Enterprising college students find themselves in the dough at their Columbia cookie shop
Corey Rimmel turned 21 a few weeks ago.
But instead of visiting a local watering hole with his buddies for a celebratory first legal drink, Corey enjoyed milk and cookies at his newly opened business, Hot Box Cookies in downtown Columbia.
Corey and co-owners Adam Hendin and David Melnick have barely had a moment to celebrate anything recently. Hot Box Cookies has kept them and their 26 employees hopping from the moment the first batch of homemade customized delicacies came out of the oven.
"We haven't even really advertised," Corey says. "This is all word of mouth, a little bit of door mail, helping out with a couple of tailgating events and having a prime location on Broadway. We haven't had time to work our way through our marketing plan—we've just been too busy."
No doubt. Corey, Adam and David are all juniors at the University of Missouri. While Corey and David major in accounting, Adam is considering atmospheric science.
The three best friends grew up together in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Mo. They attended Parkway Central High School and came to MU expecting the typical college experience. Several months ago, Corey visited the University of Indiana and saw a cookie bakery and delivery business near the campus. He thought the concept was rather novel, and in conversation with his friends a few days later, mentioned the idea.
"At first we were just joking, kicking the idea around," Corey says. "Before long, we were holed up in the library every night doing research. Then, one day, we said, 'Well, let's just see if we can do it.'"
Visit www.missouribusiness.net/success/hotbox_cookies.asp for the complete story with additional photos.
Protecting electronic data should be a primary concern for all business owners, considering the ever-present threat of computer-based data theft. According to findings from a 2007 survey conducted by AT&T, about one-fourth of small businesses are not concerned about data security. The report also indicates 10 percent of small businesses leave data completely unsecured, 32 percent believe that wireless data doesn't present security concerns and 17 percent take no precautions to guard against wireless security threats.
From a consumer perspective this is a disturbing trend. Business owners have a moral responsibility to reasonably safeguard their customers' sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and other financial data. And according to the Federal Trade Commission, businesses also have a legal obligation to do so.
There are several levels of security that can be implemented to safeguard clients' personal information. The first level of security for any computer connected to the Internet is a hardware firewall.
Continue reading about implementing security safeguards at: www.missouribusiness.net/docs/repel_data_thieves.asp
IRS's latest hot product, '09 Small Biz Tax Calendar, ready for businesses
The IRS 2009 Small Business/Self-Employed Tax Calendar is stocked and ready to go, according to John Berger of the IRS's Planning and Support Branch in Baltimore.
"With its professional illustrations, in-depth business tax information, and day-to-day reminders for which business taxes are due when, the 12-month wall calendar has always been a popular item," says Berger. "It also is free."
Small businesses and self-employed taxpayers can also download the business tax dates and reminders directly to their Microsoft Outlook calendars, and access the calendar via electronic organizers and portable hand-held devices.
New 2009 topics include:
- The 2008 Economic Stimulus Act
- Section 179 expensing
- Minimizing identity theft
- Disaster recovery for small businesses
To order, visit the tax calendar ordering page on IRS.gov or call the National Distribution Center at (800) 829-3676. Early orders are being accepted for the Spanish version. The tax calendar will be available online by early December and in Spanish (Pub 1518SP) by mid-November.
More information on IRS rulings and tax law is available in the resource center online exclusively at MissouriBusiness.net (visit www.missouribusiness.net/irs).
...How important small businesses are to the U.S. economy?
According to information* recently released by the U.S. Small Business Administration's advocacy office, small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) in the United States:
- Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
- Employ about half of all private sector employees.
- Pay nearly 45 percent of the total U.S. private payroll.
- Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually during the last decade.
- Create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product.
- Hire 40 percent of high-tech workers (such as scientists, engineers and computer workers).
- Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
- Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 28.9 percent of the known export value in FY 2006.
- Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large-firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.
...Now you know.
Next month: How many new jobs do small businesses create?
New federal legislation expanding business energy tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable projects can make it more cost-effective for U.S. industrial companies to implement combined heat and power (CHP) and geothermal technologies, according to the Information Technologies Program of the Department of Energy.
