Utica company receives award from Small Business Administration - Rome Sentinel

Utica company receives award from Small Business Administration - Rome Sentinel


Utica company receives award from Small Business Administration - Rome Sentinel

Posted: 06 Oct 2020 01:00 PM PDT

Peak Performance of Utica was named the Oneida County recipient of the Small Business Administration Excellence Award for 2020, according to an announcement by the SBA.

Peak Performance is at
4 Gibson Court and owned by Marge Costanza.

The company was nominated by the Women's Business Center of New York State.

Award recipients are nominated by lenders and resource partners to the SBA district office for consideration.

Nominees undergo a challenging selection process that is based on the business' longevity, demonstrated innovation, sales growth, employment increases as well as ability to overcome adversity and community contributions, according to SBA District Director Bernard Paprocki.

"SBA lenders and resource partners play a critical role in providing small businesses and entrepreneurs with assistance to start, grow and expand. They help create good-paying American jobs that strengthen our upstate economy," Paprocki said.

"The SBA Upstate New York District received many nominations this year for consideration; the field of nominees was vast. On behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration here in upstate, we're privileged to recognize this year's stellar awardees." Paprocki added.

Small Business Administration: COVID-19 Loans Lack Controls and Are Susceptible to Fraud - Government Accountability Office

Posted: 01 Oct 2020 07:28 AM PDT

What GAO Found

In April 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) moved quickly to implement the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans that are forgivable under certain circumstances to small businesses affected by COVID-19. Given the immediate need for these loans, SBA worked to streamline the program so that lenders could begin distributing these funds as soon as possible. For example, lenders were permitted to rely on borrowers' self-certifications for eligibility and use of loan proceeds. As a result, there may be significant risk that some fraudulent or inflated applications were approved. Since May 2020, the Department of Justice has publicly announced charges in more than 50 fraud-related cases associated with PPP funds. In April 2020, SBA announced it would review all loans of more than $2 million to confirm borrower eligibility, and SBA officials subsequently stated that they would review selected loans of less than $2 million to determine, for example, whether the borrower is entitled to loan forgiveness. However, SBA did not provide details on how it would conduct either of these reviews. As of September 2020, SBA reported it was working with the Department of the Treasury and contractors to finalize the plans for the reviews. Because SBA had limited time to implement safeguards up front for loan approval, GAO believes that planning and oversight by SBA to address risks in the PPP program is crucial moving forward.

SBA's efforts to expedite processing of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)—such as the reliance on self-certification—may have contributed to increased fraud risk in that program as well. In July 2020, SBA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported indicators of widespread potential fraud—including thousands of fraud complaints—and found deficiencies with SBA's internal controls. In response, SBA maintained that its internal controls for EIDL were robust, including checks to identify duplicate applications and verify account information, and that it had provided banks with additional antifraud guidance. The Department of Justice, in conjunction with other federal agencies, also has taken actions to address potential fraud. Since May 2020, the department has announced fraud investigations related to the EIDL program and charges against recipients related to EIDL fraud.

Why GAO Did This Study

SBA has made or guaranteed more than 14.5 million loans and grants through PPP and EIDL, providing about $729 billion to help small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. However, the speed with which SBA implemented the programs may have increased their susceptibility to fraud.

This testimony discusses fraud risks associated with SBA's PPP and EIDL programs. It is based largely on GAO's reports in June 2020 (GAO-20-625) and September 2020 (GAO-20-701) that addressed the federal response, including by SBA, to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. For those reports, GAO reviewed SBA documentation and interviewed officials from SBA, the Department of the Treasury, and associations that represent lenders and small businesses. GAO also met with officials from the SBA OIG and reviewed OIG reports.

What GAO Recommends

In its June 2020 report, GAO recommended that SBA develop and implement plans to identify and respond to risks in PPP to ensure program integrity, achieve program effectiveness, and address potential fraud. SBA neither agreed nor disagreed, but GAO believes implementation of this recommendation is essential.

For more information, contact William B. Shear at (202) 512-4325 or shearw@gao.gov.

Help for small businesses focus of Extension programs - pvtimes.com

Posted: 06 Oct 2020 07:27 PM PDT

Approaching the year's final quarter, many small businesses across the state are still in need of COVID-19 relief funds, and each month there are new grant opportunities. University of Nevada, Reno Extension continues its online town hall and webinar series this week to assist small-business owners, with Wednesday's town hall providing information on nine different small-business grant and loan programs. Participants will learn about what assistance the programs provide, the program deadlines, who qualifies, and how to apply.

"We don't want our small-business owners to miss out," said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension's Business Development Program. "While it's great that assistance is available through various programs, having so much information constantly rolling in from multiple sources can be overwhelming. At this town hall, we'll help business owners sort it all out and answer their questions."

Friday's webinar will help small-business owners with the bookkeeping aspect of receiving assistance funds, as well as running their business overall and preparing for end-of-year reporting and transitions. It will cover bookkeeping concepts and software and include a refresher on balancing the books, tracking the cash flow and keeping clean records for easy end-of-year transitions.

Both the town hall and the webinar are free, and there will be English-language and Spanish-language sessions. The events are part of a series of town halls and webinars for small businesses, "Coping With COVID-19," that Extension has been offering weekly since April.

The town hall, "Current Small-Business Grants and Loans" is 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7 for English speakers and at 2 p.m. for Spanish speakers. Panelists include Small Business Administration Deputy District Director Saul Ramos (9 a.m.) and SBA outreach/marketing specialist Alfred Cedeno (2 p.m.); UNR Extension business development instructors Reyna Mendez and Juan Salas and research associate Mike Bindrup.

The webinar, "Bookkeeping Concepts and Software" is 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9 for English speakers and at 11:30 a.m. for Spanish speakers. Salas will discuss the relationship between assets, liabilities and owner's equity; accounting principles and the chart of accounts; practical examples, looking at financial statements; and the advantages and limitations of different bookkeeping software.

Both the town halls and the webinars usually run about an hour.

To register for the Oct. 7 English-language town hall, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OYCjZwggSAGeZLwaBz8E2A

For the Oct. 7 Spanish-language town hall, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MFtAKI_1Tb6ssnVgX0FNMg

For the Oct. 9 English-language webinar, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ySRHH3WtQ26VSbw-bfxMmw

For the Oct. 9 Spanish-language webinar, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_20JOQkafQVGcGfLdgN5dyA

For more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website at extension.unr.edu/busdev

There are other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, email Borden at bordenb@unr.edu

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