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We All Count: Small Business & Census 2020

It’s no secret that small business is the backbone of Colorado’s economy. And for many communities, small businesses also serve as important common spaces where the community gathers. As such, it’s likely that small business owners across the State will hear members of their community talk about the upcoming census.

Census Day is April 1, 2020, at that time the State of Colorado will begin efforts to count everyone in the State. It’s very important that everyone be counted for many reasons, the biggest being that census data is used to distribute federal funds to our communities. According to the State Demography Office, Colorado is estimated to be allocated 13.1 billion dollars.

As respected members of our communities, small business owners should assure Coloradans that their participation in the census is both safe and very important. For more information, visit State’s Census website: https://demography.dola.colorado.gov/census_2020/.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday!

Thanksgiving is here and with it the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season. Shoppers around the country will flock to retailers both brick-and-mortar and online for that peculiar American phenomenon known as “Black Friday.” But did you know that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is also a major shopping holiday? Small Business Saturday is a holiday that was created initially by credit card company American Express in 2010 but has since taken on a life of its own. Small Business Saturday encourages Americans to do some of their holiday spending in small, local businesses.

Embraced by the small business community, Small Business Saturday has evolved into more than just a day of shopping, it’s become an important reminder that despite the rise of eCommerce and globalism, American communities are full of quality local small businesses. Many businesses have turned the day into a celebration with special deals and parties to attract customers. If you own a business and you want to participate (it’s never too early to get started on planning next year’s Small Business Saturday) the Small Business Administration has a good list of tips. American Express has an entire website dedicated to the event with a lot of good information, including free promotional materials for the event.

Lastly, if you’re a customer in search of a local small business to patronize the American Express website has a handy small business finder.

Do I Need A License?

When starting a business there are many questions that have to be answered but one of the most important is “Do I need a license?” In Colorado some, but not all, professions, occupations, and industries are regulated in order to protect consumers in Colorado. The agency that does this at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

Before starting on your journey as a business owner, it is very important to check and see if your business is regulated by DORA. Their website has a searchable list of the professions and industries regulated by the State of Colorado. After checking with DORA, there are a few more places to check online:

DORA’s list of “Other Licenses & Regulatory Resources”

The Occupational License Database

Lastly, it’s also a good idea to verify with your local city and county for any local licensing, permit or tax requirements they might have! The City of Denver, for example, has its Business Licensing Center online which details what businesses are regulated by the city. When it comes to questions about licensing or permits when in doubt…ask! If you have questions contact DORA.

Identity Theft &Your Business

Did you know that October was National Cyber Awareness Month? National Cyber Awareness Month was started in 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security in order to raise awareness of the growing dangers of cybercrime–including identity theft.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft affects millions of American consumers each year. Identify thieves also target businesses in order to fraudulently obtain lines of credit in order to purchase goods that can be sold for cash. The Colorado Secretary of State has put together a convenient pamphlet that provides tips on how you can protect your business and what to do if you believe your business has been the victim of identity theft.

The Secretary of State’s website also has a “Prevention Checklist” as well as an exhaustive Resource List that contains links to where businesses can receive free help and information regarding this growing cybercrime.

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