Resources

SBAM Chairman Yan Ness profiled in online magazine

Yan Ness, CEO of Online Tech in Ann Arbor and the 2011-12 chairman of SBAM, was profiled recently in Concentrate. Excerpt: 

Ness is an avowed proponent of economic gardening - policies that help small firms like his, a data center company with 25 employees, grow organically and sink deep roots. "If you look at that group, it's the only one that creates net jobs over a long period of time," Ness says. 

Read the rest of the article here

Federal Exchange Rules

Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) released their much-anticipated rules on health insurance exchanges.  Comments are due Sept. 28, and the Small Business Association of Michigan, along with our Washington-based affiliate National Small Business Association, will submit comments which we will begin to draft in the coming weeks.  If you have comments that you would like to submit for consideration, please email them to scott.lyon@sbam.org.

In short: the rules provide significant flexibility for states to customize their own exchanges, and were far from the proscriptive 800-page document expected. Below are some of the key provisions in the regulations.

Creation/Certification of Exchanges

  • States will be allowed to partner to create regional exchanges, or maintain them within a state’s borders.  
  • State exchanges will be allowed to either be active purchasers (negotiators) or restrict their role to the creation of an open marketplace – the regulations don’t clarify this beyond what was in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • States that are shown to be working on creating an exchange are given some flexibility on the certification deadline of Jan. 2013 before HHS will step in and establish an exchange in that state.
  • The HHS approval process for exchanges would function much like that now used for Medicaid or CHIP state plans, but certification also would require that state exchanges operate a reinsurance program.

Small Business Health Options Plan (SHOP)

  • The rules do not specify a minimum participation requirement for participating in a SHOP exchange, it does seek comments specific to this.
  • SHOP Qualifies Health Plans (QHP) are only allowed to change rates at a uniform time and cannot change rates for an employer during a plan year.  
  • Exchanges are encouraged, but not required, to provide calculators that allow employees to calculate their premium share for particular plans after the employer contribution to aid employee choice.
  • SHOP exchanges enroll small employers, or, if a state elects after 2015, large employers.  Small employers have 100 or fewer employees, or at the election of a state prior to 2016, 50 or fewer.  Part-time as well as full-time employees are included in the count.  Employers must have at least one employee to qualify; sole proprietors do not qualify.
  • Qualified employers can either offer coverage to their employees only through the SHOP exchange that covers their principle place of business or through multiple SHOP exchanges covering the primary workplaces of their employees (for an employer with workers in multiple states).


Administration of Exchanges

  • The regulations do allow for a nonprofit entity to run an exchange, but it would have to be appointed and overseen by the state.
  • Exchanges can contract with other entities, including state Medicaid agencies, provided they are NOT insurance companies, to carry out some of their duties.
  • States will be allowed to have separate governing boards for the individual and SHOP Exchanges; however HHS will require coordination and information sharing.
  • With regard to insurers and brokers, the regulations assert that a majority of voting board members must not have a financial conflict of interest, and also that a majority of voting members must have experience relevant to health care financing or delivery or public health or health policy.  
  • Exchanges must have conflict of interest, ethics, and transparency standards and board members must disclose financial conflicts of inte

Are You a Small Business C-Corp? Be Cautious About Reorganizing Just to Take Advantage of the New Six Percent Corporate Tax Rate

From SBAM’s member-only Focus on Small Business magazine

Business tax reform, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, eliminates the job-killing Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and the MBT Surcharge, replacing it with a 6 percent corporate income tax on C-corps only.

If you are a C-Corp and a small business, you really need to talk to your CPA about the several strategies available to you, advises Angela McGarry, a Lansing-based CPA who testified in favor of business tax reform this spring before the State Senate.

“If your profit is going to be consistently over $50,000 a year then, you might want to consider an S-election or some other entity, but that also has its complications,” says McGarry. “You’re going to want to consult with a CPA to do the conversion from a C-Corp to an S-election. It’s important to get an appraisal, because if in the future your business becomes very successful and you want to sell you have to be careful of the built in federal gains tax. You’ll wish you had an appraisal if that ever happens. Again, it’s a complicated issue and you need to talk to your CPA.”

McGarry says she believes that overall, the new tax law changes are going to be very beneficial to small businesses. It will give them extra dollars to spend on labor or that extra piece of equipment they need in their business,” she says.

The SBAM "Business Next" radio show on Wed. July 20, 10 a.m.: How small businesses are using social media to help grow their business, with PR expert Larry Eiler.

