Tag: small

Holiday season make-it-or-break-it for some Ottawa small businesses

The holidays are essential for small businesses and with many still recovering from the pandemic, they say shopping local has never been more important for their survival.

“It’s the first time since I’ve opened my business I’ve ever even considered that I might have to evaluate its future,” said Jackie Morphy, owner of All Eco, a wellness store on Bank Street.

When Morphy opened her business four years ago, she never imagined this holiday season could be her last.

For Morphy, opening before the pandemic meant navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial aftermath of lockdowns.

While things may be back to normal, Morphy says that doesn’t mean it is back to business.

“Foot traffic has not recovered and in speaking with many other businesses, a lot of them have not reached their pre-COVID-19 sales,” Morphy said.

Relying on savings and government loans to make it this far, she says this holiday season is make-it-or-break-it.

In fact, 60 per cent of small businesses are still carrying pandemic debt with an average amount of $126,000, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Everyone is facing inflation including them, so their input costs are going up but their revenues are going down so the situation is not ideal,” said Christian Santini, CFIB National Affairs Director.

“They’re not in a good position to pay off the debt they’ve accumulated just to keep their doors open.”

Santini says this holiday season is critical for survival for many small businesses, encouraging shoppers to check-off their holiday lists locally.

She adds for every dollar spent at a local business, 66 cents stays in the community.

“We’re often the ones that give gift certificates to the events that local people are

CEBA loan extension hoped for by Canada’s small businesses


As the deadline to repay pandemic loans and receive partial forgiveness approaches, small businesses are still hoping the federal government will reverse course and extend it for another year.

Nearly 900,000 organizations applied for and received a Canada Emergency Business Account loan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal program offered up to $60,000 in interest-free loans to help businesses and non-profits survive related shutdowns and slowdowns.

A total of $49.2 billion was disbursed through the program.

Up to one third of the loans can be forgiven if businesses pay back the outstanding amount by Jan. 18, 2024.

Those that miss that deadline would lose out on the forgivable portion and see their debts converted to a three-year loan with interest of five per cent annually.

Businesses were offered the chance to refinance their loans with a financial institution instead. Those that did were given until March 28, 2024, to get that in order and still be eligible for the forgivable portion of the loan.

Business groups have been calling for more time to pay back the loans, pointing to ongoing challenges facing small businesses after the pandemic.

But with just over two months until the deadline, the chances of another extension are dwindling.

“Federal support has been instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet many businesses are still grappling with rising costs, labour shortages and persistent operational issues,” Kate Fenske, chair of the International Downtown Association of Canada, said Monday at a news conference on Parliament Hill.

“Hence our immediate call is for an additional extension for the repayment of CEBA loans,” she said.

The federal government has already made several changes to the CEBA program in order to provide businesses recovering from the pandemic more flexibility.

Goldman Sachs brings $100 million rural small business investment program to Arkansas

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses announced Friday (Oct. 27) it has expanded its $100 million “Investment in Rural Communities” initiative to Arkansas and is making a $20 million commitment to Community Development Financial Institution (CFDI) Hope Enterprise Corporation to foster job creation and help catalyze economic growth across the region.

The new initiative, which first launched in North Dakota in September, is an extension of Goldman Sachs’ successful 10,000 Small Businesses program, which it says has served over 14,000 businesses across the country for more than a decade by providing access to education and capital. The initiative plans to reach rural small business owners in 20 states in the next five years.

“We are thrilled to expand our 10,000 Small Businesses program by partnering with the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College and Hope Enterprise Corporation,” said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon. “Through our work together, we can provide rural entrepreneurs with the resources, education and access to capital they need to create jobs and grow the economy.”

As part of the $100 million commitment of the initiative, Goldman Sachs is partnering with Hope Enterprise Corporation to provide support to rural small business owners in Arkansas and across the region. In addition to investing in CDFIs to provide loans to small businesses, the broader initiative also provides funding for the 10,000 Small Businesses education program at local community colleges and capacity-building grants to support access to capital.

“Access to capital is a top priority for small business owners across the country,” said Hope Enterprise Corporation Bill Bynum. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Goldman Sachs to provide the financial stability that growing businesses need to thrive – in Arkansas and other under-resourced rural communities across the South.”

