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SBA

4 Ways For Busy Business Owners To Keep Up With Bookkeeping

“One thing an accountant hates to see coming is a client with a box,” Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Analyst Kim Ray says.

Ray operated her own accounting business for 12 years before coming to SBDC and experienced those clients first hand. “When an accountant sees a box, the bill goes up,” she says with a smile.

Accountants are paid by the hour, she adds, and going through a year’s worth of receipts takes time.

Ray, who received her MBA from Virginia Tech in 2004, currently advises new and prospective business owners in Farmville’s SBDC office. One of the first things she tells her clients is to make time for record keeping.

“A lot of small business owners are so busy keeping up with the primary focus of their business that they don’t have time to do the administrative work,” Ray says.

The regimented nature of accounting, she adds, is also not appealing to everyone.

“There are a lot of rules and steps in accounting, and you can’t skip them,” she says. “You can’t be creative.”

While “creative accounting” is something you probably don’t want to do, there are creative ways to establish a recordkeeping system that works for you. Here are Ray’s tips:

Get organized!

Start by developing a system for organizing receipts, bank records and warranties for equipment. It can be a simple as dozen 8 by 10-inch envelopes, one for each month. Once you have source documents organized, you don’t have to keep them in reach. Just close them up, and you’re done.

Have a backup plan.

Before you throw those documents in a box or envelope, have some type of listing. Organize your documents and have a record-keeping system — it can be as simple as a ledger or a computer file. It’s also wise to back that data up in another location.

Seek assistance.

The worst scenario is not completing the first two tips. A business owner who doesn’t have time for bookkeeping should consider outsourcing. Hiring an accountant or other professional relieves stress and often saves money in the long run. The main thing is — bookkeeping needs to be done. Make a habit of record keeping.

Establish a CPA relationship.

It pays to have a CPA you can call for business advice. A CPA can look at a major purchase from a tax-wise perspective and provide legal representation on IRS issues. It never hurts to have a CPA look over what you’ve done. These professionals stay up to date on the latest laws — it’s always good to have expert advice.

To make an appointment or for more information on the services SBDC provides, contact the Longwood Small Business Development center at (434) 395-2086 or visit www.sbdc-longwood.com.

SBA Working Capital Loans Available in Virginia

Following Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Matthew, Drought and Excessive Heat in 2016

ATLANTA - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Virginia as a result of Hurricane Matthew, drought and excessive heat from June 29 through Oct. 7, 2016.

The SBA’s disaster declaration includes the following counties and independent cities: Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Emporia City, Greensville, Southampton and Sussex in Virginia.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible

farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.  With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.     

 The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years.  The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.  These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.  The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster.  Completed applications should be mailed to:          U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than Dec. 12, 2017.

 

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For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov/disaster.

SBA Administrator Honors Nation’s Top Small Businesses

Winners to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 30 – May 1

RICHMOND– Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announces Corliss Udoema, President and CEO of Contract Solutions, Inc.  

“It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and its territories,” McMahon said. “These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”

Contract Solutions, Inc. is 8(a) and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small business that provides professional support services to a wide array of federal and state government agencies and private sector clients. 

All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on April 30 – May 1 where they will be honored with their individual award along with recognition of the three runners-up and the naming of the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year. 

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 30 – May 6 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, Calif.

2017 SBA Small Business Week Awards Nomination Period Closes January 10, 2017

Richmond, VA – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Richmond District Director, Carl Knoblock, reminds Virginia small businesses the nomination period for the 2017 National and District Small Business Week Awards closes Tue., Jan. 10, 2017.

Since 1963, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions to their local communities, and to our nation’s economy. National Small Business Week is celebrated April 30 – May 6, 2017.

National awards include the annual Small Business Person of the Year. The dedicated website www.sba.gov/nsbw/awards, provides forms, criteria and guidelines for submitting a national nomination.

The Richmond District Office is also accepting nominations for its 2017 District Level Virginia Small Business Week Awards, those categories include: VA Small Business Person of the Year, VA Prime Contractor of the Year, VA 8(a) Graduate of the Year and VA Young Entrepreneur. More information on the district awards please click here.  

All nominations must be submitted no later than Tue., Jan. 10, 2017.  SBA will no longer be using the Small Business Week online portal. All nomination packages may only be hand delivered or mailed to the SBA Richmond District Office at 400 N 8th Street, Suite 1150 Richmond, VA 23219. Email submissions of SBA Awards forms will not be accepted as they contain personally identifiable information (PII). 

Questions regarding the awards can be directed to Monet Chapman at monet.chapman@sba.gov or 804-253-8133.

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