People, Places & Events

     

 

 
 

Ask SCORE
Determine the best way for your business to grow
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Managing growth can be as taxing to a small business owner as managing employees.
Any type of growth creates change in the company and brings to the fore different financial, managerial and legal challenges that increase risk.
Nevertheless, most entrepreneurs aspire to build their small business. Some are interested in expanding their existing markets, whereas others want to enter entirely new markets. Which type of growth will be right for you? If your goal is to achieve sensible, logical growth, you’ll want to balance your expansion plan with flexibility.
Otherwise, you’ll miss out on promising market opportunities and will be less adaptive to changes in the marketplace. Franchising, licensing and distributorships or dealerships are three possible ways to grow an already healthy small business.
Franchising is an option for some product and service companies that are not in a position to finance internal growth. Franchisees are sharing the risk of expanding market share, because they are committing their own capital and resources to model satellite locations after the existing business.
However, there are a host of state and federal regulatory issues around the offer and sale of a franchise. Too, sufficient capitalization is only the beginning of a solid foundation from which to launch franchises.
As with franchising, licensing enables a business owner to spread the risk and cost of developing and distributing a product. However, licensing typically falls into two categories: intellectual property, such as computer software and high technology, and merchandise and character licensing, having to do with trademarks and images. In the second type, the name, logo, symbol or character is the “property,” whereas the actual product (a toy, for example) becomes the “licensed product.”
One way to bring a manufactured product to the marketplace is through independent, third-party distributorships and dealerships. A distributor buys the product from the manufacturer – your small business – at wholesale prices and will be reselling either to a retailer or directly to customers. Your controls over the dealer must be minimized to avoid the business’s being included in the category of a franchise, which entails more complex regulation beginning with a disclosure document.
Whichever form of growth you select will have specific legal regulations and some variation in the amount of control you will have over the other party.
To learn more about these and other vehicles for growing your business, contact the SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business.”
More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors donate their time to consult with and mentor entrepreneurs. SCORE is a nonprofit association that provides free and confidential business counseling to America’s small business owners.
There is a SCORE Chapter at The Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Call (903) 887-3152 for an appointment.

Community colleges shortchanged
By Jennifer Hannigan
Special to The Monitor

ATHENS–Gov. Rick Perry’s recent signing of an appropriations bill ended the legislature’s discussions over state spending for the next biennium. However, community colleges say their struggle is just beginning.
Perry signed a two-year, $151.9 billion budget into law June 15. Before signing that budget, which will run from September, 2007 until August, 2009, Perry vetoed an additional $650 million in spending.
Those vetoes included the elimination of $155 million in insurance premium funding for the state’s community colleges.
Currently, the state funds insurance premiums for the state’s community college faculty members and professional personnel.
The insurance for other community college employees, such as maintenance and cafeteria personnel, is covered by local funds, such as taxes.
When the 2008-09 fiscal year begins in September, 2008, the state will not fund insurance premiums for any community college employee.
According to Trinity Valley Community College President Ron Baugh, the change in funding means community colleges must find a way to fund those insurance premiums for all employees in 2008-09. For TVCC, the insurance cost for that year will be $1.7 million.
“This requires us to reduce our spending and/or increase our income by that amount in order to survive,” Baugh said. “This caught us completely by surprise.”
Whether or not the cut in insurance funding will continue past the 2008-09 fiscal year is unknown, since the appropriations bill expires in 2009. Legislators will meet again in early 2009.
In his statement regarding the budget allocation bill, Perry accused state community colleges of falsifying information in order to maximize state insurance premium funding.
“Community colleges have (used) millions of state dollars annually to pay the benefits of non-state paid employees. To get money for these employees, community colleges falsified their appropriations requests.
“As a result, their appropriation for fiscal years 2008-09 is approximately $126 million too high.
“Community colleges have unexpended balance authority, so they can … fund most of fiscal year 2009 with fiscal year 2008 savings and the rest with increases provided for instruction and operations,” Perry said.
The Texas Association of Community Colleges has already spoken out against the veto.
In a written statement issued this week, the TACC stated that “accusing community colleges of falsifying appropriations requests is an irresponsible statement to which we take strong exception.”
“We are stunned that the Governor would remove half of the state support for the health insurance for our faculty and administrators [for the biennium],” said Dr. John Pickelman, chair of the board of directors of the Texas Association of Community Colleges.
The TVCC president said under no circumstances has he falsified any report to the state.
“I feel that the Governor owes me an apology for accusing me of falsifying reports to the state,” Baugh said.
The debate is basically a difference of opinion, Baugh added.
The governor’s office has said that since the state pays about a third of the cost of running a community college, the state should only pay part of the insurance costs as well,” Baugh explained.
Colleges are required to provide the same insurance package as other state employees receive, but the governor has said some of the insurance funds for faculty and administrative professionals should come from local money, such as tuition and fees and taxes.
However, Baugh said, most of TVCC’s local revenue is going to pay for the costs the state will not fund, such as building maintenance, cafeteria service and grounds maintenance.
Since state money cannot be used for those purposes, local money is spent on those items and the state money carries the burden of other costs.
“It appears that the governor not only wants to dictate how we can spend state monies, but also the local tax monies as well,” Baugh said.
Although the change in budget will not have an impact on the current fiscal year, Baugh said the college has already taken the first steps to prepare.
All but the most essential spending has been put on hold until the institution can develop a plan to adjust to the funding change.
“This has had an immediate effect on our spending. as we must figure out how to deal with something that is only a year away,” Baugh said.
TVCC has already published tuition and fee rates for the 2007-08 school year, Baugh said, and so those rates will not increase for the next fiscal year.
The tax rate for the 2007-08 fiscal year has not yet been set, Baugh said. However, he noted, the college may consider a tax increase if needed.
“Taxes have to be looked at as a possible source of increased revenue,” Baugh said.

