Showing posts from August, 2014

How to Accept SNAP Benefits at Your Store

SNAP ( Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , formerly Food Stamps) offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits. FNS also works with State partners and the retail community to improve program administration and ensure program integrity. Apply online to accept SNAP benefits at your store or Farmers’ Market. It’s fast and secure. You can complete the online application in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy. By applying online, you can also check the real-time status of your application online using your USDA account. Applying to accept SNAP benefits at your store or

FTC Warns Against Government Imposter Scams

Can you spot a government imposter? Even if your phone’s caller ID says “FTC” or “IRS,” or shows Washington, DC’s “202” area code, it could still be a scam. Scammers know how to show fake information on caller ID. The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers about scammers who pretend they’re with the government to scare you into sending money. They say you  owe taxes  or some other debt, and tell you to put money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the number — something no government agency would ask you to do.

Top 25 Companies for Culture & Values

Want to work for a company that cares about its culture and values? Check out Glassdoor's report of the Top 25 Companies for Culture and Values (2014) . In addition to salary, location/commute, and career opportunities, company culture is one of the top factors that job seekers consider when researching a new job. Based entirely on employee feedback shared over the past year, the results of Glassdoor's inaugural report may surprise you. Find out which companies made the list (and which didn't)!

Women, Working Families, and Unions

One of every nine women in the United States (11.8 percent in 2013) is represented by a union at her place of work. The annual number of hours of paid work performed by women has increased dramatically over the last four decades. In 1979, the typical woman was on the job 925 hours per year; by 2012, the typical woman did 1,664 hours of paid work per year. Meanwhile, women's share of unpaid care work and housework has remained high. Various time-use studies conclude that women continue to do about two-thirds of unpaid child-care (and elder-care) work and at least 60 percent of routine housework. The research reviewed here suggests that unions can provide substantial support to women trying to balance their paid work and their unpaid care responsibilities. Unionized women earn, on average, 13 percent (about $2.50 dollars per hour) more than similar non-union women. The large union wage advantage holds for women across all education levels and even in typically low-wage occupa

Made in Rural America Regional Export and International Investment Forum: Cortland, New York, 9/5/2014

The New York SBDC is participating in: "Made in Rural America: Regional Export and International Investment Forum" September 5, 2014 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Corey Union Function Room SUNY–Cortland 103 Prospect Terrace Cortland, New York 13045 As part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative , ARC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Commerce will co-host a regional forum in Cortland, New York, on September 5 on expanding international market opportunities for rural businesses and value-added agricultural producers. One of a series of events taking place across the country to help boost exports and rural economies, the Cortland forum will help upstate New York firms learn ways to grow their business by finding new customers abroad and expanding sales to their existing international customers. It will also help rural commun

Payday loans are illegal in New York State

It is a violation of New York State law to make payday loans in-person, by telephone, or over the Internet. It is also illegal for a debt collector to collect, or attempt to collect, on a payday loan in New York State. To File a Complaint *File a complaint with the Department of Financial Services at (800) 342-3736 if you believe payday loans are being made in New York or to New York residents, or if a debt collector is seeking to collect on a payday loan in New York. What is a Payday Loan? A payday loan is a relatively small, high-cost loan, typically due in two weeks and made with a borrower’s post-dated check or access to the borrower’s bank account as collateral. Payday lending is illegal in New York for a number of reasons:

Leave only green footprints: 7 ways to conserve at work

From ASBDC : It’s not easy being green, or so we’re told, but take a look around your office and consider: How “green” are you? It’s no surprise that an increasing number of companies are working toward becoming more environmentally conscious: constantly introducing programs to reduce both costs and their carbon footprint. Typical areas of opportunity are employee telecommuting, lighting, recycling and paper usage. Here are some suggestions that you might use in your green movement at work.

10 Apps to Save Time on Administrative Tasks

In a business, administrative chores can stack up. It might only take 20 minutes to send an email, or five minutes to answer your business cell, but all of these little tasks can take up a significant amount of time. Before you know it, your day is nearly over and you haven’t done half of the things that you wanted to do. To get some of that time back, we asked entrepreneurs to help us compile a list of apps that can save time on administrative tasks. Here’s a look at the top 10 time-saving apps for your business: Read more from .

