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ST. PETERSBURG, FL -Valpak, a leader in local print and digital coupons, announced today it is looking to further grow its brand in the Narragansett Bay area, which includes Providence, Warwick and Cranston. The company currently mails to as many as 140,000 homes in the Ocean State, but is looking to expand its reach to 230,000 homes that will receive its signature Blue Envelope.

The U.S. Census Bureau lists Providence as the state’s most populous city, making the location a target expansion market for Valpak. Growth rate data from the American Community Survey also indicates that within the past five years, Providence, Warwick and Cranston have all emerged as the Ocean States’ top 10 fastest growing cities – with Providence and Cranston leading the list as the top two cities. Additionally, the Providence-Warwick Metropolitan area continues to earn national recognition, such as a ranking for Best Places for Business and Careers and Cost of Doing Business.

“The Providence metropolitan area offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to capitalize on the local economic growth,” said Shak Turner, Valpak’s director of franchise sales. “It’s exciting to know that Valpak, as a leading direct marketing company, can assist local businesses in their own economic growth by offering services through our popular mailer, along with our vast suite of digital advertising tools.”

A leader in cooperative direct mail, Valpak mails coupons to nearly 39 million demographically targeted households per month in 45 states and four Canadian provinces. Today, in addition to its flagship Blue Envelope, Valpak offers its business customers an impressive portfolio of digital advertising products including, Smartphone apps, Google partnerships, website development, mobile web optimization and reputation management.

With more than 25 million Americans using couponing apps each month, Valpak’s digital offerings have been a big draw for new franchisees. Digital coupon use is on the rise, and ample gains are projected in 2016. In the past year, Valpak’s print offerings have also expanded with on-pack advertising and circulars.

Ideal candidates for Valpak franchise ownership should possess a desire to join a trusted, industry-leading brand, work within a proven franchise system, develop relationships with local businesses and have a comfort level with selling new, digital technologies. Franchisees should also possess a minimum liquidity of $75,000, and a minimum net worth of $150,000.

For more information on Valpak franchise opportunities, please contact Shak Turner at or 727-399-3091 or visit



This is a very interesting question, especially for my Rhode Island friends…

The color mentioned – ‘khaki’, e.g., tan, beige, desert sand, khaki…THE LIGHT BROWNS!!! It is the color family that has dominated the RI home market for decades. Why? Rhode Island has made two things clear:

1.  fried calamari should be served tossed in an olive oil/balsamic vinegar with yellow banana peppers and some garlic, and;

2.  the raised ranch home is the ideal contractor spec home and should have an exterior vinyl color of “khaki”.

Why khaki? When building a spec home (a contractors model home speculated to sell) they want to be certain to stay with the neutral coloring as it has been proven to be the most appealing and calming. Even if the color of ” khaki” is not the first choice of the inquiring and potential home buyer – chances are they will not walk away or lose interest in purchasing the home vs. the houses with a loud finish/exterior color which is more costly to cover up or change if disliked. And, this is the same reason that “bone white” is most often the chosen paint for the interior walls and white for six panel interior doors. This is the leading package that has been sold in Rhode Island for 20 years this coming August! Why are we seeing less of this model/package all of a sudden? Why the change? Simple. Contractors have been choosing to opt out of building spec homes from ground up due to the economy and the slowing (to almost extinction) of the middle class. These very important segments will need to be thriving if we’re to see that “khaki” raised ranch boom again!

And in the last five years contractors began to shift gears away from the fully guttedflip trend (which is now becoming very scarce) to flips with cosmetic touches. These cosmetic touchups I warn you…be careful. The permitting process is a bit sketchy, as it does not always require attention to: electrical, plumbing and mechanical areas. However, many contractors find these projects to be very lucrative and profitable and there are A LOT out there for sale now. Just a word of warning – if you do notknow your contractor, you better investigate them well – I find this “cosmetic” homeflip as the #1 cover up complaint in Rhode Island!

Craig DiPetrillo – DiPetrillo Properties – Planning, Investments, Construction

Are solar panels for residential properties worth it?

