News & Opportunities

Please also see the “Resources” tab for these pages –  

N.E. Ohio SBDC Network: Seminars, Workshops & Webinars, and Community Partners Seminars, Workshops and Webinars

for additional important events!

Scroll down to view info on COVID-19 issues and resources…including an sba Coronavirus Pandemic Disaster Loans Comparison Chart that briefly explains and compares EIDL, EIDL Forgiveness/Advance, PPA SBA 7a, SBA Express Bridge Loan and SBA Small Business, the PPP Borrower Application Form, the ECDI Recovery Loan, and  an Alternative Loan Program to be offered by the Federal Reserve.

The ODA customer service info is: 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 1-800-877-8339, and disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Also, scroll down to see who’s hiring…

Please note – information on this page subject to change.

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SBA & Treasury Release PPP Loan Forgiveness Application 

 The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

 For more information, click here. 

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 Summit County Council approved expanding the Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program, which was created in March and provides grants of up to $5,000 to Summit County small businesses affected by the pandemic.

The county, which partnered with the Greater Akron Chamber to manage the program, is using part of the $94.4 million it received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to fund the expansion.

Summit County Council approved a resolution authorizing the county executive to execute a $5.4 million grant agreement with the Greater Akron Chamber, with $5 million going to grants to Summit County small businesses, $300,000 to provide other pandemic-related assistance to Summit County small businesses and $100,000 to administer the use and distribution of the grant funds.

The first round of grants, totaling $1.546 million, went to 311 businesses in April. There were close to 1,100 applicants, with about 610 deemed eligible. Of those, only 51% received funding.

The second-round application period ended at 9 a.m. May 22.

For more information, visit gaccovid19.org/grantprogram or email covidgrant@greaterakronchamber.org.

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PORTAGE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

COVID-19 RE-START

Assistance Loan Program

In an effort to assist those Portage County businesses preparing to re-start their business after the government mandated shutdown, the Portage County Commissioners are offering working capital loans to assist small businesses re-start operations.

These loans are 24-month amortized repayment period at an interest rate of 2% with an initial 3-month deferral of principal and interest.

Loan Criteria:

  1. Taxes must be current through 3/31/20

  2. Borrower must be able to demonstrate, based on the previous 2 years tax returns or financial statements, that payments can be made at a minimum DSC of 1:1.

  3. Borrower must provide a detailed description of the use of funds.

  4. Minimum of 1 LMI Job Retained (Business owner does not qualify)

  5. Collateral will be a UCC filing on all business assets, or for longer terms, Real Estate.

  6. Personal Guarantees of all owners with more than 20% ownership are required.

Interested businesses should contact:

Jen Davis

jdavis@ndsohio.org

Jim Shank

jshank@ndsohio.org

(330) 671-0540

(330) 389-9480

Businesses will be eligible for up to $10,000 in Economic Development Revolving Loan Funds for working capital to restart their businesses.  It is available in every community except the City of Kent.  Some communities may have Kent mailing addresses but are outside the city limits.  This includes Franklin Township and Brimfield.  Businesses located there would be eligible for this loan.

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      5/4/2020

***Here is the information page with updated information on allowing agricultural businesses to apply for the EIDL and advance:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

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Payment Protection Program Update

The Payment Protection Program officially commenced on April 3rd, 2020 as part of the CARES Act. Due to the large volume of applicants and limited funds, many people missed out on the 1st round of funding which officially dried up on Thursday, April 17th. However, before that that happened, congress was putting together more PPP funding and another $310 billion has been added this week so that lenders can offer more forgivable loans to small businesses.

Betterfin is currently one of the only places where business owners can get free advisement regarding federal funding (PPP and EIDL) and use a digitized process to put together and submit PPP applications. The implementation of PPP is complex, but we are working closely with the SBDC to get the most updated news and facts regarding the program out to the public domain.

Our major recommendation regarding PPP: if you have not submitted, you need to do so immediately. This round of funding will most likely be gone this week.

April 29th COVID 19 assistance info from Betterfin

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4/21/2020

News from the SBDC

Update on the EIDL and PPP Loan Programs and What You Should Be Doing

Hopefully your application has been reviewed, approved and you have been contacted. If all that has happened, you should expect to be funded within the next week to 10 days. If you applied but have not been contacted, you are probably in the que waiting for the money for the loans to be replenished. If you want to check status for the PPP loan, contact your bank as they are handling these loans. If you have applied for an EIDL your application has gone straight to the SBA for review and processing. If you want to check your loan status you can call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or you can send an email to disastercustomerservice@SBA.gov. Note, in all these cases there may be delays in finding the status of your loan due to the large volume of applications.

If you have not yet applied and intend to do so you need to be prepared and you need to act quickly. Only 10% of the nation’s small businesses have applied for the loan programs and it ran out of money in two weeks. Whatever amount of money they put into the programs won’t last long so don’t hesitate.

What can you do right now:

Contact your financial institution to understand their application process: Depending on the bank they may be able to give you guidance on what you will need for them to process your application. This is primarily for the PPP loans as the banks get to make their own rules on how they deal with requests.

