AI for Small Businesses 

Leveraging Opportunities and Overcoming Challenges

Small businesses play a vital role in driving employment and economic growth but often face challenges and uncertainties. Small businesses can turn to Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a solution to navigate some of these difficulties and foster continuous development. AI encompassing technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning, offers a range of benefits for small businesses.

Opportunities for AI-Enabled Sustainable Development

The deployment of AI technology can alleviate the plights of small businesses by optimizing operations, improving performance, and enhancing customer experiences. For example, AI-powered chatbots and automation tools enable small businesses to deliver prompt and seamless customer service, reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. Additionally, AI can facilitate more personalized marketing campaigns by analyzing customer data and tailoring messages to individual preferences. Such AI-enabled strategies enhance customer engagement, drive growth, and contribute to the sustainable development of small businesses.

Overcoming Challenges in AI Transformation

While AI presents promising opportunities, small businesses may encounter challenges moving to a more AI-based process. These challenges include selecting suitable AI use cases, integrating AI technology with existing systems, and addressing talent and organizational issues. However, with proper planning, guidance, and collaboration with stakeholders, small businesses can overcome these challenges and fully harness the potential of AI to drive success and innovation.

Benefits of Implementing AI for Small Businesses

Man using AI for small business with blue electronic iconography surrounding him

Artificial Intelligence can revolutionize operations, enhance efficiency, and unlock new growth opportunities. In this article, we will explore the advantages that small businesses can gain from integrating AI technology into their processes.

The benefits of implementing AI for small businesses are numerous. From streamlining analysis and decision-making to enhancing customer care, augmenting marketing efforts, improving operational efficiency, and providing personalized customer recommendations, AI offers small businesses a competitive edge in today’s digital landscape. Embracing AI technology can increase productivity and cost savings and improve customer satisfaction. By harnessing the power of AI, small businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth and success.

AI is not a magic solution but a powerful tool that can transform how small businesses operate and thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape when utilized strategically and ethically.

Streamlining Routine Tasks with AI

AI technology can handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks that would otherwise require significant human effort. By leveraging AI-powered automation tools, small businesses can free up valuable time and resources to focus on critical aspects of their operations. Tasks such as data entry, inventory management, and customer support can be automated, increasing efficiency and reducing the likelihood of errors.

AI in Data Analysis and Decision-Making

Small businesses can utilize AI algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data, extract valuable insights, and make data-driven decisions. AI can identify patterns, trends, and correlations within data sets, enabling businesses to optimize their strategies and make informed choices. Small businesses can save time, improve accuracy, and gain a competitive advantage by automating data analysis.


AI robot helping with customer service

AI-Powered Customer Support

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are transforming customer support in small businesses. These intelligent systems can handle customer inquiries, respond instantly, and offer personalized assistance. Small businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, reduce response times, and cut operational costs by automating customer support processes.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency with AI

AI technology can significantly improve operational efficiency by streamlining workflows, optimizing resource allocation, and reducing human error. Small businesses can allocate their workforce to more complex and strategic activities by automating routine tasks, driving innovation and growth.

Workflow Optimization

AI can optimize workflows by automating repetitive tasks, ensuring consistency and accuracy. From data processing to document management, AI-powered systems can handle these tasks more efficiently and reliably than humans, allowing employees to focus on higher-value activities. This increased efficiency can lead to improved productivity and overall operational effectiveness.

Predictive Analytics and Forecasting

AI algorithms can analyze historical data and make predictions, enabling small businesses to anticipate market trends, customer behavior, and demand patterns. Companies can optimize their inventory management, production planning, and supply chain operations by leveraging predictive analytics. This proactive approach helps minimize waste, maximize resource allocation, and improve customer satisfaction.

AI presents tremendous opportunities for small businesses to automate routine tasks and improve operational efficiency. Whether automating data analysis, deploying AI-powered chatbots for customer support, or leveraging predictive analytics for forecasting, AI offers tangible benefits that can drive growth, increase productivity, and boost customer satisfaction.

Ways Small Businesses Can Use AI for Personalized Marketing Campaigns

Artificial Intelligence offers small businesses powerful tools to understand customer preferences, deliver targeted messages, and enhance marketing effectiveness.

Building an AI-Powered Website

An AI-powered website builder can simplify creating a professional website for small businesses. Platforms like Wix utilize AI algorithms to generate websites based on user prompts. These tools enable beginners to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites in minutes. With AI content writers embedded in the software, small businesses can efficiently create compelling website content that engages visitors.

