Economic Concerns Rise as Fewer Small Businesses Launching

Entrepreneurship Decline

Most politicians place a heavy emphasis on small business as the backbone of the U.S. economy. Both Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump openly courted small businesses in the run up to the election, promising everything from lower taxes to fewer regulations. Indeed, this certainly makes sense as a strategy. According to the Small Business Association, small businesses employ 48% of the U.S. workforce, or just under 57 million people.

Nevertheless, starting a small business has and always will be a risky venture. Despite growing confidence among small businesses, many still fail for a number of reasons. Whether it’s because of a crowded industry (such as restaurants) or a dramatic change in technology that leads to a decrease in demand for a product, small businesses always assume some level of risk.

Most Small Businesses (51%) Not Investing in Cyber Risk Mitigation

Cyber Insurance

A number of reports from leading cyber security companies indicated a rise in threats between 2015 and 2016. The 2016 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study found the average total cost associated with a data breach also increased, from $3.8 million to $4 million per event.

If Yahoo is any example, it’s nearly impossible for even the largest companies to keep their records safe, particularly when hackers are capable of using increasingly creative methods to steal data. Even with that threat, a large number of small businesses are not allocating funds to protect against these threats. Small Business Trends reports that 51 percent of small businesses are not actually investing in risk mitigation.

69% of Business Owners Planning Exit, but May Not be Prepared

Limited Liability

Despite forecasts to the contrary from a decade ago, many baby boomer business owners have held onto their businesses far longer than expected. Nevertheless, a 2014 Business Enterprise Institute (BEI) study found that more baby boomers are finally planning their sell their businesses and retire. The BEI found that that 69% of business owners have plans to exit their business within the next 10 years.

Although this certainly provides some relief for young entrepreneurs looking to acquire businesses, those boomers planning to leave appear to be ill prepared to do so. A recent Forbes article reports that the Exit Planning Institute (EPI) has troubling news, both for those who might hope to acquire a business and those looking to sell: most soon-to-retire owners have no exit strategy.

Tech and Professional E&O Insurance Rates Declining in 2017 Outlook

Tech Professional E&O Rates

In its 2017 Insurance Market Outlook, Wells Fargo provides a mixture of positive and negative news for businesses. Positively, Wells Fargo described 2017 as a “continued buyer’s market.” However, the report also indicates that some forms of insurance are increasing. Notably, Workers Compensation costs in Oklahoma may be increasing following an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that found employer opt-out to be unconstitutional. Meanwhile, companies have experienced an increase in securities class action lawsuits, as well as an increased focus on cyber crime as high-profile breaches continue to occur.

How are Taxes Impacted by Workers Compensation?

Workers Compensation Taxes

As the 2017 tax season rolls around, WorkersCompensation.com points out a fact that many business owners might not realize: there are scenarios in which Workers Compensation is subject to federal and state taxes.

The website notes that although Workers Compensation payments are tax exempt in most cases, there are instances when this will not be the case. As the nature of Workers Compensation is to replace lost income, most workers will not run into this problem. However, a tax issue may arise when workers are collecting other forms of income alongside Workers Compensation, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments.

74% of UK Small Businesses Faced Cyber Security Breach in 2015

Cyber Liability Insurance

As large businesses like Yahoo continue to reel from large-scale cyber security breaches, one aspect of the growing specter of cyber crime has gone under-reported: the increasing threat to small businesses.

Writing for the Infosecurity Magazine, Symantec’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Chief Strategist, Sian John, explains why small business owners need to more concerned about growing cyber security threats to their businesses. “The most worrying change small business owners should be aware of is the deliberate switch in strategy on the part of cyber-criminals,” writes John. That change in strategy? A significant focus on small business owners.

Linda McMahon, the SBA Focused on Educating Young Entrepreneurs

McMahon

Although many of President Donald Trump’s cabinet and staff picks have been met with a mixed amount of resistance from Senate Democrats, his pick for the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Linda McMahon, proved to be an effective choice. After her successful 81-19 vote for confirmation, the former President and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) McMahon laid out several goals she seeks to accomplish in her role as SBA administrator. Among them is educating young entrepreneurs about money management and helping small businesses feel safer taking on the risks associated with expansion and hiring new employees.

NFIB Finds Small Businesses Optimistic, Planning Expansion

Small Business Optimism

In its January 2017 Index of Small Business Optimism, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) discovered that small business owners are more optimistic than they’ve been in over a decade. This optimism comes alongside early signs of a bullish stock market and wage growth entering into the new year.

NFIB’s monthly jobs report also discovered that this higher optimism going into the new year is coupled by hiring. With 18% of small business owners reporting that they were planning to increase their employment, trends point toward growth for small businesses, and new opportunities for recent college graduates and job changers. Furthermore, 25% of businesses consider it a good time to expand. NFIB notes that this current economic recovery is reminiscent of the 1983 recovery, which, NFIB explains “was followed by years of economic prosperity”.

What’s the Difference Between my General Liability Policy and Certificate of Insurance?

General Liability insurance protects your business from third-party claims of injury and property damage. In many industries, a certificate of insurance (COI) is commonly required by a client before work on a project or new business deal can begin. COIs are common in industries where work is regularly contracted out.

A COI is a one-page document that includes the details of your insurance policy, including coverage limits, a policy number, effective dates, the name of your company, and the name of the insurance company issuing the policy. It basically serves as a verification that you have the insurance you say you do, but in a much more concise manner than the actually policy document. COIs can be issued for a variety of policies such as umbrella insurance and workers compensation insurance, depending on your industry and the job at hand.

Holiday Party Planning & Insurance: Key Risks

Holidays

It’s that time of year again: holiday party season. Holiday parties offer coworkers the opportunity to socialize, network, and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. While there’s nothing wrong with having fun, companies should be aware that there are a number of very serious risks surrounding company parties and events.