Friday, May 28, 2010

Important Health Care Tax Credit Info for Small Businesses

From the SBA PRESS OFFICE

Administrator Karen Mills of the U.S. Small Business Administration has written an open letter to small business owners across the United States explaining immediate benefits available to small businesses as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The full letter is available at http://www.sba.gov/acaletter/ - content is below:
***
Dear Small Business Owner,

For decades, access to affordable health insurance has been the number-one concern of small business owners. To help you address that concern and provide quality, affordable coverage for your employees, the new Affordable Care Act gives you a number of new tools and benefits.

The most immediate benefit you should know about is the tax credit to help you pay for up to 35 percent of your employee premiums starting this tax year. An estimated 4 million small businesses may qualify for these tax credits, totaling about $40 billion over the next 10 years. Go here to learn more about the tax credit, including new information that explains how this federal credit is in addition to state-level credits you might receive and how dental and vision coverage are also eligible for the federal credit.

The Affordable Care Act also included reporting requirements if you pay another business $600 or more starting with 2013 filings. Small business groups have voiced concerns about the possible burden this places on people like you. That’s why the IRS is already planning to exempt from this requirement your transactions that use credit and debit cards. Also, the IRS, SBA and others in the Administration are looking for additional ways to minimize burdens and avoid duplicative reporting. We welcome your comments and input as we move forward together to address implementation issues under the new law.

Over the last 16 months, this Administration has taken steps to provide tax relief that put more money in the hands of small business owners like you – including write-offs for new equipment, credits for hiring unemployed workers and capital gains exclusions for small business investors. We know that sensible tax relief like this will help you grow your business, create new jobs, and continue drive America’s economic recovery.

With warm regards,

Karen Mills

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SBA Recognizes Top National Small Business Counseling Partners

WASHINGTON – The Orange County Calif. SCORE Chapter, a New Mexico Women’s Business Center, and a New York Small Business Development Center received national awards today for their outstanding service and assistance to entrepreneurs in their communities.

These outstanding resource partners were recognized during a National Small Business Week award event in Washington, D.C., taking place May 23-25. The event, sponsored by Northrop Grumman, also highlighted lender awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

‘During national small business week we honor those who stand beside and support small businesses as they create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Karen G.
Mills. “Because of our resource partners we are able to touch the lives of over a million small businesses each year that are the engine of our nation’s economy.”

The Entrepreneurial Development Award categories include the National SCORE Chapter of the Year, the Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award, and the Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award. The 2010 award winners are:

SCORE Chapter of the Year
Carl Woodard, Chair
Bill Morland, District Director
Orange County SCORE
Santa Ana, CA

Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award Anthony Urquidez, Regional Manager Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team
(WESST) Roswell Women’s Business Center
Roswell, NM

Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award Eric Constance, Regional Director Elizabeth Ann Durant, Assistant Director John T. Gould, Senior Business Adviser Sarah O’Connell, Business Adviser Robin E. Stephenson, Business Adviser Lawrence R. Perras, Senior Business Adviser John R. Halleron, Advanced Business Adviser Watertown Small Business Development Center Jefferson Community College Watertown, NY

The SCORE Chapter of the Year Award honors a chapter whose volunteer counselors have exceeded high standards for counseling small business clients, including expanding counseling services and programs that benefit the local small business community. Orange County SCORE has demonstrated exceptional service growth, successful public outreach, and excellent client satisfaction. The chapter served more than 11,000 clients through counseling sessions and workshops last year. Orange County SCORE led all SCORE chapters with the most clients served from 2004-2009.

The Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award honors a Women’s Business Center for its excellence and innovation helping women entrepreneurs through a wide variety of training and counseling. The Women’s Economic Self- Sufficiency Team is a top-performing SBA Women’s Business Center, providing business counseling, training, technical assistance and support to women, minority, rural and low-income clients in New Mexico. The impact and reach of the WESST Roswell WBC in its largely rural territory has made important contributions to economic growth in Roswell and southeastern New Mexico.
The Roswell WBC has annually achieved or exceeded its economic impact targets, especially in helping small businesses gain access to capital. This year it achieved its 2010 annual goal for helping small business owners secure start-up and expansion capital in just the first quarter. Among its many services, the center contains an in-house business incubator that hosts various women and minority-owned small businesses.

The Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award honors a SBDC Service Center for providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation. The Watertown SDBC has a proven record of helping small businesses create jobs in rural upstate New York. Located at Jefferson Community College, Watertown is part of a network of SBDCs in the New York state. The center combines resources from the college and the local, state and federal governments to help small businesses address a range of organizational, financial, marketing and technical business issues. The center’s business counselors are the keys to its success, providing direct counseling and training to business owners. Started in 1986, the Watertown SBDC has helped nearly 15,000 clients, who have created more than 6,900 jobs. It’s helped its clients secure more than $190 million through U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans, private bank loans, venture capital, and individual direct investments.