Optimizing Website User Experience with AI

AI can enhance a small business website’s user experience (UX). Through AI software, businesses can gather valuable data on customer behavior, including click patterns, time spent on pages, and geographic information. This data enables companies to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize their website’s UX. AI-powered features, such as auto-generated captions and personalized search functions, can further enhance the user experience and cater to specific user needs.

Personalizing Email Marketing with AI

AI-powered email tools offer precise insights into customer behavior and enable businesses to deliver personalized email campaigns. Tools like utilize AI algorithms to analyze customer data and make informed email content and timing decisions. By leveraging AI, small businesses can send targeted and relevant emails to individual customers, increasing engagement and conversion rates. AI-powered email tools also enable small business owners to automate routine tasks such as order confirmations and support ticket follow-ups, saving time and ensuring consistent communication.

Leveraging AI for Customer Segmentation

AI enables small businesses to collect and analyze customer data, such as behavior, preferences, and demographics, to create personalized marketing campaigns. By utilizing powerful AI tools, businesses can segment their customer base and tailor marketing messages that resonate with individual customers. This customized approach increases the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, as customers feel valued and understood. Similar to how streaming TV services recommend personalized content based on user viewing history, AI algorithms can help small businesses deliver personalized marketing messages to their target audience.

Transforming Customer Service with AI Chatbots

AI-powered chatbots are a game-changer for small businesses seeking prompt, seamless customer service. Chatbots can mimic human-like conversations and perform routine tasks, reducing wait times and cutting staffing costs. They continuously learn from customer interactions, improving their accuracy and effectiveness. Platforms like ChatGPT offer customizable chatbot experiences through natural language processing, ensuring personalized attention for customers and enhancing overall satisfaction.

Automation for Streamlined Customer Service

AI automation enables small businesses to automate routine customer service tasks, such as sending order confirmations and following up on support tickets. By utilizing automation tools integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) software, businesses can save time and resources while ensuring consistent and timely communication. Automation streamlines workflows, allowing employees to focus on more complex customer inquiries and providing a more efficient customer service experience.

Personalized Marketing Campaigns through AI

Small businesses can harness the power of AI to create personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with customers as individuals. AI enables enterprises to collect and analyze customer data, including behavior, preferences, and demographics, to tailor marketing messages accordingly. Just like streaming TV services use AI algorithms to offer personalized content recommendations, small businesses can leverage AI to deliver targeted marketing messages that cater to each customer’s unique needs. By utilizing AI tools for customer segmentation and targeting, businesses can enhance the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

Delivering Proactive and Personalized Service

AI empowers small businesses to deliver proactive and personalized customer service experiences. Through AI technologies, businesses can gather real-time data on customer interactions, enabling them to understand customer needs and preferences better. AI-enabled customer service can offer proactive support, anticipating customer needs and providing timely assistance even before customers realize they require it. By leveraging AI, small businesses can increase customer engagement, drive cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and reduce cost-to-serve.

Leveraging AI for Small Business Success

In conclusion, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents small businesses with a transformative opportunity to optimize operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive sustainable development. By embracing AI-powered solutions, small businesses can revolutionize customer service by implementing AI chatbots and automation tools, leading to prompt and seamless customer support. Moreover, AI enables personalized marketing campaigns by leveraging customer data, allowing small businesses to tailor their messages and increase customer engagement.

While embracing AI offers numerous advantages, small businesses may face challenges during the AI transformation process. These challenges include selecting the most suitable AI use cases, integrating AI technology with existing systems, and addressing talent and organizational governance issues. However, with proper planning, guidance, and collaboration with stakeholders, small businesses can overcome these challenges and unlock the full potential of AI to drive success, innovation, and growth.

By harnessing AI technology, small businesses can revolutionize their operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and position themselves for long-term success in today’s increasingly competitive business landscape. The strategic adoption of AI-enabled solutions empowers small businesses to adapt, thrive, and deliver personalized services that meet the evolving needs of their customers. Embracing AI is not just an option; it is a crucial step in leveraging the power of technology to optimize processes, drive growth, and ensure a prosperous future for small businesses.

Small Business Alternative Lending and CDFI Lending

What makes a lender an “Alternative Lender”? This is certainly a question for Small Business owners seeking to apply for capital whether they are an existing business or a start-up, and have faced challenges through normal retail lending channels.

Alternative Lenders for the most part are for-profit lenders that are not FDIC insured like traditional banks. They are often not regulated for the same borrower protections that banks typically would have. The organizations will usually specialize in a few loan products for small businesses with faster application and decision times.

