Small Business and Funding

When the time comes for small business owners to finance a part of their business through a loan, things can get quite complicated.  Many banks – especially for small businesses- look into your personal finances to see if you have the credit and trustworthiness to hand you money. Personal credit scores and ending balances for the month in your checking account means something for the banks, and being aware of that fact can make your chances of getting a loan much greater.

For this and other stories, follow the links below.

The GOP says its business tax plan will help workers and small businesses. It won’t.

Instead, it’s a gift to people with lots of capital.

To understand the business tax provisions in the Trump tax proposals, begin with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s insight that the rich are different from you and me — they have more money.

In particular, they have more capital. (Ever polite, economists call piles of money that have been invested “capital.”) Business tax reform really is an exercise in how we should tax capital income — that is, returns on investments. And because the rich have lots more capital than do you or I, the benefits of the multitrillion-dollar business tax cuts proposed by the Trump administration’s tax “framework” necessarily will be vacuumed up by the most affluent Americans. Business tax reform has only a modest connection to the economic future of working stiffs, and the small connection that does exist is a second-order effect.

Small business jobs hurt as hurricanes close retailers

NEW YORK — Hurricanes that swept the southern U.S. last month shut many retailers and put hiring on hold at small businesses.

That’s the finding of payroll provider ADP, which said Wednesday that its small business customers cut 7,000 jobs during September. Many small and independent retailers in Texas and Florida had to close before and during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and many suffered significant damage from wind, rain and flooding. That slowed hiring, and employees at some stores were laid off. The Labor Department reported a jump in applications for unemployment benefits following the storms.

The hurricanes also curtailed overall hiring, ADP said, counting 135,000 new jobs at companies of all sizes, the smallest gain in nearly a year. Without the storm, hiring would likely have been closer to the average monthly pace of 185,000 for the last two years, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which helps compile the ADP reports.

7 Things About Funding Sources that Small Business Owners Don’t Know — But Should

Getting funding for your small business is essential but not always as straightforward as you might think. Here are 7 things about funding sources you might not know about but should.

Small Business Funding Facts

You Need to Keep a Positive Ending Balance

Hanna Kassis works for Segway Financial. He says a small business should not only have money in a bank account before they apply for a loan, but a specific amount at month’s end.

“Lenders want to see that you’ve got a positive ending balance,” he says. “Say you’re anticipating needing a merchant cash advance at the end of the month, go put $500 dollars in your bank account.”

Your Personal Credit Score Affects Your Business Financing


Employee happiness and Business Success

Regardless of what you hear from Congress or any other politician in Washington, American workers are not the best in the world.  As a nation, we are lacking in skills ranging from math, and problem-solving to literacy. The study done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, shows the American labor force is not only not comparable to other equal nations, but we are falling behind.  The skilled workforce needed to fill basic job positions is not longer there, and hasn’t been there for many years now.

Finding and keeping talented employees has become a struggle for many businesses, and the perks these businesses are willing to offer to entice talented people are a sign of the shortage of skilled employees.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.

Keeping employees happy a key to business success

Business owners may want to pay attention to more than how many widgets their employees are making.

They also should consider how happy those workers are while making them.

Experts – and a boatload of research – agree that satisfied employees tend to work harder and smarter, which in turn can boost a company’s bottom line.

“An engaged employee who feels valued and fulfilled is more likely to go all in and be far more productive,” said Evren Esen, director of workplace analytics for the Society for Human Resource Management.

“They also are more likely to stay with an organization longer, which reduces turnover costs,” she said.

That might sound like common sense. But finding out what makes an employee happy and then doing things to engage them is not an exact science.

Most workplace studies and surveys concentrate on two main areas: tangible gains, such as salary and health care benefits, and intangible bonuses, such as respect and job security.

Good businesses, even universities, invest in their employees

If higher education truly wishes to help solve the world’s complex problems, it is essential that all voices get a seat at the table, including those of graduate student workers. At Washington University, we need to do more to ensure graduate student workers don’t have to choose between academic success and personal well-being.

We are “privileged to be here,” we graduate student workers are so often told, and we shouldn’t question issues of compensation if we are truly passionate about the work we do. But as long as Washington University insists that we are students only, graduate student workers receive none of the protections afforded to employees under the law, even while we are compelled to remain in this tenuous position in order to complete our degrees.

While Washington U. is ostensibly committed to its role as a beacon of higher learning in the St. Louis community, it is in fact run as a business — and an incredibly lucrative one, at that. But good businesses invest in their employees. By promoting the well-being of the whole employee, Washington U. stands to benefit from higher graduation rates, better job placement, better academic and teaching work, and a healthier spirit of collaboration between students and their faculty advisers.

