Category Archives: Back-to-school

Small Business Tips: Back to school lessons to help your business

back to school lessons for your businessAs children go back to school, what they do is a reminder for us and our business. Consider all of the things that we remind our children to do, that you might overlook in your business.

The start of the school year is a time to reconnect with friends. You may have lost touch with them over the summer. The same holds true for your customers. Reconnect and reach out to your customers.  Start by asking how their summer was.  Ask them if there is anything you can help them with.  You can do this through a simple email or phone call.

Learning and Discovery

You can always learn something new, provided you keep an open mind.  As our children head back to school, they too will learn new things.  This is our chance as a business to take the step to learn something new, whether it is from our customers or from our network of business relationships. Learning and discovering new things can only help you and your business.

Be available to help

As our children will struggle with certain aspects of their learning in school, we are there to coach and help them when needed.  Do the same with your customers and business networks.  Do you have a skill you can share and help someone else with?  Be open to sharing your skills with others.  You will build better relationships.

Next Steps

Always embrace the opportunity to learn and grow.  When you encounter challenges, recognize where you need help and ask.  And as we do for our children, a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast, can always make for a good start to your day.

 And Now You?

What ideas from back to school can help you in your business?

How Can we Help You with your Small Business needs? 

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job




Sales Tax Free Week

tax free week ct

Sales Tax Week

Sales Tax Week is back in Connecticut August 17th through August 23th.    With three children, I will definitely be shopping this week. The school supply list alone will be a great savings not even mentioning the new school clothes  that need to be bought.  Kids grow way too fast.


The Tax Free Week includes all clothing and footwear costing less than $300 per item.  Goods that are not covered under the Tax Free Week include items that solely intended for use in sporting activities and accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags etc.  To see the full list you can visit  CT.Gov


The National Retail Federation said parents will spend an average of $101 on school supplies, $231 on clothing and $124 on shoes. They are numbers that have increased since last year.


School will be back in full swing in the next few weeks. This is a great time to head out for school shopping and save on the sales tax this week.  With cost of everything rising, gas, utility cost and just the cost of living why not save some money when school shopping.


So why not take advantage of the Tax Free Week and get all your back to school shopping done and the money you save on taxes this week could get used for gas or other back to school needs your children might need.

And for more cost saving tips for back to school check out our blog Saving money on back-to-school shopping.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Saving Money On Back To School Shopping

back to school shoppingBack to school shopping is here and we all know the children want the best of everything that’s out there.  This can get tough on a family in this economy.  We as parents have to find creative ways to shop on a budget for school and still make the children happy.  Here are a few tips and tricks that might help you save some money when headed out for school shopping this year.

Hold off till school starts before buying your children the “trendy” gear.  Why, because what they like right now will change as soon as they see what their friends have.  Don’t waste your money now, as you’ll just have to buy it again.

End-of-Summer Sales

This is great time to hit the sales every store is already having.  You can save a ton on clothing this way, and lets face it they won’t be wearing winter clothing just yet.  So why not save money and grab some of their school clothing during these great sales.

Stick to the list

You know that daunting list you get from the teacher’s with the supplies needed?  Stick to it, because even though there is a ton of other cute supplies the children might like, more than likely they won’t use them.  So only get what’s on the list and save yourself some money.

Online Sites

There are a ton of online sell, trade and barter groups on Facebook.  Check these sites out and see if there is anything your children could use.  Not only do you save a ton of money, but you’re helping another parent by getting it off their hands. Also give craigslist a try under “Baby and Kids”.  You’ll find a variety of options to choose from.

Raid your cabinets

You’ll be surprised what you just might find.  All those office supplies you’ve been stocking up.  See if anything you have might already be on the teacher’s list.  Make a game out of it with the children.  Give them the list and let them raid your cabinet to see how many items they can find.

Back to school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank with these simple tips and tricks.  Hopefully you will find a few of these useful.  Happy Shopping!!!!

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance


Back To School Tips

back to schoolWell it’s a sign that summer is coming to an end when you see all the back to school supplies filling the store shelves.  For many children they will be heading back to school within the next two or so weeks. So to help make heading back to school a smooth transition we thought we would share some good back to school tips from AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics).

First Day Butterflies

  • Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. This may be at any age. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school.  They will see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh their positive memories about previous years, when they may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because they had a good time.

Backpack Safety


  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.

School Bus Safety


  • Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
  • Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Make sure your child walks where she can see the bus driver (which means the driver will be able to see her, too).
  • Remind your student to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street, just in case traffic does not stop as required.

These are just a few of the tips they offer for a safe, fun and smooth transition back to school. To see all the great tips from AAP go here.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job











Saving money on back-to-school shopping

back to schoolThe back-to-school shopping season is in full swing.  The National Retail Federation reports that shoppers will spend on average $688 for back-to-school supplies this year. This can be financially difficult for many families, but there are ways you can cut costs this year.


  1. Shop online for bulk items- If you have a larger family this may be the best way to save some money this year. Buying school supplies in bulk allows you to stock up on all the basics supplies like pens, pencils, notebooks, folders and more.  You can check out local places like Sam’s Club and Costco for bulk purchases
  2. Student discounts from retailer-when buying big ticket items like laptops, readers, ipads check out the brand store first to see if they have an special discounts or rebates available for students
  3. Check out ebay-Another great option when shopping for big ticket items.  Many times you can find authentic and brand new merchandise for significantly reduced price
  4. Outlet Malls-Back-to-school shopping means clothes, shoes, bags and accessories as well.  Check out the sales and discounts at your local outlet malls.  You’ll be surprised at the brand names you will find at up to 70% off the retail price.
  5. Back-to-school swap-This is the most unique idea I came across.  For those on a tight budget, this might just be the way for you.  Consider hosting a casual party a few weeks for school starts.  Parents bring gently used clothing, extra supplies and other useful items that maybe a good fit for another child.  It allows you to get a few things that you child may need and you can get a few extra things off your hands that your child no longer needs or uses.

With a tough economy it can be very difficult for many parents to get all the school supplies needed for their child. We hope these tips have been useful in preparing for your back-to-school shopping.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job