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What to Know About Community Advantage Loans

Small Business Administration SBA established an initiative targeted at small businesses through a community Advantage loan program. The Community advantage loan program aims at elevating underserved communities through the provision of traditional loans. Community Advantage loans are unique in their administration and management. They partner with other credit lenders who identify businesses to finance. Upon offering credit, they will go the extra mile in providing technical and management assistance to successful entrepreneurs.

Any entrepreneur looking into applying for a community advantage loan needs first to understand the qualification process and how beneficial this credit facility is when it comes to business expansion.

Small Business administration, community advantage loans work pretty closely with lenders who are mission-focused on working and improving the communities they serve. Some of the lenders that get committed to this mission include certified development companies, microloan program intermediaries. And institutions such as non-regulated community development institutions. These institutions must all get certified by the United States Department of the treasury.

For a business to qualify for any community advantage loan, such aspiring companies must fulfill specific criteria. The following are some of the requirements that community development institutions look for in underserved community business applications.

Any business applying for this type of credit facility must prove to have 50 percent and above of its labor force from low to moderate-income communities. Consequently, their companies should get located in areas designated as empowerment zones or Small Business 

Administration hub zones. Similarly, businesses placed in rural areas or opportunity zones also qualify for this program.

If your business is a startup that has not seen its second birthday, qualify for community advantage loans. Finally, veterans who opt to operate a business are offered priority in community advantage loans when applying.

Community Advantage loans program through Small Business administration is committed to ensuring that this business they finance scale-up. They have partnered with other like-minded partners to provide and offer technical assistance to this individual in matters management and finance.

Community Advantage loans have a maximum loan limit capped at approximately $250,000 and an interest rate that Small Business Administration has already set at 6 percent. The credit facility provided by the Community Advantage program usually covers issues with capital or equipment purchase, with a repayment period ranging from 10 years to 25 years depending on the type of credit facility forwarded to the business.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.net

Community Development Project Ideas

The worst of the pandemic is over, and we are no longer in complete lockdown. Regardless of where you are, it is now safe to plan and host community activities again. However, please ensure that everyone follows your state’s current mandates.

Here are some practical ideas to start with:

-Invite your local youth between the ages of 11 and 18 to get together to discuss some ideas with which they can identify. The good majority are into sports, dancing, drama, pool parties, videogames, and climate change solutions. Also, invite parents, babysitters, and your local youth care workers to come up with ideas for those who are elementary-aged and younger.

-If your community is diverse, you could suggest hosting an ethnic festival or display in a park or a community center for a day, a weekend, or a month.

-You can encourage those who have been in jagged situations in the past, such as in prison, homeless, caught up in an addiction, crime/abuse survivors, cancer survivors, etc., to speak out by hosting an empathy tour. This can be beneficial to children as well.

-If your area has people with mixed incomes, host a meeting to let them speak out about what’s working and what they’re struggling with. It could encourage more understanding, break stereotypes, and your community can make more informed decisions about where to spend your local budget.

-If your area has a populous high school and a population of at least 2,000, chances are, you probably have at least one garage band in your area. If so, you could invite them to play at least one of their songs for a local show or a festival.

-Anything money management-related will probably be very much appreciated. For example, you could have your banks and other financial institutions get together to plan for a class for a day, a week, or even a whole month. It would be practical to host it at a community center, local library, or a park if the weather is predicted to permit.

-Pop-up businesses are very popular these days. The rent is usually relatively cheap as the business is generally in the area for a month or two at the most. It can also be a way to test what does and doesn’t sell well in your area.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.net

What Does A Community Development Leader Look Like?

Community development leaders vary in their various styles and temperaments. Some leaders demonstrate their work while others prefer leading quietly but demand respect. However, successful leaders share the same threads.

Community development leaders must have empathy, strong communication skills, the ability to inspire and be proud of their community. Effective leaders can solve complex problems while involving their team members. They unite their workforce to work on the same goal. Their focus is creating effectiveness to be able to get things done.

Creating a mobile group for community development support is also a complex undertaking. For instance, a group can be assigned to clean up the neighborhood or conduct a school improvement campaign. Leaders should often persuade people to work with them. In addition, they should also address various personalities and opinions.

Today, organizational models are advancing. Administrators are streamlining rigid bureaucracies for the traditional ones. This is because they have realized the systems serve not only constituents but also the bureaucracies. Therefore, effective community development leaders can make this new environment successful.

Entrenched organizational structure solutions are creating more new public management for goal-oriented models. Performance goals are taking up rules and regulations adherence. In addition, public systems embrace the new ethos hence becoming decentralized, reaching out to private contractors for products and services. Public organizations are also utilizing market mechanisms to enhance performance.

