Friday, April 7, 2017

Taking A Risk

Entrepreneurs know that every small business starts with taking a risk.

We have an idea for a product or service, but even the best ideas require a leap of faith. Whether it is our money or time or the security of working for someone else, we put ourselves on the line when we pursue our goals. When that risk succeeds… simply put, it’s empowering.

Yet research shows women are more risk-averse than men. Are we missing out on empowerment, too?

I was proud to represent the U.S. Small Business Administration at a panel on empowering women hosted by President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House in honor of Women’s History Month. Four of the women in the Trump Administration shared the stage and our perspectives on empowerment. It was fascinating to hear that each of our paths to success started by taking a risk – usually against the odds and against the advice of others.

“Women second-guess themselves all the time,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley noted during the panel. “We must tell ourselves to push through the fear because we end up on the other side so much stronger than when we started.”

Ambassador Haley described how she took a risk by running for a seat in the statehouse in South Carolina. Others told her she was too young, she had small children, she should set her sights lower. She ignored the naysayers and took a risk – and not only won that seat, she went on to become her state’s first female Governor.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos thought she’d play it safe and study interior design in college until she challenged herself to study business and political science instead.

Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was expected to be a stay-at-home mom, noting she was the first woman in her family in 3,000 years to have a job. But she had her own dreams and a desire to make a contribution in health care, and knew she could be a mom at the same time. She started a career, and later took another risk when she left her job and started her own business.

“We tend to play it safe – don’t take that job or start your own business. What I’ve come to realize is that’s the wrong advice. Even you are even considering it, go for it. Take those risks. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out, but you learn from it. It’s better to have that growth and wisdom than not pursuing it at all.”

Probably the biggest risk my husband and I ever took was buying Capitol Wrestling, the parent company of WWF, at the time, in 1982. It was just the two of us sharing a desk, and I’m very happy that risk really paid off.

As SBA Administrator, I am making that message my mission.

There were about a dozen young girls in the audience, and they were invited onstage at the end of the panel. I want each of them to know their power – to have the confidence to think boldly, trust their instincts and follow their passions. To bet on themselves. To never miss an opportunity to learn something new because they fear making a mistake. My goal at SBA is to help create a brighter future – not just for those taking risks by launching and growing businesses today, but for the young people boldly dreaming of their own tomorrows.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prepare your business for the winter storm

Prepare your business for the winter storm

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch in effect from late Monday night, March 13 through late Tuesday night, March 14. 

The nor'easter is forecast to bring heavy snow along with strong and potentially damaging winds that will create hazardous travel conditions throughout Tuesday.

The City has issued a hazardous travel advisory for Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

All winter weather information and information about the City's response to the storm can be found by visiting the City's Severe Weather website at or by calling 311.

New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system online, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

Severe weather conditions can destroy storefront facades, building structures, roofs, awnings, shatter facade glass/windows, etc.
Additionally, severe weather conditions can also damage sidewalks, equipment, and merchandise.
Once weather permits, business owners should be mindful of the following information:
snow shovel

Snow and ice must be removed within four hours after the snow has stopped falling or by 11 a.m. if the snow has not stopped falling after 9 p.m. the previous evening.
Snow must NOT be thrown into the street.
If the snow or ice becomes frozen so hard that it cannot be removed, the sidewalk can be strewn with ashes, sand, sawdust, or similar suitable material within the same time limits.
The sidewalk must be thoroughly cleaned as soon as the weather permits.
Snow Awning
If there are high winds, please take in all loose standing objects that may become dislodged and harm pedestrians.
All ground level commercial/business owners should clear snow/ice from their awnings as soon as the weather permits to prevent structural collapse. If you have a retractable awning or shade, please close these devices.
One-story commercial property owners/lessees should clear snow/ice from their rooftops as soon as the weather permits to prevent possible collapse (a professional should perform this task).

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nanny Training Certificate Program

In today’s economic landscape, two-income families are increasingly the norm as parents struggle to put food on the table and pay rent. They don’t just need someone to sit in their apartment and watch their children while they are at work. Nannies are now required to possess a degree of training in child care and in some instances, must be certified or even have a formal academic degree in the field of child development.   So, as you can see, there is more to childcare than playing games, baking cupcakes and watching tv together.

Make a Difference
Interestingly, a nanny may spend more time with her charges than their parents. As a nanny, you have the ability to shape their small minds and allow parents to focus on their jobs comforted that their children are safe and happy at home. Very often, in addition to taking care of the child, nannies are now mandated to sit next to the children at their desks and lend a helping hand with their homework assignments as well as prepare nutritious meals for both the children and their families and perform housekeeping duties.

