Saturday, March 28, 2009

Something For Everyone

I've been in sunny Florida, which does the heart good when you live in winter-until-May Northeastern Pennsylvania. While there I accumulated a number of topics and corresponding information from SBDC staff and others I'd like to share.

Someday I'll do a blog on customer service and the airline industry....but this isn't the day!

(1) For those who asked...we are still waiting for the specifics on the Business Stabilization Loans to come out of SBA as a result of the stimulus package. As soon as we obtain the information (I have contacted our Philadelphia District Office and let them know we would like to receive that information as soon as possible) we will post all of the data and "how to's" on this blog. Stay tuned in!

(2) Keith Yurgosky found this website, which confirms everything we always say about business planning in a five-step-or-less-format. My only concern....the writer did not recommend the SBDCs as your source for business planning assistance. To read the quick "reasons for" site, click here.

(3) Theresa Kaplan did alot of searching for a client recently on the topic of NEW REGULATIONS FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS IN PA. She contacted the Attorney General's office after finding very good information on their site, asking if we might post that information to this blog.

Thank you to the Attorney General's office in Pennsylvania for allowing us to do so!

Here are the FAQs which appear on the site. The responses are too lengthy to post here, so you can go directly to the site by clicking here to read the responses.

The Office of Attorney General has prepared this document to answer commonly asked questions about Pennsylvania's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. This document highlights key areas of the law-it is not, however, a complete explanation of the statute and is not a legal opinion. We recommend that you carefully review the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act and consult with a private attorney if you have any questions about the law or need legal advice.
  • What is the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act?
  • What is a home improvment?
  • Is new home building included in the law?
  • Whis is a home improvement contractor?
  • Who must register under the law?
  • How do I register?
  • What information is required to register?
  • When do contractors need to register?
  • Does every employee of a home improvement business need to register?
  • What if a contractor fails to register?
  • Does the law contain a "grandfather" clause for businesses that have been doing work for a long time or do they still need to register?
  • How long are registrations valid?
  • Does someone who only does a few jobs a year need to register?
  • Do subcontractors who are paid directly by a general contractor and who never enter into contracts with consumers need to register?
  • Do hardware stores or businesses that supply products and equipment used in home improvements need to register?
  • Must landscapers register?
  • Do building superintendents or the maintenance staff for apartment buildings, condominiums, or community associations need to register?
  • Do engineers, architects, land surveyros, electrical contractors, master plumbers, locksmiths, burglar alarm businesses, fire alarm businesses and similar businesses need to register?
  • Do contractors need to show their registration to their customers or display the registration in their business?
  • Do contractors need to display their registration number on their vehicles?
  • Is there an exemption for work performed by or on behalf of a charity or a non-profit corporation?
  • Does the law aply to home improvements done on commercial properties?
  • Does the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act affect the licensing or registration of home improvement contractors by counties, cities or towns?
  • Are there additional requirements in the act besides the registration requirement?
  • Does the law apply to out-of-state contractors?

All the info on the regulation, including a link to the online registration as well as to a PDF of the registration form are found at http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/hic.aspx.

A PDF of the Act itself is located here.

To register, click here.

(4) AND FINALLY, students from the Kania School of Management's Management 351 class, Section 1, will be competing to appear on this blog in the next week. Forty-one students have an assignment to read through the blog and create their own blog entry on the issues facing management in a downturn economy. The top three blog entries will be posted here on three consecutive days. We are encouraging our students to participate as much as possible in analyzing the economic issues facing ALL businesses in today's environment. Check in to see who made it to the blog!

Enjoy your weekend!

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