, keep shipping costs and delivery time in mind.
  • Calculate bargain offers that are based on purchases of additional merchandise. For example, “buy one, get one free,” “free gift with purchase,” or “free shipping with minimum purchase” may sound enticing. If you don’t really want or need the item, it’s not a deal.
  • Ask about sale adjustments. If you buy an item at regular price and it goes on sale the next week, can you get a credit or refund for the discounted amount? What documentation will you need?
  • Ask about refund and return policies for sale items. Merchants often have different refund and return policies for sale items, especially clearance merchandise.


About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com


Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Victory State Bank Points to Charity Checklist


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Victory State Bank commends those who choose to donate to charity. Today, there are many ways to donate; text message, over the phone, person to person, or via the internet. Unfortunately, this plethora of opportunity leads to a rise in scamming. The Federal Trade Commission has compiled a checklist to help ensure you are donating to reputable sources.

  • Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number.
  • Get the exact name of the organization and do some research. Searching the name of the organization online — especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam”— is one way to learn about its reputation.
  • Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The organization’s development staff should be able to help you.
  • Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials.
  • Check if the charity is trustworthy by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
  • Ask if the caller is a paid fundraiser. If so, ask:
  1. The name of the charity they represent
  2. The percentage of your donation that will go to the charity
  3. How much will go to the actual cause to which you’re donating
  4. How much will go to the fundraiser
  • Keep a record of your donations.
  • Make an annual donation plan. That way, you can decide which causes to support and which reputable charities should receive your donations.
  • Visit this Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webpage to find out which organizations are eligible to receive tax deductible contributions.
  • Know the difference between “tax exempt” and “tax deductible.” Tax exempt means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution on your federal income tax return.
  • Never send cash donations. For security and tax purposes, it’s best to pay by check — made payable to the charity — or by credit card.
  • Never wire money to someone claiming to be a charity. Scammers often request donations to be wired because wiring money is like sending cash: once you send it, you can’t get it back.
  • Do not provide your credit or check card number, bank account number or any personal information until you’ve thoroughly researched the charity.
  • Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters. Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.
  • If a donation request comes from a group claiming to help your local community (for example, local police or firefighters), ask the local agency if they have heard of the group and are getting financial support.
  • What about texting? If you text to donate, the charge will show up on your mobile phone bill. If you've asked your mobile phone provider to block premium text messages — texts that cost extra — then you won't be able to donate this way.

 

About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com

Media Inquiries:

 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Victory State Bank Points to 5 Ways to Help Young Entrepreneurs Finance Their Business Ideas


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Victory State Bank knows that young entrepreneurs can bring new life and new ideas to the business world. We also know that building a business from the ground up can be challenging for even the most seasoned professionals. With this in mind, the following tips from the U.S. Small Business Administration can help turn your idea into a reality.

1. Deferring student loans: If your student loan repayments are preventing you from starting your own business, the Student Startup Plan (through the White House-led Startup America initiative) enables college graduates, including those looking to start a business, to lower student loan repayments. Its Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan can help you keep your loan payments affordable with a sliding scale to determine how much you can afford to pay on your federal loans. This can give you the freedom you need to take risks with new opportunities.

2. Borrowing startup funds from friends and family: With a lack of strong credit history, it’s sometimes challenging for young entrepreneurs to obtain traditional loans through banks or private lenders. In these cases, it’s not uncommon to reach out to friends and family – those who know and trust you already. This is a definite pro, but the flipside comes if something goes sour with repayment or terms and the potentially compromising situation that may develop for you. 

3. Consider crowdfunding: An increasingly popular method to obtain financing is crowdfunding – a collective cooperation of people who network and pool their money and resources together, usually online, to support efforts initiated by other organizations. Crowdfunding gathers multiple, smaller investments as opposed to a single source of funding.

4. The peer-to-peer potential: Like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer (or P2P) lending allows you to make your business case to others with the hope that someone will make an investment. The biggest difference between the two approaches is that P2P lending typically focuses on one individual lending to another (versus the “crowd” of lenders). P2P sites allow you to determine how much you need to borrow, define the purpose of the loan and post your listing online.

5. Avoid overinvesting: If you’re relying on your cash reserves, credit cards or savings to start a business, try to avoid some of the overinvestment traps that young entrepreneurs fall into – whether it’s a swish office, computer systems or inventory overload. Focus instead on building a good product and a positive customer experience. Starting a business from home or online are cost-effective ways to avoid some of these pitfalls

About Victory State Bank:

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com

Media Inquiries:

 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Victory State Bank Points to The Lowdown on Credit Cards


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Victory State Bank aims to help you to understand the ups and downs of applying for, and using, credit cards. The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips when journeying into the world of credit. 


Fact: Some marketers charge hefty fees for their cards without making it clear that these fees will be charged.

  • Follow-up: Many credit cards have fees. Read your credit card agreement carefully to make sure you understand all the fees associated with your card. You can use the Federal Reserve's consumer credit card agreements search to find general examples of the type and range of fees a credit card may have.

Fact: With some of these cards, your purchases are limited to over-priced merchandise from specialized catalogs. Even then, you’re not allowed to charge the total price of an item. Instead, you have to pay a cash deposit on each item you want. That is usually the same amount the catalog company paid for the product. Once you pay the deposit, you can charge the balance.

  • Follow-up: If a marketer promises that a card is accepted at certain retail chains, call the retailers to verify.

Fact: Signing up for these credit programs almost never improves your credit rating or gets you a major credit card.

