Can you afford your business being down for a few days? Can you afford losing valuable business machinery and equipment? Do you have a plan for how to protect your business if it is struck by a major disaster? Disasters come in many shapes and sizes, often when least expected – the one thing you can count on is that eventually something will happen that will negatively affect your normal level of doing business.
If you would like to learn how to put a plan of action into place before the next disaster occurs, the NJSBDC at RVCC stands ready to assist you. Our team of experienced counselors will work with you onsite at your workplace to help you first assess, then create a plan to protect your valuable business assets in the case of a disaster striking. If you would like to arrange an appointment for an SBDC counselor to visit your business and assist you with creating a disaster plan, please call the SBDC at (908) 526-1200, Ext. 8516, or email us at ude.lavnatirar@cdbs.
(Excerpted from article appearing on SBA.gov website)
By Caron Beesley, Contributor
Published: October 1, 2014
The holidays creep up on us fast, and it seems like each year the big retailers start their holiday sales sooner and sooner. Last year, for example, retail giants Walmart and Target both began their holiday deals well before Thanksgiving, with campaign planning no doubt starting several months prior.
Should your small business be doing the same and can you really benefit from jumping on the holiday marketing bandwagon sooner rather than later? Of course you can! Here’s why – and how:
There’s a lot of ground to cover
According to a 2013 report by Accenture, 23 percent of shoppers start shopping in the early fall, and nearly three quarters will be finished by the end of November! That’s a lot of ground to cover. Start late and you’ll miss the boat. Start sooner and you’ll have a rolling strategy to stay top of mind as key holiday milestones come and go.
The early bird gets repeat customers
According to a 2013 survey by Constant Contact, participating in holiday season marketing is a rewarding venture for small businesses, with 52 percent of respondents reporting that new customers attained during the holidays become repeat, loyal customers.
Poor planning = poor performance
Constant Contact also reports that only 31 percent of small businesses surveyed start planning for the holidays between two and three months in advance. Now this doesn’t mean that these businesses won’t be ready, but it’s more than likely that the campaigns and events that they run will be pretty generic. Without planning, these campaigns won’t take into account what’s worked well in the past (and I don’t mean gut feelings, but real, hard metrics). They also won’t allow much time for originality, no matter how creative you think you are.
These campaigns will probably work to drum up some business, but will they be wildly successful? Will they make your business stand out so much that new customers become loyal customers, even when the holiday décor is taken down? … Click here to read the remainder of the article, including handy tips.
Looking to invigorate your marketing efforts? NJ SBDC@RVCC – Bridgewater, offers courses targeted to marketing topics, as well as free counseling on that and other Small Business areas.
To schedule a counseling appointment contact us at: 908-526-1200, ext. 8516. Click here for information and a listing of our Fall 2014 courses.
SBDC at RVCC Small Business Partner, EisnerAmper, will be conducting a free webinar:
Dealing with the IRS: What You Need to Know
Join in a timely and informative one-hour webinar on a practical step-by-step process for quick resolution of IRS inquiries, including obtaining authorization and deciding on appropriate contact techniques and reply formats for responding to the most common types of math errors, CP 2000 proposed adjustments and collection notices.
The webinar will provide business leaders, executives, accounting personnel and professionals with the tools and information needed to deal with the IRS. Participants will learn how to:
- Recognize and become familiar with the common types of notices the IRS sends to taxpayers
- Define IRS’ tax assessment and collection process and procedure
- Identify appropriate responses to IRS notices to achieve quick resolution of the issue.
Dan Gibson, Partner, EisnerAmper LLP
Thursday, October 23, 2014
12 PM – 1 PM
Delivery Method: Group-Internet Based
Advance Preparation: None Prerequisites: None
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Please contact Jenna Prager at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding registration. There is no fee to attend this course. For more information regarding administrative policies such as cancellations and complaints, please contact Rob Levine at 212.891.4034.
EisnerAmper LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org. EisnerAmper LLP National Registry Sponsor No. 108139.
New York State recognizes live CPE programs offered by NASBA sponsors as long as they are presented outside of NYS. Live CPE programs presented within NYS (including webcasts originating in NYS) and self study programs are recognized by NYS only if they are offered by a NYS-registered sponsor. EisnerAmper LLP is a NYS-registered sponsor (No. 000256). Texas recognizes CPE programs offered by NASBA sponsors, but requires registration with the state board. EisnerAmper LLP is a registered sponsor in Texas (No. 010023)
The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has named NJ SBDC@RVCC client Northeast Power Dry, a professional water removal and drying service located in Bridgewater, NJ, as a recipient of the SCBP 2014 Economic Vitality Award.
Recipients in the private sector category have made a positive impact on the quality of life and economic vitality in Somerset County in areas including job creation and retention, job training and retraining, sales growth, profitability and reinvestment, increased assets, and influx of new dollars from outside the area. Non-profit recipients have demonstrated a record of significant impact on the quality of life of the targeted constituency and the County in the areas of growth of constituency served, innovative programming, and contribution of volunteer base.
