December 28, 2011

Leading Edge Business Seminar to begin February 1, Alamosa, Colorado

"Taking the Leading Edge Class enabled me to "see" if we could be successful. How to plan our start up, build the financial cash flow, understand all the pieces that we needed to know to build the business. There is no doubt in my mind that we would not have been successful if we had not taken this course. 
Many thanks to Donna for showing us the road to success and to all the local guest speakers who gave us the benefits of their experience and wisdom"   Cindy Morin, Professional Bookkeepers

Call the SLV-SBDC office at
(719) 589-3682, or email to
request a registration form.

After graduating from the Leading Edge Seminar, Jamie and Shane Mortensen bought the Gray Goose retail store and opened Heartstrings  & Heirlooms, a Fabric Shoppe and so much more.

Cost: $250, with a $25 discount for any SLV Chamber of Commerce Member or Non-Profit. A scholarship of $100 may be awarded.

As a trained and experienced electrician, Jessie Lopez decided to move back to the Valley and open his own business.  “The business training from Leading Edge filled in the gaps for me.  I would recommend LE to anyone who is running their own business"  Lopez Electric, LLC

When: 6:00 p.m. Wednesdays, 
February 2 - April 25, 2012

Where: 610 State Ave, at the Depot, Alamosa

“The information I gained from Donna’s help and the speakers at Leading Edge have been invaluable.  Every time I had a question or needed help, Donna was there to find the answer or the resource.”                                    Mary Clare Robertson, Dog Days Inn


November 9, 2011

New Business in Monte Vista Colorado help small and rural businesses with bookkeeping

SLV Small Businesses to Benefit from Combined Talents
A new company has opened whose mission it is to help small businesses succeed. Kay Harmon and Cindy Morin have recently opened their business, “Professional Bookkeeping Services, Inc.” 

The company’s goal is to provide quality bookkeeping and payroll services to farms, ranches, non-profits and small businesses in the Valley.  They assist companies who do not need a full time employee but do need bookkeeping help.  They are dedicated to relieving the accounting headache from the owners and let them on concentrate on what they do best – running their own company!

Kay Harmon has been a valley resident for 24 years and has always been active in the community. She owned and operated Monte Vista Secretarial Service from 1990-1999, which concentrated mostly on small local non-profits.  Kay originally took the Leading Edge course when her husband opened his own welding business. This time, she entered the Leading Edge to renew and explore different growth options for a re-engineered company offering support to other San Luis Valley entrepreneurs

Cindy Morin, after successful management careers in both the Racehorse and Relocation industries, moved to Alamosa 3 years ago to return to a rural setting and to be near her sister. She entered the Leading Edge class to round out her management skills as she felt that she had great experience in understanding how companies ran but never had the view from the top down, as the owner sees and understands their company.

Taking the Leading Edge class at the same time, Kay and Cindy were inspired to pool their talents and create their own company to provide a service much needed here in the Valley. They are available to work at your place of business or they can provide the bookkeeping and payroll services at their own office.   In addition, agricultural compliance services are offered.  They can be reached at (719) 852- 5638.  These “Pros on the Go” are located behind Sunflower Bank of Monte Vista, at 101 Adams Street, Suite C.

The next Leading Edge Seminar is open for registration for a February 1, 2012 beginning date.  For more information on LE, contact Donna Wehe at the SLV SBDC at (719) 589-3682 or read about it on the blog,

Don't forget: January 1, 2012, adjust minimum wage in Colorado.  Click here for details.

