Small Business

On Thursday, Google marked the International Small Business Day by rolling out a special set of marketing tools designed to help small businesses grow.In New York City, at Google’s Learning Center building, the search engine giant announced the release of its latest platform called Google for Small Business that will help small business owners build or improve their online presence as well as find customers and connect with them.The new Grow with Google initiative that’s aimed at small and medium-sized businesses consists of three key services: personalized plans, in-person workshops, and the latest news.With personalized plans, small businesses can work on search engine optimization, grow their customer base, or streamline how their businesses operate. Kim Spalding, Google’s global product director for small business ads, explains that entering a business name, answering a few questions about the company and selecting a goal is all it takes to get started.“You’ll then receive a step-by-step plan of recommended products tailored for you. Google has products to help you stand out online, reach more customers, and work more efficiently. The recommendations will include products to help with all three, but with a special focus on the goal that’s most important to you,” she adds.A tight schedule of in-person workshops held throughout the country will enable interested entrepreneurs to attend one of the live seminars in cities near them, giving them the opportunity to network and learn from Google’s business experts. In a blog post about the Google Small Business platform, Spalding underlined that in 2018 alone Google’s Search and Advertising tools helped generate $335 billion in economic activity for millions of businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the United States.She said that over the years she has gotten to know many small business owners and has learned about the challenges they face. The biggest struggle for most is promoting their businesses and time management. Google for Small Business intends to solve those problems. “Small businesses make a big impact on our communities––creating jobs, treating customers like family and often defining what makes a town unique. Google is committed to helping these businesses use the power of the web to grow and thrive,” Spalding wrote.Like other Grow with Google programs, Google Small Business is available free of charge. Launched in 2017, Grow with Google strives to provide millions of Americans with the digital skills necessary for success in the 21st century. Apart from small entrepreneurs, the initiative targets students and job seekers, veterans and military families, teachers, developers, and startups, offering content curated to each group.

By Ivana V. June 28,2019

A survey by the Wilmington Trust published on Tuesday reveals that a majority of small business owners approve of the economic policies made by the Trump administration.Not all of President Trump’s moves have been met with great enthusiasm from the general public, but a recent study shows he enjoys the support of privately held businesses, with as many as 59% of them “strongly or somewhat” approving of the Trump administration.Research conducted online by the Wilmington Trust between May 24 and June 14 included 1,000 business owners from different industries, based throughout the United States.Apart from their strong approval of Trump’s handling of business-related issues, the study found that 53% of respondents feel that the administration’s policies have had a positive impact on their businesses. Nearly half (46%) of business owners said that their confidence in Trump significantly or somewhat increased since the 2016 election.The study findings show that Trump scored high marks with the majority of small business owners, even though only 39% of respondents identified as Republican. Another 30% said they were independent, 26% Democrat and the remaining 5% preferred not to answer.“Small businesses have benefited from the Trump approach,” Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust told CNBC. “They don’t see a recession coming. It’s not imminent or evident to them, so they continue to be supportive of the administration. I think if that changes, their outlook or approach will be very, very different.”However, the polled business owners did, in fact, point out that they fear the recession and unstable trade policies which Trump's latest tariffs against China might lead to. At the time the Wilmington Trust survey was being conducted, the President was in the middle of a trade war with the world’s second-largest economy. Many U.S. companies have felt the consequences of U.S.-China trade disputes. Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and $250 billion worth of Chinese goods mostly affect larger enterprises, though small businesses that depend on imports and exports might not be able to cope with such a strain.According to Gallup, the presidential approval rating is at 43% at the moment, which is somewhat lower than the 46% all-time high achieved in late April 2019. Keeping the country out of recession and defusing trade tensions with China might get Trump elected for another term at the White House. 