Prepare Your Financials: Use this time to pull together the financial documents required by the SBA or the bank to make a credit decision. If you are not ready when it is your turn to be reviewed and you have to go back and pull together financials you could lose your place in line.

Be Prepared to Apply: Pay attention to when congress adds money to the program and when the SBA portal will reopen. Sign-up for SBA Updates, https://www.sba.gov/updates and updates from your bank so you will be notified. When you can begin applying, do so immediately so you don’t get shut out!

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Kim Woodbury has created a new pre-recorded webinar about uses and forgiveness with PPP.  Thank you Kim!!!

https://youtu.be/nqUJ2krNsLI

Here is all the new information that came out 4/24/2020:

SBA/Treasury Releases Additional PPP Guidance – How to Calculate Maximum Loan Amounts – by Business Type >

SBA releases Procedural Notice on Participation Sales of PPP Loans >

 SBA/Treasury publishes 4 new FAQ >

Housing stipends; principal residence in US; Ag producer, farmer, rancher eligibility

SBA releases new Interim Final Rule:

Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program Requirements – Promissory Notes, Authorizations, Affiliation, and Eligibility >

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PROGRESS, NOT PANIC 2020 SBDC VIDEO SERIES

5 Things You Need to Apply for Funding

The Covid-19 pandemic may have put your business on hold but you can still work ON your business even if you can’t work IN it. In the fourth video of our new Progress, Not Panic 2020 video series, Certified Business Advisor Kevin Hammond explains in 5 Things You Need to Apply for Funding the various documents and types of information you will need to prepare as part of your loan package.

“5 Things You Need to Apply for Funding” focuses on debt financing and will address source and use of funds, profit and loss statements, business plan, personal financial statements and tax returns. Don’t miss the extra tips at the end of the video! Follow the link below to view the video and get the documents.

Progress, Not Panic Video Seriessbdccolumbus.com/events/progress

PROGRESS, NOT PANIC 2020.

TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS

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SBA Coronavirus Pandemic Disaster Loans Comparison Chart

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Borrower Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application_9.30.2020

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small-business-owner-s-guide-to-the-cares-act-final-

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CARES ACT Help with Rent etc.

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New information on an ECDI Recovery Loan

https://www.ecdi.org/invest/ecdi-recovery-loan

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Alternative Loan Program to be offered by the Federal Reserve

In case you haven’t heard about it already, see the link below for an alternative loan program for larger employers to be offered by the Federal Reserve.  The loans are not forgiven like the PPP, but do serve as an alternative for those shut out of PPP:

https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/mainstreetlending.htm

If the link doesn’t work try pasting it into a browser.

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COVID-19 SCAMS!

If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, tax, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond.  These are scams.  Please contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.

Also, please remember to check with the Better Business Bureau regarding businesses about whom you may have questions or other information you may need.  https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus

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Don’t Get Scammed!

LAROSE WARNS OHIO BUSINESSES TO WATCH FOR DECEPTIVE LETTERS

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose today warned Ohio business owners to be on the lookout for a deceptive mailing from a business that is selling government documents for a significantly marked up price. 

The Secretary of State’s office provides Certificates of Good Standing to Ohio businesses, a document that confirms a business is properly registered and authorized to do business in the state of Ohio. While this certificate is not required to do business, it is sometimes needed by a business and is provided by the Secretary of State’s office for the cost of five dollars.

Secretary LaRose recently learned of a letter being sent to some business owners from a company called “OH Certificate Service” with an address of 1391 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 332, Columbus, OH 43212. The letter implies that business owners need a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s Office and the letter seeks to charge the business owner $67.50 for the Certificate. It’s not evident at this time how many Ohio businesses may have received this letter. 

In response, Secretary LaRose has added the following text to the communication new businesses receive from his office upon the business’ approval:

In the future if you need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing, you may pay the $5.00 fee and instantly download from the website:

OhioSoS.gov/GoodStanding(opens in a new window). In most cases, a business would only need a Certificate of Good Standing when registering to do business in another state or country, competing for a government contract, or when seeking funding, insurance or potential business partners.

LaRose is also working with the Ohio General Assembly to explore legislation that will require businesses attempting to provide Certificates of Good Standing to include text that informs the recipient that these certificates are available at the Secretary’s office for five dollars. Additionally, the Secretary is referring this case to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien to investigate whether this exorbitant markup constitutes any legal wrongdoing.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), small businesses nationwide have lost over $290 million to scammers over the past several years. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) states that “scam activity directed at small businesses is growing, that these scams pose a significant risk, and that they can result in a higher monetary loss than those targeting individuals.”

For more on the Ohio Secretary of State’s Business Services Division, visit OhioSoS.gov/Businesses(opens in a new window).

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Checklist for Managing in Times of Financial Difficulty

This checklist is designed to give guidance to businesses on how they can manage through difficult times. Difficulties can be caused by external factors such as a natural, economic or man-made disaster, a decrease in consumer confidence, rising fuel prices, increased competition, difficulty accessing finances and/or increasing interest rates; or they could be caused by internal factors such as poor risk management, failure to manage cash flow properly or because of low profit margins.
Regardless of the causes, small businesses need to take action when the going gets tough. While there is no single cure-all, there are many steps a business owner can take to manage through the difficult times and position the business for future growth.
This checklist provides some tips and suggestions.

