South Florida Business Newsletter February 2013

Feb masthead

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District Office.

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Serving the Sunshine State's 24 counties south of Orlando: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Saint Lucie, and Sarasota.

Automated Export System Seminar and Workshop    March 7-8

Are you involved with the export process as a carrier, freight forwarder, consolidator, broker, manufacturer or supplier?  LEARN MORE AND REGISTER


South Florida SBA Lending Report 

Each month, we prepare a report that provides a county breakdown of SBA small business loans by lender, the amount, the SBA loan program used, the business sector, and the number of jobs the loan is expected to create. 


Resource Guide

What Can We Do For You?

Download our 2013 Small Business Resource Guide and start learning the free resources at your fingertips!

Simply click on the image.

In this issue of South Florida Business News....

From the Director

This is the time of year many small business owners are discussing taxes.  But this year, a bigger topic of discussion is about the small business impacts of the new Affordable Care Act.  

Our lead story in this month’s newsletter is about SBA’s new website and blog to help businesses owners to understand the implications of the Affordable Care Act on their small business, regardless of size. 

 If you were to ask me, there are three things small businesses should know.  First, if your business is smaller than 25 employees, the Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but it offers tax credits for eligible small businesses that choose to provide insurance to their employees. 

Second, businesses with 50 or fewer employees are not required to provide health insurance, but beginning in 2014, small businesses with generally 50 or fewer employees will be able to purchase coverage through “SHOP,” competitive marketplaces where small employers can go to find health coverage from a selection of providers. 

Finally, if you’re a business owner with more than 50 employees, you are not required to provide coverage to your employees under the Affordable Care Act.   However, beginning in 2014, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) that do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to substantially all of their full-time employees (and their family members) may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit to purchase coverage in an insurance marketplace. 

Business owners need to understand how these rules may apply and how the employer-shared responsibility payments could be triggered.  Please take the time to read the story and familiarize yourself with the new law and what it means to you and your employees. 

If Affordable Care Act isn’t on your mind, then there is a good chance that it’s taxes!  The IRS has changed the tax rules regarding taking a home office deduction and makes the itemization process much easier.  Read about the changes in this newsletter. 

Also, Florida Small Business Development Center, our resource partner, shared news that the state has eliminated the sales tax on manufacturing equipment.  It is hoped that this decision will help stimulate manufacturing in the state and more manufacturing means more opportunities for business growth.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination to our Small Business Person and Advocates of the Year Program.  I look forward to sharing the district results very soon!

Pancho Signature Block

Upcoming Events in South Florida

Free or low-cost business training workshops are scheduled throughout the South Florida District through our network of SCORE resource partners! Click on the links below to find a class this month near you!


South Broward/North Miami


Boca Raton

West Palm Beach

Fort Pierce/Stuart/St. Lucie


Pinellas County



Pasco/Hernando County

Free or low-cost training workshops on a wide variety of business topics from financing to government contracting are available statewide through the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Their schedule of workshops can be found HERE.

For women entrepreneurs, the two Florida Women's Business Centers offer training for you HERE and HERE.

How Does The Affordable Care Act Affect Your Small Business?

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) last month launched a new web page and blog dedicated to educating small business owners about the Affordable Care Act. The new tools will serve as a gateway for small business owners connecting them with information provided by SBA’s federal partners responsible for implementing the law, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  READ MORE

IRS Announces Simplified Option for Claiming Home Office Deduction

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced Jan. 15, a simplified option that many owners of home-based businesses and some home-based workers may use to figure their deductions for the business use of their homes.  READ MORE

How the SBA Serves Underserved Communities in South Florida

Cassius Butts Region 4

by:  Cassius Butts

SBA Regional Administrator

Each January we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Each February we celebrate the important milestones highlighted by Black History Month—reaffirming our commitment to helping individuals across this nation achieve the promise of the American dream.         READ MORE

SBA Forms Strategic Alliance with Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County

West Palm Beach, Fla. -- The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) South Florida district office signed a strategic alliance with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County on Tuesday, Feb. 15, forging a business relationship to improve small business through educational opportunities and SBA resources.  READ MORE

SAM Signing

U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District Director Francisco "Pancho" Marrero looks on as Andre Varona, CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County signs a strategic alliance partnership. The alliance forges a business relationship to improve small business through educational opportunities and SBA resources.  (Photo courtesy of David R. Randell Photographics)

SBA South Florida District Motivates Entrepreneurs at Franchise Expo

MIAMI – U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District joined organizers and more than 200 franchise representatives to motivate thousands of entrepreneurs exploring the possibilities of small business ownership at the Franchise Expo South held in the Miami Beach Convention Center, Jan. 11-13.  READ MORE


Franchise Expo

SBA South Florida District Director Jonel Hein (holding scissors) helped the International Franchise Association and MFV Expositions open "Franchise Expo South" in Miami Beach, Jan. 11. In the past five years, SBA South Florida District Office provided guaranteed loans to more than 250 franchises.

Florida Small Business Benefits From Manufacturing Equipment Tax Elimination

TALAHASSEE - On Jan. 9, Gov. Rick Scott announced plans to grow Florida’s manufacturing industry by eliminating sales tax on manufacturing equipment. The Governor hopes the tax break will help bring more manufacturing firms to Florida, creating jobs in a critical industry for the state. Florida is home to over 17,500 manufacturing companies, employing more than 300,000 Floridians. READ MORE

Small Business Owner Finds Success Through Fashion and Travel

MIAMI -  When she graduated from West Virginia University (WVU) with a degree in business in 2002, Anu Madan was undecided what the next step in her life was.

It turned out the next step was onto a flight to Spain. READ MORE

Anu Madan

Anu Madan, owner of Anukshah, began her small business with a love of travel and fashion and an SBA 7A Community Express loan.

SBA South Florida District Directory

Francisco “Pancho” Marrero, District Director

(305) 536-5521 ext. 118

Jonel Hein, Deputy District Director

(305) 536-5521 ext. 147

Miguel Gonzalez, Assistant District Director Lender Relations

(305) 536-5521 ext. 141

Jeffery Campbell, Assistant District Director 8(a) Business Development

(305) 536-5521 ext. 137

Althea Harris, Assistant District Director for Marketing and Outreach, Area1 (Miami)

(305) 536-5521 ext. 152

Vincent LoPresti, Assistant District Director Marketing and Outreach, Area 2 (Ft. Pierce)


Robert Chavarria, Assistant District Director Marketing and Outreach, Area 3 (Tampa)

(813) 228-2100 ext. 24

James Brooks, Public Information Officer

Phone: (305) 536-5521 X104