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Posts Tagged ‘Small Business

New Legislation Helps Exporters by Providing Higher Loan Limits

 Export-related loans to small businesses approved under the Jobs Act provisions have reached nearly $110 million as of Dec. 31, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today.

“The Jobs Act builds on the efforts already underway through the National Export Initiative by providing SBA with additional tools to help small businesses tap into the global market,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “We know that to take that next step to begin exporting or expand into a new market a small business often needs both financial and counseling resources.”

Read the full Small Business post at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-exporting-gets-a-boost-from-sba-10186/



Small business employment continued to show growth in December with hours worked up and wages flat.

Those were among the results of this month’s update of the Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) Small Business Employment Index. The monthly report found that small business employment grew by 0.3 percent in December, equating to an annual growth rate of about 3.4 percent. This translates to approximately 57,000 new jobs created nationwide. The Index is based on figures from the country’s smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll.

“Small business is still the most vigorous sector of the employment picture,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “We generally see a rise in employment for all businesses in December, but this year it is unusually strong. We can hardly see the recovery in overall national employment, but among small businesses, the recovery, albeit slow, is unambiguous.”

Based on this latest data, the employment growth rate for November was revised upward to 0.4 percent, equating to 73,000 jobs added for the month and a 4.4 percent annual growth rate. Since the growth trend first began in October 2009, small business jobs have increased by a revised estimate of 880,000.

Read more at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-job-employment-rises-in-december-10184/

WASHINGTON – Today, SBA Administrator Karen Mills announced that as of Dec. 31 the agency had approved more than $10.3 billion in loan guarantees which supported more than $12 billion in lending to small businesses since President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 on Sept. 27. The Jobs Act included an extension of reduced fees and higher guarantee loan enhancements in the agency’s two largest loan programs.

In a statement, Mills noted that SBA moved quickly to get these critical loan dollars in the hands of small businesses and just three months later all of the $505 million in subsidy provided in the Jobs Act to support the loan enhancements has been utilized by the agency’s national network of lending partners. In light of that, the SBA has activated the SBA loan queue to ensure that any remaining funds that result from loan cancellations in the coming weeks are redirected to new Jobs Act loans.

Following is the full statement from Mills:

“In just three months since the Small Business Jobs Act was signed into law, SBA supported more than $12 billion in lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. SBA is on the front lines with small business owners and our lending partners every single day. I’m very proud that as a result of those close relationships and partnerships we were able to quickly put this significant amount of capital into the hands of our nation’s largest job creation engine.

“The loan enhancements of higher guarantees and reduced fees first implemented as part of the Recovery Act have been a vital resource for tens of thousands of small businesses at a critical time when lending markets had dried up. Beginning in February 2009, these loan enhancements engineered a significant turnaround in SBA lending, including driving record-high levels of SBA lending in recent weeks. The end result is that the agency helped put more than $42 billion in the hands of small businesses through the Recovery Act and Jobs Act combined.

“These enhancements have been a key piece of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help small businesses drive our nation’s economic recovery. As we transition back to our standard guarantees and fee rates, SBA loan programs will continue to play an important role, as they have for decades, in helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start or grow their businesses and create jobs.

“The Small Business Jobs Act is the most consequential piece of legislation affecting small businesses enacted in more than a decade. While we are proud of how quickly SBA could provide $12 billion in capital to small businesses, we remain focused on implementing other key
provisions of this law that will continue to expand access to capital, help small businesses compete for federal contracting dollars, strengthen small business exports and provide other critical support.”

During the quarter, SBA approved nearly 22,000 small business loans for $10.47 billion, supporting a total of $12.16 billion in lending. The amounts are greater than the volume for Jobs Act loans over the same period because they exclude some loans that were not eligible for one or more Jobs Act enhancements.

Read full news article at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/jobs-act-supported-12-billion-in-sba-lending-to-small-businesses-10183/

No one ever said that starting a small business would be easy, but then again, very few things in life worth doing are easy.  The challenges that face the entrepreneur when starting a small business would seem daunting to most people, but many entrepreneurs live for this kind of excitement and cannot stand the boredom of a 9-5, steady job, week-in, week-out.