OSBDC-Checklist-Managing-in-Times-of-Financial-Difficulty

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Business Resiliency Guide: Keeping the Lights on

America’s SBDC, Grow with Google and the Washington SBDC Network teamed together to bring small businesses across the country a Small Business Resiliency Guide.

The materials cover;

  • Identify your critical resources

  • Plan to use alternative resources

  • Respond with your plan

  • Bring your business back to normal

PLUS

  • Discover Google tools that can help you work and manage your business during this time of uncertainty

  • Get insights on more online and timely resources for small businesses

Get the Resiliency Guide & Materials

Learn more about Grow with Google

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Announcing Crain’s New Podcast:
Small Business Lifeline

Every Thursday, Small Business Lifeline highlights a specific topic to assist the small business community with timely expert advice and updates. Each episode features in-depth interviews with top policy makers and business owners to give listeners concrete answers to the questions that are keeping them up at night when it comes to surviving a pandemic

Hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Christine Haughney Dare-Bryan, Crain’s new podcast focuses on helping small businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis and rebuild for the future.

Every Thursday, Small Business Lifeline will highlight a specific topic to assist the small business community with timely advice and updates. Each episode features in-depth interviews with top policy makers and business owners to give listeners concrete answers to questions keeping them up at night when it comes to surviving this pandemic.

EPISODE 1: SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF

EPISODE 2: TIPS FOR NEGOTIATING RENT 

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Businesses with less than 500 employees can get funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. More on this and other IRS info related to COVID-19 outbreak at: www.irs.gov/coronavirus

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  Please click on the following hyplerlink for the printable workplace poster.

DOL – FFCRA Poster Non-Federal 3-25-2020  

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Ohio Department of Job & Family Services regarding mass lay off instructions:

All Ohio employers planning a mass layoff or shutdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should provide the following mass-layoff number – 2000180 – and the second link below to an instructional sheet to their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits.

COVID-19-affected claimants with otherwise valid applications for unemployment will be awarded benefits. While claimants must still meet the weekly requirements that they be able and available for work, the requirement that they actively search for work while receiving benefits has been waived.

COVID-19-affected contributory employers will receive regular monthly charge statements, but these charges will be charged to the mutual account and not the employer’s account.

Reimbursing employers will follow existing charging requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4141.

For more information, please see the press release at the following link:
Press Release: http://jfs.ohio.gov/RELEASES/pdf/031620-ODJFS-Provides-COVID-Number.stm

Instructional Sheet: https://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS00671

*Employers, please let affected employees know that unemployment benefits are taxed at the federal level (for planning purposes.)*

*To learn more about unemployment assistance, call 877-644-6562.*

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Great information on Workers’ Comp Payment Deferral, Health Insurance grace period, and more!

BWC-Health Insurance etc. info during COVID 19

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has approved sending employers $1.6 billion to ease the impact of the coronavirus on the state’s economy and businesses.

The dividend equals roughly 100% of premiums employers paid in policy year 2018. About $1.4 billion will go to private employers, with the rest going to local tax districts such as counties, schools and municipalities .

Checks will be mailed later this month.

The dividend follows other recent moves by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to ease COVID-19’s strain on employers. In late March, the agency told employers they could defer their monthly premium installment payments for March, April, and May until June 1. The bureau also waived or postponed some requirements and deadlines for several programs that reduce employer premiums and applied the discounts automatically.

More information is available on the bureau’s Frequently Asked Questions page. Other questions related to the coronavirus outbreak can be sent to bwccovid19@bwc.state.oh.us.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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This is a hard time for many who have suddenly been laid off or will be soon. Multiple area businesses are still open and hiring now.

  • Amazon

  • Giant Eagle, Heinen’s, Marc’s, Discount Drug Mart

  • GOJO, Parisco

  • Other essential retail

  • Healthcare

Openings at Amazon start at $17/hour for thousands of positions in Northeast Ohio. Find out more information at Amazon Jobs.
Several organizations and media outlets are developing resource lists

Apply online at OhioMeansJobs.com

Please pass these resources on to your contacts and communities. If you have developed similar resources or know of openings, please let us know so that we can support your efforts.

Steve Fritsch
Vice President, Engagement and Promotion
Team NEO

Team NEO
1111 Superior Avenue, Suite 1600
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
216.363.5400

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Are You Hiring?

Portage County is!

https://www.co.portage.oh.us/human-resources/pages/job-opportunities 

Current Job Openings:

Current Available Position(s)

Post your open positions on Portage is Hiring!

Portage is Hiring (PIH) is a free job-board, available to all Portage County employers!

The PIH website was created as part of the Portage Development Boards workforce attraction initiative. More information on PIH can be found below:

Stay up on Portage County Events!

www.portagedevbd.org

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The SBA’s mission is to empower small businesses with the resources and support that they need to start and grow their businesses, no matter what stage of the business lifecycle they are at. This mission is no different during times of natural or economic hardship.

