Articles Tagged with “San Francisco startup business attorney”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a seemingly wonderful program under which certain federal contracts are supposed to be reserved for competitions among small businesses, called the “8(a) Business Development Program.” The SBA describes the program as “a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses” and states that the program “offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled by at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.” The program is supposed to provide business for startups run by members of various racial minorities who have suffered from economic disadvantage. It does this in part by setting aside certain government contracts for small firms to compete over without having to compete against larger corporations. However, it turns out, the government contracts that are supposed to be handled by these small businesses are actually being handled by large corporations.

Problem with the 8(a) Program

The Washington Post reports that contracting officers from various federal departments are not ensuring that work awarded to small businesses under the 8(a) program is being performed by those small businesses. Historically the program has been abused, usually by the small business getting the contract and then passing much of the work (and a portion of the profits) along to a large corporation that did not have the right to bid on the contract. To stop this abuse, regulators put strict limits in place on how much of the work the small business awarded the contract can subcontract out. If the limits are violated, the small business can be fined $500,000.

In the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act (ACT), which is also colloquially known as “Obamacare,” many small business owners and potential small business owners have been deeply concerned about the cost of employee health insurance. However, there is good news that should help calm some of those concerns. The cost of employee health care premiums is growing at a slower rate than it did before the ACA became law.

The Kaiser Family Foundation Report

The New York Times reports that the Kaiser Family Foundation published its annual survey this week on health plans that employers nationwide are offering to employees. According to the Times, the Kaiser survey is generally considered the most reliable measure of what is happening in the employer health care market. The Kaiser Family Foundation has existed since 1948, and was revamped in 1991 with a goal of providing trustworthy information about health care not biased by the large number of stakeholders who may have personal or professional agendas. This is the sixteenth year that the foundation has published a study like this one. The study’s big finding was that “growth in health insurance premiums was only three percent between 2013 and 2014.” This is the lowest that growth rate has ever been in those 16 years (although at least one of those other years tied the 3% growth rate). Typically, the growth in the premiums employers pay for their employees’ health insurance has been in the double digits, making this extremely low number even more encouraging.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed this week that the city raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017. The current minimum wage in Los Angeles is $9.00 per hour. This is the minimum wage for all of California, but some cities throughout the state have enacted even higher minimum wages. For example, San Diego has approved a minimum wage of $11.50, and San Francisco voters will decide later this year whether they want to increase that city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. This potential wage increase of nearly fifty percent in Los Angeles carries with it serious pros and cons that have to be considered both by anyone planning on creating a new business in Los Angeles, or anyone considering expanding a business to Los Angeles.

How Would the Minimum Wage Increase Work?

According to USA Today, the proposed increase would make the minimum wage in Los Angeles one of the highest in the nation. Of course, the mayor cannot act unilaterally, and will need the approval of the City Council to make the increase law. As the proposal stands now, the increased would be gradually phased in. In 2015 it would jump to $10.25, then in 2016 it would increase to $11.75, and finally in 2017 it would increase to $13.75. Then, in the future, additional increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners.

Starting a new business requires a substantial investment of both time and financial resources. While some entrepreneurs have enough financial resources to do this on their own, most new business people need to seek out others who are willing to invest in their business. From purchasing or leasing real estate, hiring a staff, or purchasing raw materials and equipment, the front end costs of a business can be huge and it can take a while before you start to see a profit.

To help business people who are just starting out, Forbes recently created a list of common mistakes small businesses make when seeking out investors. We have included some of Forbes‘ tips below, as well as some tips from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

SBA Tips for Securing Investors

In some ways, the internet has made the world a lot easier for new small businesses. Ordering your own supplies, allowing customers to place orders or make reservations, advertising your goods and services, payroll, and taxes all take on a different and sometimes much easier face with the World Wide Web. Even finding the right real estate for your new business or expansion can be done in large part online, at least in the shopping stage. But the online demands of business have created a serious concern that business men and women of earlier generations did not have to confront: online security.

While businesses have always had to consider surveillance equipment and alarm systems to keep local predators at bay, security threats online can come from the other side of the globe. Fortunately there are things you can do to protect your business and your customers. CIO, a media outlet specializing in information for people in the information technology industry, recently reported on this issue. In the report they looked at four real life scenarios faced by specific small businesses, and then provided types small business owners can follow to be more secured.

How Small Businesses Can Increase Online Security

Starting a new business can be difficult. Deciding exactly what you want your business to do, where you want it to be located, and how you want it to be organized all take a lot of planning. But even once you purchase or lease a location and open up your doors, the hard work is not done. You still need to figure out a way to get the word out about your new business, and convince potential customers that they should give your company a shot. While it used to be as easy as taking out an advertisement in the phone book, things have changed in the internet age.

It’s Time to Turn to the Internet

One way of getting the word out is social media. Whether your business is a food truck that posts its daily location on Twitter, or a retail establishment that offers special deals to your dedicated customers on Facebook, many small businesses are already pretty savvy when it comes to using free social media. But social media has another side to it that small businesses have to consider: the advertising side.

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