Category Archives: Blog

BLOG: Contracting With the General Services Administration (GSA)

GSA's Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU)

GSA's Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU) advocates for small businesses, including disadvantaged, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, and women business owners. Its mission is to promote increased access to GSA's nationwide procurement opportunities.

OSBU monitors and implements small business policies and manages a range of programs required by law. GSA’s small business programs nurture entrepreneurial opportunities, open doors to new business horizons, and enhance technological capabilities. (more…)

BLOG: Veterans First Buying Authority

The Veterans First Buying Authority redefines priorities for contracting preferences within VA, and gives service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) first and second priority, respectively, in satisfying VA’s acquisition requirements. It allows sole- source contracts over the Simplified Acquisition Procedures Threshold up to $5,000,000 (including options). Furthermore, it implements restricted competition via set-aside procedures for each category of SDVOSBs and VOSBs. And it allows additional credit evaluation factors for SDVOSB or VOSB status. (more…)

BLOG: Trademark FAQs

In our last post we discussed the frequently asked questions or FAQs regarding copyrights and patents.  Today, we are going to continue on the topic of protecting your ideas by answering some of the FAQs about trademarks.

What is a trademark?

  • A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination used or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name for products.
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BLOG: Deployment: Final Considerations & Checklists

Many business owners who are members of the National Guard or Reserves have many things that they need to consider before they deploy.  In previous posts we have discussed a few of your options on whether to Sustain or Suspend your business.  Here are a few more items to consider and a checklist to help keep you on track.

Securing your Investment

Whether you choose to suspend or sustain your business, keeping your investment secure is a must while you are deployed. This means protecting your business, your customers, and yourself. This section will help you ensure your business is secure until you return. (more…)

BLOG: Protecting Your Ideas Part I—Copyrights and Patents

Most of us have had an idea for a new product or service only to dismiss, postpone, or neglect it. Sometimes we later find that others had the same idea, but took it to market before we did. By that time, it is too late for us to take advantage of the idea.

Ideas are relatively easy to come by, but inventions are more difficult. It takes knowledge, time, money, and effort to refine an idea into a workable invention, even on paper. Turning an invention into a new product accepted by the marketplace takes a lot of effort and a little luck. There are substantial barriers in the path of those who pursue innovation. Overcoming them requires careful planning and plenty of input from others. (more…)

BLOG: SBA Loans – Microloans & Special Purpose Loans

The Microloan Program provides very small loans to starting up, newly established, or growing small businesses. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community-based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers.

Terms, Amounts, and Interest Rates

The maximum term allowed for a microloan is six years. However, loan terms vary according to the size of the loan, the planned use of funds, the requirements of the intermediary lender, and the needs of the small business borrower. (more…)

BLOG: IRS Checklist for Small Businesses

As a new business owner you need to know your federal tax responsibilities. This page provides links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business. It also provides useful information for making basic business decisions. The list should not be construed as all-inclusive. Other steps may be appropriate for your specific type of business.

Determine if it is a business or a hobby: For your activity to be considered a business rather than a hobby, your business must be profitable during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year. (more…)

BLOG: SBA Disaster Loans

If you are the victim of a disaster and you rent or own your own home, own your own business, or own a small agricultural cooperative located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the SBA.

What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?

Home Disaster Loans: Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate or personal property owned by the victim. Renters are eligible for their personal property losses, including automobiles. (more…)

BLOG: Contracting — Finding Opportunities

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) outlines the procedures that contracting officials must use to guide government purchases. It includes the methods listed below, which are used to notify contractors of the goods and services currently being solicited by government agencies. For more information about the FAR, go to http://www.acquisition.gov.

Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) lists which agencies are buying and what their needs are. Its single-entry, government-wide website (http://www.fbo.gov) announces all available business opportunities over $25,000. FedBizOpps will be your most important source of information. (more…)

BLOG: Financing your Business Part V – Applying for a Loan

So far in our “Financing your Business” series, we have covered the questions you should ask yourself before seeking financing, credit factors you should consider, what bankers are looking for, and the financial statements you need to have completed prior to applying for a loan.  Now that you understand some of these different factors and you know the type of financing you are going to seek, it’s time to prepare a written loan proposal.

Always begin your proposal with a cover letter or executive summary. Clearly and briefly explain who you are, your business background, the nature of your business, the amount and purpose of your loan request, your requested terms of repayment, how the funds will benefit your business, and how you will repay the loan. Keep this cover page simple and direct. (more…)

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