Paving a “pathway to prosperity” one small business at a time

May 27, 2020

By Moody’s –

Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. However, with recent uncertainty caused by COVID-19, many are struggling to stay afloat. Even in less turbulent times, entrepreneurs often lack insight into what their finances look like from day to day, how much cash they have on hand or whether they will be able to pay their bills on time. In fact, according to a March 2018 Preferred CFO study, 82% of business failures are a result of poor cash flow management.

One of Moody’s key CSR focus areas is empowering people with financial knowledge, which is why we made cash flow management the focus of a 2019 initiative for US entrepreneurs. This financial empowerment initiative was created in partnership with the Foundation for Small Business Development (FFSBD), the philanthropic arm of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). It is the first initiative under Moody’s new Pathway to Prosperity program, which is part of our larger Reshape Tomorrow™ initiative. “Our ultimate goal is to help thousands of small business owners and employees to better manage their finances and secure their operations,” says Charles “Tee” Rowe, President and CEO of America’s SBDC. Click To Tweet (more…)

Auto repair business gets federal loan with SBDC assistance

May 19, 2020

Success Story: Georgia. By Emilie Gille –

ATC Auto CenterATC Auto Center in Augusta has been in business since 1972, with a second location in Grovetown added later. Brothers Brian and Chris Weeks own and operate the auto repair business they took over from their father nearly 20 years ago.

They’ve built a good clientele over the years and have 21 employees.

It all was threatened by COVID-19. Business slowed as Georgia residents sheltered in place, and businesses closed. The brothers realized that their savings would only last so long, and they didn’t want to lay off employees. But they knew that’s where they were headed.

“We worked too hard for too long to get the team that we have, and we didn’t want to have anything happen to them,” said Brian Weeks.

As longtime clients of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, the Weeks were among the local businesses that UGA public service faculty member Eric Frickey reached out to when the federal government approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included money for small businesses. (more…)

America’s SBDC Top 3 COVID-19 Small Business Tips

May 12, 2020
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KEEP CALM AND SMALL BUSINESS ON

America’s SBDCs are working to help small businesses address the challenges of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic. Check out our COVID-19 resource pages for free webinars and materials created by small business experts. Don’t miss the COVID-19 Partner Resources section for resources, opportunities and special offers for small businesses to help them in this crisis.

PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS

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How to Be a Rock Star Employee While Working From Your Couch

May 7, 2020

By Latesha Byrd, Money.com –

Working from home has its perks. You can roll out of bed and hop onto a Zoom call within minutes. You can spend your lunch break catching up on Netflix, or household chores.

But as millions of Americans are suddenly figuring out, remote work also brings complications.

It’s hard to build your influence within your team and organization without a physical meeting space. Collaborating with coworkers, and keeping your manager abreast on what you’re accomplishing day-in and day-out, is much more complicated these days.

For some people, that makes it easier to fly under the radar. For others, dissolving the barrier between work life and home life makes it impossible to switch between the two — they’re never NOT working.

So how do you find the line? How can you get your boss to recognize that you’re a superstar employee when they don’t ever see you face-to-face? How can you prove you’re staying productive, and on top of things from a distance, without sacrificing your sanity? (more…)

Military Spouse Turns Idea Into Fully Baked Business

May 4, 2020

It starts with an idea – that “Aha!” moment when you realize your business concept has the potential to be great. But it takes work, dedication and commitment to make that idea a reality. Entrepreneurs with military experience – whether service members, veterans or military spouses – are uniquely positioned to succeed as small business owners.

Jilan Hall-Johnson is a military spouse who used her experience and skills to turn her bruncherie idea into a fully baked business. After her husband, DeMarco Johnson, was stationed in Billings, Montana as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, she was on the hunt for new employment opportunities in the area. Assistance for military spouse employment in Billings was limited, so she decided she was ready to explore entrepreneurship as the next step in her career.

Jilan knew she had a great idea, and the passion and drive to be a small business owner. But she wasn’t sure how to start her business. She decided to turn to her local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at Big Sky Economic Development for guidance and support. Jilan and the Big Sky VBOC immediately began working together to put her business idea on paper. The VBOC helped her develop her business plan, establish a marketing strategy, acquire a business location, find access to capital, and accomplish so much more right in her local community. (more…)