We stand behind Ohio’s 950,000 small businesses. Our top priority is to ensure that the state’s small businesses can continue providing needed products and services, driving the economic prosperity of our local communities. 

Our staff will continue to support small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their preparedness plans. I urge you to visit the resources listed below for more information and to follow us on Twitter for updates.

SBA Guidance & Assistance for Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has posted information regarding loan programs and guidance for businesses:

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC Guidance & Prevention Protocols for Businesses

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses and is updating them as new developments occur.

Please refer to the following links for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19:

·     Resources for Business & Employers

·     General Info & FAQs

·     Steps to Preventing Illness

·     Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

COVID-19 Resources

Inbox for legislative inquiries: questions@governor.ohio.govOhio

Department of Health Hotline: 1833-4-ASK-ODH

Ohio Department of Health Website: coronavirus.ohio.gov

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Huntington is offering the following programs to consumers and businesses, effective immediately:

  • Consumer Payment Deferral Program: For consumers facing a financial hardship related to family sickness or workplace closures due to COVID-19, Huntington will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact.

  • Small Business Payment Deferral Program: For small businesses experiencing financial hardship related to family sickness or workplace closures due to COVID-19, Huntington will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact.

  • Late Fees on Consumer Loan Suspension Program: Huntington has suspended late fees on consumer loan payments. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program.

  • Late Fees on Business Banking Loan Suspension Program: Huntington has suspended late fees on business loan payments. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program

  • Repossession Halt Program: Huntington has suspended initiating new repossession actions for vehicles, RVs, or marine craft. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program.

  • Suspension of Foreclosure Program: Huntington has suspended initiating any new residential property foreclosure actions unless required by federal or government agencies. This suspension is effective through the end of March 2020, and we will continue to evaluate considerations to extend this program.

Customers may contact Huntington at 1-800-480-BANK (2265) to speak with a customer service representative about products or programs that are available. Information about additional services is available at https://www.huntington.com/coronavirus

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https://www.ohiomfg.com  

Yesterday, the OMA held a call for manufacturers to learn about Ohio’s stay-at-home order and what it means for employers, as well as to share information to help keep employees safe.  (The OMA’s legal counsel, Bricker & Eckler, has produced this analysis of Ohio’s stay-at-home order and its impact on manufacturers.)

State Actions

  • The stay-at-home order issued by the Ohio Department of Health went into effect last night (Monday, March 23) at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until at least Monday, April 6.

  • During today’s press briefing, both the governor and Lt. Gov. Husted discussed the stay-at-home order and its impact on essential businesses — including manufacturers and their suppliers. Lt. Gov. Husted said the best advice for essential businesses is that they read the order (see Section 15) and be able to explain their rationale for remaining open, if questioned — and to be prepared to demonstrate how the company is complying with the order’s directives to protect employee health. Employees who are not essential to operations should work from home, he said.

  • Gov. DeWine has ordered a freeze on state hiring immediately, with an exception for those who are directly involved in fighting the coronavirus. State agencies are looking to cut their budgets by up to 20%.

  • The governor announced that any child care facility that remains open to care for children under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license must give priority to families on the “front line” of the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily health care workers and first responders.

  • The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has updated its website with links to a form that employers can provide to employees who have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic to expedite their claim process. Also, this ODJFS web page is specifically for employers seeking answers to coronavirus-related Unemployment Insurance questions.

Assistance for Businesses

  • JobsOhio will offer a six-month deferral of payment of loans for the nearly 50 companies that have executed loan agreements with JobsOhio.

Federal

  • The CDC has updated its interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor has revised its COVID-19 page.

  • On Capitol Hill, a procedural vote on Senate Republicans’ $1.8 trillion “phase three” stimulus package failed earlier today — the second time in less than 24 hours.

  • HR Dive has published “five things to know” about the new “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA) federal law, which mandates paid leave during the COVID-19 outbreak. The law takes effect Thursday, April 2. (For more on the FFCRA, see guidance from the OMA’s legal counsel, Bricker & Eckler.)

  • The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will issue a non-enforcement policy for 30 days after the FFCRA, goes into effect. The 30-day period will give manufacturers time to come into compliance with the law, and the DOL will focus on compliance assistance rather than enforcement for manufacturers that have acted in good faith to comply.

  • A second SBA loan relief program is currently being considered by Congress. OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has published this analysis on what the package could contain.

National Association of Manufacturers

  • To help companies navigate the regulatory climate during these turbulent times, the NAM will host a compliance and enforcement conference call on Wednesday, March 25, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). Register here.

OMA Connections Partners

  • Calfee has published this helpful summary called, “What You Need to Know Now About Workers’ Compensation in COVID-19 Ohio.”

  • Roetzel has published this article called, “Unemployment Benefits: What Employers Need to Know,” which includes a section for Ohio.

  • Roetzel has also published this list of temporary policy changes implemented by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in response to COVID-19.

