Does your business have a plan for an emergency?


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May 10, 2018

Del Mar College Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a category 4 storm on the evening of August 25, 2017 over the city of Rockport, Texas. Harvey was the first major hurricane to strike the Coastal Bend since 1970 and it was ranked the 16th strongest land-falling storm in U. S. History.

With a peak wind gust of 150 miles per hour and storms surge of 12.5 feet in parts of the Coastal Bend, Harvey severely impacted the communities of Aransas Pass, Austwell, Bayside, Fulton, Port Aransas, Refugio, Rockport, Tivoli, and Woodsboro. Approximately 40,000 structures were damaged and approximately 15,000 structures were completely destroyed or unrepairable.

Please join the Del Mar College SBDC for the Emergency Preparedness: Hurricanes workshop on Thursday, May 24 from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Development (3200 S. Staples St., Corpus Christi, TX 78411). This workshop is designed to give small businesses and other organizations the tools they need to prepare for natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. We will cover the process for disaster planning as well as the impact of hurricanes on your small business and our community. TWIA and TDI will be present to share information on hurricane coverage and lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey. The City of Corpus Christi Communications team will speak on how they communicate with the community and what we can do to make sure we are informed.

We will discuss and introduce you to resources in the coastal bend area which will enable you to create an emergency preparedness plan for your business.

During the workshop hear from various emergency preparedness experts including: Corpus Christi Emergency Management Office, Nueces County Emergency Management Office, City of Corpus Christi Communications Department, UTSA SBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center Emergency Preparedness and HR Specialist, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, Texas Department of Insurance, Corpus Christi Police Department, AEP Texas, SCORE Corpus Christi, Coastal Resiliency Network Initiatives and more!

This workshop is offered at no cost thanks to the generosity of the SBDC corporate supporters CITGO Petroleum Corporation and HEB.  SCORE Corpus Christi is providing lunch for the attendees who register at by Wednesday, May 23; Noon.

Also, we are also offering a Brown Bag: Emergency Preparedness Plan Clinic on Friday, May 25 from 11:00am – 2:00pm at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Development (3200 S. Staples St., Corpus Christi, TX 78411). This hands-on event will help small business owners with the creation of a workplace emergency preparedness plan. Utilizing an electronic template, each attendee will be able to create or revise their emergency management practices with the direction and assistance of Human Capital staff. Interactive discussion will cover resources for writing (rewriting) your company’s plan; preparing for emergencies; assessing job hazards; developing a successful training program. The goals and objectives of a workplace emergency preparedness program will be reviewed and a plan utilizing the tools for creating and maintaining a safe and compliant workplace will be prepared during the clinic.  You may register for this clinic at  Please bring your own “brown bag” lunch.




Entrepreneur Night & Small Business Awards Event Celebrates the 2018 National Small Business Week

April 18, 2018
Published by the Del Mar College Small Business Development Center

CORPUS CHRISTI – This year marks the 55th annual proclamation of National Small Business Week April 29 – May 5, 2018. To recognize and salute the achievements of the small business awardees, Del Mar College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting an event entitled “Entrepreneur Night & Small Business Awards”. The award winners will be announced to the public at the event on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Texas State Aquarium located at 2710 North Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, Texas.

In addition to the recognition ceremony, resource partners such as the Del Mar College Small Business Development Center, SCORE Corpus Christi, Del Mar College Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and LiftFund will be available to inform small business owners and other entrepreneurial minded individuals of the resources available in the area. There will also be a Biz Talk panel consisting of local business owners who will share their key to success. The event will wrap up with Dr. Jim Lee, Regents Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi who will deliver the keynote address Local Economy and Small Business Update.

“This year, in particular, it is meaningful to recognize these outstanding business owners given the damage suffered recently by so many in the Coastal Bend. Despite the setback for some, it has been incredible to see how many entrepreneurs are still persevering in starting new businesses and, in the case of these awardees, growing their existing businesses. Small businesses are vital for the local economy through job creation and retention as they represent 85% of jobs in the area. It is especially exciting to also honor several community leaders with SBA Disaster Awards for their Hurricane Harvey efforts” Ann Fierova, Director, Del Mar College SBDC stated.

You may register for Entrepreneur Night online at For more information, contact Monica Benavides at (361) 698-1021 or via email at There is no charge for the event and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

About the Del Mar College Small Business Development Center:

The Del Mar College SBDC serves to foster small business success through no cost, one-on-one and confidential business advising from Certified Business Advisors and hosts over 125 small business workshops each year. Visit for more information on workshops and events or join the conversation @DelMarCollegeSBDC and #bizbythebay.


