DAVISON, MI — Looking to expand, Bubbles Galore Car Wash owner John Good was recently helped financially through a peer-to-peer lending program, according to TheStreet.
The Jan. 12 story said Good tried to get a loan through his local bank to open up a self-serve pet wash, but was denied. First Place Bank held the note for an original $500,000 Small Business Administration start-up loan, but due to the fees and documentation requirements, it would be too costly and time consuming to go that route. "The amount of money we were requesting didn't merit the amount of work and back-end costs," Good said in the story.
Then Good turned to peer-to-peer lending as investors are looking for ways to make money via worthwhile business ventures that will make decent returns.
Peer lending sites include Prosper.com, and Lending Club, according toTheStreet.
Good said it took less than a week to get the funding he needed. He said questions were asked during the application process before he was approved and added that he will be able to fully repay the loan in 20 months.
SHAKOPEE, MN — NuStar, Inc., manufacturer of in-bay automatic carwash equipment, has two new programs that allow qualified businesses to obtain free carwash equipment, free chemicals and free service and repair, according to a recent company press release.
The release said the programs are ideal for gas stations, convenience stores, car dealerships and self-serve carwash owners who want to replace old equipment or add new equipment without taking on the large debt associated with a carwash purchase or financing.
The first program, called “Revenue Share,” the operator shares a percentage of the sales revenue with NuStar each month, but receives the carwash equipment, installation, on-going maintenance, repair and chemicals for free.
According to the release, the operator and NuStar will negotiate and agree to the shared percentage before any equipment is installed. The operator will be responsible for electrical and water hook-up to the carwash.
The second program is called “Pay-per-wash.” The operator pays NuStar a flat rate for every car washed (generally between $1 and $3.99) by the new machine, which is installed and maintained for free. In addition, every six years the operator receives new equipment for free.
Governments make it easy to start a small business
PARIS — A World Bank report released this week is showing evidence that governments are making it easier for entrepreneurs to start small businesses as a way to encourage employment growth, according to The New York Times.
The Nov. 3 story said the study, Doing Business 2011, involved 183 economies and has shown that Singapore is the easiest place to “start and run a company.”
According to the article, the city is followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, Britain and the United States.
Of the 183 economies that the report considered, at least 117 had governments which had regulatory overhauls “making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening transparency and property rights and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.”
The World Bank report ranks countries based on nine areas, the article said: the ease of starting a business, paying taxes, trading across borders, registering property, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, closing a business, enforcing contracts and protecting investors. It focuses on companies of about 50 employees.
1. If you are self-employed and pay own health insurance premiums, you will have a lower tax bill this year.
2. You may be entitled to a tax refund from prior years.
3. You can simplify your recordkeeping for cell phones.
4. You must act fast to benefit from some tax breaks.
5. You can access some retirement income to help your business.
The article also recommended that business owners stay in close contact with a tax professional over the next few months, as many other tax breaks are likely to be extended in 2011 and information about such legislation could be invaluable.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Small Business Administration has increased the number of loans it approved in 2010 by about 30 percent over 2009’s totals, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Oct. 7 report said the agency’s fiscal year ended Sept. 30 and it had approved nearly 55,000 small business loans, valued at about $16.84 billion. In 2009, the agency backed just over $13 billion, and in 2007, that amount was over $20 billion.
According to WSJ, the increase from 2009 to 2010 is owed to last year’s stimulus plan, “which eliminated fees and increased the government's maximum guarantee to 90 percent, up from 75-85 percent.”
"The stimulus provisions work," said Tony Wilkinson, president and chief executive of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, a trade group in Stillwater, OK. Wilkinson said SBA loans are “the main avenue for small-business lending today,” adding that “a number of borrowers in SBA programs today would have gotten conventional lending years ago."
According to WSJ, the stimulus provisions ended in May, although the Small Business Jobs Act allows the program to continue through the calendar year.