Ohio Cases of COVID-19

  • At last check, Ohio had 442 confirmed cases, 104 individuals hospitalized, and six deaths. Positive test results have now been found in 46 counties. The median age of those diagnosed is 52 years old.

For health-related questions regarding COVID-19, contact the Ohio Department of Health’s call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). The OMA encourages members to check for updates from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, as well as the OMA’s COVID-19 Resources Page.

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A Messsage from the IRS: Beware Phony Charities

With several natural disasters already making headlines,

folks also have to be aware of phony charities that may

take advantage of these and other causes. The IRS has a

special online tool where taxpayers can determine the

status of a particular non-profit. Please view here

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search

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WOMEN VETERAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM (WVETP)

 The SBA is inviting proposals for funding from eligible non-profit organizations, local and state agencies and institutions of higher learning to further build their capacity to market and deliver their existing entrepreneurship training program(s) to women service members and veterans as well as women military spouses who aspire to be small business owners or currently own a small business.

A total of $300,000 in funding is available for the program in FY 2020. SBA expects to make up to six (6) awards; minimum award of $25,000, maximum award of $300,000.

For more information on this opportunity, click here.

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Tax Tip of the Week – Author – Norman S Hicks, CPA
November 13, 2019

Veterans Who Own Small Businesses Can Follow the IRS on Their Smart Phones

I am a subscriber of IRS publications and recently received the following article which I wanted to share with our readers. The article is directed toward veterans who are small business owners but the following article and the links provided can be used by any small business owner, and by individuals as well. To all the veterans out there – all of us at Bradstreet & Company would like to thank you for your service and hope you had a great Veterans Day.
-Norman S. Hicks

Veterans who are small business owners likely have lots of questions about their business taxes. National Veterans Small Business Week is as good a time as any other to connect with the IRS over social media.

These business owners can pull out their smart phone or their computer and follow the IRS on these social media sites and apps:

Twitter
@IRSsmallbiz tweets geared specifically to small business owners
@IRSnews posts tax-related announcements and tips
@IRStaxpros tweets news and guidance for tax professionals
@IRSenEspanol has the latest tax information in Spanish
@IRSTaxSecurity tweets tax scam alerts

Instagram
Small business taxpayers can get tax tips and helpful news from the IRS on Instagram. The agency’s official Instagram account is IRSNews, which users can access on their smartphone.

YouTube
The IRS offers video tax tips on its small business playlist. Videos are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Facebook
The IRS uses Facebook to post news and information for taxpayers and tax return preparers. The IRS also has a Facebook page in Spanish.

LinkedIn
The IRS uses LinkedIn to share agency updates and job opportunities.

IRS2Go App
The IRS also has their own app, IRS2Go. Taxpayers can use this free mobile app to check their refund status, pay taxes, find free tax help, watch IRS YouTube videos and get IRS Tax Tips by email. Like Instagram, the IRS2Go app is available from the Google Play Store for Android devices or from the Apple App Store for Apple devices. IRS2Go is available in both English and Spanish.

Thank you for all of your questions, comments and suggestions for future topics. As always, they are much appreciated. We may be reached in our Dayton office at 937-436-3133 or in our Xenia office at 937-372-3504. Or, visit our website.

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GrowNOW is a partnership between eligible banks and the Ohio Treasurer’s office. The program enables small business owners to receive up to a 3% interest rate reduction on new or existing small business loans for two years, with the opportunity for renewals. Small business owners must commit to the creation or retention of at least one full-time job or two part-time jobs in the State of Ohio for every $50,000 borrowed, up to $400,000. GrowNOW broadly serves as a catalyst for Ohio’s economic development by supporting the small businesses that drive it.

http://treasurer.ohio.gov/grownow

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Fiscal Year 2020 – Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – October 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020 Deadlines

Rural Development is accepting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program.  The next application deadline is October 31, 2019. This deadline is for projects requesting $20,000 or less.  

The final deadline for accepting REAP applications in Fiscal Year 2020 is March 31, 2020. This deadline is for projects requesting grants of $20,000 or less and for projects requesting grants of up to $500,000.

In brief, this program is designed to assist rural, small, for-profit businesses and agricultural producers install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. These types of improvements can help eligible applicants control energy costs and improve the overall profitability of their operations. The grant program can cover up to 25% of the eligible project costs or $500,000, whichever is less. The loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs.  Federal participation cannot exceed 75% of eligible project costs.

Grants can range from $1,500 to $500,000 with loan guarantees up to $25,000,000.

Applications requesting only the REAP loan guarantee are received, reviewed and processed on a continual basis throughout the fiscal year.

In previous years, this program has helped farmers replace grain dryers; fans and lights for livestock operations; and install solar PV arrays to help offset electrical consumption. Small businesses have benefited through high efficiency lighting; improvements to HVAC systems; and the installation of a renewable energy system to help offset electrical consumption.  

Additional information can be found at: Rural Energy for America Program.

