Labor Day Travel to Increase This Year According to AAA, ASBA News Update

About 668,000 Arizonans are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend, according to AAA, which is an increase of 1.3% from last year and matches the national increase.  More than 557,000 Arizonans plan to drive to their Labor Day destination, which is about 1.4% higher than last year.  

Though Arizonans are currently paying $3.46 per gallon for gas, which is up 12 cents from last year, gas prices won't be a major factor in determining if consumers will travel over the last summer holiday.  Michelle Donati, AAA's Public Affairs Supervisor, says that the improving economy is contributing to the increases.  This greater consumer confidence has led to more spending which generally means people are doing more travelling.  This is a trend that AAA has seen all summer long and they've seen a gradual increase for all three summer holidays, starting with Memorial Day, July 4 and now Labor Day.  For Arizona, Labor Day tends to be not the busiest summer holiday because for some, school has already been in session for a month.  For more on Donati's interview with Arizona Business News on Labor Day weekend travel, click here.

More people will be travelling by air, with almost 58,000 Arizonans planning on flying to their Labor Day destination.  This is a 1.5% increase from last year.

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Women Business Owners Struggle to Get Bank Loans, ASBA News Update

A growing force in the business world, women still struggle with getting loans from banks.  According to the online lending marketplace Biz2credit.com, women's business loan approval rates are currently 20% below men's and there are several factors contributing to the problem.

Banks have been leery of lending to small businesses in general.  After the great recession, that apprehension increased dramatically.  Often, women-owned businesses are usually younger, making them look risky.

Women's credit scores in 2013 were, on average, 20 points below men's, however, compared to a 40 point deficit in 2012, that's a big improvement.  Also, two-thirds of women-owned businesses have less than $25,000 in revenue.  

Women-owned businesses do have options and new lending tools and strategies are being developed to make it easier for women-owned businesses to access capital.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Rise in Labor Day Travel Expected in Arizona, Michelle Donati, AAA Arizona

AAA expects a slight bump of 1.3% in Labor Day travel this year, according to AAA Public Affairs Supervisor, Michelle Donati.  

668,000 Arizonans are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend on a trip of 50 or more miles from home, according to AAA.  Nationwide, AAA is predicting a healthy amount of travelers as well, increasing 1.3% as well.  

This rise in travel can be contributed to greater consumer confidence, says Donati, which leads to people doing more travelling.  This trend has been present all summer long and while most people travel over the three big summer holidays, for Arizonans, the Labor Day holiday is not heavily traveled, as school has begun.  Donati says that as a result, fall travel is now being planned.  All that being said, AAA is still predicting an increase in Labor Day travel this year.  All in all, summer travel was up about 1% overall in Arizona, which is good news for the economy and travel industry, Donati says.  

For the 83% of Arizonans travelling over Labor Day by car, they will note higher gas prices than this time last year by about 10 cents or so but AAA is not anticipating that it will curtail any travel plans.  When it comes to gas prices, Donati says there really needs to be a significant shift upward before it will start curtailing travel plans.  Even still, Americans have shown that they will change certain aspects of their travel plans rather than cancelling their plans altogether when it comes to higher gas prices.  Gas prices currently are the cheapest than they've been all summer and Donati attributes this to the relatively inactive hurricane season, enabling the price of crude oil to remain stable.  

Michelle Donati is the Public Affairs Supervisor of AAA Arizona and spoke with Arizona Business Newsa featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Corporate America Recovering from Great Recession, ASBA News Update

According to the Arizona Republic, Arizona's biggest companies have turned the corner from the Great Recession. These companies have seen their stock prices & revenues increase, they are raising pay for their top execs, and they are hiring. 

Arizona's 36 public companies reported $7.4 billion in revenue, which is up $800 million from last year.  Twenty-four of these companies are worth $1 billion or more, with Freeport-McMoran leading the group with a market capitalization of $38 billion.  

Nationally, data shows that consumers are limping along and governments are still struggling with budget pressures.  However, corporate America has fully recovered from the Great Recession.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Small Business Lending Still Lagging, ASBA News Update

The FDIC has recently come out with some new data showing that while small business lending is slowly recovering, it is still lagging behind most other types of business and consumer loans.  At the end of the first quarter, small business lending was up 1% from last September but still 18% less than the peak in 2008.

