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PET PLANET Offers Summer Safety Tip for Walking Your Dog

Posted By Kristen Cherry, Pet Planet, Wednesday, July 20, 2016

With confidence and trusted solutions, Pet Planet store Ambassadors advise Customers on a wide variety of issues affecting their animal companions.  An issue many Customers express is how to best keep their pets comfortable during the "dog days of summer!"

See the attached poster illustrating a hands-on safety tip to consider when taking your pet for a walk this summer. 

 Attached Files:
Hot Ground.pdf (1.74 MB)

Tags:  education funding  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  franchise  Franchising  making a big change  women owned small business 

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5 Ways to Keep it Small This Holiday Weekend

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, ThinkSmallBiz, Friday, July 1, 2016



How to have a killer weekend while supporting small businesses.

1. #NOM- Buy your grill grub from your local farmer's market on Saturday or from Luci's Healthy Marketplace (P.S. Have you checked out their new location at The Orchard? It's uh-maze-ing)

2. #SPARKLE- Enjoy some quality family time under the flashes of fireworks at Indian Steele Park. With live entertainment, a splash pad, and lots of food vendors (yay small biz!), the whole family is sure to have a great time! Click here for other Independence Day celebrations.

3. #GULP- Designate a driver, grab your friends, and head over to one of the local breweries serving up fabulous holiday specials.

4. #MORENOM- Because... food. Sunday brunch is that much sweeter knowing you don't have to work Monday. Why not make a day of it? Need some ideas? Check out the ThinkSmallBiz Directory.

5. #FROYO- It's going to be hot (hi, July in Arizona), so what better time to load up on delicious cold treats? Grab a frozen yogurt with all your favorite toppings at Twirl. Not on team FroYo? Check out the shaved ice from Snoh Ice Shavery... it makes 110 degree weekends seem just a little cooler.

Have a Happy & Safe Holiday Weekend!

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  entrepreneur  Independence Day  July 4  small business  ThinkSmallBiz 

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What's in Your Luggage?

Posted By Terri Sinclair, ATD Greater Tucson, Friday, June 24, 2016

Yesterday, I purchased a new hair styling brush. I threw out the one I had been using for 13 years. (Yes, I did wash it regularly.) I do think of myself as being frugal; yet, some might say this was the extreme. The old brush worked alright. I didn’t see the need until a screw came out, which made the brush dysfunctional. As I’ve bee reading Marshall Goldsmith’s latest book: Triggers, I started to wonder: where else am I accepting ‘alright’ when better technology is available? It reminded me of the book by Julia Morganstern who talked about ‘what’s in your luggage?’ Am I packed for my future, or for my past?


If you’re reaching for higher levels of success, It would make sense to pack what’s needed, and leave behind what doesn’t work. You probably wouldn't need a bikini if you were traveling to Alaska in the winter. I’ve been pretty good at getting rid of outdated objects as I’ve moved through the years. For me and my clients, the harder baggage to let go of is the intangible. 


Questions I often ask my clients to help  “Who were you known as when you were growing up?” Were you known as the responsible one, the smart one, the lazy one? Does that definition still fit? Does it fit all the time? I’m not opposed to being known as the curious one, and are there times when maybe I’d rather be something else. It’s not that the definition is bad, it’s just that it can be limiting at times. 


And what if the label is perceived as negative by you or others? I often think of the Stephen Covey phrase, “Argue for your weaknesses, and they’re yours.” Especially when I’m coaching people on presentation skills, I will often hear, “I’m not good speaking in front of people.” How is that belief going to help you on your journey to being who you want?


There are a few labels I’m going to ‘unpack from my luggage’: I’m controlling and I’m impatient. These are not needed on my travels. I’m replacing them with: I’m accepting and I’m improving my ability to be patient every day. My luggage feels a lot lighter.

Tags:  bad habits  breaking habits  business owners  creating new habits  entrepreneur  habits  small business  stress  stress management  success  time mastery 

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Small Business Talk with Shark Tank Participants

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

In partnership with Cox Business and Cox Communications, blogger, Diana Elizabeth, reported her takeaway from this year's AZ Small Biz Con.  Read the full article and watch her video report here.  


Diana Elizabeth Blog


Last week, in partnership with Cox Communications and Cox Business, I attended the Arizona SmallBiz Con 16, held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

It was part of SBA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and was a day full of information, practical advice, awards, breakout sessions and networking.