However, borrowers should be alert to potential downsides to these loans such as higher interest rates, and well as more aggressive repayment schedules, with greater penalties that regulated bank lending.

What makes a CDFI Lender? CDFIs are mission-driven financial institutions that have been certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund. They include Credit Unions, Banks, Non-Profit loan funds and venture capital funds that operated to serve low-income communities.

The “Community” piece of these loans means you’ll first need to meet the CDFI’s definition of the local community they serve. Borrowers will also need to meet other key requirements for a CDFI loan – such as completing the application, providing financial statements and documenting how the funds will be used. CDFIs often offer other benefits like a local office, educational workshops and on-the-ground support – and some CDFIs also participate in SBA guaranteed lending programs. Many borrowers appreciate the benefits of a CDFI’s strong sense of community and networking with other small business professionals through community events.

When seeking capital evaluate the pros and cons for your business as business needs will differ from one another. Understanding your short-term and long-term needs is also crucial when applying for capital. A short-term need might mean that your business can take on a higher interest cost, but a long-term need might mean that your business looks at a lower monthly payment with lower interest rates.

Prestamos CDFI is here to help answer your questions whether it is lending-related or business consulting related. We have been serving our communities for over 50 years!

Written by Mark McKenna

Plan Out Your Small Business Saturday

Small businesses are the backbone of their communities. They significantly contribute to the economy and provide jobs. To help highlight and support these contributions Saturday, November 26, 2022, is known as Small Business Saturday and is a celebration in support of small businesses and all they do for their communities.

Here are a few things you can do as a small business to prepare for a successful Small Business Saturday:

  • Host an event: Celebrate the day by hosting a small event that brings new and loyal customers to your location. Whether it’s an open house, a coffee tasting, an exclusive sale, or whatever can highlight your products and services – hosting an event can attract positive attention.
  • Create a promotion or special sale: Whether it a discount, BOGO, or a special membership – make sure you create an offer that is exclusive to that day to help generate sales and bring in customers.
  • Partner with other local businesses: Bring in products or set up a pop-up shop for another partner small business. This can help bring in their loyal customers to your location and create exposure for you and another business. You can also create a special promotion or offering with a partner business. Example: Get 20% off gym apparel at Fit Threads with proof of new membership at FitFlex Gym.
  • Advertise: Whether you go the traditional route or run a full-scale digital campaign; make sure you advertise your products, services, promotions, and events for Small Business Saturday. This can help introduce people early on to what products you will be selling and who they can support on this day. Make sure you use hashtags relevant to Small Business Saturday to help potential customers find you.
  • Update Your Information: Make sure all your information is current. If you have a website make sure it is up to date, along with your address, phone number, and hours across all your platforms. This is crucial in order for people to find you and be able to visit your location.

Making a plan and strategy for Small Business Saturday will help make the day and possibly the whole weekend a success.

People love to support and shop local, you just have to make sure you are participating in days like Small Business Saturday and that you are prepared ahead of time.

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) And Your Business

It is never too early for businesses and individuals to start thinking and planning for their taxes. With so many efforts around business pandemic-related resources and assistance programs through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) – many business owners can come out feeling confused and overwhelmed with deadlines and next steps.

One of those assistance programs that has reached its sunset is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). The ERC is a refundable credit that businesses can claim on qualified wages, including certain health insurance costs, paid to employees. The ERC was available only to eligible small business owners who met the following criteria:

Based by the number of Full Time Employees in 2019

  • 2020: Under 100 Full-Time Employees
  • 2021: Under 500 Full-Time Employees

While the qualifications were determined based off of two ways:

  • Business Operations were stopped/reduced due to a government mandate


  • Gross sales were reduced:
  • In 2020 gross sales reduced by 50% vs 2019
  • In 2021 gross sales reduced by 20% vs 2019
  • The analysis is done on a quarterly basis

While businesses can no longer pay wages to claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit, you have until 2024 to do a look back on your payroll during the qualifying time frame and retroactively claim the credit by filing an amended tax return.

