Friday, September 30, 2011

The 2012 Statistical Abstract

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web.

Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.

Protect Your Small Business with Flood Insurance from FloodSmart.gov

Flooding is the number one natural hazard in the U.S. It doesn’t matter where your business is located, it can still be at risk from hurricanes, flash floods, blocked storm sewers, snow melt, and so on, and unfortunately the devastation can be costly. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage and close your doors long enough to lose your customers.

More HERE.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Economic Indicator Database Search Available from Census Bureau

Statistics from 12 economic indicators are now easy to access and easier to use with the new economic indicator database search. With the release of the Quarterly Financial Report for retail trade, all 12 of the Census Bureau's economic indicators are accessible in this user-friendly Internet tool. It provides an easy way to create statistical tables in ASCII text or time series charts in spreadsheet format. Users can select an indicator and choose statistics by item, time period and other dimensions using drop-down menus at http://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Growing Impact of Credit Unions on Small Business Lending

The report, authored by James Wilcox: State and national data for banks and credit unions for 1986-2010 show credit unions may have provided extra business lending in response to reductions in bank lending.

The research summary can be found HERE.

Should you need further information, please feel free to contact Victoria Williams at (202) 205-6533 or advocacy@sba.gov.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SBA & Agility Recovery Solutions Present Free Webinar on Disaster Preparedness Tips for Employees

WASHINGTON – When it comes to putting together a business continuity plan, most CEOs put their employees at the top of the list of valuable assets to protect. Ironically, while the company may be ready to reopen soon after the disaster, the employees may not be able to return. They’re busy trying to get recovery assistance, or working to clean up at their own homes.

Nationwide, homeowners and renters are currently dealing with the post-disaster challenges of dealing with insurance companies, finding reliable building contractors, or trying to normalize their family routines. Recent hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires are a reminder to individuals that planning for a crisis can save money, time and lives.

During National Preparedness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions are hosting free weekly disaster preparedness webinars. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Tom Heneghan, manager of preparedness for the American Red Cross, will talk about best practices for helping employees be ready for any kind of disaster. He’ll also discuss ways individuals can support community preparedness and response efforts.

SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies via their “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access past webinars and get additional preparedness tips.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

WHO: Tom Heneghan, manager of preparedness, American Red Cross

WHAT: “Resilient America—Personal & Community Preparedness” will be presented by Heneghan. A question and answer session will follow.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 21 --2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT

HOW: Space is limited. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/652630793.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bank Liquidity Pressures and the Availability of Bank Credit to Small Firms: Was the 2007-2009 Credit Crisis Different?"

The report [PDF], authored by Joe Peek, finds that liquidity of bank assets became a factor in the financial crisis, as healthier banks tended to shy away from small C&I and small CRE loans.

The research summary can be found here [PDF].

Should you need further information, please feel free to contact Victoria Williams at (202) 205-6533 or advocacy@sba.gov.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Best Franchises for the Money

Starting a new business from the ground up can be exciting – developing new ideas and selling these concepts to anyone who will listen is something many people thrive on. But it’s certainly not for everyone. What about those folks whose previous job experience or personality types might not transfer as successfully to starting a business by scratch? Another avenue to consider is franchising. Opening a franchise is no easy (or necessarily cheap) option but it definitely has some advantages: lower failure rates, instant name recognition, buying power, and so on.

There are thousands of options out there – from donut shops to car repair to haircuts. How to decide where to start? There are many rankings of franchises available. One place to start is a list of the “best franchises for the buck” that writers from Forbes have put together. The authors of this report looked at four variables: minimum initial investment, total locations, survival rates, and training hours offered.

So are there some Golden Arches in your future? Take a look to see what made the cut.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Announcement Regarding Tropical Storm Lee

This notification [PDF] explains the relief available to New York State taxpayers affected by Tropical Storm Lee.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Statement from SBA Administrator Mills on ‘QuickPay’

WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Mills statement on the President’s “QuickPay” announcement today to cut in half – from 30 days to 15 days – the amount of time it takes federal agencies to pay small businesses for the products and services they deliver to the federal government:

“The thousands of small businesses that provide great products and services to the federal government have a big reason to cheer the President’s ‘QuickPay’ announcement today. When small contractors get their money in 15 days instead of 30, it results in a permanent infusion of cash flow into their businesses. They can put that money towards working capital, expanding their businesses, marketing their products, and creating jobs. Their financial footing gets stronger – permanently. With nearly $100 billion each year in federal contracts going to small businesses, cutting in half the time they get paid is a powerful way to help put America back to work now. QuickPay is a smart and powerful boost that effectively delivers billions more dollars into the hands of small contractors so that they can do what they do best – create jobs.”

Release Date: Sept 14, 2011
Contact: Dan Crawford (202) 205-6920
Release Number: 10-51
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Books in Our Collection

NACS State of the Industry Annual Report 2010
The Association for Convenience & Petroleum Retailing 2010

HOST 2011 U.S. Hotel Operating Statistics Study Report for the Year 2010
STR

AHA Guide to the Health Care Field, 2011 ed.
(AHA Guide to the Health Care Field (Book)

National Coffee Drinking Trends Study 2011
National Coffee Association of the USA

Congressional Yellow Book: Who's Who in Congress, including committees and key staff Spring 2011 Volume 37, Number 2 1

Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
Graphic Artists Guild (Author) 2010

Best Customers: Demographics of Consumer Demand Editors of New Strategist Publications 2010 New Strategist Pubns

The Indispensable University: Higher Education, Economic Development, and the Knowledge Economy (American Council on Education Series on Higher Education)
Eugene P. Trani 2010 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (2010),

The Inventor's Bible 3rd Edition
How to Market and License Your Brilliant Idea.

