Productivity In The Workplace

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There are many factors that affect the profitability of a firm.  For managers and directors of firms, one of the most important factors is to increase profitability for their stakeholders.  The income a company earns over a fiscal year must exceed the expenses they incurred.  Profitability is then one of the many reasons management tries to increase the productivity of their workforce.  Productivity in the workplace is a major challenge for many companies, and research over the years have shown that happy employees are more productive than non happy or stressed employees. But how about working remotely? How is the productivity level compared to those working at the office?  For more about this, follow the links below.


Study: Whopping 93% Say They’re More Productive Working Remotely

Catherine Conlan’s spent her fair share of time in offices. These days, though, the rural Minnesota writer clocks in from home to a content marketing agency in Baton Rouge, La. Still, many of the work-life balance challenges are the same.

“There are days where I’m still rushing around to pick up the kids or the laundry just doesn’t get done, because I’ve put a priority on my work productivity,” Conlan says. “But working remotely, especially with an employer who embraces a project- or results-based approach to work and is dedicated to supporting employees’ lives away from work, can make finding a sense balance a lot easier.”


Boosting America’s Workplace Productivity

Here’s the plain truth: whether at home or at work, productivity tends to suffer under stress. And while stress triggers are highly personal, one thing many workers seem to have in common is uncertainty around how to handle personal finances. In fact, according to a recent study commissioned by MassMutuali, while most Americans say they prioritize understanding the importance of their personal finances, many admit they actually know little or nothing about them, and half say they don’t know how much to spend on benefits. Worse, 37 percent of those surveyed find managing their personal finances “somewhat” or “very difficult” and 40 percent say personal financial problems are a distraction at workii.

It’s clear from the research that personal finances bedevil many Americans, especially when it comes to understanding and making the most of their employee benefits. And employee stress doesn’t just affect employees – the prevalence of distracted employees in the workplace poses a huge productivity issue for employers that, if left untreated, will likely become worse.


Productive mobility is poised to give business a virtual boost

Throughout history, new technologies have constantly changed the way we’ve worked. They’ve been responsible for full-scale revolutions. And continued investments have come as corporate demand for worker productivity drives tech spending.

We should expect augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to eventually attract increased spending in the enterprise as they combine with new mobile network advancements to make an emerging trend called “productive mobility” a reality.

Productive mobility is about being as productive out of the office as inside, and as productive in a virtual instance as a physical one.

Consider Boeing’s use of augmented reality glasses to streamline plane assembly workflows, decreasing assembly time and reducing errors by 25 percent. This is amazing. It’s also just the beginning of this reality-transforming workplace future.

That’s where critical mobile network developments come in. Many of the most exciting AR applications require instant environmental interpretation, and rapid delivery of contextually relevant information and functionality. VR, in particular 360 stereoscopic video, greatly raises the payload overhead of rich media.

Fixed and mobile broadband network advancements like fiber and 5G, along with service provider-centric content delivery topologies, deliver higher throughput with lower latencies. New convolutional network designs find patterns among previously insurmountable massive data sets, enabling rapid, intelligent predictions about the network, the things connected to it and the users engaging with it.


 

Productivity In The Workplace

64735957For a small business owner with few employees, matching the right job to the right person may seem easy.  After all, if you hired the right people, you know their qualifications, and their strengths.  It is important to note that delegating business tasks to employees, have to be carefully monitored to ensure that it is done properly in the beginning.  Matching the right job to the right person is one of the most basic decisions a business owner makes, but some times the task seems impossible.  Know your employees, their strengths and their qualifications, and you will have a strong team in your business.


7 Digital Tools to Help You Get More Done Every Day

Think about the last time you completed a huge project, organized your space, or completed a bunch of necessary tasks. When it comes to work, whittling down a to-dolist may be one of the most gratifying things a person can do. To help, here are several tools to skyrocket any office worker’s productivity.

Typeform

If you need any kind of form on your website, this communication tool can help. It’s a software platform that lets visitors register or pay for things, complete job applications, provide ideas for a suggestion box, fill out incident reports, contact your company, or do anything else that necessitates a form. Focusing on a conversational user experience, Typeform is designed to increase response rates from users by making questions more engaging. The platform has 170,000 active users, about 1 million registered users, and launched in beta in 2013.

Price: Plans range from free to $70 a month at Typeform.


Management Starts Here: 5 Ways to Increase Office Productivity

In the business world, lots of decisions come down to the bottom line, and that line is almost always financial. We’re accustomed to looking at whether or not we can afford to make certain decisions.

