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Small Business Spotlight: Work Horse Installations

Small businesses are at the heart of every community. At Univest Bank and Trust Co., we have the privilege of working with local small businesses. Whether they are starting a new business, growing their existing business or expanding to a new facility, we’re honored to be their partner and help them on their journey to success. That’s why we’re kicking off our small business series highlighting a few of our small business customers. They will discuss what inspired them to take the leap and start their own business, bumps they hit along the way and advice they have…

Tips to Tackle Financing for a Startup

Are you thinking about starting a business, but have struggled with the concept of obtaining necessary financing? There is no doubt that starting a business is difficult. We’ve all heard the “conventional wisdom” that 90% of businesses fail within their first year. But how accurate are those statistics?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics study of Business Employment Dynamics, approximately two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, with about 50% making it for five or more. After those first few volatile years, success rates improve. So perhaps those doom-and-gloom startup statistics are based more on long-held…

What Every Employer Needs to Know about HR Compliance

Every employer must comply with employment law, rules and regulations. Business owners have to take a proactive approach to ensure that their organization meets all of its legal obligations at the Federal, State and Local levels. This can include following fair recruitment policies, preventing and addressing workplace discrimination and ensuring staff are compensated fairly.

Deciding how their organization will meet these new compliance responsibilities is an ongoing challenge that is critical to preventing liability. Below are some of the key HR compliance topics business owners need to consider.

Harassment in the Workplace

Harassment is a topic that should never be ignored, but is…

How E-Commerce Is Impacting Industrial Real Estate

The rise of e-commerce has shifted the dynamics of consumer demand and the chain of supply to meet that demand, perhaps more than any other force in the last century. Suppliers now need to meet the challenge of distributing product efficiently to consumers, rather than distributing bulk products to retailers. This has had a tremendous effect on industrial real estate and created a growing need for industrial and warehouse financing.

There are so many possible uses for industrial properties it is hard to generalize about industrial-property loans. Industrial properties can house a range of business operations from manufacturing plants…

Navigating Your Business in an Expanding Economy

More than three years ago I wrote an article on how to prepare for a growing economy. Not all of my strategic visions come true, but this prediction has become a reality. Currently, GDP is growing faster than expected, unemployment is at an all-time low, and consumer sentiment has returned to high levels. All indications are that this growth economy is going to continue.

As I said in my last article, it is important for businesses to prepare for the liquidity and financing requirements that will be necessary to support and grow the business. One of the key sources…

Increase Business Efficiency and Mitigate Fraud

Business owners and their banker often spend time talking about how to obtain the best loan, interest rates and terms, but it is also important to discuss the fundamentals of running an efficient operation from a deposit perspective. Cash management services are a key component to improving the cash flow process and they can also be a valuable tool in fraud prevention. Here are a few cash management services to consider that can help increase efficiency and mitigate fraud.

E-services – Online banking services have valuable tools to streamline the payable and receivable process such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions….

Tips to Keep Your Employees Motivated this Summer

I fondly remember the excitement when school was almost out and you couldn’t wait to hear Alice Cooper sing, “School’s out for summer!” It was a great feeling knowing that the next few months you didn’t have the responsibilities of school, you could sleep in and spend your time having fun with friends and family.

Unfortunately, there is no classic song saying, “Work’s out for summer.” Sure, most employees take a vacation for a few days or a week, but they no longer have those summer months to relax and rejuvenate. It’s only natural for employees to relish in the…

Solar Power – How Operating Leases Help the Switch

There continues to be a strong push for renewable energy and, in recent years, schools across the United States have installed solar panels on their rooftops or elsewhere on campus. In addition to big names such as the University of Arizona, Princeton and Yale, more than 3,000 K-12’s have installed solar as well. Not only is this a great “green” initiative, but it also helps educational institutions reduce their massive utility costs.

Studies of the solar energy market show that larger systems earn a bigger return on investment which means large institutions, such as schools, have the biggest opportunity to…

We’re ALL in the People Business

I must admit, I like a good country music song. It takes me back to a more innocent, simple time of my youth working on farms, with my hands, learning how to be part of a team. One of my favorite country singers is Tim McGraw and I love his song, ‘Humble and Kind.’ The song tells us to, “Hold the door, say please, say thank you; don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie; I know you have mountains to climb but always stay humble and kind.”

These lyrics remind me that…

Financial Planning for Business Owners

For small business owners, it is easy to be so involved in the day-to-day operation of the company that they lose sight of thinking about themselves and their personal financial future. The business is likely an owner’s largest asset, so it’s critical to create a plan that will lead to both future success for the business and the business owner for when they decide to leave or retire. Creating this plan in advance can help business owners put themselves on a path to financial security.

Create a succession plan.

As a business owner, it is important to create a succession plan…

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