Restoring U.S. Competitiveness: Navigating a Path Forward Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Over the last several decades technology has advanced in ways that our forefathers could never have imagined. However, in recent years, antiquated policies have caused the entrepreneurial ecosystem to become stagnant, thereby threatening the economic growth and innovative spirit that made the United States into an industrial powerhouse. The U.S. economy doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and public policy at the federal, state, and local levels must acknowledge the realities of the interconnected and complex global economic system.

Source: Center for Public Policy Innovation [PDF]

Monday, September 12, 2011

Health Insurance in Small Firms: Availability, Coverage, and the Effect of Tax Incentives

A new study by the Office of Advocacy investigates health care coverage provided by small firms and the effects of state and federal tax incentives on health insurance availability. States have tried a variety of approaches to improve health plan coverage, particularly health insurance offered by small businesses. The study finds that most existing state tax incentive programs apply to a narrow class of employers. The increase in the federal self-employed health insurance tax deduction in 2003 did create an incentive for some self-employed individuals to purchase health insurance. In 2007, it was estimated that small employers deducted approximately $53.8 billion for health insurance benefits.

The research summary can be found HERE [PDF].

Should you need further information, please feel free to contact Joe Sobota at (202) 205-6533 or advocacy@sba.gov.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Remembering 9/11 and How to Be Part of National Day of Service

"You can find – or create – local opportunities to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 at www.serve.gov. At that site, you’ll find everything from food drives and neighborhood cleanups, to activities that help honor our military, our veterans, and our first responders."

September Is National Preparedness Month

Disability.gov’s Emergency Preparedness section has quite a few tools and resources that can help people with disabilities and others prepare for, and recover from, emergency situations and disasters. You'll also find information about the importance of including people with disabilities in emergency preparedness efforts - including planning for, responding to and recovering from a disaster or emergency.

Tips to Starting a Consulting Business

Three Tips to Start a Consulting Business
Jennifer Merritt
BY Jennifer Merritt | September 2, 2011

Entrepreneur.com has an article offering sound advice for professionals about to set out on their own as consultants. Building a name for yourself before your departure, joining forces to strengthen your business offering and focusing on what sets you apart.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Relief available to taxpayers affected by Hurricane Irene

President Barack H. Obama has declared certain counties in New York State to be disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Irene. As a result of this declaration, Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox has postponed certain tax filing and payment deadlines for taxpayers in these counties who were directly affected by the storm.
The relief provided for in this notice applies to taxpayers directly affected by the storm in the counties of Albany, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, and Westchester. This includes taxpayers residing in or having their principal place of business in these counties. In addition, the relief will also apply to taxpayers directly affected by the storm located in any additional counties in New York State that are declared disaster areas and eligible for federal tax relief after this notice is issued. The relief will also apply to taxpayers directly affected by the storm in counties in other states that are declared disaster areas and eligible for federal tax relief.

See details HERE [PDF].

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

SBDC Client on ABC World News tonight!

As of now (but I'm told these schedules can and often do change last minute), ABC World News plans to air a piece on Robert and Danielle Rosenberg, owners of Moolala yogurt bar and successful NYS SBDC client. If they stay on schedule, the piece should air around 6:45 pm ET tonight on ABC.

Use Confirmation Emails To Build Customer Loyalty

From Step by Step Marketing:

Amazon.com, 1800flowers, Zappos, Lands End, and other online retailers all send emails to confirm that orders have been shipped. If you analyze their emails, you will notice that they contain a lot of “extras” that include a word of thanks, a clickable link to package-tracking information, and incentives to click through to visit the company’s webpage and shop again. There’s a reason why these top retailers add these extras to what would otherwise be utilitarian order confirmations. They understand that confirmation emails offer an opportunity to improve the overall customer experience and build loyalty.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Getting Through the First 72 Hours after a Disaster

From SBA:

Hurricane Irene disrupted the lives of communities and businesses from North Carolina to Vermont last weekend. Business owners were hit particularly hard, as power outages forced many to close for several days.

The first 72 hours following business interruption is crucial. Preparation can make a difference, and protect you from having to shut down for good. To kick off National Preparedness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions will host the first in a series of free disaster preparedness webinars during the month of September.

R. David Paulison, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will present tips on how to be self-sufficient in the days following a natural disaster or other emergency during the webinar on Wednesday, September 7, at 2 p.m. ET.

SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies for entrepreneurs via their “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access previous webinars and additional preparedness tips. Webinars on business and community preparedness, as well as a discussion on best practices hosted by business owners who recovered from recent disasters will be held on consecutive Wednesdays during the month.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

WHO: R. David Paulison, Former Administrator, FEMA

WHAT: “Culture of Preparedness—The 72 Hour Rule” will be presented by Paulison. A question and answer session will follow.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 7, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT

HOW: Space is limited. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/582741824.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Changes to the State Tax in Compromise Program for the Better!

From one of those nifty tax digests I receive regularly:

Individuals seeking a fresh start from overwhelming tax debts may now be eligible for relief under a new hardship provision in the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance's Offer in Compromise Program.

The new provision enables them to accept offers where collection in full
would cause undue economic hardship. Previously, the program was only
available in cases of insolvency or bankruptcy.

For more information, see the Offer in Compromise Reform web page and this PDF document.