Friday, April 25, 2014

An Interview with Rebecca Segal: The Albert's Expand B Cave Store

By: Skiller Jackson
Kosrae SBDC

Please tell us about your family.

My name is Rebecaa Segal Albert and I am married to Segal Alik Albert. We have 9 children, 4 daughters and 5 sons. I am currently employed as an elementary school teacher at Tafunsak Elementary School. My husband is currently unemployed and is taking care of our small retail business.
Why did you decide to start your own business?

A few years back, my in-laws were operating a mini store and me and my husband assisted them in managing the business. There was a mini store and they added a produce market and later added a video rental. As the oldest of the family, my husband dedicated most of his time with his family and assisted them in running and managing the family business. We started managing the family business after my in-laws were starting to lose interest due to illness.
What experience do you have in this type of business?

My husband and I started running and managing the business on our own and we feel that we needed to upgrade and expand the business.
How did the Kosrae Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and other resources help you?

We were still thinking about this expansion business when I learned about the services of the Kosrae SBDC. I visited the SBDC one day for assistance and then I was given a business plan questionnaire to fill out with my husband. Somehow, the SBDC started to visit the schools to do business plan development training. I attended the one day training and there I was able to fill out the business plan questionnaire. I visited the SBDC again to review, revise, and comment on my draft plan. Finally, we completed a full proposal and submitted to the Pacific Islands Development Bank for review. A few weeks later, I was notified by the PIDB that my loan proposal was approved awaiting processing.
What was the start-up process like? How did you fund your business?

There was an existing structure that needed upgrading and we were then selling only a few grocery items and also selling local produce. We were able to upgrade the existing building and expand the store into selling more grocery items, locally baked goods, and local produce. Most of the funding was from the PIDB and we use our existing building and few goods on the shelves as contributions to the business.
What were some of the biggest challenges/experiences you experienced in the start-up process?

The biggest challenge that we faced with was the planning and also the write up of the business proposal. Without the assistance from the Kosrae SBDC, we could not have come up with a fundable proposal.
What is your most memorable triumph in your start-up process?

The most memorable triumph is when we were informed that our loan request was approved. We could not wait to start the expansion plans we had for the business.
What are your short-term and long-term goals for your business?

Our short-term goal is to expand the business into selling more dry foods and hopefully in the long run, we are able to increase the kinds of goods sold at our business into selling other products such as frozen goods and to able to import rather than buying from local suppliers.
What advice would you give other who want to start a business at this time?

If you have a business idea in mind, don’t hesitate to start. When in doubt, visit the Kosrae SBDC.

B Cave Store is located in Wiya, Tafunsak and is open from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. To contact Rebecca and Segal Albert, call them at (691)370-2639 or e-mail

For more information on how the Kosrae SBDC can assist you starting or expanding your business, contact Skiller Jackson at (691) 370-2751 or e-mail

Friday, April 18, 2014

Guam Enterprise Initiative: One Village, One Product

By Fred R. Schumann, Ph.D.


Over the last five decades Guam's tourism industry has served as an engine for its economic growth.  However, not all segments of the community of Guam actively engage in commercial activities with tourists and therefore receive little direct benefits from the tourism industry. Because of the many large corporations involved in the tour agent-dominated industry, economic benefits for residents are further reduced due to a high level of leakage of the tourists' spending on Guam.  The direct income for an area is the amount of tourist expenditure that remains locally after taxes, profits, and wages are paid outside the area and after imports are purchased; these subtracted amounts are called leakage.  Recent tourism studies show that each visitor to Guam spends $1,100 on-island, but as much as 54% ends up leaving Guam.  Leakage estimates in other destinations like the Caribbean islands are as high as 80%.  One way to address the issue of leakage is for residents to work together as a community and better market locally produced tourism products that meet the needs of visitors. 

