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online sales tax issue

Legislative Session Improves Business Landscape in Arizona

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), the largest trade association in Arizona representing over 11,000 member businesses in all 15 counties, tracked 65 bills during Arizona’s 51st Legislature (Jan. 14 – June 13, 2013), eight of which were Priority Bills. ASBA has announced all eight Priority Bills passed.

“We have a strong sense of responsibility to our members and Arizona’s business community,” states Jerry Bustamante, ASBA sr. vice president of public policy. “We understand that our actions influence how our elected officials vote and that our members hold us to a high standard.”

To advocate for businesses throughout Arizona, ASBA focused on five legislative priorities: 1) Taxation, 2) Regulation, 3) Economic Development, 4) Health Care and 5) Education.

“Bills signed into law such as HB 2147 and 2324 are excellent examples of a good public policy that, collectively, make Arizona more business-friendly and provide relief to existing businesses,” says Rick Murray, CEO of ASBA. “HB 2111, commonly known as TPT, on the other hand, is a single bill that will make a dramatic contribution that will completely change the landscape in which businesses operate. TPT will provide a much needed overhaul to an overly burdensome tax system.”

Bustamante adds, “ASBA is proud to have been part of, and have taken a leadership role in, the coalition of business groups that fought to reform TPT and bring much-needed relief to Arizona.”

The following were ASBA’s 2013 Priority Bills:

HB 2111: Transaction Privilege Tax Change (TPT)

  • Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Lesko, LD 21
  • Summary: This is the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) simplification bill that intends to significantly reform how sales taxes are collected in Arizona. The intent of the bill is to provide Arizona businesses with, and return Arizona to, a single organization that manages all tax and audit activities. The Arizona Department of Revenue would be charged with creating an online portal to provide a single location to get a TPT permit, file TPT returns and make TPT payments for all jurisdictions in the state.
  • Result: After much debate and compromise, HB 2111 passed out of the House with a 58-1 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 29-0 vote on the legislature’s final day and will soon arrive on Governor Brewer’s desk to be signed into law.

HB 2147: Unemployment Benefits; Proof; Eligibility

  • Sponsor: Rep. Warren Petersen, LD 12
  • Summary: This bill is the latest effort to reform how unemployment benefits are delivered in Arizona and attempts to level the playing field where businesses have been at a disadvantage. This bill provides much-needed relief to Arizona businesses by shifting the burden of proof on an applicant who resigned their employment but claims they were fired. Unemployment insurance applicants, rather than the employer, will have to demonstrate that they involuntarily left employment.
  • Result: HB 2147 passed out of the House with a 34-24 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 17-12 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

HB 2324: TPT Exemption; Leases; Affiliated Companies

(Municipal Tax Code; Leases)

  • Sponsor: Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, LD 12
  • Summary: This bill exempts commercial leases from TPT tax when the owner of the business and the building being leased is one in the same. Municipalities and special taxing districts are prohibited from levying a transaction privilege or use tax on gross income derived from leasing real property between affiliated companies, businesses or persons, or by a reciprocal insurer. Cities that do collect such taxes may continue to require payment until October of 2013.
  • Result: HB 2324 passed out of the House with a 58-0 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 29-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

HB 2336: Taxation; Retail Classification; Cash Equivalents

  • Sponsor: Rep. Tom Forese, LD 17
  • Summary: This bill exempts a number of items referred to as “cash equivalents” purchased in advanced in a dollar value denomination from retail TPT tax. These cash equivalents are gift cards, vouchers, money orders and traveler’s checks. No TPT is paid to buy a gift card, but TPT is paid when a gift card is used to purchase goods.
  • Result: HB 2336 passed out of the House with a 59-0 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 29-0 vote on the legislature’s final day and will soon arrive on Governor Brewer’s desk to be signed into law.