By Ivana V. June 28,2019

The United States House Committee on Small Business met yesterday for a hearing titled “Crushed by Confessions of Judgment: The Small Business Story” to discuss action steps for banning these abusive lending practices on a national level.In recent years, many small business owners have fallen victim to predatory lenders who require them to sign a legal document called Confession of Judgment during the application process. By signing, the borrowers waive their legal rights and agree in advance to automatically lose any dispute that might arise.In an attempt to put an end to this unfair practice affecting small businesses across the country, U.S. Representatives Nydia Velazquez and Roger Marshall introduced the Small Business Lending Fairness Act on Tuesday.“By ending confessions of judgment in commercial lending, we can stop some of the abuses that are crippling honest small-business owners,” chairwoman of the Small Business Committee Velazquez said at yesterday’s hearing in Washington. “I find it appalling that New York state law has made our state a magnet for dishonest lenders.”Confessions of Justice have been outlawed in consumer loans since 1985 under the Truth in Lending Act. However, the same protections do not apply to commercial loans.“My clients are very good at what they do. They know how to fix a boat. They know how to install a sink,” Shane Heskin, a Philadelphia lawyer who represents small-business borrowers said yesterday at the Committee hearing. “But that doesn’t mean they know how to read a contract in 8-point font. It doesn’t mean they know the legal ramifications of signing a confession of judgment.”Many deceptive lenders have been taking advantage of this legal instrument by reaching out to entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses and offering loans with annual interest rates as high as 400%. In need of cash to keep their businesses afloat and rejected by mainstream lending institutions and banks, owners feel they have no choice but to forfeit their rights. In other cases, owners submit the loan application forms without even realizing they signed an obscure legal document which allows lenders to strip them away from the right to defend themselves in court.Armed with a Confession of Justice, creditors can claim borrowers aren’t making the payments and, without presenting any proof, legally seize their assets. Courts in the state of New York have been swamped with such cases in the last few years. The reason financial companies chose to file their complaints against debtors in the state of New York was its quick and easy Confession of Justice process that allowed them to win more than 32,000 judgments against mostly out-of-state small businesses. A State Bill passed on June 7 prohibits anyone from filing a Confession of Justice against a party that does not reside in New York State. Looking to better the situation of small entrepreneurs and business owners across the entire country, Senators Sherrod Brown and Marco Rubio introduced the Small Business Lending Fairness Act to Senate in December 2018. Their efforts were supported by New York Democrat Nydia Velazquez and Kansas Republican Roger Marshall in the House of Representatives two days ago.

By Ivana V. June 27,2019

NASA has selected 363 proposals from research institutions and small businesses across 41 states as a part of NASA’s plan to land astronauts on the Moon in five years’ time. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs will support the selected small businesses in three phases. The investments are valued at over $45 million. Hopefully, the small businesses will help NASA establish a strong presence in the revamped space race, as part of the agency’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach.Nearly a hundred of the selected companies have never received the NASA SBIR or STTR contracts before, and 20% are run by members of underrepresented demographics such as minorities and women. The submitting organizations’ experience, qualifications, and technical merits were considered in the selection process. Additional criteria included organizations’ facilities, commercial potential, feasibility, and work plan effectiveness.The primary goal is to take advantage of the overall small business technological and innovative potential across all states. NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs will stimulate innovation in the private sector, and the participation of talented yet economically disadvantaged business owners. Small businesses and research institutions have received a strong incentive to develop creative, efficient solutions that meet the growing needs of the federal government. The selected companies will work with NASA towards advancing aeronautics, space technology, and human space exploration. The newly-developed technology will also find a number of applications on Earth, including: A smart rover wheel Integrated perception and sensing subsystems can improve rover mobility on the Moon and other planetary objects. Autonomous tractors and off-road vehicles on Earth could also find this technology useful. A laser-based mass spectrometerThis scientific instrument could search for life on other planets, as well as participate in habitat air monitoring and terrain mapping. A light-weight, deployable solar panelLeveraging the newest thin-film solar technology discoveries, this solar panel will enable safe, autonomous operations of unmanned aircraft systems. The compact storage cylinder, a significant advancement compared to previous rigid solar panels, will allow long-time operations in complex, challenging environments. Quicker, higher-quality crater map generationThe new mapping technique will be superior to even the best manual identification efforts. This technology will facilitate NASA’s observation of Mars, and the Moon’s surface features. Screening, testing, and validating of commercial, off-the-shelf hardware simulationThis technology could be used in high-performance computing systems, and assist in onboard electronics selection.There are three phases to concluding NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs:Phase I Programs will estimate the technical, scientific, and commercial merit and feasibility of the innovation in question. All 363 selected proposals are still in Phase I. SBIR Phase I contracts last for six months, and the STTR contracts last for 13 months, both with the maximum funding of $125,000. Phase II Only businesses with Phase I contracts can become eligible to submit a proposal for Phase II. This phase will deal with the development, demonstration, and delivery phase of the innovation. With the maximum funding of $750,000, contracts will last for 24 months. Phase III The final stage involves the commercialization of innovative products, services, and technologies, and is funded from sources other than SBIR and STTR. Phase III can result from either a Phase I or Phase II contract. NASA’s Silicon Valley-based Ames Research Center is managing the SBIR and STTR programs. STMD is behind the pioneering, cross-cutting technologies and capabilities the agency needs to make current and future missions a reality.