November 8, 2011

Tax Seminar in December

Tax Seminar for the Self Employed
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
5:30-7:00 p.m.
The Depot (610 State Avenue), Alamosa
CPA Bob Gjellum, Wall, Smith,Bateman & Associates
$20 per business      RSVP to  719-589-3682
Free Schedule C Resource Guide to the First 10 participants

October 19, 2011

Tax Seminar available in Monte Vista Colorado

Tax Seminar for the Self Employed
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Monte Vista Information Center
CPA Bob Gjellum, Wall, Smith,Bateman & Associates
$20 per business      
RSVP to  
Free Schedule C Resource Guide to the First 15 participants

New Owners for SLV Vacuum Business in Alamosa Colorado

At 721 ½ Main Street, Alamosa, you can find the new and the old.  Pictured here is the former owner, Steve Nies, of SLV Vacuum, along with new owners, Wayne and Sherry Billings.  You can buy new and old (refurbished) vacuums and accessories, and get them serviced here.  The business has been in existence at this location for over 17 years.
The products and services that San Luis Valley Vacuum Sales and Repair provides are selling used vacuums that have been refurbished and rebuilt.  They sell Kirby, Eureka, Hoover, Bissell, Orek, Regina, Dyson, Kenmore, and other major brands. We buy the used vacuums from a dealer, rebuild them, and resell them. Also we will sell all brands of vacuum bags, belts, cords, rollers, and accessories for all these brands of vacuums and shampooers.  Also we will service and repair all of the above models and makes of vacuums.  The phone number for the store is 719-589-2686.
Sherry and Wayne moved to the San Luis Valley in 2001 and have been working at different jobs over the last 9 years waiting for an opportunity like this.  They are extremely hard workers and the vacuum repair work fits Wayne’s abilities as a “fixer,” someone who loves to work with gadgets and is a general all around handyman.  Sherry had just bought an engraving machine and will use some of the retail space to display the many gift items that she can special order and engrave for customers.  They moved to Colorado from Central California and love the people and the weather.  “We have been blessed with so many opportunities here to find work and better our lives.  But meeting Steve and having him mentor us in this business has been remarkable.”

The Billings also came across Donna Wehe at the SLV Small Business Development Center as they were putting their business plan together.  “I have never done something like write a business plan before, so it was overwhelming at first,” Sherry said.  “But Donna worked with me to keep it straight forward and on track, and it really helped us make a plan and hit the ground running when we took over as owners.”  The phone number for the SLV SBDC is 719-589-3682.  “This business is important to the whole region,” stated Donna Wehe.  “I was so glad to find a good fit to keep this viable business here.  They have service contracts with hotels and other businesses and we would have lost those to competitors from Pueblo, had Sherry and Wayne not come along.  The other piece that made this work was Steve.  He was willing to ask a fair price, had good books, and has been available to introduce Wayne to all of the ‘ins and outs’ of this niche business.”

September 19, 2011

Customer Service Training for Front Line Employees in South Fork

“Improving Your Customer's 1st Impression through Training your Front Line Employees”

Thursday, October 13, 2011
9:00-10:30 a.m.      or      3:00-4:30 p.m.

Community Center, 0254, Hwy 149, South Fork, CO 81154
Limited scholarships available to reimburse business owners for these training wages
Free to all SLV Chamber Members
(cost is $20 per person for non-chamber member)
Contact:  Donna Wehe, Small Business Development Center,
719-589-3682 or or 
South Fork Chamber of Commerce & Town of South Fork
Rio Grande County Tourism Board
Upper Rio Grande Economic Development Corp

San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center: New Computer Business in Alamosa, Colorado

San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center: New Computer Business in Alamosa, Colorado