HB 2599: Procurement Code; Amendments

  • Sponsor: Rep. Justin Pierce, LD 25
  • Summary: This bill amends Arizona’s procurement code to more closely scrutinize state employees involved in purchasing decisions who move back and forth between government and private sector jobs. The bill also makes technical changes in how the state selects the winner of an RFP, and its overall intent is for government to operate more like the private sector.
  • Result: HB 2599 passed out of the House with a 59-0 vote, passed out of the Senate with a 24-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

SB 1168: Internal Revenue Code Conformity

  • Sponsor: Steve Yarbrough, LD 17
  • Summary: This bill makes changes to Arizona’s income tax laws to ensure that they conform to the federal IRS code in effect as of January 1, 2013.
  • Result: SB 1168 passed out of the Senate with a 28-0 vote, passed out of the House with a 58-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

SB 1169: Prop 117, Conformity

  • Sponsor: Steve Yarbrough, LD 17
  • Summary: This bill makes various changes to the Arizona revised statutes in order to conform to Proposition 117 (property tax assessed valuation; limitation), which was passed by Arizona voters during the 2012 general election. Proposition 117 had nothing to do with the tax rate, but caps at five percent the maximum increase in property value that taxable real property can grow in a certain year.
  • Result: SB 1169 passed out of the Senate with a 28-0 vote, passed out of the House with a 58-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

SB 1233: Limited Liability Companies; Ownership Interests

  • Sponsor: Senator Adam Driggs, LD 28
  • Summary: We refer to this bill as the estate planning bill. This bill amends the Limited Liability Company Act by adding a new provision that governs members as it relates to forms of ownership. An interest in a limited liability company (LLC) may be held by two or more people as joint tenants with right of survivorship, or by a married couple as community property with right of survivorship, except as prohibited or restricted in an operating agreement.
  • Result: SB 1233 passed out of the Senate with a 28-0 vote, passed out of the House with a 56-0 vote and was signed into law by the Governor.

ASBA develops its policy positions and statements through its Public Policy Committee, which is comprised of ASBA members providing volunteer leadership and key ASBA staff. Under the direction of ASBA’s Board of Directors, the Public Policy Committee is charged with conducting research, surveying the membership, developing ASBA legislative priorities tracking bills and taking action to influence the passage or defeat of bills. Learn more about ASBA and its role in public policy, visit www.asba.com or call 602-306-4000 or 520.327.0222.

Rick Murray, chief executive officer of the Arizona Small Business Association.

ASBA's CEO Ready for a close-up

Rick Murray followed an eclectic path to becoming chief executive officer of the Arizona Small Business Association in February of 2012.

After college, he worked as a broadcast news photographer before starting a small advertising agency and production company, which grew into a sports production company before he ended up back in broadcast news, this time in front of the camera as a business and education reporter.

The bonds he developed in journalism led to jobs heading up the community and government relations department for the Albuquerque Public Schools, leading the New Mexico State Fair, working as the executive director of the New Mexico Dental Association, and then growing the Arizona Dental Association by nearly $2 million by developing relationships with businesses for mutual success.

Az Business caught up with Murray to talk about small business in Arizona.

Az Business: What have you learned in your first year as CEO of ASBA?
Rick Murray: What has surprised you the most about your position? The thing that has surprised me the most is how little the business community knows about the Arizona Small Business Association.  We have estimated there are nearly 400,000 small businesses in Arizona. Only 11,000 of them have discovered the tremendous value of membership through discounted products and services like office products, shipping, credit card processing, and health and dental insurance, just to name a few. Businesses are saving thousands of dollars a year using our endorsed programs. These are real dollars that goes back into the pockets of hard working business owners.  We are sort of the AAA of small business. We understand that small business owners rarely have a chance to come up for air so we need to do a better job of reaching out to them communicating the value of the Arizona Small Business Association.

AB: How does ASBA decide what its legislative priorities will be each year?
RM: Our legislative priorities do not change much from one year to the next because our efforts are concentrated on what we have determined are the most important policy issues concerning Arizona small business which are: taxation, regulation, economic development, healthcare and education. Each legislative session is different and not all of our policy priorities will be a priority to the current legislature. Not much happened in healthcare the previous two years for example, while this year healthcare has become the single biggest issue with the governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid. Next year it might be education or economic development.