SCORE, Women’s Business Centers, and Small Business Development Centers are part of SBA’s extensive network for small business counseling and training at every level, and are located strategically throughout the United States. In fiscal year 2009, these valued resource partners provided services to more than one million clients nationwide.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grantees and Nonprofit Clients May Be in Danger of Losing Tax-Exempt Status

On May 17, 2010, the IRS begins the process of revoking tax-exempt status from nonprofits that failed to file three consecutive annual returns (Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990, or 990-PF). "A large number of these organizations are smaller nonprofits that previously were not required to file an annual return because their gross revenues were $25,000 or less. These nonprofits now must file Form 990-N, which the IRS created in response to the Pension Protection Act" of 2006. Read more about these upcoming changes HERE.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

President Obama Proclaims National Small Business Week

WASHINGTON - Calling small business the backbone of the nation's economy, President Barack Obama stressed his Administration's commitment "to helping small businesses drive our economy toward recovery and long-term growth" in his proclamation of the week of May 23-29 as National Small Business Week.

The President's proclamation was issued May 20 prior to the U.S. Small Business Administration's 47th annual observance of National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. (May 23-25). The event honors the nation's most outstanding entrepreneurs, and features the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year for 2010 from among the 53 state small business winners, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

President Obama will meet with Small Business Week award winners at the White House Tuesday.

"Small business owners embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and strong work ethic that lie at the heart of the American dream. They are the backbone of our Nation's economy, they employ tens of millions of workers, and, in the past 15 years, they have created the majority of new private sector jobs. During Small Business Week, we reaffirm our support for America's small businesses and celebrate the proud tradition of private enterprise they represent.

"Our Nation is still emerging from one of the worst recessions in our history, and small businesses were among the hardest hit. From mom-and-pop stores to high tech start-ups, countless small businesses have been forced to lay off employees or shut their doors entirely. In these difficult times, we must do all we can to help these firms recover from the recession and put Americans back to work. Our Government cannot guarantee a company's success, but it can help create market conditions that allow small businesses to thrive.

"My Administration is committed to helping small businesses drive our economy toward recovery and long-term growth. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has supported billions of dollars in loans and Federal contracts for small businesses across the country. The Affordable Care Act makes it easier for small business owners to provide health insurance to their employees, and gives entrepreneurs the security they need to innovate and take risks. We have also enacted new tax cuts and tax credits for small firms. Still, we must do more to empower these companies.

"In this year's State of the Union address, I proposed creating a $30 billion lending fund to help increase the flow of credit to small businesses, and I call on the Congress to pass this legislation quickly. My Administration is also working to extend and enhance Small Business Administration programs that have helped small business owners acquire loans and hire workers.

"This week, we celebrate the role of entrepreneurs and small businesses in our national life. They are the engine of our prosperity and a proud reflection of our character. A healthy small business sector will give us vibrant communities, cutting edge technology, and an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century."

The full text of the President's National Small Business Week proclamation can
be found here.

National Small Business Week 2010 will begin with two-and-a-half days of events in Washington, D.C., at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where more than 100 outstanding business owners from across the country will be recognized. In addition to the State Small Business Persons of the Year, men and women involved in disaster recovery, government contracting, small business champions as well as SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development will be honored.

A Keynote Address by SBA Administrator Karen Mills will highlight Monday morning's agenda followed by Mills hosting a Town Hall Meeting entitled Small Business: Driving America's Economy. Also featured are a series of executive panel forums on Innovation, Exporting and Social Media.

Among the featured speakers confirmed are The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and The Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation. A list of other outstanding speakers including prominent business leaders, CEOs and politicos, are listed with the full agenda at www.NationalSmallBusinessWeek.com.

At the same site, the public can "attend" Small Business Week events virtually, via the SBA's streaming video. A complete list of all award winners also is available on
the National Small Business Week Web site; click on Winners.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bloomberg Businessweek Company Insight Center

When the press release is right, it's right:

The Web offers investors a rich trove of information. But it has little value in today's fast-paced business environment if you can't quickly find the nuggets you need. That's why BusinessWeek is launching the Company Insight Center on BusinessWeek.com.

The CIC, or Companies Channel, combines our resources with those of Standard & Poor's (MHP) Capital IQ division (like BusinessWeek, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP)) to pull together up to 33 pages of data, charts, profiles, and news stories on each of 42,000 public companies in the U.S. and abroad. The result: an unparalleled array of corporate data.

CIC offers easy navigation to get you from, say, stock price charts that you can customize; to earnings reports and estimates; to profiles of chief executives and board members; to a history of their stock trades. Also available are reports on some 320,000 private companies, though since they're private, the data are more limited.