Family philosophy behind Marlex Pharmaceuticals’ success

Savar Patel, president of Marlex Pharmaceuticals, believes employees go the extra mile for him and his brother Samir because of loyalty.

That mindset stems from Samir and Savar’s father Amrish, Marlex’s founder, who the brothers say was an employee-centric boss who never wanted to treat people badly.

“We’ve just continued on with that philosophy,” Savar Patel said.

That philosophy has landed the New Castle-area-based packaging and distribution company on The News Journal’s list of Top Workplaces four years in a row.

Marlex Pharmaceuticals was ranked first among small businesses in The News Journal’s annual Top Workplaces survey conducted by WorkplaceDynamics of Exton, Pennsylvania.

The company engages in the distribution and packaging of pharmaceuticals. All products are made in the United States and distributed nationally, with access to every hospital, pharmacy and nursing home across the country.


Small Business Saturday

small-shopNovember 26, 2016, is Small Business Saturday.   More than 16 billion dollars were spent last year at small retailers across the nation according to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and this year many believe will be bigger.  If you are a small business, this holiday weekend is sure to provide you with the extra sales you were hoping for and the extra income many small businesses need.

For more about Small Business Saturday, follow the links below for more information.

8 Ways To Boost Sales Using Social Media This Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, was created to shift attention from big box stores to the smaller mom-and-pop shops offering carefully curated product selection and gift ideas you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a celebration of everything that makes small businesses special.

To take advantage of the spotlight being shone on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, 2016, make sure your business is leveraging social media to get the word out. Here are eight tactics to use:

1.Use The Hashtag #ShopSmall

On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, use the hashtag #ShopSmall to allow customers to easily find information about your business and to alert them that you’re participating in Small Business Saturday. And use the hashtag yourself to search social media for other ideas for promoting your small business during this busy time of year.

Small Business Saturday is expected to be busier than ever

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Politicians and the Small Business Administration’s District director visited several small stores in Lakewood on Monday, a grass-roots marketing effort to bring attention to Small Business Saturday this weekend.

“We were in Lakewood to highlight Small Business Saturday which comes after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday because we want to encourage people to shop small this coming Saturday,” said Gil Goldberg, the SBA district director. “But we could have been in any town, city or village in Northern Ohio to illustrate the support that merchants in the community provide.”

Goldberg was joined by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Lakewood Mayor Mike Summers.

Last year, Small Business Saturday packed a big punch to the U.S. economy: 95 million consumers shopped in small and local retailers and restaurants and spent $16.2 billion, nearly triple ($5.5 billion) what consumers spent  with small retailers in 2012, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The shopping day was first started by American Express. The idea came about during the recession in 2009, and officially launched a year later. At the time, the nation was still recovering from the financial crisis, and eventually lost about 200,000 small businesses.

Rosenberry: Shop small business Saturday

Black Friday is almost here, which means the Christmas shopping season has officially begun.

More power to you if you want to fight the traffic and the crowds. But don’t forget: You also can get deals on Small Business Saturday — which happens just one day later.

In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to scope out a small business that’s new to me, someplace I’ve never been; and I found the perfect place — a cute little craft store with a big heart.

Craft Bits & Pieces is located in Fairport’s Village Landing plaza. Unlike most places you may shop this holiday season, Craft Bits & Pieces’ sole purpose is a charitable one. It raises money for Perinton’s Senior Options for Independence, care management and transportation programs.

The shop relies on more than 50 volunteers to collect, sort, clean, package and shelve thousands of items donated every week. The shop has three part-time managers and is overseen by Joanne Haag, executive director of the Fairport/Perinton Senior Living Council.

True to its name, Craft Bits & Pieces is a crafter’s dream store, stuffed with fabric, notions, buttons, scrapbooking supplies, yarns, needles, dried flowers and more. Plenty of delights for non-crafters also line the shelves, including home decor items, glassware, jewelry, puzzles and books.


Workplace Stress and its Ramifications

business (9)According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention article and a survey done by Northwestern National Life, 40% of workers today report that they consider their job as being “very or extremely stressful.” And according to Northwestern National Life, one-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.  Job stress has become a very common and costly problem that affects the United States workforce, and a problem that needs to be addressed by organizations and individuals as well. For more about this topic follow the links below.

What you need to know about workplace stress

TORONTO – John Tory was officially presented as mayor of Toronto Tuesday during an afternoon ceremony at city hall.

The job is no doubt stressful:  it’s at least four years long, 24 hours a day, includes no scheduled vacation time and puts every decision into the media spotlight.

