Thursday, March 31, 2011

Local Business Owner Regina Beatty Offers Insights

Many downtown business owners have grown their business from an idea to a successful operation. After implementing their business, they face the challenge of how to move on to the next phase of their lives into retirement or smaller business involvement. Regina Beatty, GCDC Board Member and local business owner, has created the following article containing ideas or suggestions on a future exit from a business.

Laying the Groundwork for Your Future
Brought to you by Regina Beatty, in conjunction with Mosaic Consulting, Sagemark Consulting, Private Wealth Services, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a registered investment advisor.

Many small-business owners are so busy running their companies they rarely give much thought to the day when they’ll move on to something else—be it retirement or another venture. But a long-term capital strategy can lay the groundwork for that eventuality. It lets you draw equity from your company to diversify assets and meet future needs, while transferring and maintaining the financial strength of the business.

Drawing On Equity
To prepare for the future, business owners may draw equity from their companies to help meet long-term asset diversification and financial needs. Quite frequently, owners may have 80% to 90% of their personal wealth locked inside the equity of a closely held company. Thus, they might be rich on paper, but they may still feel cash poor. If it’s a mature company, they can tap into that equity and also have an exit strategy for whenever that time comes.

The challenge in drawing equity from a company is maintaining its financial vitality so the business can continue to grow and finance retirement and incentive plans for owners and key employees. These programs are often as much a factor in a company’s value as its profitability.

To build value, small business owners can develop “golden handcuffs,” such as nonqualified deferred-compensation plans, to creatively reward select employees. For example, they might provide longevity bonuses of up to $75,000 a year post-retirement to key employees who stay on to age 65. Unlike a 401(k), which must be offered to all employees, owners can pick and choose who will be covered by these more lucrative plans.

Taking Stock
When considering long-term capital needs, business owners may want to:

• Take inventory of personal assets and liabilities, income sources and expenses.
• Get a formal business valuation to know what your business is worth.
• Draw up a succession plan. Ask yourself if you want to transfer your business to partners, family members, employees or to outside parties.
• Plan a target date to leave your business. For example, would it be three, five or 10 years down the road?

Exiting Gracefully
Oftentimes small-business owners don’t have comprehensive exit strategies for transferring ownership, or they have outdated plans that fail to address tax law changes. This tends to occur because they typically reach out to their business advisors only when there’s a crisis or deadline, like when it’s April 15 and they have to file taxes.

To help make a smooth exit, business owners should have their advisor develop a buy-sell agreement, which is especially important when there are multiple owners. These agreements outline detailed succession plans should a business owner retire, become disabled, die or get divorced.

Everyone will exit their business voluntarily or otherwise. The question is, are you going to do it on your terms, or is it going to happen as a result of some catastrophic event? Exiting a business is often the biggest event in an owner’s life. You want to get it right because you only have one shot at it. And if you do it right, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your life’s work and retire in style.

Regina Beatty,CRPC® is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor,One Northgate Square, Greensburg, PA 15601. 724-834-8100., offering insurance through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. This information should not be construed as legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a tax advisor regarding this information as it relates to your personal circumstances. The content of this material was provided to you by Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. for its representatives and their clients.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 offers a convenient way for the public to find apartments, houses, condos, and townhomes within and near the City of Greensburg. Available to the general public, the website is a free service intended to link property owners with residents who are looking for a new home in the community.