By Andrea June 24,2019

The United States Department of Labor (DOL), the Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury Department have recently released the final regulations referring to the expansion of Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA). Two previously impermissible categories of HRAs have been established: the individual coverage health reimbursement accounts (ICHRA), and the Excepted Benefit HRA health reimbursement accounts. Small business owners and their employees are expected to find them particularly beneficial. The 2013 notice from the IRS was more demanding for small businesses offering HRAs, and the recent formal revision offers a better solution. Business owners can now use health reimbursement arrangements as the main health benefit in a manner that complies with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The recent rules and guidelines expand business owners’ ability to offer HRA or ICHRA in conjunction with individual coverage.Individual Coverage HRAFunded exclusively by the employer, this type of coverage serves to reimburse employees for medical care expenses, individual market premiums included. Workers are provided tax-preferred funds to pay for health insurance coverage costs purchased in the individual market, subject to certain conditions.The new rule adds that the employee must be enrolled in individual health coverage (or Medicare) instead of group health plan coverage. This does not include plans purchased outside the Marketplace Exchange such as vision, dental, or short-term limited-duration, that only cover some excepted benefit. The new plan can cover full-time, part-time, salaried, and hourly employees, but not ones who are already using a traditional group health plan.ICHRA is also considered an offer of coverage under the ACA for employer mandate purposes.  An employer is required to determine whether the individual Coverage HRA offers enough contributions for the Marketplace coverage to meet affordability demands. The employer must also verify that an employee and their family, have individual coverage.Excepted Benefit HRAThis means that an employer can offer HRA as an “excepted benefit,” an insured/self-insured plan not integral to a major medical health plan, but still meeting some requirements. The Excepted Benefit can reimburse medical care expenses along with other excepted benefits, including HRA. As the HRA is neither integral to a health plan nor a health plan itself, it’s considered an excepted benefit. An employer must offer this type of HRA together with an option to enroll in a non-excepted group health plan. Still, a group or individual health plan is not a participation requirement—an important improvement in the final rule. Health plan premiums such as Medicare and individual coverage cannot be reimbursed by this HRA. You can only use it to cover medical care expenses, premiums under an excepted benefit (e.g., vision, dental, or short-term limited duration insurance), or COBRA coverage. Finally, the annual HRA contribution limit is $1,800 (adjusted for the expected 2021 inflation).The Departments and a number of federal agencies will issue additional requirements and guidelines regarding this rule. If an employer wants to implement either type of HRA under the final rule, it would be a good idea to seek qualified ERISA counsel.This rule is effective for plan years starting January 1, 2020.

