The Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce is a model for non-profits supporting community development the nation wide. Since 1952, this chamber has been enabling the community's business people to thrive by providing opportunities for leadership, networking, innovative business programs, education, and giving back to the community.
Beth Johnston is the current Executive Vice President of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Serving the chamber’s 1200 members, Beth oversees many of the programs that set this chamber apart as an example of excellence in the non-profit community. These programs include the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), an after-school program that takes students through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of an academic year.
In 1991, the Board of Directors of the Great Boca Raton Chamber created the Golden Bell Foundation dedicated to supporting the Boca Raton Public School System. Since its inception, the foundation has donated $1 million to local public schools.
The Greater Boca Chamber seeks to support the local non-profit community by planning and hosting Boca Festival Days which is a month-long celebration during August which highlights and supports these organizations.
The Chamber also supports young professionals and women business owners in the area by offering networking opportunities and educational programs tailored to these groups.
What's Great About My Mentor?
The greatest challenge for the Boca Chamber YEA! program was the need for smart business people to mentor students. The logical place was to go to the SCORE South Florida Chapter for help. The Chamber needed mentors to guide the students when writing each segment of their business plan. The mentors worked on the students' PowerPoint presentations and the corresponding speech cards with the students. They helped the students with market research, product descriptions and the strategies for implementation of their business. The six individuals who stepped up to help these students went above and beyond the call of duty. The SCORE South Florida mentors who participated are: Wolfgang Kurpiers, Ronald Popp, Martin Kahn, Herbert Beyenbach, Carl Isbitts and Arnold Gresser.
How SCORE Helped
The YEA! program adds an entire layer to the services that are offered by a Chamber of Commerce. Never before have Chambers leaped into the business market of students under that age of 18. However, GBRCC recognizes that there are many bright ideas amongst these students - they just need to be cultivated. Beth Johnston comments on their joint effort with SCORE to offer this program saying, "The SCORE organization is an important piece of the puzzle as it is a true partner to entrepreneurship and business."
At Bridgeja’s first show she earned over $1,100 selling her jewelry creations. It was at that moment that she dedicated herself to turning her hobby into a full-fledged business venture. Now 14 years old and with nearly 35 beading classes under her belt, Bridgeja’ has created a viable business garnering several awards honoring her innovative work as an entrepreneur as well as her dedication to philanthropy. A portion of the proceeds from her business is donated to community organizations each year including the SPCA, Children’s Hospital and Unity of Greater New Orleans. Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja’ even received a letter from Michelle Obama saying she may be considered to design jewelry for the First Lady in the future.
What's Great About My Mentor?
SCORE mentor Veronica Johnson corresponded via email with Bridgeja' giving valuable guidance regarding unique marketing techniques and inexpensive promotion ideas to boost her brand. Johnson also recommended several community organizations and programs that Bridgeja' should use to her maximum benefit.
How SCORE Helped
Through SCORE's email mentoring program, Bridgeja' was paired with a seasoned business expert that helped propel her venture to new heights.
In a partnership between novices and professionals, 22 of Washington County’s prospective future small business owners finalized business plans with help from SCORE volunteers as part of a project for Shelley Bracken’s entrepreneurship class at Pine View High School.
Bracken felt the students needed additional business expertise and perspective during the formulation of their plans, so she contacted Paul Campbell, chairperson for the local SCORE organization, early in the semester. After one session with the SCORE volunteers, students were elated.
Sometimes it’s hard to play by the rules, but what if you’re the one writing them?
Every small business does need some basic rules in place. Along with articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws provide a major--if not the major--foundation for your small business.
Not only do they help keep everything legally in sync with state requirements, they also map out how your company is run and operated.
Sometimes it’s hard to play by the rules, but what if you’re the one writing them? Every small business does need some basic rules in place. Along with articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws provide a major--if not the major--foundation for your small business. Not only do they help keep everything legally in sync with state requirements, they also map out how your company is run and operated.
During a business start-up’s early stages, it’s really the last thing on your mind that something could happen to one of the partners (or even yourself). But if that came to be, it could put a share of the business up for grabs and everyone’s dreams at risk. Investing a little time and energy into what’s known as a buy-sell agreement can create rock-solid protections for your business in the face of life’s many changes.
What is a buy-sell agreement?
Think of it as a “business prenup” or a “business will.” Whether you’re launching with one partner or 10, the buy-sell agreement protects stakeholders from sticky situations that could rock the entire boat. Like a will or a prenup, the buy-sell agreement sets up safeguards and outlines exactly how they can be resolved for the benefit of the remaining owners and the business itself.
After incorporating or forming an LLC, there are ongoing compliance requirements for your company.
These compliance requirements vary by state and fall into two categories: internal and external. Internal requirements need to be fulfilled by the directors and shareholders or members and managers and must be documented as part of company records. External compliance requirements are imposed by the state in which your business is incorporated and any state where it is registered to transact business, or Foreign Qualified.
Business Entity Comparison
From raising capital to taxation to transferability of interest -- There are a multitude of factors to consider when evaluating which business type might be right for your particular situation. Sometimes comparing complex options is easier when you can look at them side-by-side. The Business Entity Comparison Guide allows you to select the business types you'd like to compare and see how they stack up on key characteristics.
An entity conversion may be necessary if you want to change the nature of your business.
Common reasons for entity conversion include: no longer needing to issue stock, the desire to seek venture capital funding, taking advantage of certain tax benefits, deciding to issue stock or realigning the management requirements for your company. Whether you are changing your business type from a corporation to an LLC, or from an LLC to a corporation, converting your company from one business type to another requires the business owner to follow the procedure required by the company’s state of incorporation.
S corporation, C corporation, Limited Partnership, or LLC--choosing a business entity structure can be daunting and a bit overwhelming.
The Incorporation Wizard is an online tool that helps you evaluate business forms based on your specific business needs.
As you answer business-related questions across six categories, the Wizard ranks each entity type based on how well each may align your requirements.
Want to find out which business type might be right for you? Visit the: Incorporation Wizard.
Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may grant additional time to file returns and pay taxes. Both individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year, usually by filing an amended return.
The IRS also offers audio presentations on Planning for Disaster. These presentations discuss business continuity planning, insurance coverage, recording keeping and other tips to stay in business after a major disaster.