Thursday, March 14, 2019

small business plan

small business plan

Their business is helping small business - The Herald Argus

Posted: 14 Mar 2019 04:42 PM PDT

La PORTE – A La Porte County entrepreneur has teamed up with a Valparaiso small business owner to start a new venture with a somewhat unusual business plan.

The new business, known as The Collective, is the brainchild of Mandy Krickhahn, a Michigan City native now living in La Porte; and Gabrielle Pazour of Valparaiso.

"At it's core, it is a community to support small business owners/entrepreneurs while giving back to the community," Krickhahn said.

And in that vein, they will be hosting their first artisan market – "All of our vendors make or upcycle the products they are selling," Krickhahn said – on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the La Porte Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge St., La Porte. Admission is $5 for guests 13 and over.

"With each market we do, we will also be facilitating a fundraiser for a non-profit organization," she said. "At our first event, we will be raising money for Lakeshore Paws, a dog rescue in Northwest Indiana."

Several of the vendors will be donating 10 percent of their sales from the day, while The Collective will be donating 10 percent of entry fees.

As another tasty enticement, "We've also teamed up with Michigan City's Burn 'Em Brewing and brewed a beer with them that they will bring to the market. The owners of Burn 'Em donated a keg to the event, and all proceeds will go to Lakeshore Paws," Krickhahn said.

Attendees will also be encouraged to bring donations (monetary, dog food, treats, etc.); and Paws representatives, and some adoptable dogs, will be there with information on how to get involved.

"Each market will have over 50 local small businesses involved as well as a different non-profit we will be supporting," Krickhahn said. Future markets, also at the Civic Auditorium, will be Aug. 17 and Nov. 23.

While it may not sound like the most lucrative business plan, that's not what the founders had in mind.

"At The Collective, our goal is to empower entrepreneurs through workshops and events that will provide them with meaningful connections and useful information to help them succeed," Krickhahn said.

And it all goes back to Krickhahn and Pazour's own experiences in starting their own small businesses.

They met in 2017, shortly after Pazour opened her "brick and mortar boutique, Aster + Gray," Krickhahn said.

Seeing an opportunity to showcase her own home-based business, Krickhahn approached Pazour about carrying her skin care line, The SpOiled Housewife, in the shop. After trying out the products – and loving them – Pazour decided to give it a shot.

"During her first drop-off at the shop, Mandy quoted 'Mean Girls' and compared Aster + Gray to Rose Apothecary from 'Schitt's Creek' a show we both obsessively watch and quote, and we knew we were destined to be friends," Pazour said on The Collective website –

"The SpOiled Housewife products were really well-received with customers, so, reorders and product drop-offs became more and more frequent," she said. "These drop offs started off as quick interactions but eventually turned into hour-long chats about merchandise, the shop, small businesses, wine and, of course, 'Schitt's Creek'."

Both said they were passionate about supporting small, local businesses and giving back to the community, so they decided to plan their first joint event in 2018 – Mimosas+Makers, a mimosa crawl in Valparaiso held in conjunction with an artisan's market. It helped support nearly 75 small businesses in the area, and raised money for a local women's shelter, and they're planning a second such event for June 22 in Valparaiso.

"Realizing we each had our own strengths that worked really well together while planning the event, we decided we wanted to figure out some sort of partnership that could support small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofits in Northwest Indiana," Krickhahn said.

While hashing out an arrangement, and figuring out ways to empower the small business community, they ran into a problem.

"There weren't many resources to support these small businesses, and there weren't a ton of opportunities to get them together on a regular basis," Krickhahn said. "It was at that point that we decided to create an organization that would solve that problem."

But they didn't want it to feel "stuffy," she said.

"We decided it needed to feel more like a community that's tailored to entrepreneurs – and that doesn't necessarily fit the mold of suit-and-tie business professionals – and empowers them to succeed through resources and a collective effort to support one another."

