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Small Businesses

This section focuses on the preparedness of small businesses. It discusses the risks particular to small businesses, the values of preparedness, and the various resources that small businesses can use to reduce impacts and financial damages of disruptive or catastrophic events and to return more quickly to normal operations with nominal effect to the revenue stream.

Hyperlinks to non-FEMA websites are provided for the user’s convenience and do not represent an endorsement by FEMA of any commercial or private sector issues, products, or services. Please note that the privacy policies of the linked sites may differ from that of FEMA. Also, realize that when clicking on these links, you will be exiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site.

What’s At Risk With Your Small Business

As our global climate changes, natural disasters, such as hurricanes, coastal storms, floods, droughts and wildfires may become more frequent and more intense.

Given projections related to climate change, combined with demographic and economic trends that suggest population growth in higher risk coastal areas, our nation could face a future of more disasters, resulting in greater loss of life, even greater economic impacts and far greater social disruption.

As populations and communities continue to grow and migrate to urban areas, the likelihood of devastation caused by disasters will increase.

Each year, these disasters take their toll on small businesses and private sector-owned infrastructure in lives and economic losses.

The nation’s capacity to manage catastrophic disasters requires us to foster a common understanding of the risks we face.

As a society, the Whole Community must apply preparedness solutions to strengthen America’s competitiveness in an increasingly global economy.

What’s On The Horizon

As modern society becomes more and more globalized and interdependent, connecting community economies, global supply chains, outsourcing activities, modern just-in-time systems, the internet and electronic economic systems have radically reduced any tolerance for error.

The increasing pace of social change, innovation, and technological advances has combined to create additional vulnerabilities.

Regional and global dependencies may make it difficult for individual business operations or entire industries to tolerate disruptions that may occur on the other side of the globe.

Current inventory and delivery strategies and outsourcing models can result in profitable business but they leave businesses vulnerable to profound technology failure.

Dramatic examples of events that had a global affect on business include:

The Icelandic volcano eruption in 2010 that grounded a large percentage of global air travel and international commerce worldwide dependent on rapid inventory shipments was severely stressed.

The March 11, 2011 Japan 9.0 magnitude earthquakes and tsunami which struck the northeastern coast was the most significant disruption that the global supply chain has experienced in modern times.

Change Begins From The Top Down

Success in developing a business continuity plan and program requires upper management support. The chief executive sets the tone by authorizing program funding and plan development to take place and directing senior management to get involved. When presenting the case for developing a business continuity program and plan, leadership should emphasize the positive aspects of preparedness and avoid dwelling on the negative effects of an emergency (e.g. deaths, fines, criminal prosecution). For example:

It helps companies fulfill their moral responsibility to protect employees, the community, and the environment.

It facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements of federal, state, tribal, territorial and local agencies.

It enhances a company’s ability to recover from financial losses, regulatory fines, loss of market share, damages to equipment or products or business interruption.

It reduces exposure to civil or criminal liability in the event of an incident.

It enhances a company’s image and credibility with employees, customers, suppliers, and the community.

It could potentially reduce your insurance premiums.

What You Can Do

Something can be done. Small businesses and private sector infrastructure owners can limit employee injuries and property damages and return more quickly to normal operations if they plan ahead. As businesses expand and become larger, the pool of resources available to perform these functions grows but so does the amount and complexity of their business. This is where a business continuity plan (BCP) helps you protect your investment. There are a lot of useful self-help small businesses preparedness programs out there (see PS-Prep TM Program Resources page for additional preparedness program information). In order for a small business to get up and running after a disaster, they need to perform a version of these five BCP functions, or steps, that is appropriate for their particular business size long before any impending disaster:

Hazard types and risks of occurrence.

Possible physical damage to the organization and shutdown impacts.

Cost and revenue loss estimates.

Available physical and financial resources.

Recovery estimates and alternative survival.

Termination strategies and tactics.

Decide to continue or terminate business operations based on the above analysis of the projected versus actual post-disaster business situation. This will occur after the disruptive event although it often will occur as part of the BCP process prior to any event. A decision to continue or terminate business operations should be carefully reviewed by all small and medium-sized business owners with any doubts concerning the viability of their firms to:

Obtain information on key reasons for choosing continuation or termination and alternative approaches to doing each. Very small businesses, in particular, should not take deciding to continue operations as a foregone conclusion because of their greater vulnerabilities and risks to the personal assets and savings of their owners.

Other factors in the decision to continue or terminate include:

Has business interruption insurance been purchased to cover physical damage, shutdown and other disaster costs, as well as losses caused by the interruption of revenue?

Have arrangements been made for alternate supply sources and/or potential business operating locations?

Prioritize customers, products, critical operations, suppliers and owner and employee roles.

