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  • SBA to Open Business Recovery Center in Saipan to Help Businesses Impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu

    SBA NEWS RELEASE: SBA to Open Business Recovery Center in Saipan to Help Businesses Impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu




    (November 4, 2018) - - Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published the following information:

    Sacramento, Calif. - - The U.S Small Business Administration today announced the opening of an SBA Business Recovery Center in Saipan to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu that occurred Oct. 24–26, 2018. The center will open as indicated below.

    “Due to the severe property damage and economic losses Super Typhoon Yutu inflicted on Saipan businesses, we want to provide every available service to help get them back on their feet,” said SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “The center will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. SBA customer service representatives will be available to meet individually with each business owner,” she added. No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge.



    SAIPAN

    Business Recovery Center

    Saipan Chamber of Commerce

    Marianas Business Plaza

    Nauru Loop

    Susupe, Saipan 96950

    Opens 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5

    Mondays - Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.




    “SBA customer service representatives will meet with each business owner to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery. They will answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each business owner complete their electronic loan application,” Garfield said.

    According to Garfield, businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.

    For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

    For business owners who are unable to visit the business recovery center, they may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela .

    SBA representatives also continue to meet with business owners and residents at disaster recovery centers located throughout the impacted area. For a list of locations, or to receive additional disaster assistance information, visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster . Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@s ba.gov for more information. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    The deadline to apply for property damage is Dec. 26, 2018. The deadline to apply for economic injury is July 26, 2019.





    Credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency
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  • U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Help Small Businesses Strengthen Retirement Security for Millions of American Workers

    U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Help Small Businesses Strengthen Retirement Security for Millions of American Workers


    President Trump Seeks to Expand Access to Association Retirement Plans



    Washington, DC - - (October 22, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help small businesses strengthen retirement security in America.

    The proposed rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through Association Retirement Plans, which would allow small businesses to band together to offer 401(k) plans to their employees.

    "President Donald J. Trump is moving to expand quality, affordable workplace retirement plan options for America's small businesses and their employees. Many small businesses would like to offer retirement benefits to their employees, but are discouraged by the cost and complexity of running their own plans," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "Association Retirement Plans give these employers a simple and less burdensome way to offer valuable retirement benefits to their employees. The proposed rule helps working Americans – and their families – take care of themselves in their retirement years."

    Enhancing workplace retirement savings is critical to the financial security of America's workers. Approximately 38 million private-sector employees in the United States do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employers. Association Retirement Plans offer these workers – and their families – enhanced savings opportunities.

    Under the proposed rule, Association Retirement Plans could be offered by associations of employers in a city, county, state, or a multi-state metropolitan area, or in a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors, as well as their families, would also be permitted to join such plans. In addition to association sponsors, the plans could also be sponsored through Professional Employer Organizations (PEO). A PEO is a human-resource company that contractually assumes certain employment responsibilities for its client employers.

    By expressly permitting these new plan arrangements, the proposal would enable small businesses to offer benefit packages comparable to those offered by large employers. The Department expects the plans to reduce administrative costs through economies of scale and to strengthen small businesses' hand when negotiating with financial institutions and other service providers.






    Credit: U.S. Department of Labor
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  • U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Compliance Assistance Tools To Assist New and Small Businesses

    U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Compliance Assistance Tools To Assist New and Small Businesses




    Washington, DC - - (October 17, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the launch of the New and Small Business Assistance and the Compliance Assistance Toolkits webpages. These new online tools assist American small businesses and workers with simple, straightforward resources that provide critical Wage and Hour Division (WHD) information, as well as links to other resources.

    The webpages were established in response to feedback received from new and small business stakeholders voicing their need for a centralized location to secure the tools and information they need to comply with federal labor laws. These new webpages provide the most relevant publications and answer the questions most frequently asked by new and small business owners. These tools, in conjunction with worker.gov and employer.gov , ensure greater understanding of federal requirements and provide tools to help employers find resources offered by other regulatory agencies.

