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The Research Network aims the content of this blog primarily at the New York Small Business Development Center (NY SBDC) community on the kinds of things we encounter every day. Views expressed are those of the Research Network staff, and not necessarily those of the New York SBDC or its partners. Comments to an individual post are encouraged. Such comments will be monitored, so please, keep them clean and professional.
Updated: 5 hours 34 min ago

A Guide To Sales Tax in New York State

6 hours 22 min ago
This publication is a comprehensive guide to New York State and local sales and use taxes for businesses that sell taxable tangible personal property, perform taxable services, receive admission charges, or operate a hotel or motel, and restaurants, taverns, or other establishments that sell food and drink.

For basic, easy-to-understand explanations of particular sales tax topics, see the sales tax bulletins, available on the Tax Department’s Web site at The Tax Department has issued a number of these sales tax bulletins and continue to add new bulletins on a regular basis.

It is the department’s goal that all taxpayers meet their sales tax obligations and pay the correct amount of tax due. If your business makes sales of property or services that are subject to sales tax, it must register for sales tax purposes and obtain a Certificate of Authority. You should thoroughly read all the information contained in this publication so that you become aware of your obligations in regard to sales tax. If you fail to fulfill your obligations under the Sales Tax Law, you could be subject to penalties and/or charged with a crime. Some of these obligations include, but are not limited to:

• registering for sales tax purposes and displaying a Certificate of Authority (see How to obtain your Certificate of Authority) and Tax Bulletin How to Register for New York State Sales Tax (TB-ST-360);
• collecting the proper amount of sales tax from customers (see Calculating and stating the sales tax) and Tax Bulletin Taxable Receipts-How Discounts, Trade-ins and Additional Charges Affect Sales Tax (TB-ST-860);
• issuing and accepting properly-completed sales tax exemption certificates (see Exemption certificates) and Tax Bulletin Exemption Certificates for Sales Tax (TB-ST-240);
• maintaining records of sales and purchases in an orderly and adequate manner (see Record keeping) and Tax Bulletin Recordkeeping Requirements for Sales Tax Vendors (TB-ST-770);
• filing sales tax returns and remitting any sales tax due in a timely manner as a trustee for the state (see Filing your sales tax return) and Tax Bulletin Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns (TB-ST-275);
Categories: News from others

Food Trucks are so last there are Retail Clothing Trucks!

9 hours 13 min ago
In today's fast-paced world, we want what we want when we want it.  And we want it where we are.  But there is barely enough time to do what we need to do, regardless what we want to do.  Food trucks have answered this demand with trucks for every type of food imaginable to satisfy every type of food craving imaginable.  But that is just food.  What about other wants, like clothing?  Well, that problem is also being solved, thanks in part to one woman in Washington, D.C.  Lia Lee sells trendy clothing and accessories out of a truck she calls Street Boutique.  Starting the fashion truck cost Lee a fraction of what a brick and mortar store would have cost, and now she can go to her clients instead of hoping they find the time to come to her.  

Read more about Lee and the trend here.

Want to find a Fashion Truck in your area?  Check out The Fashion Truck Finder!
Categories: News from others