Should you be interested in discussing a specific project or in receiving an application for your project, please contact one of the persons listed below:

Josh Smith                           joshua.smith7@usda.gov            614-255-2426

Jennifer Brown                 Jennifer.Brown@usda.gov      614-255-2423

Randy Monhemius           Randy.Monhemius@usda.gov      614-255-2424

www.rd.usda.gov  “Committed to the future of rural communities”

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs Survey

 For businesses to grow in Ohio, training providers, educators, and workforce professionals need to know the future hiring needs of employers. Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs List helps drive the state and federal investments in our workforce. As we design Ohio’s list, we want to make sure it accurately reflects the needs of Ohio businesses – your needs. So, help us help you. Your feedback will directly shape Ohio’s workforce priorities

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted will be continuing efforts on the In-Demand Jobs Survey to forecast future workforce needs and create the In-Demand Jobs List. A top priority remains maintaining an accurate and useful In-Demand Jobs List and to do that, we need your help.

To take the survey, click here.

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Patent Pro Bono Program for independent inventors and small businesses

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2020 Ohio Minimum Wage To Be $8.70 Per Hour. As of January 1, 2020the minimum wage for non-tipped employees in Ohio will rise from $8.55 to $8.70 per hour, a 15-cent increase. Any tipped employees will have their base pay go from $4.30 to $4.35 an hour.

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Online Business Filings

Connect with Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.  Learn about the resources and programs available in the Secretary of State’s office. Get information on how to start your own business and elections.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration Columbus District Office will present a FREE webinar for small business owners and entrepreneurs through ATT Connect. This webinar will provide information about financing options for your business; SBA loans, programs and services; how to apply for a loan; and, what to include in your business plan. The webinar should last about 40 minutes with a Q&A at the end. ATT Connect is a call-in and web site login conferencing system which provides an audio presentation over the phone and a video presentation over the internet. All that is needed to participate is a computer with internet access and a phone to call a toll-free number. This webinar will be offered on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The Webinar is FREE, but registration is required so that you may receive instructions and the access code needed to participate.

The link is: https://sbawebinarwednesday.eventbrite.com

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Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Business Services Video Series

OOD has been working on producing a series of short videos about their business partnerships and the services they provide. Topics covered include:

  • How OOD Can Help Meet Your Workforce Needs
  • Employer Resources and Incentives
  • Effective Interaction with Individuals with Disabilities
  • Promoting Employer Peer to Peer Networking Opportunities
  • Workforce Success Stories

To view this video series, click here.

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Ohio Proud Partners

If you produce a food or agricultural product that is at least 50 percent grown, raised or processed in Ohio, you can become an Ohio Proud partner. Ohio Proud will distinguish your products in the crowded marketplace, and increase sales for your company and retailer.

Mailing:

Ohio Proud
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

Phone: 1-800-IMPROUD (1-800-467-7683)

Fax: 614-466-7754

Email: ohioproud@agri.ohio.gov

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Job Description Writer:

Did you know the Department of Labor has a free tool to help small businesses develop position descriptions?

http://www.careeronestop.org/businesscenter/jdw/gettingstarted.aspx

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The SBA Blog:

Best Hiring Practices: What You Can and Can’t Ask a Job Applicant

In the course of your search for your next employee there are federal and state rules you will want to keep in mind.

According to the NFIB*  (National Federation of Independent Business), 62% of small businesses recently reported hiring or trying to hire employees. Many small businesses are stressed to find qualified job applicants and are scrambling to fill positions. If you are in the market for a new employee, there are many considerations: Does the applicant have the skills to do the job? Will he or she fit into your company culture? Can you afford the cost of a potential new employee? Great questions to ask. But in the course of your search for your next employee, be sure you don’t run afoul of federal and state rules. If you go about it the wrong way, you not only can lose out on hiring the next best employee, but can be exposed to possible legal action against you. Here are federal and state rules to observe so you can hire wisely.  Learn More Here

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This message is a reminder to all sales and use tax practitioners and taxpayers that the February 2020 monthly sales and use tax returns are due March 23, 2020.

Taxpayers are required to file sales and use tax returns electronically via the Ohio Business Gateway at gateway.ohio.gov.  Alternatively, taxpayers may file sales tax returns for county vendor’s licenses (vendor’s license numbers beginning 01-88) through TeleFile by calling (800) 697-0440. 

Please visit our website at www.tax.ohio.gov or contact the Department at (888) 405-4039 with any questions regarding sales and use tax.

Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039

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The Ohio Department of Taxation has updated the Sales/Use Tax Application for Refund (ST AR) and the Sales/Use Tax Refund Checklist (ST AR C) form.  
 The new forms are available on the Department’s website: https://www.tax.ohio.gov/Forms.aspx
 
Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039

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The Pass-Through Entity Tax instruction booklets for Tax Year 2019 are now available for your reference in filing these returns (IT 4708, IT 1140 and IT 1041) that for most entities, trusts and estates are due by April 15, 2020. The booklets are located on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s web page at https://www.tax.ohio.gov/Forms.aspx

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Out-of-state companies must pay business tax, Ohio’s top court rules

State of Ohio Taxes More +

By Jay Miller

Crain’s Cleveland Business

Out-of-state businesses that sell into Ohio but have no physical presence will have to pay the state’s commercial activity tax (CAT), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, Nov. 17.

