Showing posts from May, 2013

Be Irresistible To Prospective Clients In Just 3 Steps

From SmallBusinessNewz : If you want clients and prospective clients to think of you as the go-to person, for whatever service you provide, I believe you’ll find this post really useful. It’s based around 3 steps you can take, which will change the way people think and feel about you, so you become their irresistible choice. What is a go-to person? Firstly, I’d like to confirm what I am referring to when I use the term, go-to person. I’m talking specifically about those valued people in business, who we immediately think of when we have a need, related to their area of expertise. When someone thinks of you as their go-to person for a particular need, they go direct to you. •They don’t ask a friend for a recommendation. •They don’t poll their friends on Facebook. •They don’t take their need to a search engine. •YOU get the call! Clearly, the commercial value of being the go-to person for your marketplace is huge. Not only will you retain your existing clients for longer

Michael Chamberlain & Cynthia West-Chamberlain of Black Willow Winery, NYS SBDC Agricultural Entrepreneur of the Year

Black Willow joined the Niagara Wine Trail in January of 2011. This fulfilled a longtime dream for the owners. They converted a 35-year-old pole barn into their tasting room and production area. They hired a local winemaker as a consultant to ensure the quality of their wines. Black Willow is open seven days a week and currently offers nine wines. They have several new varieties in development. In addition, they have 500 peach trees and 30 cherry trees. Black Willow has product in the SBDC Wine outlet in China. Cindy joined Jinshui Zhang of the NYS SBDC, and Empire State Development on a trade trip to China in the fall of 2012. She has shared what she has learned with others on the wine trail. The Niagara SBDC (Maureen Henderson) helped the clients put together their loan package/business plan to obtain their start-up funding. Additional assistance included aiding the development of their marketing strategy including a comprehensive branding approach and helping them connect with

Staten Island SBDC Announces an SBDC Satellite in New Dorp

Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-SI/Brooklyn) was joined by Small Business Development Center of CSI (SBDC) Director Dean L. Balsamini and local small business owners impacted by Sandy on May 20th, 2013 to announce the opening of an SBDC Satellite in New Dorp. The satellite office will be staffed by Business Advisor Joseph Bottega and will offer a variety of services, including disaster recovery assistance. For 20 years the SBDC at CSI has offered free business assistance at the College of Staten Island. Now with the expanded services into New Dorp with a new satellite office, located at 1361 North Railroad Avenue, this location becomes SI SBDC's second satellite office in addition to the office in Bay Ridge Brooklyn which opened in 2011. Both locations have expanded the SI SBDC's footprint in assisting small businesses throughout the local area communities. Small Business Development Center New Dorp Satellite Office Empire State Bank 1361 North Railroad Avenue Staten Island N

Marco and Lucille Minuto of Red Castle Bakeries , NYS SBDC Minority Entrepreneur of the Year

Red Castle Bakeries was founded in 1996 by Marco and Lucille Minuto. The Minutos started this business after Marco was laid off from a 15 year sales and marketing career with a beef patty company located in NYC. The two decided to start their own manufacturing and distributing company delivering beef patties throughout the Long Island and NYC region. They moved their growing business to their own building in Bayshore in 2007 and grew to employing 25 local residence. Shortly after the expansion, Mrs. Minuto was left a widow. She was faced with selling the business or to continue as the new President and running the operations with her sons. She felt compelled to stay as so many employees and her own children were so vested in the business. She and her son Marco continued to operate and work hard to preserve what had been created. Mrs. Minuto came to the Small Business Development Center in Farmingdale on November 14, just 15 days after Super Storm Sandy devastated so many

Free business hours sign from Announces Small Business Sign Giveaway is launching its Business Hours Giveaway. As a part of the event, the Salt Lake City, UT company is giving 5,000 small businesses a free business hours decal to place on their local store or office window. According to communications director Daniel Royer, local businesses will "spend money on banners and yard signs but many times having a nice looking business hours decal on their front door or window is an afterthought. We owe much of our success to the small business community and we wanted to show our appreciation by giving them a great decal absolutely free.” The Business Hours Giveaway is completely free to the first 5,000 businesses who visit and redeem their sign. There are 11 different professionally designed templates to choose from and each design is completely customizable to meet the needs of any business. For more information about the Busine

Small business owner CLAIM they give their business 100%

The owner set the business up in such a way, that his risk and financial investment was as close to zero as possible. That way, if it failed, his losses would be minimal. So... With no investment in making the business work and no penalty for failing, he did indeed fail – and extremely fast. You see, whilst he was playing at being in business, his hungry competitors outworked him and outsmarted him. Business today is extremely competitive and competing retailers are working damn hard to make their businesses work. Going into that marketplace, without the willingness to work hard or invest the money required, he could never have succeeded. More HERE .

