News & Blog

UPDATES & EVENTS: JANUARY 2020

// UPDATES & REMINDERS + GOOD TO KNOW:

2020 IRS Mileage Rates
The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:

  • 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use, down one half of a cent from the rate for 2019,
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down three cents from the rate for 2019, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate decreased one half of a cent for business travel driven and three cents for medical and certain moving expense from the rates for 2019. Learn more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-standard-mileage-rates-for-2020

Prepare for Tax Season
Tax season is just around the corner! The SBA’s tax guide can help you determine how your small business can meet federal, state and local tax obligations. Learn more: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/pay-taxes?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

New Downloadable Assistant Helps Small Businesses Withhold the Right Amount of Income Tax
The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new online assistant designed to help employers, especially small businesses, easily determine the right amount of federal income tax to withhold from their workers’ pay. Known as the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers, this new spreadsheet-based tool is designed to help employers easily transition to the redesigned withholding system (no longer based on withholding allowances), which went into effect on January 1. It does this by helping them easily implement new income-tax withholding requests from employees who fill out the completely redesigned 2020 Form W-4 , Employee’s Withholding Certificate. At the same time, the tool can also help employers continue to properly withhold from employees who still have a withholding request on file using a past version of the W-4, which was based on withholding allowances.

Now available for download, without charge, on IRS.gov, the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers is designed to help any employer who would otherwise figure withholding, manually, using a worksheet and either the percentage method or wage bracket tables found in Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods.
*Employers who already use an automated payroll system won’t need this new assistant because their system already does the math.

The Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers is available in Microsoft Excel. The employer can use the tool to create a profile for each employee that then automatically calculates their correct federal income tax withholding. To use the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers, the employer starts by indicating their pay period frequency (for example, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.), and then enters key information from an employee’s Form W-4. For the tool to work properly, the employer must indicate whether the employee submitted a 2020 Form W-4, which does not base withholding on the number of withholding allowances claimed, or a prior version of the W-4, which does. The employer can then save a separate customized copy of the file for each employee containing that employee’s Form W-4 information. Then, each pay period, the employer simply opens the employee’s file and enters their gross wage or salary amount for that pay period. The tool will then automatically display the correct amount of federal income tax to withhold from that employee’s pay. More information about the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers, the redesigned 2020 Form W-4, and other tax topics of interest to employers and small businesses can be found on IRS.gov.

New Laws Effective January 1

  • Minimum Wage – The state’s minimum wage increased by $1 an hour to $9.25 an hour on January 1. It is the first increase since 2010. A 75-cents an hour increase is scheduled for July 1. After that, the minimum wage will increase by $1 an hour each year until it hits $15 an hour in 2025.
  • Sexual Harassment – Public and private employers will be required to give employees training to combat workplace sexual harassment. The new law also prohibits private employers from requiring employees to sign non-disclosure agreements covering sexual harassment situations.
  • Recreational Marijuana – Starting January 1 anyone over the age of 21 can buy and use recreational marijuana.
  • Protections for Employees Who Receive Tips – A new law states that gratuities are the property of employees, and employers are forbidden from taking them. The law requires tips to be paid to employees within 13 days after the end of the pay period where they were earned. The Illinois Department of Labor can take the issue to court if employers do not comply.

Spotlight on Success: Dr. Ghada Adhami, All Smiles Family Dentistry
All Smiles Family Dentistry, a general dentist office, owned by Dr. Ghada Adhami is located in Champaign, Illinois. Dr. Adhami’s father-in-law is who first introduced her to the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC and the services offered in the Champaign-Urbana area. When asked about Dr. Adhami’s experience with the local SBDC, she stated that her experience was fantastic and, “They have guided me every step along the way. Their encouragement, guidance, and their services have made my business dreams come true. I hope that in the next coming years for my business to continue to grow and provide services to the Champaign-Urbana community.” Learn more: http://www.cusbdc.org/spotlight-success-dr-adhami-smiles-family-dentistry/

// YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FOLLOWING SBDC EVENTS:

 SBDC Info Session: City of Champaign Diversity Advancement Program (CDAP)
The City of Champaign Diversity Advancement Program (CDAP) encourages City departments, contractors, and other vendors doing business with the City to increase the amount of goods and services provided by local businesses owned by minorities, women, and other socially and economically disadvantaged groups. The objectives of the CDAP program are to strengthen the use of businesses owned by women, racial/ethnic minorities, and other identified socially disadvantaged groups as defined in City purchasing and contracting policies, and to build capacity for these businesses through mentoring and training, and to develop and sustain a diverse pool of qualified businesses used by the City of Champaign. CDAP program requirements apply to all City purchases and are part of the City’s purchasing policies. Rachel Joy, the City of Champaign’s Community Relations Manager/Compliance Officer, will provide an overview of program, including how to become a CDAP vendor. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.
Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Time: 8:30 – 9:30 AM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend – registration suggested, but walk-ins welcome. RSVP online at www.cusbdc.org/events, email info@cusbdc.org, or call 217-378-8535. All materials will be provided.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-city-champaign-diversity-advancement-program-cdap-3/

 SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Pre-Award Process
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant award:

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Time: 4 – 5 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-info-session-understanding-grant-accountability-transparency-act-gata-pre-award-process-2/2020-01-29/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Webinar: Introduction to Exporting
Presented by: Mariel Huasanga, SBDC International Trade Center Director
This webinar will cover all the essentials of exporting – you will learn to determine if you are export-ready, how to create an export plan, select and enter foreign markets, finance your exports and navigate the logistics and regulations associated to it. This webinar is specifically designed for start-ups and other small businesses looking to increase their sales beyond their domestic market.