The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, included in the recently enacted Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, enhances tax incentives for renewable and energy efficiency technologies. The law establishes a new 10 percent investment tax credit for CHP systems and geothermal heat pumps; extends existing tax credits for solar energy, fuel cells, and micro-turbines; increases the credit amount for fuel cells; and extends eligibility for a business energy tax credit for commercial, industrial, and utility sectors.
The new law also extends the tax deduction by five years for energy efficient commercial building improvements made to heating, ventilating and air conditioning, interior lighting, and hot water systems. For additional information, see the ITP news article. Learn more about financial resources offered by ITP and other entities by reading the Energy Matters article, "Financial Opportunities Help Advance New Technologies."
Does your company want to save money and improve environmental performance? If so, the University of Missouri Environmental Assistance Center (EAC) is seeking companies interested in hiring a pollution prevention intern during summer 2009.
Mizzou Pollution Prevention program interns are highly trained upper level engineering students who can help companies cut energy use, improve environmental performance, advance company sustainability goals, and save money, according to Marie Steinwachs, EAC director.
"We just completed our first year of the program, during which interns at three host companies identified savings of over 797,000 kWh of electricity, 84 tons of waste, and 14,100 MMBTU of natural gas," says Steinwachs. "These efforts reduced carbon dioxide emissions by over 1,450 metric tons and cut company costs by over $260,000."
Interns are matched to company needs by a careful screening process. During the summer program interns have the advisory support of engineering faculty members and the national pollution prevention network.
Among the industial areas the interns cover in the training are: environmental management systems, lean manufacturing, regulatory compliance, energy efficiency, heat recovery, hazardous waste, workplace safety, and tools for calculating savings.
Interns are expected to work full time (40 hours per week) for 11 weeks and to be paid a minimum of $15 per hour by the host company. For more information contact Steinwachs at (573) 882-5011 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline is Jan. 15, 2009, for companies seeking an intern.
The application and other materials can be downloaded from www.missouribusiness.net/eac/news/internships_summer09.asp
For more information on environmental programs and assistance, visit www.missouribusiness.net/eac.
Question: My boss wants to register his company as a foreign corporation doing business in Missouri. Is there a formal procedure to follow? If so, what do I need to do to accomplish the registration?
Answer: When registering your business as a foreign corporation to operate in Missouri, please follow these four steps:
- First, visit www.sos.mo.gov/forms.asp and download the Application for Certificate of Authority for a Foreign For-Profit Corporation (Corp. 42) from. Use it to register your business with the Missouri Secretary of State's office. Complete the form and mail it with the required fee of $155 to the address listed on the form. If you would like the form mailed to you, call (573) 751-3827.
- Second, since the company will be taxed as a corporation, you will need to submit Missouri Form 2643, "Business Tax Registration Application (Sales, Withholding, and Corporate Income Registration)" to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Download the form at www.dor.mo.gov/tax/business. In the upper right corner of this Web page, there is a search engine for forms. Just type the form number 2643 in the search engine and click "forms." Form 2643 is a four-part form that will register your business with the state and also will register you for a Missouri Sales/Use Tax License, a Missouri Employer Identification Number (if you are going to have employees) and the Corporation Franchise Tax. If you would like Form 2643 mailed to you or if you need to talk to the Missouri Department of Revenue, Business Tax Central Registration, call (573) 751-5860. (NOTE: If you apply for a Missouri sales tax number, you may also want to download Missouri Form 149, "Sales/Use Tax Exemption Certificate." This certificate must be given to suppliers if you will be buying your materials wholesale).
- Next, if you will have employees working in Missouri, contact the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for information on Workers Compensation Insurance (573) 751-4231 (www.dolir.missouri.gov/wc) and Employment Security 573-751-3215 (www.dolir.missouri.gov/es).
- Finally, apply for a local business license at the city clerk's office if your business will be located inside the city limits or at the county clerk's office if it will be in an unincorporated part of the county where the business will reside.
Visit the Missouri Business Resource Library Web site for other tools and resources to help you with your business needs.
For information on average wages and total employment for the 30 largest employing occupations in Missouri, visit: www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/wages/topthirtyoccupations.stm.
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