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What Does The End Of The Public Health Emergency Mean For Your Business?

 

The last 16 months have brought overwhelming challenges to our small business community. I won't beat a dead horse, we've all been on the same wild ride. However, with the recent announcement from Colorado's Governor Polis effectively ending the Public Health Emergency on July 8, 2021, small businesses are ready to breathe a sigh of relief. But we aren't out of the woods quite yet.

Small businesses are still required to offer emergency paid sick leave for qualifying events 8 weeks beyond the expiration of the P.H.E. As you know (at least I hope you do) the American Rescue Plan Act extended the dollar-for-dollar tax credits for employee emergency paid leave wages through September. This also applies to leave taken to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations.

 What should you do in the meantime?

  • Continue tracking employee leave and paid wages and keep your documentation and files in order in the event of an audit
  • Claim the tax credits for qualifying paid leave wages...
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Ban the Box: Requesting Criminal History

This piece of legislation came about in an effort to prevent persons with criminal records from being automatically ruled out for job vacancies, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed “ban the box” a.k.a. Chance To Compete legislation. The new law asserts that its intent is to provide those with criminal backgrounds a better chance to compete for a job in the workforce and grow Colorado’s economy. It is also intended to promote safer communities and allow employers to have access to an applicant’s complete criminal history. This new law went into affect on September 1st, 2019 with employers with at least eleven employees, and those with less then eleven employees must have had to comply with the new law as of September of 2021. With this new law in place this makes Colorado the 13th state to enact the "ban the box" legislation on private employers. 

Now what exactly is this new law? The Act broadly defines an “employer” as any person...

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Should You Implement A Wellness Program In Your Small Business?

 

We’ve all heard of wellness programs and how big companies promote them, however, these companies may be on to something. Enabling a workplace wellness program provides many benefits: reduced stress, greater productivity, increased morale, and reducing health insurance costs (if one is offered). There is a common practice in most businesses around the country of individuals working until they burn out. It is very important that businesses small and big provide their employees different “outlets” that promote a healthy lifestyle. Small business employees tend to wear multiple hats, so employees may not want to take time off as they are dedicated to what they do and may not want to return to a stack of work.

        

Wellness programs can provide multiple positive outcomes. By providing activities that help reduce stress, create higher productivity, and improve morale, this is great for not only your employees but also...

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Your Employees Are Stealing From You. Top 5 Practices To Implement Today.

 

“Nearly 50 percent of embezzlement thefts occurred at companies with fewer than 25 employees, 82% had 150 or fewer employees”

Source: 2016-Hiscox-Embezzlement-Study

 

“My aunt and her husband owned a dental practice years ago. It was a successful small business and their employees were like family to them. The bookkeeper on staff took care of their accounting and billing and had been the office manager when they bought the business. She knew more about the books than they did and was seemingly so committed to her job, that she never took time off.

My uncle suspected money was going missing but couldn’t prove it. He checked the ledger daily, they had a double-booking system, and a CPA but couldn’t come up with answers. Then patients started questioning why they were receiving invoices when the insurance companies had paid the claim. My Aunt and Uncle then discovered discrepancies between their records and claims that were marked as...

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To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate... that is the question.

As we all know, the hot topic for the past year has been COVID-19.  Recently the conversation has turned from doom and gloom to hope and excitement for the future.  Something as simple as the possibility of hugging someone special or walking into a public place without a mask is infusing life back into our community. I know I am bursting at the seams as I look forward to the upcoming summer.  Full disclosure, I may hug the first person who steps on my toes as I push through a crowded room.

As we watch the COVID numbers decrease and the vaccination numbers increase, the small business community is eager to do our part.  Supporting community vaccinations in our businesses through optional or mandatory vaccination policies has brought a ton of questions to the table.   Below are a few questions that we have been able to help the small business community navigate.

 

Q:  Required Vaccinations vs. Recommended Vaccinations…what should I...

