Neil A. Carousso is the producer of The 880 Weekly Rewind with Lynda Lopez, airing Friday nights at 7 PM on WCBS Newsradio 880. Each week Lynda talks with newsmakers for a deep dive into the top stories of the week and the impact it has on people.
Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.

The Latest

  • With COVID cases soaring to pandemic highs, remote work solidifies as new normal

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    Produced by Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — People may be done with COVID, but COVID isn’t done with us just yet.

    New restrictions and mandates aim to quell accelerating Omicron and Delta variant infections as COVID-19 cases in New York and other parts of the country reach its highest level in the entire pandemic.

    Several companies this week decided to send their employees home for the holidays and delay their return to the office plans indefinitely, making remote work a two-year reality for many.

    WCBS anchor Lynda Lopez covers these stories plus pandemic fatigue across both sides of the aisle on The 880 Weekly Rewind, produced by Neil A. Carousso.

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  • Long Island High School Prepares Students for Life and Business through Personal Finance Course

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    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    MINEOLA, NY (WCBS 880) — A private high school on Long Island is teaching financial responsibility – a real-world skill people often learn on their own.

    Chaminade High School in Mineola requires a two-year financial literacy course for juniors and seniors. The class aims to prevent students from forming bad habits at a young age.

    “I think for many of us, we learned how money works just by making the mistakes along the way and making those first decisions on our own,” said Chaminade president Brother Thomas Cleary who implemented the curriculum after Bloomberg proposed the idea in 2014. The financial firm sponsors the course and the school’s business center.

    “We really want to empower our young men here to have the knowledge of how their money works before they actually have to press that button and put it into action,” he said.

    A number of business leaders, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, have said they wish they had been able to take a finance class in high school. Bro. Thomas told WCBS 880 he would connect anyone interested in starting a financial literacy course at their school with Chaminade’s representative at Bloomberg.

    Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso look at how sound financial principles apply to running a business on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank. Entrepreneurship can lead people down a path to financial freedom, but operating a business well requires financial discipline, as Chaminade’s class addresses.

    “We have a number of young men, who are still in college, who’ve started their own businesses and have said that this financial literacy course really helped them navigate the ups and downs of starting a business while a college-aged student,” Bro. Thomas said. “We’re seeing in real-time the benefits of this course, and I think over the long-term, the benefits of our young men going into the business world with a solid understanding of how money works and how to make it work better for themselves and for our society is a win-win for everybody.”

    The class focuses on saving for retirement, investing and avoiding credit card debt. Students at the all-boys Catholic high school also learn about the benefits of different types of investment accounts, including Roth IRAs and 401(k)s, and partake in a stock market competition in which the teens begin with a faux balance of $1 million to purchase stocks.

    “You walk in the hallway, you’ll see kids checking on their iPad what their investment is doing that day and where it’s going,” the school president said of the enthusiasm he has witnessed first-hand. “These are 17, 18 year old kids who are really interested and that’s how the teachers keep them really interested in the course.”

    The students monitor their portfolios through the semester with a close eye on movements in the market in real-time. The course’s instructors are experienced Wall Street professionals who bring their real-world experience into the classroom to relate how macro decisions affect people on a personal level.

    “You know, where the market goes, it affects not only interest rates but how that affects mortgage loans and credit card debt and just the economy globally,” noted Bro. Thomas. “I’ve seen the instructors take one really minute detail in the news that day – you know, why did the stock go up or down – and they just show the ripple affect across the globe in so many different sectors.”

    He told Connolly and Carousso that Chaminade’s objective is to provide a financial toolkit and a foundation students can build upon in their professional careers and personal lives.

    “I got one email recently saying that his course at Chaminade was probably one of the most influential courses he had in terms of helping him decide what he wanted to study and where his passion was,” Bro. Thomas said.

    See ideas on how to teach your kids about financial responsibility and get book recommendations for the holidays to make learning fun and engaging on the Small Business Spotlight video above.

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  • Unity and Freedom Become the Lasting Message of Spirited Army-Navy Game at MetLife

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    Executive produced by Carousso Enterprises, LLC

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Navy upset Army 17-13 in the annual rivalry college football matchup that carries a far greater significance for the cadets who take the field.