Understanding Generational Differences in the Workplace

Mark Waschek By Mark Waschek|


Managers are often excited to hire smart, young employees, and provide them with competitive pay and opportunities to climb the ladder. And how does this generation show their thanks? They quit and decide to go and work for a company that gives them a better title! Or with little work experience, they want to jump in and start their own businesses. Kids nowadays … what are they thinking?

Millennials, or Generation Y, has now surpassed Generation X (born 1965-81) as the largest generation working in America. Additionally, for the first time in history, we now have four generations working alongside each other — the Traditionalists (born 1925-45), Baby Boomers (born 1946-64, Generation X (born 1965-81), and Generation Y/Millennials — adding significant challenges to leadership and communication in the workplace.

The differences in each generation are often quite significant in a business environment. For example, when it comes to making decisions, Traditionalists and Baby Boomers seem to take a more collaborative approach, often seeking buy-in for a given course of action prior to deciding. Younger employees seem to embrace more risk, and make faster decisions with less suggestions/opinions.

The Feedback Equation

Perhaps an even larger difference in each generation I hear from managers is feedback. Older employees like a formal approach to feedback, such as a documented performance review. For them, no news from the boss is good news. Gen X employees like more frequent feedback, but want it tied to accomplishments as they occur.  Millennials want frequent and immediate feedback (monthly, if not weekly) regardless of their progress or results.

It’s very easy to become obsessed by differences like these because it’s the differences that can create the friction in your organization. Many managers I talk to worry about this a great deal, and spend a lot of energy trying to fix the problems that this friction creates.

There are no “silver bullets” when it comes to managing generational difference. However, I hope to give you the insight you need to help your organization overcome some of these challenges, and continue to succeed. This article is the first in a two-part series in which we will discuss managing generational differences in your business.

Before we can share ideas to improve the teamwork in your company, it’s critical that you not only understand what the differences are, but WHY those differences exist. Understanding these basics will not only help you better respond to these challenges as they occur, but will likely enable you to prevent future conflicts as well.

It’s important to recognize a few misconceptions about generations. First, having four generations side-by-side in society is nothing new — in fact, every generation has experienced this. What is different is four generations side-by-side in the workforce. Due to the dedication of the oldest generation, and/or economic conditions in the past decade, this group of people are still working. Secondly, and perhaps most important, is how easy it seems to focus on differences between each generation, with specific emphasis on what you feel is a “rebellion” from the youngest generation. What we forget, is that EVERY generation has “rebelled” against the previous generation. In fact, not only does every generation rebel, they do it in EXACTLY the same way!

Since the Mayflower arrived, youth have fought conformity vs. other generations by changing four things: Hair styles, clothing, language, and music.

Think back to your youth. Consider the challenges you had with your parents, and how each of these four items were likely at the root of many disagreements. If you are a parent today, there is undoubtedly recent conversation that stemmed from your child’s actions in one (if not all) of these areas.

Consider our history. At some point, colonial youth decided they no longer wanted to wear a white wig and short pants. In the 1950s the rebellious youth wanted to see Elvis Presley move on TV. In the 1960s and 1970s, we had a shift to British music, very different clothing styles, everything became “groovy,” and on it goes. It’s always the same.

Regardless of the impact each rebellion has on our society, the one thing every generation carries forward is their core values. Each of these beliefs are rooted in the environment in which they were raised, heavily influencing their rebellion, and seem to be a key component to understanding their actions on a daily basis.

The Different Generations

■ The Traditionalist Genera­tion. This group includes individuals born between 1925 and 1945. This generation grew up with the impact of the depression, and the influence of military draft and global wars on every family in the country.  It is no surprise the result was an environment of hierarchy and rules, where conformity and working towards the same goal was valued. Dedication and sacrifice was the measurement of success. Their work ethic and value is based on hard work, respect of authority, and following the rules. As a result, this generation works best as individuals doing their part of a bigger cause.

■ Baby Boomers. These are individuals that were born between 1946 and 1964. Times were better, and these individuals grew up with the benefit of fewer rules and a more nurturing environment. They experienced many layoffs in their careers, and are therefore known to “live to work.” Baby Boomers feel excelling in their career is important and believe that success is only achieved through hard work (a.k.a., long hours), integrity, and beating the competition. They grew up with the influences of civil rights, Viet Nam, and space travel. While Traditionalists never question authority, the impacts of the era caused Baby Boomers to question everything, but not for the purpose of personal gain. It’s a desire to improve quality and a desire to win. They enjoy interaction and team play. This is the generation that created the culture of meetings.