Peter DelCotto of The Woodshed, NYS SBDC Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year

When he was in the Air Force, while traveling extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Middle East, and the United States, Peter DelCotto developed a wealth of knowledge about food and exotic cultures. He came to believe that food tells a certain story about the people and their environment. He decided to become a chef to share his experiences in other cuisines by highlighting the most popular dishes of each respective culture. In 2011, Peter expressed his passion for cooking in an essay submitted to a contest and won a trip to the National Restaurant Association conference. After earning a degree in Hospitality Management from the Russell J. Salvatore School of Hospitality and Business at Trocaire College in Buffalo, Peter consulted the SBDC for assistance in refining his business plan and financing. With the help of Business Advisor John McKeone, he got funding and founded The Woodshed , a family owned and operated restaurant that serves up traditional Southern style

SBA Announces New Initiative with Top Lenders To Help Veterans Become Entrepreneurs

Lending commitment will support estimated 2,000 Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, Add $475 Million in Capital WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, a commitment by its top national, regional and community lenders to collectively increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. Oftentimes, veterans face challenges in raising capital or have trouble receiving a conventional loan. With the support of SBA’s top 20 national lending partners, and approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States, SBA expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans obtain loans to start or expand small businesses by increasing lending by $475 million over the next five years. This equals a five percent increase above historic veteran lending activity by the SBA. The initiative also complements SBA’s existing partnership with the National Association o

Jason DiBenedetto and Leo Rentzis of Noble Wood Shavings, NYS SBDC Manufacturer of the Year

In 2011, Jason DiBenedetto and Leo Rentzis, friends with a shared vision, started Noble Wood Shavings (NWS). NWS is Central New York’s only manufacturing facility dedicated to producing the absolute best quality bedding for horses. They use an exclusive recipe of soft wood species to ensure a top quality product that is consistent, super absorbent, and rot free. The product is super-heated during the drying process to kill bacteria, fungus, and molds. Business Advisor David Lerman worked extensively with the partners to draft a solid business plan and projections. The business plan included several letters of interest from prospective customers, which proved to be key to the successful funding of the project. Locating the business in Sherrill Manufacturing Park with low cost power and overhead helped keep NWS’ operating costs competitive, as did an abundance of local low cost raw material. NWS opened for business with financing from Alliance Bank (an SBA guaranteed loan), Mohawk V

Big push for small businesses

"A lot (of our business) we found out is word of mouth and repeat customers," Lynn Burkdorf said, but she's hoping participating in Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Week May 19-25 will draw new customers to her establishment, which opened late last year. Throughout the state and the nation, chambers of commerce and business organizations celebrate, honor and promote small businesses through small business weeks or days. During last year's Small Business Saturday - which began in 2010 and takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving - U.S. consumers spent $5.5 billion at small businesses, American Express spokesman Scott Krugman said. He said no statistics were kept in the two prior years. Of the tens of millions of Americans familiar with the event, 67 percent planned to “shop small” last year, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. About 44 percent of those surveyed said they shopped small in 2011... At the

Kaye Stone-Gansz, Stone Goose Enterprises: NYS SBDC Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

Graduate of Monroe Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College, Kaye holds an A.S. degree in Computer Science, a B.S. degree in Computational Mathematics and an M.B.A. In 2011 Kaye retired from a 25-year career at Xerox Corporation where she spent several years as a senior executive in their North American Service organization. In late 2011, she and her husband Ross formed Stone Goose Enterprises, Inc. and in February 2012, Stone Goose Enterprise, Inc. purchased Smith’s Gravel Pit in Sodus, New York . Kaye is currently the President / CEO of Stone Goose Enterprises, Inc. and President / Owner of Smith’s Gravel Pit. In her roles she runs the day-to-day operations of Smith’s Gravel Pit, an aggregate mining facility; which also provides trucking and excavation services and works strategic development / business expansion for Stone Goose Enterprises, Inc. Kaye was one of the Rochester Business Journal 40 under Forty recipients in 2004 and in 20