Property owners are encouraged to list available properties on the website, including descriptions of building features, amenities, location, and price. In addition, photos of the property’s exterior and interior may be added to the listing. Some properties may be designated as featured listings to increase their visibility to potential renters. also provides information about living in City of Greensburg, including events, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and other attractions for residents. Information about Greensburg’s student housing regulations is available on the website, as well as tips for first-time renters. Through the site’s easy-to-use tools, property owners can connect with renters seeking the experience of living in Greensburg’s “Small City, Big Attitude” environment.
Property owners who would like more information or need assistance with listing their properties on should contact Breanna Wong at the Greensburg Community Development Corporation, at 724-689-0040

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Support Summer Sounds, Our Local Concert Series

It’s almost that time again for Summer Sounds, the outdoor concert series in Greensburg featuring free music under the stars every Friday night in June, July and August. Due to the growth of the series, a 6-figure investment needs to be made for improved sound equipment. Help make this year’s Summer Sounds as successful as the last by donating or purchasing a sponsorship! Donations and grants are tax deductible. If you choose to donate $500 or more, your name will be featured on the opening page of the program booklet. If interested in becoming a sponsor, there are 4 options:

Level I - $250: Sponsor receives an eighth-page full color advertisement in every program book mailed and  distributed throughout the concert season, recognition on the web site, and a counter-top display with company name as sponsor.

Level II - $500: Sponsor receives a quarter-page full color advertisement in every program book mailed and distributed throughout the concert season, recognition on the web site, and a counter-top display with company name as sponsor.

Level III - $1,000: Sponsor receives a half-page full color advertisement in every program book distributed throughout the concert season, company name on posters, recognition on the web site, and a counter-top display with company name as sponsor.

Level IIII, Evening Sponsor - $2,000: Evening sponsors receive a full color half-page advertisement in every program book distributed throughout the concert season, company logo on posters, billboards and 10,000 flyers, recognition on the web site, and a counter-top display with company name as sponsor. Evening sponsors may set up a promotional table and display product on their evening of sponsorship and fly a banner with company name above the stage. A sponsor representative may introduce the band.

To donate, call Gene James at 724-837-4363 or Janet McNeel at 724-834-3424. All checks should be made payable to “City of Greensburg, Summer Sounds Fund”.

The SummerSounds Committee produces the concert series to contribute to the cultural, social and economic health of our community. Their wish is to provide a safe and attractive family event for our neighbors while being ambassadors for the quality of life in the greater Greensburg community.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Build Your Business at 124 Pennsylvania Avenue

The retail space at 124 Pennsylvania Avenue is ready for occupancy in downtown Greensburg for a new or established business. Located only a few blocks from the Courthouse, the Palace Theatre, Seton Hill University Visual Arts Center, Post Office and the Greensburg-Hempfield Library, this storefront is in the heart of Greensburg's Shopping District.  PennDOT reports the W. Pittsburgh Street traffic count as 14,000 cars per day with South Pennsylvania Ave. estimated at 2,300 cars. Adjacent storefronts are occupied by established retail stores, art galleries, and restaurants.
Property Details:
  • Retail Space: 2,700 sq. ft.
  • Price: $1,300 per month
  • Recently Renovated Building Façade
If interested in touring the space and learning more details, contact Les Mlakar at (724) 834-6040.  
Visit to learn more about the Cultural and Shopping Districts along with Greensburg neighborhoods.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Get Your St. Patrick's Day "Green On" in Greensburg

Looking for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration close to home? Look no further than Greensburg! Many local bars and restaurants, along with florists and shops, will be holding events for you and your family’s enjoyment this year. Be sure to celebrate with the following local businesses:
  • Solstice Restaurant and Lounge: Smithwick's Beer Specials, Green Beer, Corned Beef and Cabbage,Irish Soda Bread, Champ, Boiled New Potatoes, Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue, Guinness Stout Ginger Cake.
  • Joseph Thomas Floral: Order an Irish-themed bouquet.
  • The Headkeeper: Guinness speicals starting 3PM and live music featuring the Hitchhikers at 7PM.
  • The Supper Club: Appetizer buffet & Happy Hour featuring Irish favorites and live music.
  • J. Corks: Enjoy drinks specials and Irish cuisine.
  • Rialto Café: Drink specials and green beer served all day with live DJ at 9PM.

Also, Barnes & Noble are offering St. Patrick’s Day story times for children’s enjoyment. Take advantage of the many opportunities to celebrate Irish pride in Greensburg!