October is National Disability Employment Awareness month
Despite headwinds from supply chains, inflation and labor shortages, small business owners are forecasting a strong year ahead, according to the 2022 Women & Minority Business Owner Spotlight, a new report from Bank of America exploring the outlook of entrepreneurs nationwide. The report is based on a survey of more than 1,300 small business owners across the country, with additional insights into gender and ethnicity, and found that revenue expectations rose to a seven-year high, and expansion plans increased significantly since the spring. Over the next 12 months:
As the possibility of a recession looms, 77% of entrepreneurs say their business is equipped to survive a recession.
When asked about their primary concerns, small business owners identified inflation (75%) and commodities prices (69%), followed by a potential recession (67%), the U.S. political environment (66%) and interest rates (65%). A strong majority (88%) say inflation and supply chain issues (80%) are continuing to impact their operations, leading to price increases.
Amid labor shortages, business owners reported that their hiring plans are reaching the highest levels in seven years, with 38% planning to hire in the next 12 months. The majority (61%) of business owners say labor shortages are currently impacting their business, up from 41% in the spring. Among those business owners impacted:
The report also includes specific insights on the perspectives of women, Black, Hispanic-Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) business owners, examining key areas including access to capital, business outlook, social change and community.
More than a quarter (29%) of women business owners surveyed said they do not think they will ever have equal access to capital, while 40% of Black business owners, 27% of Hispanic-Latino business owners and 22% of AAPI business owners said the same.
Minority business owners reported more challenges accessing capital for their businesses than the national average, with 46% of Black and Hispanic-Latino business owners and 55% of AAPI business owners reporting they’ve personally faced challenges. Black business owners were most likely to say they are concerned about credit availability—57% of Black business owners surveyed expressed concern vs. 45% overall.
Women business owners have an overall positive business outlook, while confidence in their business and the broader economic landscape is more tempered than their male peers. Over the next 12 months:
Overall, women business owners say they face more challenges in business than their male counterparts, with the majority (59%) saying they have to work harder for the same success as men.
Fifty-five percent of Black business owners say racial justice and equity are important causes for their business, compared to 30% of non-Black business owners. Eighty-seven percent of Black business owners say they are committed to driving social change through their business, and two in five have active pledges or commitments toward social causes through their business, including volunteering, making operational changes and monetary commitments. As a result of these efforts:
In addition, Black business owners are more optimistic than their non-Black counterparts about their business outlook. Over the next 12 months:
Keeping the future of their families in mind, a strong majority (86%) of Hispanic-Latino business owners are committed to building generational wealth through their business—compared to 77% of non-Hispanic-Latino business owners. Community involvement is a priority, too: 88% of Hispanic-Latino business owners say they actively give back to their communities, taking actions such as donating products/services, volunteering and sponsoring local events and teams.
Additionally, Hispanic-Latino business owners are more optimistic than their non-Hispanic-Latino peers about their business outlook. Over the next 12 months:
AAPI business owners report strong support systems, as 80% say their family supports their business. Providing for the next generation is also top of mind, with 82% of AAPI business owners aiming to build generational wealth through their business. Additionally, more than one in three (37%) AAPI business owners said they received guidance on starting their business from family members.
When asked about their business outlook for the coming 12 months, 62% of AAPI business owners said they expect their revenues to increase, while 60% said they plan to expand their business (vs. 52% of non-AAPI business owners).
For an in-depth look at the insights of the nation’s small business owners, please read the full Bank of America 2022 Women & Minority Business Owner Spotlight.
Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the Bank of America 2022 Women & Minority Business Owner Spotlight survey online between July 26 and August 17, 2022 using a pre-recruited online sample of small business owners. Ipsos contacted a national sample of 1,308 small business owners in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between two and 99 employees, as well as 357 interviews of Hispanic small business owners, 369 interviews of Black small business owners and 150 interviews of Asian American small business owners. The final results for the national and demographic segments were weighted to national benchmark standards for size, revenue and region, while the final results for the Hispanic segment were weighted for size, revenue, region, and whether the respondents were primarily English-speaking or Spanish-speaking.
