America’s SBDC Blog

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Humane Communications for Small Businesses During a Crisis

February 23, 2021
By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com

All the way back in early April — nearly a lifetime ago — the first coronavirus infections were followed by a wave of ads created in response to the crisis. Those early ads showed us what to do and what not to do, and as a result, you’ve got plenty of material to guide you in marketing your business during the pandemic.

Here are several ways to stay in the conversation — and stay compassionate and mindful while doing so.

Be Helpful, Not Promotive

Some early surveys revealed how consumers felt about ads during the pandemic. A Kantar survey found that 75% of customers didn’t want the crisis exploited, while 8% wanted companies to stop ads altogether. The message is clear: Customers don’t want businesses to use the pandemic as an excuse to showcase their brand. On the other hand, a business that has something useful to say will find a ready ear. Click To Tweet If you tell your audience how your company is adapting to support the community, you’ll be far better off than a company that relies on logos and empty slogans. (more…)

Second Stimulus Eases Lending Terms, Creating a Buyer’s Market

February 16, 2021
By FranNet – 

The recently signed second stimulus package includes several provisions that should make it easier than ever for qualified buyers to access capital through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for starting a new business. We spoke with our friends at Benetrends Financial regarding the details of the new package and the impact it will have on entrepreneurs considering owning a business.

Eric Schechterman, Chief Development Officer at Benetrends Financial, said, “While the lending environment continues to rebound and lenders continue to adapt what they are looking for from borrowers these provisions should have a huge impact in 2021.” Not to be confused with specific Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan details, here is the information buyers need to know about enhanced borrowing opportunities with the SBA: Click To Tweet (more…)

America’s SBDCs Publish Annual Report after a Challenging Year

February 8, 2021

Annual ReportServing more than half a million small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in Fiscal Year 2020, America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) rose to the occasion during a time of unprecedented challenges.

From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, America’s SBDCs were on the job. Providing free, one-to-one business consulting and free or at-cost business training, SBDC consultants, trainers and staff helped America’s small businesses — and the communities they serve — adapt and survive.

As one SBDC client described it, “I was trying to keep it together but panicking! Then a friend recommended I talk with the Alabama SBDC. I talked to my advisor an hour and a half the first time I called her. She was also a small business owner and knew what a state of mind I was in. She has ended up advising me on every step and has even kept me ahead of the game, giving me information as she learns it.” — small business owner and chef Yanni Tempelis, who worked with her local SBDC to secure PPP funds and help save her business. The America’s SBDC Annual Report showcases the work of the 62 state and regional SBDCs that form America’s nationwide network of SBDCs. Click To Tweet From helping small businesses address the Covid-19 crisis to serving America’s veterans, women-owned businesses, underserved communities and young entrepreneurs, to promoting technology development, exports and rural development, America’s SBDCs show why they are America’s largest and most trusted network of small business assistance providers. (more…)

Commercial Property Insurance for Small Businesses

December 22, 2020
By Susan Guillory –

As a business owner, one of the many important things you need to consider is business insurance. While there are several types of insurance coverage you might benefit from, one to certainly consider, if you own business property, is commercial property insurance.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

Just like you might have homeowner’s insurance or coverage for personal assets, you can get commercial property insurance to protect any business property you own from things like theft, fire, vandalism, and storms.

What is Covered Under Commercial Property Insurance?

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of business property is probably the real estate you own or lease for your business. That certainly can be covered by a commercial property policy, but coverage can also include: (more…)

Doing Business As (DBA): What is a DBA, How to File as a DBA

December 15, 2020

By Ty Kiisel –

If you’ve ever asked, “What is a DBA?” this article is for you. The short answer is, a “Doing Business As” is when the name under which a business operates is different from its legal, registered name. A DBA may also be called a trade Name.

Why Would a Business Choose a DBA?

There are reasons why a business would choose a fictitious name (another term for a DBA). A sole proprietor or partner might choose a DBA so they can operate with a typical business name without the need to create a formal legal entity (like an LLC or a corporation). For example, John Smith, a plumber, might choose to operate under the name of Eveready Plumbing. He’d need a DBA to do that. If John wanted to run his business under the name of John Smith’s Plumbing, he wouldn’t need one.

If your business was a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC) and wanted to operate the business under a name that is different from the name of the corporation or LLC, you would need a DBA. For example if John Smith & Joe Bonanza LLC wanted to operate as Mount Olympus Real Estate Investment Company, they would need one. (more…)