  • Follow-up: Claims that paying for a credit card will improve your credit history can be misleading. There are no quick and easy solutions to a poor credit rating that’s based on accurate information. The best way to improve your credit record? Pay your bills on time.
  • Follow-up: If a marketer claims that information about you will be reported to credit reporting companies, call those companies to confirm that the merchant is a member. If the card merchant isn’t a subscriber to the credit reporting companies, they won’t be able to report information about your credit experiences.
  • Follow-up: The only major cards you usually can get through these marketers are secured. A secured card typically requires a security deposit in a bank account. The deposit may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Your credit line is a percentage of the deposit — typically, 50 to 100 percent.

Fact: Advertising that the cards can be used to get no-fee cash advances can be misleading. In truth, the offer of a free cash advance may actually be from an unrelated payday lender for a short-term, high-rate loan that you could get without the promoter’s card.

  • Follow-up: Decisions about credit and loans involve lots of factors, including how much money you need, what terms you’re offered, and who is behind the offer.


About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com


Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Victory State Bank Points to 10 Ways to Make Your Small Business Social Media Activities Rock

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Social media is one of the most cost-effective tools your small business has at its disposal.  With just a few clicks and key-strokes, you can increase the visibility of your brand every day. Victory State banks wants to help make sure you are generating positive and constructive social media content for your business. The Small Business Administration suggests these tips to get the most from your social media activity.

Pick the Site(s) that Works for You

Social media sites are emerging on an almost weekly basis, and it’s easy to become distracted or lost in the speed of change. So where should you focus your efforts?

Speaking at last year’s National Small Business Week social media panel, Erica Ayotte, social media manager with Constant Contact, recommends businesses start with one channel to test and nurture it. Then try to diversify: “Spend a little time each week exploring new platforms and figure out if they might be for you.” Speaking at the same event, GrowBizMedia’s Rieva Lesonsky recommends that you “find out where your customers can be found, go there first, and then spread out from there… if you run a restaurant, yes, you probably should be on Twitter, but you should really be on Yelp first.”

Share Interesting and Visual Content

This is one area that really does take time. What’s interesting anyway?

Well, let’s start with the basics. If you have any news to share, and by news I mean “newsworthy” (i.e. something that impacts your customers directly) then go ahead and share it – things like holiday opening times, new offices, menu updates, charity events, etc.

Then add another tier – share quality content. Something you do well that will help you stand out in a crowd – blogs, white papers, tips, or quick “how to” videos (host them on YouTube or Hulu).  Then use social media to amplify it. Feel free to share content from others (without breaking copyright) if it is relevant to your fans. Don’t be afraid to ask people what content they want you to share!

Another tier of content should focus on telling the big picture story of your business – showcase employees, community activities, or how customers are using your product or service. This is a great opportunity to be visual and stand-out in busy newsfeeds.

Remember, give it time. It takes time to figure out what works. For example, you might think about using polls and surveys to engage with followers, but if you are still growing your network, you might not get the right results – yet. So, keep trying new things until you find a sweet spot. And don’t forget, just because people may not be interacting with you yet, that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening, so keep the faith!

For more tips read:

Listen

Great content drives engagement and grows social communities, but equally important is the art of listening. Think of social media as a form of conversation – it’s a two-way dialog. If you’re not prepared to listen to what is being said to you, about you, or with you, then you simply aren’t “being social.” In addition to listening to your consumers, carve out time to listen to influencers in your business, to your competitors, and to those who can help you perfect your social media strategy (HubspotMari Smith, and Social Media Today, to name just a few).

Have an Authentic Voice

Again, “be social!” Drop the corporate marketing speak; people like dealing with people. So don’t be afraid to loosen up a little and when responding to problems or complaints; sign off with your first name.

Foster Fan-to-Fan Engagement

Some of the strongest social networking communities are based on supportive relationships and information sharing between fans. If you are posting interesting content, this will follow naturally as fans start to engage with others based on common interests. There are a few things you can do to encourage these relationships, many of them mentioned in this blog - listen to fans, chime in when you think you can add something, respond to comments, open the doors to shared experiences/needs, encourage fans to share photos and experiences and always communicate authentically (drop the corporate hat).

Don’t Overly Automate

While there are some great free tools that can help you automate your posts, don’t overly rely on these to get you through the day – it will show. Instead, set aside some time, 2-3 slots a day to post (note that the evening is a high volume time to post and get noticed), monitor and respond to fans.

Commit to Social Media

If you are truly going to succeed at social media, then you need to take it seriously and commit to it. For many small businesses, this means adopting a new paradigm. Don’t treat social media as an aside to be taken advantage of when you want to get the word out about your latest offer. Commit to a content strategy. Ensure all levels of the organization are on-board and are involved in your social media strategy. Don’t just assign daily responsibility for it to an office junior – this is the face of your business, after all, and it involves dialog with your customers (is a junior up to that?).

Treat Social Media as an Arm of Your Customer Service Operations

Social media is also an essential part of your customer service strategy. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, then you need to be prepared to monitor and respond to questions and complaints. These blogs offer more advice on this topic:

Don’t Forget Your Other Marketing Channels

Social media may be free, but it only works as part of a wider, integrated marketing strategy. It should never replace your website (which is the hub of all your marketing activity and the home of your online content). Email is also still important. You have a captive audience there; your message is delivered to their inboxes and allows for a deeper conversation.

Measure

Don’t forget to measure the impact of your social media efforts. Use third party apps or Facebook’s Insights tool to monitor click-through rates. Compare these across posts to see if there’s a trend as to the type of content that’s popular. Measure engagement by tracking how many likes and shares your posts get (measured by Facebook as “reach”). Use this data to inform and adjust your content strategy.


About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com


Media Inquiries:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

www.RelevantPR.com

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.