Friday, April 29, 2016

2013 Statistics of U.S. Businesses

From the Census Bureau- 

Data for metropolitan statistical areas and counties by enterprise employment size. Statistics include number of firms, establishments, employment and annual payroll. 

2013 annual or static data include number of firms, number of establishments, employment, and annual payroll for most U.S. business establishments. The data are tabulated by geographic area, industry, and enterprise size. Industry classification is based on 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. An establishment with 0 employment is an establishment with no paid employees in the mid-March pay period but with paid employees at some time during the year.

Internet address: <>.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

SBA releases FY2015 Small Business Procurement Scorecards

From SBA:

The U.S. Small Business Administration today released its annual Small Business Procurement Scorecards, which provide an assessment of each federal agency’s annual small business contracting achievement against its goal using a grade of A+ through F.  The federal government received an “A” on the government-wide scorecard for 2015, reflecting significant efforts by federal agencies toward meeting their 23 percent statutory goal. 

The federal government also reached its small business federal contracting goal for the third consecutive year, awarding 25.75 percent in federal contracts to small businesses totaling $90.7 billion.  The 25.75 percent of contracts awarded to small businesses represent the highest ever percentage of contracts awarded to small businesses by the federal government.

“I’m very happy to report that the federal government exceeded our 23 percent small business prime contracting goal for the third year in a row, with the federal government receiving an “A” for its contracting achievements.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Small Business Success Story - Michael Riotto Design

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Queens-Laguardia SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report

Michael Riotto
Michael Riotto Design
Queens-LaGuardia SBDC

Michael Riotto is the principal of Michael Riotto Design, LLC (MRD), a lighting manufacturer and design firm in Long Island City that was established in 2005. MRD designs are modern, contemporary and vintage, and its staff manages all aspects of project work from consultation through product development, sourcing, specification and installation.

The company’s mission is to provide the highest quality of service first combined with the latest technology and expertise to create successful projects for its clients. MRD manufactures lighting for piers, parks, cruise ships and theaters, among other places. Michael consulted the LaGuardia SBDC when seeking a line of credit to stabilize the company’s cash flow. 

Director Rosa Figueroa assisted him by connecting him with several lenders; ultimately Santander Bank was the best fit for the business. Santander Bank approved a $100,000 line of credit, which solved the client’s working capital needs. As a result, Michael was able to save 18 jobs and create a new position. Michael has plans to grow the business and will continue to consult SBDC as needed. He thanked Rosa, saying 

“Thank you!! for all your hard work, efforts and generosity in connecting us with several potential lenders. I really appreciate all your help and everything you have done with our business to see it grow and succeed." 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"10 Most Common Small Business Questions" Twitter Chat on May 4th at 3pm ET.

In honor of National Small Business Week, please join America's SBDC (@ASBDC) for "10 Most Common Small Business Questions" Twitter Chat on May 4th at 3pm ET.

@ASBDC will serve as the chat "moderator." America's SBDC will post questions every 7-9 minutes for about 45 minutes beginning at 3pm ET using the hashtag, #SBDC. Questions will be noted as Q1, Q2, etc. In your response, please note your answers with A1, A2, etc. For example, @ASBDC will post "Q1: What's your favorite marketing technique? #SBDC" and you might respond: "A1. We recommend writing a blog #SBDC".

Feel free to RT the questions so your followers know which question you are answering. The chat will last about 50-60 minutes depending on the pace of responses. If other Twitter users are chiming in, please feel free to RT them or answer their questions. Just remember to add the hashtag #SBDC.