Topics:

  • Evaluating your export readiness
  • Developing an export plan
  • Market selection and entry strategy
  • Finding qualified buyers
  • International logistics
  • Understanding the basics of U.S. export regulations
  • Funding your exports
  • Best practices

Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Time: 2 – 4 PM
Location: Webinar
RSVP: Free to attend – registration is required to secure a spot. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org. Webinar instructions will be sent out closer to the date.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-webinar-introduction-exporting/

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinois
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Thinking about starting a business in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Time: 1 – 3 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-6/2020-02-11/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to QuickBooks (Online)
In this workshop, you will learn to manage the financial aspects of your small business quickly and efficiently using QuickBooks Online. You will learn the basics of using this tool to manage your business’ finances including how to navigate easily, manage customers and vendors accounts, recording income and expenses, reconciling bank and credit card accounts, and more.

This workshop is intended for new QuickBooks Online users with little to no experience.

Topics:

  • Selecting a QuickBooks Online Package
  • Navigating QuickBooks Online
  • Company File Setup
  • Setting Up a Chart of Accounts
  • Creating Your Product Inventory and Services Lists
  • Accounts Receivable: Invoicing and Getting Paid
  • Accounts Payable: Recording and Paying Bills
  • Online Banking: Linking Your Bank Accounts or Credit Cards and Importing Your Bank Transactions
  • Running Reports
  • Using the QuickBooks Mobile App

You are encouraged to bring your computer with you (wifi is available). The session will be led by Mariel Huasanga, a certified QuickBooks instructor.
Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Time: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-introduction-quickbooks-online-2/2020-02-18/

PTAC Services at CUSBDC
Keli Krueger-Huhra, Director of the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Bradley University
Need expert assistance with government contracting? We can help. Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are resources for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. The centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, marketing assistance and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies.
Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Location: Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC – 1817 S. Neil Street, Suite 100, Champaign, IL 61820
RSVP: Small businesses in our area who need expert assistance with government contracting may schedule appointments with Keli Krueger-Huhra, Illinois PTAC Director at Bradley University, by contacting us at ptac@cusbdc.org or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/ptac-services-cusbdc-2/2020-02-19/
*PTAC services are offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.
**To learn more about and/or better understand PTAC services, watch this video: https://youtu.be/_mX88Sr18x8.

SBDC Office Hours at Champaign Public Library (Launch)
SBDC Director Don Elmore hosts open office hours (9:30 AM – 12 PM) at Launch twice per month. Launch at the Library business services include a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and resources to help start, manage, and grow your business. Visit champaign.org/launch for more information.
Date: Thursday, February 20, 2020
Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM
Location: Champaign Public Library – 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-office-hours-champaign-public-library-4/2020-02-20/

SBDC Workshop: Starting Your Business in Illinois
Presented By: Don Elmore, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
Thinking about starting a business in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. You’ll be taken step-by-step through a variety of topics and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Time: 8:30 – 10 AM
Location: EDC of Decatur & Macon County – 101 S. Main Street, Suite 600, Decatur, IL 62523
RSVP: Free to attend, registration required to secure a spot. Materials will be provided. RSVP at cusbdc.org, by emailing info@cusbdc.org, or calling 217-378-8535.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-workshop-starting-business-illinois-5/2020-02-25/
*This workshop is offered on a monthly basis. Visit our Events Calendar (http://www.cusbdc.org/events/) to see all upcoming dates and times.

SBDC Webinar: Introduction to Importing
Presented by: Mariel Huasanga, SBDC International Trade Center Director
This webinar will cover all of the essential elements involved with importing goods into the U.S., including key topics such as finding a qualified supplier, tariff classification (HTS), logistics, import documentation, and customs procedures and compliance. This webinar aims to increase your confidence and awareness in working with overseas suppliers, freight forwarders and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Topics:

  • Overview of the import process
  • Selecting a qualified supplier
  • Import requirements and documentation
  • Import compliance
  • Entry process
  • Customs clearance
  • Drawback
  • Import resources

Date: Monday, March 16, 2020
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Location: Webinar
RSVP: Free to attend – registration is required to secure a spot. RSVP online at cusbdc.org/events, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org. Webinar instructions will be sent out closer to the date.
Link: http://www.cusbdc.org/event/sbdc-webinar-introduction-importing-2/

// WHO WE ARE + CONTACT US:

To learn more about what the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC does and how we can help you, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pACBxITj1ds. To make an appointment with the SBDC, register on the website at http://www.cusbdc.org/ (click the red ‘Become a Client’ button), email info@cusbdc.org, or contact:

  • Don Elmore, SBDC Director: don@cusbdc.org
  • Mariel Huasanga, SBDC International Trade Center Director: mariel@cusbdc.org

Connect with the SBDC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC is funded through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce, and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation; with additional support provided by EDC of Decatur and Macon County and the Midwest Inland Port.