Here are a few things to take into consideration:

  • If you received the PPP loans you may be eligible to receive the ERC but you cannot double-dip. Any PPP funds towards payroll, will not qualify as eligible for Employee Retention Credit purposes.
  • If you received the EIDL Loan you may qualify for the ERC.
  • The difference between the PPP Loan, EIDL Loans and Employee Retention Credit is that the ERC does not have to be forgiven or paid back. There are no restrictions on how you spend your money.
  • Employees must be W2 – 1099 contractors do not qualify as employees.
  • If your business gets the credit, this is how it will impact your business and personal tax returns:
    • If you already filed your 2020 and 2021 tax returns – you WILL need to amend
    • If you have not filed your returns, you WON’T have to amend as long as you factor in the credit info
  • Below are the expiration dates for the credits:
    • For 2020: The credit does not close until 04/15/2024
    • For 2021: The credit does not close until 04/15/2025
  • A Full Time Employee is defined as someone who works 32 hrs a week or 130 hours per month.

If you have any questions on the ERC and if you qualify, reach out to Josue Castro –, from our Prestamos team.

We would like to thank Aldo Aprile, CPA for his contributions to this article.

Do you know how many businesses fail due to poor Cash Flow management?

According to a study from the U.S. Bank, 82% of businesses that fail are due to a lack of understanding of the impact of cash flow on their business or due to poor management of it. This gives us an idea of the importance for every entrepreneur to know more about this topic.

Let’s start defining what cash flow means, and in simple terms we could say that CASH FLOW is the movement of cash into or out of an account in a certain period of time, it can be a personal account, a business account or an investment account.

Cash Flow works in a similar way for both, a company and an individual. For a person or company to have a financially healthy cash flow, it is generally achieved when the cash inflow is greater than the cash outflow.

There 3 types of cash flows


Its cash received (input), or spent (output) as a result of a company’s business activity.

For instance, a company obtains cash by selling its products or services, that cash goes into the bank account and is used to pay for business expenses, such as employee salaries, purchase of merchandise, advertisements, equipment, etc.


Its cash received or spent through investing activities.

This is basically the purchasing or selling of assets, which will allow the company to grow.


Its cash received through sale of shares and/or debt (loans), or cash spent as payment of debt or purchase of shares.

Financing activities include the issuance and payment of shares, the payment of dividends, the issuance and payment of debt, and capital lease obligations.

Why is it so important to know how to correctly manage my cash flow?

If a company or person runs short of money and is unable to pay their obligations, they could experience a cash flow crunch, and if the cash flow crunch continues … this could lead to bankruptcy. For this reason, it is very important that business and individuals manage their cash flow carefully.

TIP: We as business owners must make sure we have enough cash on hand to ensure we can pay on time to our employees, suppliers, creditors and ourselves, this is critical to keeping a business running.

Are you interested in learning more about this topic? Sign up for our Business Empowerment Services to work 1:1 with our team of Business Advisors: Register Here


Everyday, entrepreneurs are forced to make decisions that have major impacts on their business. These decision are guided by your intuition, trends, habit, or experience. When making a decision that may not be your area of expertise, wouldn’t it be great to have a guide or a mentor that can help you identify potential risks with your decision? Or maybe a mentor to help you feel more confident with your decision. Prestamos CDFI offers no cost, accessible Business Empowerment Services, that offer just that. We offer the opportunity for you to learn about areas within your business, that you may not be most comfortable with, along with a variety of ways for you to access our curriculum.

Whether that be through one-on-one coaching meetings, or instructor led classes, we can help you feel more confident in areas you want to master. We seek to empower all entrepreneurs with a major focus on minority owned, women owned, or under resourced businesses. We have a full team of Business Advisors who have a passion for helping others through their knowledge and direct business experience.

Our services don’t stop there. Are you a business owner interested in applying for a Small Business Loan, do you know the typical guidelines of small business loans? It could also be that you need feedback on your Business Plan, or need support in completing your projections. Our Business Advisors can help guide you through these items, all while helping you understand why the feedback provided and improvements are needed. Maybe you want to learn the best marketing strategy for your specific industry, you can work with a Business Advisor, to help you identify the best Social Media platform for you, and the strategy for you to use to post content. We even help with support in developing your brand, and creating a logo.

Our clients have experienced major growth and have achieved many milestones by working with our expert Business advisors. For example, Hilda Pena, owner of Botas Juarez, a western wear retail store in Phoenix, AZ. When she began utilizing our services in 2020, she only had one full time employee and one part time employee. Hilda has now grown her staff to five full time employees and one part time employee. Botas Juarez has also increased their net sales by 105% from 2020 to 2021. While the financial support provided to Botas Juarez by Prestamos CDFI was extremely important to keep the business strong during the pandemic, much of their success was to the dedication that Hilda had to growing and learning from her assigned Business Advisors. In the words of Hilda Pena, co-owner and General Manager, “it was the implementation of the strategies deployed via technical assistance the critical factor that made Botas Juarez to pivot in the right direction and achieve a growth net sales more than double in one single year.” Hidla utilizied multiple services from our Advisors, from help with financials and human resources, to brand development, social media strategies to even having a professional photography session to revamp the website.