■ Generation X. This group is made of individuals born between 1965 and 1981. This generation experienced turbulent economic times at key points in their lives. The downturn in the 1980s affected decisions about college and careers. The upswing in the 1990s affected their early career, and another downturn in the early 2000s impacted their family and overall future. Unlike the Baby Boomers, Generation Xers have more value on life outside of work. But they do that through a focus on career security vs. job security, and are therefore more entrepreneurial with a goal of self-reliance. They feel a need to be in charge of their own destiny, and avoid the risk being a victim.

■ The Millennials/Generation Y. These individuals were born between 1982 and 2000. Many Millennials grew up with two working parents (Baby Boomers) that became involved “helicopter” parents. Playtime shifted to play dates. Everything was controlled in their environment. A result of the working family enabled the impact of “refrigerator lists,” in which even “free time” was controlled. While the parents were working, the kids could play, but only after everything on the list was completed. This created a generation of multi-taskers; work is simply a means to an end. Millennials are therefore a group that is motivated and goal-oriented. They are motivated to get tasks done because their goal is to enjoy life as soon as the job is complete. Growing up, this generation witnessed the horrors of terrorism in our own country with 9/11 and Boston, MA, bombings, as well as the impacts of school shootings and other mass murders. Enhanced media and lack of afterschool supervision meant parents were no longer able to shield their children from these events.

While influenced by these tragedies, they are not tolerating them. They are focused on change for the greater good, not for personal gain. Careers are not as critical as personal happiness and a better world for their future family.

As you read each summary, you can begin to picture in your mind why each generation acts the way they do. You can begin to understand why one generation views tasks differently than another and start to formulate how you might approach employees differently when it comes to tasks, communication, rewards, and other things.

In the next article, I’ll share techniques for leveraging the influences listed here to manage through the significant generational differences, resulting in a more effective team environment for your organization.

Tax Information For Businesses


Content was pulled from

Below you will find some links to tax information that may be beneficial to you as a small business owner.


The form of business you operate determines what taxes you must pay and how you pay them. The following are the five general types of business taxes.

Income Tax

All businesses except partnerships must file an annual income tax return. Partnerships file an information return. The form you use depends on how your business is organized. Refer to Business Structures to find out which returns you must file based on the business entity established.

The federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax. You must pay the tax as you earn or receive income during the year. An employee usually has income tax withheld from his or her pay. If you do not pay your tax through withholding, or do not pay enough tax that way, you might have to pay estimated tax. If you are not required to make estimated tax payments, you may pay any tax due when you file your return. For additional information refer to Publication 583.

Estimated tax

Generally, you must pay taxes on income, including self-employment tax (discussed next), by making regular payments of estimated tax during the year. For additional information, refer to Estimated Taxes.

Self-Employment Tax

Self-employment tax (SE tax) is a social security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. Your payments of SE tax contribute to your coverage under the social security system. Social security coverage provides you with retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivor benefits, and hospital insurance (Medicare) benefits.

Generally, you must pay SE tax and file Schedule SE (Form 1040) if either of the following applies.

Note: There are special rules and exceptions for aliens, fishing crew members, notary public, state or local government employees, foreign government or international organization employees, etc. For additional information, refer to Self-Employment Tax.

Employment Taxes

When you have employees, you as the employer have certain employment tax responsibilities that you must pay and forms you must file. Employment taxes include the following:

For additional information, refer to Employment Taxes for Small Businesses.

Excise Tax

This section describes the excise taxes you may have to pay and the forms you have to file if you do any of the following.

Form 720 – The federal excise taxes reported on Form 720, consist of several broad categories of taxes, including the following.

Form 2290 – There is a federal excise tax on certain trucks, truck tractors, and buses used on public highways. The tax applies to vehicles having a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. Report the tax on Form 2290. For additional information, see the instructions for Form 2290 .

Form 730 – If you are in the business of accepting wagers or conducting a wagering pool or lottery, you may be liable for the federal excise tax on wagering. Use Form 730, to figure the tax on the wagers you receive.

Form 11-C – Use Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering, to register for any wagering activity and to pay the federal occupational tax on wagering.

Excise tax has several general excise tax programs. One of the major components of the excise program is motor fuel. For additional information, refer to Excise Taxes.