Employers: ONLY use new Form I-9 for new employee verification

From US Citizenship and Immigration Services : Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retai

Roger and Shelley Gray, Center Line Studios: NYS SBDC Phoenix Award winner

Founded in 1986 by Roger and Shelley Gray, Center Line Studios (CLS) builds scenery for Broadway shows, opera, and television. After 9/11, the industry went into a recession. They downsized and moved to a smaller location. They were limited by physical space constraints and were unable to accept projects that would enable the company to grow. In March 2011, they purchased a large building. Vacant for many years, it needed substantial work. They spent the summer cleaning and doing construction. In August 2011, with Hurricane Irene, the creek flooded by taking the most direct path, through the building, delaying their move. In January 2012, their small shop caught on fire. They moved the office to their dining room table. The shop continued to function in the area where the fire damage wasn’t as bad. In February 2012, they met with Mid-Hudson SBDC adviser Myriam Bouchard with the goal of securing a loan to finish the renovations. A few months later, they moved the office out

Weather Expert Offers 2013 Hurricane Season Forecast During SBA/Agility Webinar

WASHINGTON – A global climate expert from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will share the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast during a free webinar Tuesday, May 28 hosted by SBA and Agility Recovery. After the weather discussion, disaster preparedness tips will be presented by Agility. Dr. Gerry Bell has been the lead scientist of NOAA’s Long-Range Hurricane Outlook Team since 1998. He was instrumental in developing NOAA’s Atlantic and East Pacific hurricane activity outlook, and has done weather analysis on CNN and The Weather Channel. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1. Last year’s season ended memorably when Hurricane Sandy pounded the Eastern Seaboard in late October. The storm caused billions of dollars in damages, and so far the SBA has approved about $370 million in disaster loans to more than 3,500 businesses affected by Sandy. Now is a good time to protect your employees, customers and business from the devastating physical and econom

Why I Love the National Internet Sales Tax Plan

From SLATE . The Internet, in the popular imagination, is supposed to be free... But you don’t have to be a right-winger to recoil at the idea of an Internet sales tax. People who shop online have always gotten a free ride... Many states require you to pay that extra sales tax on your tax return, but who does that? Nobody, that’s who. The net effect is that shopping online earns you a big, permanent discount. If you’re buying anything big, it almost always makes sense to avoid physical stores. At least, it did until recently. During the last two years, Amazon, which had long led the charge against efforts to collect sales tax on online purchases, suddenly began striking tax deals with states. This was a strategic capitulation—by agreeing to collect taxes, Amazon can now build huge warehouses across the country. (It had previously avoided setting up warehouses in many states in an effort to avoid creating a “tax nexus.”) The warehouses allow Amazon to significantly increase its shi

Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

Check out the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters. Spanish version now available! This guide is designed to help U.S. companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, learn the basics of trade finance so that they can turn their export opportunities into actual sales and achieve the ultimate goal of getting paid—especially on time—for those sales. Visit this site to download your copy - in English or Spanish!

The Small Business Advocate – May 2013

Editor: Rebecca Krafft The May edition (Vol: 32 , No: 4) of the Small Business Advocate spotlights the chief counsel’s recent visits to Regions II and VII to meet with small businesses, learn about their operations, and hear their concerns firsthand. The Chief Counsel’s message recaps Dr. Sargeant’s testimony on Advocacy’s FY 2014 budget request. The issue also summarizes Advocacy comments on proposed FCC Aviation Communications Rules. And finally, it bids a fond farewell to Jody Wharton, director of information, on her retirement from federal service. Link to newsletter More information about the Office of Advocacy

SBA shifting funding away from small business training programs, draws fire from Congress