Solar panels on residential

Residential Solar

The Answer – “ABSOLUTELY”!  Most people do not realize that it’s not just  the electric company that offers credits for purchase and rebates of renewable energy installations/projects — there are private companies out there that will foot the whole bill and/or you are often able to establish a small payment plan (could be around $100.00 per month) added to your electric bill (directly) each month, as opposed to a large one time expenditure.  The savings alone (approximately 20-30% annually) could prove to be greater than the payments/expense for the panels – it will make sense.  On the other hand, if you do not have a large home or a lot of activity going on at your residence (such as a farm), it might not make sense at all, as you will notice when you run your numbers…

Residential solar systems, on average, cost about $20,000 to install.  State and Federal subsidies generally cover about half the cost, bringing it down to about $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.  This is where those private small companies that you’ve been seeing popping up come in to play to better incentify these potential money saving programs by assisting you with affordable installation and payment. options.

What are you getting for the price?  Beyond the actual solar panels, the solar package(s) generally include a new electric meter, installed by the electric utility, that registers credits for the homeowner.  When the solar panels produce more power than is needed, the meter then helps deduct credits when the electric usage exceeds the electricity being produced by the panels.

The first and most important question is always “…what is my return”?  Well, after doing the math, the solar systemsdo add value to the investment! So when measuring the cost of installing solar panels, you must include the value it adds to your property in addition to the savings on your electric bill.

Just another option when going green and making your property more efficient.

Craig DiPetrillo – DiPetrillo Properties – Planning, Investments, Construction

April Showers bring Spring Flowers…and TO DO LISTs!

Finally, NO MORE SNOW! Now it’s time to prepare a calendar for your “To Do List”, those items that you have to keep up with every year and those that you just didn’t tackle last year…here is another chance.

Spring Cleaning Just Ahead Green Road Sign and Clouds

1. First step – Prioritize. I find it simple and most efficient to place the things on
top of the list that don’t need to be done by you and that might need some time to
prepare for – like getting landscape quotes for larger projects, etc…
Reaching out to contractors and requesting quotes in January/February might seem like the best idea but I find it is often more beneficial if you can wait until March/April which then allows the landscape companies to really see what their work load looks like. This is a great way to get the best price – if they’re very busy already, you can sometimes avoid the higher price-tag (quotes) and if they’re too slow – you will see that right in the estimate! Obviously, lawn care companies and landscape contractors are the ones I always try to get referrals for and usually use the ‘ones’ I know or that someone I know knows. But, regardless…always get (3) estimates!
2. Step 2 – How’s the outside of the building looking? Are all those old seams
stuck together or are they separating? Take a really close look at the
exterior/siding, you would be surprised at how often houses may look great from
a distance, but stand 12”-16” away and you begin to see it from a new light.
Good from afar, far from good! All those paint cracks on the trim, which allow
rain and moisture in need to be sealed (caulked). This is the FIRST ENEMY that
attacks the un-protected areas of your home. As that happens, don’t be surprised
as time passes if you see ants living within the moldings and corners…
3. Step 3 — Check the sill of the foundation. Does it look good? Sometimes that
foam you originally used to seal and protect becomes too brittle as it is so close to
the ground/surface, creating an opportunity for moisture to get in.
4. Step 4 — Walk around the foundation and see how the finish grade shifted. You
may need to take a rake (or shovel) to it, and once again slope it away from the
house. Allowing it to puddle against the foundation is only inviting water in.
This is something most people just do not think of checking until their carpet is
soaked in the family room located in the basement.
5. Step 5 – Roofline and chimney. Having a good set of binoculars on hand is
always a good idea to skim the exterior roof line and chimney!
6. Step 6 — How’s the driveway? Sealing and filling those cracks are important to
promote longevity of the asphalt/concrete. If you plan on seal coating the asphalt,
that is great but the rule is to not to over do it, every other year should be
sufficient. Having too much will cause flaking and contribute to cracking.

Craig DiPetrillo – DiPetrillo PropertiesPlanning, Investments, Construction

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