If you feel your mission in life is to work with children, working as a nanny gives you the ability to do just that. But the bonus of working as a personal nanny as opposed to a temporary babysitter or a childcare worker in a day care center, is that  you truly get to know them. Like school, children in a daycare center move from teacher to teacher until they enter elementary school when they leave their daycare days behind them. You may stay with the same family for years and watch your charges grow from babies to young adults and recognize your contribution via your role as nanny.

Being a Bridge
Beyond caring for the children, you are responsible for acting as a liaison between the children and their teachers and parents.  For example, as a nanny you may work with the parents to establish a routine for the children and you will have to keep track of the children’s after school activities, scheduled television time and medication schedule if any. You will be responsible for observing any abnormal developmental delays, health issues or the achievement of milestones.  

If you have experience working with children, a career as a nanny may be a good match for the skills you already possess. Then  combine this  with patience, maturity, exceptional organizational skills and a sense of humor. It must be emphasized that some families will also require a background check before they will hire you since you will be entrusted with their most valuable commodity--their children. They want to ascertain that when they insert that key into their homes in the morning before going to work, that they can have peace of mind knowing they can trust you. Nannies provide a valuable service in the nurturing, care, social, emotional and academic development of their charges.  Understanding cognitive as well as emotional development empowers nannies to understand the rationalization behind choices, behavior and actions even when the child does not fully grasp their full import.
  A good place to start is with the New American Chamber of Commerce  (NACC) Nanny Training Certificate Program. The Chamber’s mission is to empower nannies to start nanny businesses utilizing the skills developed, from our Nanny Training Certificate Program and our Small Business Boot Camp (Starting a Daycare Edition). We establish through our Nanny Training Certificate Program, knowledgeable, nurturing and loving nannies, who are dedicating their careers to challenging children to achieve greatness. Call us at 718-722-9217 or visit

Monday, February 20, 2017

Linda McMahon Confirmed By Senate as SBA Administrator

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate confirmed on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s nomination of Linda E. McMahon as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Small businesses are the engine of our national economy,” McMahon said upon her confirmation. “I will work to revitalize a spirit of entrepreneurship in America.  Small businesses want to feel they can take a risk on an expansion or a new hire without fearing onerous new regulations or unexpected taxes, fees and fines that will make such growth unaffordable.  We want to renew optimism in our economy.”

“I want to thank President Trump for this opportunity to join his Administration and to advocate for our nation’s small business owners and entrepreneurs,” McMahon said. “I would also like to express my appreciation to Joe Loddo for his leadership as Acting Administrator during this transition, along with everyone at the SBA for the hard work they are doing to support America’s small businesses.”
In testimony on January 24 before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, McMahon discussed her hands-on experience managing and helping to grow small businesses.

“As an entrepreneur myself, I have shared the experiences of our nation’s small business owners.  My husband and I built our business from scratch. We started out sharing a desk. Over decades of hard work and strategic growth, we built it into a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees. I am proud of our success – I know every bit of the hard work it took to create that success.”

“I believe in leadership by example. As a CEO, I never expect employees to do anything I am not willing to do myself.  I believe in setting expectations and holding people accountable, but trusting them to do the job for which they were hired. I look forward to working with the SBA staff. I am eager to learn from their experience and expertise. I will listen, and their ideas, concerns and recommendations will be taken seriously.”

As Administrator of the SBA, McMahon will direct a federal agency with more than 2,000 full-time employees, with a leading role in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs secure financing, technical assistance and training, and federal contracts. SBA also plays a leading role in disaster recovery by making low interest loans.

McMahon is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Women’s Leadership LIVE, as well as the co-founder and former CEO of WWE.  She was the Republican nominee to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012.  McMahon is an advocate for small business and continues to promote entrepreneurship, particularly among women.

McMahon is a graduate of East Carolina University. She and her husband, Vince, have two adult children and six grandchildren.

Link to McMahon’s Statement to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship:

Friday, February 17, 2017

5 Great Things about Being a Paralegal

A career as paralegal (also known as a legal assistant) can be a wonderfully fulfilling profession. Paralegals perform legal­, regulatory­ and business­-related research for lawyers working at their organization. Most of the time paralegals work for law offices, corporations' legal departments or courts. These professionals also provide legal support services to attorneys. They assist lawyers in filing materials such as motions, memoranda, pleadings and briefs in various court systems, as well as accompany lawyers to see clients and/or to go to court. Here are 5 great things about being a paralegal:

1. Rise In Pay
Paralegal compensation has risen steadily in the past decade, despite a bump in the road in the depths of the 2009-2010 recession. As paralegals perform a broader and more complex range of tasks (paralegals even represent clients in court in certain countries and administrative tribunals), paralegal earnings continue to rise. The average paralegal salary hovers at around $50,000 per year but paralegals often make more through bonuses. Overtime hours can also add significant cash to a paralegal's paycheck.