Mayor de Blasio's plan to mandate paid vacation will cripple NYC's small businesses - Washington Examiner

Posted: 14 Mar 2019 09:05 PM PDT

New York City has long been known for its iconic skyline and culture of entrepreneurship. But optimistic small business owners may soon find that the Big Apple is no longer a place where they can pursue the American dream.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's latest legislation would make his city the first in the nation to require that businesses with five or more employees offer two weeks of paid vacation time per year. While progressives are lauding the plan as a step forward for workers' rights, the reality is that this one-size-fits-all mandate is a move that will shackle the city's small business sector and harm the very workers it's supposed to help.

In his announcement speech, de Blasio described mandatory paid vacation as a part of his goal to make New York "the fairest big city in America." But this foreboding phrase highlights the exact kind of problematic thinking that has become the hallmark of the de Blasio administration — thinking motivated by a desire to achieve intangible goals rather than focus on the real needs of New Yorkers. It's no wonder that his speech barely mentioned the business owners who would be directly affected by this change.

In his blind rush to pursue progressive policy, de Blasio has forgotten that the concept of fairness is entirely subjective. In a system where the government's goal is fairness, who gets to decide what "fair" looks like? For many, a man like de Blasio, who ousts homeless people from subway trains and takes daily taxpayer-funded SUV rides to the gym, is not a good judge.

De Blasio's proposal is just the latest in a long line of regulations that's slowly crushing the city's private sector. Faced with mandatory paid sick leave and a $15 minimum wage, small businesses are already being forced to implement massive changes with almost no warning. Many haven't been able to make changes fast enough to stay afloat.

This has led many businesses to lay off employees and raise the price of their products. Others, struggling to spend so much on labor, have been unable to make a profit and have been forced to close altogether, resulting in the unemployment of the very same workers the minimum wage was meant to help.

Adding mandatory paid vacation will just increase the burden, showing again how disconnected from reality de Blasio really is. In 2017, 300,000 residents of New York City were employed at businesses with 20 to 49 employees — well under the maximum 100 employees needed to mark them as a small enterprise. Life for these workers hasn't become fairer. Instead, these regulations have merely forced entrepreneurs out of business and cut employee hours or destroyed jobs entirely.

In the end, de Blasio's self-defeating "mandatory vacation" policy is just another addition to a municipal government that's becoming increasingly draconian in its quest to control every aspect of New Yorkers' lives. Meanwhile, the city is losing the mom and pop culture that once made it famous, and its reputation as a place where startups could thrive. Instead of cultivating a growing cornucopia of artisan shops and street foods, de Blasio's government is doing its best to ruin what the city is known for: entrepreneurship, social mobility, and the chance to make your own life.

Rachel Tripp is a Young Voices contributor and former New York City resident.

Capitol Live: House Minority angered over Majority's plan to travel the state for budget talks - Juneau Empire

Posted: 14 Mar 2019 07:00 AM PDT

4:50 p.m.

"If I'm going to go back to my community and they'll tell me, why do we keep funding the marine highway system. I recognize that when I'm hear I'm speaking for the whole state and because of that I need to find innovative solutions," says Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage.

A reporter has asked if they will support any sort of lowered dividend to build a budget.

Sullivan-Leonard says she does support a full dividend. She also says she supports having the municipal oil taxes go to the state coffers.

"We all know that something has to change," says Pruitt. "Whatever that is…the body will make it's decision, and I can expect the body will add some things back in…we can all feel that in the building."

A reporter has asked if they think it's a crisis moment because options are being taken off the table, such as taxes.

"I didn't see a way that we could continue to sustain the growth that we've had… the people that came before us didn't put a bunch of money aside so that we could just eat through it."

Rasmussen says there's so many sectors that Alaska is not touching or talking about, and it shouldn't be the same conversations that they've already had.

— Mollie Barnes

4:37 p.m.

Sullivan-Leonard says she was not invited to go to these House budget listening sessions, but if she was she wouldn't go.

"We have work to do here," she says.

Rep. Sara Rasmussen, R-Anchorage, also released a press release related to the marine highway system.

