1 SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES A listing of programs, organizations, and tax credits to help your business succeed in St. Helens Contact: Melissa Serafin, Main Street Program Coordinator (503) For more information on SHEDCO and Main Street, visit us at shedc.org Like us on Facebook Fall 2012
2 We make every effort to keep our materials and information updated and accurate. If you know of other small business resources or spot a mistake in this packet, please let us know. This packet is meant to provide information to small businesses. It is not meant to dictate legal or tax decisions, and we cannot provide tax or legal advice. Research a topic thoroughly before deciding on a course of action for your business.
3 HOW TO USE THIS BOOKLET There are a variety of resources for small businesses, but how do you know which ones will work for your business? This guide explores many of the organizations, websites, and information sources available to St. Helens businesses and describes the types of support they provide. Contact information is included with each listing, and the St. Helens Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO) is always available to answer your small business questions. Each listing is color-coded by the types of services they offer: Loans Mentor Program Small Business Classes/Workshops Local economic and market information One-on-one assistance Networking opportunities Also included is a listing of tax incentives and deductions available for qualifying small businesses. SMALL BUSINESS TERMS What is an IDA? IDAs are matched savings accounts that enable low-income American families to save, build assets, and enter the financial mainstream. IDAs reward the monthly savings of working families who are building towards purchasing an asset - most commonly buying their first home, paying for post-secondary education, or starting a small business. (MercyCorps NW) What does Certified Local Government mean? The Certified Local Government program is a federal program through the National Park Service that is administered by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. Local governments must meet certain criteria to qualify, including a focus on historic preservation, the passing of a preservation ordinance, and updating and reviewing its historic buildings. The CLG program provides St. Helens with support, including annual grants for preservation activities. This opportunity is available to historic property owners. What is a certified historic structure? A building that is listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places or a building that is located in a registered historic district and certified by the National Park Service as contributing to the historic significance of that district. (National Park Service) What is the difference between a tax incentive and a tax deduction? A tax incentive decreases your overall tax bill. A deduction decreases the amount of income that is taxable.
4 St. Helens Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO) The St. Helens Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO) aims to provide the leadership and coordination necessary to enhance the economic viability of St. Helens. In addition to organizing community and business events, promoting St. Helens and our small businesses, and implementing beautification and streetscape project, SHEDCO provides free one-on-one small business support and resources. SHEDCO covers a wide range of topics, including design assistance, opportunities through the Certified Local Government program, internet marketing, and development projects, such as the business plan competition. Columbia County Economic Team (CCET) 265 Strand Street St. Helens, OR (503) shedc.org The Columbia County Economic Team partners with the Oregon Microenterprise Network to offer customized market research to small business. The provide comprehensive community information, custom research and demographic informa- St. Helens, OR Strand Street tion, labor market information, real estate search assistance, economic incentive (503) coordination with local and state agencies, coordination with county and cities on columbiacounty permitting and utilities, and coordination with education and workforce allies on oregon.com training and hiring assistance. They also partner with several organizations to offer access to microloans (less than $15,000) and Individual Development Accounts to small businesses that need expansion capital. South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (SCCCC) The SCCCC works in partnership with our cities, counties, economic development groups and other interested entities and organizations to: 2194 Columbia Blvd. Promote members products/services St. Helens, OR Advocate for issues that support economic development, livability, and community well-being sccchamber.org (503) Connect members and community through networking events and collaboration Educate members and the community regarding business practices and legislative updates Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District (COL-PAC) COL-PAC promotes and engages regional partnerships to preserve and enhance our communities by creating economic opportunity and advocating sustainability and 330 Pioneer Ave. W revitalization of the diverse area we serve. COL-PAC provides: Montesano, WA Small Business Development Loan Program (360) Facilitation services: needs assessments, program development, and meeting organization colpac.org Grant-writing services: budget development, project development, application preparation Grant development training: executive summary, statement of need, project funding research Strategic planning: mission statement, goals and objectives, operational budget development Grant search tools
