Bill could help cut health insurance costs for small businesses

Help may soon be on the way for small businesses in the form of a new bill in Annapolis that would help bring down the high cost of providing health insurance to employees.Legislation heard Wednesday by the Senate Finance Committee would leverage federal funds to be used as annual subsidies, and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange would establish eligibility for the program.The bill does two things: It allows small business and nonprofit organizations to afford to offer health insurance, and it will add more working people to the health insurance rolls.| PDFs: House Bill 709/Senate Bill 632: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange — Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies ProgramSupporters consider the legislation a lifeline that will help small businesses recruit and keep employees. They also say more people will have health insurance, which will lower the cost of health care and curb usage of hospital emergency rooms.”Ensuring that every … Read More

SC businesses could be hit with a tax ‘bazooka’ for firing any unvaccinated worker | Palmetto Politics

COLUMBIA — Private businesses that fire anyone for not taking the COVID vaccine could be required to pay $30,000 extra in taxes for every worker on their payroll in South Carolina under a bill sent to the Senate floor. 

The only exemption would be for employers that have to require vaccination to get or keep a federal contract due to White House mandates. They could seek a waiver through the state’s unemployment agency. 

Otherwise, private businesses would be hit with a hefty surcharge on their unemployment insurance taxes that applies to their entire workforce — equal to 10 times the state’s highest rate, or roughly $7,500 per employee — for four years. 

SC senators advance 'attention getter' to deter COVID vaccine mandates

“Wait! What?” said Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Little River, after Senate staff clarified the bill’s penalty to him.

“That’s not a stick! That’s a bazooka!” 

Senate Finance Chairman Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, said he recognized changes will be necessary,

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BMO Commits $78 Million In Financing To Black-Owned Businesses

The Bank Of Montreal (BMO) has announced it will commit $78 million in financing to Black-owned businesses through a program called Business Within Reach.

According to a BMO release, under the program, Black business owners and entrepreneurs can receive loans of up $196,000. The bank is also partnering with the Black Opportunity Fund to provide financial education in planning, management, and marketing.

“Every business owner deserves access to the financial support they need for their business to make real financial progress, now and in the future,” Mike Bonner, Head, Canadian Business Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal, said in the release.

Business Within Reach: BMO for Black Entrepreneurs increases access to capital and networks that break down barriers to inclusion. We are proud to be a catalyst for an inclusive recovery from a pandemic that has hit minority-owned businesses particularly hard.”

According to Bloomberg News, BMO

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This organization is helping minority-owned businesses thrive statewide with new development center in Birmingham

We can’t wait to see what the Alabama MBDA Business Center does for the minority-owned business community. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

While Bham Now is a big fan of the small business community, we also love the initiatives behind it that are making the magic happen. Walker’s Legacy is proud to not only support, but to encourage minority-owned businesses as they expand in the Magic City.

MBDAs across the nation exist to provide resources to minority-owned businesses, but recently, Alabama has secured its own chapter right here in the 4th Avenue Historic District. Get the scoop about this new business center and its open house details here.

The “why” behind this program

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This building is home to so many great businesses. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

It is easier than ever before for Alabama business owners to secure funding, discover local support and build connections in the business community

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