New Computer Business in Alamosa, Colorado

The HUB: Computer Recycling, Technology Training, and More

The old Move Gallery location is in the final stages of remodeling and will become the home for a team of businesses and services.  The Hub will have a soft opening on August 1st.   The Hub is located across from Wal-Mart in the Cottonwood Business Complex at 3330 Clark St. in Alamosa.
The Hub will have a state of the art conference and Training room, certification center, Internet Hot Spot, and computer parts, repair, and computer recycling center.  The location will be open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mon. to Sat. “It is hard to describe how grateful we are to everybody that has helped us get this project off the ground.  Without the help and support of SLV Builders we would never have gotten to this point,” said Roger Jackson, who started the HUB and the technology division Personalized IT.  “We have many goals and dreams we are pursuing – we know that the San Luis Valley and many of its visitors will benefit from the services being offered at this location.”
The following is a brief description of some of the services that will be offered:
Computer Recycling:  Individuals, businesses, schools, and anybody else can bring (or for a nominal fee request a pickup) their old computers and monitors to the HUB.  If the systems are new enough they will be refurbished and resold to the community for $40, if they are not then they will be taken to a recycling facility that will properly dispose of them.  Currently only Computers and Monitors can be taken but they have plans to expand.
Training & Testing Services:  We are setting up a training room that will allow individuals to attend or host different types of training.  Alberta Coolbaugh (recently retired ASC Professor) is working on curriculum to provide Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) certification preparation.   In addition there are trainings being developed that will assist business with QuickBooks, Human Resource, and other managerial trainings.  Trainings are also being developed for individuals and families to better understand technology, what its risks are, and how to be protected against identity theft, viruses, and online predators.  Special training and certification requests are welcome by calling 719.937.4123. 
Other Services:  In addition there will technicians available to help repair, upgrade, and train on computers, cell phones, GPS, and other electronic devices. 
Once again they would like to thank all those that have assisted in this project:  SLV Builders, Dave’s Solar and Heating, Monte Vista and Sargent School Districts, Donna Wehe at the Small Business Development Center, and most importantly their families and friends.  

July 7, 2011

Workshop Details July-Sept 2011

* Doing Business in South Fork (Info Center) ... July 11, 8:00 a.m.-Noon  Free
                  find out what businesses are needed and spaces available  Free Breakfast!

* Hire Your First Employee (Alamosa-at the Depot) ... July 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    - Presenter is Cindy Morin with over 18 years of Human Resource Management experience
      -register with Donna Wehe at 589-3682 
    -$20 (or 1/2 off for any SLV chamber members)
     - what questions can you ask in an interview?  changes in employer law?  much more...
* Create Your Own Blog (La Jara Library) ... July 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
            $20 (or 1/2 off for any SLV chamber members)
Register with AnnMarie at Conejos County Chamber 376-2277 or
Bring your own laptop, photos, logos, stories, etc. or sign up to reserve a library laptop.
Presenter is SBDC Counselor Sharron Calvin

* Customer Service Excellence (South Fork 8:00-10:00 a.m., Del Norte 11:00-1:00 & Monte Vista 3:30-5:30 p.m.) August 10, 2011.  Locations TBA
    -Register with Donna Wehe, or 589-3682
    -Free workshop for front line employees, covering basic greeting skills, local area attractions & "how to handle disgruntled customers" presented by Liz Thomas, ASC.
    - Scholarships may be available for business owners in Rio Grande County to send employees

* QuickBooks in Creede on August 15
    -Presenters are Donna Wehe and Donielle VanGieson
    -Advanced QB users may schedule ahead of time for free one-on-one QB or Small Biz counseling session
    -Location will be at the Creede Chamber of Commerce
    - 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. One on One counseling sessions
    *** 11:30-1:00 Either workshop available:  Financial Basics of Running a Business (Free) or Using QuickBooks to report sales tax ($20 per person or $30 if not a chamber member)
    - 2:00-4:00 p.m. One on One counseling sessions
    *** 4:30-7:00 p.m. QuickBooks for Beginners ($20 per person or $30 if not a chamber member)
Light refreshments will be available, but participants are welcome to bring their own food/drink.
   -Contact Donna Wehe at 589-3682 or to register

* Increase Your Sales (Alamosa-at the Depot) ... September 21, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
    -Featured Speaker will be Arvin VanRy
    - Refreshments served; free to Alamosa Chamber Members; $15 if not a chamber member
    -Contact Donna Wehe at 589-3682 or to register

June 30, 2011

IRS increased tax rates mid year in 2011 to assist small biz owners

Ashlea Ebeling blogged about the new tax advantage for small business owners that goes into effect July 1, 2011.