Crime Watch needs help
By Shirley Duckett
President Youth Crime Watch

LOG CABIN–The Youth Crime Watch is looking for teenage females to join its team.
We want to show that our girls can work just as hard at fighting crime, helping the needy, community clean up and running our Christmas for Youth Program as anyone.
In the very near future, counselors from the main office in Florida will be arriving to teach us about crime intervention.
A yard sale is set for Friday and Saturday, July 6-7.
New members may sign up then.
Anyone signing up gets a free Youth Crime Watch T-shirt, corn dogs, drinks and chips.
Nearby we will be having a car wash and will need our youth to help out.
Come on girls let us show everyone what we are made of.
We will also accept applications for male youth if you think you can fight crime and help others as well and/or better than the females.
We accept applications from anyone so long as they abide by the rules and can get to the meetings and activities.

Kitten neuter special, $15
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–Friends of the Animals is offering a special price for getting those male or female kittens aged 3-6 months fixed through the month of July.
In July, all kitten spays and neuters are only $15. Prices to fix an adult cat is $25/$35.
Surgery is done by appointment only and may be booked by calling (903) 887-PETS (7387).
A male cat can impregnate dozens of females in a single day – and a female cat can give birth up to five times a year.
Good reasons for getting those cats fixed early before they become sexually mature – which can be as early as five months.
Surgery is performed by Dr. Glen Campbell who runs a veterinary practice in Garland and comes to the lake each Tuesday.
D Magazine named Campbell as one of the top Dallas veterinarians.
The clinic also offers microchipping for $20.
All the local shelters and animal control officers have scanners so if your pet is lost, he has a great chance of coming home!
The clinic also sells Frontline Plus for real flea relief. Frontline Plus is available at the clinic any Tuesday (except July 3 when closed).
Volunteers are always needed at the Tuesday-only clinic.
Call (903) 887-PETS for information about the clinic or to volunteer.
 

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Kera. I am a beautiful female Calico mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am fixed and current on my shots. I am a beautiful girl looking for a wonderful home.

My name is Coaley. I am a beautiful DMH female Calico mix. I was brought into the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am now fixed and current on my shots. I am a beautiful girl looking for a wonderful home.

My name is Asia. I am a beautiful female DMH. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem very sweet and lovable. I am a good girl looking for my new forever home.

My name is Sasha. I am a beautiful female mix breed. I was found wondering the street and someone saved me when I was almost hit by a car. I have been at the Shelter for a while. I have been started on my shots and seem to be house broken. I get along well with other dogs and seem to walk well on a leash. I am a beautiful girl looking for my wonderful new family.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at petfinder.com