Spring Break Family Safety Tips

With spring break fast approaching, here are some tips to keep you and your family safe wherever you are.

 

Road Trip

  • Take turns driving. Changing drivers every so often keeps everyone well rested – and the radio dial tuned to different stations depending on the driver’s preference.
  • Take a map. Yes, really. We rely so heavily on phones these days but in some areas you will not have cell phone service and therefore will lose the ability to follow GPS navigation with your phone. There are map apps you can download prior to your trip that don’t require an Internet connection.
  • The front seat passenger should stay awake if you’ve got more than three passengers, as two alert drivers are always better than one.
  • Never leave your valuables in plain view in your car. And always lock valuable items in your trunk before you reach your destination.
  • Make sure everyone has packed their valid driver’s license and that you have the vehicle registration and proof of insurance in the car before leaving.

 

At the Hotel

  • When you check in at the front desk, use discretion when sharing your room number with the rest of the people in your party while still in the lobby. People not with your party do not need to know your exact location. This will help keep you safe.
  • Reserve a room that’s above the first floor but below the sixth floor. It’s easier to break into a first floor room and rooms above the sixth floor are sometimes too high for fire truck ladders to reach.
  • Always make a mental note of where the nearest fire exits and stairwells are located in case you need to evacuate.
  • Upon arriving in your room, check to be sure that that all of the windows and doors are locked.
  • Use the hotel room safe! This is a great place to store any cash or credit cards that you don’t want to have on hand when you are out of the hotel and any other easy to steal items such as small electronics and jewelry.
  • Pull your door completely closed behind you. Some doors have a slow release and could remain open after you leave.

 

Traveling To Another Country

  • Don’t bring flashy valuables like expensive jewelry or watches with. Thieves who are looking to prey on tourists can put your personal safety at risk.
  • Do your homework before you leave about your destination, keeping in mind you are subject to the laws of the country you visit. Also, check online for any travel warnings or travel alerts by the US government regarding your travel destination.
  • Do not carry large quantities of cash. ATMs are everywhere so you can always get more cash if you need to. If you do have a lot of cash, always keep most of it locked in your hotel safe.
  • Take at least two credit cards or debit cards with you. Keep one on your person and one in the hotel safe. And let your credit card company know you are traveling and the dates you will be traveling so they don’t shut down your card thinking it has been stolen.
  • Know the country’s equivalent of 911.

We hope these tips help keep you safe this spring break.

 

We’re hiring! If you or someone you know is a seasoned armored car driver, please send your resume to rmurphey@metro-courier.com.

 

And for the best armored courier service in the Twin Cities Metro area call: 763-424-7668. Or click here to get a Quick Quote now. Our staff will complement your business establishment and provide the peace of mind you deserve for all your cash management needs.

2016 Tax Law Changes You Need To Know

Happy New Year! We trust you had a safe and fun holiday season. Now that 2016 is in full swing we want to share with you some tax law changes that are in effect this year. President Obama signed a tax deal in mid-December that made permanent changes to some popular tax breaks and temporarily extended other tax breaks that people have come to rely on.

Here are some changes you’ll want to be aware of:

  • All companies with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees must offer affordable health coverage to full time employees and their dependents starting this year or pay a fine. The insurance plan must pay at least 60% of the cost of covered health benefits and provide substantial coverage of inpatient hospital and physician services.
  • If you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees you must use IRS Form 1095-C to report your 2015 insurance data for each full time employee. Forms are due to employees by March 31 and to the IRS by May 31 (June 30 if you are e-filing). You will not be given any extensions for filing this form.
  • If you have fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees and provide self-insured medical coverage, you must also comply with reporting of worker health coverage. You will use Form 1095-B to report 2015 coverage information. Forms are due to employees by March 31 and to the IRS by May 31 (June 30 if you are e-filing). You will not be given any extensions for filing this form.
  • The 2016 Social Security Wage Base remains at $118,500. The Social Security Tax Rate on employers and employees is also the same for 2016 at 6.2%. As an employer, you are responsible to pay the 1.45% Medicare tax on all pay.
  • The annual cap on deductible contributions to HSAs is rising this year to $6,750 for account owners with family coverage. For self-only coverage that remains at $3,350. If you were born before 1962, you can put in an additional $1000.  The minimums for policy deductibles are staying the same at $2600 for families and $1300 for singles. However, the limits on out of pocket costs such as deductibles and copayments have increased to $13,100 for people with family coverage and to $6,550 for individual coverage.

