News & Opportunities

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

N.E. Ohio SBDC Network News & Events, and Community Partners News and Events

for additional important events!

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Small Business Saturday 2020

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small

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Ohio SBDC Small Business Tax Workshop

November 19, 2020, 6:00 PM -8:00 PM

Business tax laws, legal structure, deductions and expenses explained by local CPAs and tax professionals.

About this Free Online Event

Existing or prospective small business owners or the self-employed person can learn about their federal and state tax rights, requirements and responsibilities by attending the Ohio SBDC Small Business Tax Workshop.

The workshop is designed to provide a general overview of business taxes. Participants receive the instruction necessary for compliance to and with federal and state business tax requirements. Click here to learn more and register

 

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“Certificates of Good Standing” info

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.

 

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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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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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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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Looking to open a new business with the most visibility and a high volume of passers by? ODOT has a free database that will provide traffic count data for most major roads:

https://odot.ms2soft.com/tcds/tsearch.asp?loc=odot

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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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Fall 2020 Brings Exciting Changes to the Patents Organization

The USPTO has led a continuous effort to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.  Read the recent blog to learn more about USPTO’s reorganization

It has been our privilege to lead a continuous effort that empowers “America’s innovation agency” to better meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. Improved collaboration is critical to that effort, particularly within our Patents organization, which is why we recently reorganized our senior Patents management team. Among the benefits of the new, improved management structure is a work culture that encourages, debates, and embraces new ideas—ideas that will allow us to more nimbly serve our stakeholders and employees. 

By Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner for Patents | Continue reading

USPTO announces COVID-19 provisional patent application pilot program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced a collaborative deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program for inventions that combat COVID-19.

 

Read full news brief 

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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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There will be two (2) sales and use tax rate changes effective October 1, 2020.

  • The Hamilton County (31) sales and use tax rate will increase from 7.00% to 7.80% effective October 1, 2020.
  • The Tuscarawas County (79) sales and use tax rate will decrease from 7.25% to 6.75% effective October 1, 2020.

Please visit our website at tax.ohio.gov or contact the Department at 1-888-405-4039 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
Fax: (206) 339-9305

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This message is a reminder to all commercial activity tax (CAT) practitioners and taxpayers that the third quarter 2020 CAT return is due November 10, 2020. 
 
Taxpayers are required to file and pay the CAT electronically via the Ohio Business Gateway at gateway.ohio.gov.  
 
Please visit our website at tax.ohio.gov or contact the Department at 1-888-722-8829 with any questions regarding the CAT.
 
Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 16158
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6158
Telephone: (888) 722-8829
Fax: (206) 666-4462

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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.

 

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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 professionals.  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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