In three 5-2 decisions, the state’s high court ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which requires a physical presence in a state to allow the state to collect sales tax, does not apply to the CAT.

“(T)he physical-presence requirement recognized and preserved by the United States Supreme Court for purposes of use-tax collection does not extend to business-privilege taxes such as the CAT,” associate justice Willliam O’Neill wrote, affirming a Board of Tax Appeals decision against Virginia-based Crutchfield Corp., one of the three cases decided together.

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote a dissenting opinion in the Crutchfield case arguing that a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying that a physical presence in a state is required for taxing an out-of-state company, and “we are bound by the court’s prior holdings and by Congress’s inaction on this issue, given its power to regulate interstate commerce.”

In 2005, the Ohio General Assembly overhauled the state’s business tax system and created the CAT, which taxes gross receipts on business transacted in the state. These cases challenged a tax commissioner ruling that transactions by Ohio consumers that result in goods shipped into the state are considered gross taxable receipts subject to the CA

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To maximize awareness, the Ohio Department of Taxation is sharing an alert from the Security Summit regarding a new Two Stage E-mail Scheme that targets tax professional. Please visit www.irs.gov for additional information.

Partners, The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and tax industry leaders are warning tax professionals to be alert to an email scam from cybercriminals posing as clients soliciting their services. A new variation of this phishing scheme is targeting accounting and tax preparation firms nationwide. The scheme’s objective is to collect sensitive information that will allow fraudsters to prepare fraudulent tax returns. These latest phishing emails come in typically two stages. The first email is the solicitation, which asks tax professionals questions such as “I need a preparer to file my taxes.” If the tax professional responds, the cybercriminal sends a second email. This second email typically has either an embedded web address or contains a PDF attachment that has an embedded web address. In some cases, the phishing emails may appear to come from a legitimate sender or organization (perhaps even a friend or colleague) because they also have been victimized. Fraudsters have taken over their accounts to send phishing emails. The tax professional may think they are downloading a potential client’s tax information or accessing a site with the potential client’s tax information. In reality, the cybercriminals are collecting the preparer’s email address and password and possibly other information. The IRS urges tax professionals and tax preparation firms to consider creating internal policies or obtain security experts’ recommendations on how to address unsolicited emails seeking their services. One tip: Never respond to or click on a link in an unsolicited email or PDF attachment from an unknown sender. As the IRS, states and the tax industry make progress in the fight against identity theft, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to steal additional client information. Criminals need more data in their effort to impersonate clients and file fraudulent returns to claim refunds, and schemes like this can help in this effort. Read more at Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself, the Security Summit initiative to increase awareness about the tax professional community.

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SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff avoidance program that allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during

times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce employees’ work hours, but employees keep their jobs

and receive prorated unemployment benefits for up to 52 weeks.

Employers that do not already have access to Ohio’s unemployment system must register online. To obtain a registration code, call (614) 466-4047.

For more information, call (866) 733-0025, option 3, or visit jfs.ohio.gov/ouc/SharedWorkOhio

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What is new hire reporting?

By law, all employers in Ohio must report ALL employees to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center, including new hires, re-hires, temporary or seasonal hires, and independent contractors.

State and federal laws require all employers to report each new and re-hired employee to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of the date of hire.

Failure to report a new employee could result in a financial penalty.

Employers are key partners in helping children in Ohio receive the child support they deserve by promptly and consistently reporting new hires. New hire information is used to establish and enforce child support orders.

The following information is REQUIRED on all new hire reports:

  • Employer FEIN
  • Employer name
  • Employer payroll address
  • Employer e-mail, phone, fax
  • Employee social security number
  • Employee name
  • Employee address
  • Date of hire (first day of work)
Include this information if reporting an Independent Contractor:
  • Independent contractor’s name
  • Independent contractor’s address
  • Independent contractor’s Social Security (SSN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Date payment begins
  • Length of time the independent contractor will be performing services for the employer

Why must I report?

Employers serve as key partners in ensuring stability for many children and families. New hire reporting speeds up the child support income withholding order process, expedites collection of child support from parents who have changed jobs, and quickly locates parents to help in establishing paternity and child support orders. New hire reporting helps children receive the support they need.

Who must report?

ALL employers doing business in Ohio must report all newly hired and returning employees. A new employee is considered any individual who is eligible for federal income tax withholding and provides a service to the employer. This includes part-time and temporary employees, and employees returning to work after a period of absence, such as seasonal employees.

An Independent Contractor is defined as “an individual who provides services to an employer as an independent contractor, for compensation that is reported as income other than wages, and who is an individual, the sole shareholder of a corporation, or the sole member of a limited liability company.”

What if I have employees in several states?

If you are a multi-state employer, you may choose to report your new hires electronically to one state. If you choose this option, you must provide written notification of your intent. Contact the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to register by visiting www.acf.dhhs.gov .

Reporting your new hires online is fast and simple and will ensure timely receipt of your new hire reports. Visit our website at www.oh-newhire.com to register.