"While the House Transportation Committee sits through yet another session of testimony this afternoon on the Alaska Marine Highway System, the rest of our state's transportation and infrastructure issues continue to be neglected," said Rasmussen a member of the House Transportation Committee. "While I understand the importance of the Marine Highway System and generally support efforts to continue ferry service in a cost-effective manner, there are other important issues that warrant our immediate consideration. Our state owns and operates 239 airports, including Ted Stevens International Airport. The Port of Alaska, which imports 3.5 million tons of food and goods Alaskans need annually, is crumbling and needs repairs. We have thousands of miles of highways and railroads that need to be maintained. These issues are critically important to our ability to grow Alaska's economy and they're being completely ignored. Rather than spending hours fixated on one government system, we should be focusing on the whole – investing our time and resources in modern infrastructure through projects like the Juneau Access Road – that could fundamentally revolutionize both the economies of Southeast Alaska and the rest of the state."

"I think the conversation around marine highways needs to shift to solutions," Rasmussen said to reporters.

— Mollie Barnes

4:33 p.m.

The House Minority is holding a press conference because they felt there was an urgency with what's happening with a House Majority.

"After waiting nearly a month to organize the House, the fact that the Democrat-led House Majority now plans to spend tens of thousands of state dollars to fly members around the state campaigning for an increase in government spending in the middle of legislative session is astounding to me," said Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla, in a press release. "This is a great depiction of why the people of Alaska do not trust in their legislature – we're in the middle of a huge budget deficit and House leadership wants to spend money that we do not have to try and advocate for spending even more money that we do not have. Other departments in the government are cutting their state travel budgets down by 50 percent or more – they didn't give that money to the Democrat-led House Majority to spend for them."

"Additionally," Sullivan-Leonard said, "it's regrettable that members of the House Finance Committee were not made aware of these plans prior to their being made public by a blogger. Members of the House and Senate just spent weeks organizing town halls and caucuses in-district to hear from constituents. Spending precious dollars to peddle political motives in this way is disingenuous and irresponsible."

"What kind of an example are we setting to do a travel show out across the state when truly it's not necessary?" Sullivan-Leonard said to reporters in the press conference.

She said they just had all their town hall meetings in the last three weeks. She said this is a "frivolous" act.

— Mollie Barnes

1:57 p.m.

Dunleavy is asked about interest in a gasline in Alaska.

"Right now, there's a tremendous amount of gas and we don't hear of a lot of investment at this time moving into large-scale gas projects," Dunleavy says.

— Alex McCarthy

1:55 p.m.

Corri Feige, commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, says several companies have said there could be "significant" investments in the North Slope in the next three or five years.

"We have heard a lot of excitement and enthusiasm" about new explorations on the North Slope. She also mentions there's interest in viscous oil, of which there is a great deal on the North Slope.

— Alex McCarthy

1:53 p.m.

Dunleavy says he's finding that a number of firms are interested in the state and "Alaska's back on the radar screen."

"Alaska can play a role in balancing the portfolio of some of these companies," Dunleavy says.

— Alex McCarthy

Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

1:50 p.m.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is on a call to reporters from Houston, where he's at the CERA Week conference. The conference brings many of the biggest names in the oil and gas industry together.

"I'd have to say it's probably one of the best conferences I've attended," Dunleavy says.

Read more about his trip here.

— Alex McCarthy

1:10 p.m.

Looks like Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, dropped by Juneau's courthouse today to see the therapeutic court in action. Read more about Juneau Therapeutic Court here.

— Alex McCarthy

12:45 p.m.

The cuisine of the year is set to be Georgian cuisine, she says. The country, not the state.

"Wine is still in, but there's some new players," she says, adding that South African wine is hot.

She says orange wines will be popular this year.

"This wine isn't new," she says. "It dates back centuries, but people are discovering that they like the taste of it. ALDI has started supplying it."

Milkshake IPA beers and Mezcal are other alcohol trends for this year.

Breakfast is also hugely trending she says. People eat out for breakfast five times more frequently than 10 years ago.

Social Media Management is the top start-up idea she lists.

Finally she's looking at outdoor recreation. It sustains four times the number of jobs in Alaska than oil, gas, mining and logging combined.

"This industry also brings in $7.3 billion in consumer spending annually. So it's going to help us in Alaska if we can keep on thinking of new ways to diversify our economy in Alaska."