The mileage rate for business purposes is 55.5 cents a mile, up from 51 cents a mile during the first half of 2011. The mileage rate for medical and moving expenses is 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents a mile during the first half of 2011. The last time the IRS put in a mid-year increase was in 2008, when the business mileage rates went from 50.5 cents a mile to 58.5 cents a mile, and the rate for medical and moving purposes went from 19 cents a mile to 27 cents a mile.

South Fork hosts Business Seminar

Find out how you could start or move your business to this location in South Fork!

Doing Business in South Fork Seminar

July 11th, 2011  8:00a.m.-noon

Have you ever considered Starting your Own Business?

There is Opportunity for you in South Fork, CO!

The South Fork Chamber of Commerce Presents:

Doing Business in South Fork Seminar

When: Monday July 11th, 2011

Where: South Fork Community Building
Why: South Fork needs additional business and services

And has VACANT Commercial Properties
• Learn what businesses are needed

(bring your own ideas too)

• Learn what Commercial properties are For Sale or Lease

• Learn what it takes to do business in South Fork.

• Make a match!

Guest Speakers

Door Prizes

Free Breakfast
Questions and RSVP:

Chamber of Commerce Office 719-873-5556
No Franchises will be represented.

South Fork Community Center


Welcome Glynn Polter
Chamber President and SF Shop Owner

Starting a Small Business in San Luis Valley
Donna Wehe
Director – CO Small Bus Dev Center for San Luis Valley

Review Needed Businesses in South Fork
Glynn Polter


Review Commercial Properties For Sale or Lease in South Fork
Connie Goodnight
Chamber Board Member and Realtor

Information you need to know about setting up a business in the Town of South Fork
Sharon Fairchild SF Town Clerk

Bill Matthews SF Town Manager
Useful information in setting up a business in South Fork

Kim Krahn
Chamber Board Member and SF Shop Owner
Close and Follow Up

June 17, 2011

New Retail Business is For the Birds in Alamosa, Colorado

This story is for the birds. Cranes and Crows to be specific.

Lori and Joel Korngut, Adams State College Alumni, recently became new residents of Alamosa. Lori is the owner of a new retail store in downtown Alamosa and she invites you in for a field trip experience at the corner of Main and San Juan (701 Main Street, Alamosa, Colorado  81101).

Lori moved her business here from Albuquerque when Joel took on a job at Adams State College. They sell gifts, educational material, art, jewelry, t-shirts, puppets, children’s books & puzzles, bird feeders and bird seed…all around the nature/wildlife theme.

It’s an experience just to wander the store, as you browse through books, play with puppets and check out unique hummingbird feeders. Lori and Joel are bird watching aficionados and love to talk birding with other nature lovers.

This inviting retail store is open Monday-Saturday from 10-6. You might find the store open on Sundays if they are available. The phone number for the store is 589-1100 and they deliver bird seed in the Alamosa area.

They appreciate the assistance they received from Donna Wehe at the SLV Small Business Development Center, 589-3682, for marketing ideas, networking to events and artisans, and setting up their sales tax license and legal structure in Colorado.

June 6, 2011

Summer workshop series

1) Thursday, June 9, 7:30-9:00 a.m. Disaster Preparedness (physical and IT) for your business presented by Lisa Werts and Roger Jackson. At the Depot, Free to chamber members ($10 if not a chamber member)
2) QuickBooks™ Beginner Class , Thursday, June 16, 2011; 5:00-6:30 p.m. 610 State Avenue, At the Depot, upstairs, $20 per person; Presented by Donielle VanGieso
3) Tuesday, June 21: Google Places for your Business @ Monte Vista Information Center; 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Free)
4) Wednesday, July 20: Hire Your First Employee @ the Depot, Alamosa, 5:30-7:00 p.m. $20 (1/2 any SLV Chamber member), presented by Cindy Morin

Please Call Donna at 589-3682 to RSVP for any of these workshops

May 25, 2011

Disaster Preparedness Business over Breakfast Workshop

Business over Breakfast

Thursday, June 9, 2011

7:30-9:00 a.m.
Disaster Preparedness!