5 Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon seeks to broaden economic opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs by providing business support to increase growth in income, assets, and business skills. Anchors: MESO s business development program, which includes assistance with business strategies and implementation, marketing, financial management, and personal development NE MLK Jr. Blvd. Portland OR (503) mesopdx.org ACE: MESO s financing program provides financing to owners of small businesses who are unable to access capital through traditional banking institutions. These opportunities include small business loans, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), and credit lines. MESO s business education program offers a variety of training and classes, including business plan development, financial literacy, asset growth, QuickBooks 101, marketing, understanding business financial reports, and personal coaching. FACE: MESO s community empowerment program which provides educational, economic, and culturally relevant services and resources, such as career counseling, banking assistance, transportation, networking, business English, social services, and community resources. CLIMB: Small Business Development Center Portland Community College The Oregon Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships between the government and state and community college throughout Oregon SE Water Street They are administered by the Small Business Administration and aim to provide Portland, OR educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. (971) CLIMB provides: Business advising pcc.edu/climb/smallbusiness Directed self-study programs One-time, single-topic classes bizcenter.org Entrepreneur Development: Comprehensive business education program Targeted assistance for food entrepreneurs, international trade, and ODOT partnerships WorkSource Oregon Recruiting resources: imatchskills and customized recruiting services Wage data and industry trends Unemployment and tax resources Employment law and compliance information 500 N Highway 30 Suite 320 St. Helens, OR (503) worksourceoregon.com YourEconomy.org (Edward Lowe Foundation) This website provides recent, detailed, and accessible information about the local economy, including businesses, agencies, and organizations at the national, state, metropolitan, and county youreconomy.org levels.
6 SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) SCORE is a business counseling/mentoring organization. We provide free counseling, workshops, resources and advice to people who are in business or want to start a business. Volunteer counselors are experienced owners or managers of businesses that volunteer their time to help small businesses succeed. Mentors Free, confidential business counseling in person or via Free online business tools, templates, and tips Low-cost or free workshops and webinars Oregon Business Express In addition to their business startup toolkit, which walks a potential business owner through the process of starting a business, Oregon Business Express provides a wide variety of information on filing and registration; reinstating, relocating, expanding, changing, or closing a business; permits and licensing; payroll information and reporting; economic, demographic, and workforce information; health and safety requirements; worker s compensation; business tax credits and tax filing; and information specific to minority, women, and veteran business owners. 601 SW Second Avenue ODS Tower, Suite 950 Portland, OR Phone: (503) Fort Vancouver Way Clark College Vancouver, WA Phone: (360) score.org oregon.gov/business Wauna Federal Credit Union Provides a variety of business services, such as money market accounts; checking accounts, including sole proprietorship, sole proprietorship interest, business checking, and business interest checking; real estate and secured loans, lines of credit, and credit/debit processing. St. Helens Federal Credit Union Offers business loans, Small Business Administration loans, construction loans, real estate loans, lines of credit, small business checking, certificate accounts, business savings accounts, merchant credit/debit processing Startup America Partnership Free webinars Marketing, credit card processing, accounting, etc. discounts Corporate mentoring 500 N Columbia River Hwy Suite 150 St. Helens, OR waunafcu.org 1720 St. Helens Street St. Helens, OR (503) shcu.org s.co
7 MercyCorps Northwest Mercy Corps Northwest programs work to increase economic self-sufficiency and community integration through microenterprise development and selfemployment. We assist low-income current and aspiring small-business owners throughout Oregon and Washington in order to reduce unemployment, grow personal incomes and assets, and increase economic growth. Mercy- Corps provides: Orientations offered twice a month, which provide an overview of Mercy- Corps programs Microloans for new and existing businesses Matching Grants and IDA matched savings accounts Counseling: One-on-one meetings with knowledgeable counselors Classes: Six-week long Foundations courses as well as one-time topic-specific classes, such as business strategy, marketing, technology, and finance MicroMentor: A free online service, we provide entrepreneurs with proven opportunities to grow their businesses and increase