Hey Cynics, Hold That Cold Water: Why The Ice Bucket Challenge Worked

From Forbes : A pitcher of cold ice water. A social media account. And a smart phone. Those are the elements of philanthropy’s feel good hit of the summer – the Ice Bucket Challenge, starring a millennial near you and almost every celebrity you can name. This August, it’s been as inevitable as a sun burn. Yet as with every great instant movement these days, the backlash is here like a late day summer thunderstorm. You’ve probably heard the criticism. It’s a stunt, mere “slactivism.” It’s a substitute for real long-term involvement and engagement. It’s all about showing off for social media. It won’t change a thing, or cure ALS or ease the suffering of those with the disease. Which is true, I guess, to some degree... But [have you] ever been to a big ticket charity gala?

Everything you need to know about target marketing

Don’t trust Kevin Costner for marketing advice” is probably a good rule of thumb. "If you build it, they will come." That’s what I believed, when I was first starting out. I assumed that if I opened a business, customers would just show up—no major marketing effort required. Other entrepreneurs take the complete opposite approach, and treat marketing as if it’s the 1916 Battle of the Somme: they throw all of their resources in the general direction of their intended audience and hope something hits its mark. Fortunately, in-between these two approaches is a strategy that actually works: target marketing. MORE from .

Two Upcoming NYC SBA Events

Hispanic Heritage Month Business Forum 2014 Tuesday, September 30th, 8:30am-12:00 noon How SBA Can Help You Start and Grow Your Business Government Contracts: Certification and Marketing Federal Plaza Conference Center (26 Federal Plaza, 6th Fl,  New York, NY 10278) RSVP:  Ana Hernandez at 212-264-1473 or  Meet the Lenders Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 8:30-1:00pm (Must register by 10/10/14) Federal Plaza Conference Center (26 Federal Plaza, 6th Fl,  New York, NY 10278) Learn about SBA Financing Programs Speed Meeting the Lenders Meet the SBDC, SCORE and WBC Business Advisors Register:  Ana Hernandez at 212-264-1473 or 

3 Reasons to Care About Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) is one of the most important components of any business, and yet it is often one of the most neglected. Amidst the furor of innovation and the pressure of day-to-day operations, IP can get lost in the shuffle. But neglecting your IP won’t resolve the issue; in fact, it puts your business at increasing risk every day. So why should entrepreneurs care about IP? IP - Copyright, Patent, and Trademark - is your most valuable asset. More from ASBDC .

Young Veterans Show Strong Interest in Business Ownership

From the ASBDC : It’s no secret that U.S. military veterans are a force to be reckoned with in the nation’s small business economy. But according to the latest research, both older and younger veterans are emerging as major players in the buying of small companies. To better understand today's business-for-sale market, recently commissioned a demographic study of individuals engaged in buying or selling a small business. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 buyers and sellers, highlighted several trends that are shaping today’s market. One of the trends the survey revealed is that a surprisingly large number of veterans are shopping for small businesses. According to BizBuySell’s study, 13 percent of prospective small business buyers listed themselves as veterans. But who are these veterans? And how do they compare to other buyers in the market?

Gatorade and the Kings of Cool

When you are developing a marketing plan, it’s important to focus on the aspect of your product that you mean to be the selling point. You have to have that thing that makes you stand out from the pack, and that’s what you focus on. You’re the cheapest. You’re local. You’ve got the highest quality product. Your staffers know more about the field than your competitors. It’s that edge that sets you apart from the rest of the market, and thus draws the crowd of buyers searching for your specialty. But what if you don’t have that thing that makes you stand out from the crowd? It’s an important concern. Maybe you can’t afford to be the cheapest option in the field. Your product might not actually be the best there is. If you don’t have that thing, how can you compete? It’s simple: You have to be cooler than the competition. Read more at .

How To Answer Rude (But Perfectly Legal) Personal Questions At A Job Interview

Job interviews are a nerve-wracking experience. And while we’re all prepared to answer, “What’s your biggest weakness?” or “Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work,” most of us aren’t expecting to hear, “Are you planning to become pregnant?” or “Where do you go to church?” or, “What country were your parents born in?” Such incredibly personal questions are often jarring and possible deal-breakers for some applicants. Many people think it’s illegal to be asked these kinds of questions, but in most cases it’s not against the law to ask — it’s just illegal to use that information as the deciding factor in whether or not to hire someone. So the next time you’re hunting for a job, here’s what you need to know about what your next boss can and can’t ask you — and what you can do about it if things get weird. More from Consumeerist .