The U.S. Small Business Administration plans to shift some funding away from basic counseling programs for new and small businesses to help finance advanced training for slightly larger companies, part of the agency’s efforts to nurture the economic recovery even as the government reins in spending... “The existing programs, such as the Small Business Development Centers and SCORE, provide absolutely fantastic services, but they’re different,” Mills recently told the House Small Business Committee, referring to the agency’s network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) program, both of which provide inexpensive and often free business services. “We want to make sure we reach more entrepreneurs in more places who don’t have access to an intensive entrepreneurship experience.” At a time when federal spending is being held in check, the SBA proposes to finance the new training course by pulling back on funding for some existi

NYS SBDC Opens Sandy Help Center in Town of Babylon

New York State has opened two Sandy assistance centers in Babylon Town - one in Lindenhurst and one in North Babylon. A New York State Small Business Development Center Disaster Recovery Center is now open at 19 West Hoffman Avenue in Lindenhurst for small business owners seeking assistance, according to information posted on the Town of Babylon website . Meanwhile, the Babylon Town Hall Annex, located at 281 Phelps Lane in North Babylon, will serve as a Sandy Help Team Intake Center. It'll provide assistance to those homeowners applying for storm-related assistance. More HERE .

SBA Finalizes Rule Adopting Changes to Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses

WASHINGTON –An interim final rule published in the Federal Register and effective immediately will amend regulations to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program allowing for greater access to federal contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) signed in January. The interim final rule removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract. The rule can be accessed HERE and comments can be submitted on or before June 6, 2013, at , identified by the following RIN number: RIN 3245-AG55. As a result of the rule change, contracting officers will be able to set aside specific contracts for certified WOSBs and

U.S. Businesses Show First Rise in Employment Since 2008 Led by Mining Sector

In 2011, total employment from all U.S. business sectors was 113.4 million, an increase of 1.5 million employees from 2010, according to new statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector led the way with a 12.0 percent increase in employment from 2010 to 2011. This year is the first since 2008 in which U.S. businesses reported an increase in employment over the prior year. There were 7.4 million U.S. businesses with paid employees for 2011, a loss of 42,585 establishments from 2010. This is the fourth consecutive year of decline for the number of U.S. businesses. These new findings released today are from County Business Patterns: 2011 , which provides the only detailed annual information on the number of establishments, employees, and quarterly and annual payroll for nearly 1,200 industries covered at the national, state and county levels. The statistics are broken down according to employment-size classes (for example, num

NYS Tax Department Provides Guidance on Identity Theft

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has`announced that it published a new Web page regarding identity theft. The new Web page spells out what to do next if you think you may be the victim of identity theft. It also provides several links to information, such as the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, that help taxpayers make identity protection part of their regular routine. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing economic crimes in the nation, but taxpayers often don't realize their information has been stolen until they receive an unexpected notice about their tax account from the Tax Department or the IRS. Once identity theft is reported to the Tax Department, the agency can correct an account by removing any fraudulent returns from the record, and it can cancel bills issued that are related to the fraud. To head-off any additional suspicious activity, the Department will devote extra attention to future return

SBA and W20 GROUP present BLOGGING 101 Webinar for Small Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the W20 Group, an entrepreneurial ecosystem of digital communications companies, will present Blogging 101, the second topic in the five-topic social media webinar series that will run through June. The webinar will help small business owners create content to connect with their customers and market their products. Blogging is a beneficial tool for small business owners because it is a cost-effective way to communicate their expertise and message directly to a larger audience, expand the company’s web presence and build their brand. The Blogging 101 social media webinar for small businesses will be held on May 8, 2013, at 1 p.m. EDT. To register for the webinar, visit . The webinar will highlight topics such as: • What blogging can do for your business; • What to blog about; • What blogging tools are available to you; • Managing your time; and • Other best practices. T

How to cut meeting times by 90 percent

From CBS News MoneyWatch : What do people complain about most? Meetings. What do workers love about working from home? No meetings. Meetings are the bane of the working day, and yet it's hard to do anything without them. These days, recognizing that collaboration tends to be more creative than assembly-line thinking, getting people together is how we make things happen. But meetings are very expensive.

What Every Business Owner Needs To Know About Fear

From SmallBusinessNewz : Fear is a major stumbling block for many business owners. It causes them to make decisions, which seriously sabotage their chances of success. Thankfully, the fears that stand between where we are and what we want to achieve, can be overcome.