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Louisiana Economic Development To Give Grant To Small Business Exporters in Louisiana

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Louisiana Economic Development was awarded a grant of $200,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help small businesses who need to market their goods and services to foreign clients. The Grant is from the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a program initiated to assist small businesses in accessing the necessary information and resources needed for them to excel in export trade.

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) will disburse the grants to increase the number of small business exporters and the sales of successful exporters in Louisiana. LED is one of the forty-one state and U.S. territory agencies partaking in the federal program for the year 2019-2021 program cycle.

The program will repay allowable travel, registration and exhibit cost on the following: domestic or foreign trade shows; inbound or outbound trade missions; participation in export training workshops; U.S. Commercial Service user fees; and other activities. New-to-export companies will get up to 75% repayment, and companies expanding their market will get up to 50% reimbursement. Each company will get up to $6,333 in assistance from the program.

Earlier this year, through the help of STEP grants American Pollution Control Corp., an environmental remediation company based in New Iberia, Louisiana, participated in International Trade Shows in Cairo, Egypt, and Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico.

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Black American Couples Plan to Produce More Black Millionaires

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The Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement appears to be an impossible task for many persons. Still, Kiersten and Julien Saunders thinks otherwise and are ready to prove it to the public.

Just like other entrepreneurs, the couple started their blog “Rich and Regular” in debt. Within the last eight years, the couple has been able to pay $200,000 for their debts, has also procured rental properties, make money through their blog and invested in businesses. Julien quit his job so as to concentrate fully on blogging but his wife still works in the service industry. They plan on retiring by mid -2021.

Initially, they estimated to save about $1 million for their retirement, which equals around 25 times their baseline (this is the rule applicable to all member of FIRE). But their fire number has been increased to $1.3 million because they now have a child and have also included other family members to their plans.

The fire number of an individual depends on various factors such as monthly expenses, debt repayment plan, expected (and emergency) cost, salary etc. Some persons like to be on a safer side, and hence will save 40-50 times their annual expenses (which they call fat FIRE), while some other will save below the general rule of 25 times their annual spending and plans on leaving on a frugal lifestyle (known as lean Fire).

The Saunders doesn’t like the idea of a fixed Fire number and believes it is a significant shortcoming of the FIRE movement because the annual expenses of every individual change from time to time, especially when new members are added to the families or there is an expansion of the business.

Despite the above issue, the Saunders have been able to adjust their lifestyle to achieve their goals. They spend about $5000 monthly, with much of that money being used to sort out mortgage and day care. The family has disconnected their cable, procure cars produced over ten years ago. Even Julien’s wife does not do her work out in the basement instead of patronizing the gym.

The couple is using their blog to introduce its blog readers, especially black Americans, to FIRE. They hope to create more black millionaires with this move of theirs. The inspiration to start blogging came from their honeymoon visit to South Africa because there they felt relaxed and had a sense of belonging even though they were black and wealthy.
The couple explained that the idea behind FIRE is not to compel people to be too economical to the extent that they will deprive themselves of things that will bring joy to their home. The couple explained that occasionally they still treat themselves and have fun.

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Money

Meet the Black Entrepreneur Who is Helping Small Businesses Secure Grants

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Tina Williams is an Ex personal banker at J.P. Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank. She is the founder of QT Business Solutions, a company that helps Detroit based business to get the finance they need. She has a firm conviction that funds and cash flow are the focal points of business. Her experience in the bank also adds up to her knowledge of how vital smooth and continuous availability of funds means to small businesses.

Reports have it that she recently helped a local black-owned salon (The living room hair lounge) to secure a fund of $35,000; this is the smallest of it. She has also assisted; a local art gallery access $60,000, a woman-owned transport company gets $60,000, a local restaurant gets $138,000, and a local co-working space gets $450,000 in funding.

Most of the famous entrepreneurs of the Metro Detroit area are clients to QT Business Solutions. The company has grown mainly by referrals because she diligently prepares her clients on how to get financing before they meet with investors or loan officers.

Aside from providing funding assistance, she also gives business startup lectures and training on how an entrepreneur can draft an excellent business plan.

She is working towards making her services available to businesses beyond the Detroit environment. She is also planning to make her company become a national business trainer and technical assistance for startup businesses and thriving small businesses that are aspiring to become multi-million and billion-dollar companies. She is eyeing cities thriving entrepreneurial environment.

To get more information or book a free consultation, go to the QT Business Solution website.

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Money

An Esport Organization has launched a $10 Million Seed Fund for Esport Businesses

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Esports organization, Misfits Gaming group, has launched a $10 million seed fund and incubator for gaming startups tagged MSF.IO.

There will be an open application period, and by January, two startups would have been chosen from around the world. Hence the company can also groom at its headquarters in South Florida.