Here are the questions that @ASBDC will be posting:
• Q1: Do I have what it takes to own a small business? #SBDC
• Q2: Do I need a business plan & how do I put one together? #SBDC
• Q3: Do I need to incorporate my business? #SBDC
• Q4: How can I determine how much money I need to get started? #SBDC
• Q5: Where can I get funding to start or grow my business? #SBDC
• Q6: How can I know if my business idea will work? #SBDC
• Q7: How can I market my new business on a limited budget? #SBDC
• Q8: Should I lease or buy equipment? #SBDC
• Q9: What do I need to know before I hire my first employee? #SBDC
• Q10: Where can I go for help to start or grow my business? #SBDC
If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact

Monday, April 25, 2016

NY firm Sound Roof Systems is National Subcontractor of the Year

Two family-owned and operated firms, McLaughlin Research Corporation (MRC), an engineering firm from Connecticut and Sound Roof Systems, Ltd., a roofing contractor from New York, have been named the National Prime Contractor of the Year and National Subcontractor of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These winners, along with other national winners and finalists for the National Small Business Person of the Year, will participate in a recognition ceremony at the US Institute of Peace to kick off National Small Business Week on May 2. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will be presenting all awards.

In FY15, the federal government awarded 25.75 percent or $90.7 billion of all federal contracts to small businesses which translates to more than 537,000 jobs supporting revenue for the job creators who produce 2 out of 3 net, new private-sector jobs in the U.S. economy.

The two small businesses were selected from among ten regional prime contractors and 10 regional subcontractors of the year. The awards honor small businesses that provide outstanding goods and services to the federal government as prime contractors or as subcontractors.

This year’s winners are:

• Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year: Founded in 1947, McLaughlin Research Corporation (MRC) is a family-owned, small business prime contractor with over 70 years of experience providing engineering and technical services to the U.S. Navy. The company has almost 300 employees and is a prime contractor on more than 100 major contracts. MRC’s core competencies include: systems engineering and technical support services, design and drafting, configuration management, integrated logistics support, IT, environmental management, training and support and graphic design.

MRC currently holds a nine multi-year prime contract with NUWC Newport, the Navy’s premier Undersea Warfare Research and Development Center with a potential contract value of $150 million. MRC assists the Navy’s undersea research and development programs with current and future torpedo and associated launching system programs, configuration management of the Navy’s worldwide inventory of subsurface-launched torpedoes, integrated logistic support for cruise missiles and management support services for the Virginia and Seawolf class submarine programs. It also provides technical support to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory. MRC actively supports small business outreach programs sponsored by NUWC Newport and SBA.

• Small Business Subcontractor of the Year: F. Xavier Fleming is the president and founder of Sound Roof Systems, LTD, a family-owned and operated independent roofing contractor that has served Nassau and Suffolk counties in Long Island, New York for over 30 years. Under Mr. Fleming’s leadership, along with his son and partner Xavier Fleming, Jr., SRS has provided comprehensive roofing services for a myriad of customers. Some of the services SRS provides include: roof repairs, roof removal and replacement and related sheet metal work.

Over the years, SRS’s list of customers has grown to include: Brookhaven National Laboratory, WW Grainger, MSC Industrial, AVR Realty, Nassau County DPW, Northport VA Hospital and multiple Long Island school districts. In Oct. 2012, super storm Sandy damaged the roof of the Child Development Center, a preschool and daycare facility for employees. SRS worked exclusively on weekends to replace the roof, remove hazardous materials, expedite storage and provide 24 hour monitoring to ensure the safety of the children and personnel. SRS established a strong reputation for high-quality workmanship, jobsite safety, integrity, competitive pricing and professional services.

Friday, April 22, 2016

We’re #AllForSmallBiz

This National Small Business Week, May 1-7, SBA is partnering with local organizations across the country to host hundreds of free, in-person workshops to help small businesses grow online.

Check out a map of workshops, and RSVP to attend one near you.

No workshop near you? No problem. Sign up to be notified when virtual lessons are available.

P.S. These lessons are free and available to all businesses, so spread the word. #AllForSmallBiz


Thursday, April 21, 2016

2014 County Business Patterns data released

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2014 County Business Patterns (CBP) statistics on Thursday, April 21, 2016. CBP covers more than 7.5 million U.S. business establishments, and provides employment and payroll data at subnational levels by industry. For the first time ever, congressional district-level data has been released at the same time as CBP data.