AB: What are ASBA’s legislative priorities for 2013?
RM: We knew coming into this legislative session that reform of the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT), Arizona’s way of collecting sales tax, was going to be a major issue which we are strongly advocating for. It didn’t happen overnight either, much work was done in previous years which as lead us up to this point and we are confident we will have some success this year simplifying our complicated tax code. Improving the regulatory environment for Arizona businesses has been a long standing priority for ASBA, especially in the area of employer/employee relations. Unemployment benefits is an area where too many undue burdens have been placed on businesses making it difficult to comply. Bills such as HB 2147 that alleviate some of the burden on businesses and shifts some responsibility on an applicant seeking unemployment benefits, helps level the playing field and makes it easier for businesses to comply with the law. We are also supporting the Governor’s plan to expand Medicaid in Arizona.

AB: How has the Arizona Small Business Association’s focus on public policy changed over the last decade?
RM: The change has been significant. The biggest change has been our renewed commitment to advocating for Arizona small businesses and making public policy one of the major strengthens. We are committing more time and resources to our public policy efforts today than ever before and are in it for the long haul.  The other major change is that we are now concentrating our efforts at the state level and some at the federal level. There was a time we use to get pulled into local policy issues but today you will no longer find us at City Hall or at County Board of Supervisor meetings. We strongly believe that the local chambers of commerce across the state should take the lead on local issues and advocate for their local business community. As a statewide business organization, we are better positioned to advocate for Arizona businesses at the state level where not enough advocacy for small businesses was previously taking place. Each year we are getting stronger as well as our membership/clout grows and our relationship with other business groups and elected officials continues to grow.

AB: Where do small businesses fit into the overall economy of Arizona?
RM: Small business is the economic driver for not only Arizona, but the entire country. Without small business, there is no economy. Never before has small business played such a pivotal role in an election season as in 2012, with candidates of every political persuasion promising their support of and ties to the small business community. But what really matters is what lawmakers are doing to move our economy forward. Between the ever-present economic uncertainty, the failure of Congress to truly address the deficit and widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act, there are very few incentives to start or grow a small company.   ASBA will continue to encourage government at every level to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners who must lead, innovate and make tough decisions every day—always with the bottom line in sight.

AB: How friendly is Arizona to small businesses?
RM: On the surface, Arizona is very business friendly. Tax reform has been a priority for Arizona lawmakers for the last decade. Arizona has reduced the personal income tax rate and the tax rates for business property and research and development. Last year, Governor Brewer and legislative leadership passed legislation that reduces taxes to business property, both real and personal, as well as capital gains and corporate income tax. Today we are taking on the biggest challenge in reforming the sales tax in Arizona. TPT reform will make it easier for small business to pay sales tax.  But many cities oppose the move for fear of a loss in revenue and have been fighting it despite the fact that Arizona has the most complicated sales tax system in the country. These cities need to realize who pays the majority of these taxes (small business) and start working to improve the system rather than protecting their bureaucratic kingdoms.

AB: What is your five-year economic outlook for the small business sector in Arizona?
RM: Small-business owners today are feeling less optimistic about the outlook of their own firms and the overall U.S. economy than they did this time last year, according to our most recent economic report. Despite modest gains in the number of small businesses projecting U.S. economic expansion, the overwhelming majority, 86 percent, still believe the U.S. economy will be flat or recessionary in the coming year. Just over one-third (38 percent) anticipate their firms will grow in the coming year — the lowest this indicator has been since the National Small Business Association has began asking this question in December 2009. Additionally, many economists are concerned when the Affordable Care Act in implemented in January, it could add tremendous downward pressure to an already sluggish recovery, wiping out any gains we may have seen. In spite of this, Arizona businesses seem to be ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the country. As we see the credit market lighten up and the real estate market improve, we will see greater consumer confidence which is always a good sign for small business.

Rick Murray, chief executive officer of the Arizona Small Business Association.

ASBA’s CEO Ready for a close-up

Rick Murray followed an eclectic path to becoming chief executive officer of the Arizona Small Business Association in February of 2012.

After college, he worked as a broadcast news photographer before starting a small advertising agency and production company, which grew into a sports production company before he ended up back in broadcast news, this time in front of the camera as a business and education reporter.

The bonds he developed in journalism led to jobs heading up the community and government relations department for the Albuquerque Public Schools, leading the New Mexico State Fair, working as the executive director of the New Mexico Dental Association, and then growing the Arizona Dental Association by nearly $2 million by developing relationships with businesses for mutual success.

