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Greetings!

Would a small loan to purchase a new piece of equipment or working capital help your business grow? Did you know that the Merrimack Valley Microloan Fund stands ready to assist local businesses by providing a microloan up to $5,000 with a fixed low interest rate to meet your lending needs and help build up your credit at the same time?

Don’t delay! Find out more
http://www.merrimackvalleysmallbusiness.com/services/microloan-fund/

Right Start Graduates Get Together
Pictured from left to right, Terry Williams, Shelagh Casey of Refind, Kim Scalia of Relovable Dog, Olga Saratova of Olga Saratova Photography, Kristin Wallace, Evangeline Bates of Evangeline Interiors, and Paul Hutchinson.
Thanks to important feedback from our Right Start Graduates and other clients, we’ve been busy making changes to our entrepreneurial trainings and can’t wait to launch two new series this fall!
Our Entrepreneurial Boot Campfor Pre-Concept & Start-Up Businesseswill lead entrepreneurs through defining their personal vision & goals and to determining whether their business concept is a feasible business opportunity. At the end of this very hands-on course, participants will have examined their business ideas from every angle and written a business plan, which will help them decide if the business idea is a “go” or a “no go” before making plans to launch the venture. This training will also include support around the technical steps involved in start-up.
Our Financial Tune Up Boot Camp for Start-Up & Existing Businesses will lead entrepreneurs through the basics of financial literacy and will include the important features of a well run business. Entrepreneurs will learn about financial basics, bookkeeping, inventory management & control, taxes, financing, marketing.
Best,

Stacie Hargis
Director

****************************************
SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS CALENDAR  
 
CLICK HERE to be taken to our events calendar.

 
Please RSVP for all workshops and trainings. Fees may apply and will be due at time of class. A fee waiver may be requested, please inquire when signing up.The Center reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a workshop or class due to insufficient enrollment or weather.
FDIC’s Money Smart Series
Joinus as we give the Money Smart financial education

Greetings!
2013 marks our
15th year of providing support to Merrimack Valley entrepreneurs so they can…

We empower entrepreneurs to make the right choices and increase chances for success. As we go into our anniversary year, we have lots of great news to share!  Please stay tuned for more information about our 15th year celebration in September.


MVSBC graduates in May

We recently piloted a Peer-Group Mentoring program to bring a group of microenterprise owners together to discuss issues they face day-to-day. Because of their smaller-size businesses, many owners find themselves working in a silo. When it comes to facing challenges, this group provides a space for thinking creatively with others. If you think you would be interested in this program, please contact Stacie Hargis at 978-322-8401 or [email protected].   

We are launching a Bookkeeping Business! This newly created social enterprise will offer QuickBooks set-up and training for small business clients, and provide ongoing bookkeeping services. We seek to provide a full suite of bookkeeping services to allow business owners to free up their time. If you think your business would like to know more, please contact Charles Nagbe at 978-606-8171 or [email protected]. This is all thanks to a generous capacity building grant provided by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. 

The MVSBC Microloan Fund serves an important role in the Merrimack Valley community. We know that access to capital is important! 72% of people cannot finance a business themselves. In FY 2013, we helped close over $42K in capital to businesses! For more information our Microloan Program, please contact Kristin Wallace at 978-322-8403 or [email protected].

Summer is in full swing and we are looking ahead, preparing for a fall full of great trainings and workshops.

  • Every Wednesday night, we offer our Financial Tune Up Boot Camp, Developing Your Business Plan or Loan Prep Course to help entrepreneurs learn the basics of financial management or to apply for financing.
  • Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday, come in for our FREE Are You READY…to Start a Business? workshop.  If you want to start a business, this is your first step. This class will guide you through a self-assessment of your business idea and introduce you to the business development services we offer.
  • Starting September 9th, the Entrepreneurial Boot Camp will help you determine whether your business idea is a feasible business opportunity. At the end of this hands-on training, you will have examined your idea from every angle, to decide if it’s a “go” or a “no go”.
  • We also offer affordable online, internet-marketing courses that you can take from the comfort of your own home at your own speed.  This is available through a special partnership with eMarketing4us.com.
  • If you are interested in any of these programs and have any questions, please contact Terry Williams at 978-322-8402 or [email protected].

Best,

Stacie Hargis
Director
Community Teamwork, Inc.’s
Merrimack Valley Small Business Center


CLIENT SUCCESSES

Tomo360, Greater Lowell
Susu Wong is owner of Tomo360, started in November 2012, and an immigrant from Hong Kong. Tomo360 provides small to medium-sized businesses with customized marketing strategies, social media and email marketing campaigns to creatively connect with their customers. Susu signed up for Financial Tune Up Boot Camp in order to better understand how to manage cash flow, sales projections and expenses. Susu has taken advantage of one-on-one counseling and participated in our peer-group mentoring pilot program. Since receiving our services, Susu has seen an increase in her revenue and has even been able to hire an employee.

