Conference to Feature Business Opportunities in Local Film Industry

By Damon Scott, Finance New Mexico

Vendors wantedThe New Mexico film industry has been an economic bright spot for the past several years, helping businesses grow and weather the recession.  After state tax incentives for the industry kicked into gear in 2003, opportunities for individuals and businesses have been continually created. And industry leaders say there’s still room for growth.

Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office, said the industry is “as strong as it’s ever been,” with 2017 shaping up to be the third-consecutive year of record activity — defined by overall economic impact and job creation, among other markers. Continue reading

Workshops Give Business Owners Financial Foundation

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Intimidating financialsCustomers, workers, partners and associates have seen it: Business owners with incredible drive and energy who fall into the habit of working harder, not smarter.

This phenomenon may be especially true when applied to understanding business finances. And it can happen to someone who has been in business for 20 years or just two months.

A long-running program at WESST in Albuquerque has sought to change the equation when it comes to the language of business finances, which can be intimidating for both startup entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners. Continue reading

Diversity Among Advisors Is Good for Business

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Diverse advisory teamWhether it’s a sole proprietorship or a multinational corporation, every New Mexico business needs an individual or group of people whose job it is to advise the owner or leadership team.

Those advisers might be family members or mentors in the case of a small business, or they might be experienced executives providing a larger company objective, expert feedback and wise direction as members of a formal board of directors.

Big or small, the group of people offering counsel should reflect the business’s stakeholders, most especially its customers. It should be as diverse as its audience. Continue reading

Making Manufacturers: Events Aim to Inspire Next-Generation Workers

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Young people can be hard to impress, but students from Albuquerque’s Academy of Trades and Technology (ATTHS) charter school were visibly stoked by a tour of Rader Awning during 2016 Manufacturing Day events.

ATTHS students during Manufacturing Day 2016 tours at Rader Awning (left, center) and OGB Architectural Millwork; photos Jane Phillips Photography

Before-and-after shots of the 15 ATTHS students who visited the factory where Rader manufactures awnings, shade panels and fabric products illustrate what can happen when young adults get a close look at the world of manufacturing: a transformation from bored detachment to delighted engagement. Continue reading

Employers Have Duty to Stop Employees Who Harass Co-Workers Online

Cyber harassment

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Employers who fail to protect employees from a co-worker’s racist, sexist or otherwise derogatory and defamatory comments on social media platforms can find themselves on the losing end of a workplace harassment lawsuit.

Case law on work-related cyber-harassment is evolving with the popularity of social media as a way for people to connect, communicate and commiserate, but one trend is clear: Courts expect employers to intervene immediately when they learn of workplace disputes spilling over onto social media, and the law increasingly considers online harassment and bullying just as egregious as the kind that happens obliquely or directly in an office or other physical job site. Continue reading

New Program Helps Small Businesses Prepare to Become Federal Suppliers

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

xEnergizeGovernment organizations save money on procurement the same way private companies do — by finding volume discounts on products and services. Such economies of scale benefit the companies that can afford them, and they stretch taxpayer dollars, but they also squeeze out small businesses that don’t have the capacity to complete large, national jobs or work on tight profit margins. Continue reading

Help is Here: Small Business Pros Available at All Levels

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

National organizations like the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local resources like Finance New Mexico are setting the table for small New Mexico businesses that hunger for information and assistance. And what they offer is a fiesta of staples and specials to whet any entrepreneurial appetite. Continue reading

WESST Workshop Helps Businesses Orient to Customers With Disabilities

By Sandy Nelson and Taura Costidis for Finance New Mexico

Disabilities Welcome montageBusiness owners who don’t consider the impact of dollars spent by people with disabilities are missing a market opportunity. Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) can raise a business’s costs, but the rewards of making a business accessible to members of America’s largest minority community more than compensate for the investment.

More than 58 million Americans live with some type of disability, and that number is expected to grow as the last of the post-World War II baby boomers reaches 65, according to Julie Ballinger, a disability rights consultant affiliated with the Southwest ADA Center — one of 10 ADA centers nationwide. Continue reading

Mind Your NTTCs: Avoid Penalties by Verifying Document Accuracy

By Paul Braverman for Finance New Mexico

In 2009, Gregg Hull was running a shipping company in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, when he got news that would strike fear into the most lion-hearted soul: The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department would be auditing his finances for the past three years.

In a recent interview, Hull related the surprise he felt when the auditors focused on transactions involving Non-Taxable Transaction Certificates (NTTC). Surprise turned to despair when the audit expanded to six years, and to shock when Hull was told that he owed the state $120,000 in taxes that he had failed to collect. The amount threatened to shutter his business. Continue reading