Az Business caught up with Murray to talk about small business in Arizona.

Az Business: What have you learned in your first year as CEO of ASBA?
Rick Murray: What has surprised you the most about your position? The thing that has surprised me the most is how little the business community knows about the Arizona Small Business Association.  We have estimated there are nearly 400,000 small businesses in Arizona. Only 11,000 of them have discovered the tremendous value of membership through discounted products and services like office products, shipping, credit card processing, and health and dental insurance, just to name a few. Businesses are saving thousands of dollars a year using our endorsed programs. These are real dollars that goes back into the pockets of hard working business owners.  We are sort of the AAA of small business. We understand that small business owners rarely have a chance to come up for air so we need to do a better job of reaching out to them communicating the value of the Arizona Small Business Association.

AB: How does ASBA decide what its legislative priorities will be each year?
RM: Our legislative priorities do not change much from one year to the next because our efforts are concentrated on what we have determined are the most important policy issues concerning Arizona small business which are: taxation, regulation, economic development, healthcare and education. Each legislative session is different and not all of our policy priorities will be a priority to the current legislature. Not much happened in healthcare the previous two years for example, while this year healthcare has become the single biggest issue with the governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid. Next year it might be education or economic development.

AB: What are ASBA’s legislative priorities for 2013?
RM: We knew coming into this legislative session that reform of the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT), Arizona’s way of collecting sales tax, was going to be a major issue which we are strongly advocating for. It didn’t happen overnight either, much work was done in previous years which as lead us up to this point and we are confident we will have some success this year simplifying our complicated tax code. Improving the regulatory environment for Arizona businesses has been a long standing priority for ASBA, especially in the area of employer/employee relations. Unemployment benefits is an area where too many undue burdens have been placed on businesses making it difficult to comply. Bills such as HB 2147 that alleviate some of the burden on businesses and shifts some responsibility on an applicant seeking unemployment benefits, helps level the playing field and makes it easier for businesses to comply with the law. We are also supporting the Governor’s plan to expand Medicaid in Arizona.

AB: How has the Arizona Small Business Association’s focus on public policy changed over the last decade?
RM: The change has been significant. The biggest change has been our renewed commitment to advocating for Arizona small businesses and making public policy one of the major strengthens. We are committing more time and resources to our public policy efforts today than ever before and are in it for the long haul.  The other major change is that we are now concentrating our efforts at the state level and some at the federal level. There was a time we use to get pulled into local policy issues but today you will no longer find us at City Hall or at County Board of Supervisor meetings. We strongly believe that the local chambers of commerce across the state should take the lead on local issues and advocate for their local business community. As a statewide business organization, we are better positioned to advocate for Arizona businesses at the state level where not enough advocacy for small businesses was previously taking place. Each year we are getting stronger as well as our membership/clout grows and our relationship with other business groups and elected officials continues to grow.

AB: Where do small businesses fit into the overall economy of Arizona?
RM: Small business is the economic driver for not only Arizona, but the entire country. Without small business, there is no economy. Never before has small business played such a pivotal role in an election season as in 2012, with candidates of every political persuasion promising their support of and ties to the small business community. But what really matters is what lawmakers are doing to move our economy forward. Between the ever-present economic uncertainty, the failure of Congress to truly address the deficit and widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act, there are very few incentives to start or grow a small company.   ASBA will continue to encourage government at every level to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners who must lead, innovate and make tough decisions every day—always with the bottom line in sight.

AB: How friendly is Arizona to small businesses?
RM: On the surface, Arizona is very business friendly. Tax reform has been a priority for Arizona lawmakers for the last decade. Arizona has reduced the personal income tax rate and the tax rates for business property and research and development. Last year, Governor Brewer and legislative leadership passed legislation that reduces taxes to business property, both real and personal, as well as capital gains and corporate income tax. Today we are taking on the biggest challenge in reforming the sales tax in Arizona. TPT reform will make it easier for small business to pay sales tax.  But many cities oppose the move for fear of a loss in revenue and have been fighting it despite the fact that Arizona has the most complicated sales tax system in the country. These cities need to realize who pays the majority of these taxes (small business) and start working to improve the system rather than protecting their bureaucratic kingdoms.

