OCT
08

Everything You Need to Know about New Chip Enabled Credit Cards

Everything You Need to Know about New Chip Enabled Credit Cards

As of October 1, 2015 merchants across the nation were no longer able to accept run of the mill credit cards. As of October 8th, 2015 in fact, any credit card without a chip will be rendered useless. The purpose of this change is to reduce the instances of fraud – and although this change will not have a huge visible impact, it will definitely affect small businesses across the country. 

The new chip cards require EMV technology in order to be able to process payments, the chip essentially makes in-person fraud more difficult to get away with by providing a one-time use number to the merchant, instead of the card number itself.

What This Means for Merchants:

Credit card companies will no longer assume risk when it comes to credit card fraudulent transaction that do not use the new chip technology. However, if a card with a chip is swiped using the magnetic strip instead, the business will be liable – not the consumer and not the credit card company.

Because not all banks are issuing new cards immediately, most are waiting until current cards expire, this will cause some confusing in the transition time. It is estimated that not...

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SEP
23

Unchanged Interest Rates

Unchanged Interest Rates

Last Thursday the Federal Open Market Committee failed to change Interest Rates due to the fragility of the American economic expansion since the end of the recession. The Fed’s chairwoman, Janet Yellen told the Associated Press that the Fed would leave Interest rates at 0-.25% target range, which has not changed sine 2008, when America was in the midst of the financial crisis. The decision was made due to inflation running below the long term objective and although it is still expected that downward pressures on inflation will fade over time, uncertainties about our global community fueled the decision. Yellen mentioned that since the end of the recession we have seen unemployment rates decrease, and overall labor market conditions have been on a steady increase in improvement, but economic doubts abroad as well as energy worries kept the Fed from raising rates. 

The Fed has not raised rates in over six years. They had put the interest rate close to zero in order to boost the economy, but many are left to wonder if they will ever raise the rates. The Fed has said that they do expect to raise rates, as it also expects economic growth to continue – and...

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AUG
19

SBA Loans and Their Positive Effect On the Economy

SBA Loans and Their Positive Effect On the Economy

Why SBA Loans are Good for the Economy

 

The future is looking bright for small businesses in the United States. In the two weeks since the U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase the Small Business Administration’s lending cap to $23.5 billion for the 7(a) loan guaranty program it has become ever more apparent that small businesses, and the economic boost they provide - are here for good.

 

Fiscal year 2015 was a record year for small business lending – which was clearly depicted when the SBA reached its $18.75 billion cap with two months left in the fiscal year. Although the Small Business Administration is not the only, or largest source of capital for small business owners, their programs are a good indicator of the overall health of U.S. small businesses and the small business market.

 

Because more and more businesses are looking for small business loan opportunities, and as these businesses grow and thrive – so does the U.S. Economy. According to an Experian Small Business Credit Index, credit balances and trades are continually expanding, as delinquency rates are declining and small businesses are hiring new employees at an even greater rate. All of these factors contribute to a growing quarterly index...

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JUL
28

Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program Shutdown and Congress' Quick Reaction

Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program Shutdown and Congress' Quick Reaction

Late in the evening on July 23rd, 2015 the U.S. Senate voted to amend House Bill HR 4299 (The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015) to increase the 7(a) program cap to $23.5 billion for the 2015 fiscal year by unanimous consent. The measure moved to the House of Representatives yesterday, July 27th where it easily passed.

Previous to the 7/23 Senate Session the Small Business Administration reached its $18.7 billion cap for its main loan guaranty program at noon on that Thursday, effectively shutting down funding on all 7(a) loans.

The Small Business Administration acts as a guarantor to third party lenders on behalf of small-business owners through this 7(a) loan program, especially to the underserved communities like women, veterans and Latinos. 

Although Congress was able to act swiftly to put the program back on track, the SBA administrator had reached out to Congress in late June requesting assistance to avoid the shutdown of the program all together. The lending cap was on track to be met in August, but was met much earlier due to the record lending numbers in July. The Small Business Administrations 7(a) lending program is scheduled to open up by mid week.

The reopening of the...

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JUL
22

Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Real Estate Loans

Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Real Estate Loans

A commercial mortgage, or a commercial real estate loan is financing received from a lender to acquire, refinance or redevelop a commercial or business property. Banks, conduit lenders, government agencies, insurance companies, mortgage brokers and correspondent lenders all offer commercial real estate loans in the Unites States, the Small Business Administration also offers a 504 Loan program for commercial real estate. Commercial real estate loans are typically considered to be mortgage loans secured by liens on commercial, rather than residential, property. 

