All Business

Congratulations to Our Very Own Press Democrat

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club recently announced its Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards, with winners selected from 424 entries from media professionals in the 11 Greater Bay Area counties.

SCL Biz is pleased to share The Press Democrat award winners with you, especially Kevin McCallum for his business story “Bad Loans, Big Losses” :

  • Editorial
    FIRST PLACE: “Hasty Change,” Press Democrat Staff
  • Columns-News/Political
    FIRST PLACE: “Columns by Paul Gullixson,” Paul Gullixson
  • Columns-Sports
    SECOND PLACE: “Columns by Lowell Cohn,” Lowell Cohn
    THIRD PLACE: “Columns by Bob Padecky,” Bob Padecky
  • Business Story
    FIRST PLACE: “Bad Loans, Big Losses,” Kevin McCallum
  • Sports Story
    THIRD PLACE: “Running on Courage,” Bob Padecky
  • Spot News Photography
    FIRST PLACE:  “Daughter Shot by Police,” John Burgess
  • Feature Photography
    FIRST PLACE:  “Artificially Inseminate,” John Burgess
  • General News Photography
    FIRST PLACE: “Marine Rose,” Kent Porter
  • Sports Action Photography
    FIRST PLACE: “St. Vincent Defense,” Crista Jeremiason
  • Sports Feature Photography
    THIRD PLACE: “Running Antlers,” Scott Manchester
  • New Media: General Excellence
    THIRD PLACE: “pressdemocrat.com,” Press Democrat Staff

Complete list of award winners

Business Going Under? Here’s an ARC to Help Keep You Afloat

Money’s tight and the business climate has certainly been better – if your small business is stressed meeting expenses during these economic times, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a new loan program designed just for you.

SBA’s America’s Recovery Capital Loan Program can provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability.  Each small business is limited to one ARC loan.

ACT NOW – ARC loans will be offered by some SBA lenders for as long as funding is available or until September 30, 2010, whichever comes first.

Small Business Administration – ARC Loan Program

Freelancers: Help with Insurance, Retirement & More

Freelancing – the word has been around for hundreds of years, but the world of freelancing today, while offering a tremendous freedom to those who are self-employed, also presents challenges.

The Freelancers Union is addressing some of these issues: “Freelancers Union is a nonprofit organization that represents the needs of America’s independent workforce though advocacy, information, and service. Independent workers make up 30% of the nation’s workforce. We are freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temps, part-timers, contingent employees, and the self-employed. Despite our contribution to America’s economy, we’re often left out of the social safety net. Most freelancers can’t access affordable insurance, are taxed more than traditional employees, and have limited access to protections such as unemployment insurance, retirement plans, and unpaid wage claims.”

It appears that Sonoma County freelancers have access to health, dental, disability, and life insurance, and to a 401k retirement plan.

Congratulations to Alexander Valley & Geyserville

The May/June 2009 issue of Via: AAA Traveler’s Companion magazine has a great article featuring Alexander Valley as “An Even Greater Alexander (Valley, That Is): It’s Sonoma County’s Upstart Destination for Wine and Food,” by Jennifer Reese.

Some of the featured businesses:

Bosworth & Son General Merchandise
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Locals Tasting Room
Meeker Vineyard
Daviola Pizzeria & Salumeria
Hoffman House
Geyserville Inn
Hope-Bosworth House & Hope Merrill House
Clos du Bois Winery
Geyser Arts Gallery
Konrad Gallery
Route 128 Vineyards & Winery
Terroirs Artisan Wines
Jimtown Store
Santi
Old Crocker Inn

Nominate Your Company – Best Places to work in the North Bay

If you love the company you work for and would like everyone to know about it, nominate it for the North Bay Business Journal’s ‘Best Places to Work in the North Bay.’ Winning companies will be featured in a special section devoted to the best companies to work for and will be recognized at the awards celebration in September 2009.  Companies must be in Sonoma, Marin, or Napa counties.

Nominations must be postmarked by May 16, 2009.

Help in Choosing the Best Accounting Software

There are many, many accounting programs available for small businesses, and now there is a website that can help you choose the best for your business or to recommend to a client. Find Accounting Software is a free service that you can use in either of two ways:

  1. Fill out a short online questionnaire tailored to your type of business, then have a brief telephone conversation about the results and they will match you with ‘trusted partners,’ based on your project requirements. You remain anonymous until you give permission for your contact information to be released to the suggested vendors.
  2. You can browse their Accounting Software Directory that they have  “cataloged, categorized, classified, sliced and diced information on hundreds of applications and thousands of top-notch consultants in your area .”