Arm Chair Discussion with Shark Tank Participants

I’m going to assume you watch ABC’s Shark Tank like the 48% of the over 2,000 American consumers polled by Cox Business, who claim it was their favorite small business reality show!

The Mr. and I can hardly do much in moderation so we DVR it and binge watch – you may recall the Veteran episode that featured two Arizona veteran run businesses – Bottle Breachera beer and wine bottle opener that’s a 50 caliber ammunition, and Major Mom, an organizing company. This is when I say, oh my goodness look, celebrities!

The day kicked off with an armchair discussion, seen above. Eli of Bottle Breacher and Angela of Major Mom talked about the journey of their businesses and challenges along the way.

Eli and his wife Jen (a UofA grad) started selling their creative bottle openers on Etsy. After popularity began to soar, Eli sold his motorcycle for a laser engraver and it increased his sales in one month by 2.5x! It allowed him to personalize the bottle openers which were a hit for wedding gifts – like groomsmen.

Angela was in the real estate business until it tanked and realized after waiting tables she decided she wanted to start an organizing business. She took a SBA emerging leaders course, learned her numbers. She remembered hearing, “If you are not profitable then you are not a business, you are a hobby.”

A few takeaways

  • There are over 100,000 small businesses in Arizona (small businesses are 20 employees or under)
  • Since appearing on Shark Tank, Bottle Breacher has made over $8 million. Buying a laser engraver helped enter wedding business.
  • “Work as hard as you did to become (US service) if you apply that to business, you will be successful,” said Eli to fellow veterans in the audience.
  • Angela, aka Major Mom practices good time management and blocks her schedule from 6-8 am and 3-6 pm for kid time. There are some circumstances she’ll break away but typically not to keep her focus on her family.

Continue reading the full blog post here.  




Tags:  Arizona  entrepreneur  networking  small business 

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Working Overtime to Eliminate Jobs

Posted By Rick Murray, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

Original article sent by Glenn Hammer, The Arizona Chamber of Commerce


This White House is hell-bent on short-circuiting any economic recovery.

The Obama administration recently released a new rule on overtime pay that continues the administration’s commitment to making job creation more expensive and cumbersome. Give the president credit; he’s nothing if not consistent.

The new rule dramatically raises the salary threshold for workers who will be eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The salary cap under the new rule has gone up more than 100 percent, from $23,600 annually to $47,476 annually, so employers will now face a huge increase in the number of workers eligible for overtime pay.

Grab the aspirin, because this is another bureaucratic headache for the HR department. Employers should break out the calculators, print out some timesheets and install a time clock, because they will be tracking the hours of employees that previously were exempt from overtime rules.


What’s not made clear in the rule is how employers are supposed to foot the bill for the new mandate. Much like the administration’s push for a big minimum wage hike, there’s plenty of magical thinking here. The Department of Labor would have Americans believe that companies are secretly flush with cash and just need the heavy hand of government to pry it loose.

So how what options do employers have? They’re not good ones for job creators or their employees.

Employers could cut their workers’ base pay to compensate for the new overtime pay. That’s hardly the raise for the middle class that the administration touted. But don’t worry, says the White House, at least you’ll have more time to spend with your family. Thanks, Mr. President! 

Or maybe you’re close to the new salary threshold. You might see a raise so your employer can avoid the new rule, but you could also see your benefits cut since only 10 percent of benefits can be calculated as part of your salary.

Or maybe your employer will reclassify you as an hourly worker. So much for that flexibility you once enjoyed.

Employers will also need to prepare to see the wage threshold readjusted upwards every three years based on the 40th percentile of wages in the lowest geographic wage region of the country, which is currently the South. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the midst of a boom or bust economy, employers’ payroll costs will likely go up.

Given the uncertainty in the presidential campaign, we can’t bank on the next occupant of the White House eliminating this new regulation. Congress could employ the Congressional Review Act or pass the Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which would roll back the new rule, but each effort would be met with a presidential veto. Still, it’s worth Capitol Hill shining a bright light on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue’s constant anti-job agenda.

Any new overtime rule should be focused on worker flexibility, ease of implementation and economic growth. The nation’s overtime regulations deserve a thorough review, but employers should have a seat at the table. 

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona's competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.  