revenues by participating in a mentoring relationship. Association for Enterprise Opportunity Small business tax credit calculator Database of microbusiness development organizations Micromentor program U.S. Small Business Administration Business Oregon/Oregon4Biz 43 SW Naito Parkway Portland, OR (5z03) mercycorpsnw.org Loan information: IDA information: aeoworks.org SBA provides comprehensive, detailed information about starting and managing a small business, including business structures and plans, loans, government Oregon District Office contracts, registering your business, licenses and permits, access to counseling 601 SW Second Avenue and training, and other resources. There is also a loans and grants search tool, Suite 950 which compiles lists of potential loans and grants based on select criteria. The Portland, OR SBA offers several programs as well: (503) Loan Program: long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization sba.gov HUBZone Certification: Provides preferential access to federal procurement opportunities 8(a) Business Development Program: Access to sole-source contracts, joint ventures, and a mentorprotégé program Small business certification: Access to government contracts and other benefits Business Oregon is a state agency that works to create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians 775 Summer St. NE through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs. Beyond general Salem, OR Suite 200 counseling and information, Business Oregon offers: (866) Business Retention Program: Provides consulting services and feasibility Oregon4biz.com studies to assist Oregon companies facing difficult times. Brownfield Redevelopment Fund: Loans and grants to redevelop brownfields Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund: Direct loans to establish or expand small businesses
8 Women, Minority, Religious, and Veteran Business Owners Office of Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Business OMWESB is housed within Business Oregon and provides a certification, providing the opportunity for targeted government contracting opportunities. They include: Emerging Small Business Minority Business Enterprise Women Business Enterprise Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon Networking events including monthly dinner meetings and semi-annual workshops Trade show/business fair participation Mastermind Group program: a small group advisory board of women business owner peers Network of Entrepreneurial Women Offers several networking opportunities to women business owners, including monthly topic-focused meetings. Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs OAME s mission is to promote and develop entrepreneurship and economic development for ethnic minorities in the State of Oregon and work to reduce discrimination and racism. Their business assistance and mentorship program provides one-on-one counseling to business owners, assisting with designing an action plan for its business plan creation, management and administration of the business, marketing/sales, budgeting, location and financing. See Business Oregon listing oregon4biz.com/grow-your- Business/Business-Services/ Minority-Owned-Business- Certification PMB Monroe Pky, Ste. P Lake Oswego, OR oregonweo.org P.O. Box 1640 Bend, OR networkwomen.org 4134 N. Vancouver #100 Portland, OR (503) oame.org ONABEN ONABEN provides culturally specific and appropriate strategies for Native American small business development. Their services include: Indianpreneurship: Intensive 12-week business start-up class Trading at the River Conference Access to markets and information 6441 SW Canyon Court Suite 104 Portland, OR (503) onaben.org
9 Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Provides business education, including business seminars and one-on-one technical assistance. HMCC also offers several networking opportunities, including after-hours events, monthly membership luncheons, an annual trade show, and an annual Hispanic Heritage Dinner Celebration. United States Department of Veterans Affairs Provides step-by-step instructions to starting a small business, information on using the GI Bill for training required to start the business, and compiles Veteran opportunities, such as education benefits, franchise programs, the Veterans Scholarship program, and grants. Veterans Mean Business Provides focused support for Veteran small business owners. They offer business courses and workshops, assistance with marketing and administration, and they compile event listings such as job fairs. U.S. Small Business Administration (800) va.gov hmccoregon.com African-American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon Provides networking opportunities such as after-hours events and a holiday celebration, mentoring services, and job listings. P.O. Box 5488 Portland, OR (503) blackchamber.info Christian Chamber of Commerce of the Northwest Provides networking opportunities, such as regional lunches and meetings; educational opportunities, including biblical entrepreneurship training, seminars, workshops, and online resources; mentorship program; and job listings. P.O. Box Portland, OR (503) christianchambernorthwest.com (800) va.gov vetbiz.gov veteransmeanbusiness.org Loan and grant search tool with minority, military community, disabilities, and women owners The Patriot Express program offers streamlined and expedited loan procedures for military community members Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns: Procuring agencies can set aside acquisitions for exclusive competition among servicedisabled veteran-owned small business concerns and make sole source awards Oregon District Office 601 SW Second Avenue Suite 950 Portland, OR (503) sba.gov
