News2017-08-11T09:25:04+00:00
14Apr, 2021

FEMA assistance from the recent winter storm

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As you may already know, the registration period to apply for FEMA assistance from the recent winter storm will end soon, on April 20th. In an attempt to reach as many affected residents as possible, I am forwarding you flyers regarding registration. Flyers are available in many languages so, if you have residents that speak a specific language and think it would be beneficial to have flyers in that language, please let me know and I can forward those to you as well. Possibly, this information can be made available to those who are members of your organization so that they may, in turn, provide it to their customers and/or clients. The phone number for interested residents to contact is listed on the attached flyers and is not my personal contact number. However, if you or any of your colleagues have questions or need additional information, you can reach out to me via email or on my cell at the number listed below.

13Apr, 2021

Terry Bryant Honors Nurses Through Giveaway

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The accident & injury law firm of Terry Bryant will be giving away $600 to 10 Houston nurses randomly selected from a list of nominees submitted by members of our community.

Though the past year has been challenging for everyone living through the COVID-19 pandemic, few groups have been asked to do more than nurses. Houston’s iconic personal injury lawyer Terry Bryant decided it was time to recognize nurses for the invaluable work they’re doing.

“Nurses are always a cornerstone of both our healthcare system and society as a whole,” said Terry Bryant. “This past year has highlighted just how much we depend on nurses and the services they provide, and we wanted to do something to show them how much we appreciate all they do.”

Anyone interested in nominating a nurse in the random drawing can do so from April 1st to May 5th by visiting the firm’s website at https://www.terrybryant.com/nurses.

12Apr, 2021

Time could be right for price increase

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Back in the early 2000s I worked for a company that was owned by a private equity firm. The private equity firm had lots of businesses in America and the owners hoped they all would flourish and make money.

The private equity folks were located in New York City and they had a building full of experts that they would send into the hinterlands to teach us how to be better at business. One day they sent down some experts on pricing.

These guys came from the best schools and made a presentation on how price affects your profitability. Back at that time, Walmart was like Apple is today. Walmart was revered and looked up to as a model company.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

*In partnership with McElvy Partners

8Apr, 2021

2021 Scholarship Winners

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Congratulations to our 2021 Scholarship Winners and Students preparing to serve our country and defend our freedom!  We wish you much success in your future endeavors.

Thank you to our amazing sponsors:

Primeway Federal Credit Union

Memorial Hermann Greater Heights

Adams Insurance Service

Members Trust of the Southwest Credit Union

SendOutCards

Reynold and Assoc.

Houston Highway Credit Union

Rotary Club of Houston Heights

Sons of Herman

Tom and June Kimball

Dr. Ann Vermillion

 

 

5Apr, 2021

Small business marketing always starts with content

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Marketing a small business has never been harder than it is today. Survey after survey shows the cost and understanding of modern-day digital and social media marketing has consumed business owners unlike ever before.

Why? Digital marketing used to be so easy. You posted to social media, had a decent website, and if you invested just a little time and money, you’d get more calls than you could handle.

Here’s why: Google and Facebook are two of the richest companies in the world specifically because digital marketing used to be so easy. When businesses started having noticeable success reaching new customers (circa 2011-2017), every single small business rushed to try the same thing.

There are no short-cuts to great marketing, regardless of what digital agencies tell you. There is still, today, no replacement for a brand that’s refined, a value proposition that resonates, a message that matters.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

*In partnership with McElvy Partners

29Mar, 2021

Small business marketing costs more than ever

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In Part 1 of this series on small business marketing, we laid out the evidence that easy marketing tools on digital and social media do not mean digital and social media marketing is easy.

It’s not. Don’t believe a single person who tells you otherwise. Even when that 20-something down the street tells you social media is way easy, that person is way wrong.

Look at any survey of small business owners – national all the way down to our own company’s recent Small Business Sentiment Survey – and you’ll find more and more companies begrudging the difficulty of this new era in marketing.

Why is that? Three reasons.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

*In partnership with McElvy Partners

23Mar, 2021

Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17: Treasury, IRS extend filing and payment deadline

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IR-2021-59, March 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.

The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.

State tax returns

The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.

Winter storm disaster relief for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas

Earlier this year, following the disaster declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),  the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. These states have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.

For more information about this disaster relief, visit the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

23Mar, 2021

Experienced business owners cautious in 2021

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There is no better teacher than experience. One of the exciting components of this year’s McElvy Partners Small Business Sentiment Survey is that experienced business owners took the time to respond – 86 percent of those surveyed have been in business more than four years.

When we surveyed, we asked these businesses to tell us how long they had been at it. The choices were one to three years, 4-10 years, 11-20 years, or more than 21 years. We managed to survey nearly 50 businesses that have been around more than 20 years. That age group was our largest response. By comparison, we surveyed 17 businesses open three years or less.

Why is this a good thing? Because we are in an uncertain time. In the last year, there have been major changes in government and a global pandemic that has rocked economies. The whole survey reflects the great uncertainty that is pervasive in our nation and that uncertainty has trickled down to small businesses.

About half of the respondents said they want to hire in 2021 but about half will not add staff. Very few surveyed plan to make a capital purchase in 2021. And while those are negative trends, those surveyed do expect their revenues to grow, which moves the needle from negative to uncertain.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

*In partnership with McElvy Partners

18Mar, 2021

Agreement will extend PPP through May

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Big news out of Washington, D.C., Thursday as a bipartisan group of Senators and House members have introduced legislation that would extend PPP for small businesses by two months.

According to a report from Politico, House Small Business Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) announced an agreement to extend the deadline until May 31.

Congress must work to understand the current realities facing small business owners and extend PPP to meet their needs. – Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y), House Small Business Chair

In a story published by CNBC, many of the changes implemented by the SBA and Treasury, along with technical issues in application submission have created delays to businesses seeking a lifeline after the crushing impacts of closures across the nation.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

*In partnership with McElvy Partners

18Mar, 2021

Announcing the Governor’s Small Business Resource Portal!

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Dear Texas Small Business Owners & Economic Development Partners,

The Office of Small Business Assistance is excited to announce the official launch of the Governor’s Small Business Resource Portal! Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner, the portal will provide you with the most relevant resources and contacts to help you find success. This important tool offers a customized list of useful business resources to assist in starting or growing a business in Texas.

The portal is easy to access and use—simply answer five short questions to generate your tailored resource list. For your convenience, you may print or email the results directly from the portal.

Types of information included in the portal:

  • Federal, State and Local Resources
  • Business Advice and Growth Assistance
  • Funding Sources

Additional Specific Resources

CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH THE PORTAL

We hope you will share the Governor’s Small Business Resource Portal with your small business network and anyone interested in doing business in the Lone Star State.

Thanks for all you do for our great state!

-Office of Small Business Assistance, Texas Economic Development & Tourism