Going Green Can Help Cut Business Expenses

 

Staten Island business bank says greenbacks pile up as discards diminish

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  – Although it has become socially correct to embrace environmentalism, the hard reality is that its precepts can save money for a small business.

In advocating the profit incentive, Victory State Bank, Staten Island's business bank, sees benefits for owners who need merely to make small adjustments in how they minimize what goes into the trash.

In fact, the federal Small Business Administration promulgates what Victory considers to be sensible quick tips for owners to save a potential bundle.

Being “green” or environmentally friendly, the SBA says, is probably not a new idea to you as a small business owner. In the last few years especially, the discussion of green business practices, services and products has become so prevalent that it’s often no longer the exception – but expected – to run a more earth-conscious operation. Consider these ways to green your business and, in the process, reduce unnecessary spending.

Reduce travel with virtual meetings

Do you find yourself traveling for business or to meet clients? Consider reducing the number of in-person meetings you might do and go virtual instead. You’ll reduce your fuel consumption, which is good for you and the environment. Plus you’ll save money with all the free online conferencing tools available. A number of free and low-cost web-based sharing sites have features that allow you to video conference, share screens, use text chats, upload documents, simulate a white board and more. An added bonus? Think of the time you’ll save by not hitting the pavement.  

Ditch the disposables (cups, cutlery, etc.)

Did you know that in just one year, the average American office worker goes through around 500 disposable cups? It has also been reported that Americans throw out enough paper disposable cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times. 

Instead of supplying the office with paper and plastic goods for coffee and lunches, switch to cutlery you’ll keep. Sure, you might spend a few more dollars up front establishing a stock of cups, plates and silverware, but you’ll make that money back and keep more trash from landfills. Looking for an even better deal? Visit a discount or thrift store to score your new kitchenware for less than you might pay otherwise.

Save energy – with paper!

Sure, you’ve heard about using sleep modes for devices and unplugging when electronics aren’t in use. But did you know that your business's paper use is another area to save energy? 

Use double-sided printing and copying. Even better – distribute or reference documents electronically instead, if possible. When making your paper purchases, select products with a high recycled content; then continue the trend and recycle as much of it as you can when you’re through.

This is just the beginning of what you can do to have a “greener” business operation. For more tips and insight, check out SBA’s energy efficiency and green business guides. From energy savings calculators to industry-specific materials and more, you’ll find a wealth of information about being an environmentally responsible small business owner, the SBA says.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact: 

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Staten Island Business Bank Shines Light On Change in Credit-Scoring Process

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (Aug. 8, 2014) Victory State Bank is highlighting a consumer-friendly change in the way credit scores are determined.

Yesterday, FICO (NYSE:FICO), a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, announced a modification in the credit-score creation process.

According to the company, its new FICO® Score 9 introduces a more nuanced way to assess consumer collection information, bypassing paid collection agency accounts and offering a sophisticated treatment differentiating medical from non-medical collection agency accounts. 

Victory State Bank points out that an article in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal says the move “will likely make it easier for tens of millions of Americans to get loans.”

Additional details of the new FICO® Score 9 may be found online at www.FICO.com.

 

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:  

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Rebound After Adversity Hits Business

Staten Island commercial bank extols planning to recover from disaster

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – As reminders of the current hurricane season, Victory State Bank observes that the two named storms to date point up the merits of preparedness against being hobbled.

Two major challenges small business owners face after disasters are sales losses and a diminished customer base, according to the federal Small Business Administration (SBA).


In a survey of 7,500 small and medium-sized businesses by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), 62 percent said losing profits and clients was their biggest post-disaster challenge.


Whether it’s a fire, flood or tornado, small businesses face an uphill trek when it comes to rebuilding in the aftermath of a disaster. That’s why it’s important to have a recovery plan in place.

Assessing your company’s risks is one of the first steps in creating an effective business continuity plan.


After finally achieving your dream, don’t lose it to a power outage, hacker disruption, fire, earthquake or other disaster.

If you’re not prepared, the SBA says a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever.

Roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. But you can.

Disaster planning and preparedness can be your lifeline to staying in business. The SBA points out that with proper education, planning, testing and disaster assistance, you will be able to stay in business through any interruption and beyond.


Major disasters, such as earthquakes and large-scale power outages, are rare. Smaller disasters, such as server failure, burst pipes and fires however happen every day.

Companies often prepare for the worst but forget the everyday challenges, which can be just as crippling.

When disaster strikes, having a plan and being able to put it into immediate action can mean the difference between staying open to service the needs of your customers and community or shutting down for a few days.

Following a disaster, statistics show ninety percent of companies fail within a year unless they can resume operations within five days. Having a plan can ensure that you’re back in business quickly and able to provide products and services to your community.


Testing is a critical component of business continuity planning. If your systems went down, how long would it take to get them up and running again, and what would be required to achieve that goal? Where are the gaps in your recovery plan and how can you close those gaps before a disaster strikes?