Loans to businesses of all sizes are up 9% since 2008.  Federal Reserve data shows that overall loans and leases grew in the second quarter at the highest quarterly rate since the end of the financial crisis, which is a sign of improvement in the economy.

Analysts also report small banks, which often focus on small businesses, increased lending this year.  According to Moody's in July, the total amount of commercial and industrial loans held by small U.S. banks rose 11% from a year earlier.

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

 

Accounting Most Profitable Industry, ASBA News Update

If you're looking for a lucrative small business, accounting, once again, tops the list of 15 small business sectors by a net profit margin over the past 12 months, according to SageWorks, a financial information company.  

The data showed that accounting led the list of delivering the best profit margins, while service-based, healthcare and healthcare dominated the rest of the list.  SageWorks analyst, Libby Bierman, notes that a lot of these service sectors are consistently at the top of the most profitable list.  With very low overhead and upfront costs, someone can get started in the accounting industry very easily.  To hear more of what Bierman has to say about the data, click here for her interview with Arizona Business News.

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

 

Accounting Industry Tops List as Most Profitable, With Libby Bierman, SageWorks

Libby Bierman, an analyst with SageWorks, talks with Arizona Business News about their recent analysis of industry which identified accounting as the most profitable.  SageWorks is a company that collects private company data and works with accounting firms across the country to aggregate data on how private companies are performing.  From the data, Sageworks is able to determine how certain industries are performing.

Research has shown that the accounting industry outperforms others consistently, with that industry providing services for both professionals and consumers year after year, so the demand is not going down, Bierman.  Like some of the other industries that have made Sageworks's list of being the most profitable, accounting, in particular, can start with a very low overhead cost.  

Libby Bierman SageWorks Source: sageworks.com

Libby Bierman

SageWorks

Source: sageworks.com

There have been some industries that have been at the top of the list year after year, like accounting, such as legal services, real estate, physicians and dentists.  Some that have seen a boost is management and other healthcare professionals, such as chiropractors and optometrists.  

The data also shows some industries bouncing back from the recession with profit margins improving across the board, with smaller companies doing so at a faster pace than their peers.  

In looking at general business trends, Bierman sees online businesses as a potential future newcomer to the list.

Libby Bierman is an analyst with SageWorks.  To see the industry analysis in its entirety, click here.  She spoke with Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.


Sprouts Farmers Market Sprouting Huge Profits, ASBA News Update

Sprouts Farmers Market saw its net income jump more than 140% on a healthy bump in sales.  The Phoenix-based grocery chain, which went public a year ago, took in $743 million in revenue, which was up 20% over the same period last year.  This was driven by the grocer's continued effort to open new stores, including its first in Atlanta, as well as a 9.5% jump in same store sales.  

Sprouts continues to be very competitive in price and its CEO, Doug Sanders, addressed bloggers last month at the new Atlanta location and revealed the chain's commitment to value and education.  He says their goal is to take the everyday grocery shopper and teach them how to eat healthier.  

Sprouts has opened 14 new stores so far in 2014, bringing its total to 182 across ten states, with the goal of opening up nine more before the end of the year.  This growth supports the data the consumers continue to want healthier food options at the grocery store and fast food chains.  Last week, Arizona Business News reported the fast food chain Chipotle reported an increase in profits even as menu prices increased to offset higher costs for food.  For more on that report, click here

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Phoenix Area Facing Housing Slump, ASBA News Update

WP Carey's real estate guru, Michael Orr, has confirmed what many have suspected in that the Phoenix area is in a housing slump.  In his latest June report, it shows the housing markets in Maricopa and Pinal counties have slowed dramatically, with sales of single family homes down 11% from a year ago.  

Sales activity has been trending downward since the spring and Orr says it's been quiet on both ends.  "We've got low demand and low supply and at the moment, the demand is actually slightly lower than supply so if there is any pressure it's for the prices to go down a little bit."  As most sellers don't want to lower their prices, they are taking them off the market instead.  

