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Long Branch Business News Long Branch Enterprise Zone Renewed! Good news! The Long Branch and Takoma Park Enterprise Zone has been redesignated and renewed by the State of Maryland. The Enterprise Zone tax credit provides two separate benefits.

September 2013 Volume 6, Issue 9

The first benefit is for any business that improves its real estate in the zone, for example by a major renovation or physical expansion. In that case, the EZ credit offers an 80 per cent reduction in the County taxes on the improvements’ assessed value, and lasts for five years. (After the fifth year, the savings gradually decrease by 10 per cent a year over the following five years.) The second benefit is provided to certified businesses in an Enterprise Zone that hire new full-time (35 hours per week) employees. In this case, the business is able to reduce its tax payments by one thousand dollars per new employee (one year only). If the new hire is from a disadvantaged background, however, the tax credit can be as high as $6,000 spread over three years. In both cases restrictions may apply, so before making a decision, be sure to consult with the coordinator of the Long Branch EZ Tax Credit, Pete McGinnity peter.mcginnity@montgomerycountymd.gov or contact Paul Grenier at 301 812-4141. Last year, two Long Branch businesses either began or completed an application for the EZ tax credit. Finmarc Management applied for the Flower Shopping Center, and the owner of the property at 649 University Blvd. has begun the process of application.

Business League Luncheon Tuesday, Sept. 3 2:00 pm—3:30 pm Manna Restaurant 8640 Flower Avenue Meet your fellow Long Branch store owners! Discuss upcoming Salsa Event! Eat great food!

Smart Planning for Small Businesses Every business consultant agrees that planning is key to any business’s long-term success. But what can you do if you haven’t the time or money to create market studies and to make multi-year cost and revenue projections the way the big companies do? For many small businesses, according to recent research, the answer to that question is to engage in strategic thinking instead of strategic planning. What this means, according to the well-known corporate consultant Kaihan Krippendorff, is that small firms should take advantage of their smallness to make fast decisions, adapting to new market demands in ways that larger companies cannot (because their planning processes are too slow). How to do this, though, when you are too busy to think!? Here are a few suggestions that might help: 1. Plan on the run. Meet with your best employees and advisors for five or ten minutes at a time to define the problems you are facing right now (and talk to your customers!). (See Small Business Planning, back page)

The Business League’s Art Cobb has created several marketing films for the League and Salsa event


League Creates Salsa Night at Flower Park! Business League president Carlos Perozo invites everyone in Long Branch and Takoma Park – businesses and residents alike – to participate in the upcoming Salsa Night on Flower Avenue. Salsa Night, which will offer exciting Salsa music and free Salsa dance lessons to the public, will take place on Saturday, September 21 at the Flower Avenue Park (next to Reliable Cleaners). The purpose of the Salsa event, like other events in the Discover Long Branch! series, is to help bring more families and pedestrians (young and old) into the heart of our business district.

(Small Business Planning, from page 1) 2. Ask (and answer) the question, ‘Why not?’ When you hear yourself thinking, ‘This won’t work,’ ask yourself, ‘Why not?,’ and write down the three reasons the idea won’t work (e.g., it costs too much, customers won’t like it, it’s not technically feasible). Then test whether those three reasons are true, and brainstorm how you can overcome them. 3. Make small tests or trial runs. Big companies make big bets so it makes sense for them to study changes for a long time before making them. “You don’t need to and you can’t afford to,” Krippendorff says. Instead, make your best guess and try it out on a few customers before you spend much money on your new idea. Go with what works! For more ideas on how to go about business planning, contact the Small Business Development Center at 301 402-0501, x- 11; or call Paul Grenier at 301 812-4141. [Article adapted with permission from “Why Small Businesses Should Scrap Strategic Planning,” by Kaihan Krippendorff, Fast Company, 3/2012]

Be sure to attend between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. , when a professional Salsa dance instructor will lead a rueda, a type of Salsa dance lead by a caller (or ‘lider’), and danced by several couples in a circle formation ("rueda" is Spanish for wheel). According to John Angel, manager of El Gavilan, (see July newsletter for story on Angel’s connections to Salsa) a rueda dance is a great way to meet people. “You don’t need to come with a partner, because everyone dances with everyone!” This is also a great opportunity to promote your business! To find out how you can distribute discount coupons or flyers at the event, contact Salsa Night lead organizer, Art Cobb at: art.cobb@aol.com or 240-4470659.

Salsa Night on Flower! When: Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 4 - 7 p.m. Where: Flower Avenue Park, 8746 Flower Avenue (just west of the Reliable Cleaners and across from El Golfo -- see map to the right) FREE lessons and give-aways!

This art poster was designed for the Long Branch Salsa Night by University of Maryland architecture student Natalya Dikhanov.

Long Branch Business News, a monthly publication Paul Grenier, Editor 301-622-2400, x 41 pgrenier@MHPartners.org

September 2013 long branch newsletter final  
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