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access • spring 2011

about asba

For nearly 40 years, the arizona small business association (asba) has been a trusted source in creating opportunities for businesses to make money, save money and achieve amAZing results. With a membership of almost 5,000 businesses, representing over 300,000 employees, asba is the second largest trade association in the state and the only statewide association dedicated to serving small businesses. From outstanding value to an extensive range of support and services, asba is committed to making Arizona the best place for launching and growing your business.

in this issue reinvention = innovation ......................

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its all about the numbers ..................

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reign in your healthcare costs ............

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. . . and more

arizona small business a s s o c i a t i o n

central arizona 4600 E. Washington Street, Suite 340 Phoenix, AZ 85034 p | 602.306.4000 f | 602.306.4001

southern arizona 4811E. Grant Road, Suite 262 Tucson, AZ 85712 p | 520.327.0222 f | 520.327.0440 © 2011 asba. A publication of the arizona small business association. For more information or to join asba, please contact us at Section designed by the arizona small business association.

get aggressive, get competitive: success for 2011 Remaining competitive in today’s local and global business economies demands Arizona entrepreneurs be innovative. As I meet with business owners across the state – whether it is Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff or Yuma – they are not just challenged by one another, but often by competitors in Austin, Boston, Dubai, New Delhi and Shanghai. Many entrepreneurs grapple with the question: “What can I do to sustain and advance my company’s competitive edge?” Donna Davis The answer is innovation, and the solutions are found throughout our state – in our businesses, community organizations, and universities. Keeping ahead of the curve requires the right partnerships and access to tools that will help you work smarter, save money, and propel business success. Entrepreneurial skills require a capacity to imagine and adapt to the unknown. One of my goals at the Arizona Small Business Association (asba) is to provide timely educational training – sharing best practices that will help break down barriers and foster our members’ innovation capacity. Maintaining an environment that fosters innovation requires keeping a pulse on public policy issues that most affect small businesses. That is one reason asba is polling business owners across the state and sharing their input with Arizona policy makers. A series of recent polls suggest small businesses are feeling more optimistic about their business outlook, are beginning to add jobs, and are looking for government to focus on small business’ needs. Our survey found Arizona small business owners are looking to state and federal elected officials to reduce corporate, sales and property taxes, and the capital gains tax. I shared those results with the Arizona Senate’s Commerce and Energy Committee at the beginning of February, with a promise to continue educating our policy leaders on what businesses say they need to succeed. By minimizing regulatory barriers, eliminating policies that inhibit business growth, and creating tax policies that support small business, we can innovate and strengthen Arizona’s position in local, national and global economies. That’s really what innovation is about: developing common-sense, forward-looking solutions to the challenges we face; thinking through old and new challenges in fundamentally different ways. It’s about an aggressive approach to getting business done, and asba is here to guide the way. – Donna Davis, CEO | arizona small business association

innovators are small business

Innovation. We often define it as something newly invented, such as a process, technology or system. Frequently, we use it in reference to things scientific and high-tech. Innovative describes the people behind the process or technology – you recognize them: resourceful, creative, forward–thinking, or proactive. These are Arizona’s entrepreneurs – imaginative, inventive, ingenious – the small business owners who have a dream and the tenacity, diligence, perseverance and determination to turn ideas into reality. These tireless, multi-taskers run more than a business. They identify niche opportunities, adapt quickly in an ever more competitive global marketplace, and they embrace challenge with creativity. The results lead to strong solutions and brilliant successes. Learn more about some amAZing innovators inside.

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reinvention = innovation arizona small business association board of directors

by kristen wilson, asba sr. vp, member services + programs

asba member, Specialized Services Company (SSC),

Lynn-Paige | Chair PerfectPower, Inc.

Joe Higgins | Vice Chair Sports Buzz™ Haircuts

opened its doors in 1969 with a used pick-up and a small bank loan. Historically an open cut excavation company, this family business quickly grew to become a leader in underground

Donna Robinson | Secretary Network Dogs, Inc.