Even with a slowing market, the average median home price managed to rise 11% to $211,000 in the past year.  Orr added that there were some positive signs that demand may begin to recover in the latter part of the year but that any significant price increase probably won't happen until next year.  

For more on Orr's interview with Arizona Business News on the Phoenix housing slump, click here.  This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Russian Hackers Steal 1.2 Billion Usernames and Passwords, ASBA News Update

A Russian crime syndicate has recently hacked into an enormous collection of online credentials, to include 1.2 billion username and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses.  American online users are apparently not doing enough to protect themselves, according to an April survey from Harris Poll, commissioned by Lifelock.

In the Harris Poll survey, 25% of U.S. internet users who use sites requiring a password have no more than three sets of credentials.  This is of concern because 56% of Americans use ten sites and accounts and experts recommend some strategies to protect yourself or your business online.  

It is important to change usernames and passwords that have eight distinct characters, letters and symbols not forming a word found in the dictionary.  Bank statements should be reviewed regularly and when they are, each transaction needs to be looked at because many thieves will process a small transaction first to test your information.  

As 25% of people have been a victim to credit card fraud, it's important to check your credit card statements because people tend to review their credit card statements less than their bank account statements.  Experts also recommend signing up for every notification and shredding all financial documents.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

PayPal Expands Small Business Lending, Chipotle's Sales Up 17%, ASBA News Update

PayPal is significantly enhancing it's credit business, announcing last week that its Bill Me Later credit line program will now be called PayPal Credit. In addition, the company said it will continue to expand Working Capital, its small business lending program, which
launched last September. To date, more than 20,000 businesses have borrowed over $150 million with Working Capital.  

While PayPal credit makes it easier for customers to spend, PayPal's Working Capital makes it easier for small businesses to take out a loan quickly, sometimes within minutes.  Clients are charged a flat fee, loans are repaid in monthly installments and PayPal takes a percentage of the business's daily sales.  

When it comes to business loans, the majority of small business owners don't apply for one. A recent survey by Sageworks, a financial information company, found that 3 out of 4 owners in businesses less than 10 years old said they have never applied for a
loan for their companies.  60% said they didn't seek out a loan because they didn't want to take on debt, 1/4 of respondents didn't think they'd get approved, 12% said the cost of credit was too high and 9% said the loan process was too time-consuming.  

Chipotle blew by analysts' expectations for its second quarter earnings report last week. The fast food chain registered sales of $1.05 billion, beating Wall Street’s predictions of $990 million.  The numbers also show that in-store sales keep growing, up over 17% from the same time last year.  Chipotle also added 45 new locations.  The results show that Chipotle is successfully combating high food prices because customers haven't been discouraged by the higher menu prices and they've been looking for healthier fast food alternatives.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Phoenix Market Showing Shortage of Homes for Sale, ASBA News Update

According to a new report , the Phoenix area could soon see another shortage of homes for sale.  Very weak demand is masking the fact that relatively few homes are coming onto the market for sale.  According to the author of the report, Mike Orr, Director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the WP Carey School of Business, the market has now become more quiet and further price increases are unlikely this year without some growth and demand.  "We've got low demand and low supply and at the moment, the demand is slightly lower than the supply," he says.  For more on his interview with Arizona Business News, click here. 

More than a dozen Arizona companies and hospitals are hiring 100 or more employees this month, to include the Pride Group, hiring 2700 employees for the upcoming Super Bowl and other seasonal events, Reputation.com is hiring 150 positions and Vector Marketing is hiring 122.

Owning a business comes with perks, such as being the boss but saving and retirement planning often fall off the radar for them.  According to TD Ameritrade, there are 14.4 million self-employed workers in the U.S. and almost 70% of them aren't saving for retirement.  Retirement Planner Denver Nowicz, in Scottsdale, Arizona says business owners often need more liquidity and flexiblity, such as utilizing Section 79.  To learn more about Section 79, go to http://wealthforlife.net/section79/.  To receive a free whitepaper on Section 79 call Denver Nowicz at 480-970-5663 or email him at http://wealthforlife.net/contact-us.  For more on his interview with Arizona Business News, click here.

