October 1 Still Date to Provide Affordable Care Act-Required Notices

October 1 Still Date to Provide
Affordable Care Act-Required Notices

Although the employer mandate provision has been delayed, October 1, 2013 is still the deadline for notices required by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Before October 1, employers are required to provide current employees with notices regarding new health insurance marketplace coverage options—in California, that’s Covered California.

The notices inform the employee of the existence of the marketplace, a description of services, how to contact the marketplace and other required information.

Also starting October 1, employers must provide the notices to each new hire within 14 days of the employee beginning work.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created two model notices—one for employers that do not offer a health plan and another for employers that do offer a health plan to some or all employees.

The model notices—OMB No. 1210-0149—are available at HRCalifornia.com.

A special section at HRCalifornia.com compiles links to relevant forms, webinar recordings (free to CalChamber members) and government sources of information on the ACA.

CalChamber webinars provide a look at ACA employer requirements, tax implications, and employee benefits. More information is available at www.calchamber.com/acawebinars. The 90-minute webinars are free to CalChamber members, $99 for non-members.


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Hesperia chamber on a good path | – Victorville Daily Press

HESPERIA • With a large map in the background, Hesperia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Yvonne Woytovich shared the joys and perils of the business organization’s journey.

“Our biggest challenge has been the economy,” Woytovich said during the State of the Chamber Luncheon on Monday. “But as we use the mission of the chamber as our GPS, we’re finding ways to get to our goal.”

As a result of traveling a fiscally conservative path, the chamber has been “in the black” six of the past seven years, Woytovich said.

That path saw the chamber’s revenue of $157,709 exceed expenses by nearly $12,000 during the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to GuideStar.org.

Woytovich said the chamber will continue to focus on its four key areas: education, leadership, promotion and networking as it works to achieve its mission.

As city, regional and business leaders finished their meals, Woytovich shared how three major chamber events, Mega-Mixer, Annual Mixer and Derby, netted the group approximately $23,000 during the past fiscal year.

Woytovich also explained how the purchase of the chamber’s own free-standing building on Main Street was a sign to the community that the chamber had planted roots, and now “owns a part of Hesperia.”

“We moved closer to the freeway so we could meet those new business owners as they get off the freeway,” Woytovich said.

One of those owners is Josh Grewal, who plans to open a Menchie’s frozen yogurt shop in the Gateway Shopping Center.

“We are excited about moving to town,” Grewal told the crowd. “Our shop has something for everybody, from those watching their weight to people with a sweet tooth.”

Grewal, whose motto is “community before commerce,” said the shop will open in October, and will be ready to help local schools and groups with fundraising events.

Before the meeting, Hesperia Councilman Russ Blewett shared how receipts from the city’s 2012 fourth quarter sales increased 12.4 percent over the year prior.

“We were aggressive in going after businesses,” Blewett said. “We paved the way by providing the infrastructure for new business and streamlined the process for new business.”

Fourth-quarter sales tax increased in all major business groups, except for fuel and service stations, according to a city staff report.

Blewett also explained how the city continues to expand without neglecting older parts of the city.

“We are not about a bunch of empty buildings, so we work hard to fill them,” Blewett said. “We don’t want any part of our city to be neglected.”

As several major Main Street businesses vacated their properties near I Avenue, new businesses quickly moved in.

“Stater Brothers moved into the old Albertsons, and then the 99 Cent store moved into their old building,” Blewett said. “That was not an accident; we worked hard to make that happen.”

Blewett said the Vallarta Supermarkets chain recently signed a 15-year lease, as it looks to occupy the former Vons supermarket building at Main Street and I Avenue.

Vons closed shop in January after 23 years in the same location.

The new Vallarta store should be ready for business by the first week in January, Blewett said.

Woytovich said goals for the new year include the involvement of area high school students in a variety of chamber events, the review and improvement of programs, and spending more face-to-face time with chamber members.

“It’s been an exciting journey and we have a way to go,” Woytovich said. “As we look to the future, we’ll need our partners and chamber members to help navigate our way.”

Information on the chamber can be found online at http://www.hesperiacc.com.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@vvdailypress.com.

Hesperia chamber on a good path | hesperia, good, path – Victorville Daily Press.

