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Missouri Business eNews: August 2012
MO SBTDC & MO PTAC: transforming Missouri businesses
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Success Stories 
Al and Mike Abbadessa; click to read full story
Al Abbadessa (left), founder of The Pear Tree passed the torch to his son Mike (right).
Pear Tree, Bevier

With MO SBTDC help, the Pear Tree Restaurant in Bevier, Mo., decided to expand from its gourmet restaurant roots to adding a hamburger and pizza restaurant and manufacturing its own signature croutons, salad dressings and spices.
Read about The Pear Tree's success.


Transforming Missouri businesses  

Pollution prevention internship program


Looking to help save the environment and save money?

The P2 program can help.

Learn more about how a P2 intern can help your business.

News and alerts

Twitter debuts targeted tweets

Businesses have been on Twitter since its earliest days to connect with customers, offer discounts and exclusive content. The tweets had to be generic, however, to cover an entire customer base.

But what if your tweet is only relevant to a subset of followers? What if you want to make an offer only to some Twitter users?

Twitter has rolled out a new product to help you better target these customers: Targeted Tweets. The new feature allows you to reach a specific audience without first sending a tweet to all your followers. It could also help those who only want to reach people using certain devices such as iPhones or Android phones.

Companies that use the new Targeted Tweets only pay when users engage with them, and the tweets that garner the most user engagement are more likely to appear more often. (Engagement means clicking through or retweeting.)

Twitter says they've been testing Targeted Tweets with some of the biggest names in business: @CocaCola, The Washington Post (@wpsocialreader) and @Wendys.

To learn more, visit business.twitter.com or ads.twitter.com.

  

Temporary SBA refinancing loan expires Sept. 27

Small business owners have until the end of September to refinance loans at lower interest rates.

The temporary version of the Small Business Administration's 504 loan program, passed as part of the Small Business Jobs Act, expires Sept. 27.

The SBA recognizes how vital these loans are to small businesses. "Market research shows that a large percentage of commercial mortgages outstanding are set to mature within the next few years, particularly those held by community banks," reads an SBA announcement.

Eligible small business owners can refinance a loan and typically get a 20-year fixed rate on the SBA portion of the loan and a fixed, amortized rate on the bank portion of the loan. This can help provide a better cash flow situation.

That rates are at all-time historic lows doesn't hurt. In July, small business owners could refinance at a 20-year fixed rate of 4.66 percent. Rates change monthly, so check with the SBA.

For more information, go to the SBA website:
 
Tips

Four ways to protect yourself against cyber attack

Cyber crime is increasingly targeting small business. A recent report showed 72 percent of data breaches were at companies with 100 or fewer employees.

  

13 steps to more productive employees

We often hear that a happy workplace is also a productive workplace. But how to turn this concept to reality?

Three little-known metrics to optimize your Facebook page

Ever wonder why an impromptu Facebook post gets a lot of "likes" and "shares" one day, but a carefully crafted post next day almost nothing?
Learn more.

Eyesore or business opportunity? 11 marketing ideas for re-using vacant properties

What's an eyesore to some is a great business opportunity to others.
Here are 11 ideas to help turn derelict and vacant property to your advantage and maybe make your community more vibrant in the process.

EAC recycling symbol
Business going green

EPC's e-waste solutions help the environment and your business's bottom line

After four years, most companies replace computers and other equipment, but don't realize the scrap value of these assets or the environmental burden of trashing them, which is where savvy recycler EPC, Inc., steps in.
Learn more about how EPC reclaims/recycles e-waste.

MORA Conference:
Sept. 10-12, 2012 in St. Louis


The Missouri Recycling Association (MORA) offers businesses a chance to learn the benefits of reuse, recycling and composting. The upcoming annual MORA conference features behind the scenes tours of recycling at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens and Busch Stadium. And join MORA fans for a Cardinals vs. Brewers game on Sunday, Sept. 9!
Visit mora.org for more information and registration.

Learning around the state
The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers offer a variety of outstanding educational opportunities throughout the year. Here are highlights of some upcoming events.

SBIR/STTR Boot Camp SBIR Boot Camp

Need some grant-writing assistance? Let us help you write winning proposals!
Get the details and learn how to register.