10 TAX INCENTIVES AND DEDUCTIONS The tax structure in St. Helens is very favorable for businesses. There are NO business/occupation taxes, sales taxes, local business income taxes, local payroll taxes, revenue taxes, inventory taxes or state capital tax on asset value. St. Helens is also a Certified Local Government. A variety of tax incentives and credits are also available to qualifying businesses. Work Opportunity Tax Credit Federal tax credit incentive that the Congress provides to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals from nine target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The main objective of this program is to enable the targeted employees to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers, while the participating employers are compensated by being able to reduce their federal income tax liability. Business Energy Tax Credits Oregon Employment Department WOTC Unit, Room Union Street NE Salem, OR ext oregon.gov/employ A variety of renewable energy and related incentives are available. Buildings that save 50% or more of projected costs, on-site renewable, combined heat and power systems, hybrid and gasoline-electric vehicles are all eligible for incentives. The Energy Trust of Oregon also offers incentives for the installation of certain energy efficient equipment. Contact Business Oregon for more details. Historic Preservation Tax Credits There are several tax incentives available to historic preservation efforts, including a 20% tax credit for the certified rehabilitation of certified historic structures and a 10% tax credit for the rehabilitation of nonhistoric, non-residential buildings built before SHEDCO distributes a National Park Service guide to historic preservation tax incentives, which provides detailed information about the topic; contact us for a copy or more information. The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office also offers a Special Assessment of Historic Properties program, which offers a 10-year freeze of a property s value for buildings that will be significantly rehabilitated. Furthermore, St. Helens is a Certified Local Government, and matching grant funds are periodically available for the preservation of historic buildings. Contact SHEDCO for more information on the Certified Local Government program. Health Care Tax Credits oregon4biz.com energytrust.org/business energytaxincentives.org irs.gov/businesses/smallbusinesses-&-self-employed National Park Service nps.gov/tps/taxincentives.htm State Historic Preservation Office 725 Summer St. NE Ste. C Salem, OR (503) oregon.gov/oprd/hcd/shpo/ Pages/tax_assessment.aspx The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits to small businesses for starting or continuing to provide health insurance coverage for employees.
11 TAX INCENTIVES AND DEDUCTIONS CONTINUED Oregon Investment Advantage Tax Exemption A multi-year taxable income exemption for a certified business within an eligible county (Columbia County is eligible). Other criteria is required, such as hiring five or more new employees, the business does not operate another facility, the business will not compete with others in the area, and others. HIRE Act For hiring previously unemployed employees, the Hire Act provides exemption from the employer s share of social security tax; for each employee retained for at least 52 weeks, the act provides a retention credit of up to $1,000. Business Automobile Deduction Offers deductions on the purchase and maintenance of an automobile used for business purposes. Books, Legal, and Professional Fee Deduction Legal and tax books and professionals can all be deducted. Bad Debts Deduction Retail stores (not service-providers) can deduct the cost of goods that were sold but not paid for. Business Entertaining Deduction Half of the cost of entertaining current or prospective customers, such as a catered lunch, may be deducted. Travel Deduction Travel expenses may be deducted, including plane fare, taxis, meals, lodging, and tips. Interest on Credit and Loans Deduction The interest and carrying charges for credit and loans may be deducted. See Business Oregon listing. Moving Deduction If you move because of your business and your new workplace is at least 50 miles from your old home, you may be able to deduct part of your moving expenses. Education Deduction Expenses for educational opportunities can be deducted if they are related to your business and your current occupation. Promotion and Advertising Deduction Business cards, newspaper ads, sponsorship with a clear connection to your business may all be deducted.
12 CONTACT US If you are thinking about starting or relocating a business to St. Helens, let us help! Contact us with your questions, and we will provide clear, helpful, and comprehensive answers. The St. Helens Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO) aims to provide the leadership and coordination necessary to enhance the economic viability of St. Helens. We provide small business support and resources, organize community and business events, promote St. Helens and our small businesses, and implement beautification and streetscape projects. We are always looking for new members to join our effort in revitalizing our local economy and improving our community. Contact us if you are interested in joining our team! Contact Melissa Serafin, Main Street Program Coordinator (503) Visit us at shedc.org