October 21, 2014

Tips and trends: Advice for small businesses in Florida

From social media to hiring and cloud computing, some pointers for business owners.

Cynthia Barnett | 2/2/2012

Hiring
Benefits of an Intern

Intern
Major corporations such as Disney are well known for their internship programs that offer on-the-job learning for college students who want to earn professional experience and beef up a resume. Small-business owners may feel that without an HR department, they don't have time to manage a college student.

Hiring the right intern, however, could bring energy to a small company and new skills such as blogging or social media marketing. In return, inviting your intern to staff meetings and client visits doesn't take much work on your part but can be enormously valuable to a student who hasn't experienced the business world.

Internships can be unpaid, but businesses should take care to follow the School-to-Work guidelines under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act. Internships should be professional in nature rather than grunt work and offer a range of training at progressively higher levels. Contact your local university or community college's career resource center to see if your business might be able to arrange college credit for an internship.

small business development centers
Accelerating Growth

Florida Small Business Development Center's growth acceleration program provides free, in-depth professional consulting services to companies that have been in business at least three years, have five or more full-time employees and have $500,000 to $10 million in annual revenue. The center helps companies develop growth strategies, assess capital needs, determine possible sources of capital, target new market opportunities and shore up financial practices.

SBA 504 Loans
Changes

Loan Modifications
The SBA recently announced temporary changes that allow small businesses to refinance debt originally used to fund eligible fixed assets in its 504 program without the previous requirement that allowed debt refinancing only in conjunction with a business expansion project. Business debt that would have been eligible for the 504 program may now be refinanced using the SBA 504 loan program's attractive 20-year fixed-interest rate. In addition, the SBA will now allow businesses that have equity in their commercial real estate properties to include working capital to pay for other eligible business expenses. The changes are authorized until Sept. 27.

Tags: Florida Small Business

Florida Business News

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