A Mississippi Riverboat sailing down the Mississippi River.
This month we travel to the land of Dixie, the southern state of Mississippi. The state is heavily forested with over half of the state’s area covered by wild trees including mostly pine, as well as cottonwood, elm, hickory, oak, pecan, sweetgum and tupelo.
The Mississippi River delta region is considered home of the blues music, where this type of music is honored at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. This region is also one of the top casino destinations between Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Many well-known and diverse singers came out of Mississippi including Elvis Presley, alternative rock band 3-Doors Down, Jimmy Buffet and Opera Singer Leontyne Price.
White Sands National Monument full of white sand dunes and gypsum crystals.
Welcome to the Land of Enchantment! This month we travel to the southwestern state of New Mexico. The states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah come together at the Four Corners in the northwestern corner of the state, the only such occurrence in the U.S. Although a large state, New Mexico has very little water, with a surface area of only about 250 square miles.
Inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before European Exploration, New Mexico was colonized in 1598 by the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, it was part of independent Mexico before becoming a U.S. territory and eventually a U.S. state, as a result of the Mexican-American War. Among the U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of the original Spanish colonists who have lived in the area for more than 400 years beginning in 1598. The demography and culture are shaped by these strong Hispanic and Native American Influences and is also expressed in the state flag. Its scarlet and gold colors are taken from the royal standards of Spain, along with the ancient symbol of the Zia, a Pueblo-related tribe.
Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Academy Chapel Dome and Harbor Queen tour vessel at City Dock.
This month we travel to the birthplace of religious freedom in America, the state of Maryland. Formed by George Calvert in the early 17th Century, the state was intended as a refuge for persecuted Catholics from England. George Calvert was the first Lord of Baltimore and the first English proprietor of the then-Maryland colonial grant. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, and played a pivotal role in the founding of Washington D.C., which was established on land donated by the state.
Mid-Atlantic Maryland is defined by its abundant waterways and coastlines on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Its largest city, Baltimore, has a history as a major seaport, and is also home to such tourist attractions as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center.
The St. Louis, Missouri Gateway Arch and skyline
This month we travel to the “Show Me” state of Missouri. The people of Missouri have earned their motto as the “Show Me” state for their very practical skepticism of the fads that sweep other parts of the country. This attitude manifests itself in the state government’s approach to business encouragement and regulation. So, let’s look at the state and see how their approach could help your business.
The state is the 21st most extensive by area and is geographically diverse. North of the Missouri River, the state is primarily composed of rolling hills of the Great Plains and south of the Missouri River, the state is dominated by forests. The Mississippi River forms the Eastern Border of the State, eventually flowing into the swampy Missouri Bootheel.
A colonial house set amongst vibrant trees.
This month we travel across the country to Virginia. One of the original 13 colonies, Virginia possesses a lot of living history with the Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg being notable historic landmarks.
The Shenandoah National Park lies in the eastern part of the state deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mostly forested, the park features wetlands, waterfalls and rocky peaks, like Hawksbill, and Old Rag mountains. It is also home to many bird species, deer, squirrels and the elusive black bear.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
This month, we travel back to the mainland (and the home state of Miles Consulting Group) to the 3rd largest state in the country and the 6th largest economy in the world- the Golden State of California! With its sunny and dry coastal climate year round (except for January 2017!) and easy access to the ocean and mountains, California has always been seen as an ideal resort destination. In the 1960s, popular music groups such as The Beach Boys promoted the image of Californians as laid-back, tanned beach-goers – which, of course we all are!
California is home to the second most populous city in the United States- Los Angeles, which is home to the Hollywood entertainment industry. San Francisco, 400 miles to the north, is where you will find the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and cable cars.
Diamond Head and Waikiki on Oahu, Hawaii
Aloha! This month we travel across the ocean to the island paradise of Hawaii. In the state, you can attend a luau to experience true Hawaiian culture, relax on the beach or hike in one of the many tropical forests or mountains.
Hawaii is unique because it the only state made up of part of the volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which consists of hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. At the southeastern end of the archipelago are eight islands known as the state of Hawaii. They are: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and Hawaii.
Due to its central location in the Pacific Ocean and its 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii’s culture is strongly influenced by North American and Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. This is exhibited by the many customs and food cuisines that Hawaii has to offer. For example, it is customary to bring a small gift for one’s host (i.e., a dessert). Many Hawaiian plates have been influenced by Polynesian, Asian and American foods as well.
If you’re a start-up company with annual gross receipts of less than $5 million, you can now apply up to $250,000 of your R&D credit against your payroll tax liability.
Featured Guest Blogger- Carolyn Driscoll
The federal R&D tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income tax liability for qualified expenditures incident to the development or improvement of a product, process, software, formula or invention. It was recently made permanent by The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH” Act).
Previously, a company had to actually generate a profit and taxable income to utilize the R&D tax credit. Now the PATH Act allows start-up companies to utilize the credit against their payroll taxes, if the companies perform “qualified research”.
Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta
The last of the original thirteen colonies is Georgia, the Peach State. Georgia is also known as the Empire State of the South. The state has varied terrain with mountains and natural rock in the northwest, urban areas, forest in the southern part and farmland.
There are also many points of interest that attract visitors to Georgia. In Atlanta, there are the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. Stone Mountain, just north of Atlanta, is Georgia’s most popular attraction, receiving over 4 million visitors per year. Callaway Gardens, in western Georgia, is a family resort. The area is also popular with golfers.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Known for its mountainous landscape and rolling hills, this month we travel east to West Virginia. The state has a rich history and is embedded in the Appalachian Mountains.
West Virginia is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, such as skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and hunting. For something on the calmer side, the state offers many golf courses.
It is also one of the most densely Karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. Karstic topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. These underground hydrology systems contribute to much of the state’s cool trout waters.