Mark Medley was working with a business consultant to recover from identity theft when he heard about Accion New Mexico–Arizona–Colorado. What Medley learned while trying to repair his credit prompted him to start a nonprofit — ID Theft Resolutions — to help others protect themselves from identity thieves and to rebound as quickly and completely as possible if their efforts fail.
Medley got a loan from Accion to help him get the nonprofit going after obtaining his designation as a 501c(3) nonprofit. Accion offers loans as small as $200 and as large as $300,000 to people who might otherwise be turned down by lenders because they are a startup or have credit problems.
Medley qualified in both cases: His credit score was destroyed by identity theft and his nonprofit was the equivalent of a startup.
New Mexico businesses that want help becoming more efficient frequently call on the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership — a nonprofit agency of the U.S. Commerce Department that helps small and mid-sized U.S. businesses create and preserve jobs, become more profitable and save time and money. In New Mexico, where most businesses are small, MEP services are used by doctors’ offices, machine shops, small farms and agricultural operations, and businesses that serve the oil and gas industry.
MEP uses multiple techniques to help businesses increase profits by standardizing production and administration to provide continuous improvement that eliminates waste and strives for perfection.
Job creation is on the minds of many as the economy continues its slow but steady climb from recession. In New Mexico, job creation has been on the agenda of the state Economic Development Department since 1972, when the New Mexico Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) was launched to help businesses defray the cost of hiring and training new employees.
JTIP is one of the most generous training incentive packages in the country, funding classroom and on-the-job training for new jobs in businesses that are expanding in New Mexico or moving here. The department supplemented JTIP in 2005 with STEP-UP to help qualified companies train their existing workforce in new technologies or skills.
Monica Abeita, Regional Development Corp. for NNM Connect
When Gordon Johnston and his wife had trouble getting the fire extinguishers serviced at their Taos bed and breakfast about five years ago, Johnston decided to launch a part-time fire extinguisher business of his own.
That one-time side venture is now the couple’s central enterprise, Alpine Fire Safety Systems Inc. Johnston credits Taos Entrepreneurial Network, or TEN, with the support and connections he needed to pursue the government contracts that have made his business such a success.
TEN is an independent nonprofit organization of entrepreneurs and local community leaders that the McCune Charitable Foundation launched in 2004. TEN is now funded by Northern New Mexico Connect, which coordinates economic development projects for Los Alamos National Security LLC, operator of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Doris Sandoval works in an industry hard hit by the recession and lagging recovery, yet by following a strategic plan of borrowing through lines of credit, the owner of SSC Construction has kept her business going strong.
SSC Construction is based in San Felipe Pueblo in northern New Mexico near Algodones. The woman- and Native-owned company builds houses on tribal lands all over New Mexico and employs seven members of Sandoval’s family and numerous subcontractors.
While most contractors struggled to find work and financing as home construction slowed and home prices dropped, SSC Construction received five lines of credit from The Loan Fund to underwrite various building projects in Native communities.
Julie K. Fritsch, Attorney at Law, Montgomery & Andrews P.A.
Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor isn’t always an intentional attempt by an employer to avoid paying payroll taxes, unemployment insurance and other employee benefits. Although the correct classification of a worker may be difficult to determine in many work relationships, employers are nonetheless responsible for classifying workers appropriately.
A determination by the IRS or Department of Labor that an employer has misclassified a worker or class of workers can have serious consequences for employers, including government audits and significant penalties. Nevertheless, safe harbors that can reduce or eliminate assessed penalties are available to employers.
Barbara Kline, Founder and President, Breakthru Communications
In some ways, starting a business is a lot like playing poker: An entrepreneur always has to weigh the odds, give herself room to maneuver and know when to hold or fold.
According to recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 31 percent of businesses fail within the first two years and half within five years. On the other hand, more than 25 percent of all business startups survive for at least 15 years.
A few — but not many — companies succeeded despite a firm hand on the till that kept them from taking a few risks by investing in growth and innovation. For every company that succeeded wildly right after the founder had mortgaged the house and maxed out the credit cards, hundreds went bankrupt or were saddled with debt for many years.
By Kathy Keith, Executive Director (center); pictured with RDC team members Monica Abeita and Gail Gordon
The Regional Development Corporation and its partners are launching the 20/20 Campaign to celebrate the entrepreneurs who have started small businesses in Northern New Mexico, creating jobs, driving innovative industries and providing a solid economic base for our communities.
The 20/20 Campaign aims to recognize and support 20 high-growth companies that could potentially grow to double or triple in size within eight years — by 2020 — to become major employers in Northern New Mexico. A handful of businesses every year will be selected by the collaborating partners, which are service providers, economic development organizations, city and county governments and entrepreneurial support organizations from Española, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos. The first crop of 20/20 companies will be announced on October 4th, 2012 during a “Spirit of Innovation” event.
In today’s ultracompetitive environment, businesses need to get their product or service to customers faster than ever. Shorter delivery times aren’t just good for customer satisfaction; the longer it takes to get a product from the order desk to the customer, the longer the business waits to be paid. Meanwhile, the company has its own bills to pay, including loan interest and materials invoices. The briefer an order is in production, the better. Knowing this, savvy companies implement lean manufacturing techniques to periodically evaluate their product flow and processes – and adjust as necessary for maximum efficiency.
Jimmy D. Pendergrass, CPA, Partner, Accounting & Consulting Group LLC
The Internal Revenue Service stipulates that businesses must capitalize expenditures for big-ticket items and recover that cost over several years – a practice known as depreciation – to avoid dramatic changes in the financial statements of a business from one year to the next. Knowing when to depreciate and when to claim a special one-time expense deduction is critical for entrepreneurs.