Want to know what boards—public, private, and nonprofit—those execs and directors sit on? The People page in the Companies Channel can show you that. As you click on each board member, you can see the other members of the board and their affiliations. Click on any of those directors, and you see their other boards and who else sits on them, and so on. You won't find this feature, a proprietary service from Capital IQ, anywhere else on the Web without paying a hefty fee.

There are several ways to get to the CIC pages. From the BusinessWeek.com home page, click on the Companies tab on the navigation bar. You'll also find a stock quote search box on all pages that will take you to the Snapshot page for whatever company you type in. In addition, all ticker symbols and mentions of companies in BusinessWeek.com stories will link to that company's Snapshot, which is a compendium of market-related data, company news, and biographical and compensation info on top executives. Similarly, executives' names in online stories will link to their CIC profiles.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SBA Offers Tools to Help Exporters Succeed as Part of World Trade Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U. S. Small Business Administration is offering new, free tools for new and established small business exporters to help them grow and succeed in international trade. Small businesses will now have access to six-part podcast series, an introduction to exporting Youtube video and an online training course.

SBA is making these new tools available as part of the World Trade Week celebrations taking place May 17-21 nationwide to raise awareness of the increasing importance of international trade to the nation’s economy.

"Exporting is a critical strategy for helping small businesses grow and create jobs," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “We’re working every day to help small businesses break into exporting, reach more international markets and be more competitive in the global economy."

The podcast series is available online and focuses on Growing Your Business Through Exporting; Developing an Export Strategy; Preparing for Global Markets; Conducting Market Research; SBA Exporting Loan Program; and a Small Business Success Story.

The introduction to exporting video is available at the SBA YouTube site, and the free, online exporting course, "Take Your Business Global," is available at the SBA webpage.

This year’s World Trade Week activities support President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which calls for doubling U.S. exports and supporting two million jobs over the next five years. President Obama has outlined five steps the Administration is taking to help U.S. firms expand sales of their goods and services abroad: creating a new Cabinet-level focus on U.S. exports, expanding export financing, prioritizing government advocacy on behalf of U.S. exporters, providing new resources to U.S. businesses seeking to export, and ensuring a level playing field for U.S. exporters in global markets.

In addition to the podcasts and other regional events to highlight World Trade Week, SBA will host a business forum on international trade at National Small Business Week, which will be held in Washington, D.C., May 23-25. The forum, Customers, Profits, Jobs and Growth, will focus on how to take advantage of opportunities in exporting to expand your business, reach new markets, increase sales, and weather economic downturns. For more information on National Small Business Week, visit www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com

In addition to the new online tools, SBA Resource Partners – Small Business Development Centers, Womens Business Centers and SCORE – are available to assist small businesses in every U.S. State and Territory who are interested in exporting. These resource partners can help entrepreneurs identify potential export markets, facilitate export transactions, develop linkages between United States small business and prescreened foreign buyers, advise on participation in international trade shows, assist in obtaining export financing and in facilitating the development or reorientation of marketing and production strategies. In addition to counseling resources in every state and territory there are export specialists available at the 8 SBDC International Trade Export Assistance Centers and SCORE online international trade advisors. To find your local counseling resources please visit www.sba.gov.

World Trade Week was first proclaimed in 1933 by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt. Originally known as National Foreign Trade Week, Roosevelt announced it as an annual event to be held the third week in May. Over the past decades, it was renamed World Trade Week and has expanded to include many activities to highlight the importance of international trade, especially exports, to the economy.

Release Date: May 18, 2010
Contact: David J. Hall (202) 205-6697
Release Number: 10-22
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tradeshow information news

Tarsus Online Media...announced plans to launch the TSNN DataSite to provide in-depth information about the top trade shows in the U.S. The DataSite will be an online resource representing TSNN’s ten years of data collection on trade shows in North America. The announcement comes a little more than a month after the closing of Tradeshow Week, the industry’s only weekly print publication and publisher of the Tradeshow Week 200 Annual Directory.

More info HERE.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Call Center to be Operational on May 21

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that a federal court judge has signed a temporary restraining order barring the furlough of state employees. This means that the previously-announced May 21 closure of the Department’s call center will not occur. The call center will be fully staffed and Department employees will not be furloughed on that day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quarterly Indicators: The Economy and Small Business

Real gross domestic product increased at an annualized 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, its third quarter of positive growth and a sign of continued economic recovery. Mirroring broad economic trends, overall optimism was higher, with small businesses remaining cautious. Unemployment remained high at 9.7 percent in March, but nonfarm payrolls increased by a net 283,000 jobs in the first quarter. Meanwhile, interest rates remained low, and overall inflation appears to be in check. These and other trends are discussed in the latest update of the Quarterly Indicators: The Economy and Small Business.

