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. 

New survey report: small business confidence hits highest level in three years

SBAM’s national affiliate, the National Small Business Association (NSBA), today released its 2011 Year-End Economic Report, which shows a decidedly more positive outlook for America’s small businesses, with important gains in several key indicators. Most notably, more small-business owners report being confident about the future of their businesses than at any time in the last three years, up from 64 percent just six months ago to 75 percent today. 

“Although this report is by far the most positive we’ve seen in quite some time, it is imperative policymakers not mistake these gains for a task completed,” stated NSBA Chair Chris Holman, CEO of Michigan Business Network.com and President of The Greater Lansing Business Monthly. “There are countless issues that continue to hinder small businesses.”

While the majority of small-business owners (66 percent) continue to anticipate a flat economy in the coming year, the number expecting a recession was more than cut in half at 14 percent, down from 30 percent six months ago. Additionally, the number of small businesses expecting economic expansion in the coming year nearly doubled from 12 percent to 20 percent in six months.
Revenue growth was at its highest point in more than three years with 46 percent of small businesses reporting increases—up from 39 percent six months ago. There was a commensurate drop in those reporting decreases in revenue from 37 percent to 31 percent. And while job growth didn’t experience the same kind of growth—it remained unchanged at just 22 percent reporting increases—the number of small businesses (23 percent) reporting employment decreases was the lowest it’s been in three years.
When asked which issues are most important for policymakers to address, small businesses overwhelmingly ranked reducing the national deficit number one—up to 44 percent from 34 percent six months ago—followed by reducing tax and regulatory burdens and reigning in the costs of health care. Along those lines, there was a marked increase among small-business owners who cited regulatory burdens as a major challenge for their business—up from 31 percent six months ago to 40 percent today.
Please click here to access the 2011 Year-End Economic Report.


Entrepreneurship: Instrument for Positive Social Change

By Mark H. Clevey, MPA, Entre/Intrapreneurship Consultant and co-author of the Michigan Entrepreneurship Scord Card

In 2011 the Michigan Municipal League published a new book titled, “The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People” that identified entrepreneurship as one of five key drivers of community and economic development. Entrepreneur extraordinaire Josh Linkner notes that entrepreneurs drive this development because they, by definition, “change the world.” More importantly, research increasingly shows that entrepreneurs change the world other than by simply by making a better mouse trap. They do so by creating and catalyzing a paradigm of entrepreneurship that makes the social, cultural, community and economic systems that surround them more entrepreneurial as well. When this influence reaches a tipping point it becomes, in the words of Google, an “entrepreneurialist culture.” 

According to Google, an, “Entrepreneurialist Culture is not just relevant to business and engineering students contemplating starting their own businesses. It is just as relevant to people who intend to seek employment with large companies or, indeed, are going to enter public service, Non Governmental Organizations, charities, museums, hospitals, universities, public school administration and the like.”

Even more importantly, research shows that an entrepreneurialist culture is more than just the sum of its parts. It is characterized primarily by a synergistic “virtuous cycle” where a greater number of innovative people lead to shared ideas which further leads to growth in institutions that foster innovation that in turn attract more innovative people from less fertile communities and so on. Over the last eight years, SBAM’s Annual Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card has researched the issue of “entrepreneurialist culture” and has found that entrepreneurship typically flourishes in three key ways:

• Small Business Entrepreneurs are defined as firms that effectively combine technical innovation with intent and capacity for growth in high growth potential markets. 

• Intrapreneurs - While an entrepreneur is defined as an individual that takes primary responsibility for venture creation, intrapreneurs are entrepreneurs who reside inside of existing organizations that serve as change agents, steering their hosts in new directions of growth, diversification, profitability and impact. 

• Social Entre/Intrapreneurs - In 1980, Bill Drayton, a management consultant working for McKinsey & Company, coined the term “social entrepreneur” as an individual who uses entrepreneurship principally to generate positive social change operating in both the private and non-profit sectors. 

SBAM’s Score Card research indicates that communities can use Social Entrepreneurship to enhance innovation and change in non-business organizations as well as to encourage increased small business entrepreneurship as an economic revitalization strategy. Serial entrepreneur extraordinaire’ Josh Linkner, for example, tells would-be entrepreneurs that, “if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, do it to make a difference.” Many for example, look to the Charter School movement as a prime example of Social Entrepreneurship at its best – better educated students make higher performing employees and better business/community leaders and followers. In other instances, Social Entrepreneurship is being used a way to revitalize communities and seed new businesses and industries in blighted areas. Social entrepreneurs often are early adopters of new technologies, thus helping innovators compete in the marketplace. Finally, at the community level, a growing number of organizations are beginning to use social entrepreneurship principles as a way to revitalize the community based organizations that they financially support.

Those wishing to learn more about how t

H-1B Filing Season To Begin April 2, 2012

Employers are reminded to identify new candidates who will require H-1B sponsorship as soon as possible, to ensure that these applications are accepted for processing. April 2, 2012 is the first date that an employer is able to file an H-1B petition on behalf of a foreign national who has not possessed H-1B status before. Employees with approved H-1B petitions will be able to begin work in that status on October 1, 2012.
 
The H-1B is a frequently used temporary work visa for professional positions. Generally, there are only 65,000 H-1Bs available per year. Although the annual limit in 2011 was not reached until November 2011, the annual limit has been reached in prior years on April 1st. If USCIS receives more than enough petitions in the first five days of processing, there will be computer generated random selection process to choose which H-1B petitions will be accepted for processing.
 
There are an additional 20,000 H-1Bs available for candidates with a Master's Degree or higher from a US university. Foreign nationals who work for a non-profit research organization, an institution of higher education, or work furthering the purposes of either of these, or have used a cap subject H-1B, are exempt from the H-1B quota. For more information on H-1Bs, see the Clark Hill website.

Attention employers - UI Tax reform underway

On Dec. 19, 2011, the State Legislature approved a comprehensive solution to Michigan’s defunct Unemployment Trust Fund. Prior to the reform action, the system, which is wholly financed through taxes on employers, was indebted to the federal government by nearly $3.4 billion and was structurally unstable. Without legislative intervention Michigan employers would have been subject to substantial and steadily increasing federal penalties to repay the debt and interest, without building solvency in the Trust Fund.

Specifically, the reform package issues bonds to repay the $3.4 billion debt. Employers are legally obligated to repay the balance. By issuing bonds and assessing employers for repayment, business owners will experience a significant savings relative to the heighted federal interest and penalties due in 2012. 

To insure that the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund remains stable and solvent going forward, the business community and the legislature agreed that the taxable wage would have to be raised from $9,000 to $9,500. However, the taxable wage base will automatically decrease to $9,000 once the Trust Fund returns to a balance of $2.5 billion. 

Fiscal reforms were not enough, however, to guarantee future solvency. Changes tightening qualifying standards, imposing more severe penalties for defrauding the system and loosening rules for seasonal employers will help make the reforms a complete solution. After years of decline, Michigan’s UI system is again stable.

Beginning this week, business owners will receive a detailed explanation of these reforms directly from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Members who have questions are encouraged to utilize the Department’s new Office of Employer Ombudsman through its toll-free phone number at 1-855-484-2636 (4-UIAOEO) or via e-mail at OEO@michigan.gov. The Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. SBAM members may also contact David Jessup, SBAM’s Director of Government Relations, via email at dave.jessup@sbam.org

Questions about UI reform? You can also leave a comment below!
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