Other upcoming shows:

  • July 22 USA Today business columnist Steven Strauss on creative ways to get funding.
  • July 25 Kathi Fuse-Hobohm of SPACE Inc. on basics of small business office interior design 
  • July 27 Business advocate Chris Holman on the results of a new statewide survey on small business economic prospects
  • July 29 Entrepreneur Cam Gnass on the business and social benefits of community involvement

Business Next is part of the new MichiganBusinessNetwork.com Internet radio network. Hear great tips and ideas for growing your business on Business Next every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Repeated at 3 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.) You can download previous programs at sbam.org/radio and subscribe to our podcast version. Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook!

“The Best of Business Next” airs on TalkLansing.net at 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

Business Next is brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America,Kushner and Company HR and Benefit Experts, NuWave Technology Partners and Davenport University.

Have ideas for guests and topics? Email show host Michael Rogers at michael.rogers@sbam.org


The SBAM "Business Next" radio show. Today's guest at 10 a.m.: business consultant Tom Borg with tips for great customer service

Business Next is now part of the new MichiganBusinessNetwork.com Internet radio network. Hear great tips and ideas for growing your business on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Repeated at 3 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.)

Click over to MichiganBusinessNetwork.com from your PC or mobile device at 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and get the advice you need to be a successful entrepreneur! Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook!

The SBAM "Business Next" radio show is now on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 10 a.m. Hear us tomorrow!

Business Next is now part of the new MichiganBusinessNetwork.com Internet radio network. Hear great tips and ideas for growing your business on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Repeated at 3 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.)

Click over to MichiganBusinessNetwork.com from your PC or mobile device at 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and get the advice you need to be a successful entrepreneur! Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook!

“The Best of Business Next” will air on TalkLansing.net at 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

Upcoming shows:

  • July 15: Business consultant Perry Ballard explains the basics of small business marketing.
  • July 18: Top tips for improving your customer service! Guest Tom Borg, owner of Tom Borg consulting.
  • July 20: How small businesses are using social media to help grow their business, with PR expert Larry Eiler.

Business Next is brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network, the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America,Kushner and Company HR and Benefit Experts, NuWave Technology Partners and Davenport University.

Download previous programs at sbam.org/radio.


Lansing’s Old Town Commercial Association: Working with SBAM to Focus the Power of Small Business

In November of 2008, the Small Business Association of Michigan launched a new initiative to actively seek out regional and statewide business organizations who shared our vision in moving toward an entrepreneurial economy. Lansing’s Old Town Commercial Association was one of the first to see value in partnering with SBAM. We sat down with OTCA’s Executive Director, Brittney Hoszkiw, to talk about our partnership.

Old Town Commercial Association

Businesses that join the Old Town Commercial Association have a passion for and are committed to preserving Lansing’s only historical commercial district and influencing economic development. With a mutual goal of developing a more vibrant community, the actions of Old Town Commercial Association’s 100+ members are bringing real results.
“Members of the Old Town Commercial Association are automatically members of the Small Business Association of Michigan,” shared Hoszkiw. “Together, we work for the betterment of the Old Town neighborhood – and that’s made possible by these types of partnerships.” Focus had the opportunity to talk with Hoszkiw about Old Town’s partnership with SBAM:

Focus: What is the value of SBAM to Old Town?

Hoszkiw: For us, the different benefits that SBAM offers are often times thought to be available only through larger organizations. When our members, 50 percent of whom have one to three employees, realize what they have access to through their Old Town membership and consequently a membership in SBAM, they are thrilled. This partnership is a good example of a value-add situation where you’re providing extremely small businesses the tools to be successful. When working with a staff of one to two people, that value is exponential.

Focus: Why are partnerships important?

Hoszkiw: To improve Old Town and the Lansing region as whole, we need to look at partnering with other organizations and find ways to achieve the mutual goal of a more vibrant entrepreneurial community. Our partnership with SBAM, for example, has allowed us to work toward that goal by giving a small organization like ours the tools needed to strengthen our member businesses.

Learn more about the Old Town Commercial Association at www.iloveoldtown.org. For more information on SBAM’s strategic partnerships, contact Pierre LaVoie at pierre.lavoie@sbam.org.

SBAM seeks an experienced sales representative

DESCRIPTION
The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) seeks an experienced sales representative to fill role in the Membership & Development Department.  This position is a blend of inside and outside sales that will focus on increasing membership recruitment while also engaging members in products and services offered by SBAM.  

REQUIREMENTS
A Bachelor degree or equivalent experience of 2-5 years in the areas of sales, marketing or development is necessary. Candidates must be self-starters that approaches work with proactive and positive attitude.  

For more information, email Dan Mahoney, VP of Membership & Development: dan.mahoney@sbam.org



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