Tags:  Arizona  entrepreneur  jobs  small business 

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Presidential Proclamation -- National Small Business Week, 2016

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 2, 2016
View official Proclamation here
For Immediate Release

Presidential Proclamation -- National Small Business Week, 2016


- - - - - - -




Responsible for creating nearly two-thirds of net new jobs in the United States each year and employing more than half of all Americans, small businesses have always been a vital part of our country's economy.  As outlets for creativity and ingenuity, small businesses do more than create jobs and foster growth -- they represent the spirit that has always driven our Nation forward.  Throughout National Small Business Week, we celebrate the irreplaceable role these enterprises play in our national life by pledging to support them and equip them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Across America, small businesses support economies, employ local residents, and contribute to the vibrancy of their communities.  My Administration is dedicated to helping these businesses and the entrepreneurs who took a chance on turning ideas into realities.  We have enacted 18 tax cuts for small businesses, and because of the Affordable Care Act, a tax credit of up to 50 percent is available for certain small businesses to help offset the cost of insurance.  And our businesses have created jobs in every month since I signed this law.

Our Nation does best when we help our startups and small businesses expand into new markets and offer goods and services to more people.  Ninety-eight percent of the American companies that export are small and medium-sized businesses, but less than 5 percent of our country's small businesses export.  In our 21st-century economy, it is imperative that we break down the trade barriers that too often hold small businesses back from extending their reach to those abroad to sell more goods made in the United States.  Last year, we reached an agreement with 11 other nations that allows us to write the rules of our global economy and gives more of our people the fair shot at success they deserve.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership will eliminate over 18,000 taxes imposed by other countries on our goods and services and level the playing field for American workers and businesses, and I look forward to working with the Congress to implement this agreement.

My Administration has taken action to ensure the Federal Government does its part to support our Nation's small businesses.  During fiscal year 2015, we awarded an all-time high of more than a quarter of eligible Federal contracts to small businesses, and we made great strides in ensuring more Government contracts are given to women-owned small businesses -- nearly $18 billion worth.  We have launched next-generation manufacturing hubs, and we have made more online tools available to entrepreneurs to give them the resources they need to start a business in a single day -- and the Startup in a Day initiative is continuing to engage with all levels of government to streamline the process of beginning a business.

Our Nation's small businesses play a critical role in generating economic prosperity, and the effort poured into them by ordinary citizens across our country reflects the hard work and determination inherent to who we are as a people.  This week, we renew our support for these engines of growth and recognize their incredible contributions to our country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 1 through May 7, 2016, as National Small Business Week.  I call upon all Americans to recognize the contributions of small businesses to the competitiveness of the American economy with appropriate programs and activities. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.



Tags:  entrepreneur  national small business week  small business 

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Tax Resources for Small Businesses

Posted By George (Clint) Frederick CPA PLLC, George Frederick CPA PLLC, Saturday, April 30, 2016


Tax Resources for Small Businesses

National small business week is May 1 – 7.  Your friends at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are there to help.  Do you believe, "Hello, I’m from the IRS and I’m here to help you!”  Actually, in my experience they are getting to be a bit more friendly, if not helpful in assisting business to succeed.  IRS e-News for Small Business 2016-1, for small business published on April 29 will assist small business. 

The IRS letter follows.  It provides links to seminars, tips, forms, recommendations, events, and instructions.  The first link under tax resources, "Small Business and Self-employed One Stop Resource, is particularly helpful, especially if one is contemplating a new business.

e-News for Small Businesses

April 29, 2016

Tax Resources for Small Businesses

Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource

Small Business Forms & Pubs

Small Business Events

Small Business Webinars

e-File for Businesses and Self-Employed

Businesses with Employees

Small Business Products

Self-Employed Individuals

S Corporations

Other Resources

Find it Fast!

All Forms and Pubs

Filing Your Taxes

Make a Payment

IRS Tax Gap

Taxpayer Advocate Service

Retirement Plans

Tax Information for Charities
and Other Non-Profits

State Links

SSA/IRS Reporter

IRS Social Media

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Issue Number:  2016-1

Inside This Issue


1.     National Small Business Week, May 1 – 7

2.     Help IRS promote the free webinars using Thunderclap

3.     Work Opportunity Tax Credit

4.     Reminder for employers and providers: file health coverage information returns 

  1.  National Small Business Week, May 1 – 7

During National Small Business Week, IRS is offering a series of educational webinars for small businesses and self-employed taxpayers.

Register now for:

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  2.  Help IRS promote the free webinars using Thunderclap

Thunderclap is a "crowd-speaking" platform that lets individuals and companies rally people together to spread a message.

Supporters on Thunderclap signup and agree to share a message on social media accounts, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr.