Organize personnel, facility, equipment, supply and financial resources by goals, objectives and tasks (delegate as necessary). Other factors that affect the decisions during organizing are:

The purchasing of business interruption insurance to cover physical damage,

Shutdown and other disaster costs, as well as revenue losses, plus

Making arrangements for alternate supply sources and/or business operating locations.

Execute an appropriate preplanned business continuation strategy and implementation tactics based upon the actual post-disaster (or emergency) situation and above BCP analysis, continuation decision, prioritization and resource organization for BCP projected post-disaster situation closest to the actual one (improvise as necessary). Three basic alternative types of business continuation strategies, based upon the level of risk the business owner/executive is willing to take, are discussed in this guidance and included in the Execution step of both BCP templates:

Modest success, minimum risk

Moderate success, moderate risk

Maximum success, maximum risk

As noted above, companies may well need to improvise on the appropriate one of these strategies given the near impossibility of exactly predicting the future but putting the structure of these alternative strategies in a plan prior to an actual disaster will greatly aid effective execution of a well-thought-out strategy. It should also be noted that although the second and third strategies are available to both medium-sized and small businesses, choosing to take significant risks is more financially dangerous and threatening to small business owners because such risks can result in the loss of personal savings and/or property.

How We Can Help

The Small Business Preparedness Recognition program and Ready Business will assist businesses in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. This website and its tools utilize an “all hazards approach” and follows the program elements within business continuity best practices, guidelines and standards adopted by the PS-Prep™. By using the Business Continuity Planning Suite you can develop the necessary program.


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The Business grants and funding available to UK small businesses, grants for small businesses.#Grants

Government Grants

The government grants section has a wealth of articles and advice on how UK small businesses can get a grant from both the public and private sector, along with helpful guides on the different types of business grants and funding available to business owners starting and running a business.

A small business grants guide for 2017

Here, Peter Fleming takes a look at a range of options for funding your business through grants this year.

There are many European and UK-wide government business grant schemes; there are also local business funding schemes provided through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) or through local authorities and organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce. However there were 512 registered schemes at the last count! So a good place to start your research is on the government website.

Business grants are available at a local and national level and usually sector specific. They offer between £1,000 and £100,000 for SMEs, but funds can be unlimited for larger businesses within EU state aid programmes.

With grants you don’t pay the money back. However, it’s worth noting there will be clawback terms if you falsify claims in respect to expected outputs set by the grant scheme. Therefore, ensure your application is captivating and thorough as it will go through a due diligence process.

Normally there are two stages, submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to ensure your business and grant application meets the scope of the grant call and then a full application process whereby you will need to supply, market research, a business plan and at least 1-3 years of financial forecasts.

Throughout the process, you will need to justify there is additionality i.e. not just the reason why you need funding, but by obtaining a grant, how many new jobs you will create, if you’re opening up new markets or export opportunities or that your idea could be a game changer.

It is always worth getting a second opinion regarding the feasibility and strength of your application against the grant objectives and any regional strategic economic plan. Therefore speak to your accountant, a local business adviser or the Growth Hub.

The larger grant opportunities can be competitive and therefore be a long-drawn-out process, taking several months in some cases to receive just an offer. So if you are looking for subsidies and money quickly a grant may not be the right solution for your business.

It is also worth noting if your application is successful, grant moneys are not paid upfront but claimed normally at the back end of the project or even after any intervention is completed.

Therefore you will need to use your own cash reserves and any other funding prior to drawing down the grant money. I have even known businesses take out bridging loans till they have received their grant funds.

Some key areas of your business whereby you could access business advice or a grant;

Business advice and support, whether you are pre-start, a new start or an established business, there are regional Business Growth Hubs across the UK whereby you can obtain free or funded advice. You can normally obtain specialist support to devise a business growth strategy, do market research to create a sales and marketing plan, implement social media management or even get advice on how to apply for further funding.

Note each UK region may have a focus on specific business sectors, business sizes and locations, as eligibility can be even post code specific.

Skills and development government grants

The Skills Funding Agency oversees the current apprenticeship scheme, however on May 1st 2017 the new Apprenticeship Levy scheme starts whereby your business could access subsidised training and development to upskill existing employees to even Master’s degree level.

Many regional Universities, Colleges and further education organisations will be offering a multitude of subsidised short courses or funded degree level programmes which will help you develop your existing staff to be the managers and directors of the future.

If your business is within a rural development area and looking to grow, invest in infrastructure, machinery or seek specialist advice to diversify. Or if your business is involved with forestry and land projects the government have a scheme called LEADER managed through Local Action Groups.

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund is a new energy efficiency support service for small and medium-sized companies in England, Scotland and Wales.

It provides direct funded support through energy assessments, training workshops, equipment procurement support and up to £10,000 capital contribution towards the purchase of energy saving equipment.