AB: What is your five-year economic outlook for the small business sector in Arizona?
RM: Small-business owners today are feeling less optimistic about the outlook of their own firms and the overall U.S. economy than they did this time last year, according to our most recent economic report. Despite modest gains in the number of small businesses projecting U.S. economic expansion, the overwhelming majority, 86 percent, still believe the U.S. economy will be flat or recessionary in the coming year. Just over one-third (38 percent) anticipate their firms will grow in the coming year — the lowest this indicator has been since the National Small Business Association has began asking this question in December 2009. Additionally, many economists are concerned when the Affordable Care Act in implemented in January, it could add tremendous downward pressure to an already sluggish recovery, wiping out any gains we may have seen. In spite of this, Arizona businesses seem to be ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the country. As we see the credit market lighten up and the real estate market improve, we will see greater consumer confidence which is always a good sign for small business.

Jan Brewer

Brewer Declares May 'Arizona Small Business Month'

Arizona State Governor Janice K. Brewer approved the Arizona Small Business Association’s (ASBA) proclamation to declare May 2013 “Arizona Small Business Month.” The proclamation will be presented at ASBA’s 1st Annual Arizona Small Business Conference on May 16 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale during the “State of Small Business Breakfast.”

Speaking at the State of Small Business Breakfast will be Governor Brewer, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, National Small Business Association President Todd McCracken and ASBA CEO Rick Murray.

“Declaring May as ‘Arizona Small Business Month’ celebrates our small business community for their great contributions to our State as entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders,” says Murray. “We thank Governor Brewer for honoring Arizona’s small business community in this way, and presenting this proclamation at our upcoming conference.”

Join the State of Small Business Breakfast on Thurs., May 16 at 8-9:00 a.m. at The Phoenician Resort (6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale). The breakfast is part of ASBA’s 1st Annual Arizona Small Business Conference, which will also feature the 20th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon honoring the National Small Business Association award winners in Arizona, an all day conference with breakout sessions, Networking Mixer, and a Business Expo (free admittance).

To register, visit www.azsmallbizcon.com or call (602) 306-4000.

Jan Brewer

Brewer Declares May ‘Arizona Small Business Month’

Arizona State Governor Janice K. Brewer approved the Arizona Small Business Association’s (ASBA) proclamation to declare May 2013 “Arizona Small Business Month.” The proclamation will be presented at ASBA’s 1st Annual Arizona Small Business Conference on May 16 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale during the “State of Small Business Breakfast.”

Speaking at the State of Small Business Breakfast will be Governor Brewer, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, National Small Business Association President Todd McCracken and ASBA CEO Rick Murray.

“Declaring May as ‘Arizona Small Business Month’ celebrates our small business community for their great contributions to our State as entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders,” says Murray. “We thank Governor Brewer for honoring Arizona’s small business community in this way, and presenting this proclamation at our upcoming conference.”

Join the State of Small Business Breakfast on Thurs., May 16 at 8-9:00 a.m. at The Phoenician Resort (6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale). The breakfast is part of ASBA’s 1st Annual Arizona Small Business Conference, which will also feature the 20th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon honoring the National Small Business Association award winners in Arizona, an all day conference with breakout sessions, Networking Mixer, and a Business Expo (free admittance).

To register, visit www.azsmallbizcon.com or call (602) 306-4000.

5 C's of Credit

ASBA addresses issues facing small business in 2013

January 7, 2013 – The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) will offer a forum for Arizona small business owners and supporters of the small business community to discuss the critical issues facing small businesses this year at the 2013 Small Business Outlook.  ASBA’s annual event will be highlighted by a panel of industry leaders who will delve into important topics such as public policy, sales tax, healthcare in Arizona and access to capital.  The event will be held Thursday, Jan. 17at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.

Panelists for the 2013 Small Business Outlook include:

  • Jerry Bustamante, Senior V.P. of Public Policy + Southern Arizona, ASBA
  • Michael Hunter, Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Advisor on Tax Policy & Reform, Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer
  • Don Hughes, Policy Advisor for Health Care, Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer
  • Craig Jordan, Lender Relations Specialist, Arizona District Office
  • John Oates, Head of State Government Affairs, Cigna

Rick Murray, CEO of ASBA, states, “At our Small Business Outlook, our expert panel will explore the main issues expected to rule the headlines and dominate the dialogue this year.”

