Washington Business Report: July 27, 2014

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Trump Has Big Plans for D.C.

Constant camera flashes and finely tailored suits were amongst the scene at the Old Post Office in downtown D.C. on Wednesday as the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Trump International Hotel commenced. Equipped with a shovel and a smile, Donald Trump seemed eager to enter into the next phase of his redevelopment process at the Post Office. However, beautiful as the building may at present be, it is still a ways away from seeing its first guests dance in the ballroom.

“It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of money, and a lot of imagination,” Trump explained to Rebecca Cooper in an exclusive one-on-one interview. But it is an abundance of these components that made the Trump brand so attractive to the General Services Administration during the bidding process, where they were able to beat out other hotel power players such as Hilton to acquire the prestigious property.

The Donald sees no reason that the new location in D.C. cannot join the already lengthy list of top-rated hotels that bear the Trump name in North America. And in true Trump fashion, his vision stretches to planetary proportions.

“I’m trying to make this the finest hotel anywhere in the world,” Trump proclaimed, highlighting the unmatched location on Pennsylvania Avenue and the tremendous detail of the structure. The hotel, which will cost upwards of $200 million to complete, will open in mid-2016.

New app aims to prevent tragedies like Virginia Tech shooting

In the aftermath of a tragedy, those directly affected often wonder what could have prevented it from happening. Safety app LiveSafe wants to help its users avoid potentially tragic situations.

Based in Rosslyn, Virginia, one of LiveSafe’s co-founders is a survivor herself. Kristina Anderson, who was shot during the second spree of the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, believes there should have been a way to help prevent what happened.

The app allows users to crowdsource suspicious activity, LiveSafe CEO Jenny Abramson told Washington Business Report.

“A lot of time what we deal with is between doing nothing and calling 911,” she explained. With LiveSafe, users can connect with safety officials, send photos, and even track the whereabouts of others in their network. LiveSafe works in collaboration with campus safety departments at colleges across the nation and other various organizations and communities.

The use and enormous growth potential of the app has certainly been noticed. IAC, which is behind, Tinder, and other services, is the main investor of LiveSafe.

Business Roundtable tackles controversy over corporate inversions

With nine corporate inversions having occurred this year, everyone seems to have something to say about the topic—including President Obama.

Inversions, which occur when American companies buy or merge with foreign companies in order to enjoy lower corporate tax rates, have faced harsh criticism, even being called “unpatriotic.” But Jonathan Aberman, principal of Amplifier Ventures, does not think companies should feel any obligation to be patriotic.

“They don’t have to be patriotic. We get a lot of benefits from doing business in the United States, and to be asked to stay here to pay taxes—that’s a valued judgement.”

Peter Morici of the Robert H. Smith School of Business also came to the defense of companies who have completed corporate inversions. He told Washington Business Report that these companies have a responsibility to their shareholders to seek such opportunities.

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