Viewing posts from: November 2015

SBA Changes May Help Small Agriculture Businesses

Posted November 23, 2015 by Administrator

shutterstock_3008334For the past 20 years, Congress has managed the standards for SBA small agriculture producer qualifications. These qualifications determine whether small agriculture businesses meet the requirements for a Small Business Administration loan. In October, a bill was proposed in congress that would return the ability to set standards to the SBA, which could relieve some of the undue hardship in the small agriculture industry.

SBA Agribusiness Standards

The Small Business Administration institutes standards for financial eligibility for most industries. The SBA uses factors that include net worth, net income, or number of employees. Each industry has a different standard based on the unique qualifiers of small businesses in that industry.

In the mid-80’s, the SBA was looking to alter the definition of small business in the agriculture industry by looking at cash receipts. Congress took it upon itself to create a statute that defined small farms as those with cash receipts less than $500,000 and took away the ability of the SBA to create standards for small agriculture businesses.

Since the mid-80’s, Congress has increased the value of cash receipts, however current standards of cash receipts less than $750,000 doesn’t meet the needs of many family-owned farms or ranches.

If the Small Agriculture Producer Size and Standards Improvement Act were passed, the SBA would once again be able to determine the definition of small agriculture businesses. They could also monitor the industry using information from the Census of Agriculture and Department of Congress to make adjustments as the industry changes.

This would help improve the financial state of the small agriculture industry and the economy as a whole.


Posted November 10, 2015 by Administrator

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Protect Your Trucking Operation from Cybercrime

Posted November 10, 2015 by Administrator

Cargo theft is one of the risks that are consistently evolving in the trucking industry. As commercial fleets struggle to keep up with risk management, criminals manage to find new ways to steal cargo without being caught. One of the hardest to predict methods of cargo theft is the fictitious pick-up.

Criminals Act As if They Belongshutterstock_92934382 - Copy (2)

One of the reasons way this method of cargo theft is so difficult to predict and prevent is because it often involves identity theft. Criminals find out about cargo that needs shipping on the Internet and pretend to be a legitimate trucking company when they agree to transport the items for the company.

These criminals can obtain information about your company on the Internet, including your Interstate Operating Authority number. Then they place your company logo on a truck, show up at the company, load the cargo and later resell it for a profit.

Identity Theft Damages Reputation

As anyone who has his or her identity stolen can tell you, it takes years to recover your good name once it has been misused. And for businesses, this kind of blow to your reputation can cause you to lose everything. So protect your identity and company information while doing business online.

 Protect Company and Cargo

In order to protect your company and cargo remember these tips:

  • Don’t put your DOT credentials online and don’t give them out on the phone
  • Keep cargo moving, especially on Thursday and Friday when most of these thefts occur
  • Reduce the number of hand offs of cargo by using teams for your trucks
  • Food is biggest target because it is harder to trace when it is stolen
  • GPS trackers are beneficial for cargo but RFID tagging benefits criminals too

By keeping your data secure, your trucks moving and a team to make sure your vehicles are always staffed you can reduce the chances your trucking company will be the victim of cybercrime. And to learn more about transportation safety, risk reduction, and best practices, contact us

Ranchers Who Have Lost Livestock Due to Drought May Find Relief

Posted November 3, 2015 by Administrator

livestock imageThe recent drought conditions have forced some ranchers to sell livestock they would have normally kept for breeding. This can lead to a significant loss for some ranchers who are in extreme or severe drought conditions and can’t replace livestock in the four years that is allowed under current tax laws.

Under 1033 (e)(2)(B), livestock that is sold or exchanged during a drought are considered an involuntary exchange. The IRS has decided that some areas are suffering from such severe drought conditions that exemptions to the standard tax laws should be made. In all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the IRS has designated specific counties to be exceptional, extreme, or severe drought areas. Under the extension, changes have been made to how the government defines the first drought-free year base on three different criteria.

The extension may be able to help you recover financially if you are in a county that has suffered from severe drought. To help you understand how the extension works or if your agribusiness is in a designated county, you will want to visit the IRS website to read the recently released notice. To learn more about agribusiness risk management and best practices, contact us.

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