Jacob Gregory | Treasurer Clifton Gunderson, LLP

utility infrastructure. When 9/11 hit, the company was faced with a “do or die” situation that could have caused them to ultimately go out of business. The country dramatically shifted

John Adam Kowalski | Past Chair

its spending from development to defense,

Pivot Productions, Inc.

and funding for projects like highways and

Glenn Hamer Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Roy Irwin Irwin Insurance & Investments, LLC

construction were all put on hold or completely cancelled. Luckily, the company was in contracts and could continue working through 2002, but in 2003, they experienced the worst year in the company’s 40 year history. Their current jobs were cancelled or

Debi Kuehn Kuehn Financial Education Services

Doug Martin Good News Radio Broadcasting

put on hold for over a year. “We knew we were in trouble and needed to do something quickly,” says Marcia Veidmark, president and one of the original founders of SSC. “We literally had

Dr. Jan Northup Management Training Systems, Inc.

Paul Smiley Sonoran Technology & Professional Services

Brad Specht Wells Fargo Bank

Linda Stanfield Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Mark Staudohar ACCENT’ Hiring Group

to reinvent ourselves.” To start the ball rolling, their staff brainstormed on what they could do that would make them a worthwhile investment to a bank for additional funding. They then realized that there was a service that they had been subcontracting out that they might be able to bring in-house. This service was vacuum utility potholing, which includes large scale dirt removal. Not only would SSC be able to self-perform this function for their own projects, but they would also be able to offer this service to other companies.

Victoria Trafton Referral Institute of Central Arizona

Janice Washington Arizona Small Business Development Network

However, they would first need to purchase an expensive vacuum excavation truck. Because of the crisis of 9/11, there was some equipment available on fire sale and auction, and they were able to find a $100,000 truck for only $50,000. Veidmark

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took the proposal to a local community bank and showed them that with this new venture, they could more than pay the cost of the $50,000 loan to purchase the new truck. “I applaud our community banks. Because of them, we secured this loan through a relationship,” continues Veidmark. “We were able to create a new division that complemented us and gave us life blood.” The new venture started with just one truck, but they made a goal to add a new truck each year – which they did for the next five years. Now, if they run into a problem during an underground drilling project, they don’t have to wait to call someone to investigate – they can take care of it themselves. The company has used the new vacuum excavation trucks for other unique projects including saving the foundation of a historic building on ASU’s Tempe Campus and the Light Rail project. “This is an exciting arm that we would have never had if we hadn’t been willing to be proactive – not to just stay comfortable,” says Veidmark. “You must forecast and watch for trends so you can make big decisions quickly.” A used pick-up and a small bank loan gave the company it’s beginning in 1969, and a new truck and a slightly bigger bank loan gave them a new beginning in 2002. Sometimes, innovation is simply reinvention.

For more information, visit

local entrepreneur makes it


Company: Mountainside Fitness | Owner: Tom Hatten | Established: 1991

Starting a business doesn’t always mean emptying out your bank account. asba member, Tom Hatten, owner of Mountainside Fitness, can attest to that. In 1991 (at the age of 21) Hatten decided to start a fitness center and has since grown his empire from one club to 10 with sales totaling approximately $35 million annually. So how did he do it? Tom Hatten, Owner of Mountainside Fitness

Hatten has a few words of wisdom for Arizona’s next great entrepreneur: Research your location; go where there is no competition. If you go where there is a demand

for your service or product, then you already have a leg up on the competition. Don’t think of cutting costs; instead, think of making wise investments. At first, do as much as you can yourself. “I worked 100 hours a week and kept my other job [painting houses] for six months,” recalls Hatten. “As much stuff as I could physically do, I did.” Starting a business is never an easy feat, but with careful planning, a meticulous business plan and some brilliant marketing ideas you’ll be on a path to success.

interested in innovation? The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) can support business and product strategies with funding from the federal government, as an alternative to or in coordination with other forms of business financing. Join us at ASU Skysong on March 11, 2011 to learn to write an award winning SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal. It will teach participants a structured grant-writing methodology demonstrated to be highly successful.