CBP data are obtained from Census Bureau reports and administrative records from other federal agencies. CBP defines employment as all full- and part-time employees who were on the payroll during the pay period that includes March 12.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Small Business Success Story - Walushka Auto House

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Corning SBDC  appears in our 2015 Annual Report

Chris Walushka
Walushka Auto House
Corning SBDC

Chris Walushka is the proud owner of Walushka Auto House in Corning. Ever since Chris was in high school, he knew he wanted to own a business focused on his passion for cars and the ability to develop strong relationships with customers. Chris went to college to study the auto industry. After graduating, he worked diligently at a large auto dealership in town, first as a salesman, and then as the finance and insurance manager, with responsibilities for a team of salesman.

 Chris saved a percentage of every paycheck to finance his dreams. Chris came to the Corning SBDC to ensure that he was on the right track to start his business. Advisor Susan Buchanan reviewed his business plan and helped him make some foundational decisions. Chris started small by self-financing his business with a $100,000 floor plan loan, and created 3 jobs. 

In just a few months, he was selling 30 cars a month. Chris is currently in the process of opening a second location at the other side of Corning. He is hoping to open a third location in the near future. Chris says, “This business venture is fulfilling a great dream of mine to be my own boss while incorporating my family and providing the flexibility to be a more involved father and husband. This also provides me a great opportunity to continue to make lifelong friends on a daily basis with anyone who steps through the door at Walushka Auto House”. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Anatomy of a Rebrand: Six Tips for Successfully Launching Your New Brand

From MarketingProfs:

In the first article of this series, we talked about how to determine whether a rebranding initiative is in your company's best interests. In the second article, we covered the basics of building your new brand identity.

Now it's time to discuss best-practices as you launch and promote your exciting new brand, both internally and externally.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Women-Owned Small Business procurement: important update


The WOSB procurement program website is undergoing a facelift. A new website, called SBA ONE, will allow for the electronic submission of SBA forms, as well as a streamlined location to monitor all certifications for your company including the repository. With the change, there are three things you need to know:

1. All WOSBs will need to create a new login for the new system. The new website is actually an entirely new system and as such all WOSBs will need to create a new account and login (but not reload all documents – see next). The SBA is also asking that after creating a new account, all WOSB/EDWOSB companies submit new Form 2413 (WOSB certification) and/or Form 2414 (EDWOSB certification) electronically. Businesses should do this as soon as possible.

2. The repository is being migrated, but is currently closed. This is important for two reasons: 1) your documents previously submitted should move to your new account and not require resubmission (except as mentioned above a new electronic Form 2413/2414)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Tragic History of RC Cola

From Mental Floss:

Who drinks RC Cola, anyway?

It’s a question Coke and Pepsi drinkers have been asking for decades. In the prolonged marketing battle that began in the '70s and saw the beloved major brands duke it out via celebrity endorsements, rewards promotions (Pepsi Stuff, anyone?), an onslaught of advertisements, and even a race into space, RC Cola remained on the sidelines, a quiet blue and red can that seemed content to simply be.

Fact is, RC has had loyal fans throughout its more than 100-year history. Its roots go deep in the south, where drinking one with a Moon Pie is a blue-collar tradition that’s still popular today. There’s even a song that celebrates the pairing. RC also has a presence internationally, in countries such as Estonia, Thailand, and Iceland. It’s currently one of the top-selling soda brands in the Philippines.

But the number of RC drinkers could have been much, much higher. In an alternate—and completely plausible—universe, it would have given Coke and Pepsi a run for their money. At one point, it did. Believe it or not, Royal Crown Cola used to be one of the most innovative companies in the beverage industry.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Health Care Law and Your Taxes: Last Minute Filing Tips from the IRS for Individuals

If you have not yet filed your federal tax return, here are three last-minute filing tips related to the health care law. Remember that the tax filing deadline this year is Monday, April 18.

Check the box to report health care coverage

If you are concerned that the health care law might require additional time to complete your tax return, remember that most taxpayers will simply check a box related to health care on their return. If everyone listed on your return had qualifying health care coverage for the entire year, you will simply check the box on your return to indicate you had coverage.

