AMGEN
BMS-center-logo
 

vamboa small bizBy Debbie Gregory.

While California has many qualities to brag about, cheap great weather, a beautiful coastline, and more tourist attractions that any two-week vacation could do justice to, the state does have one very big black mark.

California was rated the worst state in the country for small business owners. According to a survey conducted by Thumbtack, last year the Golden State resulted in an “F” rating based on categories such as ease of hiring, regulations, and training and networking programs. California earned a grade of F for its labor, health and safety, and environmental regulations, and a D for its tax code, licensing, and zoning laws.

Among the states rated at the top was Virginia, the high ranking based on the friendliness of its health and safety, labor, and licensing regulations. Also highly rated were Texas and Utah.

Keeping California company at the bottom were Rhode Island, Illinois, and to a lesser extent, Connecticut and New Jersey.

If you’re curious as to how your state ranked in the Thumbtack survey, you can view the results here: http://www.sbecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BTI2015SBECouncil.pdf .

As far as the best places for employees to work for small business, WalletHub looked at 100 of the country’s largest metro areas, considering the number of business with less than 250 employees per every 1,000 residents, small business job growth, diversity of industries, percentage of small businesses offering health insurance to employees and employee earnings adjusted for cost of living.

North Carolina accounts for two of the top 10 locations, with Charlotte taking the number one spot, and Raleigh taking second place. At the other end of the spectrum, the Youngstown, Ohio area takes the title for the worst metro area in which to work for a small business, followed by Stockton, California. The Stockton metro area holds among the lowest rates of small business job growth, lowest numbers of small businesses per 10,000 residents, and lowest earnings for small business employees when adjusted for cost of living.

California holds three places on the “bottom ten, “with Fresno and Bakersfield also joining the ranks. Like Stockton, Bakersfield suffers from low small business job growth, and few small businesses per 1,000 residents.

Sorry, California. But you’re a great place to visit!

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: The Best and Worst States for Small Businesses: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA NVSBEVeterans who are interested in starting or expanding their small businesses should save the date and register today for the largest and most comprehensive Veteran Small Business Expo of the year.

Each year, ailment for the last four years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and several other government agencies have collaborated to put on the largest event for Veteran entrepreneurs in the country, called the National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE).

The theme of NVSBE 2014 is “ACCESS” which is an acronym for “Advocate, Create, Commit, Expand, Strengthen, Sustain.” The event is designed to connect Veteran-owned Small Businesses and Veteran entrepreneurs with exclusive access to networking opportunities and learning sessions.

With 3,000 attendees expected, as well as more than 400 exhibitors and 25 government agencies, the NVSBE is a must-attend event for Veteran-owned small businesses.

The NVSBE is chalk full of activities designed to aid in the success of Veteran business ventures. Each day of the event has an Agenda that includes networking functions and breakout learning sessions.The learning sessions consist of dozens of topics that attendees can register for, according to their needs. Topics include creating a small business, business expansion, financing, government contracts, Veterans assistance, procurements, sustaining a small business, leadership, service-disabled Veteran-owned business resources and many more. The last day of the event includes an awards ceremony and one-on-one follow-up meetings with procurement decision makers and program professionals.

One of the most advantageous reasons to attend the NVSBE is the direct access to procurement decision makers, program specialists and acquisition staff from government agencies and large corporations.

The three day event will be held on December 9, 10 and 11, 2014, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. To register for the 2014 NVSBE in Atlanta, please visit the Registration Information Page.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Veterans Small Business Expo: By Debbie Gregory

EBV SuccessBack in 2007, no rx Syracuse University played home to the inaugural class of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. The EBV program is designed to open the doors of economic opportunities for Disabled Veterans and their families by helping them develop professional networks, and learn how to create and sustain their own businesses.

The EBV program has grown into a national movement, helping over 700 disabled Veterans. Several university campuses across the country now hold entrepreneurship boot camp sessions for Veterans.  Joining Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in offering the EBV program to Veterans are Cornell University, Louisiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business, the University of Connecticut’s School of Business, Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, Florida State University’s College of Business, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, and Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School.

The entrepreneurship training is offered, to qualified Veterans who are accepted into the program, at no charge to the Veterans, and without using any of their GI Bill. For the last seven years, 70% of EBV graduates have gone on to start their own companies.

One EBV success story comes from the very first session at Syracuse in 2007. Marine Corps Veteran John Raftery was preparing to start a contracting firm in Dallas when he read an article about a small business training program for Veterans with disabilities.  The former Marine immediately applied and was accepted into the EBV program.

Raftery credits the program with helping him take the critically important first steps as a small business owner. In 2012, Raftery’s company, Patriot Contractors, Inc., was on a list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the country.

“I don’t think the business would have grown as quickly if not for the EBV program,” Raftery said.

Many Veterans served to preserve the American dream for their countrymen. Thousands of Veterans fulfill their own American dreams when their service to our country has ended. Already proven to have the winning spirit, Veterans make great entrepreneurs.

There are numerous resources available to help Veteran entrepreneurs succeed in their business ventures. The EBV program is just one of many. Please be sure to visit www.VAMBOA.org, as well as VAMBOA’s Resource Page to find out more information on the EBV program and many other state, federal and local programs for Veteran entrepreneurs.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Entrepreneur Bootcamp Success Story: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA no fee loans

There is great news for veteran entrepreneurs! The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is extendingits Veterans Advantage program through September 30, online 2015. The Veterans Advantage program is also being expanded to include loans up to $5 million. The SBA will continue to offer its provision to eliminate the upfront fee paid by all borrowers for the guaranteed portion of 7(a) loans of $150,000 or less.

Prior to the change, entrepreneurs using the SBA guarantee through private lenders had to pay up to 2% of the guaranteed portion of their loans. This would leave small business owners with fees of up to $2,700.

The SBA is also waiving servicing fees for participating lenders paid by them on loans of $150,000 or less.  Beginning on October 1, 2014, the servicing fee that lenders pay each month on 7(a) loans greater than $150,000 will drop to 0.519% on the guaranteed portion of the outstanding balance.

The up-front guaranty fee is being waived for qualified Veteran owned small business owners using SBA Express loans for amounts up to $350,000.  For Veterans using 7(a) loans outside the Express program, upfront fees continue to be waived for loans up to $150,000.

For loans of $150,000 to $5 million, with a maturity in excess of 12 months, the no upfront-fee will drop by 50% using this formula:

Loans of $150,001 to $700,000 will be at 1.5% of the guaranteed portion.

Loans of $700,001 to $5,000,000 will be at 1.75% of the guaranteed portion up to $1,000,000, plus an additional 1.875% of the guaranteed portion over $1,000,000.

Loans with a maturity of 12 months or less can expect to pay an upfront fee of 0.125% of the guaranteed portion.

In order to qualify for SBA Veterans Advantage, small businesses must be at least 51% owned and managed by an individual or individuals who are veterans, service-disabled veterans, active duty military service member participating in the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), Reservists and National Guard members. Also eligible are the current spouses of any of the previous,  or the widowed spouses of service members who died while in service, or of a service-connected disability.  Verifying documentation proving eligibility is required.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: SBA Extends No-Fee Loans: By Debbie Gregory

ibmpos_blurgb