With that said, first time entrepreneurs can easily find themselves in over their heads if they jump in without first doing their market research, consulting some experienced colleagues, and doing a lot of reading.  While there’s no one stop shop for learning how to successfully launch your first small business, here’s some well-known traits of successful small businesses that you should strive for in your own startup.

  1. Small Markets, Not Small Profits
    While many bemoan the construction of another big box store moving into town as the death of all of the mom and pops, the fact remains that a large chain simply cannot meat the needs of everyone.  As an avid photographer, I know that i can get a good price on a new camera if I head to Best Buy, but there are a few local, independently owned shops in town that carry all of the obscure parts and the higher end cameras that professionals and semi-pros need.  They also service cameras and lenses in the store, whereas a camera bought at Best Buy will either be swapped out for a return (if you’re within 30 days) or you’re left to fend for yourself, dealing with the manufacturer for a warranty repair.
  2. Treat Your Customers Right
    Despite the rampant growth of national chains, there is currently a resurgence (particularly in larger cities) of smaller stores with knowledgable salesmen cropping up more and more.  What gives these small businesses and edge, and keeps them in the black, is often the dissatisfaction that many customers have found at the bigger chains, so they’ll turn to the smaller alternative.  If you start a hardware store, for example, you’ll never be able to beat Home Depot on pricing, but what you can beat them on is service, knowledgeability and going above and beyond with your customers to make sure they leave satisfied and come back your way the next time.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid To Branch Out
    While you’ll mostly be focusing on a niche (or narrow) market with your small business, a great way to grow your small business is to add on with similar niche markets, ideally in the same vein.  Take our camera store example, the one i have in mind in Seattle, opened up a second store by the same name across the street, but instead of camera equipment, it’s lighting, camera support and film.  While this isn’t a big departure from their initial business, it opens them up to more customers and gives more people who live in the neighborhood less of a reason to go to the big box stores.

Read the full article at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/5-traits-of-a-successful-small-business-10180/

With small business owners and entrepreneurs in traditionally underserved communities continuing to face challenges accessing capital, the U.S. Small Business Administration today announced two new initiatives aimed at increasing SBA-backed loans to small businesses in these markets.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills also today named Catherine L. Hughes, chairperson and founder of Radio One, Inc., and a former SBA borrower, to chair the agency’s new Advisory Council on Underserved Communities.

SBA and U.S. Department of Commerce studies have shown the importance of lower-dollar loans to small business formation and growth in underserved communities. With that in mind, the two new loan initiatives – Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage – are aimed at increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities. The agency’s most popular loan product, 7(a) government-guaranteed loans can be used for variety of general business purposes, including working capital and purchases of equipment and real estate.

In conjunction with the implementation of these two new Advantage loan initiatives by March 15, the agency will end its existing Community Express pilot loan program on April 30.

Read this full press release at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/sba-aimed-at-increasing-lending-in-underserved-communities-10179/

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) announced the results of its Q3 2010 study on the state of small business bankruptcy — a key indicator of the financial health of business markets across the United States. Analyzing bankruptcy trends among the nation’s more than 24 million small businesses, Equifax found that the Western regions continue to experience economic turbulence with some decrease in bankruptcy rates across select MSA’s in California, Texas and Illinois. While bankruptcies have slowed in some regions, small business economic challenges continue to pressure many areas and impact the pace of recovery in certain markets.

“Our analysis on small business bankruptcy continues to indicate ongoing uncertainty in today’s marketplace,” said Dr. Reza Barazesh, senior vice president, Equifax Commercial Information Solutions. “While business bankruptcies have begun to reverse course in some regions, it remains to be seen how small firms will steer through economic headwinds and sustain growth.”

Focusing on the Q3 2009 to Q3 2010 timeframe, this Equifax study analyzed national bankruptcy trends by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). While bankruptcy rates remain high across the nation, 11 of the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 saw a year-over-year decline from Q3 2009. The table below shows that the Los Angeles, San Bernandino and Santa Ana MSA’s experienced year-over-year bankruptcy rate increases while areas such as San Diego and Oakland reported double-digit declines year-over-year in Q3 2010 — a striking development considering California’s economic challenges. Another interesting finding, the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta and Chicago/Naperville/Joliet MSA’s saw a bankruptcy rate decrease of 26.75% and 16.67% respectively.