One such topic is public policy. Panelist Jerry Bustamante, senior vice president of public policy for ASBA, will discuss why he predicts there will be more cooperation across party lines. He comments, “We are entering Arizona’s Legislative session with more clarity this year, in comparison to the many questions left unanswered at this time last year.”

Michael Hunter, director of legislative affairs and special advisor on tax policy and reform for the Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer, can explain, for example, how the Fiscal Cliff being averted affects Arizonans and what the new tax bill means to small business owners. Also from the Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer, Don Hughes, policy advisor for health care, can speak about new health care policies.

Cigna Head of State Government Affairs John Oates will discuss health care policy as well. He is responsible for legislative and regulatory advocacy in the states, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Texas House of Representatives, a health policy analyst in the Texas Senate, a health policy advisor in the Governor’s office and as the Committee Director for the Senate Health Services.

Arizona District Office Lender Relations Specialist Craig Jordan will cover the topic of access to capital. Jordan will comment on the Small Business Association’s role in providing capital access to small businesses, loan production information, and the enhancements to programs and loan programs that currently exist.

The 2013 Small Business Outlook will commence at 7:30am and conclude at 10:00am on Thursday, Jan. 17.  The Phoenician is located at 6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. To register for the event, please visit asba.com/outlook or call (602) 306-4000.

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is the largest trade association in the state representing 11,000+ member businesses, and over ½ million employees in all 15 counties. ASBA members enjoy access to significant group discounts, countless opportunities to do business with each other, a wide array of insurance products, and active advocacy efforts on public policy issues to protect their businesses. Discover more at www.asba.com or by calling 602.306.4000 or 520.327.0222. Join ASBA. Be amAZed®

stat doctors

ASBA Helps Members Manage Healthcare Costs With Stat Doctors

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) announces its partnership with Stat Health Services Inc. to offer its members Stat Doctors, a service providing 24/7 access to board certified emergency physicians via Internet or phone. Stat Doctors offers an alternative to emergency room and urgent care visits, reducing the cost of care and providing care on-demand for the diagnosis and treatment of urgent yet common minor medical conditions.

“Stat Doctors is a unique solution for organizations to manage healthcare costs that are rising as much as 26 percent year-over-year, while reducing absenteeism and providing a benefit that employees love,” states Dr. Alan Roga, MD, founder and CEO of Stat Health Services. “We look forward to providing ASBA’s members a high quality, convenient and low cost alternative to traditional immediate medical care alternatives.”

Small businesses that are members of ASBA can now access Stat Doctors as a supplement to health insurance to minimize costs and add value to employees, or as an alternative to health insurance in the cases business owners cannot afford employer-sponsored healthcare. Likewise, employees that cannot afford healthcare insurance now have an affordable medical care option.

“ASBA represents over half a million lives (employees) in the State of Arizona,” says Rick Murray, CEO of ASBA. “The Stat Doctors program offers these individuals high quality medical access for minimal cost. This benefit gives small businesses, their employees and employees’ families some relief during a time when budgets are tight.”

Stat Health Services has a network of board certified emergency physicians conducting all of the online consultations. The service, accessible via telephone, personal computer or mobile devices, offers single sign-on, a virtual waiting room, e-visits, access to electronic medical records and e-prescribing services. Patients see a board certified emergency physician within 5-8 minutes on average. According to Dr. Roga, “You can see a doctor and be well on your way to getting better, in the time it would take you to drive to your nearest healthcare provider.”

As an included benefit of their ASBA membership, members and their employees have access to this benefit and pay only a small fee when they visit a Stat Doctors physician.

The service benefits employees suffering from sports injuries, arthritic pain, insect bites, urinary tract infections, rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies, colds and flu, pink eye, asthma, bronchitis and many other acute minor medical conditions.