The $10 million is self-funded money, and the company only wants to take five startups for the first batch of the investment.
Aside from esport startups, Misfits is also looking for data and analytics companies, and education-focused startups which can serve players with skill development and game development studios.

Misfits have a group of advisers, which include Nicola Piggott, co-founder of esports PR agency The Story Mob and former comms lead at Riot Games; Rich Kracum, co-founder of private equity firm Wind Point Partner and James Kuhn, president of real estate company Newmark Knight Frank.

Because of team franchises in the league of legends European Championship, the Overwatch League, and the new Call of Duty League, the worth of Misfits gaming is approximately $120 million by Forbes.

The CEO of Misfits, Ben Spoont, believes the approach of Misfits is unique in the industry. He also stated that the company isn’t planning to incorporate these businesses into their normal esports operations; instead, they want to invest in a business that has prospects.

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Money

World Business Lenders Partners with Black Organization to Grant Up to $10 Million Loan for Small Black-Owned Business

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A loan agency based in New Jersey has apportioned $10 million to Black-American business owners who are finding it difficult to secure capital.

The World Business Lenders revealed during its fall social on Oct. 24 that the money is a component of the partnership it entered with the African American Chamber Fund. They also added that the contribution would assist members of the African American Chamber of Commerce.

The chairman and chief executive officer of the World Business Lenders, Doug Naidus, Archbishop David Billings III, and Rep. Edolphus Towns, disclose in a previous press release that the partnership is geared towards providing access to low-cost capital for small Black-owned businesses.

The African American Chamber Fund had revealed in its press release that about 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the country are employers of 975,000 workers and also contribute the sum of $150 billion to the United States of America annually.

Naidus, who is also the vice-chairman of the Fund, said that of late institutional investors have stopped giving capital to small businesses. This, he said, has severely affected the black people who were already finding it difficult to get loans from lenders with reasonable terms and conditions.

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Money

LiftFund Partners EDA to Give Loan Worth $3 Million to Small Business Owners in the Golden Crescent Area

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LiftFund is a nonprofit organization that gives loans to small business owners. It is partnering with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and pumping $3 million in the Golden Crescent area for easy access to loans by small businesses.

The collaboration and funds are meant to help small businesses that aren’t doing well, especially those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

LiftFund had organized a resource fair and panel discussion event at the University of Houston-Victoria to enlighten local business proprietors about the grant which is available to business within the 18 counties and how they can also grow their business.

The mode of operation of the fund will be like the energy cycle, which means that as disbursed loans are being repaid, they are released back as funds for new loans. This means that the program will run for decades.

The application is available to any small business via LiftFund. Entrepreneurs can get loans as low as $1000 and up to $250,000 depending on the financial needs of the business. The interest rate for now, at least till March 2020, is 4%.
LiftFund is a community lender based in San Antonio. The organization is well experienced, having worked with diverse entrepreneurs, from owners of pet shops, bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, and many more.

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Money

Texas Rapper, Chamillionaire has Launched a $100,000 Competition to Help Black Founded Start-ups

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According to reports, Hakeem Seriki, aka “Chamillionaire” has launched a competition that is worth $100,000. The competition aims to help black-owned start-ups get funds for their business.

The competition has started and will run through December 6th, 2019. To participate in the contest, start-ups would download the Convoz (an app and social video conversation platform founded by Chamillionaire last year) from either the iOS or Android platform. After launching the app, you will click on the banner at the top of the home feed to view the details and rules of the contest. The rapper who hails from Texas has shortlisted the list of persons that will help him to select the winner of the competition. The list includes investor and West Coast rapper Earl T. “E-40” Stevens, FUBU’s Daymond John, and equity investing platform, Republic.

Earlier in the year, Hakeem had a competition for minority founded start-ups, at the end of which he invested $10,000 on the winner. The second phase of the contest saw him (Chamillionaire), E-40 and Republic collaborating to give a minority or woman-founded start-up $25,000. The competition was also announced on the Convoz app.

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Money

IMEC’s New Grant Aims To Boost Productivity of Small Manufacturers in Illinois

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Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) will be disbursing $2.5 million in 2020 to assist manufacturers in affording the service of consultants, to improve productivity.

IMEC plans to give a grant of about $25,000 to Illinois manufacturers who seek professional advice on how to use the latest technology or increase their revenue. They are hoping to finance up to 50 projects next year.

The President of IMEC, David Boulay, stated that due to a lack of employees who can operate new technology and because small businesses desire a quicker return on investment (ROI) than more prominent firms, small manufacturers don’t quickly embrace modern technology. This attitude, he said, doesn’t aid productivity.

A survey of the workers employed by manufacturers in Illinois during the first quarter was conducted. Out of the 587,000 workers, about 20 percent worked in companies with less than 49 employees, 50% worked in companies with 50-499 employees, and 3o percent worked in companies with more than 500 employees.

