What is your business worth?

The market for selling small businesses improved slightly last year, but buyers typically still had the upper hand. The median selling price rose 3.3 cent to $155,000, while the median revenue for firms sold in 2011 rose by 6.7 percent.

Lenders generally require a professional valuation before extending credit to owners and buyers. But even if a loan or a sale is not in your immediate future, a precise valuation could be useful for effective business, tax, and retirement planning.


Tactical Urbanism Salon in Memphis

Tactical urbanism – described by some as one of the top planning trends of 2011-12 – will get a Memphis focus on Sept. 22 during the Tactical Urbanism Salon.

The Memphis Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team is partnering with The Street Plans Collaborative to the salon event, which will be held at 363 South Main (Leadership Memphis Gallery) from 1 p.m. to p.m. It is being supported by the Memphis Regional Design Center and Livable Memphis.


‘Christian & Daddy Go Shopping’

"Christian & Daddy Go Shopping" by Stanley Steppes is the first book in a series entitled "Money Smart Kids," which is designed to teach children about topics such as earning, spending, saving and giving. The book provides age-appropriate lessons for understanding money and designing spending plans. It's a much-needed tool for parents seeking ways to groom an entrepreneur.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us about yourself.

Stanley Steppes: I am a wealth advisor and a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., where I still reside with my beautiful wife, Abra, and our two boys, Christian (the featured character in the book) and Carter.


What’s your retirement vision?

Wouldn't it be disappointing to dream about a comfortable retirement and then find yourself unable to enjoy your leisure years because of limited financial resources? Unfortunately, this is a possibility for people who underestimate retirement expenses and the rising cost of living.


$175 million discrimination settlement by Wells Fargo

by Charlene Crowell
NNPA News Service

Wells Fargo Bank will pay more than $175 million to resolve unfair lending claims against African-American and Latino mortgage borrowers from 2004 through 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

It is the second-largest fair lending settlement in the department's history. According to DOJ, $125 million will go to borrowers of color who were charged more for loans they got through mortgage brokers.


Investing when rates are low

Interest rates have been exceptionally low for three years now — and are expected to remain so through the end of 2014, according to the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, market volatility has been high.

These are challenging times for risk-averse investors who want to improve their returns.


Young Entrepreneurs: Steps by Stephens

Thabiti-Stephens-shoeFrom bow ties to tennis shoes, young entrepreneurs are making their mark on the world. Fueled by creativity, desire and ambition, these young folks are not only inspiring, they are showing us how it should be done. Thabiti Stephens is a case study. At 20, Stephens, owner of Steps by Stephens, is one of the youngest business owners in the athletic shoe industry.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us about yourself.

Thabiti Stephens: My name is Thabiti Stephens and I am from Atlanta, Ga. I am a Business Marketing major and a rising junior at Morehouse College. I am the founder and CEO of Steps by Stephens.


Young Entrepreneurs: Mo’s Bows

BowTie-1Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. But no one mentioned that to Moziah Bridges, a 10-year-old student at Rozelle Elementary School.

With a little more than a year of business ownership under his belt, Moziah has already made a splash and a name for himself as a young mogul in the making. His company is appropriately titled Mo's Bows since his specialty is bow ties for those stylish and well-groomed individuals seeking to make a fashion statement.

Manning booths at artisan fairs, picking his own fabric and sewing the bow ties himself all demonstrate that Moziah is more than dedicated to growing his business.


Hanging the ‘Help Wanted’ sign

Toward the end of 2011, an index that measures the hiring intentions of small businesses rose to its highest level in three years, and another report estimated that small businesses have added about 1.2 million new jobs since October 2009. All told, businesses with fewer than 500 employees have created about 65 percent of new jobs in the United States over the last 20 years.


Aid for high-risk adults, seniors with multiple chronic illnesses

A $2,977,865 award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Innovation Center is headed for the Memphis area for a program designed to improve medication adherence and effective medication usage among high-risk patients in the northwest and southwest sections of the city.


TREPS to some, young entrepreneurs to others

TREPS – according to the Urban Dictionary – is short for young entrepreneurs and the word has made its way into mainstream culture as do most words associated with things cool and hip.

Tune into shows such as "Shark Tank" or visit websites such as, and you are likely to encounter a growing class of business owners who are the embodiment of the term. This month, TREPS will be our On Our Way To Wealthy focus.


Tennessee lands six companies among top-grossing black-owned businesses

Six Tennessee companies are among the nation's top-grossing black-owned businesses as listed in Black Enterprise magazine's 40th annual BE100s report.

The cornerstone of the publication's June issue, the analysis includes 230 companies broken down into seven categories: industrial/service companies, auto dealers, advertising agencies, private equity firms, investments banks, banks, and asset management firms. The Black Enterprise list is widely recognized as the most authoritative analysis and ranking of the nation's most successful African-American companies.


Costs of care giving

More than 65 million Americans – about one out of three adults – provide care for someone who is ill, disabled, or aged. Although these caregivers are unpaid, the total value of their efforts is estimated at $450 billion annually – more than the value of paid home health care and more than the 2010 retail sales of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.

Not surprisingly, about two-thirds of all caregivers help someone who is age 50 or older