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Get Creative! Low Cost Solutions For Hiring In Small Business

Photo Credit: moodboard 

 

If you’re singing “where have all the good candidates gone,” you’re not alone.

Between economic pain and the ongoing pandemic, we’re seeing the same trend across every city and every industry: Hiring is TOUGH!

Applications are feast or famine, candidates aren't returning calls or showing up for interviews and while I don’t have the answers to this problem - nor do I have a magic wand - I CAN tell you that there are excellent hires are out there. But they are also more likely to get snatched up on the job market, so you’ll need to put some hustle in your bustle during the hiring process if you want them on your team.

For years, I was a recruiter for a large mechanical contractor (along with Reanna Werner, founder of HR Branches) and experienced the ebb and flow of the construction industry for both workers and contracts. There was always a lack of skilled manpower so we had to get creative to...

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Paycheck Protection Program: Round 2

 
 
Updated 1/12/2021
If you haven't heard, Sunday night President Trump signed into law the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill "Consolidated Appropriations Act" which provides $300 billion in support for small businesses and an opportunity to apply for a second PPP loan (or first loan if you missed the first round of PPP loans). This also includes Sec. 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations that were not able to apply previously.
 
According to a report by the SBA , accountants played a significant role in assisting small businesses with securing $525 billion in forgivable loans over 5 months the application was open for PPP1. Our companion business BRW Tax & Accounting is thrilled to have been a part of that and helped so many of you! Now is our opportunity to support the small business community again with the "PPP2".
 
Guidance and regulations have not been issued yet, but the SBA must provide regulations within 10 days of the...
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Holiday Shindig Planning in 2020

Now that we have officially entered Autumn, we get to enjoy cooler weather, the beautiful changing leaves, pumpkin everything and cozying up under a blanket. In a few weeks, we will start seeing holiday merchandise show up in stores and commercials on our TVs; this is our cue to start thinking about office holiday planning.  

 

2020 has provided a number of opportunities to be creative in creating social experiences and connections, and holiday party planning is no exception. As an employer, you have one very important choice to make to get the holiday party planning process started: Do you plan a virtual or in-person holiday party? Each option poses several considerations to weigh in when planning.  No matter which way you choose to host your holiday party, be prepared to adjust and adapt.  As we have all learned this year, anything can change at any moment.  A few ideas for in-person holiday party ideas are:

 

In-Person Holiday Party:

If you...

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When to Use an Outside Investigator & Choosing an Outside Investigator

When to Use an Outside Investigator & Choosing an Outside Investigator

By Gene R. Thornton, Esq.  *

 

Whenever an employer receives a complaint of sexual harassment or other workplace misconduct, a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation should be conducted.  Following the investigation, appropriate remedial measures should be implemented.  That much is basic employment law and human resource management.  But who should perform the investigation?  Should it be done by the employer’s HR manager, office manager or safety officer, if any?  Should it be done by the accused employee’s supervisor?  Or should an outside investigator be retained and, if so, what qualifications should be sought in the outside investigator.

Simple Investigations—Outside Investigator Probably Not Needed

If the allegations concern performance issues, employee relations, then the employer can probably do without an outside investigator.  It will...

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Masks & Your Business: Colorado Mask Order

On Thursday, July 16, 2020, Governor Jared Polis implemented a 30-day statewide mask order in the state of Colorado (there is a possibility of extension).  This order impacts every way we conduct business, work with our employees and serve your customers. There are a number of considerations that you need to apply when staying compliant.  Read on to learn how to apply this order to your business operations.

There is significant debate about the mask order and deep-rooted feelings for and against this order.  As you maneuver through implementing and staying compliant with this order, you will encounter these perspectives.  No matter what your personal thoughts are, it is important to know what is expected of you as a business owner.  Without further ado, let's dive right in.  

Your Working Environment:

Within the Colorado mask order, you do have to be mindful of when your staff must wear a mask.  You and your team are...

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