The Economic Vitality Awards will be presented at the Somerset County Business Partnership Annual Meeting on Monday, December 15, 2014 at the Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Avenue in Somerset, New Jersey. The day’s activities will begin with a networking reception at 11:30 A.M. followed by the luncheon at 12:15 P.M.
Each year the Small Business Administration (SBA) reviews certain fees payable to SBA by 7(a) participating lenders (“Lenders”), Certified Development Companies (“CDCs”), and borrowers to determine if any of those fees need to be adjusted to cover estimated subsidy costs of the 7(a) and 504 loan programs.
This Notice announces the FY 2015 yearly fee (also known as the “on-going guaranty fee” or the “annual service fee”) and upfront guaranty fee for all 7(a) loans, including a reduction in the upfront guaranty fee and the yearly fee for all 7(a) loans in the amount of $150,000 or less. These fees are effective for 7(a) loans approved October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.
Additionally, this Notice announces that there are no changes to fees for 504 loans approved during FY2015.
A separate notice providing information about reduced fees for certain 7(a) loans approved under SBA Veterans Advantage is also being issued.)
For 7(a) loans greater than $150,000 approved in FY2015:
- The yearly fee will be 0.519 percent (51.9 basis points) of the guaranteed portion of the outstanding balance of the loan. Lenders will need to manually adjust this fee in the current Authorization Wizard.
- The upfront guaranty fee will continue to depend on the loan amount and the maturity of the loan.
- For loans with a maturity that exceeds 12 months, the applicable guaranty fees remain:
- For loans of $150,001 to $700,000: 3% of the guaranteed portion
- For loans of $700,001 to $5,000,000: 3.5% of the guaranteed portion up to $1,000,000 PLUS 3.75% of the guaranteed portion over $1,000,000
- For loans with a maturity of 12 months or less, the guaranty fee remains 0.25% of the guaranteed portion.
For guidance on when these fees are due, see SOP 50 10 5(F), Subpart B, Chapter 3.
For 7(a) loans in the amount of $150,000 or less approved in FY2015:
- Both the yearly fee and the upfront guaranty fee will be zero. As the fees charged to the lenders will be zero, lenders may not charge a guaranty fee to the borrower in connection with these loans. Lenders will need to manually adjust these fees in the current Authorization Wizard.
- If two or more SBA-guaranteed loans are approved within 90 days of each other, the guaranty fee is determined based on the aggregate amount of the loans. This represents no change to current policy. Thus, if the total amount of multiple loans approved within 90 days is greater than $150,000, the normal fees will apply. NOTE: Lenders are not permitted to split loans for the purpose of avoiding fees.
For 504 loans approved during FY2015:
There are no changes to the fees on these loans. The annual fee continues to be 0.9375 percent (93.75 basis points) of the outstanding balance of the loan, and the one-time guaranty fee continues to be 0.50% (50 basis points).
Notification and Questions
SBA field offices must notify Lenders and CDCs about the fees. Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to the lender relations specialist in the local SBA field office. The local SBA field office may be found at www.sba.gov/about-offices-list/2.
AR&C Hamilton LLC, Hamilton Township NJ
Recently, AR&C Hamilton LLC received the welcome news that a $5M loan had been secured for the business with Fulton Bank of New Jersey.
Working with Fulton’s commercial lender manager Julie Moriarty of the Flemington branch and principals of AR&C, SBDC Regional Director Bill Harnden provided assistance to help develop and secure the loan, which will be used to expand AR&C’s self-storage business operations.
An AR&C company spokesperson said: “Many thanks to Bill Harnden and the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College. Through their introduction and direction, we were able to close a $5 million mortgage with Fulton Bank of New Jersey. We are grateful for their professionalism, and recommend them to any small business seeking help and direction.”
Below is information provided by Gail Rosen, CPA, PC in her January 2014 newsletter:
We just wanted to remind you of your requirements to file 1099′s for all 2013 payments to unincorporated individuals and businesses of $600 or more (rents, services, prizes, attorney fees, etc). The federal & state taxing authorities increasingly focus their attention in this area, imposing penalties which otherwise might be avoided.
We strongly encourage you to consider the following:
- First, you need to determine if you have a trade or business. If you are operating to make a gain or profit, you have a trade or business. If you run a nonprofit organization, a government agency, or a trust of a qualified pension or profit-sharing employer plan, such are considered trades or businesses for 1099 purposes. The IRS made significant changes to the form 1099-MISC reporting requirements and expanded the types of payees and payments applicable. While the IRS might have previously abated the steep penalties, we’re advised such may not be the case in the future.
- Thoroughly review all disbursements made from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, summarizing all payments to unincorporated individuals and businesses where accumulated total is $600 or more. You should make sure that you have the correct name, employer identification or social security number and address. If you’re unable to confirm if a particular establishment is a corporation or not, issuing a 1099 might be a wise precaution.
