Ana Harvey Named to Lead SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership

Ana Recio Harvey, an experienced entrepreneur and recently the president of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, has been named as head of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills announced today.  Read more about her background HERE.

Video Marketing; a Great Way to Showcase Your Business

In today’s Web 2.0 marketplace small business owners are learning to take advantage of every new technology tool they can find to grow their business. One of the least understood tools is Video Marketing. In this week’s episode of our BlogTalkRadio program ‘Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business’, our panel of experts explains how you can utilize Video marketing to grow your business, and how you can achieve this extremely cost-effectively. If you’re seeking new ways to market your business in the Web 2.0 environment, this is the show for you. Our panel of experts includes: Tim Tevlin, President of Local Business Videos Online; Greg George, Founder of iVideo Makers; and Bob Sullivan, Development Director of Think Creative Media Works.

Click HERE to listen to the complete broadcast!

What Does the Economic Stimulus Mean for Small Businesses?

This video segment from MSNBC: Your Business, Senator Mary Landrieu, co-chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, talks about Washington’s efforts to boost opportunities for small businesses during the credit crunch.

Companies Explore New Financing Options

As we all know, in recent months it’s been all but impossible for small businesses to get bank loans to start or expand their businesses.  This trend has affected all types of businesses large and small, including franchises.

Franchise organizations have benefitted substantially over the last several years from the loose lending standards that businesses previously enjoyed.  Those standards enabled many franchises to experience a very solid growth rate for a significant number of years.  Unfortunately, today’s credit crunch has effectively made franchise growth disappear.  Needless to say, this situation is not one that companies are happily accepting; and a number of franchise organizations have started to implement some very interesting alternatives to insure their organizations’ continued growth.

A recent article by Franchise Times provides information on a number of franchise organizations that have elected to implement alternative financing options which include franchise-sponsored:

  • limited guarantees
  • full guarantees
  • loan servicing
  • remarketing agreements
  • mezzanine financing
  • joint ventures
  • equipment leases

Read the complete article HERE, and if you are a franchisor, consider whether any of these options might work to enable your firm to continue its expansion.  If you are someone who is considering opening your own business but having trouble putting your financing in place, consider franchising as an option, and look at organizations which may be establishing such programs for their franchisees.

Novel Approach to Health Plans Gains Traction with Small Businesses

As the Obama administration wrestles with how to expand health-care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, some local organizations are finding creative ways to help cover one of the most affected groups — employees of small businesses.

The programs typically involve collaboration between business owners, nonprofit groups and local hospitals, which offer enrollees a range of medical services at a reduced rate. The plans keep costs down partly by bypassing the extra costs that come with traditional insurance. That can be a big help for small-business employees who can’t afford traditional insurance.

Small-business employees make up a disproportionate share of the country’s uninsured. Some 15% of U.S. residents, or about 46 million people, were uninsured as of 2007, the latest data available, according to the Census Bureau. Meanwhile, 32% of workers at U.S. companies with fewer than 25 employees were uninsured in that year, and 21% of employees at firms with 25 to 99 workers had no coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Click HERE to read more about these new health care coverage ideas.

A New Model of Venture Capitalist

Small business owners in search of funding for start-up and/or expansion have in recent months been out-of-luck due to the recent banking crisis and the resulting economic challenges.  While it’s never been easy for a small business to gain access to bank loans, in recent months it has become virtually impossible.  This situation has forced small businesses to seek out alternative means of financing – one of those often sought out is venture capital.

However, even the venture capitalists are being forced to adapt to this new economy and small business environment.  A recent story in the Wall Street Journal details a new business model being employed by a venture capital firm that was an early backer of Facebook, Napster, Plaxo, and Causes.  This new business model includes the participation of a group of Silicon Valley heavyweights such as former Yahoo chief executive Terry Semel, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Arrington, founder of industry Web site TechCrunch.

Read the whole story HERE.

SBA Appoints Leadership Team

Now that the new SBA chief is in place, the work has begun on appointing those who will run the organization in various leadership roles – and hopefully implement the work of making the SBA more relevant to today’s small businesses.  The SBA has announced a long list of recently appointed management team members, and we have placed this announcement on our website for your review.  Access the article by clicking HERE.  Review the list at your convenience and then please feel free to share your opinion of the appointees in your comments to this article.