By Andrea June 21,2019

Approaching U.S. Congress, bipartisan investigation into tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook, small businesses all over the U.S. are lining up to put in a good word.One such company is Address America from Jackson, MS. This small business makes high-profile address signs for homes and businesses.Business was good for this Ridgeland-based company until the 2007 recession hit hard, and nearly cost them everything they had.  “Everything went south," recalls owner David Ashley. "We were just on the brink.”The company was forced to relocate to a smaller office on Interstate 55 in Jackson. Things were looking bleak until the owners decided to give up on the idea of relying solely on their website, and joined Amazon. “When we shifted gears with Amazon, it took us from being on the brink of insolvency to getting where we are today," says Joshua Ashley, David’s son.The millions of users browsing through Amazon provided a new world of opportunity to Address America, one that was previously out of reach. “With our own website, we can do a lot, but we’re only as good as how many people find us," says Joshua. "Amazon has a great deal of reach and a great deal of customer trust, and by following Amazon’s metrics for sellers, we’re able to partner with them to gain that customer trust.”According to the Ashleys, this window of opportunity made their business what it is today. Over the past six years, their sales have increased by 800% and are continuing to grow steadily. This spectacular success wouldn’t have been possible without Amazon’s coverture. An employee of Amazon’s corporate office in Seattle, Andrea Ruge, offered her take on Amazon’s influence on small businesses. Supposedly, SMBs now account for over 50% of the items sold on Amazon and are an integral part of the company’s DNA. “We looked at what states had the fastest-growing small- and medium-size businesses on Amazon," she says. "What we looked at were sales year-over-year and the percentage growth of overall sales. Mississippi’s small- and medium-size businesses topped that list.”Access to millions of users and the strict guidelines businesses must follow to be allowed to work with Amazon are doing many people a lot of good. Amazon demands superior customer service and even helps with shipping. Even though small businesses don’t get these services for free, the whole thing pays off in the end.“Here at Address America, they’re doing ‘Merchant-Fulfilled Prime,’ which means they’re still sending their packages out and getting them to customers in two days, but they’re doing it here in-house," explains Ruge. That’s why you see “Ships and Sold by Address America” on Amazon’s website.“Some smaller businesses can’t do that on their own, so it’s easier for them to send a bulk shipment of products over to Amazon, and then we handle it from there,” claims Andrea Ruge.The idea that Amazon holds a monopoly over the tech world is somewhat grounded in reality as 55% of Americans begin their product searches there. For this reason and many others, Congress is launching an investigation into whether Amazon, Google, and Facebook are guilty of “anti-competitive conduct.” The committee will question Amazon’s inner-workings and the way the eCommerce powerhouse affects the U.S. market. The goal is to assess “whether existing antitrust laws, competition policies and current enforcement levels are adequate to address these issues.”

By Andrea June 20,2019

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) scam tracker is currently reporting 200 phishing scams all across Texas, with financial losses ranging from $35 to $3,000. This is a standard phishing scam that is targeting small businesses and appears in the form of links or attachments in an email. Once you click on them, malware is automatically downloaded to your computer, and scammers can access your personal data and steal your credit card information. The scam is disguised as a request for proposal (RFP) attachment to attract the attention of local entrepreneurs, who know RFPs are a good way to win new contracts and establish connections with clients. There seem to be two versions of this scam. In one, an email with an official-looking PDF file is sent, and when a person clicks on the PDF, malware is downloaded to their computer. In another version, a link in the email takes you to a form that asks you to fill in your personal banking information, claiming that you need to provide payment details. More than 98% of businesses across the state are small businesses, and BBB is issuing a state-wide warning to owners not to open any emails from sources they don’t trust.  The BBB office in Texas has also provided a list of tips that companies can use to protect themselves from phishing scams: Visit the company’s website. Most scammers claim they belong to a government agency to invoke a sense of trust. This can easily be checked by visiting the agency’s website and seeing whether they posted any RFPs online. You should also call them to check whether they sent emails to small business owners. Call the contact provided in the email. If no one answers the phone or people refuse to speak to you, then you can be certain that they’re trying to scam you. Be wary of generic emails. Since scammers usually try to cast a wide net, any lack of personal details and generic-looking RFP forms could potentially indicate shady dealings. Never open attachments. If you have any doubts, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Unless you’re receiving an email from a completely trusted source, don’t click on any attachments. Another good idea is to check whether the files have a .exe extension. These types of files are often disguised as PDFs. Don’t trust logos. Even official-looking logos can potentially be fake. The same goes for email addresses and other contact information. If you have taken the necessary precautions and noticed a scam, report it. This way, you’ll help the authorities fight fraud and potentially help save small businesses such as yours from getting swindled.