    “The Wage and Hour Division has long understood that the majority of employers want to do the right thing and comply with the law, but they need to know how,” said the Wage and Hour Division’s Acting Administrator Bryan Jarrett. “These new webpages demonstrate our ongoing commitment to proactively help employers comply with the law and provide them the tools they need to understand their responsibilities. We encourage all employers to visit these new webpages and reach out to us for assistance at any time.”

    In addition to these new resources, WHD recently made available compliance assistance videos that provide brief, plain-language explanations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) requirements and protections. The videos provide essential information employers need to understand their obligations under the law.

    The Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI)- housed within the Department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Policy - fosters a compliance assistance culture within the Department designed to complement its ongoing enforcement efforts. In August 2018, OCI launched a revamped worker.gov to provide information about workers’ rights and an all-new employer.gov to provide information about the responsibilities of job creators toward their workers.

    For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE(487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Labor
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  • U.S. Department of the Treasury Issues Proposed Regulations on New 20 Percent Deduction for Pass-Through Businesses

    U.S. Department of the Treasury Issues Proposed Regulations on New 20 Percent Deduction for Pass-Through Businesses





    Washington, DC - - (August 8, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations today implementing a significant provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which allows owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts, and S corporations to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income. The proposed rules ensure that this historic tax cut will be available to the broadest spectrum of American businesses, consistent with the law, while minimizing compliance costs and streamlining the process for claiming the deduction.

    “The pass-through deduction is an important tax cut for small and mid-size businesses, reducing their effective tax rates to their lowest levels since the 1930s,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Pass-through businesses play a critical role in our economy. This 20-percent deduction will lead to more investment in U.S. companies and higher wages for hardworking Americans.”

    The proposed rules:

    1. Ensure that all small business income below $315,000 for married couples filing jointly (and $157,500 for single filers) is eligible for the deduction;

    2. Provide clarity and flexibility for filers over those income thresholds by:
    • Including “aggregation rules” for filers with pass-through income from multiple sources;
    • Issuing guidance relating to specified service, trade or business (SSTB) income above the thresholds, which may be subject to limitation for the purposes of claiming the deduction; and
    • Allowing a de minimis exception to avoid unnecessary compliance costs for businesses earning only a small percentage of SSTB income; and

    3. Establish anti-abuse safeguards to prevent improper tax avoidance schemes, such as relabeling employees as independent contractors.


    Qualified business income includes domestic income from a trade or business. Employee income, capital gains, interest, and dividend income are excluded from this deduction.

    View the guidance.


    Courtesy: U.S. Department of the Treasury
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  • Treasury and IRS Announce Proposed Rule Regarding Increasing Depreciation Deduction to 100 percent, Helping American Businesses

    Treasury and IRS Announce Proposed Rule Regarding Increasing Depreciation Deduction to 100 percent, Helping American Businesses




    Washington, DC - - (August 3, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced proposed regulations on increasing and expanding the first year depreciation deduction for qualified property. This increased benefit will expand opportunities for small and mid-sized businesses to expense equipment purchases and make capital investments in their companies.

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed into law in December 2017, increased the first year depreciation deduction from 50 to 100 percent for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017.

    “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is making it easier for businesses of all sizes to grow and create jobs for hardworking Americans,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This expensing provision will be a key driver in creating greater business investment and growth.”

    The TCJA expands the meaning of qualified property to include certain used depreciable property and certain film, television, or live theatrical productions. The proposed change also extends the placed-in-service date by seven years from January 1, 2021, to January 1, 2027.

    The deduction applies retroactively to qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017. The first year allowance is 100 percent, and is then decreased by 20 percent annually for qualified property placed in service after December 31, 2022.





    Courtesy: U.S. Department of the Treasury
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Small Business Administration Join Forces to Help Businesses in Rural America

    U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Small Business Administration Join Forces to Help Businesses in Rural America





    Washington, DC - - (April 4, 2018) - - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the SBA to promote stronger businesses and agricultural economies in rural America. The two signed the MOU in Lima, Ohio, where Secretary Perdue was joined by Administrator McMahon for a portion of Perdue’s third “Back to Our Roots” RV tour.







