Monday, December 23, 2013

How to Get a Business Loan

If you think a business loan might be part of your plans for next year, check out the SBA's 6-step guide on "How to Get a Business Loan." It will guide you through six important questions:
  1. What criteria do banks look for in making small business loans?
  2. What information will you need?
  3. How can you set yourself up from the beginning to make the process easier? (i.e. accounting systems, etc.)
  4. What is the typical size of a small business loan?
  5. How can you get financing to start a business since many banks want to fund growth?
  6. Are there associations that can help?
The answer to that last question, of course, is yes.

SBA works closely with a large network of partners that leverage SBA resources, including Women’s Business Centers (WBC), such as E-Magnify.  

As a Women's Business Center, E-Magnify provides direct client counseling for women interested in starting a business or growing an existing business. Contact us to learn more and to schedule a no-cost counseling session.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Healthcare Law & Your Business (Webinar)

What does the new healthcare law mean for your business? 

Register for this no-cost webinar on Dec. 19, presented by the U.S. Small Business and Small Business Majority, a national nonprofit advocacy organization.

Date: Thursday, December 19, 2013
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Location: Online webinar
Presenter: Meredith K. Olafson - Senior Policy Advisor to the Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

This webinar will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for small businesses. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include the following:
  • Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)— who’s eligible for them and how to claim them
  • Marketplace updates
  • Shared responsibility
  • Cost containment
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law
A question and answer period will follow.

Learn more and register for this no-cost webinar.

You can also visit to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act will impact your business.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Marketing for Small Businesses

 If you're scrambling to get together your holiday or year-end customer gifts, check out these six tips from the SBA blog to turn your gifts to customers into a marketing tool for your business.

This article, also from the SBA blog, details five ways to market your business for the holiday season, including social media contests, email marketing, and open houses. Christmas is coming fast, but there's still tie to try a few of these ideas.

And lastly, here are some last minute holiday marketing tips, just in time for when you're running out of time! (This article was posted on SBA's blog last year, but the general tips still apply.)

Social Entrepreneurship Students Raise Money for Project

Join us in supporting Seton Hill University (SHU) students who have embarked on a social entrepreneurship project

Students from SHU have partnered with FilterPure, a nonprofit organization that manufactures and distributes ceramic water filters in places such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In January 2014, twelve students and two faculty supervisors from SHU will travel to the Dominican Republic to make and deliver ceramic water filters to families. While there, the students will also study Spanish and Business as part of SHU's January Term.

The SHU team has a goal to raise $3,500, which will be enough to provide water filtration systems to 100 families. All the money raised through this fundraiser goes directly to the FilterPure charity to buy filters. To date, the fundraising campaign has raised $1,982, which leaves another $1,518 to be raised.

E-Magnify has a fundraising team to support this social entrepreneurship project. If you'd like to donate to this cause, please visit E-Magnify's fundraising team page here. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Most Common Biz Mistakes During a Crisis (webinar)

Business Continuity Strategies Offered at Free SBA/Agility Webinar

Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Space is limited. Register here.

What are the biggest and most common mistakes business owners make when dealing with a disaster?  Whether it’s property damage caused by a flood, or the loss of sensitive data thanks to a hacked email account, how you respond within the first few hours of the crisis can make or break your small business.

Get tips on how to avoid the costly mistakes that could put the safety of your clients and your organization at risk at a free webinar hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, December 10.  True stories about business owners’ pre-disaster missteps, plans not followed and errors made—as well as what they learned during the recovery phase, will be discussed.

SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to access previous webinars and for additional preparedness tips. 

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

It's Cyber Monday! 

In-between your online shopping (or filling orders from your own online shop!), take some time to check out "Cybersecurity for Small Businesses," a self-paced online course from the U.S. Small Business Administration that helps business owners safeguard their information from computer attacks and determine their readiness against security breaches.

Small business owners will learn the types of information that should be secured, how to protect themselves from attacks or unintentional damage, guard from decreased productivity caused by security breaches and evaluate security tools and techniques.  The course gives useful and practical steps to take to protect a business’ operations.

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses is self-paced and also offers best practices for guarding against cyber threats, potential computer weaknesses and the corrective actions for risk management.

Course participants completing the online course can earn a certificate of completion from the SBA.  The SBA Learning Center offers free courses covering topics such as Starting, Managing, or Financing a Business, and can be found at

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.