There is no question that it is difficult for small business owners to procure loans in today’s economy. The media has been abuzz with reports on the freeze of business credit, and the aftermath of the great recession has property and other forms of collateral devalued to the point that they are no longer sufficient for securing business loans. However, the Washington Post recently put out an article positing that the decline in business lending is not an entirely new phenomenon. The Cleveland Federal Reserve has released charts indicating that small business lending from banks has been on the wane since as far back as the mid 90’s when the economy was strong. Traditional banks are cutting back the percentages of their portfolios that include business funding, and evidently have been doing so for over a decade. According to the Federal Reserve, this slow downward trend indicates that there is not likely to be a thaw in the lending practices of banks towards small business owners,

According to an annual survey by , the best states and cities for small business in the US are Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas. Additionally. four of the top ten residential areas for small business incubation were located in Texas, which due to a mild climate, low overhead and large population is very hospitable to entrepreneurs. Another factor that allows businesses to grow is the sense of community and preference for local brands exhibited by the local population. Surprisingly, the majority of businesses surveyed stated that taxes in their areas were not unfair, and said that the biggest factor in determining business friendliness was in fact the local licensing requirements. The easier it is to apply for licensing, be if for liquor, food services, hotels or other types of businesses, the easier it is for businesses to devote time to growth and avoid getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Another key attribute to business development is the ability for business owners to obtain small business

How to Go Green With Your Small Business

Wednesday, 14, August , 2013 by

As a small business owner, there are many concerns that you deal with on a day to day basis. Often times, independent business owners feel that they simply don’t have the time or the know-how to make their business more environmentally friendly. The top causes of small businesses not working to increase their environmental sustainability are concern that it will stop them from being profitable, apathy and costs. What many business owners do not realize is that there are many different tax breaks that energy efficient businesses can qualify for, offsetting some of the cost of updating your business. Another way to cut back on the energy consumption of your business is to try and reduce paper waste as much as possible. a good way to do this is to begin relying on cloud technology and a scanner to make as many of your documents digital as possible. This is especially handy for sharing applications, invoices, or other forms that many of your employees will be using.

The conservation of finite natural resources is crucial for preserving the health of our planet. Small business owners can do their part by taking a few simple yet effective steps that will loan them not only a reduced carbon footprint, but also increased efficiency and management ability. Without further ado, here are some tips on easy ways business owners can reduce their waste and increase their pace. 1) Reduce paper based communications. The first step towards eliminating waste is identifying the main uses of paper in your office. Think of what you use paper for. Perhaps you use paper for applications or to send faxes, maybe it’s mostly used for memos or presentations. One solution for eliminating document clutter and reducing paper reliance is to invest in a document scanner. A document scanner can take your existing paper documents and upload them into an easily manipulable format. It’s a good first step towards going entirely paperless. 2) When you need to print, go double or nothing. Set

For the month of May The Horizon Business Funding Blog loaned its pages to the great outdoors and the industries that help you enjoy it. Today we will look back at what we’ve learned. Bike share stalls have sprouted up around New York CIty. Although the intiative polled well, not everyone is happy. The most complex shoe shopping experience is likely the search for the perfect hiking boot. Style may not be the primary concern here – but there is a lot to consider. According to Ibis World’s Market Research Report on the Scuba Diving Instruction the industry brought in $459 million in revenue in 2012. Nature loving chefs are loaning new life to ‘Rust Belt’ food scene Unique trees can be sought after for their size, shape or sheer rarity and can cost tens-of-thousands of dollars. YouTube loans ‘landscaping design ideas’ Cicadas loan evolutionary insight, and some argue investment advice According to Ibis World, fence and swimming pool construction is a $44 billion industry in the United States. Following the

Sunscreen sales are nearly $1 billion each year, according a new post on The New York Times’ Well blog. But with the sun finally shining in the eastern United States, the article points out that our skin may not be as well protected as we think. Well explains, “Some experts blame inappropriate use of sunscreen, saying that people do not apply enough lotion (a golfball-size dollop) or do not reapply it every two hours as instructed. But there’s another major concern: Until recently, many sunscreens with a high sun protection factor, or SPF, were designed primarily to protect people from ultraviolet B rays, the main cause ofsunburn. These sunscreens may have enabled users to stay out longer but did not necessarily protect them from ultraviolet A rays. These are associated with aging and skin damage, but some experts believe they may also be implicated in skin cancer.” The article goes on to detail the debate surrounding sunscreen, looking at what the Food and Drug Administration

In a recent article for Adam Vollmer explains his journey from electric bike designer to electric bike “evangelist.” Vollmer is the founder of Faraday Bicycles which makes street bikes that can turn super charged with the push of a button. Vollmer writes, “I have spent a LOT of time riding electric bikes in the past year and a half. I am the living, breathing, pedaling embodiment of my own pitch—that a little bit of electric assist opens up a big new world of possibilities on what’s possible with your bike. A year and a half ago, would I have considered myself a potential Faraday customer? Debatable. Now? Yes, in a heartbeat. My trusty single speed still feels just as good, but the bar for what I can expect out of a bike is now a whole lot higher.” The video above explains what make Vollmer’s bicycles and business unique, and loans an appealing look into the world of urban biking. Priced at $3,500 a bike or

“Swinging in the treetop,” writes New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger in a recent article, “I realized that the real reason to take a rustic vacation isn’t to escape crowds or the niceties of civilization; it’s to escape your own hang-ups.” The article is called “Going Backcountry, Three Ways” and in in Genzlinger explores rustic travel options. While they all have an outdoor element but these adventures are far from your typical camping trip. He explains, “The wilderness resorts of old, which tried to reproduce the lifestyle of the landed gentry, have been supplanted by a raft of quirky rentals. They hold out the promise of something different, something that connects the jaded traveler to either a personal or a collective American past — the past of the frontier, of “On the Road,” of backyard tree forts. But beyond that, they vary widely. The yurt had no electricity or plumbing. The treehouse had room service and a flat-screen TV. There is rustic rustic, and there is not-at-all-rustic

  According to the The Independent Bike Blog 76% of brick and mortar bicycle dealers polled in  a recent survey said internet price competition is a “major problem.” The poll, conducted by The National Bicycle Dealers Association which is affiliated with the blog, had 50 respondents at the time of posting. However the organization’s 354 total members were asked to participate. The survey asked, “Do [vendors] consider Internet and MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policies when choosing products to sell in the store?]” with ” 36 said they do “all of the time,” while 12 do “some of the time,” 1 “not usually” and 1 “no.”” NBDA also found, ““Showrooming” by consumers using phones to scan products in the store is a “big problem” for 23, with 22 saying it’s a “small problem, 3 “no problem” and 3 “unsure.”” For the blog’s full write up click here. 

  Following the damaging storms of the last few years — including Superstorm Sandy in October, Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011 —  The State of New York formed an organization dedicated to helping small businesses most directly impacted by the storms. A fact sheet loans information for members of the coastal fishing industries the state explains, “The New York State Small Business Storm Recovery Program was established to provide assistance to eligible small businesses, including farming and agriculture operations, and not-for-profit-organizations that suffered direct physical damage and/or economic hardship as a result of” the major storm of recent years. The sheet also notes a division specifically devoted to fishing businesses. To be eligible a small business must — be located in a county  that qualifies for individual assistance by FEMA be operating or planning to re-open with loans have revenues of at least $25,000 (some exceptions apply for recently opened business and that could not complete opening plans

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