Seven Steps to Starting Your Own Business

People are always asking for a list of fundamentals, a checklist they can use to start their own businesses. From your business type to your business model to your physical location, there are so many variables it’s not easy to come up with a list that will work for everybody. The key, regardless of what type of business you’re starting, is to be flexible! Read more at

Why Twitter just may be the better social marketing choice

Large and small businesses alike have spent the better part of the past half-decade trying to best leverage the marketing potential of Facebook – and rightly so. Facebook reports 1.23 billion active users worldwide, and an increase of 92 percent when it comes to shared content since 2012. People like Facebook – a lot – but it seems that just as marketers think they have the social network all figured out, the rules change. Some of the most recent modifications to Facebook have made it more difficult for marketers to get their messages across, at least in the ways they are accustomed to reaching their audiences on the social network... Critics say it is just a money-making move to get desperate marketers to spend more on promoting and boosting Facebook content, instead of relying on free organic visibility. At any rate, the reach of page posts appears to be narrowing on Facebook, and marketers will need to adjust. At the same time, Twitter is unveiling some pretty stellar new option

Big-box stores may see dark days ahead

Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) gained dominance by offering everything from groceries to children's toys, often putting smaller, local stores out of business in the process. Now, it's the revenge of the smaller retailers. Walmart is being forced to focus on "defensive investments" as it seeks to counter the popularity of online retailers such as Amazon (AMZN), as well as smaller chains such as dollar stores and drugstores. That's according to a new report from Goldman Sachs (GS), which downgraded its investment rating on the retail giant. More from CBS News .

Federal Government Meets Its Small Business Contracting Goal

For the first time in 8 years, the federal government has met its annual 23% goal for small business contracting... This has resulted in more than $83 billion dollars of revenue for small businesses, the engine and innovators of our resilient economy. This is a groundbreaking and proud achievement for the federal government and especially for our small businesses. When small businesses win federal contracts, it strengthens the American job market and boosts our nation’s economy. When small businesses are able to play an integral role in the federal supply chain, it’s a win-win for America. More from SBA .

Freight Forwarders Serving Agricultural Exporters

So you want to export frozen meat to Zimbabwe, but first you need to find a freight forwarder that can handle frozen meet products and goes to Zimbabwe.  Luckily, the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service provides a Directory of Freight Forwarders Serving Agricultural Exporters here , with over 600 freight forwarders listed.  Searches can be limited by Products Shipped, Destination, and Services Offered and results can be exported into an Excel Spreadsheet.

New York Guest House Tries To Charge Customers $500 For Bad Reviews

The Union Street Guest House in Hudson, New York, joins the small group of businesses who have attempted to levy fees against customers who leave negative reviews. It's an exclusive group that no business should want to be a part of. Page Six was the first to report on this customer-unfriendly clause residing in the rental terms and conditions: If you stay here to attend a wedding and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500. fine for each negative review. If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event (this is due to the fact that your guests may not understand what we offer and we expect you to explain that to them). More from

Retailing Articles and Guides for Small Business Owners

Sales Tax 101 for Small Business Owners and Online Retailers How to Start a Retail Business; A Step-by-Step Guide Ultimate Guide to the Retail Industry 4 Tips for Getting Large Retailers to Stock Your Products  for inventors and entrepreneurs Monthly and Annual Retail Trade statistics  from the U.S. Census Bureau

FTC Stops Deceptive Office Supply Scam That Targeted Small Businesses and Nonprofits

At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted and frozen the assets of an operation that bilked nonprofits, businesses, and municipalities out of millions of dollars by deceptively sending them overpriced light bulbs and cleaning supplies that they never ordered. The FTC seeks to permanently stop the illegal practices and make the defendants return victims’ money... According to a  complaint filed by the FTC, the defendants called organizations throughout the country  and falsely indicated that they had previously done business with them; that the call was to confirm a shipping or mailing address or follow up on a supposed previous order; that they were offering a free sample, catalog or gift; or that they needed an employee’s name and contact information for some purpose other than a sale. The defendants often did not identify themselves accurately or clearly disclose that it was a sales call, and sent consumers merchandise after misleading the

All About Nonprofit Funding

Fundraising is key to success as a nonprofit.  But fundraising is a complicated process.  The Free Management Library provides a wealth of information that can teach you All About Nonprofit Funding . This website will help nonprofit leaders and staff learn and understand the various/varied elements of fundraising, to recognize the importance of the relationship between an organization and its potential donors, and to construct and implement a strong fundraising plan/program for their nonprofits. In addition, much of the subject matter will help nonprofit leaders and staff recognize what it is that they don't know about fundraising, and how to remedy that situation.