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Tax Credit Help for Small Businesses, With Rob Wood, San Francisco Tax Attorney

Many business owners would agree that navigating the tax waters are tricky, at best.  The U.S. Treasury is offering help in this area, having just introduced new regulations that can potentially help qualifying small to medium-sized businesses.  This regulation would allow innovative businesses to apply for research and development alternative simplified credit.  

Rob Wood, notable tax lawyer in San Francisco, with Wood, LLP, says that this R & D tax credit is something most small business owners probably don't know about.  While this law has been in effect for about 15 years, Wood says it has had something of a "tortured path," with numerous expirations.  The biggest development in some years has been the announcement of these new regulations allowing small businesses to go back three years for amended returns to claim this credit.  

Rob Wood, Wood, LLP Source: Woodllp.com

Rob Wood, Wood, LLP

Source: Woodllp.com

When most people hear the term "R & D," they think of high-tech or research but a lot of this 20% tax credit does apply to those businesses not doing R & D, explains Wood.  He urges small business owners to talk with a tax professional or accountant to go over the qualifying criteria, traps and planning ideas, because there are some preferences built into the credit.  Wood also emphasizes good record keeping because generally speaking, when you're claiming this credit, unless the numbers are extremely small, they will be looked at.  

Rob Wood is a tax lawyer in San Francisco with Wood, LLP.  He spoke with Arizona Business News during his interview.  Arizona Business News, sponsored by ASBAis a featured network of Sequence Media Group.     

Charter Schools Are More Cost-Effective, One-Third of Americans Facing Collections, ASBA News Update

A new study shows that Charter Schools appear to be delivering on the promise of offering a high quality education.  A report shows that for every $1,000 invested in students at Arizona charter schools, those schools scored 18 points higher in math and reading on the National Assessment of Education Progress test, showing that charters are nearly 40% more cost-effective than traditional public schools.  According to a report released this week by the University of Arkansas, Arizona ranked 18 among 21 states in return on investment for charter school spending.  

A new report from the Urban Institute shows one in three Americans with credit histories, or nearly 77 million people, are so far behind on some debts that they are in collections.  The study looked at all non-mortgage debts, with Nevada having the highest percentage at 47% and North Dakota having the lowest at 19%.

Small-business owners often are so busy working that they don't take time to plan for their retirement.  That is clearly a mistake according to financial advisers.  Denver Nowicz, a Scottsdale-based financial planner, says that one of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is relying too heavily on the sale of their businesses to fund their retirement, which he calls "exit strategy."  To learn more on Nowicz's recommended exit strategies for small business owners, click here.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Small Businesses Can Get Tax Deductions, ASBA News Update

Navigating tax laws can be a daunting and expensive task for many businesses. The U.S. Treasury has just introduced new R & D regulations that can potentially provide some opportunities to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses.  The regulation allows innovative small businesses to apply the small credit to amended returns for up to the last three years.  This can translate into substantial tax credits for small firms to use in other areas like hiring and product development.  Tax law expert, Rob Wood, says that many small businesses can qualify.  He spoke at length with Arizona Business News during his interview about small business deductions.  

An appeals court has ruled a Missouri escrow firm that lost more than
$400,000 in a 2010 cyber-heist cannot hold its bank responsible.  The Appeals Court also held that the escrow firm can be held responsible for the bank's attorney fees in the case.  The ruling agreed with a Missouri District Court in March, 2013 that it blamed Choice Escrow for the loss because it failed to follow the bank's recommended security precautions.  Choice Escrow filed a lawsuit against Bancor South after unknown attackers stole the user name and password of the company's online bank account.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Phoenix Housing Market Facing Low Demand, Mike Orr, WP Carey School of Business

The Phoenix market is facing a housing shortage because relatively few new homes are coming onto the market for sale.  Mike Orr, the Director for the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the WP Carey School of Business, conducted a report indicating the market has become extremely quiet in Phoenix.  