Testing your continuity plan is the best way to ensure that your business will remain in operation no matter what, or that it can be quickly restored under any circumstances. For many companies, testing is necessary for meeting compliance requirements.

 

    • What to test

 You should test all critical functions, particularly those that would be most vulnerable during an attack or disaster. This includes servers, PCs/workstations, network/Internet, building security, phones/communications, supply chain, workflow/staff procedures. Some managers phase their testing procedures, for instance, running a data recovery test one month and network/Internet recovery another month.

 

    • Where to test

 

Testing can be done in one of three places: At your facility, at your backup center, or at an offsite testing site. You can choose to do a table-top-meeting-style run through or a full-scale hands-on test, using canned or live data.

 

    • How often to test

The SBA recommends that you do a full-scale test annually for a wide range of critical functions, including electricity, water, gas, facilities/spacing, staffing, technology, telecommunications and more. A full-scale test will help ensure that your business not only survive but thrive in any unexpected situation.

 

    • Who should participate

 

A testing team should include all the people on your disaster recovery team or who are in charge of critical areas within the company. If you have one or more of such functions, these should include, but not be limited to facilities manager, IT tech, HR manager, senior management, brand management, third-party support and a sampling of critical clients.

When faced with a disaster, remember that you are not alone. Resources available via the SBA include information to help you prepare ahead of time, free sample emergency plans, business preparedness checklists, and templates, as well as assistance to help you get back on your feet after a disaster has struck.

 

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Starting a 401(k) In a Small Business 

Staten Island business bank sees overlooked opportunity for owners’ retirement funding

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Owners of small businesses may be overlooking one of the ways to fund their own retirement, Victory State Bank suggests.

Large firms have been offering 401(k) plans to their employees for years. But small shops with only a few employees also can have them.

In many places, having a 401 (k) plan has become a key aspect of recruiting and keeping valued employees. Moreover, a 401(k) plan has been trending of late as the primary means for an employee to build up retirement savings.

It so happens that such a plan can be an effective retirement-savings vehicle for small-business owners, as well. 


A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan named for a section of the federal tax code. It lets workers, including owners, save and invest some of their pay before taxes are taken out. Taxes aren’t paid until the money is withdrawn from the account, presumably in retirement.

Generally after age 59 1/2 withdrawals are optional until age 70 1/2, when they become mandatory. Should retirement occur somewhere within this age span, the 401(k) can be rolled over to a traditional individual retirement account (IRA). Mandatory withdrawals, which then incur tax payments, also apply to an IRA.

The 401(k) plans are named for the section of the tax code that governs them. Until the 1980s, most employers offered pension funds. But the costs escalated and 401(k)s replaced them.

In a 401(k), an individual can control how the money is invested. Most plans offer a selection of mutual funds.

A person's annual contributions are capped at $5,500, or $6,500 if 50 or older.


Plans do have management fees as well as setup and administrative costs,  which vary by provider. One 15-year-old company has been administering plans for many small businesses, now numbering approximately 7,000, the New York Times recently reported.

Whether to match an employee's contributions is optional.

Moreover, a provision in the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sets limits on contributions by highest-paid employees into their own account.

The Times, however, described a so-called safe harbor scenario that appears to benefit both employer and employee while complying with ERISA's rules.

Safe harbor requires an employer's contribution while letting employees put in as much as they wish, up to the regular 401(k) limits.

Small businesses just starting a 401(k) plan can begin traditionally and switch later on to a safe-harbor arrangement as business revenue grows, the Times noted.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





 

 

Wedding Can Mean Tax Changes

 

Staten Island business commercial bank spotlights IRS tips on planning nuptials 

  

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Taxes may not be high on your wedding-plan checklist, but the IRS says you should be aware of tax issues that come along with marriage.

Here are some basic tips that Uncle Sam says can help keep those issues to a minimum:


Name change

The names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration records. If you change your name, report it to the SSA. To do that, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You can get the form on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or from your local SSA office.

  

Change tax withholding

A change in your marital status means you must give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you and your spouse both work, your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.

 

Changes in health-insurance circumstances

 If you receive advance payment of the premium tax credit in 2014, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit provide financial assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

 

Address change

 Let the IRS know if your address changes. To do that, file Form 8822, Change of Address, with the IRS. You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service. You can ask them online at USPS.com to forward your mail. You may also report the change at your local post office.

 

 Change in filing status

  If you’re married as of Dec. 31, that’s your marital status for the whole year for tax purposes. You and your spouse can choose to file your federal income tax return either jointly or separately each year. You may want to figure the tax both ways to find out which status results in the lowest tax.


Note for same-sex married couples: If you are legally married in a state or country that recognizes same-sex marriage, you generally must file as married on your federal tax return. This is true even if you and your spouse later live in a state or country that does not recognize same-sex marriage. See 
IRS.gov for more information on this topic.

For more information, visit IRS.gov. You can also get IRS forms and publications on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.