Dr. Anita Borja Enriquez with a shopkeeper from Yufuin, Oita. Customers can sample local jams and observe the production of goods--all part of the shopping experience.
A team from the University of Guam is in the process of gathering data to develop an inventory of agricultural clusters by village and will be using this information to encourage the creation of value-added products by village residents.  The team, comprised of members from the School of Business and Public Administration, then plans to introduce the One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) strategy through the linking of village agriculture and heritage tourism. This strategy is being implemented on Guam so that residents may benefit economically from the tourism industry by building up linkages with suppliers of goods and services for commercial activities involving signature products from each village.

Assortment of kabosu products. Kabosu is a juicy green citrus fruit (like Yuzu) with the sharpness of lemon, used in Japanese dishes. OVOP was first introduced by Governor Hiramatsu in Oita, Japan.  Successfully implemented as a regional development program in 1979, the communities had to selectively produce goods with highly added value and one village should produce one product that was competitive and stable and use this particular product to gain sales revenue in the market.  In Oita, the average annual income doubled, with OVOP products now sold in Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport, thus making revenues for villages involved in the OVOP movement.  Similarly, the promotion of residents’ engagement in value-added production and service will result in economic self-sufficiency at the village level.  This can lead to export potential of heritage-based food and agriculture products, and ultimately to shrink leakage and maximize the circulation of tourism revenue within the local economy.

The team plans to develop a map similar to that of Oita and further develop economic opportunities for residents by linking village agriculture and heritage tourism.  It involves pursuing a specialization strategy with each of Guam’s 19 villages identifying one or two products, goods or services that will eventually create a specific image to attract visitors and investments.  The purpose is to show that each village has some uniqueness in terms of its history, culture, agriculture, or natural beauty.

For more information, contact the Guam OVOP project team at 735-2525 or

Fred R. Schumann, Ph.D. is a resident tourism expert with the UOG Pacific Center for Economic Initiatives, and Associate Professor of Global Resources Management at the School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

USDA, Farm Service Agency – Youth Loan Program available in Guam and CNMI

FSA's Youth Loan program helps promotes entrepreneurship by giving participants practical experience in planning and carrying out agriculturally-related, income-producing projects.

Youth must be no younger than 10 no older than 20 when they apply. They must also have a project adviser to provide general oversight on project. Youth participants must be able to plan, manage, and carry out a project and have a parent or guardian agree to the applicant’s participation if they are a minor.

A wide variety of projects qualify as "agriculturally related" enterprises. Here are a few examples of how loan funds might be used:

• Buy farm produce from a local farmer to make jams or jellies to sell at the farmers market or during a local fair.

• Pay a local graphic arts designer to create an attractive label for the product.

• Buy the raw materials needed to weave "Made in Guam" baskets at the Chamorro Village.

• Buy and raise traditional Chinese herbs to package as teas or health supplements to sell to the local Chinese community.

• Purchase 3 baby pigs plus the feed and medicines needed to raise them for sale.

Other details include:

• The maximum loan to pay expenses is $5,000;

• The project must generate the income needed to repay the loan.

• Security requirements:
Applicants must sign a promissory note and be responsible for repaying the loan.

Loan collateral is normally the products produced for sale, but could include other property.

Loan payments are based on the scheduled sale of the products.

•FSA uses fixed interest rates.
For more information, please contact:

Fred San Nicolas, Assistant Manager,

Farm Loan Programs
Doreen Rivera, Program Technician,

Farm Loan Programs
Telephone: 671-300-8552

Facsimile: 855-356-9491
USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer



Friday, April 11, 2014

UN Resident Coordinator Meets YES!

By: Lisa Abraham
Palau SBDC 

 Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative was in Palau to present her professional credentials to his Excellency President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. Per the Fiji Times newspaper:

Bureau of Youth & Sports Director Melson Miko, UN Resident Coordinator Osnat Lubrani, Palau SBDC Executive Director Lisa Abraham and several YES Phase II participants pose for a photo after their meeting.
Ms. Lubrani holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, anthropology and history of Africa from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. She has a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University.
Previously, she was the UN development coordinator and UNDP resident representative for Kosovo, director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Brussels and regional program director in Slovakia. She was seconded to UNDP's office in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as deputy resident representative, and worked with UNIFEM in New York.