Productivity is always key; especially in the United States, we’re accustomed to viewing the most productive workers as the best workers.

It’s all well and good to make something great, but if someone else can make 10 things that are good at the same time it takes someone else to make one thing that’s great, well, a lot of companies will choose good over great every time.

Seth Godin calls this mode of thinking the race to the bottom, the urge to compromise instead of insisting on the highest possible quality. We think you don’t have to give up productivity in order to have greatness.

Here are five things you can do to increase productivity and its value while still offering amazing results.


The 8 Digital Productivity Tools Everyone Should Adopt

I’m a super adopter. I love trying out hundreds of new applications, social networks and devices every year. But not everybody wants to live the thousand-app lifestyle. For most people, the goal is to adopt the smallest number of tools necessary to work efficiently. That’s why my friends and colleagues often ask me which technologies I regard as must-haves: the tools and tactics that will make a big impact on their productivity without spending a lot of time or money getting up and running.

While I often find myself recommending specific technologies to people with particular challenges, there are some tools I suggest again and again, because they are useful to just about everybody. In many cases, they are tools that not only benefit individual users, but entire teams, by reducing inbox clutter and communications overhead. But in other cases, they are applications I suggest because I find it viscerally painful to see someone using Microsoft Office for something that could be better accomplished with a purpose-built note-taking or collaboration tool.


 

CyberSecurity And Your Business

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Billions of dollars are spend yearly in cyber security globally, and according to the most recent surveys, that amount is likely to reach $101 billion by the year 2018.

But, although billions of dollars are spend trying to secure the amount of information hackers or other people have access to, many cyber analysts believe that spending more in cyber security does not necessarily mean better security.

For more about this topic, follow the links below.


Mobile Messaging Apps: 8 Tips For Keeping Your Workplace Secure

The old struggles over BYOD have been replaced with application struggles, as employees use favorite mobile messaging apps for enterprise purposes. As with BYOD, pushing back isn’t the answer. Innovating forward is.

Using popular third-party messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat for business communication can introduce a level of discomfort for IT, as well as for your legal, corporate, and governance and compliance teams. In many ways, it’s like the early days of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement; these days it’s all about Bring Your Own Apps.

“The issue of employees using personal social media accounts/networks, and their non-work personas, for business purposes is very real and it does impact IT, especially when considering that electronic communications should be retained for legal and regulatory purposes,” Mike Pagani, the chief evangelist at Smarsh, told InformationWeek in an interview.

Smarsh offers an archiving platform that supports social media, text messages, email, and other platforms so that they’re indexed, policy-checked, able to be supervised, and easily retrievable if they’re needed for auditing or litigation.


A reality check for security leaders on insider risk

Mike Tierny shares his insights on successfully implementing processes to combat insider risk by engaging the right people at the right time in the program.

“I trust the people in my company. I still monitor everyone.”

That statement came during the MISTI CISO Leadership Summit I lead on Sunday at InfoSecWorld. One of the security leaders made that comment during our session on trust. It got a lot of nods and even more discussion.

Just the week prior, I talked with Mike Tierney (LinkedIn, @mikejtierney) the COO of Veriato Inc. about the reality of insider threat and our need to engage others in the process. As COO, Mike is ultimately responsible for organizational security.  His insight on insider risk is forged by experience and his success implementing processes across the organization.

During our conversation, he talked about the leadership approach of engaging others in the process – before we have problems. He shared some things I hadn’t seen implemented before. Approaches that made sense.


Cybersecurity spending: more does not necessarily mean better

Cybersecurity is not something you can just buy, but something you should thoroughly build.

Last week, I had a great opportunity to explore the APAC cybersecurity market and meet many brilliant people during Black Hat Asia 2016. Singapore’s economic miracle made its cybersecurity market as attractive as the North American one, attracting the largest security vendors to the region.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) protection, Threat Intelligence, Enterprise Immune Systems, Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) – these are just a few of the offerings currently available on the cybersecurity market. I bet that many security industry professionals (including myself) hardly understand the real meaning of some of these terms, or to be more precise – the real difference between them and the generic terms existing for years. But this is a topic for a dedicated article, and in this piece we would rather concentrate on cybersecurity budgets and related challenges.


 

Small Business Financial News

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Depending on what news you read small business in the United States might be doing great or it may not.  According to CNBC -small business confidence is at the lowest since February 2014.  If you instead look at the survey conducted by Gallup at the beginning of this year for Wells Fargo, you will find that small business optimism jumped 13 points to reach the highest level in a year.

