The color of 2017 is …

— NEW YORK — There will be a lot more green in the world in 2017.

Color forecasters at the Pantone Color Institute have declared “greenery” as next year’s color of the year.

Although there is green in grass, leaves and apples, Pantone is specific about what counts as “greenery.”

The company describes it as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.”

“It’s the green that signals vitality, energy and warmth from the sun,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president with Pantone Color Institute.

The yellow-green color was largely picked because it represents rebirth and regeneration, Pressman said.

She added that the hue is symbolic of “where we are in our lives and what we desire.”

“We are so submerged in our routines and tethered to devices, but we have a great desire to disconnect and replenish,” she said.

Pantone’s team around the world typically spends the year studying trends in fashion, consumer products, social media and technology. It looks for influences that best describe the current mood of society and picks a color to reflect those elements.

“We’re [even] looking at street art, animation, architecture, movies and headphones,” said Pressman. “We capture a snapshot of what’s being expressed through color.”

Sometimes more than one color makes sense. Pantone picked two colors for 2016: baby blue and dusty pink. The company called them “welcoming colors that fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security.”

More recently, green has stood out on fashion runways, in makeup and cars. For example, the “greenery” shade appeared on Mercedes and Skoda car models this year.

The green color also represents a growing movement around protecting the planet.

“We’re more conscious about the environment and protecting the planet,” said Pressman.

With “greenery” as the chosen color of the year, brands will also want to get in on the trend with their packaging and products, from handbags to jewelry and housewares.

It happened when Pantone declared Tangerine Tango its 2012 color of the year.

“People said it would never work but we were dead on,” she said. “Tangerine is a now mainstream color.”

These Christmas lights don’t need to be wrapped around the tree

— Let’s admit it. Hanging Christmas tree lights is annoying.

The end result is, of course, joyous and festive. But the process of laboriously stringing lights while being poked by pine needles doesn’t do much for the holiday spirit.

Tree Dazzler, a curtain of lights that hangs vertically over your Christmas tree, could be an easier alternative this year.

While the product certainly appeals to the laziest among us, it could also strike a chord with consumers who just don’t want to spend time decorating.

The full set up takes about three minutes — no untangling required.

TeleBrands, the company behind the product, said retail chains nationwide have stocked up on Tree Dazzler in time for the holiday decorating rush.

“We think we’re going to be sold out of these well before Christmas,” said A.J. Khubani, founder and CEO of TeleBrands, citing feedback from retailers.

Tree Dazzler ($40) features a large circular plastic ring with eight hanging strands of round lightbulbs. The ring sits at the top of the tree and the strands, which each have 64 blubs, fall onto the tree.

If you need more bulbs, stack another Tree Dazzler ring on top of the first to cover more surface area. It comes with a switch that controls six lighting combinations — the lights can change colors, flicker and make scrolling patterns.

TeleBrands, whose products are often featured in As Seen on TV infomercials, gained traction last year for its Star Shower gizmo — a small laser device that projects thousands of tiny stars onto the front of your house.

“We sold 4 million of those,” Khubani said. “We’ll probably double [the sales of that product] this year.” (Telebrands is selling a newer version this year that features moving lights.)

The runaway success of Star Shower inspired the company to focus on making holiday decorating easy. “People are so busy … they want a fast way to decorate,” he said.

As with Star Shower, Khubani is betting harried holiday households will embrace the gimmicky convenience of Tree Dazzler.

His one warning: “Once we sell out of it, that’s it. We’ve only been able to produce 1 million of them for the holidays.”

Tree Dazzlers are sold at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Best cities for black entrepreneurs

— Georgia’s got a lock on black-owned businesses, according to a new report from NerdWallet.

The first-time study analyzed 111 U.S. cities (with populations over 100,000), looking at things like cost of living, percentage of black-owned businesses and their revenue, and the median income of black residents.

The Peach State is home to three of the top 10 cities: Columbus, Atlanta and Savannah.

“Georgia has a robust affluent African-American community, which is very entrepreneurial,” said Bill Murphy, executive vice president of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce. “People think black entrepreneurship is concentrated in Atlanta, but it extends to other cities in the state too.”

To his point, Columbus, Ga., took the No. 1 spot. Over a third of the city’s small businesses are black-owned. The average annual revenue is just $32,000 — much lower than most of the other top 10 cities. But Columbus’ overall score was boosted by its low cost of living.

The report didn’t consider access to capital as a factor in its methodology.

Cindy Yang, small business analyst with NerdWallet, said that was deliberate. “As much as 65% of these businesses are self-funded or rely on funding from family or friends,” she said.

But Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, argued that this methodology left out some important hubs.

He agreed that Atlanta is a top spot for black entrepreneurs but said cities like Houston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles might have stronger potential because of their larger black populations and the opportunity to generate more revenue.

Columbus, with a population of 202,000, is a big military town and home to Fort Benning.

“There are 40,000 military personnel and civilians associated with it,” said Murphy. “Black-owned micro-businesses such as stores, hair salons, barber shops and restaurants are catering to them.”

Tashema Johnson opened Purpose & Passion hair salon in 2009 in Columbus. Even with no prior business experience, it just took three months to get the salon up and running.

Johnson, who self-funded her business, said the city makes it easy for first-time entrepreneurs to get started.

“I’ve lived in Atlanta. It’s a very competitive market and I probably wouldn’t make as much,” she said. “Columbus is a big city, but not as expensive or as competitive.”

Purpose & Passion turned profitable two years ago and Johnson said she expects to hire more employees soon.

NerdWallet’s Yang said Columbus’ dominant industries — aerospace and auto manufacturing, technology and tourism — also support local small businesses.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, all 10 of NerdWallet’s top cities are places where the percentage of African-American residents is higher than the national average.

Other cities in the top 10 include Montgomery, Ala., Memphis, Washington D.C., Fayetteville, N.C., Durham, N.C., Jackson, Miss. and Baltimore, Md.

Murphy said black-owned businesses have flourished in the South and will continue to do so.

“The entrepreneurial trait is part of the history and fabric of the south,” he said.