— Mollie Barnes

12:35 p.m.

She says people who remodel their homes on their own are more likely to be millennials. She said this group of people spend more than 60 hours a week on digital devices, including phones and televisions.

"I saw a post on Facebook where a single mom built her entire house just from videos on YouTube," Adams says.

She says remodeling activity is not projected to slow down because new construction is harder to find.

Kitchen remodels are the most popular of all home remodels, she says. Many people are looking for natural tones and technology that can assist with function.

"There's also a tendency to bring the outdoors inside," Adams says.

The wedding industry is a $72 billion industry, Adams says, adding that grooms fashion is coming more into play.

Anti-aging and the skincare industry is another big one, Adams says.

"It is projected to hit $216 billion by 2021," Adams says. Men's skincare is also a growing industry, and natural products are trending.

Her new favorite industry trend is naptime.

"The work day is changing rapidly," Adams says. "Nap services are being referred to as wellness clubs, and some offer cafes and meditation."

Nap pods in New York City can rent for $14 an hour, she says.

Pantone's color of the year is "Living Coral" and she says that it's a welcoming color that encourages light hearted activity.

There is a new "homebody" economy she says. "For millennials staying in is the new going out," she says. Millennials spend 70 percent more time at home than the general population.

There's an entire economy being built around millennial homebodies, she says, for example streaming services and food delivery services.

— Mollie Barnes

Jennifer Adams, executive director of the Alaska Small Business Development Council, speaks about hot business trends to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during its weekly luncheon at the Hangar Ballroom on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jennifer Adams, executive director of the Alaska Small Business Development Council, speaks about hot business trends to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during its weekly luncheon at the Hangar Ballroom on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

12:25 p.m.

Clients of the SBDC created 624 new jobs in 2018. There were 146 businesses started in 2018 through the SBDC, and 1,278 clients sought assistance that year.

"There were almost 72,000 small businesses in Alaska in 2018," Adams says. "Small businesses are often able to provide a wage that's above the Alaska median wage."

Some hot business trends she lists:

  • More goods are being sold online
  • 67 percent of the buyer's journey is now done online
  • Everyone shops online, but age, gender, geography and booze are factors
  • Americans spend $308 billion online while drinking
  • Men spent 28 percent more time online than women
  • Millennials are the biggest spenders online, even though they have less to spend

"Over 40 percent of millennials are parents now, and will soon become the largest living generation in America," Adams says. "There's a growing need for businesses to pivot their tactics to that generation."

She says people can't ignore the baby boomers. They represent 42 percent of economic activity in the U.S, and people over 50 hold 83 percent of U.S. wealth.

Now she's talking about industry trends. Home trends are still influenced by Scandinavian styles, she says.

— Mollie Barnes

12:15 p.m.

Jennifer Adams Juneau Director of Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is speaking to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on "Hot Business Trends" at the Hangar on the Wharf downtown.

She's a small business owner, and has owned a consulting business since 2013.

The SBDC has been operating in Alaska since 1986, and has six regional centers across the state. The Ketchikan center is not included in that number because it's been vacant for over a year.

The SBDC is mostly federally funded, Adams says.

"We help clients prepare for loans, we have super robust financial forecasting tools," she says. The SBDC offers tools for any stage of business for small businesses.

— Mollie Barnes

9:05 a.m.

Yesterday, Senate Democrats sent a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy asking him for a long-term fiscal plan. The fact that Dunleavy has not yet released one, they say, is in violation of Alaska Statute 37.07.020(b) of the Executive Budget Act.

Those who signed the letter include Sens. Tom Begich, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Scott Kawasaki, Jesse Kiehl, Donny Olson and Bill Wielechowski.

They wrote the following: "Because the fiscal plan must be generated timely, 'to enable the legislature to rely on [it] in understanding, evaluating, and resolving issues of state budgeting,' the FY 2020 fiscal plan should have been provided to the legislature long ago during this legislative session — or at the latest, by the time you submitted your amended budget."

You can read the letter here:

— Alex McCarthy

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