So what is stress? Physiologically, we think of stress as the brain’s response to any demand.  And different types of stress have different effects – you can have stress from a sudden event like losing a job, or a traumatic event like an accident, or just routine stress related to the everyday pressures of life – which politicians feel a lot of because of the scrutiny they’re under.

The commonly referred to fight or flight response is the body’s response to stress. It is a mechanism that evolved thousands of years ago to respond to situations like being attacked by an animal.

‘Medicalising’ workplace stress could worsen staff morale, psychologists warn 

Low morale is too often treated as an “adjustment disorder”, which risks worsening the worker’s condition. Photo: Gabrielle Charotte

At least one third of workplace stress claims are due to “low morale” but are regularly being treated as clinical disorders, Australian psychologists have warned.

With workplace mental health problems costing businesses $10 billion a year, an Australian Psychological Society conference this week heard that more than 30 per cent of compensation claims were morale-related and therefore preventable.

Clinical and organisational psychologist Peter Cotton told the conference low morale was too often treated as an “adjustment disorder”, which risked worsening the worker’s condition.

“‘Medicalising’ this issue could be counter-productive and make the employee worse,” he said.

Workplace Stress Can Boil Over Months Later

New research suggests workplace stress can lead to counterproductive workplace behaviors that may not surface until weeks or months afterward.

It is common knowledge that a variety of workplace issues ranging from a seasonal surge in business, or a new manager, can lead to stress that results in immediate problems.

However, the impact of the stress may be underestimated as problems may surface down the road.

San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Dr. Kevin Eschleman determined many employees wait weeks or months before engaging in “counterproductive work behaviors,” like taking a longer lunch or stealing office supplies.

As a result, this behavior, which by some estimates costs businesses billions of dollars annually, may actually be far more expensive.

“People don’t just respond immediately with these deviant behaviors. They may also have a delayed response that isn’t caught by the organization,” said Eschleman.

“That means the organization is not taking into account long-term costs associated with these delayed behaviors.”

Business Lessons And Information

business (4)Are you a business owner struggling to make your business get ahead? Research and articles about the US economy and its recovery are abundant, all hailing that the US economy is progressively doing better. As a small business owner the recovery may not have reached your business yet, and the truth may differ a bit in your case, but keeping yourself informed and motivated can be the difference between a good and a great year for your business. Follow the links below to read the complete articles.

Four Valuable Business Lessons To Learn From Football

Are you ready for some football? Many Americans spent hours in front of the television this weekend as the 2014 NFL season opened. Regardless of how your favorite football teamed performed (I recognize that half of you are depressed by the outcome), you probably were content just watching your favorite team TISI -0.95% play. But, I’m here to be sure you don’t overlook the business lessons buried in the sport. Here are four valuable lessons you can take from the football season, along with important guidance about where football and business differ.

Build a Successful Team

Each NFL team needs a group of players with complementary skills that together make a great team. In your business, it works the same way. You need skill players, strength players, a great quarterback, and a staff of supporting coaches.

Business leaders downbeat on workers’ prospects

Despite an improving economy and record corporate profits, business leaders are skeptical about their ability to compete abroad and downright pessimistic about the prospect of increasing pay or improving living conditions for American workers, according to a new report from Harvard Business School.

Co-authored by high-profile Harvard professor Michael Porter, the report also identified a “troubling divergence” in the economy, in which most businesses are thriving, as are highly skilled workers, yet middle-class and working-class employees are struggling.

Porter and his team urged business leaders to become more involved in efforts to improve living standards for more workers, such as additional training and education, out of self-interest: a stronger workforce will make their companies more competitive in the global economy.

Business Leaders Worry About Income Inequality And Revolution

Income inequality must have become a mainstream concern because even business leaders worry about it. A newly released survey by the Harvard Business School of its alumni about American competitiveness shows that a “troubling divergence in the American economy” could ultimately sink the country’s prospects. Even as large corporations, the wealthy, and “ highly skilled individuals” prosper, “middle-class and working-class citizens are struggling.” So are small businesses, which are an important source of new jobs. The result is a division of the U.S. into two parts, one small and wealthy, the other comprising the vast majority that finds it more difficult to get by as time moves on.

The problem, according to the analysis of what these executives have said, is that to be economically strong, the U.S. must compete in the global economy while supporting and advancing the standard of living for its citizens. The financial results of large corporations show success in the first area. Standards of living are another matter:

Women In Business

business (10)There are more than 9 million companies that are owned by women.  They employee close to 8 million people, and together they accomplished sales close to 1.5 trillion dollars as of this year. With those statistics one wonders why it is still hard for a business woman to get a loan from a bank or get the same benefits than their male counterparts get. To read more about this topic and to read more about Ohio’s economy outlook, follow the links below.