While the total number of bankruptcies among the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 declined 4.41% from 6,870 in Q3 2009 to 6,567 in Q3 2010, economic instability continues to impact many of these areas. Equifax data shows that 9 of the top 15 MSA’s reported a year-over-year increase in bankruptcy when comparing the first three quarters of 2009 to the same time period in 2010. Further analysis of this time period revealed that the total number of petitions for these 15 MSA’s dropped by 1.23% — signaling a nominal decline in overall bankruptcy rate.

As part of the study, Equifax also analyzed the 15 metro areas with the fewest small business bankruptcy filings in the third quarter of 2010. Our research showed that 10 out of these15 MSA’s experienced a decrease in the number of bankruptcy petitions from Q2 2010 to Q3 2010 as well as year-over-year. The table below shows that all of these MSA’s reported 11 bankruptcies or less during Q3 2010.

For this study, Equifax applied analytics to identify the total number of small businesses and define the MSA’s within the sample population. Equifax classifies a small business as a commercial entity of less than 100 employees. As part of the study, Equifax analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings. Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding in which a debtor receives a discharge of all debts, while Chapters 11 and Chapter 13 are reorganization bankruptcies that allow individuals and companies to pay off debt over a set period of years. To learn more about Equifax Small Business Solutions, visit http://www.equifaxsmallbusiness.com.

About Equifax (http://www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Read more Small Business news at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-news/

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) announced the results of its Q3 2010 study on the state of small business bankruptcy — a key indicator of the financial health of business markets across the United States. Analyzing bankruptcy trends among the nation’s more than 24 million small businesses, Equifax found that the Western regions continue to experience economic turbulence with some decrease in bankruptcy rates across select MSA’s in California, Texas and Illinois. While bankruptcies have slowed in some regions, small business economic challenges continue to pressure many areas and impact the pace of recovery in certain markets.

“Our analysis on small business bankruptcy continues to indicate ongoing uncertainty in today’s marketplace,” said Dr. Reza Barazesh, senior vice president, Equifax Commercial Information Solutions. “While business bankruptcies have begun to reverse course in some regions, it remains to be seen how small firms will steer through economic headwinds and sustain growth.”

Focusing on the Q3 2009 to Q3 2010 timeframe, this Equifax study analyzed national bankruptcy trends by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). While bankruptcy rates remain high across the nation, 11 of the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 saw a year-over-year decline from Q3 2009. The table below shows that the Los Angeles, San Bernandino and Santa Ana MSA’s experienced year-over-year bankruptcy rate increases while areas such as San Diego and Oakland reported double-digit declines year-over-year in Q3 2010 — a striking development considering California’s economic challenges. Another interesting finding, the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta and Chicago/Naperville/Joliet MSA’s saw a bankruptcy rate decrease of 26.75% and 16.67% respectively.

While the total number of bankruptcies among the top 15 MSA’s with the highest number of small business bankruptcies in Q3 2010 declined 4.41% from 6,870 in Q3 2009 to 6,567 in Q3 2010, economic instability continues to impact many of these areas. Equifax data shows that 9 of the top 15 MSA’s reported a year-over-year increase in bankruptcy when comparing the first three quarters of 2009 to the same time period in 2010. Further analysis of this time period revealed that the total number of petitions for these 15 MSA’s dropped by 1.23% — signaling a nominal decline in overall bankruptcy rate.

As part of the study, Equifax also analyzed the 15 metro areas with the fewest small business bankruptcy filings in the third quarter of 2010. Our research showed that 10 out of these15 MSA’s experienced a decrease in the number of bankruptcy petitions from Q2 2010 to Q3 2010 as well as year-over-year. The table below shows that all of these MSA’s reported 11 bankruptcies or less during Q3 2010.

For this study, Equifax applied analytics to identify the total number of small businesses and define the MSA’s within the sample population. Equifax classifies a small business as a commercial entity of less than 100 employees. As part of the study, Equifax analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings. Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding in which a debtor receives a discharge of all debts, while Chapters 11 and Chapter 13 are reorganization bankruptcies that allow individuals and companies to pay off debt over a set period of years. To learn more about Equifax Small Business Solutions, visit http://www.equifaxsmallbusiness.com.

About Equifax (http://www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Read about more Small Business News at http://www.homebusinessbug.com/small-business-news/