For more information, visit

For more information, visit

Ken Blanchard College of Business | College of Education | College of Nursing & Health Sciences | College of Liberal Arts | College of Fine Arts & Production

Online • Campus

Get started today! Call or visit: 877-319-3244 | Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. (800-621-7440; ).

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its all in the

numbers by: whitney fletcher, asba marketing + events director

While the landscapes of many of our nation’s cities are dotted with massive corporate offices and headquarters, the true backbone of the U.S. economy is not concentrated in a handful of huge Fortune 500 companies. Rather, the companies that have a greater impact are, in fact, the smallest – especially when it comes to Arizona. So while investors and the media may pay the most attention to those on Wall Street, it’s the small businesses on Main Street that are quietly playing an instrumental role in our economy. Let’s take a look at the impact of small business – it’s all in the numbers.

The maximum number of employees a company can have and still be considered a small business.

500 asba - 04

97% The percentage of companies in Arizona considered small businesses.

45% The percent small businesses pay of total U.S. private payroll.

$4,646 The average amount that a small business owner spends per employee to stay in compliance with government regulations. The estimated number of new businesses started in 2009.



For every 100,000 adults, 460 are creating businesses each month.

Annual membership to the Arizona Small Business Association. The only home-grown association dedicated to serving small businesses in Arizona.

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good safety record? here’s how to increase your payback

by harold gribow, asba safety program director

Many business owners are not aware of how their business can benefit from an active and successful safety and health program. Bottom line: a good safety record can result in a sizeable dividend. The Arizona Small Business Association (asba) offers safety and health training and consultation that will help businesses understand and reap the benefits of reduced work accidents, fewer workers’ compensation claims and better compliance with Federal and State OSHA regulations. And when a business is insured for workers’ compensation with SCF Arizona, and also is a member of asba, the payback for good safety records is increased dividends on workers‘ compensation insurance, as well as a safe and efficient workplace, with fewer interruptions and reduced accident costs.

As Safety Program Director for asba, I am here to provide safety program education and consultation services to asba members. Five top services that asba’s safety program provides are: • Recognizing when safety and health programs are not as effective as they should be • Advice on managing the workforce to achieve excellence in safety and health • Assistance with OSHA compliance • Safety and health training seminars • Information on workers’ compensation insurance, including the process to obtain insurance and the best ways to keep the cost of insurance as low as possible. SCF Arizona and its subsidiaries make up the largest workers‘ compensation insurance company in the state, insuring over 35,000 businesses. Based on available year-end funds, SCF pays its insured members dividends. While SCF cannot guarantee dividends, it has

Because we are concerned about the safety of our employees, we appreciate knowing we can get training from asba at no charge. Recently, Harold Gribow, asba’s safety director, came to our facility to do training on safe lifting procedures. His training was beneficial to our employees and in turn will help lower our workers’ compensation premiums. Thank you asba,

Connie Eastman, Safety Director | Reuter Equipment & Reuter Fabrication

made payouts every year since 1970. asba members recently received nearly $800,000 by participating in asba’s Association Safety Program. In 2010, asba member businesses insured through SCF received an additional 125% of their individual dividends because of their membership in the association.

For more information, visit or call 602.306.4000

reign in your healthcare costs by steve holgerson, director, member benefits (asbb)

Talk healthcare, and the conversation quickly turns to the difficulty sole proprietors and very small businesses have in obtaining critical benefits, such as medical, dental, life and vision insurance, at affordable rates. Unfortunately, healthcare reform will do little to address this problem, but there are a couple of options to help bring your healthcare cost in line: • State Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit for individuals and small business. Potential to subsidize half of your health insurance premium. Rules: 25 or fewer employees, in business for at least a year, and have not offered health insurance for at least 6 months. Information at • Federal Tax Credits for Small Business. Potential to subsidize 35% of your health insurance premium. Rules: 25 or fewer full time employees with average annual wages below $50,000. Information at

