HR & Compliance

Add SBAM offers a full spectrum of human resources services to keep you compliant and help your business run more efficiently and profitably....

Human Resources Solutions

ASE LogoLooking for help with tough HR issues? 

SBAM partner ASE has the answers about hiring, firing, FMLA, ADA and more! Get access to a FREE HR hotline, affordable and cost-effective research consultation services, discounted employee handbooks and workplace posters, and more.

Section 125 Plan, FSA, HSA & HRA Administration


KUSHNER & COMPANY LogoLooking for ways to contain health care costs?
With the cost of health insurance continuing to rise, most employers require their employees to contribute to the cost of health insurance premiums. SBAM partner Kushner & Co. can help you put a tax-favored, consumer-directed plan in place that benefits you and your employees.


COBRA Administration

Personalized, affordable administration for your business. 

If you have 20 or more employees, your company is required by federal law to offer continued health insurance coverage via COBRA and will face huge fines if it's not administered correctly.  Let SBAM help you stay compliant for only $30 per month. 

Small business owners sharing their stories of jobs filled across Michigan

The Michigan’s Small Business Jobs Insight project (, designed to tally and report the growing number of small business jobs being filled in regions and industries across Michigan, launched today at a kickoff event at the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Job growth in Michigan is overwhelmingly centered in the small business sector and we believe it’s important to document this growth and report the impact these jobs are having on our state’s economic comeback,” says Rob Fowler, President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). “We are very pleased that the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Jobs Insight and has partnered with SBAM to help support entrepreneurs in northwest Michigan.” 

The key elements of include:

• a ticker that displays jobs reported by growing small businesses in the current month;
• a pie chart that shows the percentage per Michigan region of the total jobs reported per month;
• total jobs reported for the year to-date;
• the top ten industries for small business growth; and
• links to individual stories of regional small business job growth.

“Michigan has put tremendous public policy tools in place, from business tax reform to improvements in the regulatory climate to a new emphasis on economic gardening, that help lay a foundation of entrepreneurial business and employment growth,” Fowler says. “We know that small business owners are taking advantage of the improved business climate fostered by these public policy changes to fill job openings and accelerate job creation. reports where these jobs are and how they are benefitting everyone in our state.” is not a scientific count of every job filled in the small business community.

“We are reporting the jobs filled by our members and, if anything, these totals under-report the full, dramatic growth of small business jobs across the state,” Fowler says. “To enhance our reporting, we encourage individual small businesses to contact us with their stories of job creation.”

In addition to the website, MichiganJobsInsight can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

"This is the year of Jobs, Jobs and Jobs for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce; creation, retention and growth are vital to this area. It was through our work on a Job-o-Meter that the Chamber and SBAM realized there was potential to collaborate and partner for We are thrilled with the result and look forward to watching our region grow, now in a tangible and visual capacity,” Douglas Luciani, President and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to the Small Business Association of Michigan and the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, MichiganJobsInsight is a collaborative statewide effort between Issue Media Group and other partners to capture small business job growth through editorial coverage with focus on growth and innovation.

Structured compensation programs in your small business: today at 10 a.m. on the free Business Next audio seminar

Michael Rogers talks with HR consultant Cynthia Pepper about implementing an efficient structured compensation program in your small business. Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.     

Use your email more productively. Today at 10 a.m. on Business Next.

Michael Rogers talks about email productivity with communications consultant Jack Pyle, the "Face to Face Maximizer." Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.    

Steven Strauss: Self-Employment Part 2

Question: Hey Steve, I have a friend who has been unemployed for about two years. His unemployment insurance is about to run out and he has this kooky plan now to go the self-employment route. I have tried to explain to him that this is no time to start a business. He won’t listen to me. He likes your column – can you steer him on the right path. Thanks.

(Read Part 1 here)

Answer: I have a question for you: Let’s say that you have been out of work for almost 99 weeks and your unemployment benefits are about to expire and you have no real prospects of finding a job? What do you do? Or what if you are a single mom and need the flexibility of making your own hours but your boss doesn’t quite see things that way? Or what if you have simply have had it working for someone else and what you really long for is to be your own boss? What do you do?

You join the ranks of the self-employed, that’s what.