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Honoring Service and Grandparents by Tracy Ann Teel

Zank visit

Author Tracy Ann Teel with her grandparents Gil and Margaret Zank

When you’re a kid, grandparents serve as instant gratification for all things sugary and noisy. Mine were no exception. Grandma made Chef Boyardee pizza on the nights I slept over, and we all had chocolate-dipped cones at Fosters Freeze on Sundays. As far as I knew, grandpa was just grandpa. The grandpa who conspired with me to scare grandma or dad with a miniature cannon we periodically fired when no one was looking. The one who worked in the fireworks booth for the Lions Club and put on the best 4th of July celebrations ever  (even when one of the pyrotechnics went awry and left its permanent mark in grandpa’s perfectly-manicured lawn). The grandpa who put firecrackers on the cactus tips and blew the thing to shreds … with dad’s help, of course.

I always knew my grandpa believed in serving his community, but it was my husband, Roy, who drew my attention to grandpa’s military service in World War II. In a keepsake letter for the family, and in my grandmother’s impeccable script, she wrote of being married barely four months when grandpa’s draft notice arrived, and she gave birth to my father while grandpa was away. She was a single mom for 2 ½ years. It turns out my delicate grandma, who’d suffered from polio as a child and couldn’t drive, was completely capable of taking charge when the situation demanded it.

Gilbert Zank “fought in the battles of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe,” and shortly after D-Day, his unit was “attached to General Patton’s 3rd Army and Headquarters Battalion A Company and began the historic drive across France.” I needed to meet these people!

On a summer afternoon, my grandfather spoke about the war in deep detail. As each of them spoke, I saw a couple both proud and saddened by what they had experienced. They held hands – a poignant gesture after nearly 70 years of marriage. We drank Coca Cola until the day’s light gave way to the pink glow which always seems to decorate Hesperia’s sky. And when they hugged us goodbye, I felt I was hugging history.

I’ve come to realize that the day we designate for honoring grandparents often passes unrecognized. But not anymore. Gilbert and Margaret Zank gave me one of the best gifts of my adult life – the generous gift of their time and conversation. Sunday, September 8th is National Grandparents Day. Reach out to yours; a new memory is just waiting to be discovered.

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Enterprise Zones Are Ending…But It’s Not Over Yet!

AB 93 was recently passed by the legislature and signed into law. This bill eliminates the Enterprise Zone Program, effective at the end of this year (January 1, 2014).

Here is what this means for your business with regards to the Hiring Credit:

1)   If you have already hired an employee and obtained a voucher certificate, you may continue to accrue tax credits for that employee, even if they continue to work for you after the end of this year. The tax credits will continue to carry forward for up to 10 years from the end of this year.

2)   If you have hired an employee and have not yet obtained a voucher certificate, you should do so soon.  While the legislation is clear that any employees hired prior to the end of the year would qualify, it is not clear whether we will still be able to process the voucher application after the end of this year.  Therefore, you should submit your application before the end of this year to ensure that you are able to obtain your entitled benefits.

3)   If you are thinking of hiring new employees in the near future and would like to take advantage of the credit, IT IS NOT TOO LATE!  Any employees hired before the end of the year are still eligible, and you can continue to claim the credit for as long as they remain with you.  Please contact the Hiring Credit Specialists immediately if you are interested in hiring an employee before the end of the year, so they can help make sure that you complete and the hiring process and the necessary paperwork in time to claim the credit going forward.

Hiring Credit Specialists, LLC.

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The Best Business Advice to Ignore – from AmEx OPEN forum

Run, don’t walk, away from these all-too-common words of advice.

Small-business owners get unsolicited advice everyday. Some of it can be very helpful, some of it is better off ignored. If you hear any of the “words of wisdom” listed below, our advice to you is to smile, say thank you, and move on.

Good things come to those who wait.
If you follow this advice, you may be waiting a very long time for success.
Better advice: Small-business owners need to be aggressive and go out and grab opportunities as they happen. You are responsible for initiating your success.

Failure is not an option.
Unfortunately, it is the most likely outcome in any small business venture.
Better advice: Accept failure, learn what you can, let go of it, and look for another opportunity to succeed.

Do what you love and the money will follow.
In the ideal world, this would always be true.
Better advice: The money will follow if you find something you are passionate about and you’re selling a product or service your customers need or want.

The customer is always right.
If the customer was always right then it would be too expensive for any company to stay in business.
Better advice: Listen to the customer’s concerns and show empathy in proposing solutions to their problems.

Think outside the box.
Sometimes ideas so far outside the box will make a small-business owner go broke because customers won’t pay for it.
Better advice: Look inside the box for constant problems customers still pay to solve.

Never give up.
This hard fast rule can lead to bankruptcy. Don’t go down with the ship!
Better advice: Follow Kenny Rogers’ advice and “know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em”.  Successful entrepreneurs know when it’s time to close down their business and look for a new start.

