Blog Archives

Why the Name Change?

hitchhikers_guide_to_galaxy_2005_teFor years the name of this blog has been “Making Money with Technology.”  It’s time for a change.  For some reason I hear the voice of the Doctor (from the TV show “Doctor Who“) saying “Change — and not a moment too soon”!

My most recent post, which was on the topic of using iPad apps in schools to replace books, made me realize that the title is not only too limiting, but also a bit outdated.  Technology is indeed a money making proposition, but somehow it has become far more than that.  Technology is no long “what we use” (for work or fun) or even what we sell — it has literally become part of who we are.

Can you imagine your day without your cell phone?  Voice mail?  Instant news via Twitter?  Apps?  Games?  Even your love life has most likely been touched by technology.   Statistic Brain  says that of the 54 million single adults in the United States 40 million of them have tried online dating!  20 million belong to eHarmony alone!

I’ll still post about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and how to make money with technology — but the focus of the blog is much broader than that.    Technology touches every aspect of our lives in amazing and even somewhat scary ways (the pace of technological change seems to ever increase).

For example (and it will be the topic of my next post) technology is literally flipping (reversing) the way students are being taught in schools.    Our traditional method of a teacher giving a lecture with passive students taking notes is literally going out the window.   From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Common Core and Virtual Schools — the educational world is undergoing massive change.

Please feel free to email me or add your comments if there are specific subjects you’d like to see discussed.  As Bette Davis once said (in the movie  “All about Eve“) “Fasten your seat-belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Three Advantages to the new Small Business Bill

My blog is moving to http://www.it-sme.com/blog .  For now I’m “double posting” entries here and there, but over time this blog will go away.  Please bookmark the new location if you like following the blog.

This blog is all about Making Money with Technology — making and saving money by using the right technology at the right time.

This week Congress passed a small business bill that promises three advantages to small business.

  1. Community banks will be able draw down funds from the U.S. Treasury to lend to small business;
  2. an increase in SBA lending at reduced fees and with a government-backed guarantee;
  3. improved depreciation — the rate at which small business can take tax deductions on technology purchased — a whopping 50% bonus depreciation & small business equipment expenses — up from $250,000 to $500,000.

All of these could be fantastic for small businesses who have held back spending due to the uncertainties of the impending tax increase (when the Bush tax cuts expire), the recession with its massive layoffs and then the fact that it has been nearly impossible for small businesses to get loans to grow — or in some cases, to even stay in business.

If this bill is signed by President Obama (and it will be) and if it does what its proponents insist it will, then there is finally some good news for small business.

The stimulus bill did not result in additional funding for small businesses — loans have been nearly impossible for a small business to get — even businesses in a growth state.  The new bill (H.R 5297) guarantees and lower fees on Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans which will be highly beneficial for small business.

These SBA “loan sweeteners” reduce fees for borrowers and increase the government guarantees.  Government guarantees reduce the risk to banks of non-payment, so if the small business gets qualified the banks are not on the hook if the loan does default.  Bad for taxpayers who would be on the hook — but good for the banks and for the businesses who need the money to grow.

I’m not a proponent of bigger government, but the economy does need incentives for small and medium businesses to get the economy moving again.  It seems the poor are getting poorer, and the rich are getting richer — and the middle class is getting squeezed out of the game.

From a technology point of view the big winner has to be the 50% bonus depreciation & small business equipment expenses — up from $250,000 to $500,000.   Many businesses have held off replacing old computers or upgrading software — the faster depreciation and higher amount allowed may be just the incentive many need to start making money with technology and kick start the economy.

Another benefit under this bill, which doesn’t really have anything to do with technology — but is still worth noting — is the  health insurance aspect. the self employed  are able to take an income tax deduction for the cost of  health insurance.  Be forewarned that  the health insurance premiums are not deductible when you are computing your self employment tax. The Senate bill does change the law allowing you to deduct the health insurance costs for self employment tax purposes. The total amount is dependent on income, the tax rate on your health insurance can range from 2.9 percent to 15.3 percent, so this can be a huge savings for small businesses — well worth noting if though it isn’t technology related.

Tax credits are usually better than tax deductions because they offset tax dollar for dollar. Currently, if you have business tax credits that you cannot use in the current year, you can carry them back one year or carry them forward for twenty years. The new bill allows you to carry back the credits for five years. In addition, the credits can be used to offset alternative minimum tax.

One can only hope.

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