Presented by
Lisa Werts, Red Cross
Roger Jackson, IT specialist

How to prepare your business in case of a physical or technology disaster
Free to Alamosa Chamber Members
$10 for Non-chamber members
Continental Breakfast provided.
At the Depot, upstairs.

RSVP to Donna Wehe at 589-3682 or

The San Luis Valley SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the
U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute and express or implied endorsement of any of the cosponsor(s)’ or participants’ opinions, products or services.

May 5, 2011

Leading Edge Graduation for Spring 2011

Nine San Luis Valley Business owners graduated from the spring Leading Edge Seminar (following the NxLevel Curriculum) on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 after 12 weeks of weekly meetings, creating their business plan and marketing material, and meeting with business consultants from the SLV SBDC.  The speakers were Eric and Lisa Burt from Kristi Mountain Sports who told their story of building a successful business in Alamosa, Colorado.

Several new businesses opened throughout the duration of this class:

Professional Bookkeeping Service Inc., Owners Kay Harmon and Cindy Morin, located in the Sunflower Bank building in Monte Vista.  (719) 850-3237.

Lopez Electric LLC, serving the entire region, (719) 588-6904."Performing the job right, the first time, on time and every time."

Valley Fire & Security of Colorado, LLC, NICET certified to bring you peace of mind.  Owner John Bradley, 719-480-4717.

Ronnie Lee Romero of All Aspects Roofing and Construction, (719) 580-0392, no job too big or small.

Fresh farm chicken or duck eggs can be purchased from Carla Yokely at White Pine Poultry, (719) 852-4466.

Jeaneen McLaren and Anna Libby are taking their homemade card making hobby to the next level and have created Heart-In-Hand Cards, an on-line business.  Stay tuned for their web-site so you can order homemade cards for your next special occasion. 719-849-8700.

New Store Opens in Del Norte, Colorado

Photo by Deanne Elliott
Val Dilley’s new business has a sunny entrance and she’ll welcome you with a sunny smile. Come on in to Flying Eagle Bison, located at 730 Grand Avenue, Del Norte, Colorado, to buy frozen, USDA approved bison meat, to browse and shop for gift items, or simply to admire the buffalo hides and learn more about buffalo.

Val has long dreamed of opening this store. She has managed the bison and sold the meat for years, first getting into the ranching business with her husband, Dale Dilley. He was an outfitter and all around Buffalo Guy. Flying Eagle Bison is in memory of “Buffalo Dundee”, as he was affectionately known. Val had been a nurse and office manager for years, and was ready for a change. She had thought she would open the shop at her home, where she has sold the meat for years, but wanted to be a part of downtown Del Norte and saw the value of being on Hwy 160. Seeing this building was available, and with support from her family and friends, she felt like the time was right to make her dream a reality. She has a good working relationship with other businesses in Del Norte and enjoys seeing the growing momentum of interest in businesses and services in the town.

The primary product in the store is the bison meat: roasts, briskets, steaks, ground meat, ribs, and stew meat are all available. The meat is 100% natural, with no growth hormones and antibiotic free. The bison are fed a combination of alfalfa, grass and potatoes, all grown locally. Bison, the “other red meat” is naturally flavorful and tender. It has a sweeter, richer taste; and many people say it is the most flavorful meat they have ever eaten. Nutritionally, bison meat has more protein and nutrients than many other meats, with fewer calories and less fat.

Val is primarily a rancher, owner of the Flying Eagle Bison Ranch, just outside of Del Norte. She does 95% of the ranch work herself. She manages the breeding of the animals and sells quality ranch raised breeding stock. The ranch is a member of the National Bison Association and a participant at the National Western Stock Show.

The bison meat is the focal product at the store, but Val also carries other merchandise relating to buffalo and specifically features items made by local artists. A painting by Karen Bonnie, “The Spirit of the Thunder” was newly unveiled at the grand opening of the store. You will also find mugs by “Always Azul Pottery” from Saguache; Charlie Ewing prints; soap made with buffalo tallow, photo cards of the San Luis Valley; and buffalo hide vests by Laurie 2 Dogs.

You will most likely find something new each time you visit as Val plans to continue adding more work by local artists. The sign outside the store was designed by Steve Crawford of Wildwood Sounds, in collaboration with Marian Rose, who designed the buffalo head. Val also works with the Local Foods Coalition to promote local products.

Val contacted Donna Wehe at the Small Business Development Center for help with legal entity, sales tax licensing and marketing in getting her business opened. The SBDC offers free and confidential counseling to those wishing to start, improve or expand their own business. Contact Donna at 719-589-3682 or for more information or to request counseling services.

Stop in soon to see what treasure you might find at the Flying Eagle Bison store. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9 to 5. For more information, call Val at 719-251-1176.

Disaster Preparedness for Your Business

Business Over Breakfast

Free to Alamosa Chamber of Commerce Members

$5 for non-chamber members

Continental breakfast included

Thursday, June 9, 7:30-9:00 a.m.

Upstairs at the Depot, 610 State Avenue, Alamosa

“Disaster Preparedness for Your Business”

Presenters: Lisa Werts, SLV Red Cross and Roger Jackson, Personalized IT

Contact Donna Wehe, 589-3682 or

April 25, 2011

Create Your Own Blog Workshop

Create Your Own Blog Workshop
 In Monte Vista

$10 for Chamber Members

($15 for non-Chamber Members)

Monte Vista Info Center (next to Monte Villa Inn, 947 1st Avenue, Monte Vista, 81144)

Tuesday, May 24, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Bring your laptop, pictures, logo, and business description.

Seating is limited.

Contact Donna Wehe at the SLV Small Business Development Center at 589-3682 or to register.

The San Luis Valley SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute and express or implied endorsement of any of the cosponsor(s)’ or participants’ opinions, products or services.

April 5, 2011

Watch out for this Scam

Warning: Fake Secretary of State Letters Sent to Business Owners

You may have gotten one of these letters in the mail. When you first look at it, it looks authentic. There is a seal and language threatening business owners will become "noncompliant" or delinquent" if they fail to respond. It then asks for $225 and an enclosed form to be returned to file a periodic report.

Beware! Don't fall prey to these letters. These letters are not from the Secretary of State's office. The letters are actually sent from a Nevada company, Corporate Controllers Unit LLC. There is a disclaimer in small print toward the bottom of the letter stating the letter is not from a government agency. Do NOT send this group any money!

Yes, you are required by law to file an annual periodic report, but you can do so on the Secretary of State's website for only $10.

April 4, 2011

QuickBooks for Advanced Users in Del Norte

QuickBooks™ for Advanced Users

Sponsored by the SLV Small Business Development Center and the Del Norte Chamber of Commerce

Contact Liz Weaver at 657-2845

Or Donna Wehe at 587-5151

$10 to Del Norte Chamber Members

$20 per person if non-member

• Speed up cash flow with credit card payments

• Use classes to stay organized

• Changes with newer QB versions

• Tips for sales tax payers

• Q &A (submit questions before workshop)

Tuesday, April 26, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

At the County Annex Building in Del Norte

965 6th Street, Del Norte, Colorado

The San Luis Valley SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute and express or implied endorsement of any of the cosponsor(s)’ or participants’ opinions, products or services.

February 8, 2011

Healthy Living Shoppe finds success in Alamosa

Twenty years ago, Donna Chappell helped a friend create and establish a health store in Twenty-Nine Palms, California. She had such a good time that when her family decided to move back to Alamosa, she opened up another health store here. In April, 2010, Donna opened the Healthy Living Shoppe doors on 817 Main Street.

The San Luis Valley community welcomed the Healthy Living Shoppe, and her business has flourished even though she has only been open less than a year.

As soon as you walk in the door, there is a sense of calmness and warmth. She carries a wide variety of products such as the weight loss Homeopathic hCG drops, plus Bach Flower remedies, books by Abraham on the Law of Attraction, bulk herbs and teas, essential oils, cards for all occasions as well as unique gifts, supplements and natural beauty products.

Donna enjoys helping her customers find a solution by assisting them with attention to their needs. She goes one step further and follows up with customers to see if they are satisfied with their purchases.
With the assistance of the San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center, she now has an online presence, If you’d like to visit her new blog, you may leave a comment at the bottom of the post.

However, if you are in town, don’t forget to stop into the Healthy Living Shoppe for all your health and beauty needs done naturally. Her Monday through Friday hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and she is also open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The phone number for the store is (719) 480-6017. You may contact the SLV SBDC at 589-3682.

February 1, 2011

Social Media Upcoming Workshops in the San Luis Valley

Promoting Social Media  Networking and Chamber Membership

February 15

Twitter, You Tube, and Google Apps: Social Media Networking Session. Free for Alamosa Chamber Members ($5 charge for non-members). At the Inn of the Rio Grande, Alamosa, 7:30-9:30 a.m. Rolls and coffee will be served. Please RSVP to Donna Wehe at 589-3682

February 15

Free to Monte Vista Chamber Members. $5 for non-members; light refreshments will be served.

Facebook Show and Tell; network with other business owners using social media.

At the Carnegie Public Library, 5:30-7:30 p.m. RSVP to Donna Wehe at 589-3682.

February 17

Free to Del Norte or South Fork Chamber Members. $5 for non-members; light refreshments will be served.

Facebook Show and Tell; network with other business owners using social media.

At the County Annex Building in Del Norte; 3-5:00 p.m. RSVP to Donna Wehe at 589-3682.

January 12, 2011

Buzz on Biz...Start out with the right info in 2011

Due to the Jobs Bill , Tax Bill , Health Care Reform and pending Immigration reform , plus a myriad of others that I may have overlooked, there are some major changes to how we do business in Colorado/USA and I'd like to draw your attention to the ones that go into effect starting in January, 2011. Please consult your tax accountant or tax preparer to see how these changes could affect your business.

#1) Minimum wage in Colorado increased January 1st to $7.36 per hour (and $4.34 for tipped). When the State and the Federal amounts don't match, you're obligated to pay the higher one, and this time it is the State of Colorado.

#2) With the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts now in place, how is FICA (Social Security) going to be affected? You will be deducting 2% less but just in 2011. The savings is on the side of the employee. Instead of using the 6.2% rate, it will be 4.2% of wages paid. Employers have until January 31, 2011 to implement the new payroll tax rates, and make any necessary adjustments or corrections by March 31, 2011. The employer tax rate for social security (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%) tax remain unchanged from 2010.

#3) Reporting for 1099-Misc is probably going to be changing in phases. Be prepared to report to the IRS the amount you paid each of your vendors if it was over $600 for the year. In order to best prepare (this legislation has the possibility of being appealed/modified ), start requesting a completed IRS W-9 from each vendor. You can download these forms from the IRS web site in order to have the complete legal name, address and Tax Identification Number (EIN or SSN) for your vendor. This is being phased in, some apply in 2011 (i.e. for landlords dealing with unincorporated service providers) and others in 2012. Penalties for not filing 1099s will double in 2011, so please consult a professional on this topic.

#4) If you took part of the HIRE act, it does not pertain to any wages paid after December 31, 2010.

#5) Small businesses can benefit from deducting health care plan expenses.

#6) The IRS announced that the mileage reimbursement rate for 2011 will be $0.51 per mile.

#7) Still pending, but it looks like employers should get familiar with E-Verify , the electronic way to confirm legal status for employees. Stay tuned.