PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Business Intelligence: Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 22 February, 2021, 7:45 pm

curated by Karen Kerrigan-

Smart Hustle Marketing Conference, March 10

Hosted by Ramon Ray

WEDNESDAY,  MARCH 10, 2021   11am-2pm ET

Insights and Strategies to Build Your Brand and Increase Customer Loyalty

Hosted by Ramon Ray, founder of Smart Hustle Media, the Smart Hustle Marketing Conference gives you the BEST strategies and insights from leading speakers, authors and small business owners to FIRE UP your sales and marketing.

Register or learn more here.

RIEVA’s TRENDCAST: Toys Continue to BOOM

U.S. retail sales of toys generated $25.1 billion in 2020, an increase of 16% or $3.5 billion, according to a report from The NPD Group. A Trendcast analysis by Rieva Lesonsky notes:  “The global research firm attributes much of the growth to the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing consumer behaviors associated with the lockdowns and school closures.” Rieva also notes 2020’s top-dollar growth subsegments, which included fashion dolls and accessories, up 56%, sports toys up 31%, games up 29%, building sets up 26%, and summer seasonal toys up 24%.

Americans Flocked to Idaho in 2020, GROW.

Here are the other states that gained and lost the most people:  California, on the other hand, set a different record: A total of 57% of its moves were people leaving the state in 2020. Last year was the 1st time the Golden State was classified as an outbound state since 1995.” Read more here.

A Shakeup in the Rank of Powerhouse Cities, Axios.

“San Francisco fell from No. 1 and was supplanted by Provo, Utah, in the Milken Institute’s annual ranking of big metropolitan areas with the best regional economies.

“Why it matters: As the pandemic prompts people to move from pricey superstar cities to mid-tier ones where life is cheaper and easier, traditional powerhouses are being upstaged by smaller places focused on economic vitality.”

Read more in Axios.

Clubhouse Gains Momentum as Big Tech Leaders Join, Axios.

“Be smart: The ubiquity of AirPods and other hands-free smart devices — especially while many people remain isolated and largely indoors during the pandemic — have made audio-first companies more attractive to venture capital.” Read more in Axios here.

Attention Small Business Owners: Don’t Leave Stimulus Benefits on the Table

Webinar: March 2, 12:00 Noon-2:00 p.m. ET

Are you sure you are taking advantage of all relief opportunities in COVID-19 relief passed by Congress?

Ami Kassar, CEO of Multifunding, Inc. is hosting a webinar with experts on various provisions that small business owners need to be aware of. The webinar will cover:

SBA Loan Incentives

Tax and Employee Retention Credits

PPP and Forgiveness

To register or learn more, please click here.

The Latest News on PPP and More

On February 22, President Biden announced several updates to PPP, including:

A 14-day period, starting February 24, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief. (PPP is slated to end March 31. 2021.)

A revision to the loan calculation formula for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to ensure appropriate levels of relief are received. Plus, a $1 billion set aside for businesses in this category without employees located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas.

The elimination of two exclusionary restrictions that prevented those with student loan delinquency or financial fraud from accessing the program.

Access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief.

Read the full changes here.

Cross Program Eligibility on SBA Coronavirus Relief Options: The SBA put together a matrix that compares the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) eligibility. This matrix is designed to help you decide what is best for your small business.

Targeted EIDL FAQs: Looking for more information about the Targeted EIDL Advance? On February 1, the SBA added a new frequently asked questions which includes information about the application process, eligibility and program criteria.

FAQ’s on Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program: We are still waiting for the program to open, but if you are looking for more information about the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, the SBA added a new frequently asked questions which includes information about eligibility, application, use of funds and more. This will help “shuttered venues” prepare once the program is launched.

IRS Extends 2019 and 2020 Deadlines for Opportunity Fund Investment, Opportunity Alabama

On January 19th, IRS issued Notice 2021-10, which contains critical guidance on timing deadlines for Opportunity Fund investment.  The biggest takeaway: taxpayers with capital gains dating as far back as January of 2019 may still be able to invest those gains into Opportunity Funds and claim tax benefits – even if they have already paid taxes on those capital gains – as long as they invest before March 31, 2021. Read more here.

SCORE Webinar: Expanding to New Markets with Small Business International Shipping

February 25  1:00 p.m. ET

Many small-business owners want to speed up growth by selling and shipping to international customers, but don’t know where to start. Navigating the many processes and requirements may seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance, international shipping can be simpler than you might think.

In this webinar, Stephen Smith, FedEx Marketing Director, discusses how to prepare for shipping internationally.

You’ll learn about:

● How to choose and use International solutions, services, and resources

● The basics of customs brokerage and clearance activities

● Getting a rate, filling out documents, finding codes/customs documents/duties & taxes

● Overcoming common obstacles and preventing delays

Register here.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. 

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