Although an individual may receive a commercial real estate loan, it is worth mentioning that most of the time these types of loans are awarded to business entities (corporations, LLC’s, trusts or funds). In order to receive a loan, the entity or individual must have a good, or positive financial history. If no financial history is available, the lender may require the owners of the entity to guarantee the loan or find a guarantor for the loan. This is important in the case of default; a lending institution must be certain that whatever loan they provide can be recovered. A lender may not take a guarantor and instead hold the property in case of default, called a non-recourse loan.

Commercial...

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JUN
19

Personal Credit v. Business Credit - What's the Difference?

Personal Credit v. Business Credit - What's the Difference?

 A variety of different factors come together to create your personal credit score. Different lenders take different types of information into account when deciding if a person is a viable lending option – be it for a business or personal loan. One thing does hold true however: personal credit matters. It matters because it will affect whether you can rent or buy a house, buy a car and it will even effect your chances of starting your own business. Virtually every small business owner in the United States can tell you, good personal credit can make all the difference when it comes to getting a business loan, because even your personal credit can affect your business credit.

Since October 2001 when the Patriot Act was passed you must supply a bank with both your business information and your personal information. This means that if your business credit is strong, but your personal credit is weak, you will have a harder time securing funding – you become a guarantor for your business.

All lenders will look at a persons personal credit history as a measurement to determine a persons financial future. The better your personal credit score, the more likely you are to...

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MAY
13

The Top Three Reasons Your Business Needs a Loan

The Top Three Reasons Your Business Needs a Loan

The small business lending environment has been experiencing a sharp uprising in the past few years since the end of the recession. This is not only good for business owners, it is also great for our local economy. Most businesses cannot survive on cash flow alone – in fact a good majority of business rely on small business loans to stay afloat. In today’s flux economic environment, a business loan is often the only option for a small business owner to help their companies grow and thrive.

There are many reasons business owners seek out financial assistance through small business loans, a few include: 

1. Inventory

Merchants have slow seasons and hot seasons – slow seasons precede holidays, making hard to stock up on inventory in time for the rush. Getting a business loan can give you the access you need to working capital to make sure you are fully stocked. Inventory loans are typically short-term and some banks even offer revolving lines of credit that help keep your cash flow positive.

2. Expansion


Expanding to new locations or just expanding your market reach takes a lot of working capital – but when your business is thriving, that is the best time to...

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MAY
04

National Small Business Week Starts Today

National Small Business Week Starts Today

May 4th 2015 marks the start of the 52nd annual National Small Business week. Every year, beginning in 1963 the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing one week to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

According the Small Business Administration more that 50 percent of Americans either own or are employed by a small business – in fact, two out of every three jobs was created by a small business owner. So one week, each year, we all take the time to recognize their innovation, creativity, hard work and most of all, the impact they have made on our communities.

Although the main event is held in multiple cities this week there are many ways every small business owner can get involved. The SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, will head to the NSBW events in one of the selected cities (Miami/Boca Raton, L.A., San Antonio, New York and Washington D.C) to participate in talks and panels including the CEO of Office Depot. But, if you aren’t in one of those five cities you can still actively participate in webinars and live stream every event on www.sba.gov or you can follow along on social...

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APR
28

Reform…The Last Frontier?

Reform…The Last Frontier?

Do you think that the federal government should simplify our tax code? Well you aren’t alone in thinking so – but the problem is one man’s positive reform is another negative. Closing loopholes and lowering rates has the ability to help and harm many American tax payers- which means that finding middle ground on any reform package is going to be, well… really, really hard.

Essentially the problem stems from the fact that every benefit that can be found in the tax code has its champions who want to pay lower rates. To get these lower rates another type of benefit must be eliminated. Meaning any tax reform would result in many discrepancies between different groups of tax payers. Some may lose most of their benefits while others gain more.

The American Institute of CPA’s has sent a written testimony to Congress highlighting the need and importance for a small business tax reform. In their letter the organization mentioned eight issues that it believes must be addressed urgently. These issues are:

  • Cash method of accounting
  • Civil tax penalties
  • Retirement Plans
  • Alternative Minimum tax repeal
  • Tangible property regulations – de minimis safe harbor threshold
  • Permanence of tax legislation
  • Tax return due date...
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