These modifications have impacted the work of a public administrator. Now there is more discretion for the community development leaders to manage. Meanwhile, leaders learn and adhere to traditional core values like professionalism, accountability, and transparency. They should be ethical and rectitude models and set confident leadership as an example.

The public always demands honesty and openness from their leaders. Today, the old ways and corrupt decision-making are generally condemned. Public leaders have also acknowledged their salaries to be paid by the citizens to promote accountable leadership.

Professionalism, a key aspect for a successful community development leader, is working straightforwardly, competently, and respectfully. It is also proving leadership capabilities. Those interested in getting such and other aspects for positions in public administration can pursue a Master of Public Administration. Anna Maria College offers one of the programs. Students learn how to provide community leadership effectively, working with governing bodies, people and information management fundamentals, and raising productivity.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.net

The Pros and Cons of Gentrification Among Communities

Gentrification, or the process of revitalizing aging city neighborhoods, has become a controversial topic in the United States. On the surface, it seems like an excellent idea, but it comes with significant downsides policymakers and the general public need to understand.

Pros:

It Improves Property Values

Property owners already living in gentrifying neighborhoods will see their property values increase as the neighborhood becomes a more desirable place to live. This increases their wealth and equity, which makes it much easier to sell their homes and move if that is desired or becomes necessary.

It Increases Local Tax Revenue

Most municipalities receive much of their annual budget through property taxes, which are determined by the property value. As home prices increase, more revenue becomes available for local officials to spend on services to provide the community, such as better schools, law enforcement resources, city improvements, and more.

It Draws In New Businesses

The deliberate transformation of neighborhoods usually brings in new businesses such as restaurants, shops, and service providers. This, by extension, also brings jobs and builds a thriving community, which is especially important if a community has been lacking these options in the past.

Cons:

It Often Disproportionately Affects Marginalized Communities

Because poorer, marginalized communities often live in these neighborhoods, gentrification can make it no longer affordable, whether through rent, taxes or the cost of living, for them to live in the area. This often results in a loss of social diversity as well as displacement into nearby poorer areas and a rise in homelessness.

It Brings An Increase In Community Conflict

All of these changes are likely to cause conflict within the community. Some residents will be welcoming of the changes while others will be upset by the potential harm to minority groups and changes to the neighborhood’s character. A divided community where residents are resentful of one another is not a pleasant place to live.

The Cost Of Living Rises

Even for residents who can ultimately still afford to remain in the area, the cost of living increase that comes with gentrification is a final major downside. Many people struggle to make ends meet and have few emergency funds to begin with, making additional financial burdens a significant problem.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.net

Transitioning From a Solo Business Owner to a Leadership Position

For some people, moving from a sole entrepreneur to a team leader should be a natural progression. Yet, before you take the steps in this transition, there are a few things that you can learn. You may start by talking to others in your same industry or anyone who has mastered these skills.

Having said this, here are 3 tips that can increase your success in making this transition.

Pay Close Attention to the Signs that Says You Need a Team

At the start of your freelance career, you’ll take on assignments that you can handle. If not, you may lose a lot of your clients before you can make a profit. To avoid these issues, the first thing you will need to do is create a schedule that helps you to maximize your time, After a while, you may need to hire other freelancers to help you meet your deadlines. In short, you need to pay very close attention to the signs that say you need to create your own team.

Cultivate Team’s Growth

Once you have decided to hire a team to assist you with your work, you’ll need to cultivate the team and its growth. Though there are many ways to go about this process, you need to pick a strategy that will yield the best results. For instance, the primary goal is to hire team members that add the best value for your money.

You can do this by hiring several people to perform the same or similar job. After their work is complete, you can screen each person’s work to see who is the top performer.

Learn How to Remotely Manage Your Team Effectively

After people are hired to the work for you, your next step in this process is to assign work remotely. Since people are working from home, your management style must match this virtual environment. This virtual remote management style should consist of the following:

– Providing your team with the communication platform that will help them in keeping in touch

– Set reasonable times for copywriters and other freelance positions to complete their tasks and projects.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.com

How Leaders Can Answer Difficult Questions with Authenticity

A big responsibility any leader has is to be able to face a room full of people and answer difficult questions. It is not an easy task by any means, but one that must be done in the right way. The manner in which a leader responds to tough questions will go a long way in determining how they are perceived by the people they are leading. Answering questions authentically will make those who are listening to the questions more confident in following the leader. By using inauthentic language or being non-transparent, a leader invites discord and chaos. There are many ways for people in charge to ensure that they have authentic answers to difficult questions.

UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE BEING ASKED THE QUESTION

Difficult questions always come from somewhere. When a leader gets one of these questions, it’s important that they take a step back and consider where the query came from. Is the individual asking the question out of fear? Are they asking it because of a rumor that is floating around the workplace? Understanding where a question came from will help any person answer it authentically. It can also show folks that their leadership is compassionate enough to want to see their point of view.

PRACTICE COLLABORATION

Every leader gets asked a question that they may not be able to answer completely. In that situation, it may be a good tactic to admit that fact and seek answers from those asking questions. It is authentic and genuine to seek out collaboration to solve a problem. Those asking the question may appreciate that their input is being requested. The resulting dialogue may also open up the leader to thinking of answers they hadn’t considered before.

NEVER TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

There is no doubt that difficult questions can get emotional. Someone who is asking a tough question may be filled with a variety of powerful emotions. Some of this may end up directed at the leader. It is natural that a leader may feel the desire to become defensive. Fight this urge. A leader should be compassionate and provide the answers they can. Leaders should remember that the emotions expressed are not about them.

BE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TRANSPARENT

When answering difficult questions, leaders should freely admit that they don’t know the answer if that is the case. It’s important that they also ask follow-up questions to ensure they get the right answer, as well as including a timeline as to when they can get the answer. Also, leaders should be transparent but should refrain from delving too deeply into topics that don’t have a lot of answers attached to them.

PRACTICE BEING SPECIFIC

In all cases, a leader should be specific. If a leader needs to ask questions themselves to get answers for those who seek them, they should let everyone know who they will talk to in search of those answers and when they plan on getting them. Leadership should always be sure to meet the deadlines they have set, so people know their questions were heard.

AUTHENTICITY LEADS TO GRATITUDE

It is only natural that people with questions will appreciate authenticity from leaders. Leadership should always commit to a high standard of authenticity so they can ensure that they have a workplace filled with trust and harmony.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.com

HOW TO CHOOSE A CHARITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO SUPPORT

Businesses that give back to the community also benefit from their generosity. Donating to local organizations helps to create a happier, healthier, and more prosperous neighborhood. A reputation as community-minded also aids in the overall public opinion of the business. The choice of who to support is a crucial decision because not all charities are equal. A few guidelines can help any business manager to choose wisely.

Choose Ethical Charities

Any charity a business selects to align itself with needs to have a good reputation. Make sure the group is an organized and legal nonprofit with excellent recordkeeping. Transparency is vital in how donations get dispersed and what percentage of funding goes to the cause versus administration. Experts recommend charitable organizations keep their administrative costs at or below 15 percent of their total budget. Some reputable groups may rise above this amount, but the variations should not be much higher.

Ensure Measurable Accomplishments

Select a nonprofit that has a record of achievements. Any established group receiving regular donations should have the ability to detail what they have built or improved in the community. Continue to follow those that promise future benefits without making a financial commitment to see if they meet their goals.

Pick Relatable Organizations

A medical-related company may want to give to health-centered charities. A business that focuses on children should choose a nonprofit that helps with children’s causes. The customers of any business will appreciate a company giving back to things that mean the most to them. The right choice of charity can also help increase the visibility of the company to potential customers.

Keep it Local

National and international charities do impressive things, but everyone wants to see their community thrive. Small businesses usually rely on support from their neighbors. Helping those neighbors is a way to say thanks for the support.

Support of a local cause can help increase public awareness of a business and draw in new customers. Charitable work is a way for business owners to network within the community and create connections they would have missed otherwise. Giving back allows a company to make a difference in its community, and that helps everyone.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.org

4 RED FLAGS AMONG CHARITIES TO LOOK OUT FOR

As the wallet empties, the heart is filled. Part of being a person is helping the needy. However, some errant individuals are preying on innocent souls without flinching an eye. They are running charity organizations to solicit aid, only to swindle naïve citizens. Be wary of the following four red flags before giving out to charities.

Extremely Dubious Operations

Any charity organization that is not transparent in its activities is not worth your resources. The majority of fake charities are suspicious of their grant expenditure. They cannot precisely point the finger at what they have done with the relief funds they received.

Consequently, a charity that claims 100% disbursement of its funds to the cause is equally alarming. A charity has expenses and bills to sort out, such as salaries, administrative costs, and rent; hence they may only tunnel about two-thirds of their grants to the noble cause.

The Charity Is Fresh

A young and new charity organization that claims to have an enormous track record is another red flag to look out for. Before generously sharing out your resources, scan through the internet for reviews as well as a portfolio on the subject of charity.