This is the first year you may receive new forms providing information about your health care coverage. The new forms are Form 1095-B, Health Coverage and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Even if you do not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time you are ready to file your 2015 tax return, you do not necessarily need to wait in order to file. While the information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, they are not required, and you should file your return as you normally would. Review the forms when you get them and keep with your tax documents.

Apply for an extension of time to file

If you haven’t finished your return, you can apply for an automatic six-month extension of time to file your income tax return. The fastest and easiest way for anyone – regardless of income – to get the extra time is through the Free File page on Applying for an extension using Form 4868, gives you until Oct. 17 to file. Remember that this does not give you more time to pay your taxes; you still must estimate and pay what you owe by April 18 to avoid a late filing penalty.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

National Small Business Week is May 1-7

From the special SBA page:

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

This year’s theme will be “Dream Big, Start Small.”

Sign up for several webinars.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Small Business Success Story - Fivesky

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Columbia-Harlem SBDC  appears in our 2015 Annual Report

Reza Pourkhomami
Columbia-Harlem SBDC

Fivesky’s Managing Member Reza Pourkhomami found the Columbia Harlem SBDC by doing a Google search. When Reza first consulted the SBDC, his company was in startup mode, and he sought assistance with access to capital, business planning, and development of financial projections. Advisor Glamis Haro was impressed by the fact that he had already planned his business mentally. Reza put his plan on paper and started using it as a tool for management.

During his second year, he obtained a loan in the amount of $250k to expand the staff of the company . Fivesky currently has 20 employees, and has expanded to Canada and Europe. Fivesky designs, deploys, and maintains advanced technologies to help customers achieve operational excellence at substantial savings. Fivesky helps busineses add value at every step by providing enhanced access to inventory, streamlined credit, integration with procurement and real time status information.

 The company’s commitment to excellence has earned Fivesky a sterling reputation in the industry after only a few short years in business. The company offers world-class procurement services at affordable prices, and has continually demonstrated an unwavering commitment to customer service, which has made the Fivesky stand out. In 2015, Reza was named New York Circle of Excellence Finalist by the Smart CEO magazine. Reza’s excellence mantra: 

“The concept of ‘the perfect time’ is a myth. Work hard, start now, and you’ll find yourself in a different place than where you started.” 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spending patterns of older Americans

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The aging of the United States population will influence the economy for many years to come. The Census Bureau projects that in 2050, the population aged 65 and older will be 83.7 million, almost double its estimate of 43.1 million in 2012...

Understanding expenditure patterns in later life is crucial to evaluating financial security in retirement. This analysis uses integrated data from the 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), which separates the 55-and-older age range into three groups: ages 55–64, 65–74, and 75 and older.

Data show that:

*Housing is the greatest expense in dollar amount and as a share of total expenditures for households with a reference person 55 and older.

*Clothing and transportation spending, and contributions for pensions and Social Security decline with the age of the reference person.

*Healthcare spending increases with the age of the reference person.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Survey of Market Absorption 2015 Annual Report

The 2015 Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units annual report provides absorption details for units constructed in 2014. The Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This survey measures how soon privately financed, nonsubsidized, unfurnished units in buildings with five or more units are rented or sold (absorbed) after completion. In addition, it collects data on characteristics such as number of bedrooms, asking rent and asking price.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Employers: Have fewer than 50 Employees? Here’s how ACA Affects You

From the IRS:

Most employers have fewer than 50 full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees and are not subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility provision.

If an employer has fewer than 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year, the employer is not an ALE for the current calendar year.  Therefore, the employer is not subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions or the employer information reporting provisions for the current year.

