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.
SBDC at RVCC counselor Carla Fallone recently hosted an internet radio show called Small Business Resources for Growth and Expansion in Today’s Economy. Fallone recruited SBDC Regional Director Bill Harnden and SBDC counselor Vicki Lynne Morgan to talk about a variety of subjects such as crowdfunding, small business resources and obstacles that small business owners face in today’s world. The show can be heard in its entirety by clicking on the link below:
Starting September 2013, the Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College is offering several new free courses as well as legal courses designed to help teach students how to protect their work and business.
The follwing free evening courses (6 – 9 pm) will be be offered starting Sept. 18 at our location at 14 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater, NJ 08807:
- Mastering the Mental Side of Building a Business (Oct. 9th & Nov. 6);
- Business Valuation (Sept. 18 & Nov. 11);
- Exit Strategies for the Small Business (Oct. 16 & Dec. 11)
For additional details and to register for the free classes, visit the “Training” tab and click on Free Courses.” ( http://www.sbdcrvcc.com/courses/sbdc-free-courses/)
Additionally, five new legal evening (6 – 9pm) courses begin Sept. 25:
- Getting it in Writing: Reading and Writing Effective Contracts (Sept. 25);
- Beyond Watermarks: Copyright Protection for Photographers (Oct. 9);
- Intellectual Property Rights: Protect Your Work (Oct. 23 );
- Determining the Value of Your Works: Royalty Fees, Contracts and Agreements (Oct. 30);
- Independent Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing Houses (Nov. 13 )
For additional details and to register for the legal classes, visit the “Training” tab and click on General Courses.( http://www.sbdcrvcc.com/courses/general/ )
(Article excerpted from SBA.gov website. Click here for full article)
Are you a veteran transitioning from active service and want to become an entrepreneur? Or perhaps you’ve been out of the service for some time and want to start a new small business or expand an existing one?
If that’s you or someone you know, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative, a new commitment by its top national regional and community lenders to collectively increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. This initiative has the potential to boost the already $2.1 billion per year in lending support that various SBA programs provide to new and existing vet small business owners.
Many veteran entrepreneurs face challenges in raising capital or have trouble receiving a conventional loan. With the support of SBA’s top 20 national lending partners, and approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States, SBA expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans obtain loans to start or expand small businesses by increasing lending by $475 million over the next five years.
The combined goal by the top 20 national lending partners’ will provide nearly $249 million of lending, potentially impacting nearly 800 veteran entrepreneurs. The five percent increase in lending by approximately 10 lenders in each of the 10 Regions will account for the remaining $226 million in loans and more than 1,100 additional veteran entrepreneurs assisted.
For more information: please call one of SBA’s 68 local district offices, or one of its 15 Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide.
SBA’s resources for veterans, and its partnership with 1,000 Small Business Development Centers and some 12,000 SCORE-Counselors to America’s Small Businesses volunteers, help more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists each year.
To learn more about additional opportunities for potential and existing veteran small businesses, visit the website at www.sba.gov/veterans.
[Source: Click here for full article at NJEDA Website]
In support of Governor Chris Christie’s commitment to get grant assistance to storm-impacted businesses as quickly as possible, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) held a special Board meeting approving the creation of the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program. Beginning May 1, small businesses that sustained at least $5,000 in Sandy-related physical damage can apply for grants of up to $50,000. …
“The Governor’s immediate goal is to get grant assistance to impacted businesses to ensure they have the capital needed to resume or maintain their operations,” [said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele] Brown . “The Stronger NJ Business Grant program will allow us to get critically needed funding to our impacted businesses in the most expeditious way.”
Under the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, small businesses may apply for grants of up to $50,000 per location. All applicants under the program must have sustained at least $5,000 in Superstorm Sandy-related physical damage, including damage to real property and non-perishable/non-consumable inventory. Eligible uses of grant funds include reimbursement of working capital, inventory, equipment, renovation and new construction at the place of business. HUD may require funds for physical damage, including equipment, furnishings, fixtures, machinery, and construction to be subject to additional reviews, environmental clearances, and National Flood Insurance Protection coverage that could delay the provision of grant assistance. Grants to businesses located in Special Flood Hazard Areas may be structured as forgivable loans in order to assist the applicant in complying with federal requirements for property insurance. …
Applications must be received on or by October 31, 2013. For more information on the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, including: the complete list of eligibility and eligible uses of funds, application overview and instructions, Q&A, deadlines, etc. visit application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).
Lt. Gov. Guadano Details Work of New Jersey SBDC Network with Stop at Family Food Distributors in Kearny
Trenton, NJ – Highlighting the important resources available through New Jersey’s small business advocacy partnerships, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today kicked off her “Critical Resources for Small Business” tour with a visit to Family Food Distributors, a specialty food distributor. The company received important assistance services from the New Jersey Small Business Development Center that have spurred its business operations in Kearny.