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• Consider plans with higher deductibles and coinsurance levels that offer office visit copays. If you are on a plan that offers $1,000-$2,500 deductible, and a coinsurance level of 80% or 90%, then you might find that a $5,000 deductible plan, with a 100% coinsurance and office visit copays may reduce your overall premium cost, plus keep “out of pocket” cost close to the same. • Learn more about HSA plans. HSA’s are high deductible, coinsurance only plans that allow you to establish a bank account to offset deductible and coinsurance amounts. Money deposited into your HSA bank account becomes tax deductible, and because the plans are high deductible without copays, the premium amounts tend to be less. Arizona Small Business Benefits (asbb), an asba company, helps you navigate through the different coverages available, find the right benefits for your company, and helps protect you against disability and HR related issues that can arise.

For more information, visit or call 602.931.4118

featured members

asba’s longest standing members: 1981 | Arizona Rentals

save the date

May 5th, 2011

1981 | The Peter Herrmann Co., Inc. 1982 | Valley Bevelling Corporation 1982 | Arizona Cutlery & Sharpening Service, Inc. 1985 | Scott's Coach Works, Inc. 1986 | Mining Camp Restaurant & Trading Post 1986 | Arizona Central Credit Union

18th annual


business awards


1986 | Christensen Computer Company, Inc. 1987 | Desert View 1987 | B. Bunch Co., Inc.

celebrating the best in business arizona biltmore

1987 | Red Eagle Enterprises dba El Porvenir Tortilla 1987 | Ramsey Welding Supply, Inc.

presented by

1987 | A&W Enterprises 1987 | Gompers Habilitation Center

U.S. Small Business Administration

1988 | Pete's Fish & Chips, Inc.

Learn more about these companies through the interactive business directory at

asba mixer presented by

M arch 2 4 t h | 5 pm - 7p m Lucky Strike Lanes | 50 Jefferson St

join us for our first networking mixer of 2011! Lucky Strike Lanes isn't your average bowling alley. This bowling alley is centrally located in the new City Scape Center and includes an old retro feel with some of the most hi-tech amenities. Join us as we mix and mingle with asba members and other associations and chambers throughout the valley. RSVP TODAY! (First hour of parking is FREE) Not an asba member? Use promo code “inbusiness324” to receive 50%

off your entrance fee.

visit to register or call 602.306.4000 asba - 07

asba staff Donna Davis, CEO Kristen Wilson, Sr. VP, Member Services + Programs

asba in action 1

David Drennon, VP Marketing + Business Development Debbie Hann, VP, Finance + Administration Steve Holgerson, Director, Member Benefits (asbb) Christy Coe, Director, Member Benefits (asba) Harold Gribow, Director, Association Safety Program Whitney Fletcher, Marketing + Events Director


Patricia Possert, Marketing + Events Director, Southern Arizona

1. New asba members gain valuable information at bi-monthly new member orientation meetings. 2. Another full house at asba’s fast + curious speed networking™.

Gabe Salcido, Graphic Designer + Marketing Assistant

3. Kyle Eastwood, musician and son of film icon Clint Eastwood, and Donna Davis, asba CEO, at asba’s Southern Arizona mixer.

Michelle Reynolds, Member Services Director

4. asba board members, John Adam Kowalski, Mark Staudohar, Victoria Trafton, Linda Stanfield, Jan Northup, Paul Smiley, Roy Irwin, and Janice Washington at asba’s 2011 Annual Meeting.

Rhette Baughman, Member Services Manager Carol Mangen, Member Benefits Assistant


Monica Guerette, Office Manager, Southern Arizona Sarah Travis, Receptionist

asba’s regional offices: central 4600 E. Washington Street, Suite 340


Phoenix, AZ 85034 p | 602.306.4000 f | 602.306.4001

southern 4811 E. Grant Road, Suite 262 Tucson, AZ 85712 p | 520.327.0222 f | 520.327.0440

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asba - Feb. 2011  
asba - Feb. 2011  

arizona small business association Partner Section featured in In Business Magazine