Ranking state economies: See where Ohio falls

Ohio’s economy is something of a mixed bag, at least according to Business Insider, which has ranked all 50 states.

The Buckeye State ranks No. 25.

Here’s what Business Insider has to say about Ohio:

“Ohio has a disproportionate number of manufacturing and health services jobs. However, Ohio’s scores on our measures were very much a mixed bag:

On the bright side, Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped sharply over the past year, from 7.4% in June 2013 to 5.5% in June 2014.

The housing market in Ohio, on the other hand, is not recovering as quickly as it is in many other states. Ohio saw a small 0.1% drop in housing prices between Q1 2013 and Q2 2014.

Similarly, Ohio faces demographic challenges, with the working age population shrinking by a marginal 0.1% between 2012 and 2013, one of only 13 states to show a decline in this population.

Women small business owners struggle to get loans

NEW YORK (AP) — Women are a growing force in the business world, but if they own a company, they may still struggle to get a loan from a bank.

Carrie Charlick and Marcia Cubitt have $4 million in sales but have been rejected for $500,000 credit lines since 2012. Their 11-year-old company, Essential Body Wear, sells women’s underwear at parties at customers’ homes. That’s a problem for bankers, Charlick says. Because the Detroit-based business doesn’t have a traditional structure and sells directly to the public rather than retailers, banks keep saying no.

“We don’t have receivables and we don’t own a building,” she says. “We don’t have collateral.”

Male loan officers have also made inappropriate comments about the fact the company sells lingerie. Charlick is convinced that they have a problem with women-owned businesses.

Women owners have long been at a disadvantage getting loans. Some states required husbands or other male relatives to co-sign business loans until the practice was outlawed by the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988. But women’s business loan approval rates are between 15 percent and 20 percent below men’s, according to the online lending marketplace

Several factors contribute to the problem. Banks historically have been gun-shy about small businesses, and that caution increased due to stricter government regulations after the 2008 credit crisis. Often, women-owned businesses are young, making them look risky to lenders.

Greg Abbott celebrates growth in women-owned businesses in Texas, overlooks meaningful details

In an email blast, Greg Abbott’s campaign said Texas businesses owned by women flourished with Barack Obama in the White House.

Abbott, the attorney general and Republican gubernatorial nominee, wasn’t saluting the Democratic president. In the July 10, 2014, email message, Kim Snyder, Abbott’s deputy campaign manager, called Texas the “land of opportunity – especially for women.” Texas does better than other states, Snyder wrote, adding: “Let’s compare: the growth rate of women-owned businesses in Texas has nearly doubled that of the nation since President Obama has taken office.”

A reader, bringing the email to our attention, wondered about the described growth rates.

To our inquiry, Abbott spokesman Avdiel Huerta said by email Abbott’s near-doubling reference was based on reports by American Express OPEN, which American Express describes as the leading payment-card issuer for small U.S. businesses.

According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, Huerta said, there were 8,617,200 woman-owned U.S. firms, including 737,300 in Texas, in 2013. In 2007, AMEX said there were 7,793,139 woman-owned firms nationally and 610,007 in Texas, Huerta said.

North East Ohio Business News

business (6)As spring finally arrives in Ohio, I walk around my neighborhood and can see for myself the great number of houses that are up for sale.  According to the Ohio Association of Realtors, the numbers of houses or condominiums that are up for sale are higher than last year’s as more people want to take advantage of the historically low interest rates. Keep reading the information below to give you a better understanding of what is happening in North East Ohio this week.

March Pending Home Sales Index for Ohio

The Ohio Association of REALTORS reports that the number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in March rose for the 23rd consecutive month compared to the results from the prior year.

Goodyear, union begin contract talks for 6 plants

AKRON, Ohio — With the backdrop of an uncertain economy, shrinking unions and company cost-cutting, Goodyear and the Steelworkers are negotiating on a new national contract covering 8,000 tire workers at six plants.

The first round of talks in Cincinnati ended Thursday and recessed.

Cleveland Foodbank wins national award for excellence in food banking

The Cleveland Foodbank received the 2013 Mary Ruth Herbers SNAP Outreach Excellence in Food Banking Award at the annual Feeding America Network Executive Directors’ Forum recently held in Nashville. The award is given to the year’s most outstanding SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) outreach program from the 202 food banks across the nation in the Feeding America network.