Survey data released by Goldman Sachs last

Small Business Administration and Department of Defense Launch Small Business Investment Company Critical Technologies Initiative | Foley Hoag LLP

Key Takeaways:
  • On September 29, 2023, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Department of Defense announced a major policy initiative aimed to incentive private capital investment in U.S. small businesses developing critical technologies.
  • As part of the initiative, the U.S. Small Business Administration has started accepting applications for Critical Technology Small Business Investment Companies which may qualify for low-cost leverage to encourage investment in these small businesses.
  • U.S.-based small businesses developing technologies related to biotechnology, quantum science, future generation wireless technology, advanced materials, AI and autonomy, integrated network systems-of-systems, microelectronics, space technology, renewable energy generation and storage, advanced computing and software, human-machine interfaces, directed energy, hypersonics and integrated sensing and cyber may be attractive to private capital investments incentivized by this new program initiative.

On September 29, 2023, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the rollout of the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technology (SBICCT) Initiative, a joint effort between the SBA and the DoD to increase private capital investment in critical technologies vital to U.S. national security interests.

According to the Investment Policy Statement for the SBICCT Initiative released by DoD and SBA, the mission of the program is to incentive investors to catalyze investment in critical technology areas such as biotechnology, quantum science, future generation wireless technology, advanced materials, AI and autonomy, integrated network systems-of-systems, microelectronics, space technology, renewable energy generation and storage, advanced computing and software, human-machine interfaces, directed energy, hypersonics and integrated sensing and cyber. Building off the existing Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, DoD and SBA will partner to license SBIC fund managers with a strategic intent to invest at least 60% of capital in portfolio companies directly involved in the development of one or more critical technology areas designated by DoD. Once licensed as a

Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance Launches Small Business Investment Program

The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA) has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative aimed at bolstering financial resilience within Metro Detroit’s small business arena. Named the Small Business Investment program, this initiative promises to plant the seeds of financial security by providing $2,500 investment accounts on the Stackwell digital investment platform to up to 200 small business owners, their employees, and active MDBBA member entrepreneurs. This transformative step is made possible through a generous $1 million grant from Prudential Financial.

It’s no secret that stocks are a crucial vehicle for long-term wealth accumulation and securing comfortable retirements. However, while over half of White Americans have stakes in equities, this statistic dwindles to about one-third for Black families, as reported by the Federal Reserve. This program’s mission is to elevate the investment confidence and engagement of small business stakeholders in Metro Detroit, positioning this initiative as a primary driver for inclusive economic advancement in the area.

Trevor Rozier-Byrd, CEO of Stackwell Capital, expressed his pride in this endeavor, stating: “We are proud to deepen our investment in the Metro Detroit community through this innovative program. Black-owned businesses are a growth engine for the economy and community, yet they continue to face challenges in accessing funding and opportunities to grow. For many, the unavailability of business capital leads to a greater reliance on credit cards and personal funds. This, in turn, impacts one’s credit and the ability to access business capital in the future. Through this program we hope to end this cycle and enable more members of the Metro Detroit Black small business community to achieve greater personal and business financial stability so that they can sustainably grow their businesses and their wealth over time.”

Charity Dean, president and CEO of the MDBBA, illuminated the sobering reality of systemic disparities: “Systemic and structural

Small Business News | Google upgrades Bard, business confidence rises, TikTok expands shop

Top Stories

Google unveiled a more user-friendly version of Bard, its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, which enables users to access real-time data from various Google apps and to fact-check it, along with other updates
Image Source: Technext

Google Bard updates: what small business owners need to know
Google unveiled a more user-friendly version of Bard, its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, enabling users to access real-time data from various Google apps and to fact-check it. On September 21, the business unveiled a new strategy to combine them into a single Microsoft Copilot that would integrate information from several apps and data sources and have professional and consumer uses. Read More

More job applicants entered the labor market in August, resolving worker shortages but contributing to an unemployment increase.Labor supply normalizes as more job applicants enter the market
Job applicants were more readily available in August, allowing businesses to hire more employees but also contributing to a rise in unemployment. According to labor market data from Wells Fargo, unemployment has grown steadily since March of this year as the number of job applicants has increased, with 19 states seeing higher month-over-month joblessness in August. Joblessness rates throughout the month were still below historical levels as employment demands continued to outpace supply. Read More

In Q3, small business owners reported the highest levels of economic confidence in the U.S. economy since the onset of the COVID pandemic.Confidence reaches post-pandemic high among small business owners in Q3
Small business owners reported the highest levels of confidence in the U.S. economy since the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020, according to the third quarter Small Business Index. Maintained by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Index tracks changes in sentiments among entrepreneurs and small business owners. Although inflation and interest rate concerns continue to weaken financial outlooks, 33% of those polled by the chamber in Q3 believed the national economy was healthy, while 38% held similar views about their local economy. These represent 9% and 8% increases respectively from the previous quarter. Read More

TikTok is working with digital retail platform CommerceHub to scale its network of sellers and improve its in-app shopping experience.
Image Source: Mike Blake, Reuters

TikTok partners with CommerceHub to expand in-app shopping options
TikTok has announced a partnership with digital retailing platform CommerceHub to improve and

Small businesses raise the alarm about rising prices | Breaking News

(The Center Square) – A new survey found that small business owners are feeling less optimistic about the economy and are concerned about rising inflation.