As a small business owner you have to decide for yourself – Bank statements handy — whether the economy and your optimism are at a good point at this time for you and your business.  Your industry may be doing extremely well while others industries are collapsing, or you may be ready to hire employees this year independently of what the polls are telling you. You know your small business better than anyone, make decisions that benefit your business and those working for you. Everything else will fall into place.

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


Small businesses in best financial shape in eight years

Most small business owners are feeling good about their financial situation, and that’s improved their outlook for the coming year.

That’s according to a quarterly survey of small business owners conducted in January by Gallup for Wells Fargo. This survey’s index of small business optimism jumped 13 points from November to 67, its highest level in a year.

These results run counter to what the National Federation of Independent Business found in its January survey of its members. NFIB’s small business indexfell last month to its lowest level in two years. The questions in each survey are slightly different, so that might account for some of the difference in the results.

The most noteworthy finding in the Wells Fargo survey was that two-thirds of small business owners rated their financial situation as good. That’s the highest percentage in eight years. More than 70 percent expect their financial situation will be good 12 months from now.


What small businesses can learn from a big business’s mistakes

It’s not hard to think of big businesses that have run into problems trying to grow in an economy that’s expanding in low single digits and where organic growth is very hard to generate. Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly becoming the best way to deliver the rapid growth that owners want and investors demand. Unfortunately merging and acquiring is a minefield – no matter how big or small the numbers involved might be.

The list of businesses that have overreached by borrowing money to buy a rival is long. Think of Hewlett Packard’s $5 billion write-off following its $11 billion acquisition of the software group Autonomy. Or Quaker’s disastrous takeover of Snapple, a deal which ended up costing Quaker $2 million for every day it owned the soft-drink group. Then there was the telecommunications giant Sprint, which ended up writing off a staggering $29.5 billion after buying Nextel. Its due diligence and haste to make the deal happen resulted in one of the biggest write-downs in corporate history.


Are the Conservatives losing the small business vote?

Government cuts alongside changes to tax returns, pensions and taxes on dividends is leading to a growing sense of outrage among entrepreneurs.

hen the first Conservative majority government in nearly 20 years came into power last May, there were high hopes among business owners. The Tories had assiduously courted support from SMEs during the election campaign, even launching a small business manifesto, pledging to cut red tape and review business rates.

With Cameron et al in Downing Street, many business owners breathed a sigh of relief. Among them was Richard Merrin, managing director of communications business Spreckley. “The biggest inhibitor over the past year was the prospect of the general election itself,” says Merrin. “It was no surprise to me that the very next day we saw an immediate uplift in new business inquiries and there is no doubt that the more business friendly Tories gaining an outright majority added to that confidence.”


 

Ohio’s Economy

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At the beginning of 2016, and even at the end of 2015, the global market has lost trillion of dollars, and the end of it doesn’t seem to be near.  The U.S economy and Ohio’s economy cannot do better than what is happening globally.  It is not surprising then to know that the unemployment rate increased in December of 2015, and with the quarter of a percent increase in interest rates, small business owners are a bit hesitant about hiring new employees, and have the challenge of meeting payroll month after month.

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


Ohio jobless rate climbs to 4.7% in December

Ohio’s unemployment rate ended 2015 by going in the wrong direction.

The state reported on Friday, Jan. 22, that the jobless rate rose to 4.7% in December from 4.5% in November.

Nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 15,200 over the month, to 5,451,500 in December from a revised 5,436,300 in November, according to data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

However, the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in December was 269,000, up 14,000 from 255,000 in November. The number of unemployed has decreased by 23,000 in the past 12 months from 292,000, the state said. A year ago, in December 2014, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.1%

Goods-producing industries, at 900,000, added 3,500 jobs over the month, as job gains in manufacturing (+3,200) and construction (+500) outweighed job losses in mining and logging (-200).


Ohio ranks in bottom third nationally for financial stability of residents: CFED Scorecard

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio ranks in the bottom third of the nation when it comes to the financial stability of its residents, according to a scorecard released Monday.

The 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard ranks the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in a range of areas, from financial assets and income to businesses and jobs to education. Ohio ranks 36th out of 51. The Scorecard is done by the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C., or CFED, which is focused on empowering “low- and moderate-income people to build wealth.” Ohio ranked 35 last year.