2. Explosive Employment Outlook
The paralegal field is one of the fastest-growing professions on the globe. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, predicts the employment of paralegals and legal assistants to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Among the factors driving this growth is client demand for cheaper, more efficient delivery of legal services. Since hourly rates charged by attorneys are typically double or triple the rates of paralegals for the same task, law firm economics mandates the increased use of paralegals to minimize costs. As a result, a paralegal career is one of the hottest non-lawyer jobs in the legal industry.

3. Easy Career Entry

Unlike lawyers who must complete seven years of formal education and pass the bar exam to practice law, you can become a paralegal in as little as a few months of study.

4. Intellectual Challenge
Paralegal work is intellectually challenging and involves a range of high-level skills. The most successful paralegals are problem-solvers and innovative thinkers. Paralegals must become subject matter experts in their specialty area and master legal procedure, research, drafting and other skills. They must stay on top of ever-changing laws and new legal trends and developments while interfacing with attorneys, opposing counsel, vendors, staff members, clients and others. The work is varied and each day brings new challenges.

5. Rising Prestige
As paralegals perform more complex and challenging work, paralegal prestige is rising. Paralegals are no longer simply lawyer's assistants; they are assuming management roles in corporations, leadership roles in law firms and entrepreneurial roles in independent paralegal businesses. Over the years, paralegals have transcended the image of glorified legal secretary to become respected members of the legal team.

A career as a paralegal can be rewarding professionally and personally. A  career as a paralegal offers a unique opportunity to help others. These opportunities vary, depending on the paralegal's practice area.Paralegals in the public interest sector help poor and disadvantaged segments of the population with legal issues ranging from protection from domestic abuse to assistance preparing wills Ready to take the leap? Visit

Monday, February 13, 2017

Unpaid Taxes? The IRS Moves to Revocation or Denial of Passports

If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, IRC § 7345 authorizes the IRS to certify that to the State Department. The department generally will not issue or renew a passport to you after receiving certification from the IRS.  

Upon receiving certification, the State Department may revoke your passport. If the department decides to revoke it, prior to revocation, the department may limit your passport to return travel to the U.S.

Certification Of Individuals With Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt
Seriously delinquent tax debt is an individual's unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt totaling more than $50,000 (including interest and penalties) for which a:
  • Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under IRC § 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted or
  • Levy has been issued
Some tax debt is not included in determining seriously delinquent tax debt even if it meets the above criteria. It includes tax debt:
  • Being paid in a timely manner under  an installment agreement entered into with the IRS
  • Being paid in a timely manner under an offer in compromise accepted by the IRS or a settlement agreement entered into with the Justice Department
  • For which a collection due process hearing is timely requested in connection with a levy to collect the debt
  • For which collection has been suspended because a request for innocent spouse relief under IRC § 6015 has been made
Before denying a passport, the State Department will hold your application for 90 days to allow you to:
  • Resolve any erroneous certification issues
  • Make full payment of the tax debt
  • Enter into a satisfactory payment alternative with the IRS
There is no grace period for resolving the debt before the State Department revokes a passport.

Payment Of Taxes
If you can’t pay the full amount you owe, you can make alternative payment arrangements such as an installment agreement or an offer in compromise and still keep your U.S. passport.
If you disagree with the tax amount or the certification was made in error, you should contact the phone number listed on Notice CP 508C. If you’ve already paid the tax debt, please send proof of that payment to the address on the Notice CP 508C.
If you recently filed your tax return for the current year and expect a refund , the IRS will apply the refund to the debt and if the refund is sufficient to satisfy your seriously delinquent tax debt, the account is considered fully paid.

In Trouble with the IRS?
You don't have to go it alone. There's help. There's hope: the Professional Tax Law Firm og Figeroux & Associates. Call us now at 855-6taxguy or 855-682-9489.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Government Contracting: Do You Qualify as a Small Business?

You may take it for granted that your company is a "small business." The distinction is important if you wish to register for government contracting as a small business. To be a small business, you must adhere to industry size standards established by the U.S. Small Business Administration. As you register as a government contractor in the System for Award Management (SAM), you will also self-certify your business as small.

The SBA, for most industries, defines a "small business" either in terms of the average number of employees over the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years. In addition, SBA defines a U.S. small business as a concern that:

    Is organized for profit
    Has a place of business in the US
    Operates primarily within the U.S. or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through    
    payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor
    Is independently owned and operated
    Is not dominant in its field on a national basis

The business may be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or any other legal form. In determining what constitutes a small business, the definition will vary to reflect industry differences, such as size standards.
Size Standards

Because all federal agencies must use SBA size standards for contracts identified as small business, you need to select NAICS codes that best describe your business and then determine if the business meet size standards for the selected NAICS codes. Once you have determined you are indeed a small business, you can then certify your business as small by registering as a government contractor.

Want to learn more? Attend our seminar: Doing Business with the Federal Government: An Introduction.

Register at: