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  • Tue, April 13, 2021 5:18 AM | Shana (Administrator)

    Racial and wealth disparities in the United States have been thrown into sharp relief by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest throughout 2020. We see more clearly than ever just how often Black business owners and creatives have been thought of as less than their Caucasian counterparts – and Black businesses are paying the price.

    Black businesses are impacted more deeply than Caucasian businesses by COVID-related closures, due to the long history of racial inequality that’s now exacerbated by the ongoing state of emergency.

    It feels like an overwhelming problem – and it is – but there’s one simple thing you can do right now to help: Shop at Black-owned businesses whenever you can.

    Supporting Black-owned businesses helps provide much-needed stability to business owners that have been hard hit by the pandemic. And you’re laying a foundation to continue to support Black businesses long after the crisis is over.

    Once you start paying attention to who owns the businesses you shop at and where your money is going, you’ll be surprised at how your mindset starts to shift. It’s an easy, practical step to start changing the way you think while providing tangible support to Black business owners who need your help right now.

    Where to start? We’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of 181 Black-owned businesses across the United States in many different categories. Check out the list by clicking the link below,

    LIST


    Article by Sophia Conti

  • Wed, March 31, 2021 8:14 AM | Shana (Administrator)

    Three new programs join the national network

    The GRANT is Currently closed but will reopen again, please check back!

    Entrepreneurship Education for Formerly Incarcerated Persons

    is committed to leveraging its capabilities to help reduce crime and increase opportunities to improve the lives of all Americans. Grant awards will fund innovative projects to support formerly incarcerated individuals with entrepreneurship assistance including (but not limited to): (1) educational programs and workshops; (2) entrepreneurial training; and (3) coaching assistance.

    Columbia, SC: DESA, Inc. will develop uniquely tailored programs to help resolve identity issues, prioritize expungement options, secure temporary employment, and incorporate one-on-one coaching for entrepreneurship opportunities.

    DESA, Inc

    400 Percival Road

    Columbia, SC 29206


    Los Angeles, CA: Defy Ventures will advance its Entrepreneurship Pathway for Formerly Incarcerated Minorities program, which offers executive mentorship, supportive peers, workshops, and training.

    Defy Ventures

    3550 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1550

    Los Angeles, CA 90010 

    Baltimore, MD: Morgan State University will implement a three-phase program to provide options for participants to focus on entrepreneurial training (launch), working with business advisors to address challenges (sustain), or working with seasoned entrepreneurs on future work plans (growth).

    Morgan State University

    1700 E. Cold Spring Lane

    Baltimore, MD 21251 

    Birmingham, AL: The Dannon Project will advance their FLEE program-Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Education- to offer entrepreneurial programs and business coaching as a pathway to successful community reentry.

    The Dannon Project

    2324 5th Avenue North

    Birmingham, AL 35203 

    SEE FULL GRANT ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Sat, March 27, 2021 8:20 PM | Shana (Administrator)

    Which POS System should you use?? 

    Shopify holds great reputation in the retail market space for a long time. It is evidently one of the premier and high-potential web-based POS systems.

    Features

    • It offers efficient inventory management. 
    • Recorded database and profiling of customers 
    • Allow you to offer different variations of the product
    • Detailed product and retail reports 
    • Assigning barcodes to customers 

    Pricing 

    Shopify Lite – $9/month ,Basic Shopify – $29/month ,Shopify – $79/month ,Advanced Shopify – $299/month 

    Strengths 

    • Basic subscription is highly affordable 
    • Provide good value for small businesses
    • Free 14-day trial 
    • Easy to setup and customize
    • Robust & efficient e-commerce tools 

    Weaknesses 

    • No free subscription plans 
    • Glitches in offline mode
    • Limited customizations on the basic plan 
    • Advance subscription plans are costly
    • Additional cost for third-party payment providers

    Square POS  is certainly amongst the best choices for POS systems for small businesses to pick. 

    Features 

    • Square POS offers strict data security and protection against any fraudulency. 
    • You get detailed reports on sales as well as real-time analysis. 
    • It allows you to view, track, manage, edit as well as update the item quantity. 
    • Whenever you get low on your stocks, you will receive alerts. 
    • The Square POS dashboard helps you manage administration 

    Pricing

    • No monthly fees 
    • All the tapped and swiped payments cost 2.6% + 10 cents 
    • Card-on file and key-in payments cost 3.5% + 15 cents 
    • Square register payments, purchased before 8/20/19 cost 2.5% + 10 cents. 
    • For specific restaurant businesses :  $60 per month per location 
    • Retail plans :  $60/month per locations & 2.5% + 10 cents ( in-person payment) 

    Strengths 

    • Free POS, value for small businesses 
    • Transparency in transaction cost 
    • Faster to set up, use and manage
    • Easy to setup and use 
    • No monthly cost on their basic plan 
    • It can grow with your business 

    Weaknesses 

    • Transactions fees are costly as compared to other major processors 
    • Not ideal for high-risk small businesses 
    • Costlier fees for manual entries 
    • You get limited control on inventory


    This is certainly the best POS system serving the accounting system of businesses for a long time.  

    Features 

    • QuickBooks primarily equip your business to  accept payments, track income and expenses, send invoices and more.
    • You also get more account management tools such as cash flow management, maximize tax deductions, track time, miles and inventory.
    • Lot of additional advanced features like tracking sales and taxes, accounting, bookkeeping and more 
    • It also integrates with quickbook ecommerce where you can list and manage products from different platforms.
    • The account management with QuickBook POS is very easy to use due to its user-friendly interface. 

    Pricing 

    • Basic One-time  :  $960 
    • Pro One-time :  $1,360
    • Multi-store one-time : $1,520

    Strengths 

    • One-time purchase with no monthly charges 
    • Easy and quick integration with Intuit accounting software 
    • Easy compatibility with Windows & Tablets 

    Weaknesses 

    • Expensive for all features 
    • Not compatible with iPads 
    • Lack of advanced options in inventory management 

    This particular POS system is the best for high-end inventory management. Even in the case of speciality shops, it can help you manage custom orders. 

    Features 

    • It offers a flexible and robust cloud-based POS system that can be easily run on desktop as well as on iPad.
    • Best inventory management service offering to create bundles, track unit costs, manage layaways, variants and custom orders. 
    • The inventory management feature allows you to streamline purchase orders along with their in-built product catalog.
    • It offers extensive, powerful and detailed analytics including over 40 different types of reports, visual data such as charts and graphs and suggestions on how to improve it.
    • You get more than 50 professional efficient themes with all order and shipping management tools, SEO tools, CRM and much more. 

    Pricing 

    • Basic plan :  $69/month
    • Starter plan :  $99/month (+ ecommerce)
    • Standard plan: $199/month ( + accounting features)
    • Advanced plan  :  $169/month ( + loyalty program) 
    • Pro plan:  $229/month (+ analytics)
    • Additional registers : $29/month
    • Payment processing charge for cards per transactions : 2.6% + 10 cents

    Strengths 

    • Free payment terminal 
    • Efficient, Robust & Effective E-commerce platform 
    • Offering more than 40 retail analytical reports
    • Detailed inventory management and analytic tools 
    • Multiple choices for iPad equipment
    • 24/7 support 

    Weaknesses 

    • Could be a bit on the expensive side, especially for small businesses 
    • Need to make a call to get complete info about plan features
    • The user-interface is a bit complex to navigate 
    • No offline mode

    PayPal Here is a free mobile POS brought by finance giant PayPal. It allows small businesses to accept payments from their customers and clients.  

    Features 

    • You can download mobile POS applications on any mobile device where it can accept all kinds of payments including debit, credit and PayPal.
    • It allows you to create invoices, customized receipts, calculate sales tax and also, manage product listings. 
    • The tool also allows to track sales with detailed reports and analysis. It provides a simple tool to process occasional payments. 

    Pricing 

    • Mobile POS application :  Free
    • Swipe/Chip payment fees : 2.7% 
    • Invoice payment fees :  2.9% + 30 cents ( per transaction)
    • Keyed-in payment fees : 3.5% + 15 cents ( per transaction)

    Strengths 

    • No Monthly Fees 
    • Ideal for accepting mobile payments 
    • Easy to quick to setup on multiple devices 
    • Predictable transaction fees, no hidden charges

    Weaknesses 

    • Lack of account stability 
    • Not a full-featured POS system 
    • Not ideal for large transactions 

    The Revel System POS is primarily built for quick-service restaurants, food chains, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. It offers CRM ( Customer relationship Management) tools which helps you to automate the system. 

    Features 

    • Back-of-house features such as integrated online ordering, menu-building tools, centralized multi-location management and more.
    • Front-of-house features such as detailed permission setting, customizable setting on table mapping and management, and more.
    • Self-order kiosks, contactless service, discount tools, customer display system
    • You also get  real-time integrated inventory tracking, analysis, performance metrics and more. 

    Pricing

    • Software :  Minimum $99/month per terminal 
    • Installation & Onboarding fees : Minimum $649

    Strengths 

    • Tons of software integrations
    • Detailed reporting tools 
    • Highly customizable customer loyalty management services
    • Perfect for food & beverage small businesses 
    • Ideal for mobile management 
    • Easy back office management accessibility 

    Weaknesses 

    • Lack of transparency in pricing 
    • Bit on Expensive side 
    • No free trials 
    • Not much user-friendly as compared to others 
    • More complex setup as compared to others 

    Vend offers web and iPad-based POS systems specifically designed for brick and mortar retail stores only. 

    Features 

    • It offers comprehensive inventory tools where you can track variants and bundles.
    • It offers a centralized product catalog with custom low-stock alert services.
    • The POS system features a user-friendly cloud system with utmost customization, flexible configuration and various tools.
    • It comes with a mobile barcode scanning application to process quick inventory counts, check product details and manage shipments.
    • It offers the best customer loyalty program with integration for third-party tools. 

    Pricing 

    • Free Trial :  For 14 days 
    • Monthly Fees : $99 for turnover limit of $20,000 |  $129 for unlimited turnover
    • Additional charges : $49/month 
    • Setup & Installation Fees :  Based on Quote 

    Strengths 

    • User-friendly system 
    • Easy to run on all operating systems 
    • Flexibility in checkout process 
    • 24/7 support 

    Weaknesses

    • Reporting tools are basic
    • Ecommerce integration is weak
    • Lack of integrated email marketing 

    It is a cloud-based POS system ideal for specialty shops and boutiques runs on iPad. 

    Features 

    • You get efficient variant-level inventory management services  with barcode printing, bulk product upload and low-stock alerts.
    • The ShopKeep POS comes with a pocket app to view all the real-time reports and analysis while moving.
    • There are plenty of marketing tools including email lists, customer loyalty programs etc are there to optimize business listing.
    • You can integrate ShopKeep POS to your online store or business website 
    • It offers a user-friendly cloud-based interface or dashboard with easy configuration. 

    Pricing

    • Monthly Fees :  $49-$179 (for annual billings)
    • Monthly Fees : $69-$199 ( for monthly billings)
    • Payment processing charges:  2.5% + 10 cents ( in-person sales) & 3.5% ( online & invoice payment) 

    Strengths 

    • Easy to set up, configure and use 
    • Efficient back-office applications 
    • 24 / 7 support 

    Weaknesses

    • Limitation with customization
    • No free trials 
    • Few reports on software glitches 
  • Thu, March 25, 2021 12:11 PM | Shana (Administrator)

    MUST BE A CURRENT ANNUAL MEMBER AT THE TIME YOUR APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED FOR CONSIDERATION


    CLICK THE LINK AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION TODAY!

    SUBMIT APPLICATION


  • Tue, March 16, 2021 8:39 PM | Shana (Administrator)

    As any nonprofit leader knows, a strong board of directors is critical to an organization’s success and long-term resilience.

    But a strong, effective board doesn’t just create and manage itself. 

    In fact, too many nonprofit boards are struggling to perform their duties, let alone realize their greatest potential. 

    A 2015 report from Stanford Universityfound that half of nonprofit directors believe their fellow board members are not engaged in their work with the organization, while a third are not satisfied with the board’s ability to evaluate the performance of the organization. 

    Meanwhile, a full 70 per cent of nonprofit boards don’t have a succession plan in place in the event that the current CEO or executive director leaves, and 40 per cent don’t have formal targets in place for measuring CEO performance. 


    Considering that 70 per cent of nonprofits have faced one or more serious governance-related challenges in the past decade, these stats don’t bode well for the ability of nonprofit boards to quickly respond to issues as they arise. 


    So how can you build – and maintain – an effective nonprofit board?


    Look no further! In this complete guide to building an effective nonprofit board, we’ve pulled together all the best resources to help you get started.  


    Whether you’re leading an established nonprofit or starting one from scratch, or whether you’re a CEO, volunteer board chair or staff lead for the board, this guide is for you. 

    Some of your top considerations should include:


    • How many board members are you legally required to have?Check the guidelines provided by the state or province in which you’re incorporating. Three is the most common minimum number. 

    • What is the minimum and maximum term length for your board members?Again, your state or province should have guidance on term lengths. For example, in Ontario, the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act(ONCA) states that a nonprofit board member should have a minimum term of one year and a maximum term of four years (and may be re-elected or re-appointed at the end of that term).  

    • Should you stagger board terms?Staggering board terms – with some board members committing to one year, some to two or three years and some to four years, for example – can be a good idea to prevent the full board from turning over all at once. 

    • What skills do your board members need to have?Depending on the mission of your organization, you may benefit from recruiting board members with expertise in specific fields, such as law, accounting, marketing or social services. But remember: All of your board members, regardless of their specific skills, should be passionate about your mission and committed to fulfilling their duties. 

    Creating Your Nonprofit Board Structure


    You know how to go about forming your board, but you still have questions about the most effective governance structure. 

    Most nonprofit boards have a board executive and a number of directors, who may or may not serve on one or more committees. 

    Here are the four most common executive officer roles and some of the key skills you may want to look for:

    • Chair or president:This person oversees the work of the board and the organization’s CEO and/or senior management team. They should possess strong leadership skills and be invested in the success of your organization. 

    • Vice chair or vice president:This person supports the work of the board chair and board executive, including filling in for the board chair when needed, and fulfills special assignments as required. They should be ready to lead and committed to learn about the ins and outs of your board. 

    • Secretary:This person is responsible for maintaining meeting minutes and monitoring compliance with your nonprofit’s bylaws. They’re usually required to attend all meetings. Your secretary should be highly organized and detail oriented. 

    • Treasurer:This person tracks your nonprofit’s financial standing, reviews the annual audit and usually serves as chair of the finance committee. They should have a strong background in financial accounting. 

    Creating Board Committees


    Creating committees – smaller groups of board members responsible for overseeing certain areas of work – can be an effective way of engaging your board, putting directors’ skills to good use and accomplishing better results. 

    The beauty of committees is that they can be struck at any time. Some committees may be standing, meaning they operate permanently on an ongoing basis, or they may be ad hoc, meaning they’ve been established to address a specific challenge or task that’s arisen. 

    Committees are typically struck by the board chair, who also appoints directors to serve on each committee. Board members who identify a need for a new committee can put forward a motion to create one. 

    Some of the most common board committees include:   

    • Governance committee: Responsible for recruiting and orienting new board members and providing education opportunities for the board. 

    • Finance or audit and risk committee: Responsible for reviewing the organization’s accounting policies and audit reports and helps identify and manage potential financial risks to the organization. 

    • Executive committee: Responsible for dealing with significant issues that may arise in between board meetings. It’s typically comprised of the organization’s lead and board directors (staff and non-board volunteers typically don’t serve on the executive committee).

    • Fundraising committee: Responsible for developing fundraising strategies in support of the organization’s mission, including by supporting fundraising event targets. 

    • Marketing committee: Depending on the size of your organization, the marketing committee can be responsible for either developing and executing a marketing strategy or providing advice to support staff-driven marketing strategies. 

    Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when developing a board committee:


    • Ensure the committee has a specific set of tasks and a specific goal or goals.

    • Don’t overburden members by expecting them to participate in too many committees.

    • Be mindful of the time commitment required by members participating in committees.

    • Be open to having non-board volunteers serve as members of the committee to provide additional skills, insights and support.


      Board Roles and Responsibilities: Setting Clear Expectations


      You can set your board members up for success – whether they’re brand new or they’ve been with you for a while – by helping them understand their responsibilities and establishing clear expectations for their role in your organization’s governance, work and mission. 


      But how do you know what those responsibilities and expectations should be?


      Start by reviewing your state or province’s guidelines for nonprofit boards. The ONCA, for example, states that nonprofit directors must:


      • Act honestly and in good faith to serve the best interests of the organization.

      • Exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably careful person would exercise in similar circumstances.


      These are the most basic values and principles that every board member should adhere to. 

      Most nonprofits also expect their board members to fulfill specific duties and actions, such as:  

      • Attending a minimum number of board meetings throughout the year.

      • Contributing meaningfully to board meetings while exercising good judgement and care.

      • Declaring any conflicts of interest and recusing themselves from discussion or votes which may present a conflict.

      • Keeping all information and organizational matters confidential. 

      • Fulfilling duties as stated in the organization’s bylaws.

      • Avoiding participation in political campaigns in the name of the organization.

        Each nonprofit will have their own unique expectations and guidelines for board members. 


        Board Training and Orientation 


        Let’s face it: Recruiting the best directors for your nonprofit just isn’t enough to develop and maintain a strong, engaged board. 


        A solid board orientation and training program, combined with a regular process for collecting and acting on feedback, can go a long way toward helping your board members contribute to the very best of their ability. 

        Remember: It’s never too late to get started! 


        Board orientation processes are important for new board members, but you can also offer orientation and training to even your longest-serving members if you’re looking for ways to strengthen board engagement effectiveness.


        Hosting Effective Board Meetings 


        Have your board meetings become disorganized, too long, ineffective or – worst of all – just plain boring?


        It might be time to consider a revamp of your board meeting processes. 


        Running efficient and effective board meetings can work wonders for improving board engagement and re-igniting that initial passion that first motivated your directors to get involved. 


      • Send out the agenda early to make sure your meeting runs smoothly and on time. 

      • Start and end on time. This shows respect for your board members’ time and helps make their participation on your board more manageable with their schedules. 

      • Make sure someone is responsible for taking detailed minutes

      • Give everyone a chance to speak. 


        Evaluating Board Effectiveness 


        You’ve done all the right things to set up your board for success. 


        But how do you know what’s working – and what’s not?


        Implementing a process for evaluating your board’s effectiveness is an important way to keep track of your board’s strengths and identify weaknesses that may require action. 


        Board self-assessment


        A board self-assessment is an exercise in which the board evaluates itself. Each board member evaluates their own performance using a set of criteria as well as the performance of the board as a whole. 


        Peer-to-peer assessment


        During a peer-to-peer assessment, board members evaluate themselves as well as their fellow board members. This exercise can be done anonymously to avoid potential conflict. 


        Assessment by the executive director


        The board may be responsible for evaluating your nonprofit’s executive director, but your ED’s work is directly impacted by the effectiveness of the board! 


        Having your ED perform their own evaluation of the board as a whole – not of each individual director – can be an important tool for measuring how well the board is supporting and guiding the work of your nonprofit. 


        Leadership

        • Are the board members performing their roles and duties?

        • Is the board and its members performing as expected?

        • How successful is the current chair of the board in running the board and the organization?

        Procedure and resources

        • Are meetings organized and frequent?

        • Do committees have appropriate resources? Are they effective?

        • Are directors and board members being educated on rules and procedures?

        Dynamics

        • Do board members get along? Do their attributes and skills complement each other?

        • Are meetings and discussions progressive and constructive?

        • What are the dynamics at informal gatherings (dinners, parties, retreats, etc.)?

        Relationships

        • How does the staff view the board?

        • What is the relationship between the board and members?

        • Do the members and the staff trust the board to make the right decisions?

        • If your organization is a chapter with regional or national boards, how is your board’s interaction with these?

  • Tue, March 02, 2021 10:15 AM | Shana (Administrator)

    On 1 May 2021, Google will begin charging new surcharges for ads served in France and Spain. 

    New surcharges

    As of 1 May 2021, we will begin adding a surcharge to your next invoice or statement for ads served in specific countries: 

    Ads served in France: a 2% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement.
    Ads served in Spain: a 2% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement.
  • Mon, March 01, 2021 5:01 PM | Shana (Administrator)


    March is Women’s History Month and we can think of

    no better way to kick off the celebration than

    with supporting women-owned businesses!




  • Sun, September 01, 2019 12:31 PM | Shana (Administrator)

    The St. Petersburg Chapter of Hashtaglunchbag believes in changing the community one brown bag at a time. Hashtaglunchbag is a global movement with a mission of helping underserved communities by providing brown bag lunches. The St Petersburg Chapter is funded and hosted locally by Lawrence Parker and Elizabeth Mack, two St. Pete community members who were looking for a way to do community outreach through a meaningful project that shows "somebody cares." Since May 2019 they've come together monthly with other community members to craft 200 brown bag lunches, which include a turkey and cheese/or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple or orange, a bottle of water and an encouraging note. They then distribute the bags to various homeless populations around the St. Pete community. The average cost is $250, location has been offered up at no cost, all proceeds are for supplies for the program.

To enable sustainable economic growth through collaboration and trade amongst black-owned businesses and communities.

Call Us

Office: +1 (833) - 444-SPBL (7725)


Address:

2822 54th Ave South #223

St. Petersburg, FL 33712