Learn more about Tomo360

Lowell Naturalization and Citizenship Services, Lowell
After running her business for nearly a year, Marcia Strauss, owner of Lowell Naturalization and Citizenship Services, wanted to learn more skills to manage her business. An immigrant herself from Brazil, Marcia has a great understanding of the needs of her clients. As part of the Financial Tune Up Boot Camp, Marcia learned about the three main financial statements, which she now uses regularly as tools to manage her business and customer credit arrangements. She is also using this new knowledge to help her figure out when she can move her business to a storefront location in the near future. Marcia is currently enrolled in the Merrimack Valley Sandbox’s Accelerator Program and looks forward to merging the knowledge learned from both programs and will continue to participate in our peer-group mentoring program.

Learn more about Lowell Naturalization and Citizenship Services


MEMBER BUSINESS STARTS
Congratulations to the following business starts in the last quarter:


Electronic Horizons held a ribbon cutting in July. 


IN THE NEWS


SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS CALENDAR
Be sure to check out our events calendar to see all the awesome events coming up! 
CLICK HERE 
 

Upcoming Events for Breathe NH

breathe

Matthew Schwartz - LPL Independent Investor

LPL Independent Investor

July 2013

 

Using Life Insurance to Ensure Business Continuity

 

The loss of critical personnel can be life threatening to small businesses; however, it's a risk that life insurance can often mitigate. In fact, life insurance policies are frequently used in plans aimed at making it possible for a business to survive a change of ownership or the loss of a partner, the chief executive or an employee whose creative talent, technical knowledge or salesmanship drives the business.

 

Most commonly, life insurance is employed as the funding mechanism in buy-sell plans—legal agreements that provide for an orderly transfer of ownership interests—and to compensate for the loss of a key person.

 

Buy-Sell Agreements

A buy-sell agreement allows the remaining owner or owners to acquire the interest of a departing owner due to death or another specified event, such as disability or retirement. The agreement typically restricts an owner’s ability to transfer his or her interest and sets out the terms under which another owner or the business entity may acquire the departing owner’s interest.

 

A buy-sell agreement can anticipate situations that could imperil the business or be harmful to owners and employees. For example, it can be used to prevent unwanted outsiders or heirs from obtaining an ownership interest; it can prevent the continued involvement of retired or inactive shareholders or partners; and it can ensure the legal continuation of the entity if an owner becomes bankrupt or loses a required professional license.

 

Among its benefits, a buy-sell agreement creates a marketplace for the shares of a closely held business, helping ensure that departing owners will receive adequate compensation.

 

Life insurance is typically used to fund the agreement and may also provide cash to pay other costs. How life insurance is employed depends on the structure of the buy-sell agreement. In the case of a partnership, for example, the agreement may call for each partner to buy and maintain policies on each of the other partners in an amount sufficient to cover the beneficiary’s partnership interest. In other types of buy-sell plans, the business entity purchases the insurance policy on each owner and the business is the beneficiary.

 

Insuring a Key Person

Key person life insurance compensates the business against losses that result from the insured’s death. In that event, the company—which has purchased the policy and paid the premiums—immediately receives the policy’s tax-free death benefit and applies the proceeds toward the resulting business costs. Examples of costs include those incurred in recruiting and training a replacement, purchasing the decedent’s ownership interest and replacing lost revenue.

 

To provide greater flexibility, the company may arrange an exchange agreement, allowing it to transfer coverage to a successor if the key person leaves the firm prior to retirement. While the insured is employed, the life insurance may provide the firm with additional benefits, such as a potentially higher credit rating and the ability to tap the policy’s cash value for emergency funds.

 

Practical Matters

  • Establishing a value (or valuation method) for the business is a necessary step in determining how much funding will be needed for a buy-sell agreement. Likewise, the amount of life insurance to purchase for a key person should be based on a reasonable estimate of the costs the firm would incur as a result of his or her departure.
  • A professional appraisal is usually advisable in preparing a buy-sell agreement. Professional advice is also recommended in key person situations where issues such as a potential reduction in the firm’s credit rating or loss of confidence among customers, employees or vendors may be involved.
  • Your insurance agent can provide information about life insurance terms and costs. Keep in mind that insurance premiums are not deductible business expenses and that life insurance cash values and death proceeds may result in corporate alternative minimum taxes.
  • Owners contemplating a buy-sell agreement should consult legal and tax advisors to discuss how the proposed agreement may affect their personal financial situation and estate planning.1

 

1 Life insurance policies contain exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits, and terms for keeping them in force. Your financial professional can provide you with costs and complete details. This information is intended to provide general education on the importance of buy/sell agreements. Please note that the LPL Financial Advisor providing this newsletter does not provide business valuations services.

 

 

This article was prepared by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult me if you have any questions.

 

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special, or consequential damages in connection with subscribers’ or others’ use of the content.

 

 

Tracking #1-178473

 

 

Matthew M. Schwartz

Financial Consultant

 

Schwartz Financial Services, Inc.