It is no secret that the nature of work is changing rapidly right now. Not only are more people working outside of an office, outside the traditional 9 to 5 job, and not only are companies finding that they can get by hiring freelancers instead of employees, but a whole new generation of workers are similarly discovering that they don’t need that job that they once thought was so indispensable.

It’s a revolution, a self-employment revolution.

There are many things that have coalesced to create this self-employment revolution, and not the least of which has been the challenging economy the past few years which has forced more than a few people to become entrepreneurs . . . whether they wanted to or not.

And fortunately, technology has made that doable. Not long ago, becoming self-employed may have seemed daunting – where would you find the work, how would you do the work, did you have the resources to do a good job?

All that has changed in the blink of an eye.

Today, it’s all possible.  Whether it’s computers and software, smartphones and apps, websites and searches, or what have you, the fact is, being successfully self-employed today is quite possible.

Indeed, more and more people are headed down this path. Consider: Time Magazine recently said that 2012 just might be “The Year of the Entrepreneur”-

Jobs are in scarce supply, and underemployment is at an all-time high. Things look bleak. But, truth be told, there has never been a better time for individuals to start new businesses. Taking up entrepreneurship is now an extremely doable means to overcome unemployment and underemployment, and perhaps even get rich . . .Whereas a traditional office or retail space was a necessity less than a decade ago, today, thanks to the rise of virtual office services and co-working spaces, working from home or Starbucks is the new norm.

But of course, all of this begs the question – how exactly do you do it? Because the fact is it is also true that when someone goes the self-employment route, they usually know a lot about the sort of business they may want to start (the gardener knows plants, the graphic artist knows how to design a website), they also usually do not know a lot about the other 2/3s of their business: How to get customers, advertising and marketing, law and taxes, how to buy their own health insurance, and on and on.

Fortunately again, there are some valuable resources out there to help. For instance, The SBA and its website are there to help, as is SCORE. And, if you would allow me a shameless plug, I would like to suggest that a new site that I have been working on for the past year is a worthy addition to this list: is a Web portal for all things self-employed. Working with some great corporate partners like EHealth

Legislature Sends Autism Mandate to Governor

On the last day before the Legislature was scheduled to adjourn for spring break, the House and Senate voted to send the controversial Autism Insurance Mandate legislation to the Governor.  Governor Snyder is expected to sign the legislation on April 2nd.   

SB 414 and SB 415 passed the House 91-19, and SB 981 passed 84-26. Immediate effect was ordered for all three. The no votes on SB 0981, which connects a $15 million dollar appropriation geared to help curb the costs of the mandate, were split between 21 Republicans and five Democrats.

The bills mandate coverage for autism in all insurance plans.  SBAM is generally supportive of measures that helps lower costs of care and allows increased access to treatment options for all health matters, including autism.  However, SBAM has long opposed any and all attempts to accomplish this through mandated benefits, as it foists the financial burden exclusively on small businesses and individuals through increased co-premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
SBAM applauds those who opposed the insurance mandate outlined SB 414 and SB 415.  Of the 19 voting against the measure in the House, all no votes came from Republicans.  SBAM members are encouraged to contact the following House members to thank them for standing with small businesses struggling to afford health insurance for their employees: Dave Agema (R-Grandville), Jeff Farrinton (R-Utica), Ray Franz (R-Onekama),  Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck), Ken Goike (R-Ray), Joe Haveman (R-Holland), Matt Huuki (R-Atlantic Mine), Joel Johnson (R-Clare), Andrea LaFontaine (R-Richmond), Pete Lund (R-Shelby Township), Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills), Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham), Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt), Earl Poleski (R-Jackson), Amanda Price (R-Holland), and Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).  

As part of the debate, mental health advocates argued that the bill should be amended to include full mental health parity by mandating coverage for all neuropsychiatric disorders.  Amending it in that manner would have meant crushing cost increases in insurance premiums for small business owners.  Fortunately, those attempts were thwarted.  

Recognizing the tremendous impact the mandate would have on premiums, legislative leaders and the governor’s office included a structure whereby reimbursements could be made from the state for any autism-related claims and added a $50,000 cap on individual claims.  However, the appropriation that would reimburse claims is still in flux, as state leaders are still debating next year’s budget priorities. 

SBAM will continue to oppose any and all health insurance mandates due to the direct negative impact they have on a small business owner’s ability to provide his/her employees healthcare benefits.