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,000 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 55 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) in collaboration with the Florida Bankers Association will conduct and host the How to Become a Bankable Business seminar. The event will take place on the IRSC Massey Campus Kight Center For Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Capital is critical for entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. A regionally healthy small business community is essential for sustainable economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Entrepreneurs need access to capital, networks and guidance as they grow. Access to capital supports the region’s recruitment of new business ventures, while also providing existing operators the environment to expand operations, which creates new employment opportunities. Frequently, worthwhile projects with great economic potential never move beyond the planning stage due to the inability to access needed capital.
In this seminar business owners will learn from the top banks in the community, get questions answered from real local lenders, and network with other business owners, bankers, and more.
There is no cost to attend, all interested can register via: https://form.jotform.com/222795410943156
Sponsors and speakers for this event include Marine Bank & Trust, PNC Bank, and SouthState Bank. Refreshments and networking opportunities will be available.
Hosted by Indian River State College, the Florida SBDC at IRSC provides aspiring and existing small businesses in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources.
To learn more about this event or the FSBDC at IRSC please call (772) 336-6285, or email [email protected]
About the Florida SBDC Network:
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.
In 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.
Since its inception in 1980, the Port St. Lucie Business Women has supported women in the advancement of their education at Indian River State College and in their careers. To date, the Business Women has donated more than $125,000 to the Indian River State College Foundation through its annual scholarship awards from money raised in the organization's Spring Fashion Show, assuring the future of more than 70 local women. Three outstanding students were chosen as this year's scholarship recipients.
The Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial Scholarship is an annual award of $2,500 for tuition and books to a woman who plans to attend or is enrolled at Indian River State College. The Port St. Lucie Business Women's Scholarship also is an annual award of $2,500 for tuition and books to a female student who currently is pursuing a degree or certificate program at IRSC.
Jahiuka Lifhred is the recipient of the Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial High School Scholarship. Lifhred plants to pursue an Associate of Arts degree, followed by a Bachelor of Arts. Her ultimate goal is to become a nurse practitioner or a surgeon. “I chose this career path because I’m passionate about helping others in need,” says Lifhred. She currently works at the performing arts company End It, a non-profit youth organization that provides education, inspiration, and positive alternatives utilizing the arts. While her goals are serious, Lifhred is quick to mention that she loves pizza, being goofy and the musical Hamilton.
Marline Destin-Chery has been awarded the Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship. She is working towards completing her Bachelor of Arts to become a teacher in the St. Lucie County School District. “My biggest motivation is showing my 7-year-old son that anything is possible if you work hard at it,” says Destin-Chery. She works as a Pre-K paraprofessional assisting a teacher with a class of 4- and 5-year-old children. She loves to go camping and to the beach with her son, creating warm memories.
Peyton Santa has been awarded the Port St. Lucie Business Women/Kay Schaeffer Memorial Certificate or Degree Program Scholarship. She is working towards certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. Following attaining this goal, she plans to attend the IRSC Fire Academy and apply for a position in the St. Lucie County Fire District. Beyond this, Santa wants to receive firefighter paramedic training so that one day, she may rise to the position of Chief Fire Officer. “Serving in the United States Navy gave me both strength and confidence,” she says, traits that have served her well as a foundation for her lofty pursuits. Santa shares that she also is passionate about horses and hopes to run an equine rescue and rehabilitation facility. “I like to say at least three nice things to random strangers on a daily basis and brighten their day,” she adds.
Students may apply for scholarships starting November 1 through the IRSC online scholarship application portal. For more information contact Indian River State College at (772) 462-4786, or by e-mail at [email protected].
The Port St. Lucie Business Women is a 42-year-old, 501 (c) (6) non-profit professional organization dedicated to promoting the interests of businesswomen and serving our community effectively. For more information, visit PSLBW.com. Follow their Facebook page for updates about events, programs and community involvement.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the addition of several Florida counties to the disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian that began Sept. 23. This expands eligibility for more businesses and residents to apply for SBA’s low-interest disaster loan program. The SBA is opening a second and third Business Recovery Center, in Bonita Springs on Wednesday and in Naples on Thursday, to provide one-on-one assistance to those applying for a disaster loan.