If you have questions or need help with preparing your 2015 tax returns, we highly recommend the professional staff at Robert Murphey CPA. Call them today at 763-493-5799 for a free consultation.

Tips For During and After A Robbery

Let us start by saying that we hope that you never need to use these tips. In the event your business is one day targeted for a robbery though, we would rest easier knowing you and your team are prepared for what to do to prevent bodily harm and help the police to apprehend the criminals.

With that in mind, below are some tips for how to handle the actual robbery followed by the steps to take once the robbers have left your premise.

During The Robbery

  • Remain calm. Most importantly, remain calm and do not resist. This is not the time to be a hero either. We recommend you do not take any action that would jeopardize your own safety.
  • Activate the alarm. If you have an alarm, activate the alarm only if it is safe to do so without being detected.
  • Follow instructions. Follow the instructions of the robber – but do not volunteer more information than she asks for.
  • If you must make any unusual steps to fulfill the demands of the robber, let him know and assure him of your full cooperation.
  • Establish special signals. Establish special signals that only your employees will recognize to alert one another to a robbery in progress. This way, the employee being robbed can safely alert others to the robbery so they can take appropriate action/cover.
  • Save the note. If the robber hands you a note, make your best effort to save it and handle the note as little as possible. The note is very useful information for police in their investigation – especially if the robber is unidentified prior to leaving your premise — and they may be able to glean fingerprints from it.
  • Mental notes. Make a mental note of the robber’s race, age, height, sex, hair color, eye color, clothing, complexion, etc. Also make note of any tattoos or scars, anything that would make the person stand out in a line up to help identify him. It’s also critical that you note how many accomplices were there and identifying information about the getaway car – make and model, color and the license plate number. Finally, make note of the weapon. What kind of gun is it for example? You may not know brands but you can remember details such as size or distinguishing characteristics. Finally, make note of anything the robber touches. The police department may be able to lift her fingerprints off objects the robber touches to help in prosecution.

After the Robbery

  • Call the police. This may seem obvious but calling the police first thing is critical and may be easy to forget in the aftershock and confusion. Choose someone to call the police who will be able to stay on the phone with the dispatcher if needed.
  • Lock the doors. Lock the doors to your store and ask all witnesses to remain until the officers arrive. Their input will be invaluable in the investigation. If a witness must leave, obtain his or her name, address and telephone number.
  • Don’t compare notes. All witnesses should write down a description of the suspects and it’s best to protect the integrity of the case if witnesses don’t talk about the robber’s appearance with each other. The police will be able to trust eyewitness accounts better if witnesses have not compared notes with each other.
  • Protect the crime scene. Don’t touch anything. It’s important that the crime scene remain intact to help with investigation.
  • Handle with care. If you were given a note by the robber, handle it carefully and only by the edges. This is so if there are any fingerprints on the note they will not be smeared. Put the note in a safe place and give it to the police when they arrive.

Finally, you can reduce the risk of your business being robbed by having your cash picked up by an armored courier service. For the best armored courier service in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area call: 763-424-7668. Or click here to get a Quick Quote now. Our staff will complement your business establishment and provide the peace of mind you deserve for all your cash management needs.

7 Robbery Prevention Tips for Businesses

Unfortunately thieves are everywhere and you never know when one is monitoring your business for an opportunity to steal your cash. While no amount of prevention is 100% guaranteed to keep you and your team safe, there are measures you can take to increase the chances that a burglar will move along to the next business. Here then are seven robbery prevention tips:

  1. Be observant. You and your employees should remain observant to what’s going on in your business and what is going on outside of your business. For example, you will want to keep an eye out for suspicious people or vehicles around the periphery of your business, especially when you are opening and closing your business. You will also want to watch for people wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the current weather. For example, someone wearing a heavy coat in the summer may be targeting your business for a robbery.
  2. Have at least 2 people open and close your business. Especially if your business opens or closes when it is dark outside.
  3. Use the most visible store entrance. You want to leave your business through the door that is the most visible to passersby and avoid back and secluded entrances when opening or closing your business.
  4. The cash register should be visible from outside the store. When police officers patrol the area, it will help them as they peer into your business if they can see the cash register. That way if a robbery is taking place, they can take fast action to stop it. Also, having a cash register within sight of the front store windows will deter a burglar, as it will be harder to keep the robbery from being seen while in progress.
  5. Mark the edge of the main doorway with measuring tape. You’ve probably seen this done at gas stations. You can do the same at your business. Doing so will help you report a more accurate height of the robber.
  6. Keep minimal cash on hand. Planned cash pickups by an armored transportation company such as Metro Courier can help you do this.
  7. Post notices in the doorway and front window of your business indicating that you have minimal cash on hand.

