Category Archives: News

Three Small Business Events for Veterans

Are you a current service member, veteran, or a military spouse interested in starting or growing your business?

Join the SBA as it celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week. Attend an event near you to get the resources your business needs:

Tuesday, Oct. 31 | 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Veteran-Owned Small Business Seminar: Opportunities and Obstacles
SBA Seattle District Office | Seattle, WA
RSVP now

Saturday, Nov. 4 | 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Veteran Small Business Symposium
Highline College | Des Moines, WA
Register now

Thursday, Nov. 9 | 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Veterans Small Business Resource Event
Spokane Conservation District | Spokane, WA
Save your seat

Join the conversation about National Veterans Small Business Week and share your veteran-owned business story @SBAPacificNWusing #MyVetBiz.

Calling All Inventors: You may qualify for pro bono patent assistance.

What does “pro bono” mean? It’s fancy, law school lingo for “free.” 🙂

Have you invented the next best thing or process? Do you have an idea that could be monetized into valuable intellectual property?

Protecting your intellectual property is an important part of your business strategy.

As of this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched pro bono legal patent assistance in Washington and Idaho.

This new pro bono program facilitates the placement of under-resourced inventors seeking advice about the patent process with volunteer attorneys who are qualified to practice before the USPTO.

The Washington pro bono patent program is based out of the University of Washington (UW) School of Law. In addition to legal assistance, the UW is also home to the USPTO Patent and Trademark Resource Centerwhere inventors can get free patent research assistance.

For more information on the new UW pro bono patent program, you can email wapatent@uw.edu.

 

You are invited to the Poulsbo Chamber Business Bash — Nov 6.

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Connecting small and home-based businesses to our community.

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This event provides small and home-based businesses
with the ability to collectively host an After Hours
and to have a Ribbon Cutting!

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These will occur twice a year,
once in November and once in February.

Chamber Business Bash
Monday, Nov. 6th
5:00-7:00 pm
Council Chambers at Poulsbo City Hall
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The public and all Chamber members will be invited –
it’s your time to shine!!

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Fall Cleaning: Get Your Financial Statements in Order

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

Thinking that you might want to sell your business in the next few years?  If so, make sure your financial records are up to snuff. It will save you time, effort (and maybe even embarrassment) later on.

To start, let’s understand who the most likely buyer of your business might be. If your business is considered “lower middle market” (a large majority of businesses fit this category), the most probable suitor will be a first time buyer.  Continue reading

3 Likely Reasons Your Business Loan Application May Have Been Rejected

Many small business owners turn to borrowed capital to fuel growth and fund other initiatives, yet access to borrowed capital can sometimes be a challenge. Depending upon where you apply, your business credit profile, and other factors, it might be difficult to get a loan approval. Not all lenders look at the same criteria when evaluating whether or not they’ll approve a small business loan.

But here are three red flags that could put the brakes on any loan application:

1. You have a bad personal credit score

With the exception of maybe the biggest and most tenured small businesses, the need for a business owner to maintain a good personal credit score will never go away. With a personal credit score below 680, for example, it’s unlikely you’ll find success at the bank. And the SBA threshold is around 650 for most applications. Some non-bank lenders will approve a loan with a lower credit score but will want to see other metrics in place. If your personal score is struggling, making improvements will help increase the odds of success when you need a small business loan. The first step is to find out where you are. Annualcreditreport.com is one place you can access a free copy of your credit report once per year. You can also check out the three main personal credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Transunion, who all offer low cost credit monitoring.  Continue reading

An overview of the new minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements.

Changes to the state minimum wage

The minimum wage will be $11 per hour in 2017

  • The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including agriculture.
  • Employers must pay employees age 16 and older at least $11 per hour in 2017. WAC 296-126-020(app.leg.wa.gov).
  • Employers are allowed to pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov). For 2017, this rate is $9.35 per hour.
  • Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate.
  • The initiative does not change overtime pay requirements.

The initiative sets future minimum wage rates Continue reading

Tips for Choosing the Right Insurance to Protect Your Business

When you are starting a small business, every dollar counts. One best practice that all small business owners should consider is liability insurance. Most of the information out there about liability insurance comes directly from insurance providers, so it is important to do extensive research to ensure that you are relying on objective information to make business decisions.  Continue reading