Calculating the number of employees is especially important for employers that have close to 50 employees or whose workforce fluctuates throughout the year.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

SBA Office of Advocacy Releases Small Business Profiles, 2016

Today, the Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the Small Business Administration, released the annual Small Business Profiles in a fresh, redesigned format. The user-friendly, data-rich profiles combine catchy visuals and more in-depth data than previous editions. They capture vital data on U.S. and state-level economic growth, industry, and jobs using completely reproducible data from the leading government statistical agencies.
The profiles illustrate the state and national economies in terms of small business employment, diversity, and trade. They show the most important small business industries, both in the number of firms and how many jobs they account for. And they show establishment turnover trends and county-level job change.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Small Business Success Story - The Garden Cafe

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Mid-Hudson SBDC  appears in our 2015 Annual Report

Lea Fridrich
The Garden Cafe
Mid-Hudson SBDC

Lea Fridrich’s love for vegetarian food is only surpassed by her love for people! Lea had her eye on a well-established, well-loved vegetarian restaurant in Woodstock that she knew was for sale, and in June 2014 she offered to purchase it. A customer who frequented the restaurant Lea managed at the time was so impressed with Lea’s skills and passion that she agreed to finance the purchase of the restaurant and to become a limited partner.

Lea was left with the task of determining a reasonable valuation for the business and estimating the total amount of financing required to realize her vision for the restaurant. Mid-Hudson SBDC Advisor Sam Kandel worked closely with Lea to determine a fair valuation, manage the expectations of the private investor/partner, act as a sounding board in the final negotiations, and craft a financial plan moving forward. In late May 2015 the “new” Garden Café opened its doors. There were various staff changes, a considerable amount of cleaning, and some redecoration and spiffing up. 

Part of the plan moving forward was to construct an outdoor juice bar for the garden seating area. It was completed in June and was a big hit all summer long. From day one the reviews have been outstanding and revenues have exceeded all expectations. Business is so good that after only 6 months Lea took over and renovated the retail space next door to double the indoor capacity. This project is a study in what passion, dedication, tenacity, experience, collaboration, hard work and especially love can accomplish! The Garden Café is definitely here to stay! 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Never Procrastinate Again

Nature or nurture?
Are procrastinators made, or are they born?

Turns out, it’s a little bit of both.

On the one hand, some chalk procrastination up to a response from an authoritarian parenting style.

So, if your parents were overly strict, you might not have been able to develop good self-regulation skills on your own.

Turns out, maybe you really can blame Mom and Dad.

Not only that, but procrastination can even be a form of rebellion at a younger age, and it’s unfortunately an easy habit to carry into adulthood.

On the flipside, our tendency to procrastinate could be partly genetic.

Studies show that procrastination is heritable, and is linked with the frontal systems of our brain that regulate our so-called “executive functioning,” which includes things like self-control, planning, and problem solving.

The research shows that procrastinators may have “subtle executive dysfunction,” or a lessened ability to regulate themselves and plan well. However, while there is a link, it’s not completely conclusive.

The takeaway? The causes of procrastination are debated, and it’s thought to be a combination of both how we were raised, and our genetics.

That being said, it’s still definitely a habit—and the good news is, habits can be broken.

Read more at: LivePlan

Monday, April 04, 2016

The 15 Best Business Podcasts for Startups

There are so many podcasts out now that it can be difficult to choose where to start. Best to go to a trusted source and seek their advice. Jonathan Michael at gives you a good place to start:

 Whether you are considering starting your own business, or you are already a successful entrepreneur, listening to how others succeeded can help you better achieve the goals you have set for your business. 
Podcasts are an informative, fun way to gain knowledge and inspiration, and can be listened to while working, exercising, commuting, and so on. The key is finding worthwhile podcasts to listen to. 
...5. Entrepreneur on Fire  John Lee Dumas, founder and host of Entrepreneur on Fire, interviews successful entrepreneurs every single day. A consistent podcast, the show has a new episode every day of the week, each with a different guest. Entrepreneur on Fire was awarded a Best of iTunes Award in 2013, and its insights can definitely help guide you in your own entrepreneurial endeavors. Listen to Entrepreneur on Fire here...
This list is manageable, gives you a little intro like the one above as well as a little soundbite to give you a taste.

Read more at: Bplans