By Anna Tse
To celebrate national Small Business Month, the Asian American Civic Association (AACA) and Eastern Bank held a workshop on “Positioning your small business for growth success” May 21 at AACA. It provided commerce, health care and legal information for people interested in starting a new business.
The informative two-hour workshop invited experts in economic development, health care providers and lawyers specialized in business law. They discussed how to get loans, selecting the right health insurance for workers and legal issues for new businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal program founded in 1953 to help citizens start their own businesses. This maintains and strengthens the economy by assisting, counseling and protecting the interests of small business.
“Many big companies like Apple, Nike, AOL and Ben & Jerry’s actually got started with the SBA,” said Norman Eng, SBA economic development specialist. “Massachusetts has been rated No. 1 for small loans in the country.”
SBA loans are one way business owners can access capital. Other services provide free counseling and contracting, with many different free SBA programs. The next workshop will focus on Asian Importing and Exporting at AACA on June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to11 a.m.
“SBA is one of the best free programs that the federal government offers to help people,” Eng said. “We hope by reaching out and educating the public, more people will utilize these SBA programs, helping their business to succeed.”
Choosing the right health care coverage
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires companies with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance coverage for workers. Choosing the right coverage can be confusing, with so many different health care providers and plans.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) relationship manager Rose Hom said small businesses can go online to look for the best insurance for their workers on the Mass Health Connector, www.mahealthconnector.org/. HPHC’s Eastern Harmony Program is a program focused on holistic health care, and with the ACA, employers who start a wellness program may qualify for tax credits. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org.
Small business legal matters
Business owners often seek legal advice on limiting liability, taxation, management and control. Law firm Ropes & Gray provided legal basics for small businesses, based on its business and finance background. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.ropesgray.com.
This post is also available in: Chinese