ASBA members can receive more information on the program, registration and costs by visiting www.asba.com/statdoctors. For more information about Stat Health Services and its Stat Doctors program, visit www.statdoctors.com or call 888-990-STAT. For more information about ASBA and/or to join, visit www.asba.com or call 602-306-4000.

small business - ASBA advocacy

ASBA Shapes Public Policy For Arizona Small Businesses

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), the largest trade association in Arizona representing over 11,000 member businesses, has ramped up its public policy focus over the past few years at the state and federal level to advocate for small businesses throughout Arizona. After surveying its members, ASBA determined the following five areas as its 2012 Legislative Priorities: 1) Taxation, 2) Regulation, 3) Economic Development, 4) Health Care and 5) Education.

“We are committed to stronger representation and increased advocacy for small businesses at the state and federal level to make Arizona more business friendly,” states ASBA CEO Rick Murray. “And because of our size, ASBA has the clout to shape public policy.”

This year, ASBA had 13 priority bills to help support small businesses, six of which were passed and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer. Among them:

HB 2123 “Transaction Privilege Tax Reform Committee”

Establishes a 13-member Committee to study, make recommendations and propose legislation to revise Arizona’s tax code to reflect the 21st Century economy. This includes both individual and corporate income tax, as well as transaction privilege tax, or sales tax.

HB2159 “Unemployment Insurance; Independent Contractors; Appeals”

Clarifies language on unemployment insurance and essentially increases the amount of time an employer has to file various appeals on unemployment insurance claims.

HB2272 “Public Records Exemption, Research Data”

The exemption from public records laws for certain state university records is expanded to include information or intellectual property that is developed by persons employed by a university. This will protect the private sector’s intellectual property and encourage more research and clinical studies conducted in Arizona.

“Public policy is a priority of ASBA,” says Jerry Bustamante, senior vice president of public policy for ASBA. “We had a very productive legislative session this year with many wins that Arizona businesses are going to benefit from.” Bustamante adds that, while ASBA advocates for small businesses at the state and federal level, it also works with local chambers of commerce throughout Arizona on legislative issues and encourages them to take the lead and be the voice of business in their communities and city hall.

ASBA has a Public Policy Committee of dedicated volunteer members and staff that are charged with conducting research, surveying the membership, developing its legislative priorities, tracking bills and taking action to influence the passage or defeat of bills. In addition, Murray and Bustamante are Lobbyists and the organization maintains a Lobbyist dedicated to attending each day of the legislative session.

For more information on ASBA’s role in public policy and its 2012 legislative priorities and how it helps small businesses, visit asba.com/legislativesummary.

asba

ASBA Celebrates Entrepreneurs

The Arizona Small Business Association ( ASBA ) and the U.S. Small Business Administration ( SBA ) will kick-off national Small Business Month in May by announcing Arizona’s small business award winners at the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1. The luncheon will be held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and, notably, LifeLock Chief Executive Officer Todd Davis will provide the keynote address on how a gutsy, spur of the moment marketing decision turned the Arizona-based startup into a two million plus customer phenomenon.

“It’s an honor for the Arizona Small Business Association to recognize these exceptional Arizona businesses,” says Rick Murray, chief executive officer of ASBA. “They represent the very best in innovation, business and entrepreneurial spirit that Arizona has to offer, and exemplify the great business leadership that is contributing to our state’s strengthening economy and excellence.”

“Each year the SBA has the honor of spotlighting Arizona winners of our Small Business Week awards in a ceremony that recognizes and celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and community activism that has long characterized the small business community of our great state,” said Robert J. Blaney, the District Director of the SBA in Arizona. “These men and women are the risk takers, the innovators and the employers that power our economy and daily serve our communities in business and as local leaders.”

Recipients of the 2012 U.S. Small Business Administration Awards represent small business achievements across the state.

Small Business Person of the Year: Zeferino Banda, owner of Banda Group International (BGI) of Chandler

• Small Business Exporter of the Year: Dr. Manuel Padilla, President of Geotechnical Consulting and Testing Systems (GCTS) of Tempe

• Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year: AGM Container Controls of Tucson

• Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Virgilia Kaur Singh, CEO of MIB Consultants of Scottsdale

• Minority and Small Business Champion of the Year: Lea Marquez Peterson of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber

• Women in Business Champion of the Year: Janet Marcotte, Executive Director of the YWCA in Tucson

• Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: Tom Shambo of the Microbusiness Advancement Center’s Small Business Development Center of Tucson

• Financial Services Champion of the Year: Karen Goettl, Vice President and Regional Loan Operations Manager of Western Alliance Bank of Phoenix

The “Small Business Person of the Year” award recipient, Zeferino Banda, will represent the State of Arizona during national Small Business Week in Washington D.C. May 20-26.