By Julija A. June 20,2019

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court revoked a state court ruling that imposed a $135,000 fine on Oregon cake shop proprietors Melissa and Aaron Klein, for denying a lesbian couple service by refusing to make them a wedding cake. The Sweet Cakes bakery has been temporarily spared the fine, and the case has now been sent back to the lower courts which initially upheld it. The Kleins’ bakery closed in 2016, three years after they declined to make the cake on religious grounds. Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision directs the Oregon judges to consider last term’s ruling in a nearly identical case, in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who also refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The Oregonian reported that the Kleins decided to take the case to the Supreme Court last year, after having exhausted their appeals in Oregon. Following the 2015 state Bureau of Labor and Industries ruling, they paid $135,000 in damages for violating a state anti-discrimination law. The Oregon appellate court ruling preceded the Supreme Court’s ruling in Phillips’ case. The couple’s attorneys had argued that the Colorado case needed to clarify whether government officials should be allowed to mandate business owners to provide services contrary to their religious beliefs. First Liberty Institute, a Texas-based organization that provided legal aid to the Kleins, specializes in cases involving religious freedom. According to David Harsanyi, a senior editor at The Federalist, Phillips’ decision to deny the homosexual couple a wedding cake was not based on homophobia. Phillips claims that his establishment never queries their customers about their sexual preferences or preferred pronouns. He also states that they did not bar anyone from purchasing any products made in the shop, a place of public accommodation. However, Rachel Bowman-Cryer claims that the 2013 events at the Sweet Cake bakery unfolded differently. When the bride-to-be visited the bakery with her mother and met Aaron Klein, she claims that he did, in fact, ask for the names of the bride and groom, as well as the date of the ceremony. When the women told him there was no groom, Klein apologized and said the bakery did not make cakes for same-sex weddings. Of the 50 states in the U.S. 21, including Colorado and Oregon, uphold anti-discrimination laws protecting homosexuals and other vulnerable groups.

By Andrea June 18,2019

Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, NC, is starting a small business loan program to help struggling minorities. Its primary aim is to reduce racial inequality and aid small business owners and people who want to start a new venture. The budget for reducing racial disparity has been quadrupled, and the county commissioners increased the budget from $2 million to $8 million on June 4 and allocated a portion of this sum to the new loan program. Peter Zeiler, the county’s director of economic development, said in an interview: “There’s a lot of families out there and individuals that have great ideas and simply need access to a little bit of capital to change their lives, and we’re hoping this can help them do that.”This fund will count $2.75 million and provide loans up to $75,000. Mecklenburg County Commission Chair George Dunlap claims he has been trying to make a loan program for a decade now and it has finally been approved. There are many people with good business ideas who simply don’t have the capital to make it come to fruition, and this kind of shortage of resources is a common problem for would-be business owners. This sort of incentive by the governing council is much-needed in small counties such as Mecklenburg, where business incubation could be the key to stabilizing the economy and increasing tax revenue. This loan program will be self-funding, which means that the interest paid from the loans will go directly into funding other loans. This lack of investors limits the program’s capacity, but it is a step in the right direction. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce board chair, Shante Williams, claims to be “cautiously optimistic” and that, while she’s glad that the county is taking steps towards equality, she fears it might not be enough. Dunlap claims that the funds should be sufficient in the long run. Not every business will get funded in the first cycle, but as time goes by and more small enterprises become successful and repay their interest rates, more companies will receive funding. Each new cycle could potentially increase funding. It will also help people who are unable to get bank loans. Banks generally only approve loans to firms that are already established, which means only those who no longer need a loan can get one. This way, small enterprises will have access to government funding. While this fund aims to decrease racial disparity, it will be available to everyone, regardless of race. The fund will be managed by an independent lending agency, and the program is set to go into effect by the end of the summer.

By Julija A. June 18,2019

Beto O’Rourke, Texas Democratic presidential hopeful, revealed his plan for ending racial wealth disparity which would generate 200,000 small businesses owned by women and minorities over the course of eight years.The 2020 Presidential Candidate announced his plan this Saturday, at the Black Economic Alliance Presidential Forum in South Carolina.“Inspired by conversations he has had with small business owners across the country and drawing from his own experience, Beto understands the unique challenges facing small business owners – and that those challenges are only heightened for women entrepreneurs and people of color,” reads a release on his website.In a Tweet from June 15, O’Rourke said that the country is being held back “by an economy that works too well for too few and not at all for too many.” According to a Federal Reserve Report published in 2017, white households had ten times the annual income of a black household and eight times the income of a Latino household. A racial income gap this wide is preventing entrepreneurs of color from accessing financial resources provided by the country, as their credit scores are much lower than those of their white counterparts.If elected to the White House next year, O’Rourke intends to drive the economy forward by empowering businesses owned by women and minorities. His plan consists of three key points:Firstly, the White House candidate proposes confronting deep-rooted discrimination against women and minority small business owners by creating a public credit reporting agency which would enable fairer access to credit. He would also triple the investment in the Minority Business Development Agency, making it $102 million in annual funds, in order to provide the necessary mentorship and financial resources to this target group.The second point of his plan focuses on the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Beto points out that this fund has proven to be an effective method for distributing capital to businesses that need it the most. He would double the annual funding for this body, reaching $500 million annually.Lastly, he suggests diverting more funds from large corporations to small businesses primarily owned by women and people of color. Currently, federal procurement from small businesses amounts to $105 billion. The Texas Democrat would increase this to $205 billion and make sure that the share of the contracts awarded to women and minority entrepreneurs is at least 50%.Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her own plan for boosting diverse entrepreneurs one day before her contender in the presidential race.

