Category Archives: News

September 17: Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cybercrimes have spiked during the COVID pandemic. In April 2020, the FBI reported an almost 300% increase in cybercrime cases. We are also seeing a huge increase of COVID-19 related phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attempts.

Unfortunately, small businesses are the most vulnerable cybercrime targets. Unlike large enterprises, small businesses may not have adequate resources to protect themselves.

In this webinar, cybersecurity experts Jon Clay, Mitchel Chang and Kristin Judge will help you gain some awareness and will provide high-level recommendations on cybercrime defense.

The key areas discussed will include:

  • A threat landscape update with an emphasis on what has changed since the COVID pandemic
  • Threat protection for small businesses focusing on phishing, smishing, business email compromise (BEC) and general cybersecurity hygiene for working and schooling from home
  • A cybercrime and fraud/scam update since the COVID pandemic

Register Now

September 17: Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic

BROUGHT TO YOU BY Trend Micro

For nearly 30 years, Trend Micro’s unwavering vision has been to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. This single-minded passion has inspired our innovations that keep up with the bad guys despite a changing IT landscape, riskier user behavior, and constantly evolving threats. Trend Micro Initiative for Education includes all of our community outreach efforts working to provide digital safety education and user awareness.

Trend Micro Initiative for Education | Facebook TwitterMore from Trend Micro

September 10: Starting an Online Business for Next to No Money

There has never been a better time to start a business online than right now. 

Steve Strauss, USA TODAY columnist and bestselling startup author, will show you the steps needed to start an e-business, even without a big budget. 

Find out everything you need to know to launch the dream, including:

  • The Shoestring process
  • The different types of online businesses you can start
  • Finding the money
  • Making money
  • Business nuts-and-bolts
  • And more!

If you are looking to create a side hustle or main hustle with an online business, then this is the webinar for you.

Register Now

September 10: Starting an Online Business for Next to No Money

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

 Steve  Strauss

Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship and small business experts. He has been seen on CNN, CNBC, The O’Reilly Factor, and his column, Ask an Expert, appears weekly on USATODAY.com.Steve Strauss USA TODAY Senior Small Business Columnist and Best-Selling Author

Small Business Rental Relief Grant Program

KITSAP CARES

The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance  is partnering with Kitsap County, the City of Bremerton, and the City of Port Orchard to distribute federal CARES funding to offer up to $5000 rental relief assistance to local small business owners negatively impacted by COVID-19.

City of Bremerton Phase 2 Application Portal closes @ noon Aug 31

Stay tuned for Kitsap County Phase 4 with expanded eligibility criteria

NEW program – KEDA CARES Grants

(Businesses located in the cities of Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island should check with their local Chamber of Commerce for details on local CARES assistance.)  

Criteria and timelines vary according by jurisdiction.

Successful applicants may receive up to $5,000 based upon eligible COVID-19 impacts.

City of BremertonKitsap CountyKEDA CARES

Malicious Cyber Actor Spoofing COVID-19 Loan Relief Webpage via Phishing Emails

Alert (AA20-225A)

Summary

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently tracking an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails. These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious re-directs and credential stealing.

For a downloadable copy of IOCs, see STIX file.

Technical Details

CISA analysts observed an unknown malicious cyber actor sending a phishing email to various Federal Civilian Executive Branch and state, local, tribal, and territorial government recipients. The phishing email contains:

  • A subject line, SBA Application – Review and Proceed
  • A sender, marked as disastercustomerservice@sba[.]gov
  • Text in the email body urging the recipient to click on a hyperlink to address:
    hxxps://leanproconsulting[.]com.br/gov/covid19relief/sba.gov
  • The domain resolves to IP address: 162.214.104[.]246

Figure 1 is a screenshot of the webpage arrived at by clicking on the hyperlink.

Figure 1: Webpage arrived at via malicious hyperlink.

Learn more here.

Introducing edg3 FUND 2020.

Edg3 Fund 2020.jpg

Kitsap Bank’s edg3 FUND is back and better than ever with more prizes and additional benefits!
This small business competition is for entrepreneurs dedicated to growing their community
economically, socially and environmentally. And in 2020, the competition will also recognize small
businesses that have demonstrated innovation and resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prizes –

  • $25,000 edg3 FUND Grand Prize Winner
  • $10,000 Innovation Award
  • $5,000 #causegood Community edg3 Award
  • $5,000 Public Favorite Award

2020 edg3 FUND Timeline –

  • Nomination Period: August 3 – 31
  • Application Period: August 15 – September 15
  • Finalists Announced: October 1
  • Finalist Pitches/Interviews: October 2 – 23
  • Public Vote: October 26 – November 6
  • Winners Announced: November 20

Please note, this is not a needs-based competition; recipients are selected based upon how well they meet the competition criteria. Must be a for-profit business based in Western Washington. All businesses must comply with federal and state laws. Entities that are tax-exempt organizations, non-profits, or charitable trusts are not eligible to participate. Businesses may self-nominate.

Nominate ( Yourself? ) Today

Small Business Resilience Hub

While you may be facing uncertainty, there is one thing you can be certain of: SCORE is here for you.

During these difficult times, everyone is talking about survival, uncertainty, and loss—loss of revenue, relationships, and resources. It’s normal and human to feel fear and uncertainty, to wonder about the future of your business.

At SCORE, we get it. And we’re also here to remind you that you are stronger than you think and more powerful than you know.  You are a small business owner, the person who dared to ask what if? The leader who had the courage to take that first step to build a business and a future you believe in.

Visit our Small Business Resilience Hub here

Stuff Happens, Be Prepared

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

If you are a co-owner of a business, let’s hope that you have a buy-sell agreement in place.

Why, you ask? Well, “stuff” happens. The kind of “stuff” that triggers a buy-sell agreement generally falls into five categories, otherwise known as the four D’s and an R:

Death, Disability, Divorce, Disagreement and Retirement.

And when that “stuff” happens, something else also occurs: interests of you and your partner(s) diverge. Inevitably one (or more) owners will be buying – and one will be selling shares of the company.

The problem is that as of today, you do not know which side of the fence you will be on. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan in place that both parties understand, deem fair and equitable, and agree on – before either becomes the buyer or the seller?

Don’t think that “stuff” will happen to you or your partner(s)?  Read on and consider the risk if you happen to be wrong.

Continue reading

Should I advertise in a down economy?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

A recent article on money.com dealt with a couple of difficult questions: “What Is a recession, and are we in one?” Three experts answered the questions. From a technical perspective we’re not there yet, but we could be very soon. 

OK, fine. I’m not a college professor, a manager of economic research, or an investment strategies advisor, but from my perspective, we’re smack dab in the middle of a recession. The question we all face is what do we do about it?

If you own a business, you want to cut costs, but where? For some companies the decision is easy… the first cut they make is advertising. But you’re not so sure. Continue reading

Things You Should Know About the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ & Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness applicationimplementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 

Also see SBA Finally Clarifies PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules: Full Forgiveness For Self-Employed Borrowers

New information about PPP forgiveness — and EIDL reopens.

Keep an eye on the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance blog for breaking news about changes in COVID recovery programs. 

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