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Relying on your business to fund your retirement is a risky bet. A business failure, health issues or shifting market conditions can leave you unable to retire fully. Rather than gamble on everything going right, diversify your nest egg so it will last you well into your later years. Prioritize setting aside even a small amount of your gross earnings and enlist an investment advisor or financial planner to help figure out which self-employed retirement plan makes the most sense for you and your business. If selling is still part of your plan, build a detailed exit plan and work with a broker to maintain an accurate valuation of your business.

In the months after the pandemic hit, many people with corporate jobs took a fresh look at what they were doing to make a living. Some left their jobs and looked for alternatives, including opening up a franchise with an established brand. The “quasi-preneurs” opening franchises say they like the ability to buy into a proven brand name and the access to tools and operations that you wouldn’t get if you started your own small business. But franchising has plenty of challenges, too. There are a lot of rules and regulations to abide by and lengthy contracts, which can be difficult to get out of.

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In the months after the pandemic hit, many people with corporate jobs took a fresh look at what they were doing to make a living. Some left their jobs and looked for alternatives, including opening up a franchise with an established brand. The “quasi-preneurs” opening franchises say they like the ability to buy into a proven brand name and the access to tools and operations that you wouldn’t get if you started your own small business. But franchising has plenty of challenges, too. There are a lot of rules and regulations to abide by and lengthy contracts, which can be difficult to get out of.

A former civilian employee for a South Florida police department has been sentenced to 60 days in federal prison for stealing over over $117,000 in COVID relief funds. Records show Elisa Rivera was sentenced Wednesday in Miami federal court. She pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Rivera had been working as an administrative officer for the Miami-Dade Police Department when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in 2020. Despite suffering no loss of salary, a criminal complaint says Rivera authorized a co-conspirator to electronically submit an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application to the Small Business Administration. After submitting her own application, officials ay Rivera submitted fraudulent applications on behalf of others.

A West Virginia woman has admitted accepting more than $42,000 in paycheck protection loans under a federal COVID-19 assistance program for businesses that were not engaged in substantial activity. Alexis Ransom of Logan pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud in federal court in Charleston. Ransom obtained three paycheck protection loans that were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the CARES Act. Ransom admitted falsely stating that her two businesses were established in 2019 and had substantial income. The SBA forgave the loans in August 2021. Ransom faces up to 20 years in prison. Her sentencing is set for Nov. 16.

A West Virginia man has admitted accepting more than $41,000 in loans under a federal COVID-19 assistance program for a business that did not exist. Malik Breckenridge of Charleston pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud in federal court. Breckenridge obtained two paycheck protection loans that were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the CARES Act. Court records show he admitted the business was not registered in West Virginia, and falsely stated that the business was established in 2014 and was operating on February 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Breckenridge faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is set for Nov. 17.

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Hakizimana Muvunye, a refugee from Congo who lives in Cleveland, is a man doing his best. He’s the owner of Asante Landscaping but has only five clients so he also drives for Uber. Muvunye came to Cleveland in February 2016 from Uganda after fleeing armed conflict and insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now he’s striving to build his business. He’s counting on US Together, a nonprofit that provides services to refugees and immigrants, and especially its Microenterprise Development program to help him achieve this goal.  The program, which helps eligible refugees and immigrants develop, finance, and expand small businesses, was vital to starting Asante Landscaping.

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The opportunity to work from anywhere is indeed enticing to many, and it begs an interesting question: If you could work from anywhere, where would it be?

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During the ongoing labor shortage, businesses are offering hiring incentives, increased compensation and flexible schedules to attract workers. They may also want to consider whether they’re taking full advantage of an often-marginalized, but willing and able, segment of the U.S. labor force — older workers.

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