In this week's edition we'll cover:
- The President's SupplierPay/QuickPay Initiative for Small Business
- Bank of America and Wells Fargo stepping up to the Small Business lending plate
- Mid-year tax check-in and a cool tool to add to the Small Business Tool Box
When businesses get paid faster, their financial footing gets stronger. And with nearly $90 billion each year in federal contracts going to small businesses, cutting the time it takes for them to receive payment in half is a powerful way to help these businesses grow. This week, President Obama announced partnerships that will help strengthen America's small businesses by renewing the Federal Government's QuickPay program and unveiling the SupplierPay initiative.
QuickPay requires federal departments to hasten payments to small-business contractors, ideally within 15 days. Since its inception, the QuickPay program has expedited more than $220 billion in payments to federal contractors. According to the Obama administration, QuickPay has realized more than $1 billion in cost savings for small businesses since the initiative began in 2011.
SupplierPay is a new initiative which brings together 26 companies – large and small – that have jointly pledged to support small business by either paying small suppliers faster or enabling a financing solution that helps small suppliers access working capital at a lower cost.
Early supporters of SupplierPay include Apple, Lockheed Martin, Nissan, Coca Cola, Intuit, IBM and Kelley Services in addition to many more major brand names. Last year, Apple spent more than $3 billion with over 7,000 suppliers running small and diverse businesses. Additionally, 10 percent of Intuit's suppliers are small businesses, so the impact of the initiative promises to be huge.
You can learn more about these new small business initiatives here.
In lending news
And in lending, loan approvals are on the rise, which is good news for our industry as it signifies growth. Wells Fargo says it will invest up to $100 billion dollars in small business lending by 2018, a bold move for one of the largest traditional lenders. Wells Fargo’s northeast small business strategy director, Jim Malcolm, told Forbes recently that small business is where they were seeing a lot of growth. He also added that it is where the lender wants to encourage growth and success among smaller businesses just getting started.
Also, according to Bank of America's Spring Small Business Owner report, small business owners are feeling more confident this year – both in their businesses and local communities. The report showeda noticeable shift in the mindset of local small businesses compared to the national average.
The majority of those polled (68 percent) expect their revenues to increase in the next 12 months, an increase of 17 percent from the previous year. They are also planning to hire more employees, with more than half (52 percent) saying they intend to add to their staff in the next year.
With 2014 almost halfway over, it’s time to start thinking about taxes.
This week, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) posted useful tax preparation tips for small businesses from tax specialist and IRS agent Jack Klosterman, . Their recommendations include:
Keep good records
First, small Business owners should have a separate checking account for their business to help keep the business expenses separate from their personal spending. Keeping good records can be as simple as using an Excel spreadsheet or software such as QuickBooks.
Once you have a solid record of your profits and losses for the first six months of the year, compare these numbers to last year’s to determine whether your business is performing better, worse or about the same. Check out IRS.gov to estimate how much you’ll pay in taxes. You can find the full and complete list of tips on the NFIB web site NFIB.com.
Small Business Tool Box
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are always looking for useful tools, websites, apps and services to help stay ahead of the tech curve. This week's “Hot Tool” is Zapier.
Zapier is a cloud based app for creating integration between web applications without complicated programming. There's a secret language that lets web apps like Evernote, Dropbox, Twitter and Gmail all talk to each other. However; the language is only spoken by techies who know how to wire it all up. That is, until now... Want to backup your Evernote notes to Dropbox? How about add a row to a Google spreadsheet every time you get a new follower on Twitter? Or easily scan business cards into your CRM application? With Zapier, users can create “Zaps” which camp out in the cloud and trigger automatically between apps, updating them like magic. Zapier offers several plans starting, including a free version, which features up to five Zaps updating every 15 minutes. A basic plan with up to 20 Zaps will cost $15 per month. You can find more information on Zapier's web site Zapier.com.
That's the Small Business Update. Until next time, remember, small business is the engine of our economy, so get out there with your wallet and rev it up America! And be sure to subscribe to our channel to be notified of our next Small Business Brief. Thanks and see you next time.