Follow this link for the IRS Small Business Week Thunderclap:

  • Select support with Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr
  • Click on the "Support With” tabs to authorize Thunderclap to post this one-time message to your social media platform
  • Input social media username and password

It's  completely safe and will automatically post only one message on your own social media account.

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  3.  Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Recent legislation extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit  retroactively for 2015 for employers that hire members of targeted groups.

It also expanded the targeted groups of individuals to include qualified long-term unemployment recipients.

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  4.  Reminder for employers and providers: file health coverage information returns

The deadlines to file information returns with the IRS are approaching for self-insured employers, applicable large employers and health coverage providers.

IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-47 has more information.

Back to top


Tags:  entrepreneur  IRS  small business  tax planning  tax strategy 

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109 Best Resources for Starting a Small Business in Arizona

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

By: March 7, 2016 

I have always believed that to become an efficient and successful entrepreneur (hard work, passion, and commitment aside) you need to be savvy. Using solid resources can make a huge difference from how your business will fare in the long term.

That said, here are the 110 best resources for starting a business in Arizona collected to help bring your great idea to life. It’s important to start off on the right foot when starting a business in Arizona, so be sure to only use the resources that are right for you.


1) Arizona Small Business Resource Guide

The Arizona District Office of the SBA has published a pdf guide that provides comprehensive information on how to start a business in Arizona. Every step of the startup process is tackled and discussed. Rules and state policies, permit and licensing requirements, business taxes, funding options and important links are also included in the guide.

2) Arizona District Office of the SBA

The website of the Arizona District Office of the SBA is a wealth of information when starting a business. Every resource you need as a new entrepreneur, the AZ SBA District Office has it. Most importantly, it keeps you updated on all the latest small business events to help you network and take advantage of opportunities.

3) Arizona Small Business Association

From a vast collection of business resources to speed networking to various business events, the ASBA is a great resource to look into. When you become an ASBA member, you get access to a plethora of services to manage and operate your business. You’ll also get group discounts, advertising, and mentoring.

4) Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority is truly an authority when it comes to providing small business services. With specialized programs to help small businesses, getting started with the help of the resources in the Arizona Commerce Authority is a great option if you are a first time entrepreneur or veteran.

5) ACA Checklist Program

Another vital resource from the Arizona Commerce Authority that you should look when starting a business in Arizona is its ACA Checklist Program. This free online checklist program guides you in starting, growing and operating an Arizona business. Quick links as to some helpful resources for your business are also included.

View the full list and article here
Original article by Startup Savant 


Tags:  Arizona  business resources  entrepreneur  small business 

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Avoiding Business Risk

Posted By Mary Juetten, Traklight, Monday, January 25, 2016

Risk is something of a mature subject. That's not to say that risk is solely the providence of people past a certain age, but we become more aware of it as we age and mature. As kids we don't ponder the idea of our own mortality or the possibility of failure; it's less that we think that somehow everything will work out than we just don't think. And we're fortunate to have relatively low stakes at that age. Our bodies and our pride bounce back rather quickly. 

Age and circumstance have a way of changing all that, though, in life as well as business. Adults have far more at risk than kids, and entrepreneurs and business owners have risks far beyond their fellow adults. But part of what being an entrepreneur means is looking at those risks and deciding to take the plunge anyway. And while those risks will never go away entirely, you can take steps to minimize them.

When starting a business, there are so many things to consider when considering risk. One of the most important steps you can take when getting started is forming a business entity. If you're running a business without a business entity, you could be putting your personal assets at risk. And if you're starting a business with co-founders, you could be putting the entire venture in jeopardy if you don't have co-founder agreements in place.

Your business can also be at risk if you discuss it in too much detail in a public setting. If you plan to present at a trade show or other public forums, be sure to speak only in generalities when talking about your product. You should also exercise caution in pitch meetings with investors. While you don't have to go to the extent of having accredited investors sign a non-disclosure agreement, it can be prudent to err on the side of saying less rather than more. 

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to minimize risk is make sure all IP is assigned to your business entity. Having patents assigned to one member of your partnership is a recipe for disaster should that person decide to move on from the company. Assigning any and all IP assets to the business rather than an individual will help to avoid any post-split messiness and ownership debates that could derail the company.

Tags:  entrepreneur  small business  startup 

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7 Day Startup Challenge - Welcome & Announce Ideas w/ Dan Norris

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, January 18, 2016

Tags:  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  small business  startup 

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