If you are not hiring, you are not growing.
Successful businesses are not measured in the number of employees, but in the profit (cash flow) they generate for their owners.
Better advice: Get the right resources (employees, freelancers, vendors) to get the job done most effectively.

Separate out your business and personal life.
In the world of the Internet-enabled smartphone, it is nearly impossible to separate these two worlds. Better advice: Merge your business and personal aspects into one happy life. But establish business free zones (like the gym, dinner table, bedroom or vacation) so you are able to recharge.

Never leave money on the table. This strategy is greedy and shows short term thinking. It can also blind the small-business owner to additional objectives, or big-picture thinking and planning.
Better advice: Emphasize long term relationships so annuities with vendors and customers can be built to maximize their lifetime value.

Always be innovating.
While it is important to evolve and change with the market, innovation should not be done for its own sake.
Better advice: Consistently ask customers and survey competitors on new ways to solve problems.

If you want it done right, do it yourself.
If you follow this strategy, you will always be working. You will have built a job, but not a company.
Better advice: Find leverage in your business by training employees to do tasks that will leverage your time. Later, bring in a team that is better at these tasks than you are.

If you build a great product (or service), customers will come.
While this may work in the movies, it never is effective in business. If your product can’t get found, it will never be chosen.
Better advice:  Set up a consistent system of sales and marketing so customers can find your product when they are looking.

Business is about taking big risks.
This is a surefire way to go out of business and never have the financial resources to recover.
Better advice: Take small risks and analyze the results. Business is ultimately a series of small decisions and incremental steps.

Don’t quit your day job.
Many entrepreneurs are told to keep their start up as a hobby and don’t risk doing it full time.
Better advice: When you have enough customers to support your minimum overhead, jump to doing the business on an exclusive basis. Only with complete focus will you be able to grow the business to its full potential.

Everything is fair in business.
You will be surprised what people have the audacity to do in business, and no not everything is “fair” in business, and what may be considered “fair”, it isn’t always right.
Better advice: Think about the code of conduct with which you want to conduct your business. Train your staff to stick to it.

You can’t change the world.
You are told you will never have enough resources to really make a difference.
Better advice: You actually can change the world. As a small-business owner, focus on doing it one customer at a time.

You must first write a detailed business plan.
Business plans are totally overrated. They typically are a series of assumptions that never come true.
Better advice: After writing the initial business plan, get customers to validate assumptions or help morph to a more profitable path.

Business is about having a great idea.
Many entrepreneurs think they have to protect their innovative idea or sometimes even want to sell it.
Better advice: Business ideas are meaningless if you can’t back it up. Success is really about taking action and finding the right team to work with to build a company.

Quit while you are ahead.
This is a fearful and fatalistic approach to business.
Better advice: Find out how you can build on the success that you have already achieved that can minimize some of your risks going forward. If you feel comfortable, take some money out of the business as financial insurance.

You have to spend money to make money.
Many vendors say you have to invest a lot of money to build a business.
Better advice: Having too much money will make you frivolous with it. Most businesses are started with less than $10,000. As a small-business owner, it’s your money so be cheap. Only spend money on things that are testable, trackable and repeatable.

Read more articles on leadership.

The Best Business Advice to Ignore.

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VVWRA Water Recycling Facility Plans to be Heard by Planning Commission Tonight

The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority in partnership with the City of Hesperia is planning to bring recycled water to the arid High Desert. A proposed water recycling facility planned near Mojave Road and Tamarisk Avenue will be heard by the Hesperia Planning Commission Thursday night. This facility will treat and recycle water that can be used to irrigate large swaths of land such as schools and parks. This new, drought-proof water supply will ensure responsible business growth in the City of Hesperia for years to come. The meeting will be held in City Hall at 9700 Seventh Street at 6:30 p.m. Please come to learn more about this vital resource. ImageImage
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Hesperia chamber on a good path | hesperia, good, path – Victorville Daily Press

HESPERIA • With a large map in the background, Hesperia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Yvonne Woytovich shared the joys and perils of the business organization’s journey.

“Our biggest challenge has been the economy,” Woytovich said during the State of the Chamber Luncheon on Monday. “But as we use the mission of the chamber as our GPS, we’re finding ways to get to our goal.”

As a result of traveling a fiscally conservative path, the chamber has been “in the black” six of the past seven years, Woytovich said.

Hesperia chamber on a good path | hesperia, good, path – Victorville Daily Press.

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