The is a free service of CPA Online and offers this disclaimer:
FindAccountingSoftware.com is independent. We’re not affiliated with any software developer, nor do we sell any software. We work for you. So you can count on us to find the best accounting software solution.

Find AccountingSoftware.com

Online Communities & Their Impact on Business

Rubicon Consulting, a Los Gatos company, has produced an interesting report on business and the proliferation of online communities: Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, Yelp, Wikipedia – fanciful names, but can they help (or hurt?) your business?

Online Communities & Their Impact on Business: Ignore at Your Peril

Chance to Win a Small Business Grant of $25,000

Intuit, Inc, the makers of a variety of small business software, including QuickBooks, is offering small business owners a chance to win over $300,000 in grants and more:

Share your small business story with us, send to your friends to get rated, and you get the following:

  • A chance to win a share of over $300,000 in Intuit Small Business Grants
  • The Intuit Small Business Word of Mouth Marketing Toolkit
  • A profile page to promote your business to our over 100,000+ members on our Intuit Community website

Ask everyone you know to read and rate your story. The more ratings you receive, the more likely you are to win.

Intuit Share Your Story and Win – You must enter by April 24!

2009 Forty Under 40 Awards Reception

The North Bay Business Journal will recognize 40 extraordinary professionals under the age of 40 at an awards reception – come meet this impressive group of young professionals impacting the future of business in the North Bay. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate and network with 40 of the North Bay’s most remarkable up-and-coming leaders of the next generation, as you enjoy the wine bar and hors d’oeuvres.

April 16 • 5:30 – 7:30pm
Fountaingrove Inn, 101 Fountaingrove Parkway,  Santa Rosa

Reservations 

Congratulations to Press Democrat Reporter Kevin McCallum

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers [SABEW], the largest national organization of financial writers,  honored the Press Democrat and Staff Writer Kevin McCallum with top awards in the Best of Business writing category for stories on Exchange Bank and AIG in 2008. The judges cited the stories as solid, professional, research and writing and for being clear and reader-friendly.

We are very fortunate in the North Bay to have such excellent coverage of our business community.

The Press Democrat

SCL Biz Celebrates Two Years of Serving Sonoma County Business

With more than 500 posts  informing Sonoma County of business events, great websites for small businesses, and the best in free Library materials for starting, growing, and managing your own business, SCL Biz started on March 31, 2006.

Thank you to all of you who have offered suggestions and support – may your business prosper.

Nominate an Outstanding Woman in Business

The North Bay Business Journal is seeking nominations to “honor outstanding women in the North Bay for their success and contributions to the business community as leaders, innovators and visionaries from among the following industries: Banking & Finance, Construction, Employment, Health Care, Hospitality & Tourism, Insurance, Nonprofits, Real Estate, Technology, Wine, and Other Professional.”

Plan on attending the Leaders -Innovators -Visionaries Women in Business 2009 Awards Dinner Gala in June.

Nomination deadline is April 17!

Information and Nomination Form

Bookmark This Website!

The Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner has hundreds of short videos and podcasts on every aspect of business, featuring leaders in all fields. Search by speaker or topic, or you can browse the videos, podcasts, and a list of all of the speakers.

And it’s all free.

Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner

Looking For New Markets?

The United States is a diverse population and anyone in business should try to learn more about the buying power of various groups. Published by Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia, The Multicultural Economy 2008 report, by Jeffrey M.Humphrey, outlines the buying power of Native Americans, Asian, Hispanic, and Black Americans in the US, backed up by statistical data from 1990-2008 along with projections for 2009-2013.

For instance, according to the report, Asians spend more on food, housing, major appliances, telecom services, education, and personal insurance – you’ll find the same info for each group. There are also many tables with stats for topics such as U.S. Buying Power Statistics by Race, Total Buying Power by Place of Residence, The Nation’s Largest Consumer Markets in 2008 (California tops the list), The Nation’s Fast-Growing Consumer Markets in 1990-2008, and buying power statistics are available for all fifty states.

Multicultural Economy 2008

Get Outrageously Creative Creative Tips for Saving Money and Growing Your Business

Small Business Trends asked its readers for their most creative tips to save $ and grow a business – they have been collected and are available online: Get Outrageously Creative.

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