ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Office Hours

Posts tagged: small business

GSI hosts Thursday BizStreet session on digital marketing strategies

Marketing works. But how best to market in a digital world?

GSI is looking for ways to help area business owners answer the question.

Later this week — Thursday — it's hosting a session termed “Online Marketing, Taking the Next Step.”

The three hour BizStreet Intensive features Chris Reilly of Unleashed Online Marketing  and Ed Reese of Sixth Man Marketing. Spokesman.com did a feature on Ed a few years ago.

The two will describe options for businesses to maximize online presence and marketing. It starts with a coffee warmup at 7:30 a.m. and runs from 8 to 11 a.m. at the GSI first floor meeting room, 801 W. Riverside Ave.

You should register ahead of time, by going here: REGISTER.

It costs $30 for GSI Members / $50 for non-members.

Small business tax cuts to take effect in 2013

If you own a small business and have yet to do your taxes, the U.S. Small Business Administration has some good news.There are 17 small-business tax cuts already signed into law and an additional five are proposed for 2013, the Tri-City Herald reports.

“These tax cuts are available to all types of small businesses, from main street shops to high growth startups,” said Calvin W. Goings, assistant associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, in a press release.

Some of the tax cuts are:

•Start-up entrepreneurs can deduct $5,000 for start-up expenditures.

•If you have bought new equipment, you can write-off a larger portion of the cost of that new equipment this year rather than depreciating the cost over time. The maximum amount a small business can expense on new.

•Tax credits are available for starting or continuing to provide health insurance coverage for your employees, and this applies even if you are self-employed.

•Starting in 2010, the process for deducting the cost of your cell phone and monthly bills was vastly simplified.
For more information, contact the local district office in Washington at sba.gov.<a href='http://www.sba.gov/'>sba.gov</a>

Proposed B&O tax break for startups advances

Legislation that would exempt new Washington-based businesses from the state's B&O tax in their first year of operations has cleared a key Senate committee.

Senate Bill 6327, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, advanced with a “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Committee. It's now waiting for consideration by the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Under the measure, news businesses with fewer than 25 employees would enjoy the exemption for two years, plus a 50 percent reduction on their B&O tax bill in their third year of operations.“This measure would make it clear to entrepreneurs inside and outside of the state that legislators want our small-business employers to succeed and that Washington is open for business,” said Padden.

Legislative analysts predict the exemption would cost the state about $2.9 million in lost tax revenue in 2013 and $10.6 million in 2014.

The state's business-and-occupation tax, often called a gross-receipts tax, is heavily criticized on both sides of the partisan aisle because it targets gross revenue rather than profits. The rate differs by industry but all companies are given an exemption on their first $250,000 in revenue each year.

Padden and other backers argue that giving new companies a break could help business startups survive those critical first years in Washington, which currently has the nation's second-highest rate of startup failure.

Day after Black Friday is being called Small (is Beautiful) Business Saturday

Expert Author Laurie BrownSmall businesses who are trying to gain advantages during the coming holiday season are being urged to reate a party atmosphere, especially during the Black Friday weekend.

A number of retail experts are making their suggestions known, advising small business owners to think creative, think friendly, think social media this coming season.

The usual suggestions are back:  Offer treats your store would not normally offer customers, such as cookies, hot cider or even a cup of cocoa. Offer free wrapping, or make extra efforts to find an item a customer can't find in one's own store.

Since social is the buzz term, advisers also say use Facebook and Twitter to connect to customers with updates on merchandise, especially including unique items and great deals.

Laurie Brown, considered a “customer service expert,” urges small businesses to really push their message to their community.

Brown says Small Business Saturday — a sponsored event that some retailers should become an ongoing effort for the day after Black Friday — is an opportunity to shine, and in doing so making an impression and hopefully a customer, in the local community, for life.

Gonzaga hosts third annual Family Business conference on June 2

Managing Relationships in Family Business: The Importance of Communication” will be this year's Gonzaga University Family Business Conference focus, which occurs on June 2.

The now-annual conference will feature Andrew Keyt, executive director of the Loyola University Family Business Center. Keyt (in photo) is considered an expert on family-business issues.

The daylong event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium.The cost is $195 per family member for the first two registrants, and all subsequent family members are admitted for $45 per person. The event includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

A key part of the day will be a discussion about using and strengthening business communication among family members. Several Spokane family business owners will also be part of the panel.

Attendees should be family members and managers of family owned businesses. The conference is sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. To register or for more information, visit www.gonzaga.edu/sbaevents or call Laura Smith at (509) 313-5991or via e-mail at smithl2@jepson.gonzaga.edu.

 

A Valentine’s Day date with the tax man

The Washington Department of Revenue will visit with local business owners in Spokane on Monday (yes, Valentine's Day) to get input on how the agency can simplify the tax process for small businesses.

The visit to Greater Spokane Incorporated's offices, 801 W. Riverside, Suite 100, is part of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s executive order last October to make it easier to do business in the state.

This event is free and open to any businesses, not just GSI members. It will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Information and registration: http://events.greaterspokane.org/default.asp?cale_id=1409&details=true

Governor’s order targets barriers to small business

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire today ordered state agencies to develop programs and institute reforms that will boost small businesses faltering in the ongoing economic downturn.

The initiatives range from help with exports, to improving access to credit, to alleviating the burdens imposed by the state’s complex tax structure and regulatory requirements.

The economy is changing, and government must change to reflect the changes, she said.

Some changes have already been made, Gregoire said, and others will be implemented as soon as they can be identified with legislative consent.

“This is all stuff I think we can do ourselves,” she said, noting the state has already expanded business and occupation tax credits.

She sad 400 jobs were created thanks to $1 million in B&O tax credits targeted at rural counties.

Gregoire said 95 percent of Washington businesses have fewer than 50 employees.

“Clearly, small business represents the backbone of the economy in our state,” she said.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

Sign up for our business email newsletter
Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Office Hours.

Contributors

Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on spokesman.com and its social networking accounts.

Recent work by Alison

Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here