The Scorecard refers to such measures of financial stability – most often based on analyses of government data — as outcome rankings. Of 61 outcomes, Ohio performed below the national average on several of them most often crucial to ensuring financial stability for a state’s residents, according to Lebaron Sims, research manager at CFED.


Small-business lending: The next fixed income frontier?

Forget the U.S. government — how about lending to your neighborhood dentist instead?

That’s what firms like Direct Lending Investments aim to allow investors to do, albeit indirectly. The $450 million fund buys loans from nonbank lenders, and packages them in portfolio form for consumption by accredited investors (although it is attempting to transition into a more accessible closed-end fund).

The potential opportunity arises from a few different factors. Over the past several years, traditional bank lending has slowed, and yields on Treasurys and other ultrasafe bonds have fallen, which has increased the demand for nontraditional loans, resulting in outsized yields.

For instance, even as Treasury bonds returned basically nothing in 2015, Direct Lending Investments delivered an 11.7 return. This as the default rate on loans in the portfolio ran at 4.6 percent.


Entrepreneurship – What Kind of Smart Are You?

business (7)There used to be only one kind of “smart”.  You took a test which measured your intelligence quotient (IQ) and were assigned a number based on the results.  The higher the number, the smarter you were and the more likely you were to be a success.  Fortunately, that way of thinking is now known to be flat out wrong.

We all know someone who is book smart, but no one can work with her because she’s completely clueless on how to interact with people.  Then there’s the charming, personality guy who doesn’t know how to turn a profit.  There are many kinds of intelligence. 

Word smart

Word smart people know how to communicate their ideas, visions and goals, which inspires others to support them. They’re able to create loyalty in employees, sell customers, write business plans, teach using funny and interesting stories, influence important people and raise money from investors.

Words matter.  Lack of communication, across the board in all industries, is the biggest complaint workers have about their bosses. It’s a fundamental part of human nature to want to know what’s going on and, more importantly, how we’re going to be affected by it.

Self smart

One of the abilities of the self smart person is the capacity to understand herself (i.e. motivations, limitations, strong points, fears, hopes, wants vs. needs, drives) through others’ eyes.  It’s impossible for us to see ourselves as others see us, we all have blind spots.  Some peoples’ spots are much larger than others – you know who they are. 

Successful entrepreneurs welcome people who challenge them, who “call them on their s***”.  Self smart people seek out feedback from others, it gives them insight, which they use to learn, grow and move forward. 

Number smart

Successful people comprehend profit, loss and margins.  They use financial information to make decisions and do their planning.  This occurs over the life span of the company, beginning with start-up costs and ending with exit strategies.

The lack of number smarts is the biggest problem most entrepreneurs have.  It’s estimated that 80% of businesses fail in the first 5 years because the owners weren’t aware of or didn’t care how vital it is to know and do the math. 

People smart

This kind of smart is having good social or people skills. It’s being able to read and interact with all types of individuals.  These are people who’re energized by and like to work with others. 

Their knack of effectively interacting with people shouldn’t be confused with an ability to communicate (word smart).  They often talk at, rather than with others.  They’re the personable “glad handers” who can efficiently work a group without really saying anything.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur it helps to know which kinds of intelligence are your strengths and which are your weaknesses.  You can focus on your positives and learn to overcome or compensate for your negatives.  The more you know about them the better chance you have of achieving your goals. 


Small Business Job Creation, Lending, and Taxes

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The statistics for the small business community  are looking good for 2015. Small business owners believe and are confident that this year will be more profitable than last year, they intent to hire more employees, and feel confident they will invest more in technology.  Taxes, new regulations, and other costs associated with the running of the business are not pleasant nor foreseeable, but those are some of the limitations that they can, and are used to dealing with in a daily basis.

Read more about this by following the links below.


Small Business, Job Creation, And Why We Should Lend To Young Companies

Any honest conversation about creating jobs in the United States must include the role played by small business. Collectively, these businesses create the lion’s share of new jobs. The current SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet regularly argues that two out of every three new jobs are created there. So when Experian approached me with a new study that explored the impact of small businesses (particularly startups), on our economy and what we could do to encourage more job creation, they had my attention.

As one of the three biggest business and personal credit reporting bureaus, I consider Experian’s advice and perspective very relevant to this conversation. I recently spoke with Peter Bolin, Experian Director of Consulting and Analytics, to talk about the research. When they dived into the data they found that small businesses and startups really do have a direct impact on job creation in the United States. They focused on the 2010 class of startups and looked at the resilience of the overall US economic recovery and how these businesses have performed in the four years since they opened their doors.