Zero reviews depict the charity is fresh and probably started a few days ago.

Pestering Phone Calls and Emails

Once you’ve committed to giving, the charity is not giving you space to breathe. Unlimited phone calls, text messages, and emails confirming your status are another red mark. A genuine charity should not seem to prey or focus on your giving. The majority of scam charities keep bothering individuals to the extent of imposing deadlines on the aid. In case you start receiving badgering calls, run and don’t look back.

The Charity Is Unregistered

A search of the particular organization in the directory of charities is futile; then, you are likely to be falling for a scam. All non-profit organizations and charities are locally regulated and registered in various authorities. A genuine charity will not dodge registration by any means whatsoever.

Charity sees the call, not the cause. As you benevolently help out the needy, look out for the above four signs of any malicious charity organization.

This article was originally published on JimmyLustig.org

The Importance of Communication in the Workplace

Good communication has always been considered an essential tool in achieving overall productivity. It is also necessary if a person is trying to maintain strong relationships during their work in any organization. This has been most important because, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, people are forced to work from home.

It is essential and beneficial to communicate clearly in the workplace. If it’s not done correctly, then it will be a significant loss to the company in more ways than one. No matter what, any workplace has some rules and regulations that one must follow to succeed, and good communication skills are essential.

If there is poor communication in the workplace, it will lead to inevitable company value destruction. Indeed, the staff members will also stay unmotivated and create long-term issues within the firm. This might lead to the employers questioning themselves and their confidence! The only people and organizations that can prosper are those that are professional in communicating.

The importance of communication at the workplace runs deep within an organization. Here are some of the essential reasons one must pay attention to today.

Communication Increases Credibility

To get success at the workplace, one needs to communicate clearly. If anyone cannot accurately convey the product’s benefits, the company or business will significantly lose. Moreover, communicating clearly will enhance credibility at the workplace.

Time-Saving Benefits

Communicating is also highly time-saving. If anyone does not possess good communication skills, then a lot of time will be wasted. Clear communication will save a lot of time.

It Is Energy Saving and Mood Elevating

It is highly essential to communicate clearly because it will help people feel good by not wasting their time and energy. People usually do not prefer the companies or workplaces where there are people who cannot communicate well.

It Helps to Maximize Profit

Good speaking skills will attract a lot of people. And the company or business will achieve a lot through solid communication. Remember that effective communication is valuable in refining thinking, decision making, and implementing the best initiatives.

Strong Management

Strong communication at the workplace will lead to solid leadership and teamwork. Those with clear thoughts and communication are usually better to manage. Further, these individuals will be more seamless within their team and understand each other. Of course, the task delegation, motivation, and ability to work become more accessible when there is a strong bond and communication.

Thus, strong communication is not only an ability to speak to people, but it is also to empower them and speak. The critical factor is to facilitate strong and good communication!

Making the Most of Your Job Advertisements

Hiring employees these days for any organization has not been an easy task because of the competition in the market.

Because of the high competition, people tend to spend less time at organizations and invest a lot more time searching for a perfect job that suits every individual.

People look for the job they love, that has a friendly environment, and for a place that they love to be in. These are all aspects that matter to them.

The Reason Why Typical Job Advertisement Are Not Attractive

The first and foremost problem with the job advertisement not being appealing is that those who may search for ads in specific areas may be unemployed. The best choice for the job would probably be someone who is already at another employer. The remaining ones are those who may need the job but may not be qualified for it. Moreover, there may not be many potential candidates who would be perfect for the job at the present moment, which may waste time.

Ways to Improve The Job Advertisement

Here are a few aspects to think about when it comes to the job advertisement.

1. Make Sure That the Job Designation is Clear

First, the job name or the designation is the first item the job seeker would look at. If it is not clear enough, the candidate would prefer to avoid it, and all the efforts put in the advertisement would go to waste. Thus, it is essential to keep the ad simple and easy for the job name.

2. Be Kind and Supportive

Demanding jobs are those in which the organization already mentions the skills it needs in the employee and the experience as well. The corporation may desire an individual that has the right experience overall. Specifically, it might want an individual that has enough skills and expertise to be effective at a bare minimum.

However, the supporting advertisement is the one where only the employee’s role is described and suggesting the ways to perform the part quite well.

If you notice the difference, one is only about expectations while the other one shows ways to succeed and grow.

3. Mention The Site or Provide a Link

Lastly, it is essential to mention the link where the candidate can apply for the job. Remember to make it as simple as possible so candidates will flock to the job.