At the awards luncheon, ASBA will also reveal the winner of its “amAZing Small Business Video Contest.” The contest began accepting video submissions in March which answered the question, “My small business is amAZing™ because…” The contest is open to all Arizona small businesses through Friday, April 20. Contest submission details can be found at www.asba.com/amazingbusiness. The event will also feature a video booth where attendees can stop by and tape a video about their business on site.  Each attendee will receive a copy of their video after the event to use however they would like.

Join the celebration honoring these small business leaders on May 1st at 11am-1:30pm at the Arizona Biltmore Resort (2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, AZ). To register, visit www.asba.com/enterprise or call 602-306-4000.

ArizonaSmallBusinessAssociation

ASBA Launches amAZing Small Business Video Contest

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) has announced the launch of the “amAZing Small business Video Contest” to celebrate National Small Business Month in May. The goal is to honor the small businesses in Arizona that provide jobs and help drive the local economy. Contestants should submit a short video that tells the story of their company and explains why it is amazing.

The contest is open to all business in Arizona with 500 employees or less. The videos will be judged on creativity and message. The top five finalists and the overall winner will be voted upon by a panel of judges, including ASBA sponsors and key partners. All videos will be reviewed by ASBA staff to ensure they meet the submission guidelines.

Video submissions are due by Friday, April 13, and the winning video will be revealed at the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1, 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. The video below explains more details about the contest.

The submission video should be no longer than two minutes. All videos should describe what the business does and explain why it is amazing. Be sure to use the phrase, “My small business is amazing because…” Upload the video to YouTube or another hosting site, and then send the link to marketing@asba.com.

Top 5 finalists receive:

  • One complimentary ticket to the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1, 2012 — a $60 value
  • Video featured on the ASBA website and social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter and the ASBA YouTube channel during National Small Business Month (May 2012)

The winner will additionally receive:

  • $500 cash prize provided by Sonoran Studios
  • Video featured at the 19th Annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon on May 1, 2012 to the 400 expected guests in attendance
  • Complimentary one year ASBA Membership – a value upwards of $585

For more information about the video contest, please visit asba.com/amazingbusiness.

 

Arizona Small Business Association seeks new CEO

Arizona Small Business Association Seeks New CEO

After engineering a successful turnaround as CEO of Arizona Small Business Association, Donna Davis announces today she will not be renewing her contract, which ends December 31. She will continue to lead the organization and assist with the on boarding of a new CEO through January 31, 2012.

ASBA’s Board of Directors has formed a search committee to begin the process of finding her successor.

“It has been a privilege to lead ASBA and to serve the small business community. I have enjoyed advancing ASBA, helping our members, and connecting with organizations throughout Arizona and the nation,” Davis says. “With the completion of ASBA’s turnaround, the time has come to recruit new leadership to advance the organization.”

During this turnaround period, in an extremely challenging economy, Donna has fulfilled every goal set with the Board of Directors,” says Lynn Paige, Chairwoman of ASBA’s Board of Directors. “She has worked with the Board to capitalize on all her amazing talents and leaves behind a legacy of excellence for us all to follow,” she adds.

Donna has done amazing things for ASBA members and small business owners around Arizona. Under her direction, the association reinvented itself and more than doubled its membership.

“We wish her well in her new endeavors and look forward to a smooth transition,” says ASBA Board Vice Chairman Joe Higgins.

In the last three years, the organization’s membership has grown from 2,700 to more than 11,000 business members, the financials are in the strongest condition in the organization’s 40-year history, the staff is extremely competent and dedicated, and the culture is energized.

“As a change agent, my role is completed, and it is time for me to entertain other professional opportunities.  In the meantime, it is business as usual,” Davis adds.

For more information about the Arizona Small Business Association, visit www.asba.com.