New chip credit cards putting squeeze on small businesses

NEW YORK — New credit and debit cards with computer chips are putting the squeeze on small businesses.

The cards being rolled out by banks and credit card companies are aimed at reducing fraud from counterfeit cards. As chip cards are phased in, magnetic stripe cards, which are easier for thieves to copy, will be phased out. Businesses of all sizes face an Oct. 1 deadline to get new card readers and software that can handle chips. Most estimates of transition costs for small companies vary from the low hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars due to the wide range of equipment used.

If businesses don’t meet the deadline set by companies including MasterCard, Visa and American Express, they can be held liable for transactions made with phony chip cards.


Small Business Owners Want a Fair Share of Their Taxes Back

New Jersey’s Small Business Development Centers are pushing again for an increase in their state funding — which would in turn make the centers eligible to have federal funding increased to the program in a state with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.

The network, formally called America’s SBDC New Jersey, says it had its state support slashed in former Gov. Jon Corzine’s term from $1 million down to $250,000 — and then survived an attempted cut to zero in Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. The state Legislature restored that $250,000, but the funding has been frozen at the same level since Christie’s first year in office, 2010.

Officials with the group argue that’s too little — especially because restoring the $1 million state matching funds would bring back almost that much in federal support for the small-business centers.

By its own figures, SBDCNJ helped 534 clients start new businesses last year, and “helped its clients create and save 15,089 jobs.”


Some People Get All the Luck – Be One of Them

64002400There are thousands of legends about businesses becoming successful because the owner was in the right place at the right time, he was lucky.  But, if you look closely at them you’ll find, that while “uncontrollable” good fortune may have played a part in the success, that isn’t the whole story.  The real story is how the owner made his own “controllable” luck.

Many mangers think good fortune is uncontrollable (such as winning a bid or having good weather for the company picnic) and they either have it or they don’t.  But, you can increase your chances of being lucky.  Often, what’s perceived as, uncontrollable events can be managed to increase the odds of working out in your favor. 

For example, anyone who has bid out a job has multiple stories about companies (who they wanted to award the contract to) who’ve knocked themselves out of the running.  They weren’t unlucky — their bids were incomplete, sloppy, late or unrealistic, all things they had control over.  Also, in northeastern Ohio there’s a better chance of having good weather for your picnic in June, not April. 

If you look closely at most “his successful business is due to luck” stories you’ll find they usually have 4 things in common.  One of them is that there is a dose of luck involved.  But, the other 3 are more important.  Each story shows a person augmenting his good fortune through controllable behaviors, which you can also do.

Pay attention – Put down the cell phone, step away from the computer and get out of your office, building and comfort zone.  The beginning of any successful venture is to recognize that the opportunity is there.  There are few things more important in life (work, family and friends) than paying genuine attention to what’s going on around you.

Do the work – After you get the idea take logical and practical risks to do something about it.  Ideas are usually worthless until they’re put into action through a lot of hard work.  In every success story there’s always someone, sometimes many people, who did the work.  As Thomas Jefferson said, “I’m a great believer in luck, I find the harder I work the more I have of it”.

Seek out information – The average small business owner gets insulated, which leads to tunnel vision.  Success isn’t a solo act; every business success story has multiple characters in it.  Steve Jobs was brilliant, hard working and lucky.  One of the things he learned to do was to seek out and listen to what people had to say, and then use the information to better his product.  He was relentless in his quest to learn more and do better.

There are some things you can’t do anything about – you’re betting on 3 of a kind and your opponent wins with her straight.  But, you can increase the chances of winning by knowing your rival’s tells (pay attention), learn the odds, rules and psychology of the game (do the work) and continue to develop your skills (seek out information).  Luck is a combination of controllable and uncontrollable actions and events. 


Small Changes You Need To Do To Help Your Business

Having a website nowadays is not longer enough.  If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you are loosin54640451g sales.  But before you spend the time and money optimizing your website for mobile devices, make sure it is good enough for desktops before spending the money elsewhere. Ask yourself these questions: Does my website load in less than 2 seconds? If the answer is no, you need to fix that before going any further.  Research has shown that if a website takes longer than two minutes to load , more than half of  your visitors leave without ever seeing if you have what they wanted. Is the content relevant? Good content can engage you potential customer and offer basic information they may need.   To read more about this and other topics follow the links below.


5 Things Your Small Business Should Do This Summer

Summer is almost here! While a vacation is definitely recommended, don’t spend the whole summer relaxing.