During her visit, Lubrani met with several Bureau of Youth and Sports Director, Melson Miko, as well as with several Youth Entrepreneur Solutions (YES) Program Phase II participants. Director Miko directly manages the Palau National Youth Council (PNYC) and is a partner with the Palau SBDC in overseeing the achievement of the YES Program Business Incubator.  

The Palau Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs (MCCA) work continuously to support Palauan youth and help pave the way to an exciting future of Palauan entrepreneurship. Though support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has been received (in the form of seed money) to start on the construction of the YES Program Business Incubator, the present deteriorated state of the facility will require additional support from the community.
The Youth Entrepreneur Solutions (YES) Action Plan launched Phase 2 of its program on March 15, 2013. Their theme for this year’s business plan training and competition was: “Building the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.” The YES Action Plan was first launched in April 2012 and is a joint initiative under the Small Business Development Center of Palau (SBDC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
If you would like more information about the Youth Entrepreneur Solution Business plan competition or you are interested in supporting the launching of the YES Program Business Incubator, please contact Lisa Abraham at 587-6004 or email at

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Tax Tips for the Small Business Owner

By: Fred Granillo
Business Counselor/Training Program Coordinator

Now that we are into 2014, business owners should be aware of the overall income tax requirements when filing their income tax returns. Plus we will revisit the ongoing requirements for gross receipts and payroll taxes that most businesses must deal with.

Income Taxes
For the small business owner, we always suggest seeking professional tax advice and tax preparation assistance. This should ensure that you have taken advantage of all the available deductions for your business and presented your information as required by the tax regulations. However, every small business owner must be aware which income tax documents are required and expected to be filed so one does not blindly accept the documents filed on behalf of the preparer.

The required income tax return forms for the self-employed include the following:
• Form 1040 – this is the base form that summarizes the net operating results for the business along with other income and calculates the overall tax due or refund.
• Schedule C – the form that summarizes business income and expenses. The figures that go into this form should already be compiled into income and expense categories based on an accounting system.
• Schedule SE – one half of total self-employment taxes is a deduction from gross income and calculated on this form.
• Form 1040-SS – self-employment taxes due are calculated on this form based on the income and expenses from the business operating results.
• Form 4562 – use this form to calculate depreciation only when the business uses or owns assets in the business.
• The above forms can effectively be completed when the business possesses an accounting system; either manual or automated that accurately compiles the income, expenses, assets and liabilities of the business.

Gross Receipts Taxes
Business Privilege Tax imposes the gross receipts tax (GRT) on business activity in Guam. The GRT is imposed on the gross income received by the person (or entity) engaging in the business activity. Here are few key items to keep in mind:
• Once a person or separate legal entity obtains a business license they also obtain a GRT account number on the license. This requires the business operator to initiate GRT Filing.
• Form GRT-1 must be filed monthly, even if no taxes are due – most small businesses file under Lines 2 -8
• Tax Rate: 4%
• Monthly filing due on the 20th day of the following month
• Exemption guideline: maximum exemption - $40,000 of income and gross income limitation of $50,000. This means as long as gross income is less than $50,000 annually, then the small business person can take the exemption the following year. Should gross income exceed $50,000 then the following year the small business cannot take an exemption against their gross income and must pay every month.

Payroll Taxes

The small business owner must have an accurate accounting system of payroll that includes the computation of gross pay and taxes withheld from the employee’s pay that includes income tax withholding, social security taxes, and Medicare taxes. All these withheld taxes are then paid to the respective taxing authorities being Department of Revenue & Taxation and Internal Revenue Service. The timing of the payments depends on the amount of taxes due each quarter. The small business owner should be aware of the required payroll reporting as follows:
• Quarterly: Form 941-SS, Form W-1, and SW-2
• Quarterly Due Dates: April, July October and January
• Annually: W-3SS and W-2’s