    Under the newly-signed MOU, USDA and SBA will enhance collaboration and coordination in areas of mutual interest. Specifically, such collaboration is intended to improve investment opportunities in rural areas, identify ways to increase the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017, improve innovation for rural technical assistance providers, and aid rural businesses in providing tools to export products around the world, among other goals.

    “Most family farms operate as small businesses, so the collaboration of USDA and SBA makes all the sense in the world,” Secretary Perdue said. “Rural America and our small Main Street businesses must know that the Trump Administration aims to increase prosperity across all economic sectors. I’m grateful to be partnering with Administrator McMahon and SBA to best help farmers, ranchers, foresters, and small businesses in rural communities thrive.”

    “As small business optimism continues to rise, it is important that we work to create a better economic environment for rural America to thrive,” Administrator McMahon said. “The USDA and SBA are teaming up to develop actions based on the complementary strengths of the two organizations to promote rural development. I look forward to working with Secretary Perdue to strengthen America’s many agricultural small businesses. Together, we are committed to keeping the President’s promise to rebuild our nation.”




    Courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    ...
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  • More Than 350 Households and Small Businesses in New York to Benefit from Sullivan County's 2.7 Megawatt Solar Array

    More Than 350 Households and Small Businesses in New York to Benefit from Sullivan County's 2.7 Megawatt Solar Array






    Project Supports Governor Cuomo's Mandate of 50 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Energy by 2030


    March 14, 2018


    New York - - (March 13, 2018) - - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the state's largest community solar project which will result in reduced energy bills for more than 350 households and small businesses. The 2.7-megawatt solar array, located in Sullivan County, is critical to supporting Governor Cuomo's mandate for half of all electricity consumed to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

    "An investment in renewable energy is an investment in the future and sustainability of New York's environment, and the overall health of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "This Sullivan County project will deliver energy savings to residents throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region, while supporting the establishment of a cleaner, greener New York for all."

    The solar array is located in Callicoon, Sullivan County and includes approximately 9,800 solar panels. The project will reduce greenhouse gases by 1,670 metric tons annually, the equivalent to taking approximately 360 cars off the road.

    The Sullivan County project is owned by Delaware River Solar. It received nearly $1.3 million in funding through Governor Cuomo's $1 billion NY-Sun initiative, which is building a self-sustaining solar industry in New York State. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority administers the NY-Suninitiative.

    These community-based projects increase access to solar in areas where residents may or may not own property or have room to install solar panels at their location by enabling them to subscribe to a local community solar project. Once households and businesses subscribe, energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credit on their electric bills.

    In February, Governor Cuomo announced that solar power in New York increased more than 1,000 percent from December 2011 to December 2017, leveraging more than $2.8 billion in private investments. There are more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.

    Richard Kauffman, Chairman for Energy and Finance, New York, said, "Under Governor Cuomo, our community solar initiatives are growing across the state like the one announced today in Sullivan County. Even those who cannot install solar on their own roofs can reap the benefits of cleaner and more affordable energy and save on costs and help us all combat climate change."

    Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "New Yorkers are once again joining Governor Cuomo's commitment to fighting climate change and protecting our environment as we march towards meeting his nation-leading commitments to adoption of renewable energy. I commend all of the Sullivan County community solar subscribers for taking part in solar energy projects like this one that are not only reducing harmful carbon emissions, but creating thousands of jobs and spurring local investments all across our state."

    Chairman of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee Joseph A. Griffo said, "It is important that we continue to seek ways to produce energy from as many sources as possible. I am hopeful that this solar array will help us to increase our renewable energy generation while also providing consumers and businesses who choose to take part with a reduction to their energy costs."

    Chairman of the Assembly's Committee on Energy Michael J. Cusick said, "Once again, New York State accomplished an enormous milestone, with concerns to reducing greenhouse gas emission, by completing the state's largest community solar project. This project demonstrates that our state is on track to reach our renewable energy goal by 2030. Thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for progressively working to steer us in the right direction."

    Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Luis A. Alvarez said, "The completion of this precedent-setting array demonstrates both the Governor's commitment to a 'green' New York and the Sullivan County Legislature's commitment to a 'green' Sullivan County. We are taking the lead in advancing affordable renewable energy solutions, as well as in promoting community solar that benefits users and taxpayers simultaneously. Indeed, our Industrial Development Agency's innovative Community Distributed Generation Program has become a statewide model in how to encourage the growth of community solar while enhancing the tax base. This is a hometown success in every respect, and I'm thrilled to witness its debut."

    Rich Winter, CEO, Delaware River Solar said, "We are excited that our first community solar array is in our home town of Callicoon, New York. And we are very gratified by all the local support as evidenced by the fact 82 percent of the power is subscribed by people in Sullivan County and 52 percent in the town itself. Hyper local green energy in New York State!"

    Reforming the Energy Vision

    Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven growth of more than 1,000 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.




    Courtesy: Office of the Governor, State of New York
    ...
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  • U.S. Small Business Administration Expands its Emerging Leaders Initiative Helping Small Businesses to Thrive

    U.S. Small Business Administration Expands its Emerging Leaders Initiative Helping Small Businesses to Thrive




    Recruitment now underway to help increase small business development in underserved communities



    Washington, DC - - (March 10, 2017) - - The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the launch of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Initiative, a seven-month executive-level training series targeting small businesses with high-growth potential in underserved cities across the nation. This year, three new cities have been added, bringing the number of participating communities to 55.

    Local recruitment for the 2017 training cycle has begun and is ongoing at designated SBA district offices. Classes are scheduled to begin in April, and interested small business owners can learn more on eligibility and how to apply at the SBA’s website: www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.

    The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative delivers entrepreneurship education and training focused on small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators. This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local city leaders and the financial community.

    This year, there are three new locations being added to the initiative for the first time, expanding availability of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative to entrepreneurs in Mobile, Ala., Albany, N.Y., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained more than 4,000 small business owners in underserved communities since its inception in 2008, and its impact continues to expand. SBA’s Emerging Leaders continues to be a catalyst for expanded opportunities in underserved communities. Emerging Leaders graduates reported that nearly 70 percent achieved revenue growth and over 80 percent created new jobs or retained all existing jobs. Graduates also secured federal, state, local and tribal contract awards of over $700 million. SBA’s Emerging Leaders graduated 775 small business owners in 2016, representing the largest graduating class.

    The 2017 Emerging Leaders host locations are as follows:



    *Albany, N.Y.

    Albuquerque, N.M.

    Atlanta, Ga.

    Austin/San Antonio, Texas

    Bakersfield, Calif.

    Baltimore, Md.

    Birmingham, Ala.

    Boise, Idaho

    Boston, Mass.

    Charlotte, N.C.

    Chicago, Ill.

    Columbus, Ohio

    Concord, N.H.

    Dallas, Texas

    Denver, Colo.

    Detroit, Mich.

    Fargo, N.D.

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Houston, Texas

    Indianapolis, Ind.

    Jackson, Miss.

    Las Vegas, Nev.

    Little Rock, Ark.

    Los Angeles, Calif.

    Louisville, Ky.

    Memphis, Tenn.

    Miami, Fla.

    Milwaukee, Wis.

    Minneapolis, Minn.

    *Mobile, Ala.

    Montpelier, Vt.

    Nashville, Tenn.

    Newark, N.J.

    New Orleans, La.

    New York City, N.Y.

    Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Philadelphia, Pa.

    Phoenix, Ariz.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Portland, Ore.

    Providence, R.I.

    Sacramento, Calif.

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Seattle, Wash.

    Spokane, Wash.

    St. Louis, Mo.

    Syracuse, N.Y.

    Tampa, Fla.

    *Virgin Islands

    Washington, D.C.

    Wichita, Kan.

    Yonkers, N.Y.

    Youngstown, Ohio





    *New locations for 2017 include Mobile (Ala.), Albany (N.Y.), and U.S. Virgin Islands.

    For additional information on the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative, or to contact the participating local area SBA District Office, go online to www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.




    Information source: U.S. Small Business Administration...
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