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Small Business Brief - Bill Clinton Announces New Program to Rework America

October 06, 2014 by Gary Stockton

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Image: Markle.org - President Bill Clinton with Zoë Baird of Markle Foundation Image Credit: Markle.org - President Bill Clinton with Zoë Baird of Markle Foundation

According to recent survey results by The Markle Foundation, 86 percent of middle class Americans agreed that learning new skills later in life is necessary for an evolving job market. During the closing remarks of the Clinton Global Initiative, former President Bill Clinton announced “Rework America, the Markle Economic Future Initiative”, an extraordinary partnership focused on the changes brought about by today's networked world. The Markle Economic Future Initiative will help drive innovations that expand opportunities for employment and broaden ways for all Americans to learn and train for the work of the future.

Rework America has a two-part strategy. First, emphasize new ways for Americans to grow businesses and create work to support broadly shared prosperity. Second, focus on new ways for Americans, to develop the talents and skills they need to participate in this new economy throughout their lives.

The Markle Foundation has pledged $50 million to Rework America to spur the development of technology that can help job-seekers by improving math, science and technology skills, among other things. An example of new strategies in learning and skill development is Starbucks’ pledge to offer full college tuition reimbursement to their employees through a partnership with Arizona State University.

The initiative will also look to create resources for small business owners who want to learn how to expand and enter new markets. For example, in the credit and finance space, GE Capital is concentrating on business credit with a twist. Through the Access GE program, business clients have access to hundreds of GE specialists through a new platform built on salesforce.com.

You can find out more about the Rework America initiative by going to reworkamerica.org.

Over 50 Percent of 90 Day Late Payments Went Uncollected by Businesses in the Americas

Over 50 Percent of 90 Day Late Payments Went Uncollected by Businesses in the Americas

In the September 2014 edition of the Payment Practices Barometer, a survey of B2B suppliers in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States, indicated that more than half of the value of B2B receivables more than 90 days past due are written off as uncollectable.

On average, 38.4 percent of the total value of survey respondents' B2B receivables were unpaid by the due date. Furthermore, 5.2 percent of the value of those invoices extended more than 90 days overdue, and 2.7 percent - approximately 52 percent of the value of invoices 90 days past due - were written off as uncollectable.

The survey also found that respondents in the Americas maintain a strong focus on credit management with 81.5 percent of the respondents reporting that they employ credit management policies to mitigate B2B trade credit risks. Approximately 50 percent of the respondents check their buyers' creditworthiness, request secure forms of payment or do both. These actions can help reduce payment defaults, however, they cannot completely eliminate them and uncollectable receivables remain a significant issue.

The impact of unpaid invoices on a business' turnover or cash flow can be serious. Not only because non-payment by buyers can cost a business time and money, but bad debt reserves also represent money that is unavailable for use in growing the business.

You can download a copy of the Payment Practices Barometer at global.atradius.com.

Western U.S. small businesses are more generous to vendors than employees during the holidays

Christmas Shopping with Credit Card

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, many small businesses are starting to plan what gifts they will be sending to their vendors and service providers. But the spirit of giving is better in some parts of the country according to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive. One in five businesses in the Western region report that they gave holiday gifts to their vendors or service providers which were higher in value than businesses in the North, South and Midwest regions. At the same time, two-thirds of small businesses in the Western region reported that they do not provide year-end extras for their workers. The results of the study were published in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Interestingly, another aspect to the survey pertained to business planning. Sixty-seven percent of small businesses in Western states indicated they do not have a five year plan and 95 percent of them indicated they did not have plans to hire new employees in the New Year. We’re sure that has a lot of people in the West saying “bah humbug.”

Small Business Tool Box - Docusign

We're always looking for useful tools, websites, apps and services to help small businesses and entrepreneurs stay ahead of the tech curve. This week's Hot Tool is Docusign.

Docusign is a fast and secure way to send, sign and manage documents and transactions on any device, anytime, anywhere. Here’s how it works. From any device pick a document that needs to be signed, add recipients who need to sign it. Specify required fields like address or company name, then place the signature tag and click send. Your recipients receive an email asking them to sign. If they’re a first time Docusign user they’ll first pick their unique signature style then sign. Once the document is complete everyone is alerted and it’s stored electronically for your records. That’s it, lots of time and money saved; delighted users and documents that are legally enforceable and secure.

Learn more about Docusign at: Docusign.com


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