3 Baldwin Green Common #209

Woburn, MA 01801

 

[email protected]

 

Tel: (781) 932-3289

Fax: (781) 998-3099

 

Website:  SchwartzFinancialServices.net

 

Professional LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/SchwartzMatt

 

Professional Facebook Profile:  facebook.com/SchwartzFinancial

 

 

Personal Facebook Profile:  facebook.com/SchwartzMatthewM

Great Networking Story featuring my friend Steve Labbe from Paradigm Plumbing and Heating

 

 

 

 

BNI Logo

Why it Pays to Know Your Competition!

BNI New Hampshire Plumber Passes
$500,000 Referral to Competitor

 

Members,
We are excited to share with you today the following BNI success story about two of our very own BNI New Hampshire members! We encourage you to take a moment to read how these two gentlemen have not only grown their businesses by utilizing the systems set in place by BNI, but how they have been working together despite being competitors. Enjoy!

 

Steve Labbe & Keith Mercier

"This is an organization where anybody here will help you with your business. It's that kind of sharing from the top down. They want to see everybody else succeed," Emory Cowan, Co-Executive Director BNI Colorado.

 

This quote comes from the Givers Gain book that all BNI members receive upon attending their first MSP and it couldn't be more spot on when discussing a recent $500,000 referral passed in the New Hampshire region from one Plumber to (wait for it)... another Plumber. That's right, one member passed a half a million dollar referral to his competitor which has resulted in the two passing millions of dollars of business to one another.

 

Steve Labbe is a member of the BNI Wolf Pack chapter and has been a part of the organization for six years. His business, Paradigm Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. specializes in plumbing, heating, air conditioning and bathroom showers and tubs, as well as sewer and drain service. Keith Mercier is a member of the Power House Networking Chapter and has been a member of the organization for four years. Keith's business, Progressive Mechanical Inc. specializes in plumbing and heating with contractors that specialize in plumbing gas and forced hot water installations for residential, commercial, & industrial buildings. In 2012, Keith was honored as BNI New Hampshire's Member of the Year as he passed 117 referrals, brought in 35 visitors, did 201 one-to-one's, 121 CEUs and passed $284,609 in closed business.

 

Over the years Steve and Keith have developed a strong business relationship, despite being competitors, as evidenced through the recent referrals passed. Both gentlemen view BNI as an opportunity to help one another work cooperatively vs. competitively in order to benefit their individual businesses. Their relationship began a few years ago when Steve asked Keith to a one-to-one. After sitting down together, the two gentlemen found that their sweet spots in business were different (Steve prefers remodeling, repairs and replacement and Keith prefers complete system installations and construction). They each also offer specialized services that the other does not. The two soon realized the potential of working together under two principles:  

1. There is an abundance of business for each of them. 

2. Together they are stronger. 

 

"Steve coined the phrase "copetitors" and we began working together in small ways to build trust by referring work, sharing information , tools, material and manpower," said Keith Mercier. "I like and trust Steve like a brother and I have found that the stronger our relationship becomes the more both our companies prosper because of it. It is mind blowing that we are passing millions in business by using the fundamentals of BNI while in the same profession."

 

Steve passed a referral to Keith which lead to a $250,000 referral. The builder was pleased with Keith's performance and is sending him a contract for $500,000. The beginning of this referral began last year when Rob Schaefer from David and White Architects joined the BNI Wolf Pack and he and Steve did a one-to-one. During their meeting Rob had mentioned he had a chance for Steve to bid on a 24 unit building up north. Steve told him it was not his specialty but that his trusted friend Keith was who he would refer a job like that to. Steve then asked Rob if he would like to meet Keith, and he did. Keith hit it off big time with Rob and closed the 24 unit building AND another. Steve noted that he was so happy to help Keith because they both understand that working together is the way to get their businesses to the next level, and they are. In return Keith has given Steve countless referrals for sewers, boiler - burner retrofits, your everyday plumbing service call and additionally, manpower when they both get so busy they need help. To note, Steve just closed a $ 47,500.00 referral from Keith in Massachusetts for a duplex plumbing, heating and gas piping system.

 

"I am so very blessed to have such an amazing friend and referral partner in Keith, "said Steve Labbe. "Keep your eye on us we are going to the top because we understand Givers Gain® and winning together. Nothing will ever get in the way of our friendship and we both have BNI to thank for this success. We are coachable and have learned this way of being from Dr. Ivan Misner and the Roberts family who owns our region. Thank you BNI we want you to join in our success."

 

Members have joined BNI to generate more business through referrals and are taught that the way to build their business is by helping other people build their business. The entire BNI NH team is beyond proud of the camaraderie between Steve and Keith and incredibly proud of the example they lead for all of our members. We hope that by sharing this story that more people can only further see that givers truly do gain! A true testament to the BNI way!

 

   
 
 
 

Are you an Accountant or a Bookkeeper thinking about selling or merging your business?

Are you an Accountant or Bookkeeper who is interested in selling or merging your business? If so I have a friend who would like to speak with you about the possibility of buying your business. Please send a message to [email protected] and I will introduce you. 

Do not Struggle with your Small Business Books or Taxes!

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Contact Steven Feinberg at 603-434-2775 for more information.