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Financial Education


  • Submitted on 09 January 2012

    Business LoansIf you’re starting a business that requires significant financial investment up front, finding a source of funding can be a challenge, especially since the average cost of starting a business is $30,000. This is particularly true for young entrepreneurs who lack a strong credit history or don’t want the hassle of dealing with banks or private lenders.

    Once these startup entrepreneurs are done considering their options, it’s not unusual for them to ask friends or family for startup cash. After all, unlike private investors or banks, these people know and trust you. It’s possible they can get you quicker access to cash with fewer flaming hoops to jump through.  On the flipside, if your business fails or you are tardy in repaying the money, you may be headed for some conflict with the aforementioned family and friends.

  • Submitted on 09 January 2012

    Native American entrepreneurs have a new tool to help determine if they’re ready for business ownership and to help them get started.  Native American Small Business Primer: Strategies for Success is a free, self-paced online business course developed for Native American business owners.  The course provides an overview of basic business principles and  makes them aware of the programs and services available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    “Native American Small Business Primer: Strategies for Success will enhance the agency’s effort to provide important resources for emerging Native American entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “Our ultimate goal is to help create jobs and stimulate economic and business development in our Native American communities. This course is an essential business development tool for the entrepreneur’s toolbox.”

    The new online course: emphasizes business planning and market research as essential steps to take before going into business; informs Native American entrepreneurs about the legal aspects of starting a business, including the type of ownership (legal structure) and licensing; and provides key information on seed money for starting up, raising capital, and borrowing money.  In addition, there is a section on how to estimate business start-up costs that can help assess the financial needs of going into business.

  • Submitted on 04 January 2012

    Record KeepingEveryone in business must keep records.  Keeping good records is very important to your business.  Good records will help you do the following:

    • Monitor the progress of your business
    • Prepare your financial statements
    • Identify source of receipts
    • Keep track of deductible expenses
    • Prepare your tax returns
    • Support items reported on tax returns

    Monitor the progress of your business

    You need good records to monitor the progress of your business. Records can show whether your business is improving, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make.  Good records can increase the likelihood of business success.

  • Submitted on 04 January 2012

    Business ExpensesBusiness expenses are the cost of carrying on a trade or business. These expenses are usually deductible if the business is operated to make a profit.

    To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.

  • Submitted on 23 December 2011

    Expanded Tax Credit for Hiring Unemployed Veterans

    The work opportunity credit has been expanded to provide employers with new incentives to hire certain unemployed veterans.

    On November 21, 2011, the President signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. This new law provides an expanded work opportunity tax credit to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans and for the first time also makes part of the credit available to tax-exempt organizations.

  • Submitted on 20 October 2011

    The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program provided a record $2.59 billion in fiscal year 2011 to small businesses, a 63 percent increase over last year’s $1.59 billion.

    “Over the past two years, we’ve made SBIC work better than ever before,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “We cut licensing time in half, which has strengthened efficiency and made it possible to get capital into the hands of small businesses more quickly. When an SBIC invests in a company, it can scale up and create jobs.”

  • Submitted on 15 September 2011

    Small businesses borrow for four principal reasons: starting a business, purchasing inventory, expanding, and strengthening the firm’s financials.

     “Small business owners across the country tell me that access to capital remains one of their central concerns,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant. “The research we are releasing today will add to the understanding of small business financing needs and sources, and will inform policymakers seeking to strengthen the productive small business sector.”

    The Finance FAQ is replete with data about where small businesses obtain their financing, including 15 graphs showing types of startup and expansion financing, as well as trends in bank lending, interest rates, venture capital, initial public offerings, SBIC funding, and SBA loans.
     

  • Submitted on 15 September 2011

    President Obama and Joint SessionPresident Obama explained his proposal for putting creating jobs now and putting Americans back to work before Congress. In addition to giving the economy a shot in the arm with more money in the pockets of working Americans, his proposed American Jobs Act has several new ideas, backed by both Democrats AND Republicans, which are a win for businesses and employers. The President is focused on rebuilding the economy the American way, through the ingenuity and hard work of the American people.

    Businesses and employers stand to win under the President’s American Jobs Act in various ways.

    It offers tax relief:

    • A payroll tax cut for 98 percent of small businesses
    • A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages
    • Extending 100 percent capital expensing into 2012
    • Reforms and regulatory reductions to help entrepreneurs and small businesses access capital
  • Submitted on 15 September 2011

    As Tax Filing Extension Deadlines Near, IRS and HHS Announce New Round of Outreach to Small Businesses and Practitioners

    As the upcoming filing extension tax deadlines approach, the Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, is announcing a new round of outreach to small employers and the professional service providers they rely on to encourage them to review the new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to see if they are eligible.

    "As the filing deadlines approach, we want to make sure that small business owners don't leave any money on the table,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Small businesses that offer health insurance should learn about this credit and claim it if they are eligible."

    The small business health care tax credit was included in the Affordable Care Act enacted last year. Small employers that pay at least half of the premiums for employee health insurance coverage under a qualifying arrangement may be eligible for the small business health care tax credit. The credit is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations that primarily employ 25 or fewer workers with average income of $50,000 or less.

  • Submitted on 15 September 2011

    The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service today requested public comment on a proposed affordability safe harbor for employers under the shared responsibility provisions included in the Affordable Care Act that will apply to certain employers starting in 2014.

    Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more full-time employees that do not offer affordable health coverage to their full-time employees may be required to make a shared responsibility payment. Notice 2011-73, posted today on IRS.gov, solicits public input and comment on a proposed safe harbor, designed to make it easier for employers to determine whether the health coverage they offer is affordable. To that end, Treasury and IRS expect to propose a safe harbor permitting employers that offer coverage to their employees to measure the affordability of that coverage by using wages that the employer paid to an employee, instead of the employee’s household income. This contemplated safe harbor would only apply for purposes of the employer shared responsibility provision, and would not affect employees’ eligibility for health insurance premium tax credits.

Did you know...

Between 2002 and 2007, minority-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-minority firms in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms. Minority firms are an engine of job creation.
Graph for MBE Growth

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