New Report: Beyond Paycheck-to-Paycheck

Posted by on September 24, 2004

[see also item 3C “Paycheck to Paycheck Online Interactive Database”]

September 23, 2004
Contact: Anne Claire Broughton, SJF Advisory Services, 919-530-1177

SJF Advisory Services Releases “Beyond Paycheck-to-Paycheck” Report

(Durham, NC) – SJF Advisory Services has released “Beyond Paycheck-to-Paycheck,” a report which describes tools that companies and venture capital funds can use to assist low-wealth employees in building their families’ assets and moving into the economic mainstream, while contributing to business success.

In the United States, there are an increasing number of working poor -individuals who work one or more full-time jobs but receive low wages and no benefits and struggle to make ends meet. These individuals are living from paycheck to paycheck. Asset-building tools aimed at assisting these individuals are the focus of SJF’s report. These tools may include broad-based stock option plans in which all employees benefit from the success of the company; employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs); matched savings accounts for first-time home ownership, higher education or starting a business (called individual development accounts or IDAs); and profit sharing. The report includes both descriptions of these tools and case studies of their use and benefit to companies assisted by SJF Advisory Services and 20 other venture capital funds surveyed.

“An enthusiastic, motivated workforce is critical to our success,” says Mark Wilson, CEO of Ryla Teleservices of Woodstock, GA, an SJF Ventures portfolio company. “Broad-based stock options and other benefits are key to retaining and incentivizing our people.” Ryla provides data collection and follow-on sales call service for the commercial credit and financial services industries. The company recently implemented a broad-based stock option plan for all employees, with assistance from SJF Advisory Services.

Simon Smock, a team leader at SJF portfolio company Salvage Direct of Titusville, PA, which provides salvage vehicle management services and on-line auctions for the auto insurance industry, is also enthusiastic about stock options. “I like the idea of having ownership in the company,” says Smock. “Salvage is also open to ideas from employees at all levels, which helps make us one of the best at what we do.” Smock started at entry level and has steadily moved his way up over the past four years.

The Beyond Paycheck-to-Paycheck Initiative (previously called Exits and Employees) was funded by the F.B. Heron Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. The final report can be found on SJF Advisory Services’ website at

SJF Advisory Services seeks to promote self-sufficiency for low-wealth individuals by assisting sustainable enterprises to create, retain and enhance long-term jobs for the residents of economically distressed communities. SJF Advisory Services works in conjunction with SJF Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in expanding businesses in the Cleantech, business services, and consumer products sectors that create quality entry-level jobs. For more information, go to

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