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!

 

 

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Small Business Saturday  –  November 30, 2019

In 2010, small businesses were hurting from an economy in recession.

In an effort to support local shops that make
our communities strong, American Express
launched Small Business Saturday® on the
Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage
people to Shop Small and bring more holiday
shopping to small businesses.

Situated between the long lines of Black Friday and the seemingly-minute-long online deals of Cyber Monday, is a relatively new holiday which glorifies the value of American small businesses: Small Business Saturday.

This national holiday, which was first celebrated in 2010, calls to attention the importance of shopping at the small businesses that serve as the backbone of the American economy and our local communities. Each year, Small Business Saturday draws crowds to main streets across the country with great deals on unique products and services, events that encourage shopping locally, and unique experiences that introduce you to commonly valued neighbors.

 

In a season of giving gifts to friends and family, lets give to our community by shopping locally. On Small Business Saturday, let’s shop in our community.

 

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Sign Up Today

Due to high-demand, registering to attend does not guarantee participation. Please watch your email for confirmation of your participation.

 

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SBA Disaster Loan Deadline is moved to Sept. 3, 2019 for Ohio
Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, Tornadoes, Flooding and Landslides

 

(The deadline for economic injury applications is March 18, 2020.)

 

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) encourages businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to apply for a disaster loan before the Aug. 19 deadline. Anyone in the declared counties in Ohio with damages caused by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding and landslides on May 27-29, 2019 should apply for the disaster recovery loan program. Additionally to date, SBA has approved over $11.6 million in low-interest disaster loans for Ohioans.

The disaster declaration covers Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mahoning, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry and Pickaway counties in Ohio which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Allen, Athens, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Guernsey, Hardin, Licking, Logan, Madison, Morgan, Noble, Portage, Preble, Ross, Shelby, Stark, Trumbull, Van Wert, Vinton, and Warren in Ohio; and Adams, Jay, Randolph and Wayne in Indiana; Lawrence, and Mercer in Pennsylvania.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s circumstances.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at Disasterloan.sba.gov.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]  Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit www.sba.gov.

 

 

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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

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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                           [email protected]            614-255-2426

Jennifer Brown                 [email protected]      614-255-2423

Randy Monhemius           [email protected]      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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Stay up on Portage County Events!

www.portagedevbd.org

 

 

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Patent Pro Bono Program for independent inventors and small businesses

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Minimum Wage Increase – Free Labor Posters

Ohio’s minimum wage increased to $8.55 for non-tipped employees starting January 1 for businesses grossing more than $314,000.

2019 minimum wage poster can be downloaded for free here.

 

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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: [email protected]

 

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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 June 2019 monthly sales and use tax returns and the January – June 2019 semi-annual sales and use tax returns are due July 23, 2019.

Taxpayers are required to file sales and use tax returns electronically via the Ohio Business Gateway at business.ohio.gov  or through TeleFile by calling (800)697-0440.

Please visit our website at tax.ohio.gov or contact the Department at 1-888-405-4089 with any questions regarding sales and use tax.

 

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This message is a reminder to all commercial activity tax (CAT) practitioners and taxpayers that the second quarter 2019 CAT return is due August 12, 2019.

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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There will be two (2) sales and use tax rate changes effective October 1, 2019.

  • The Allen County sales and use tax rate will increase from 6.75% to 6.85%.
  • The Crawford County sales and use tax rate will increase from 6.75% to 7.25%.

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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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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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 [email protected] 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

[email protected]

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 [email protected].

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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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