The disaster declaration now covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia counties in Florida, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Glades, Hendry, Indian River, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Pasco and Sumter in Florida.
SBA’s Lee County Business Recovery Center (BRC) will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at The Hub at SWFL, Inc. in Bonita Springs. The Collier County BRC will begin operation at 11 a.m. Thursday at The Naples Players in Naples. All BRCs will remain open as indicated below until further notice:
SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available as indicated above to answer questions about the disaster loan program and assist business owners in completing their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the BRCs are encouraged to wear a face mask.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls, and landscaping to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 3.04 for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17644.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or sending an email to [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 28, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
United Way of Florida has activated the Disaster Recovery Fund for those affected by Hurricane Ian.
As part of United Way’s mission to build stronger, more resilient, and equitable communities – and to support communities affected by Hurricane Ian – United Way has created the United Way Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to help local United Ways meet immediate storm-related needs and support long-term recovery throughout the affected regions.
“We know that many generous groups and individuals are looking to assist in repairing and rebuilding these communities devastated by Hurricane Ian,” said Meredith Egan, United Way of Indian River County CEO. “This collaboration will streamline and amplify the ability to quickly support the communities throughout the state who are victims of this once-in-a-century storm.”
One donation can benefit multiple communities or be directed to a specific need or location/county. To donate to the United Way of Florida Disaster Recover Fund or to contribute directly to a local United Way directly impacted by Hurricane Ian, please visit https://www.uwof.org/disaster-recovery-fund. One hundred percent of all gifts will go to the relief effort. Any unspent funds will be used toward any future disasters that strike.Local residents needing resources should call 2-1-1. This is United Way’s free information and referral hotline, available 24 hours, seven days a week to connect callers to emergency resources, including disaster-relief efforts.
About United Way of Indian River County
United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a solid foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website, UnitedWayIRC.org.
The mission of Family Promise of Martin County, a non-profit, interfaith hospitality network, is to provide temporary housing, caring support, meals and a host of social services for families with children experiencing homelessness.
The housing takes place in local religious congregations that have joined in a consortium to support the guests who turn to – or are referred to – Family Promise of Martin County.
The heart and soul of the non-profit is its Family Center, which is open Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. An on-site Family Service Coordinator, April Young, works with guests to develop an individualized plan to help them regain permanent housing and self-sufficiency. The Center also has laundry and shower facilities, as well as phone and Internet access for employment searches.
It’s the hub from which transportation to work, school, job interviews and medical appointments is offered by the Family Promise driver and van or public transportation.
Now, in a stroke of almost divine intervention, the building in Stuart from which the nonprofit (which was established in 2018 and opened its doors in Nov. 2020) has operated is available for purchase.
Madeleine Bozone Greenwood, Executive Director of Family Promise of Martin County, says the building fits their needs in virtually every way. “It’s close to stores, transportation, parks, medical facilities, just about anything our guests may need, even if they don’t have their own transportation.”
Adds Cher Fisher, Director of Development & Community Engagement, “We’ve got a gathering place for families, two offices, two bathrooms, a reception area, kitchen, laundry, garden with kids’ playground and a storage room for our guests to use. It’s perfect.”
The current asking price is $350,000. Family Promise has $40,000 that has been donated towards its purchase and is engaging in its first Capital Campaign to raise the balance.
Naming rights are available if you’d like to direct a contribution towards a specific room or part of the Center and plans are being developed for opportunities like personalized brick pavers.
Family Promise, which is an affiliate of a national 501(c)(3) organization with a 35-plus year successful track record, is helping change lives every day. But as Bozone likes to assure people, “Every cent we raise stays right here in Martin County. As a matter of fact, the way the national organization is structured, they return funds to the local affiliates – the opposite of many similar non-profits.”
Since it’s opened, Family Promise has served 288 families.
If you’d like to find out more about Family Promise or how your contribution can help them purchase their own “dream home” from which to service guests, visit www.mcfamilypromise.org or call 772-266-9327.