    Carousso Enterprises got NY2C exclusive access to cover the 122nd Army-Navy Game from the sidelines at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2021.

    The game returned to the New York area to mark 20 years since 9/11 and included pageantry and profound significance as the players on the field are committed to serving for our nation upon graduation.

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  • Army-Navy Game Preview LIVE from the Intrepid

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    Executive produced by Carousso Enterprises, LLC.

    NEW YORK, NY — The Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen battle Saturday afternoon at MetLife Stadium for the 122nd time. The teams meet in the New York Metropolitan Area for the first time since 2002 to mark 20 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    None of the players on the gridiron Saturday were alive on 9/11, but they will all serve in the U.S. Armed Forces after their graduations. The United States faces a myriad of pressing foreign policy issues and completed a tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan in August to end the longest war in the nation’s history.

    NY2C’s “On The Call” hosts Derek Futterman and Joey Rinaldi host the podcast on-location this week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ahead of the rivalry matchup. The guys chat with actor Dan Lauria, former Navy and Raiders running back Napoleon McCallum, WFAN’s Craig Carton, Westwood One commentator Ross Tucker, USAA VP Rob Braggs, Intrepid Museum president Susan Marenoff, West Point Dean B.G. Shane Reeves, BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi, and Russell L. Smith, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.

    Carousso Enterprises executive produces NY2C’s “On The Call” podcast.

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  • The New Age Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Word-of-mouth can still be the most effective marketing for businesses.

    Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C. discovered this when they were forced to find new patients on their own. The rapid consolidation of hospitals and physicians in recent years have left non-affiliated practices to develop their own marketing.

    “Our referral patterns dried up in terms of private practice doctors,” said Dr. Thomas Dowling, founding partner of Long Island Spine Specialists. “I’d say less than 50 percent now of physicians are in private practice where the rest are employed and there’s some financial reward or incentive to stay in a system rather than refer outside a system.”

    He told Joe Connolly on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank, that, like many businesses today, the practice uses reviews and client testimonials on its website to find new patients.

    “What our practice has now noted is that word-of-mouth and your reputation now is more of how we get patients than actual physician referral; although, those are still out there as well,” said Dr. Dowling.

    Long Island Spine Specialists keeps its servers in-house and has a full-time IT staff to manage its website security.

    Dr. Dowling has been in practice for more than 30 years. Since then, the health care industry and his field of medicine has changed drastically.

    “When I started, there was very little technology available in terms of instrumentation,” he said, noting there were few advancements between the 1960s and 1980s when he earned his certifications.

    The hallmark of any entrepreneur, Dr. Dowling saw an opportunity to help people where there was a void for both surgical and non-surgical solutions.

    “There’s some modifications but very few back then and there was a lot of opportunity to develop better techniques for surgery,” he said.

    Robotics and stem cell procedures are used more commonly to treat herniated discs with a shorter recovery time, according to the surgeon.

    “The navigation, basically, like your car or GPS, (is) a guided way to enter the spine as we’ve gone from open surgery where we actually see the anatomy to going through minimally invasive through smaller incisions or percutaneously, meaning not even making a real incision, we need special interoperative guidance to help us make sure that we’re in the right spot,” said Dr. Dowling.

    The spinal surgery industry today is booming. It’s valued at $9.35 billion, and by some economic forecasts, the industry will reach $13.8 billion by 2025.

    Long Island Spine Specialists has a small piece of the pie with four locations across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The practice is made up of a team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons who have sub-specialties in spine surgery. Dr. Dowling told WCBS 880, though, most of their patients can avoid surgery.

    “We have a lot of patients who present with neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, hip pain, and sometimes, they’re doubly blessed. They have a shoulder problem then a neck problem, they have a back problem or hip problem, or really, their hip pain manifests itself as back pain and vice versa,” he said, continuing, “So, there are people I’ve seen who had hip replacements wondering why they never got better; it was really their back.”

    Dr. Dowling said the field has grown as people incur back problems from poor posture and long hours hunched over a computer.

    “The most common reason people go to the doctor is for a cold,” he said. “The second most common reason is for back pain.”

    See more on marketing and running a medical practice on the Small Business Spotlight video above.

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