Questions? Contact Us:

Ohio New Hire Reporting Center
P.O. Box 15309
Columbus, OH 43215-0309
www.oh-newhire.com
Phone: (888) 872-1490
Fax: (888) 872-1611

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What is Form I-9?

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.

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Home > E-Verify > What is E-Verify?

What is E-Verify?

What is E-Verify Monitor ImageE-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

Instant Verification of Employment Eligibility

E-Verify’s most impressive features are its speed and accuracy. E-Verify is the only free, fast, online service of its kind that verifies employees’ data against millions of government records and provides results within as little as three to five seconds.

Today, E-Verify is:

  • Used nationwide by more than 600,000 employers of all sizes
  • Used at more than 1.9 million hiring sites
  • Joined by about 1,400 new participating companies every week
  • One of the federal government’s highest-rated services for customer satisfaction

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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Free podcasts: Securing Your Critical Data

GBSCorp recently published some podcasts regarding Securing Your Critical Data, which has some good information for companies as it relates to ensuring their company data is safe and secure.

Below is the link to the page with their podcasts on it.  One can listen to them without signing up for anything.

https://www.gbscorp.com/gbs-smart-business-solutions-podcast-2/

www.gbscorp.com

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Ohio EPA – www.epa.ohio.gov

Training Publications FAQ DEFA Home Forward to a Friend Subscribe

Helping communities and businesses access compliance, technical and financial assistance for their environmental needs.

Ohio Materials Marketplace is a new, free online platform whereby Ohio businesses, not-for-profits and government organizations can advertise and acquire scrap and by-product materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. The new Ohio Materials Marketplace allows these organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs, thereby facilitating the shift towards a circular, closed-loop economy.

Examples of materials posted on the marketplace (and their potential re-uses) include common items such as bulk wooden pallets (mulch base) or used bricks (building materials). Other items reflect materials from industrial processes such spent foundry sand (to be mixed with potting soil), and specialized items such as spent hydro-treating catalyst (metals recovery).

Along with browsing for materials, users of the marketplace can post “wanted” items, thereby, seeking items that may serve as substitutes for raw materials or other items they currently purchase. Examples of such requests that have been posted thus far include bulk alumina oxide (for metals harvesting/recovery) and bulk food waste in packaging (to be used for aerobic digestion/energy recovery).

In the circular economy, products and by-products recirculate productively through reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and maintenance. Users of the Ohio Materials Marketplace can make or save money by finding a market for their unwanted materials and avoiding landfill tipping fees; buyers save money by having access to sellers’ discounted (or free) materials; Ohio’s environment benefits by having more material removed from the waste stream.

Ohio is the first state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. This leadership from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is paving the way for other states – through a new public-private partnership between the US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) – to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace over the next few years.

For more information on the Ohio Materials Marketplace and to get involved, please visit the program website at http://ohio.materialsmarketplace.org.

If you have specific questions about the program, please contact Joseph Klatt at materials.marketplace@epa.ohio.gov or 614-644-2798.

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The U.S. Postal Service has a mailing service called “Every Door Direct Mail” or EDDM. This is an opportunity for businesses and organizations to send Direct Mail advertisements to specific neighborhoods without the need or cost of mailing lists and permits.

Every Door Direct Mail is a great way that can potentially help increase your business with our advertising tool at USPS.COM

Every Door Direct Mail allows you to reach your local customers easily without names, addresses, or permits. You simply select the neighborhoods in your area based on demographics such as household size, age and income and we deliver your advertising mailpiece to each address. Every Door Direct Mail is relatively inexpensive. For example, currently priced at 18.3 cents per piece you could reach 1000 potential customers for only $183.00.

Cynthia M Mravec

Business Development Specialist

Cynthia.m.mravec@usps.gov

U.S.P.S. Northern Ohio

2200 Orange Ave Room 206

Cleveland, Ohio 44101

216-443-4142

www.usps.com

EDDM sample Pizza full menu

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In the News…Fund for Farmers

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and a group of Ohio investors are launching a loan fund for entrepreneurs and small- and mid-size sustainable and organic farmers.

The association and a group of Ohio investors have launced the OEFFA Investment Fund, initially putting in $500,000. Loans are expected to be in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. Equity and revenue-sharing agreements will be considered, based on applicants’ requests and other circumstances, the association said.

The fund is open to Ohio-based association members who are farms or related businesses in the agricultural supply chain. Entities receiving money from the fund must commit to support sustainable agricultural products throughout the life of the investment, the association said.

For more information, go online to http://www.oeffa.org/invest.php or call Carol Goland at 614-421-2022, or email oifinfo@oeffa.org.

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Business Taxes and Affordable Healthcare -the Affordable Care Act

From Business.USA.gov

The Virtual Small Business Workshop includes 9 lessons with 3 being identified as follows:

  • What you need to know about federal taxes and your new business;
  • What you need to know about federal taxes when hiring employees or contractors; and
  • How to make tax deposits and file a return to report your payroll taxes.

Please direct all questions to Business.USA.gov

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Fun word for merchants…and their customers!

A lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of
a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly,
“something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”
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