For more information, you may visit


Biz Talk 2018: #SBDCDay Networking Event


Celebration of SBDC Day set for March 21, 2018

Businesses have always celebrated ribbon cuttings, grand openings and company anniversaries, and for a second year they’ll be able to celebrate the people who help them turn their dreams into reality – Small Business Development Centers.  America’s SBDC Day is set for March 21, 2018, a day that will unite nearly 1,000 SBDCs across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they’ve served in their near 40-year history.

SBDC Day is a national proclamation of the success of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) on the success of the nation’s dreamers, innovators and doers – America’s small businesses.

“It’s great to see SBDCs, their clients and supporters come together to celebrate SBDCs and their amazing clients. With SBDC support small businesses around the country raised over $5 billion in capital and created nearly 100,000 jobs,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC.

Since 1980, 63 state and regional Small Business Development Center networks have provided no cost one-on-one advising to small businesses at nearly 1,000 locations throughout the nation.

A new business is opened with the assistance of the SBDC around the country every 30 minutes; a new job is created every 5.5 minutes; more than $100,000 in new sales are generated every 8.2 minutes, and small businesses are able to obtain more than $100,000 in capital every 10 minutes.

In 2017, the Del Mar College Small Business Development Center consulted over 504 entrepreneurs which accounted for 34 business starts and 16 business expansions, 214 jobs created (full-time & part time), $12.8 million change in sales, and $6.4 million capital investments.

America’s SBDC network is a partnership that includes the U.S. Congress, SBA, the private sector, and the colleges, universities and state governments that manage SBDCs across the nation. SBDCs provide management and technical assistance to an estimated one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for no cost, face-to-face business advising and assistance with writing business plans, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, international trade and more.

Small businesses, resource partners, and advocates are invited to help spread the word about SBDC Day using the hashtag #SBDCDay. On March 21, participants are encouraged to share how their local SBDC has created a difference in their life and community. SBDCs nationwide will collectively share, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will also be celebrated through public relations initiates, campaigns, and online and in-person events.

Here in Corpus Christi, we invite you to join the Del Mar College Small Business Development Center on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 to network with our office staff, your peers (fellow small business owners), and business groups. The event will run from 8:00am to 9:00am at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Development located at 3209 S. Staples St, Corpus Christi, TX 78411. We will all come together to learn and chat about our local businesses and the Del Mar College SBDC. Space is limited so please RSVP by noon on March 20th at There will be a light breakfast and coffee available.

All 4 Logos for flyers

IRS, States and Tax Industry Warn Employers to Beware of Form W-2 Scam; Tax Season Could Bring New Surge in Phishing Scheme

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today urged all employers to educate their payroll personnel about a Form W-2 phishing scam that made victims of hundreds of organizations and thousands of employees last year.

The Form W-2 scam has emerged as one of the most dangerous phishing emails in the tax community. During the last two tax seasons, cybercriminals tricked payroll personnel or people with access to payroll information into disclosing sensitive information for entire workforces. The scam affected all types of employers, from small and large businesses to public schools and universities, hospitals, tribal governments and charities.

Reports to from victims and nonvictims about this scam jumped to approximately 900 in 2017, compared to slightly over 100 in 2016. Last year, more than 200 employers were victimized, which translated into hundreds of thousands of employees who had their identities compromised.

By alerting employers now, the IRS and its partners in the Security Summit effort hope to limit the success of this scam in 2018. The IRS last year also created a new process by which employers should report these scams. There are steps the IRS can take to protect employees, but only if the agency is notified immediately by employers about the theft.

Here’s how the scam works: Cybercriminals do their homework, identifying chief operating officers, school executives or others in positions of authority. Using a technique known as business email compromise (BEC) or business email spoofing (BES), fraudsters posing as executives send emails to payroll personnel requesting copies of Forms W-2 for all employees.

The Form W-2 contains the employee’s name, address, Social Security number, income and withholdings. Criminals use that information to file fraudulent tax returns, or they post it for sale on the Dark Net.

The initial email may be a friendly, “hi, are you working today” exchange before the fraudster asks for all Form W-2 information. In several reported cases, after the fraudsters acquired the workforce information, they immediately followed that up with a request for a wire transfer.

In addition to educating payroll or finance personnel, the IRS and Security Summit partners also urge employers to consider creating a policy to limit the number of employees who have authority to handle Form W-2 requests and that they require additional verification procedures to validate the actual request before emailing sensitive data such as employee Form W-2s.