- Beyond having to possibly subject yourself to the government auditor, if you fail to file a correct information return timely, you fail to include all information required to be on a return or you include incorrect information on a return, you can be subjected to an array of steep penalties if you cannot show reasonable cause. If the payee fails to furnish his or her taxpayer identification number (TIN), they are subject to backup withholding at a 28% rate. If you do not collect and pay backup withholding from affected payees as required, you may become liable for any uncollected amount. A good policy is to request every vendor to complete and provide a W-9 before you pay them.
- Firms maintaining trust or escrow accounts need to review these disbursements as well. Payments frequently overlooked, where 1099s should be issued, include payments out of these trust accounts as well as disbursements for interest, rentals, contracted services (other than for employees), part-timers where W-2s are not required or issued, commissions, individuals performing plant maintenance or cleaning services, etc. 1099s are required for individuals, partnerships, an LLC, etc. Do not think that just because a payment is made to a “company”, that it is a corporation.
- Payments to attorneys for legal fees that amount to $600 or more should be reported in box 7 of form 1099-misc. even if the attorney is incorporated. Report in Box 14 of that form payments or gross proceeds paid to an attorney, such as in a settlement agreement, unless the attorney’s fees are reportable by you in Box 7. The exemption for payments to corporations does not apply to payments for legal services.
Many clients have followed our suggestion of having 1099s prepared by in-house staff or payroll service bureaus to keep professional fees at a minimum.
Gail Rosen, CPA, PC
2032 Washington Valley Rd.
Martinsville, NJ 08836
SBDC clients, Joan Schaming and Ron Williams, are celebrating Balic of Clinton’s ninth year of operation. Schaming and Williams open their doors in the fall of 2004 with a vision of creating a unique wine boutique in the quaint, historic town of Clinton in Hunterdon County. Balic of Clinton features over 20 wines from Balic Winery of Mays Landing. Reds, whites, semi-sweets as well as six fruit wines (Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Mango, Raspberry and Pomegranate). All wines are offered for tasting every day. Balic of Clinton also offers the largest selection of wine accessories in the area including wine decanters and crystal, wine aerators, electric wine openers, wine totes and picnic baskets/backpacks as well as other wine necessities. Gift baskets (custom and pre-made) and personalized labeling add to the special experience at Balic of Clinton.
Balic of Clinton is located at 20 Main Street in Clinton, NJ 08809. Visit their website at http://www.balicofclinton.com
The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced new measures to help get small business loans into the hands of veterans by setting the borrower upfront fee to zero for all veteran loans authorized under the SBA Express program up to $350,000. This initiative will start on January 1, 2014 and continue through the end of the fiscal year.
“Our nation’s veterans are highly-skilled and highly-trained leaders in their communities,” said Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit. “This initiative will set fees to zero for SBA Express loans to veterans up to $350,000, and is part of SBA’s broader efforts to make sure that veterans have the tools they need to start and grow a business. As we honor our veterans and thank them for their service and sacrifice, let’s continue to identify ways to support them when they come home.”
Of all SBA loans that go to veterans, 73 percent are $350,000 and below. The SBA Express Loan Program, which supports loans under $350,000, is SBA’s most popular loan delivery method, with nearly 60 percent of all 7(a) loans over the past decade being authorized through the program. Since the program’s inception, it has also been one of the most popular delivery methods for getting capital into the hands of veteran borrowers.
Click here for the rest of the article on the SBA Website …
For more information about these and other SBA programs, visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov, or contact your local SBA field office. You can find contact information for your local SBA office at http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html.
About the 8(a) Business Development Program
In order to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace, the SBA created the 8(a) Business Development Program.
What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?
- The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
- The 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.
- Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.
- Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. While we help 8(a) firms build their competitive and institutional know-how, we also encourage you to participate in competitive acquisitions.
- 8(a) firms are also able to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the combining of two or more contracts together into one large contract. Also, see the Mentor-Protégé Program for more information on allowing starting 8(a) companies to learn the ropes from other more experienced businesses.
Benefits of the Program
Requirements and Goals of the 8(a) Business Development Program
The overall program goal is to graduate 8(a) firms that will go on to thrive in a competitive business environment. There are some requirements in place to help achieve this goal. Program goals require 8(a) firms to:
- Maintain a balance between their commercial and government business.
- Limit on the total dollar value of sole-source contracts that an individual participant can receive while in the program: $100 million or five times the value of its primary NAICS code.
To make sure 8(a) firms are on track to accomplish their goals and are following requirements, the SBA district offices monitor and measure the progress of participants through:
- Annual reviews
- Business planning
- Systematic evaluations
In addition, 8(a) participants may take advantage of specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development provided by the SBA and our resource partners. You can also be eligible for assistance in obtaining access to surplus government property and supplies, SBA-guaranteed loans, and bonding assistance for being involved in the program.
Next Page »