Manufacturing is an area which is increasingly supported through grant schemes. Therefore if you manufacture textiles, specialist tooling, operate in the digital market, within the nuclear supply chain or need support for international trade, or manufacture in many other sectors, there is likely to be a grant scheme that your business can access.

Innovation, Research and Development

Innovate UK, offers support and funding to help businesses develop new products and services and bring them closer to market, this may be to bring people together to share ideas, tackle challenges and make new technological advances.

They targets technologies and areas with the greatest scope to improve business, the economy and society.

Local Enterprise Partnership

For anyone looking for grants at the moment, the go-to people will be their Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). One of the main functions of the LEPS is to generate economic growth and so many have their own grants programmes.

In addition, most provide some form of business support and advice. As part of the business advice service they collate information on local and national grants and will signpost business owners to the relevant organisations.

Another great source of information is the government ‘Business is Great’ website which has a page dedicated to a number of funds to support innovation.

There is also is an EU tool which does a better job than anything I’ve seen of clarifying what finance is available across the EU including although is does require some persistence in searching to get to the information.

For companies and individuals with ground breaking research which may require significant funding there is also Horizon 2020:

Grant funding is not for everyone but could give your business the boost it needs. Proper preparation, thorough research, getting professional advice and being able to clearly explain why you require your grant funding is more likely to lead to a successful application. And, as a result, help you obtain the financial support for a better, bigger and more profitable business for you.


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Public Car Auction – Every Saturday 10: 30 AM Interstate Auto Auction, small business

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Public Auto Auctions

Interstate Auto Auction is an auto auction open to the public located in Salem, NH. Our public car auctions sell vehicles from dealer trade-ins, repossessions, lease ends, donated cars and more. At Interstate Auto Auction we want you to buy with confidence. You can TEST DRIVE any of the vehicles before the auction!! Feel Free to review our cars online. We also encourage you to read our about us page and our very helpful and transparent FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS GUIDE which answers over 20 questions that you may have about how we operate.

Interstate Auto Auction now offers you the option to pay for your auction online.

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Plans, Store, small business plans.#Small #business #plans


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Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century – Advertising Age, small business saturday.#Small

AdAge Top 15 Campaigns of the 21st Century

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In 1999, as the 20th century came to a close, the Ad Age staff set out to examine all the ways in which advertising has entertained, moved and motivated us over the years. We decided to rank the 100 best campaigns of the century, in a special issue, to celebrate their creativity and impact.

Small business saturday See the Best of the 20th Century:

Now, Advertising Age is updating this list with 15 of the best ad campaigns of the 21st Century. In the last 15 years, advertising and marketing, and the media it used to get out its messages, has experienced an incredible upheaval as digital media and interactivity changed the dynamics of how consumers see and pay attention brand messages.

Control shifted from marketers and traditional media timing their messages and forcing consumers to see ads as a trade-off for the content they wanted to see to the consumer wielding remote control and computer mouse. Traditional media found itself scrambling to stay relevant as digital media wreaked havoc with the guarantee that consumers were likely to see ad messages. Expensive journalism distributed free online amassed audience but not ad dollars and wiped out a whole generation of magazines and newspapers, while DVRs, podcasts, streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu challenged TV and radio models. Out of this massive shift, marketers and agencies got very innovative in turning these new tools to their advantage.

Several of these winning campaigns are on this list because they led the way in thinking about how to use these new tools effectively and entertainingly. Some of these ad campaigns are here because they changed the way consumers thought about the world around them and some are examples of great solid marketing built on spot-on insights and beautifully, perfectly executed.

Advertising Age tapped the expertise of leading creators and marketers to derive this list of 15. We asked our judges to consider three criteria, the same three questions that were used for the original Top 100 Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century:

  1. Was it a watershed ad or campaign, discernibly changing the culture of advertising or the popular culture as a whole?
  2. If it itself was credited with creating a category, or if by its efforts a brand became entrenched in its category as No. 1.
  3. Was it simply unforgettable?

We gave the judges a list of 50 nominees from which to vote on their top 15 and then rank them. These winning campaigns are those that got the most judges votes to be on the list, and ranked the highest. Ad Age Members were also asked to weigh in on their picks, and you can see the results of that poll here.

One of the judges, Greg Hahn, CCO, BBDO New York, noted of the finalists, Looking at this list you can see what these executions have in common. They all have a strong voice, a POV, and a client that was willing to go outside of the tried and true. These all broke through because they broke out of the norm. They remain as standouts because they were inherently right for the brand. There are a million logical reasons why each of these shouldn t have worked. Thank God the right people ignored all of them.

WINNERS

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BUY THE eBOOK

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The Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century will be part of the ebook, “Advertising Age: Top Ad Campaigns.” The ebook also includes the Top 100 Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century. The ebook is available from these retailers: Amazon, Google Play, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.