If the business or organization victimized by these attacks notifies the IRS, the IRS can take steps to help prevent employees from being victims of tax-related identity theft. However, because of the nature of these scams, some businesses and organizations did not realize for days, weeks or months that they had been scammed.

The IRS established a special email notification address specifically for employers to report Form W-2 data thefts. Here’s how Form W-2 scam victims can notify the IRS:

Businesses and organizations that fall victim to the scam and/or organizations that only receive a suspect email but do not fall victim to the scam should send the full email headers to and use “W2 Scam” in the subject line.

Employers can learn more at Form W-2/SSN Data Theft: Information for Businesses and Payroll Service Providers.

Employers should be aware that cybercriminals’ scams constantly evolve. Finance and payroll personnel should be alert to any unusual requests for employee data.

Happy Cybersecurity New Year

December 7, 2017

By Jon Williams and Kimi N. Murakami

After the ball drops in Times Square this New Year’s Eve, many DoD contractors will wake up with a headache. And we don’t mean from too much champagne. We are talking about extensive DoD cybersecurity requirements these contractors must implement by December 31, 2017. Take this blog and call your PilieroMazza lawyer in the morning.
The 12/31/17 deadline has been known since last year and many contractors are surely ahead of the curve. But if you find yourself doing some last-minute cybersecurity shopping, here is a quick overview of what you need to know:
DFARS 252.204-7012 requires DoD contractors with non-federal information systems that contain controlled unclassified information (“CUI”) to implement the security requirements in National Institutes of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) Special Publication (“SP”) 800-171 by 12/31/17. So, understanding if you need to rush to implement the security requirements in NIST SP 800-171 begins with figuring out whether you perform DoD contracts that contain DFARS 252.204-7012 and if you have a non-federal information system containing CUI (which the government is supposed to identify). If any of these conditions does not apply to you, wipe the sweat from your brow; you’re off the hook… but keep on reading.
If you are subject to DFARS 252.204-7012 and NIST SP 800-171, you may not need to do as much as you think to alter your existing security practices. NIST SP 800-171 is performance-based so it does not mandate specific solutions. Your existing systems and practices may work, with some tailoring to implement company policies and practices geared around 14 “security families” in NIST SP 800-171. You may be able to do this internally, or with the help of an outside advisor. Note that there is no required third-party certification for compliance with NIST SP 800-171. But you may want the help of an outside advisor to make sure you are on the right path. You should also check out helpful guidance from NIST and DoD available online NIST SP 800-171ADoD FAQ, and NIST Handbook 162.
Additionally, because NIST SP 800-171 does not mandate specific solutions, contractors have flexibility to implement alternatives or potentially avoid certain requirements altogether. Note that you must first obtain DoD approval for an alternative or exception before varying from NIST SP 800-171. Variance requests must be submitted in writing, as soon as possible, and should be carefully crafted.
Obtaining a variance can make it easier to comply with the NIST SP 800-171 requirements, and compliance is critical.  A strong security program can give you a competitive advantage and avoid many adverse consequences of noncompliance. The “parade of horribles” if you do not comply with NIST SP 800-171 could include breach of contract, termination for default, poor past performance assessments, poor proposal evaluations, all the way to False Claims Act exposure and suspension and/or debarment. Yikes!
If you are not a DoD contractor subject to DFARS 252.204-7012, compliance with NIST SP 800-171 may not be an imminent concern. But focusing on cybersecurity should still be part of your New Year’s resolutions for next year. In 2016, basic cybersecurity requirements patterned on NIST SP 800-171 were added to the FAR via 52.204-21. And, a FAR clause is in the works (and could be implemented next year) that would require compliance with NIST SP 800-171. This means non-DoD contractors can only hope to remain blissfully oblivious to these requirements for so much longer. Better to get out in front of it now.
We help our clients with cybersecurity issues in a variety of ways, including understanding the applicable federal cybersecurity requirements in their contracts, preparing variance requests, preparing internal policies and procedures to memorialize and implement required security procedures, and in reviewing and drafting contracts with third parties to appropriately flow down cybersecurity requirements and allocate risk. To understand how NIST SP 800-171 may impact your business, please join Jon and Kimi for a 60 minute webinar on Thursday, December 14, 2017. More information and a link to register can be found here.
About the Authors: Jon Williams is a partner with PilieroMazza and a member of the Government Contracts Group. He may be reached at jwilliams@pilieromazza.comKimi Murakami is counsel with PilieroMazza and focuses her practice on corporate transactions with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions of government contractors. She can be reached at

Abbott: Seven reasons to shop small on Saturday

Published 3:00 p.m. CT Nov. 23, 2017


By Gov. Greg Abbott

Amidst the challenges faced in communities across Texas these past few months, there have been small blessings from which we can gain strength—including a renewed sense of community. We now know the incalculable value of neighbors helping neighbors.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, and kick off the Christmas shopping season, I encourage you to shop small and shop local this Saturday—in your neighborhood and beyond.