“The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network is a key partner of the New Jersey Business Action Center in helping established and existing small businesses, as well as start-ups, develop, grow and create jobs for fellow New Jerseyans,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Their services are indispensable to our state’s economy and the success of small business and proved invaluable to Family Food Distributors.”
Married couple Patricia Mendez and John Rivas founded Family Food Distributors from the basement of their Kearney home in 2001. The company, which imports foods from Ecuador and other South American and Central American countries, now occupies a 50,000 square-foot warehouse, employs 30 workers and generates about $14 million in revenue. The company sells to supermarkets and specialty food stores in New York, New Jersey and the Eastern part of Pennsylvania.
“I still remember the first time we reached out to the NJSBDC,” says CEO Mendez. “We worked hard and we had a dream and got it started, but we needed help getting some financing. The NJSBDC located at Rutgers-Newark helped strengthen and grow our dream by guiding us through our first business plan.”
Ms. Mendez and her daughter wrote the company’s business plan after attending the NJSBDC’s eight-week business plan writing course. The NJSBDC assisted the company with its resources and finances, and helped them obtain a loan to expand operations to a new warehouse facility.
“Even today the NJSBDC consultants are always there to give us an ear,” added Andrea Castaneda, the owners’ daughter and the company’s marketing director. “The NJSBDC is usually the first place I call to get an answer. I feel like our relationship with the NJSBDC is like a partnership – it is an ongoing relationship, not just a one-time deal.”
“We look forward to working with the Mendez family to assist them with the company’s overall maintenance and growth needs,” said Brenda Hopper, CEO of the NJSBDC network.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Center’s staff and practicing business consultants help small business owners and entrepreneurs seek capital financing, expand their customer base, brand for a competitive edge, grow company revenues, write a business plan, learn about accounting and record keeping, understand small business taxes, access small business resources, enter the global market, establish e-commerce presence, commercialize technology, register a small business, and tap contract procurement opportunities.
“We are very heartened by the fact that NJSBDC was able to help the family take a dream to fruition for Family Food Distributors to the point where they are now making $14 million in sales,” said Deborah Smarth, Chief Operating Officer and Associate State Director of NJSBDC. “It shows that when businesses receive comprehensive counseling and training, it has direct impact on their development and growth and that bolsters the economy and jobs,” said Smarth.
NJSBDC’s network of 11 centers is a partnership among the federal and state governments and educational institutions. It receives funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA), New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC), the educational institutions that host the 11 centers, and other private sponsorships and grants. Small businesses may contact the NJSBDC by calling 973-353-1927 or visiting www.njsbdc.com.
The New Jersey Partnership for Action supports the vital role business plays in advancing the state’s economy and creating jobs. Led by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the PFA is a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. The three elements of the PFA include the Business Action Center, reporting directly to the Lt. Governor and providing the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with State government; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state’s bank; and Choose New Jersey, a privately funded marketing, business attraction and lead generation organization that markets the state as an ideal location.
Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey’s Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State’s Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.
Women-owned small businesses will have greater access to federal contracting opportunities as a result of changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.
“Today, women own 30 percent of all small businesses up from just 5 percent 40 years ago. As one of the fastest growing sectors of small business owners in the country, opening the door for women to compete for more federal contracts is a win-win,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
The NDAA removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract.
Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third party certification.
To qualify as a WOSB, a firm must be at least fifty-one percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens and the firm must be considered small according to SBA size standards. To be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” a firm’s owners must meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program regulations. . . . For additional details and to read the rest of this article, click here.
For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or to access the instructions, applications or database, please visit www.sba.gov/wosb.
Source: SBA.gov News Release 13-03 Thursday, January 17, 2013
NJSBDC Success Award winner Brandon Kurazawa, owner of Music Notes Academy in Bridgewater, NJ.
Brandon Kurzawa, a client of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), was recently presented with the 2012 New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) Success Award.
Kurzawa, owner of Music Notes Academy in Bridgewater, received the award at the New Jersey Small Business Annual Growth Success Award Luncheon, held December 14 at Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township. New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno served as the Success Award Luncheon’s keynote speaker.
Kurzawa has been teaching music since 1999. In the summer of 2005 he began meeting with SBDC counselors at RVCC to discuss starting a private music school with a retail component in New Jersey. RVCC counselors assisted him with developing business and marketing plans; securing insurance coverage; and using QuickBooks to maintain his business records, as well as other small business start-up issues.
Kurzawa officially launched Music Notes Academy in September 2006. This past June Music Notes retained 14 employees and, despite the difficult economy, in the first quarter of 2012 increased its earnings as compared with the same period in 2011. With the help of the SBDC at RVCC, Kurzawa’s award-winning Music Notes Academy has already expanded and promises to continue to grow in the future.
For additional information about working with the SBDC at RVCC to assist your small business, contact Allison Gill, 908-526-1200, ext. 8516, or email ude.lavnatirar@cdbs.
RVCC’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 40 years, the College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. RVCC @ Bridgewater, located at 14 Vogt Drive, offers technical, trade, credit and non-credit courses.
The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
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