The recently released National Federation of Independent Business report showed that small business owners’ economic optimism has declined and that more small business owners cite inflation as their top concern more than any other issue.

The NFIB’s economic optimism index fell to 91.3, “the 20th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.” The survey also found that nearly a quarter of small business owners cite inflation as their top concern, beating out labor shortages, the supply chain, and other issues.

“Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months deteriorated seven points from July to a net negative 37%, however, 24 percentage points better than last June’s reading of a net negative 61% but still at recession levels,” NFIB said.

This survey comes as the latest federal inflation data shows inflation spiked more than expected in the month of August. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released both its Consumer Price Index and its Producer Price Index, key markers of inflation, which showed increases of 0.6% and 0.7% in August alone.

“Over 60% of the August rise in the index for final demand goods can be traced to prices for gasoline, which jumped 20%,” BLS said. “The indexes for diesel fuel, jet fuel, home heating oil, beverages and beverage materials, and iron and steel scrap also moved higher. Conversely, prices for fresh and dry vegetables fell 11.5%. The indexes for residential electric power and for industrial chemicals also decreased.”

Those increases are major spikes, ending an encouraging trend of lower inflation so far this year.

A rise in gas prices was a major source of the price increases in August.


Small business: Masala Bazaar owner on breaking the ‘stereotypical lens’ for South Asian businesswomen

Haya Khan started Masala Bazaar as a collaboration between South Asian businesswomen.

Haya Khan started Masala Bazaar to support her own business, Masala Scents, as well as other women in Aotearoaa’s South Asian business community.

After opening the first store in Parnell last year, Khan has expanded the business to include Masala Studio, which supports other women in getting their businesses off the ground. She says the business has become a safe space for women to come together to represent themselves and their cultures authentically.

What is Masala Bazaar?

Masala Bazaar itself is a collective of locally owned South Asian businesses from around New Zealand. Our purpose is to highlight the creativity within the community that is a blend of our Kiwi heritage and our Desi [members of the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent] heritage and the amazing things our entrepreneurs can come up with when they blend the two together.


Advertise with NZME.

More importantly, it’s a platform that amplifies all of us, as opposed to one of us opening a store and taking on the whole risk by ourselves. If we do it all together, not only are we sort of sharing the customer base, we’re building what has come to be a gift store.

When did you open?

We did our first pop-up store last year in July. We went into it thinking it was going to be a one-month thing, and we generated so much buzz. It was definitely something that was needed.

On the first weekend, people were already asking us when we were coming back, so we did a three-month pop-up in Newmarket. We opened our doors to our first official store in Parnell, which we’re in right now, in February.


Advertise with NZME.

Masala Bazaar founder and director Haya Khan.
Masala Bazaar founder and director Haya Khan.


Huntington National Bank vs. Bank of America: Which Small Business Lender is Right for You?

Key takeaways

  • Huntington National Bank and Bank of America both offer SBA and other types of small business loans
  • Choose Huntington National Bank for SBA loans
  • Choose Bank of America for nationwide business loans

If you’re in the market for a business loan, many business owners turn to a traditional bank to build or maintain a relationship with that lender. But not all banks are created equal.

Bank of America small business loans can meet the needs of many small businesses. That includes choices for younger businesses with revenue as low as $50,000.

Huntington National Bank is the top SBA lender nationally, approving thousands of SBA loans per year. But while you can get its SBA loans nationwide, other loans are only offered regionally within 12 states.

To help you choose between these bank lenders, here’s a look at how these two small business lenders stack up against one another.

Huntington National Bank vs. Bank of America at a glance

Huntington Bank is a top SBA 7(a) lender in both the nation and its region but offers limited information on its website. Bank of America offers more types of business loans, including three business lines of credit. Plus, you can get these business loans across the U.S.

Huntington National Bank Bank of America
Bankrate Score 4.1 4.3
Best for SBA loans Nationwide business loans
Number of loan products 4 7
Number of branches 1,000+ 3,900
Loan amounts $1,000 to $5 million $1,000 to $5 million
Interest rates Not stated 5.75% to 9.50%
Term lengths Up to 25 years 1 to 25 years
Personal credit score Not stated 670
Minimum time in business Not stated 6 months
Minimum business revenue Not stated $50,000

Huntington National Bank business loans

Huntington National Bank’s specialty is SBA loans, but it also provides term loans,