Missouri Technology Expo 2012
Missouri Technology Expo 2012
Technology today propelling the innovations of tomorrow

The University of Missouri Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations would like to extend an invitation to attend the Missouri Technology Expo 2012 to be held in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center on the MU campus, Columbia, Mo., from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.
Get the details and learn how to register.

2012 Missouri Business Conference

Missouri Business Conference, Sept. 26; click for more info MO SBTDC and the University of Central Missouri in partnership with Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler present the 2012 Missouri Business Conference. The conference will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg.

Previous newsletters are linked from: www.missouribusiness.net/newsletter.

Note: Do you have a topic to share with your fellow small business owners? Is there a topic you'd like to learn more about? Please send ideas to Neal Fandek at fandekn@missouri.edu.

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Small business training
Wed., Aug. 22
  • Winning Federal Research Grants: SBIR/STTR Workshop - Kansas City
Thur., Aug. 23
  • Starting a Business: The First Steps - Fort
    Leonard Wood
Fri., Aug. 24
  • Starting and Managing a Business - Lee's Summit
  • Technology Development & Commercialization - Portageville
Mon., Aug. 27
  • Technology Development & Commercialization - Poplar Bluff
  • Understanding Financial Statements - Kirksville
Tue., Aug. 28
  • QuickBooks for Small Business - Columbia

Wed., Aug 29

  • OSHA for Small Business
Thur., Aug. 30
  • The Basics of Writing a Business Plan - St. Joseph
Wed., Sept. 5
  • Understanding Financial Statements - Columbia
Thur., Sept. 6
  • SBIR/STTR Boot Camp (session 1 of 2) - Columbia
  • Leadership Camden County (session 1 of 10) - Camdenton
Fri., Sept. 7
  • Starting and Managing a Business - Warrensburg 
  • Hispanic Culture and Business - St. Joseph
Tue., Sept. 11
  • Gathering Information for Feasibility - Cape Girardeau
  • Misc. Business Management - Jackson
Wed., Sept. 12
  • Small Business Academy (session 1 of 11) - Jefferson City
  • Funding Technology Through SBIR/STTR - Fort Leonard Wood
Thur., Sept. 13
  • Marketing - St. Joseph
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Tue., Sept. 18
  • Entrepreneurship: Planning, Financing and Starting Your Business - St. Louis
  • Successful Social Media Marketing - Springfield
  • Accounting Rules for Government Grants & Contracts - Columbia
  • Starting and Managing a Business - Macon
  • Exploring Entrepreneurship - Columbia
  • Technology Entrepreneur Speakers Program (Tech ESP) - Kansas City
Wed., Sept. 19
  • Cyber Security & Economic Espionage: Safeguarding Proprietary Information - St. Louis, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Rolla, Kansas City
  • Understanding, Building & Preserving Business Value - Kansas City
  • Successful Social Media Marketing - Springfield
  • The Basics of Writing a Business Plan - Kansas City
Thur., Sept. 20
  • Starting a Business: The First Steps - St. Joseph
  • Tracking Cash Flow for Business Decisions - Columbia
  • Contracts, Partnerships, Liabilities: What Small Businesses Need to Know - Columbia
  • The Basics of Writing a Business Plan - Jefferson City
Fri., Sept. 21
  • Starting and Managing a Business - Lee's Summit
  • FastTrac® GrowthVenture™ (session 1 of 10) - Kansas City
Mon., Sept. 24
  • FastTrac® TechVenture™ (session 1 of 8) - Kansas City
  • Intro. to QuickBooks Pro - West Plains
Tue., Sept. 25
  • Starting and Managing a Business - Macon
View the complete calendar of events for details and registration information.

Learn how to sell to the government

Wed., Sept. 5
  • Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps - St. Joseph
  • Thur., Sept. 6
    • Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps - Kansas City
    Wed., Sept. 12
    • Fundamentals of Government Contracting: The Bidding Process - St. Louis
    Wed., Sept. 19
    • Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps - Macon
    Thur., Sept. 20
    • Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps - Blue Springs
    View the complete PTAC training events listing for details.
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