By Ivana V. June 17,2019

This Friday, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a plan which would help small business owners and entrepreneurs from minority groups gain access to federal grants.As part of her presidential campaign, the Massachusetts Senator proposes a $7 billion program, called the Small Business Equity Fund which would be run by the Department of Economic Development which she would instate if elected President in 2020.In this morning’s post on the Medium, Warren said “Today, the playing field is tilted against entrepreneurs of color. On average, Black, Latinx, Native American, and other minority households have a lot less wealth than white households. That means they have less of their own money to put into their business and less collateral to attract outside credit.”The disparity between white and black business owners is illustrated by the fact that the average black entrepreneur starts off with just one-third of the capital of his white counterpart ($35,000 compared to over $110,000).Minority entrepreneurs own only 20% of all U.S. businesses, even though they represent 40% of the total population. Her plan for bridging the gap between white business owners and business owners of color includes offering grants instead of loans to the minority business community. “Current government policies focus on providing access to credit to entrepreneurs, but loans aren’t as good as no-strings-attached equity because they leave businesses with debt when they’re trying to grow. Equity helps businesses thrive from the beginning without having to worry about ongoing financial obligations or the risk of default,” she points out.Warren explains the revenue would come from the so-called “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” she presented in January. The 2% tax would be paid for by the Americans whose net worth surpasses $50 million. Those with wealth in excess of $1 billion would be obliged to pay an addition 1%.The Presidential Candidate says she is ready to address the decades-long sanctioned discrimination, which prevented minority-owned businesses from growing at the same pace as white-owned businesses. She is hopeful it will create jobs, drive economic growth, and bring us one step closer to an equal-shot America.Small Business Equity Fund is only one of Warren’s many proposals aimed at narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. Earlier this year, she introduced programs which would provide free childcare to families with extremely low incomes, erase student loan debts, and tackle the opioid crisis.  

By Ivana V. June 14,2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are opening a walk-in facility in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. The center will open at Case Community Center this week. Located at 1050 W. Wekiwa Road, the center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day for as long as the flood victims need it. Oklahoma and Arkansas recently experienced the worst flooding in the history of both states, and the disasters have impacted the city infrastructure. Multiple shelters had to be opened, and a huge number of small business buildings and offices had to be relocated. The relief center is supposed to offer business physical disaster loans, economic injury disaster loans, and home disaster loans to help the victims. David Ritz, the U.S. Small Business Administration public information officer claims that the deadline to apply for financial disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Association is July 31. He encourages everyone who was affected to apply for help and reminds them that they won’t be forced to accept the loan when they apply for it. As global temperatures continue to rise, Oklahoma is set to experience more heat waves, droughts, and floods in the future. Wildlife, agriculture, water supplies, and forests will be affected, and this could lead to disastrous consequences for small business owners in the state. Farmers are expected to experience particular hardships, so a relief center such as this one could provide some assistance in helping companies get back on their feet. U.S. Small Business Administration regulations will be able to provide loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate, and $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. In addition to property owners, renters will also be eligible for assistance. Those without sufficient funds, resources, and the ability to borrow from other sources will be eligible for an interest rate of 1.9% on home loans. If you want to apply for help, you’ll need to bring your ID, information about the damage suffered, and information about your income (such as the IRS W-2 form). After the paperwork has been filed, you’ll receive help as promptly as possible. You can fill out an online form for assistance here, or call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955. You can also contact customer service at [email protected] for further information.

By Julija A. June 14,2019