6 Essential Elements of Any Internship Program

October 29, 2014 - 9:03am
By Caron Beesley
Internships represent a burgeoning market. According to, 67 percent of 2013 graduates completed at least one internship during college, and a separate study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that approximately 90 percent of student interns said they’d accept an offer for a full-time job from their internship employer.If you’re looking for enthusiastic, low-cost labor, internships can provide your small business with many benefits. After all, internships don’t just help you meet your immediate work needs, they can also help you test drive talent and assess potential future employees.Internships are also great for your brand and demonstrate that you’re giving back to the community and its students.If you’re serious about hiring interns, then it’s time to implement an internship program – one that ensures you attract the right talent for your needs, keeps them busy, drives development and covers all your legal bases.Here are six essential tips for doing just that.Paid or Unpaid InternshipsLet’s start with the money.If you’re serious about your internship program, then it’s a good idea to compensate your intern(s). What’s the going rate? Ask around and research current trends based on your expectations of the intern and their duties. As a guideline, the average hourly rate for bachelor’s degree level interns is $16.35. Remember that your state’s minimum wage requirement also applies to paid interns.
Unpaid internships are also an option, but the U.S. Department of Labor puts very firm limits on the work that can be performed in these situations. You can read more about these restrictions here. In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know about what an unpaid intern can and can’t do:
  • Unpaid interns can’t do any work that contributes to your business’ operations.This includes any tasks that help you run your business, like documenting inventory, filing papers, answering emails, etc.
  • Unpaid interns can shadow other employees and perform duties that don't have a business need. For example, a bakery may allow an apprentice/intern to decorate a tray of cookies that will not be sold to customers. Because the task was only a training exercise for the apprentice/intern and the bakery did not receive any benefit from that work, the bakery would not have to pay that student worker for that time.
Understand What You’re Getting IntoAs you approach the process of hiring an intern, it’s important to understand how an internship is different than a full-time, part-time or even volunteer-based position.Primarily, an internship is a learning experience for the intern. As such, the experience should complement the student’s field of study, be structured as a mentoring relationship (you’ll need to appoint a dedicated supervisor to assume this role) and has distinct learning goals throughout the course of the program. Keep these considerations in mind as you craft your program, which leads to our next point.Define Your NeedsCertainly your student intern will have needs and goals, but as the hiring company, you’ll have some too. Take a look at your business and its needs and capabilities in light of how you can an intern can mutually benefit from your program:
  • How will you pay or otherwise compensate an intern?
  • How can an intern help you with your business goals?
  • Do you have enough work to support an intern? Think about short-term and long-term assignments.
  • Do you have enough work for multiple interns?
  • Is everyone bought into the idea (because they need to be)?
  • What’s the best time of year to hire an intern and for how long?
  • Who will supervise and mentor your intern? Can they carve out enough time to take on the task?
  • What ramp-up and ongoing training can you provide?
  • Do you have available office space and other resources?
Don’t Ignore Labor LawsSpend some time familiarizing yourself with employment laws in your state. If you have legal counsel, talk to them as well. You want to make sure you and your intern are clear on worker’s compensation issues, workplace safety, harassment and discrimination laws, benefits, etc. Your legal counsel can also help you put together a contract of employment for your intern(s).Put Together Your ProgramAside from compensation, it’s important to clearly define your program. This will not only help attract and nurture the right talent, but it’ll ensure that the program proves to be a success.For example:
  • Outline what the learning objectives of the role will be. If you’re hiring a marketing intern, perhaps one of the key objectives will be providing the intern with a basic knowledge of email marketing best practices.
  • Then list out daily responsibilities. Remember, students are used to being given clear direction and a task list will also ensure you have all your needs covered.
  • Add in any short- or long-term projects or assignments that you need help with.
  • Finally, be clear on how you’ll evaluate performance.
Don’t forget the basics too – work hours, business ethics, code of conduct, new hire orientation. Everything you do for a regular new hire should also apply to an intern.RecruitingOnce again, don’t skip the basics. Put together a formal job description and include the specifics about the role, responsibilities and learning opportunities.In addition to posting the position on your website and usual recruitment channels, take advantage of specific intern-recruitment sites like, and Each of these organizations also participates in the government’s Youth Jobs+ program, an initiative designed to bring together elected officials, local businesses, non-profit organizations and faith institutions to create pathways to employment for young Americans.You can also reach out to your local college and/or school career service office or even your own alma mater. Many operate internship programs (in return for credits, but not always).For more information, check out the many resources for employers on these sites:
  • – Includes guides on recruiting, hiring, and running an internship program, as well as sample internship job descriptions.
  • – Includes information on promoting your internship program, getting more from on-campus recruiting events, and even scholarship sponsorships.
Categories: News from others

The Future of Business Starts with Us

October 28, 2014 - 10:14am
What’s important to remember is that the future of business has been widely speculated but not documented. This means that the future is being written as we go by what we say and do and also by what we do not say and do.

[Interview with ] SDL CMO Paige O’Neill to discuss our role in the future of business and what possibilities will unfold when we put people first in this digital era. The resulting video...

Read more HERE.
Categories: News from others

5 Everyday Things That Hurt Your Credit

October 27, 2014 - 9:28am
Here’s one of the tricky things about credit scores: They’re about more than credit. Sure, it’s extremely important to make loan payments on time and use credit cards responsibly, but there are plenty of non-credit things that can do serious damage to your scores, potentially making it more difficult to get loans at an affordable rate in the future.

Your credit score may not be top of mind while you’re driving to work or browsing the Internet, but if you’re not careful, you could jeopardize your financial future when you least expect it’s at risk.

1. A Speeding Ticket

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Categories: News from others

Health Spas Aimed at Teaching Stressed Executives to Unwind

October 26, 2014 - 9:59am
The irony did not escape Paula Thompson. As a regional vice president of a firm helping scores of companies administer wellness programs for their employees, the 58-year-old Ohio executive was not practicing what she preached. Years of job stress and a road-food diet left her out of shape, overweight and exhausted.

So she did what many people with her income and awareness level do. She went to a spa for two weeks in January — but not the type of pampering-and-yoga spa you might have in mind. Rather, she chose what some might not consider much of a vacation at all: A spa, yes, but also a regimented diet and fitness camp cum clinic where doctors evaluate you and nurses stick needles in you. And no booze is allowed.

More from the New York Times.
Categories: News from others

H2NO - restaurant waitstaff training in “beverage suggestive selling techniques”

October 25, 2014 - 11:53am
Going out to dinner can be a pricey experience — a few dollars for an appetizer, another ten or more per entree, and maybe even dessert. The only good news for your wallet is that at most restaurants will give you a glass of tap water for free. That’s tradition, at least, and customers are used to it. But if you’re the restaurant — or if you’re a not-free beverage-maker — you’d prefer they choose otherwise.

Which is how Coke and Olive Garden got into a little bit of hot water about a decade or so ago.

The story begins in the late 1990s. T