These 7 tips are excellent measures to put in place to prevent a robbery at your business. Let us help you protect your cash and team from robberies. Call us today at 763-424-7668 or get a Quick Quote now. Our staff will complement your business establishment and provide the peace of mind you deserve for all your cash management needs.

Armored Courier Service – Minnesota Winters

An Armored Courier Service is a valuable asset in the wintertime.

Winter is quickly approaching, and with that comes the inevitable delays, bad road conditions and dangerous temperatures.  The causes of these delays can range from vehicle accidents and heavy snowfall to brutally cold temperatures. During the 2013-2014 winter, we had 53 days of below-zero temperatures and over 30 days of measurable snowfall.

This is where an armored courier service can be a life saver. According to research, the first snowy day of the year is substantially more dangerous for drivers than other snow days in terms of fatalities. Fatal accidents were 14% more likely on the first snowy day of the season compared with subsequent ones, according to research compiled from 1975 to present.

Now, for a company that does not use an armored car service, this means risk.  The main risk to any company is the trip to the bank with deposits. This means that an employee, manager or owner will need to make it to the bank safely. However, there are more risks involved in the wintertime than just security. The employee, manager or owner will be in danger if caught in the snow, extremely cold temperatures or may be significantly delayed in traffic. When the manager gets delayed, the company loses out on the time that could have been spent back at the office.

This is where Metropolitan Courier Corporation can help.  By using an armored courier service, you eliminate the risk of lost managerial or employee time, while ensuring that your deposits get to the bank safely. For the best armored courier service in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area call: 763-424-7668. Or get a Quick Quote now. Our staff will complement your business establishment and provide the peace of mind you deserve for all your cash management needs.

Courier Service Company Choices and What to Look For

Shopping for the best armored courier service company can be a difficult decision.

There are many things to consider when choosing the best courier service company. Here are some components to look for when choosing an armored courier service: Customer service, scheduling, and services offered.

Customer Support

When you call the company, look at the number that you’re dialing. Does the company have a national call center or is it locally based? Your experiences may vary greatly depending on where you call into.  Typically, locally based companies that handle their own calls have less communication barriers, as opposed to a 1-800 number at a national call center.   Faster communication between client and courier allows for quicker service.

Scheduling

Does the courier meet your scheduling needs?  Find a courier who adheres to a pickup schedule that meets your company’s needs.

Services Offered

Do the services offered by the courier match the needs of your company?  For instance, some companies need same day deposits to ensure that cash-flow remains steady.  Not all armored couriers offer this service.  Weekend pickup as well as coin delivery are additional services to look for when choosing an armored courier.

Take a look around our website to find out more about our courier service company and the services we offer.  For the best armored car service in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area call: 763-424-7668. Or get a Quick Quote now. Our staff will complement your business establishment and provide the peace of mind you deserve for all your cash management needs.

Instead of going to the bank, have your bank come to you! Choose Metropolitan Courier as your courier service company. We hold Statewide Armored Car Services Authority, issued by the State of Minnesota, along with a Corporate Protection Agents License issued by the Minnesota State Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services.

Courier Service Benefits

There are still business owners who place their bank deposits in special bags with locks on them and walk their deposit to the bank down the street, or ask a designated employee to do so. This is a very dangerous method of operation as it opens the business owner up to theft – either by a thief approaching him or her or the employee pocketing the deposit.

Thankfully, courier services like Metro-Courier exist to solve this problem and more. We are the Courier Service you can trust.

 

The benefits of using a courier service include:

  • Greater security. We will pick up your deposit at your place of business and transport it safely to your financial institution.
  • Lower your risk of theft and mishandling. Allowing us to pick up your deposit will help you keep honest people honest. Meaning, your employees are good, trustworthy people who may, with too much temptation, choose to steal the cash being deposited.
  • Employee safety. Criminals will learn the pattern of who takes your deposit to the bank and when. Using our service will keep them safely in your place of business.
  • All-risk insurance coverage. All shipments are fully insured against all risk while in our possession or in our vaults.
  • Saves you time. By having us pick up your deposits you can keep your team focused on revenue generating activities.
  • Locally owned and operated. This means we are only a short drive or local phone call away to service any issues or concerns that may arise. We are dedicated to your success and the safety of your employees.

Let us help you with your courier service needs. Request  Quick Quote today by filling out the form. Our staff will compliment your business establishment and provide the peace of mind you deserve for all your cash management needs.

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