Love Task #22
"Me Time"

Once a relationship becomes more serious, the focus tends to subtly shift from me to "we." Instead of planning what you're going to do, you might notice you're planning what "we're" going to do. While nothing is wrong with this, it can overshadow the need to spend some quality alone time as well. This doesn't mean alone time with your partner either.

Spending time independently of each other is a healthy part of any relationship. You need time to process your thoughts and dreams, handle stress and just unwind and be yourself. It has nothing to do with not wanting to be with the other person. Everyone needs a little personal space, and it's a huge sign of respect towards your partner when you encourage and support their time alone.

If neither of you have taken the time to be by yourself in a while, it's certainly time to make a change.


* Set aside at least one hour each week for each of you to spend time completely alone where you won't need to worry about any responsibilities. Your time could be spent doing something as simple as reading a book, taking a bath or working in the garden. The point is for the other partner to take care of anything that needs attention during the other's personal time.

* If time allows, try to surprise your partner with a least a half hour of free time. Even better, you can set them up with a "free time" surprise. For him, tell him you're taking the kids out to a movie and he's to enjoying playing computer games all night. For her, plan a take-out dinner, then take the kids out for ice cream and a treat, while she gets to enjoy an uninterrupted bubble bath by candlelight.

* Sometimes a partner can spend too much personal time on a project. Instead of making them feel guilty about it, arrange for a time swap. Agree to a set amount of time they'll work on the project each week. In exchange, they have to offer you that same amount of time to do either something on your own, or together. Get creative and you can both get what you want.

* Every couple of months let your partner have an all day personal day. Arrange for them to do the activity they love most, without guilt and interruption for an entire day. While you may be giving up a day spent with your partner, the appreciation for respecting their personal space will more than make for the time apart.


Empire State Development News

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(212) 803-3740



Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano announced today that seven New York organizations have been approved to participate and provide loans through a revolving loan program that supports minority and women-owned businesses.

“These seven organizations will help us reach minority and women business owners who are looking for financial assistance to help them grow their businesses in New York State,” Gargano said. “Everyday we are using our innovative programs and resources to support businesses as they create new opportunities for our working men and women in communities throughout the State.”

Under the Minority and Women Revolving Loan Trust Fund Program, Empire State is providing $1,032,500 in funding to the organizations, which in turn will provide low-interest loans to minority and women-owned businesses.

The organizations include: African American Chamber of Commerce of Mount Vernon, N.Y.; Bethex Federal Credit Union in the Bronx; the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. of the Bronx; New York Association for New Americans in Manhattan; Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union of Syracuse; Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corp. in Upper Manhattan, and Westchester Housing Fund in Hawthorne. Each will receive a grant from the revolving loan trust fund of $147,500.

In 1987, Empire State Development was authorized to establish the Minority and Women Revolving Loan Trust Fund. Through these organizations, low-cost financial assistance is made available to M/WBEs. The program not only gives the local organizations the financial resources to implement direct lending programs, but also strengthens their role in community economic development.

The African American Chamber of Commerce began operations in 1996. Its mission is to preserve competitive enterprise and to maintain the overall economy for African American businesses in Westchester and Rockland counties. The chamber conducts small business seminars that include financial planning, procurement development, marketing, business management and access to capital.

Bethex Federal Credit Union is certified as a community development financial institution, designated by the National Credit Union Association as a low-income credit union, and an SBA intermediary lender in the Bronx. Bethex continues to provide low-income residents in the South Bronx with savings, loans and financial services.

Established in 1981, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. is a community based, non-profit organization created to stimulate and coordinate economic development in the Bronx. It is the economic consultant to the Bronx Borough President and became certified as a community development entity in March 2003. It is the primary county-wide economic development organization and functions as a one stop resource center for business and industry.

Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corp., was founded in 1978 initially focusing on commercial revitalization in northern Manhattan. With the creation of the Business Operating Success System (BO$$) program, WHIDC began to focus on providing technical assistance to local entrepreneurs and operating a substantial microenterprise lending portfolio. In its history, BO$$ has loaned more than $2 million to some 200 small businesses in the Washington Heights and Inwood areas of Manhattan.

In 1996, the New York Association for New Americans Inc. established the Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) and in 1997 implemented the Microenterprise Program for Refugees, which is funded by the office of Refugee Resettlement. BCNA provides clients with added access to credit by partnering with other organizations for such programs as Trickle Up and Individual Development Account.

Founded in 1982, Syracuse Federal Credit Union (SFCU) operates as a community development credit union in the City of Syracuse in Onondaga County. This not-for-profit corporation provides a full range of basic financial services to the underserved neighborhoods of Westcott/Near Eastside and Southwest, offering accounts, financing and development services.

The Westchester Housing Fund Inc. has joined forces with the Women’s Enterprise Project to implement a lending program for microentrepreneurs in Westchester County. Westchester Housing Fund will undertake two new initiatives in the form of small group technical assistance to maximize resources and offer networking opportunities to borrowers and borrowing readiness sessions that will include bank presentations on lending concepts and practices, along with one-on-one business counseling for graduates of the organization’s IDA entrepreneurial program.