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Revitalizing Chicago’s South Side One Small Business at a Time

A few years ago, Rachel Bernier-Green was looking for an outlet from the stress of her intense job at a multinational accounting firm and discovered a passion for baking. It didn’t take long before friends and family were encouraging her to sell her baked goods to the masses. Rachel founded ‘Laine’s Bake Shop, LLC in 2013 using a shared kitchen space, working on the side to get her business off the ground. After a few years of baking part-time, Rachel decided to finally quit her job and start a bake shop full-time with her husband Jaryd. 

Take Control of Your Financial Future During National Financial Literacy Month

April is often associated with spring cleaning and reorganizing, which means you finally made the time go through that overflowing junk drawer or to organize last year’s financial statements for the tax filing deadline. But when it comes to your finances, you can use this time to do more than just file your tax return documents thanks to the resources provided as part of National Financial Literacy Month.

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Why Smart Tech is a Smart Investment to Grow Your Business

As technology evolves, so do the ways businesses can utilize it to help drive results, manage the workplace more effectively, improve customer experience, improve security for retail businesses and reduce the environmental impact of business operations. There are numerous devices and systems available on the market today that business owners can use to benefit their practices and the future of their business. How can they make the best of these and use them to their advantage?

Small Business Digital Tools for Success

The day-to-day tasks that make our mission possible require a lot of moving parts, and because of this, we use an array of tools to get the job done each day. Platforms like Dropbox and Hootsuite provide us the ability to balance multiple tasks at once and collaborate with one another on projects.

Common workplace-based retirement plans

Although retirement planning may not always be a high priority for busy small business owners, there are plenty of options available to help you start saving for the future. Read on for an overview of common workplace-based plans.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it should help you begin to understand the differences among them. We recommend consulting a financial advisor for assistance in selecting a plan based on your business size, capacity, and resources.

New partnership will help small businesses prepare against growing cybersecurity threats

Technology has transformed the way small companies do business, allowing them to find new clients and sell their goods and services all with the click of a button. However, the rise of new technology can lead to severe security issues, and unfortunately many small businesses are unaware of measures they can take to help ensure the security of their and their customers’ information.

Understanding your retirement options: Group trust vs. IRA-based plans

Are you confused or overwhelmed by retirement options for your business? Don’t worry—you’re not alone. In fact, about 30% of small business owners report they’re unaware of their retirement options. To help you grasp the ABCs of retirement, we’ll provide a broad overview of basic retirement paths to help you gain a better understanding of basic options to consider for you and your employees.

Preparing for a Small Business Loan: A Checklist

A small business loan can be a powerful tool for growing your business, or just meeting day to day expenses. Deciding that you need a loan may be easy but the real challenge is making sure you're ready to apply for financing.

Before approaching a lender, it pays to make sure you're putting your best foot forward. This checklist serves as a handy guide for getting your business prepped for a loan.

Does Your Small Business Need a Loan?

There are certain elements that you need to run a successful small business. A solid business plan and determination can take you far, but if you really want to grow, you'll need capital to fund your expansion plans.

If you don't want to drain your cash reserves, a loan may be just what you need to pursue your next phase of growth. Before you can advance your business using a loan, however, you have to be sure that it's the right move.

What can a small business use a loan for?

A Successful Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 28 marked Small Business Saturday – an important time to shop locally and support our nation’s small businesses during the holiday shopping season. In recognition of Small Business Saturday, many small businesses offered discounts and specials to encourage people to shop small. Total spending at small businesses on Small Business Saturday reached an impressive $16.2 billion, up from $14.3 billion in 2014.

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