Quarterly Indicators: The Economy and Small Business is located here (PDF).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Google, SBA Launch "Tools for Online Success" Partnership

From SBA:

Recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Google announced a new partnership and unveiled "Tools for Online Success," an array of online resources and training designed to help small business owners harness technology to grow their businesses. The site at www.google.com/help/sba, features tutorials, video testimonials, and tips from savvy small business people who have leveraged the web to become more efficient, more cost-effective, and more successful.

"The SBA is pleased to partner with Google to put these important tools in the hands of small businesses across the country," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "As the web evolves and consumers adapt accordingly, we know that more customers are finding traditional ‘Main Street’ businesses online. With these tools for online success, we can ensure these small businesses reach new markets and customers so they can continue to create jobs."

"One fifth of searches on Google are related to location, which shows that people are looking to the Internet to make decisions about where to go and what to do in their daily lives,” said John Hanke, Vice President of Product Management, Google. "We want to connect our users with the businesses that provide the goods and services they need, but the first step is for those businesses to have an online presence. We're excited to team up with the SBA to make that process easier for business owners across the country."

Google and the SBA unveiled the partnership during a forum held May 5 at the
SBA’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and broadcast live online to
press and small business owners across the country.

Friday, May 14, 2010

USPS Files Plan for 5-Day Delivery

The Postal Service has taken its case for five-day delivery to the Postal Regulatory Commission, claiming that current volumes do not support six-day service. The USPS is required by law to seek an advisory opinion from this commission any time they propose a nationwide change in service.

Read more.


Yes, you may have heard about that. But guess who sent the e-mail to me?

Pitney Bowes. They send out a regular e-letter about topics that affect their clients. P-B machines are used to print out postage labels, among other things.

In the same message P-B talks about small business and social media. You should be using Facebook and Twitter to tell you customers important, and relevant info...such as an impending five-day USPS delivery schedule.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New York: Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment

Report for March 2010.

*Export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing account for an estimated 3.1 percent of New York's total private-sector employment. More than one-fifth (20.9 percent) of all manufacturing workers in New York depend on exports for their jobs. (2008 data are the latest available.)

*A total of 27,329 companies exported goods from New York locations in 2007, the third highest number among the 50 states. Of those, 94 percent, or 25,657 firms, were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

*SMEs generated more than half (55 percent) of New York's total exports of merchandise in 2007. That is the third highest percentage among the 50 states and well above the national average of 30 percent.

*In 2007, foreign-controlled companies employed 433,600 workers in New York. This was the second largest total among the 50 states (only California was greater). Major sources of New York's foreign investment in 2007 were the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, and Switzerland.

*New York's export shipments of merchandise in 2009 totaled $57.3 billion. New York was the third largest exporter among the 50 states in 2009.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Info & Videos Available re 2010 Census Door-to-Door Phase

With census takers going door-to-door for the 2010 Census, there is a lot of information floating around about what the process for the Non-Response Follow-Up phase entails. Why is the Census Bureau collecting certain information on the form? How do I know that my data is safe? Is this operation the same as the American Community Survey (ACS)? How do I recognize a census taker?
Please click on the following videos to find answers to some of these questions. It is important that proper information gets to your customers that have not responded to the 2010 Census. Please feel free to forward these videos and encourage everyone to answer the census taker, so that we make sure that everyone is counted.

In English

How is my data protected?
2010 MMC
YouTube

What is the difference between the 2010 Census form and the American Community Survey form?
2010 MMC
YouTube

Why does the Census Bureau collect information on Hispanic origin?
2010 MMC
YouTube

En Español

¿Cómo reconozco un empleado del Censo?
2010 MMC
YouTube

Friday, May 07, 2010

Tools for Online Success

This week, Google and the Small Business Administration announced a partnership and unveiled Tools for Online Success, a website designed to "educate local businesses about how to succeed online". Through tutorials, tips, and short videos of business owners who have found success online, small business owners can "become more efficient, more cost-effective, and more successful".

“The SBA is pleased to partner with Google to put these important tools in the
hands of small businesses across the country,” said SBA Administrator Karen
Mills. “As the web evolves and consumers adapt accordingly, we know that
more customers are finding traditional ‘Main Street’ businesses online. With
these tools for online success, we can ensure these small businesses reach
new markets and customers so they can continue to create jobs.”

The best part, Mills said, is that it’s free.

Monday, May 03, 2010

World Bank Frees Up Development Data

World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, Africa Development Indicators, and Global Economic Monitor are now free, open, and easy to access at data.worldbank.org.

Recognizing that transparency and accountability are essential to development, the World Bank Group now provides free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive set of data on living standards around the globe—some 2,000 indicators, including hundreds that go back 50 years. The data is available in Arabic, French, and Spanish in addition to English.

Particularly for those folks dealing with international trade, this is huge. "Open data will foster innovation." - Hans Rosling, Gapminder Foundation