Here are five things your small business should definitely do this summer:

1. Get a Mobile Website

Look around when you’re walking down the street. Almost every person is attached to a smartphone. About 40 percent of consumers prefer to use their phone to search for businesses and services on the internet. Is your website mobile-optimized? If not, why not? Make it easier for potential customers to find you. Mobile-optimize your website.


6 Small Business Tips from a Pet Mediator

Big businesses, like Walmart and Apple, seem to just roll along on the momentum of their success and power.

However, small businesses don’t have that luxury. You fight for every little success and every advantage to get ahead of the competition. Some small businesses are so small, most people have never heard of them before.

For example, have you heard of a pet mediator?

Debra Hamilton, Pet Mediator

Pet mediator. What will we come up with next?


What The Small Business Tax Break Actually Does

The immediate tax deduction for small business announced in the Federal Budget has been broadly welcomed, but what may have been missed is the fact that what the Government doesn’t collect now, it will collect later.

As part of the $5.5 billion small business package at the centre of its latest Budget, the Federal Government announced it would allow businesses with turnover less than $2 million to immediately deduct the cost of any individual asset purchased up to the value of $20,000, from Budget night through to the end of June 2017. The estimated cost of this accelerated depreciation measure to revenue is estimated at $1.75 billion over the four years of forward estimates.

But what should be noted about this measure is that it doesn’t change the eligibility for tax deductions of these assets; it simply changes how quickly a small business is able to receive the tax deduction.

Under the existing simplified depreciation rules for small business, an asset costing over $1000 would be depreciated at 15% for the first year, and 30% thereafter, until the taxable value of the asset pool is $1000 or less, at which point the full amount can be written off.


Small Business Money Issues

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From retirement funding  to meeting payroll every month, small businesses are plagued in a continual basis with issues about money.  Legislation in Washington  can be helpful or devastating to the small business community, and in some instances small business owners find themselves with the same problems regardless of what happens in Washington.  Does your business need a loan? Do you need money to fund a retirement account for you?  Follow the links below for more news about this and other issues affecting your business.


Loans, taxes, regulations on small-business election agenda

There are no “one size fits all” issues for small business in the 2016 presidential campaign. While candidates try to appeal to all small businesses, many owners want very specific things. A sample of what’s on the agenda of some individual owners and two small business advocacy groups:

Help small banks compete: Community banks whose customers include small businesses are at a disadvantage because of regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act implemented following the 2008 banking crisis, says Jim Angleton, owner of Aegis FinServ, a Miami-based financial services company. While the law is needed to prevent a recurrence of the practices that led to bank failures of all sizes, it places a disproportionate financial burden on smaller banks, Angleton says.

The number of small banks in the U.S. dropped 14 percent after Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010, according to researchers at George Mason University.


5 Creative Ways To Fund Your Small Business

A look at the fast-evolving options for entrepreneurs on a money hunt—including several that first-time entrepreneurs tend to overlook.

When Mike Shapiro quit his job as a corporate lawyer to launch a group of community news web sites in 2008, he relied on savings he’d frugally socked away for years. “I wasn’t an Armani suit guy at my firm,” says Shapiro, CEO and publisher of TAPInto.net, a five-employee franchise chain, based in New Providence, N.J., that now has 37 locations.

But self-funding the business turned out to be stressful. During the first two and a half years, he poured about $250,000 into his startup, taking no salary while he and his family lived on their savings. And as he was launching the business, his son, then an infant, had to have open heart surgery, and his wife stayed home to care for the baby.


Small Business — and State Governments — May Rescue Your Retirement

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Half of Americans employed in the private sector work for small businesses. That means many workers simply don’t have access to retirement plans. Big firms lure talent with tax-advantaged savings plans like 401(k)s — and even match workers’ contributions, while neighborhood businesses often lack the means to provide such benefits.

But now, the small-business backbone of the economy is slowly rising to the occasion, often with the assistance of state governments.

Here’s one such example from the state of Washington: The Small Business Retirement Marketplace, signed into law last week by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, will provide an estimated 1.5 million residents in the state with access toworkplace-based retirement accounts.

“Employers do not have to do anything but deduct and forward the money — the same way they handle taxes,” said Rep. Larry Springer, a co-sponsor of the state legislation, in a press statement. “We know people are very unlikely to save for retirement if they are not offered a plan through work. The Small Business Retirement Savings Marketplace will allow more workers access to a safe, easy and affordable way to retire in dignity.”