IMEC is a member of a nationwide network of organizations that support small and medium-scale manufacturers in a public-private partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The organization had a $12.4 million budget for fiscal 2019.

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Money

The Story Behind Kickstarter and How it Makes Business Funding Easy

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Many of the present generations of entrepreneurs will agree that Kickstarter has affected their life more than any other startups because it has changed how entrepreneurs and products can get funded.

Yancey Strickler, the co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter, a global Public Benefit Company that assisted in the establishment of crowdsourcing, spoke this week on the Small Business Radio Show. He has published a new book called; “This could be Our Future.” The London spectator called him one of the “least obnoxious tech evangelists.”

When they (himself, Perry Chin and Charles Adler) were to launch Kickstarter, many doubters believed the business would flop. But as of now, the company has made over $5 billion worth of pledges, from over 10 million backers, and has created brilliant ideas.

According to Yancey, the idea behind Kickstarter can be traced down to 2001, when Perry Chen couldn’t get funds to organize his concert. Perry had to seek for pledges via the internet, and he didn’t collect money from anyone that pledged until he had gathered the entire cash he needed for the project. Perry’s story explains how Kickstarter works. Yancey’s partnership with Perry and Charles commenced in 2005 and led to the official launch of the platform in 2009. Yancey further said that the motivation behind the launch of Kickstarter was the passion they had to see that the art project gets completed rather than entrepreneurship.

Kickstarter’s selling point is that a project can be launched without having the initial capital.

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Business

Bank of ESTES PARK Create $300,000 Micro Loan Fund for Local Small Business

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Bank of ESTES PARK Create $300,000 Micro Loan Fund for Local Small Business

Bank of Estes Park is the only truly local Estes Valley bank with its headquarters right next to Bond Park in downtown, another branch in southern St. Vrain, and a satellite branch down in Niwot. Why is that important? It’s important because we’re not like the other Estes Park banks, which are remote branches of large multi-state or national banks.

Estes Park is our home, community, local economy, clients, neighbors and friends. We care about and operate on a level that is not even possible for the other banks in the city for our local community. And that’s why we’ve created this large pool of funds in the Estes Park area designated for small businesses.

We acknowledged this as a need in Estes Park for almost five years and worked behind the scenes on this solution — evaluating different approaches, analyzing every option, getting it right … Essentially, what we did was partner with the state’s largest Community Development Corp — Colorado Lending Source.
The $300,000 pool of funds will be made available through its Main Street Loan Program, designated for small businesses in the Estes Park area, and it’s easy to apply.

Simply go to www.coloradolendingsource.org/loans/colorado-main-street and complete the application process— through them, the loan will be originated and serviced at reasonable prices and terms for up to eight years.
And as these loans repay, the pool of funds will naturally also grow, planting long into the future economic growth and vitality at ground level in Estes Park.

It’s not necessary for businesses to bank with Bank of Estes Park, although we certainly appreciate the organizations and community members that do banking with us, who understand the difference, and who recognize the tremendous benefits brought to this community by having a genuinely local, community bank in town — without you, we would literally not exist.

We are, by almost any description, a small, local business relative to the other banks in the region, and with a total of only 26 employees in the entire company. So, out of our gratitude for your business and for the success this community has brought to our little bank, it is our pleasure to create this pool of funds to help the other small businesses in the city “take that next step” in their growth, even if they are unable to obtain traditional bank financing.

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Industry

GoDaddy’s Partnership with Kabbage Will Provide its Customers With More Access to Funds For Their Business

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GoDaddy, the company that focuses on development and empowerment of small business, has announced its collaboration with Kabbage, Inc., a data and technology company that provides loan to small business.

The strategic partnership will ensure that GoDaddy’s customers in the U.S. can access Kabbage’s online lending packages.

After undergoing a simple application procedure via Kabbage, GoDaddy customers will be able to get a flexible loan up to $250,000 within few minutes after approval. The extra cash flow will make it possible for GoDaddy customers to procure additional tools or raw materials, staff up for the hectic holiday period, use it to initiate digital marketing for the business etc.

Both companies affirmed that there is no application charges to access the loan via Kabbage. Customers will not be penalized for failure to withdraw the approved funds (which will anyway remain in the customer’s account); hence, payment will only start when the funds are accessed. Furthermore, existing GoDaddy customers will get $100 off their first month’s fee.

Aside from the partnership announcement, GoDaddy also releases the result of the survey they did on 500 entrepreneurs, to see how they were able to overcome the issues they faced while growing their business. Sixty percent of those surveyed claims to have increased in their income after they invested in online adverts, while 43 percent affirmed that owning a website is an excellent digital tool to grow a business.

Fifty percent of the entrepreneurs claim that access to funds is a significant hindrance to growing their business’s online presence.

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