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Best Small Business Loans: Small Business Funding – BFS Capital, small business financing.#Small #business

Small Business Loans for Big Business Goals

Small business loans are on the rise, with the U.S. Small Business Administration reporting that approximately $11 billion was approved across small business loan programs for the entire year of 2012. And yet, that amount had already almost doubled—hitting $18.9 billion—by mid-2017.

This is partially because more and more entrepreneurs are deciding to start their own small businesses annually, averaging around 675,000 new businesses in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Additionally, those already in business are borrowing at higher rates to either sustain or grow their companies, making them stronger in the long run.

Even though these particular loans are being taken out at amazing rates, a lot of small business owners still have a number of questions when it comes to borrowing money to cover their small business needs.

For instance, what exactly is a small business loan? When should you get one? What benefits do small business loans offer? How do you apply? The list goes on and on.

If this is where you’re currently at, let’s dig a little deeper into all of these questions (and a few more) to get you the answers that you want and need—right now.

What is a Small Business Loan?

A small business loan is money borrowed to start, grow, or keep a small business afloat. Additionally, there are a few different small business loan types. Some of them are secured, meaning that you used some type of asset as collateral against the loan; and others are unsecured, meaning they’re not attached to an asset but are granted based on your credit.

Among the small business loans available, a few of the most common include:

  • Startup loans
  • Construction loans
  • Franchise-based loans
  • Merger and acquisition loans
  • Business lines of credit
  • Working capital loans
  • Equipment financing and refinancing loans
  • Merchant cash advance loans
  • Accounts receivable loans

What Can I Use a Small Business Loan For?

A small business loan obtained by a startup is often used to buy any necessary property, buildings, equipment, or inventory to put the business owner’s dream into action. It can also be used to give you a little working capital as you strive to get your business up on its feet and running.

If your goal is to expand, small business loan funding enables you to purchase additional inventory, buy or build a larger store or factory, or buy more equipment to better suit your increased needs.

And if you have periods where you’re struggling, a small business loan can help you cover your operational expenses until things pick up and you can stand on your own again. This includes funding payroll, buying supplies, and paying vendors, just to name a few.

How Do I Benefit from a Small Business Loan?

Obtaining a small business loan essentially enables you to effectively run all aspects of your business, minimizing any disruption during slow periods and giving you cash flow options if you’re ready to take your company to the next level.

For instance, Melissa Kobus, founder of Gloss Salon Day Spa, told us that she found that starting a profitable small business takes money—money that banks aren’t always willing to lend a new company.

That’s why Melissa came to BFS initially, to get the capital she needed to open her salon’s doors. It’s also what has kept her coming back every time she’s ready to grow, adding more space to better serve her growing clientele.

Where Can I Obtain a Small Business Loan?

Small businesses located in bigger cities—such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Boston—tend to have an easier time securing a small business loan because there are more local options.

However, you can also obtain a small business loan online no matter where your small business is located, such as when you’re applying for a small business loan through BFS Capital.

How Do I Apply for a Small Business Loan?

If you’re wondering how to apply for a small business loan, the first step is to make sure you qualify for the specific business loan you want.

Business loan eligibility can depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • How long you’ve been in business
  • The assets and liabilities you have
  • What your revenue or expected revenue is
  • The industry you’re in
  • Your credit score
  • What you plan to use the loan for

Depending on which lender you choose, your may have to visit your local bank, credit union, or financing company to complete the paperwork.

Alternatively, you can also apply for your small business loans online when using lenders like BFS. This can make obtaining the capital you need even more convenient, no matter when you have time in your day or week to apply.

What Are the Costs Associated with a Small Business Loan?

Small business loan rates and costs can vary, making it extremely important to secure yours from a lender who understands your revenue and working capital needs.

Is a Small Business Loan the Right Option for Me?

If you’re still unsure whether a small business loan is the right option for you, here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • Do I have enough capital to start my small business without putting my family’s welfare at risk?
  • Am I entering a slow season where I typically have difficulty paying my bills, making a small business loan preferable because it would take some of the stress away?
  • Am I ready to grow my business, but just need some working capital to make it happen until I can increase my revenues from the extra sales?
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    Whether you’re envisioning that new piece of equipment on the floor of your factory or workshop, you want your warehouse shelves fully stocked with some much-needed inventory, or you’re faced with an acquisition opportunity that you don’t want to pass up, BFS Capital can help you obtain the funding you need to make it happen.

    Our loans for small businesses are designed to help you start your business, tackle the inevitable growth challenges you face while building your business, or simply help you get through the slow times, like when your industry has a natural lull.

    At BFS Capital, we provide better funding options for a variety of small businesses. Plus, we’re there for you when you need to make fast investments, striking while amazing business opportunities are still available. That’s because a number of our small business loan options can be secured within a couple of days versus the traditional weeks or months.

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