Orr says the Phoenix is facing low demand and low supply and at the moment, the demand is slightly lower than the supply.  If there is to be any pressure, it's for housing prices to go down a bit.  As most sellers aren't inclined to do just that, they are taking them off the market.  

Currently, Orr says only about 13-14% of inventory is going to investors, as opposed to a while back where it was closer to 40%.  While there are still more cash transactions than normal, it's dropped quite a bit from last year.  Part of the reason for the low demand is that people are having trouble qualifying for a mortgage or getting enough money together for the down payment.  Another factor lending to the low demand is the younger generation are not even applying for loans, as they're just happy to rent, so first time home buyers are lower than ever before, Orr adds.

Mike Orr Source: http://my.wpcarey.asu.edu/directory/people/profile.cfm?person=2243011  

Mike Orr

Source: http://my.wpcarey.asu.edu/directory/people/profile.cfm?person=2243011

 

Orr believes the mindset of home buyers has changed, as they're not as enthusiastic and there's not a sense of urgency.  "There is also skepticism whether home ownership is good for your long-term financial health," Orr says and while he doesn't share that skepticism, he can understand why it exists given the recent recession.  

Homebuilders are moving slowly as a result of the slowing market and as such, are scaling back on their permits and rate of building, Orr explains.  He believes that if you're interested in an inventory home, you'd probably be able to negotiate a pretty good deal because of the incentives they're now offering.  There isn't a surplus of new homes, Orr notes, as homebuilders were careful to be sure they didn't overbuild.  Orr points out that the Gilbert area, in particular, has a lot of active builders with similar products, which probably offers home buyers the best chance of negotiating the best deal.  

It's surprised Orr that the supply has not gone up when the demand has been so low and he's watching the quantity of new listings coming along, which has been lower than expected.  Once demand picks up, which Orr is sure it will, Phoenix could find itself in another shortage but right now, with things moving so slowly, predicting what will happen more than a few weeks out will be difficult.   

Mike Orr, the Director for the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the WP Carey School of Business, spoke with Arizona Business News during this interview.  For more on his report on the slowing Phoenix home market, click here.  Arizona Business News, sponsored by ASBAis a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Arizona Seeing Record Highs in Small Business Growth, With Jim Diffley, IHS

The IHS Small Business Jobs Index is a straightforward compilation of small business employment activity for firms of less than 15 employees and how much they're hiring over the course of a year, 3 months and 1 month.  Phoenix is getting record highs, especially in the small business area, says Jim Diffley, Chief Economist for IHS. 

Jim Diffley IHS Source: nabe.com

Jim Diffley

IHS

Source: nabe.com

On a national level, the small business jobs index is almost at record highs and Phoenix in particular is still bouncing back from the "death of the recession," and the dire picture from 2007-2010, Diffley says. 

Diffley says that if you ask an economist what the growth can be attributed to, they'd probably say the recovery of the housing market, with there being less foreclosures and homes under water and construction back up.  The rest of the economy is significantly strong and  Diffley says that the housing market is a big part of that. 

Jim Diffley is the Senior Director US Regional Economics for IHS.  For more information on the small business jobs index, click here.  He spoke with Arizona Business News during his interview.  Arizona Business News, sponsored by ASBAis a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Google Improving Quality on the Web With Panda 4.0, Brian Ledis, Reach Local

Google has recently rolled out Panda 4.0, to improve the quality and relevance of the web pages it displays in its results.  This has had a big impact on many websites and Brian Ledis, Product Manager for Reach Local, a premiere provider of online marketing services for small businesses, talks with Arizona Business News about this update and how businesses can better develop their websites.  

A lot of websites were trying to do link building through press releases and article submissions and they were really hit with the latest Panda update, according to Ledis.  This will affect people's abilities to try and link build through these sites, such as PR Newswire.  Google has fulfilled its promise on shutting down these venues trying to provide link building and traffic.  PR Newswire is now taking steps to improve the quality of their press releases by just allowing one link and doing more manual review.  

