Business File for Dec. 21 |

Business File for Dec. 21

SCORE, Visa partner online for financial tools

Small-business counseling group SCORE and Visa have added new online tools that provide small business owners with ideas and guidance on topics from securing funding to managing cash flow, according to a news release. The Financial Management Workbook and Ask SCORE provide advice and mentoring to help small-business owners make decisions.

The free workbook is available through the Visa Business Network on Facebook at, the SCORE Web site at and the 389 SCORE offices nationwide. The workbook covers topics including:

– How to efficiently manage cash flow

– How to maximize income and the speed with which you get paid

– How to minimize expenses

– Knowing your funding options

– Being prepared for your business’s growth and “what if” scenarios

Ask SCORE online counseling, available for free at SCORE’s Web site, now can be accessed through the Visa Business Network, the release stated. Access Ask SCORE by visiting or download the Ask SCORE widget through the Visa Business Network.

Colorado restaurant sales expected to grow

Colorado restaurant sales probably will grow at the third-fastest pace in the nation next year, according to the industry’s annual forecast, the Rocky Mountain News reported Friday.

The state’s population gains, as well as its high ranking for disposable income, will buoy eateries during a tough economy. Slightly higher prices for menu items also could contribute to an expected sales boost of about 3.4 percent to $8.4 billion in 2009.

“Colorado restaurants will fare much better than restaurants in most other states in 2009,” said Peter Meersman, president of the Colorado Restaurant Association. “While most of this growth will be fueled by modest menu price increases, we are better off than 46 other states.”

Unemployment increases Small Business Index

The Vectra Bank Colorado Small Business Index for Colorado registered 88.9 in November 2008, up from a revised 87.3 in October 2008, but the increase was because of what most see as bad news: Higher unemployment in the state, which creates greater access to labor for small businesses. The index measures business conditions from the viewpoint of the Colorado small business owner or manager.

Vectra reported the information in a news release, stating that the current recession has combined with the global credit crisis to have a major negative impact on Colorado’s small businesses.

“We wish we could say that the slight uptick in the Colorado (Small Business Index) last month was the beginning of a trend to more favorable business conditions,” Jeff Thredgold, corporate economist for Vectra Bank Colorado. “Unfortunately, the primary reason for the SBI increase was a significant jump in the state’s unemployment rate. … And as in most of the rest of the country, I think things are going to get worse in Colorado before they get better.”

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