Another example of success has been the collaborative branding effort with Brandee Dunn at Polished Clean Co. Our team of Business Advisors worked together to help create a brand strategy, with clear Mission and Vision standards. As a result, a clear messaging strategy was implemented which helped Brandee target her ideal audience. Additionally, with the help of our creative exper Polished Clean Co. was able to obtain a new logo that elevated the business to new heights.

Wherever your business may be leading you, we want to make sure you know we are here to be your partner through the journey. Whether that is just meeting with us to ensure you are prepared for potential roadblocks, or guide you while you navigate through a business decision, we have the resources to help. To sign up for our Business Empowerment Services, sign up here, and schedule your intake meeting now! We look forward to inspiring you towards empowerment!


Your online reputation as a business can either drive or decrease sales, customers, and longevity. Online reviews have become the internet’s word of mouth. Before someone makes a purchase or visits a new restaurant, they will often rely on what other consumers like them have to say about their experience. This is why it is so important that businesses continue to prioritize customer service – in real life and online. Unfortunately, negative comments about experiences with a business, product or service can impact whether people will become patrons. But there’s no need to fear – businesses don’t need to launch full-scale campaigns to combat negative reviews. You simply need strategies to manage your online reputation because truth be told, a better online reputation will equal PROFIT.

Studies show that even two negative reviews or search results put businesses at risk of losing 44% of their customers. There are three major factors that impact online reputation management and those are: social media, search engines, and local listings. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp allow consumers to post feedback about the business using reviews. While search engines and listings assist in navigating consumers to relevant businesses based on the highest star ratings and positive feedback.

This is how these platforms and search functions can impact your business:

  • Provides business information such as an address, phone number, website, and services/products.
  • Search engines like Google, Bing Places, YP, & Yelp are able to rank you for correct search keywords and categories in local areas as far as 25-mile radius.
  • Allows users to give feedback on experiences and grows your online reputation locally online.

Reviews, ratings, and comments can have a huge impact on attracting new consumers as well as retaining existing ones. Here’s how:

  • Reviews have the power to influence consumers and strengthen trust.
  • 72% are more likely to try a new business or product based on previous customer responses and reviews.
  • Reviews provide an opportunity for businesses and customers to build a relationship with one another.

Now that you know this, you might be wondering how you can start implementing this practice into your business. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you manage your online reputation


  • Actively ask clients/customers for reviews
  • Respond to positive and negative reviews with professionalism
  • Make sure all business information is consistent and updated (Hours of operation, Contact phone number, website, etc.)
  • Create relevant content for search engines to recognize your business’ services or products to properly categorize your business in search queries (Blogs, DIY, Youtube)


  • Ignore negative reviews. Respond to them professionally.
  • Attack or be combative with a reviewer even if their review is negative
  • Create fake positive reviews using fake profiles
  • Create multiple profiles, listings, website urls, etc.

Managing your online reputation doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience, simply start by taking inventory of where your reputation is currently at. From there start taking the steps to strengthen your strategies and make sure to carve out time every few weeks to check and reply to reviews. Address those negative reviews by offering to make things better – whether through a discount or redo of the service. As a business owner, you have control over your online reputation, all you need to do is get started.


7 reasons to support local businesses

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Arizona is home to 611,097 small, local businesses which account for 99% of the state’s businesses. It is also estimated that these businesses are employers to 1.1 million individuals which represent 43% of the state’s workforce. But why is this important? Well because the success of Arizona’s small, local businesses is critical to the economic success of those business owners, their families, their employers,, the communities they live in and the state. 

There are plenty of local businesses you can support that offer a variety of goods, services, and experiences. Below we offer you seven reasons why supporting local has big impacts for the state’s  economy and overall well-being.

  1. Your Money Has Power:

Supporting local businesses means your money has more power. For every $100 you spend at a locally owned business $43 remains here, in the Arizona economy. While every $100 you spend at a non-locally owned business, only $13 remains in the local economy.  More money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses and impacts the growth of the local economy.

  1. Local Influence:

Entrepreneurs that own local businesses have the power and influence to impact policies and decisions made at a state and local level. This means that people that live in your community and truly understand the needs of it are the ones representing you and your experiences. 