Small businesses are big in Texas, representing 9 in 10 of all businesses in the Lone Star State and employing nearly half of all Texans in the workforce. And I’m proud that Texas continues to rank among the top for small-business friendliness, for women-owned businesses and for veteran-owned businesses, because Texas needs small businesses to succeed.

Homegrown small businesses like the venture started by entrepreneur Pilar Gonzalez of Mission who was recently honored with a Governor’s Small Business Award. Using a favorite family recipe, she developed a line of all-natural gourmet yogurt dips now available at HEB under the brand Dip It, making shopping small in your neighborhood an option every day of the year.

And we now know that our neighbors are not always just next door or down the street. They may come from a county or more away. That is one of the lessons learned following Hurricane Harvey.

For example, Governor’s Small Business Award winner Jenn Cain and Shalen Cain, her husband and co-owner of Rita’s Ice in Corpus Christi, lost power during the storm, and then lost all of the shop’s inventory. Resupplied and back open in just days, they sent a mobile truck to Rockport giving out free Italian Ice and frozen drinks to residents and volunteers. Because that’s what neighbors do.

So this Saturday, I invite you to shop small. Here are seven reasons why.

Small businesses create jobs in your community. Money you spend at the corner coffee shop or Main Street retailer supports families in your neighborhood, jobs in your community and even other local independent businesses down the street.

Shopping local keeps your tax dollars in your community, helping to fund local public services on which you and your family rely.

Small businesses make your community unique. When you shop small, you are investing in the vibrancy of your community, what makes it appealing to your family.

Small businesses give back to your community. They are the mom-and-pop shops that sponsor the local soccer team, the school fundraiser and community events.

Small businesses are likely to be family owned. And what drives many family-owned businesses is the sense of connection with the community and the customers whose names they know.

Small businesses offer more unique products. Where else can you find one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, locally sourced foods and affordable regional artwork—all on the same block?

Small businesses are the heart and soul of Texas. Men and women willing to take a risk, to dig deep into their own pockets and stake their future on an idea, have long written the story of Texas. That pioneering spirit in our small town downtowns to our big city centers still fuels our shared prosperity.

Shop small and shop local this Saturday. Then consider a short trip to the Coastal Bend communities still recovering from the storm. Spend a day and a few dollars at the small businesses there. The return on your investment may come back to you one day as the hand of neighbor reaching out to help you.

Shop Small November 25th!

Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is November 25th this year (two days after Thanksgiving). Have you made plans to shop at your local small businesses that day and throughout the holiday season? And if you are the owner of a local small business, have you ordered your Shop Small® Kit yet? If not, you’ll need to hurry, as the deadline is tomorrow (November 10th)!

According to the Small Business Administration 2017 Small Business Profile, small businesses account for 99.9% of all US businesses, employ 47.8% of all US employees, and represent 97.7% of the businesses that export goods to other countries. Not only are small businesses vital to the national economy, they also benefit the communities in which they operate, both economically and socially. Small businesses often support local organizations (such as youth sports), contribute to local charities, and sponsor or take part in local events.

In an effort to help small businesses capture a chunk of the holiday shopping dollars, American Express founded the first Small Business Saturday in 2010. The event has continued each year, and by last year (2016) an estimated $15.4 billion dollars were spent by US shoppers at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.

Get Ready to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday

For business owners, American Express has provided digital tools, in addition to the physical Shop Small® Kit noted above. The American Express Shop Small® website also includes an interactive map with markers for small business locations. To get your small business added to the map start at the Small Business Owners FAQ page.

Those of you who plan to support local small businesses on Small Business Saturday, throughout the holiday season and beyond, can start making plans with the Shop Small Map. You can either allow the map to grab your location, or you can enter your city or zip code. You can also filter the results by business type, and immediately see hours and directions to any business on the map.

So, get out there and support your local small businesses this holiday season and beyond. And who knows… you might even discover a new favorite restaurant or gift shop.