Brian Ledis Reach Local Source: linkedin.com

Brian Ledis

Reach Local

Source: linkedin.com

To differentiate high quality from low quality, Google has a list of about 22 points reflecting quality guidelines, going as far as determining if it can be trusted to do a financial transaction.  Characteristics, such as being insightful to the user, the length of the content, whether the page has ads, and trustworthiness, make for a high-quality website, according to Ledis.  Going forward, Google will be providing better notifications and explanations so the problems can be addressed and fixed.  

As the Google algorithm is just a machine, it's not perfect and does get things wrong.  Up until very recently, there was a lot of talk in the industry that Google wasn't doing what they said they'd be doing.  Ledis thinks that things have been tweaked in such a way that they're actually helping.  What Google is getting better at is detecting who's out there abusing and shutting them down.  

Business owners can work with Reach Local to help them consolidate and keep things current or they can do it themselves with all of the tools that are available.  Reach Local offers a website series called Etch, which is a website that Reach Local will set up for a company and turn it over to them.  It's turn-key and can be used to maintain their web presence, update their blog, post reviews.  It can also be used as a CRM tool to send out direct emails to customers, how many users they're getting, categorize leads and follow up with customers.  Reach Local also offers a CO product on top of that which is more of a "do it for me" solution. 

Brian Ledis, is the Product Manager for Reach Local, which specializes in local products based on search marketing, display and search ads, as well as having a line of websites and organic search marketing products.  He spoke with Arizona Business News during his interview.  Arizona Business News, sponsored by ASBAis a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Arizona Small Business Employment Growing, Drug Use in Workplace Increasing, ASBA News Update

The Paychex IHS National Small Business Jobs Growth Index remains at record highs, with Washington leading and Arizona showing strong improvement.  Arizona's small business employment advanced in June, increasing to more than a 1/2% during the past month and nearly 3% over the past year.  IHS economist Jim Diffley says the recovery of the housing market is one big factor influencing these factors.  People are dealing less with foreclosed and under-water properties and home construction is starting again, he says.  For more on his interview with Arizona Business News, click here.

With summer underway, one-third of small to medium-sized business owners say they won't be able to take a vacation this year, according to the small business index, conducted by Office Depot.  For those able to get away, the top two elements enabling them to do so include reliable staff to cover for them while away and technology that keeps them connected no matter where they are.  

While drug testing in the workplace gets a lot of media attention, battling workplace drug use has become increasingly difficult.  New research shows that deaths in the U.S. related to opiate analgesic use has increased 313% in the last decade, with Arizona being the sixth highest in the country for prescription drug misuse.  As of 2010, 50% of Arizona adults reported misusing prescription drugs.  To learn more about dealing with drugs in the workplace, visit healthyazworksites.org.  

This news update was provided by Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Arizona Business News is brought to you by the ASBA, Arizona Small Business Association.

Small Business Association Helps Minorities Get Business Loans, With Stephen Hart, SBA, Tucson

A new study shows that minorities face inequality when it comes to access to capital, compared to their white counterparts.  There are some free programs that the U.S. Small Business Assocation has to offer minorities in helping them obtain small business loans.

The primary emphasis is on education and counseling, says Stephen Hart, Office Manager with SBA, in Tucson, Arizona, which prepare a prospective borrower for conversations with the lender.  Through their small business development centers, the goal of SBA is to make sure the borrower can sit down with a lender and have anticipated all of the questions in advance and answer them, giving them a higher likelihood of getting a loan.  

SBA has been doing everything they can in helping minorities start businesses and at their headquarters, there's been a shift in how they're working with the banks behind the scenes after the loan is made.  "We do insist banks use our program if they want our guarantee to ensure the business owner gets the best possible loan from the bank," says Hart.  He adds that both women and minority entrepreneurs are willing to take more risk, given the state of the economy which has prompted more people to seek their own employment.  

In each of SBA's offices across the country, they have lender relation specialists who go out and train the banks, both at the local level and national level.  Hart says they make sure business bankers are aware of their loan program that is beneficial to small businesses. 

Stephen Hart is the Office Manager with SBA, in Tucson, Arizona.  He spoke with Arizona Business News during his interview.  Arizona Business News, sponsored by ASBAis a featured network of Sequence Media Group.