  1. Workforce Development:

Local businesses are responsible for employing close to half or the state’s workforce. By supporting local you are not only helping businesses keep individuals employed, you are also aiding in job creation.

  1. Environmental Impact:

By shopping local, you are also helping the environmental impacts that larger companies tend to have. Local businesses tend to use local suppliers which leads to cutting their carbon footprint. These businesses also tend to be located in communities and are easier to access by walking to them.

  1. Community Building:

Supporting local isn’t only supporting the business and the economy, you are also more likely to have an indirect social impact. As local business owners tend to be more connected to their communities, they also are more likely to donate and support local non-profits and charities.

  1. Builds Culture and Character:

When you think of your community, you can usually think of a local coffee shop, restaurant or boutique that you associate with the area. This is because the unique character of your local community is defined in large part by the business that are located in it. This plays a big role in how you feel about where you live and the value of your home and property.


  1. Fosters Entrepreneurship:

When individuals see local businesses thriving, it motivates others to follow their own passions and open their business. Local entrepreneurs are also more likely to be available to mentor and be a resource to aspiring entrepreneurs.


Are you excited to start supporting your local community business or restaurant? Here are a few ideas to get your started:


Buy a gift at: Practical Art

Have a Spa Day at: Studio Nails by T & T 

Skip the Starbucks line and get your morning coffee at: AT Oasis

Get a free yard maintenance estimate by: Yobanis Landscaping 480 703 9092

Set a fancy date night with an at-home check delivering Haute Cuisine: Chef Mackeisha

Keep your home AC working all summer long with regular maintenance from: ORCA AC

Repair your vehicle windshield by: Premium Auto Glass LLC 

Make lasting impacts on our society as a social enterprise

Make lasting impacts on our society as a social enterprise

We all want to make an impact in the world. We want to do something that no matter how big or small it is, it will leave the world better than we found it. For example, have you ever noticed how some food and beverage businesses use paper or biodegradable straws? This small change has significant impacts on our environment and the potential harm on animals that can come in contact with plastic straws.

When a social impact practice and solution like this is implemented through your business, you may then be considered a Social Enterprise. There are many other processes that you can follow to make a huge impact, like on helping individuals facing economic challenges. By offering employment to even one individual facing economic challenges in your community, you can have a lasting impact on their life and the health and well-being of this person’s life and our economy.

One of the most important goals of our Social Enterprise Program is making lasting positive impacts in the community. Through our efforts we are looking to support small businesses to offer job opportunities to individuals who are facing challenges in finding and securing a quality job. From helping a working mom struggling to find child care for her children, or someone needing transportation to and from work – we want to help businesses looking to make impacts build the systems needed to implement these practices effectively.

While it might take time, effort and education – our Social Enterprise initiative exists to be your partner through the entire process. If you are interested in learning more about this program and how you can get started, please submit your information here. Once your application is submitted you will hear back from our Program Manager, Theresa Hernandez to schedule an in-depth discussion to discuss next steps.

tax time tips

Tax Time Tips

Tax Time Tips

It’s that time of year when business finances become top-of-mind for everyone as tax season is at our doorsteps. As a reminder, Corporate (C and S) and Partnership returns are due by March 15, 2022 and Individual returns with Schedule C’s are due by Monday April 18, 2022.

Here are some things to note as you head into tax season:

  • If you received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in either 2020 or 2021, you need to file for forgiveness regardless of the size of your loan. As of this date, all PPP borrowers must apply for forgiveness. You can apply directly through the SBA if your loan is $150,000 or less at If your PPP loan was over $150,000 you need to contact your lender directly. If you got your PPP from Prestamos, you can email us at
  • PPP loans are considered exempt from federal income tax under the CARES Act. Under section 1106(i) of the act, expressly excludes the forgiveness of PPP loans from federal gross income, and thus federal income tax.
  • EIDL loans are considered debt and therefore do not count as income. You can deduct any payment of interest on an EIDL loan as an interest expenses on your tax returns, and you can deduct expenses you paid with the EIDL funds.
  • Grants, other forgivable loans, and certain funds from local or state government are likely to be considered taxable income and need to be reported on your tax return as gross income.
  • If you had employees in 2021, you might be eligible to claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) up to $28,000 per employee. You can learn more about the ERC here:
  • To learn more about expenses your business can deduct on your tax return, take a look at IRS Publication 535 here:

If you need assistance determining the tax form you should be filing or need support in finding a qualified tax preparer, please feel free to reach out and we will help guide you towards the appropriate resources so that your tax season is low stress!