Friday, December 30, 2016

Important Tax Tips for Businesses

Simply put, we all have to pay taxes, whether we like it or not. If you are a business owner, filing your taxes can get especially complicated. Good news’s not too late to make some smart tax moves for this year. Deciding on the right strategy for you and your business depends on your income, as well as a number of other personal circumstances, so you might want to  consult a tax professional.

Deferring Income Taxes

Deferring income taxes relies on legal strategies that let you pay taxes in a future year on money that you earn this year. Just about anyone can do this with help from a tax professional. Deferring your taxes lets you keep your money longer, and the longer you have your money, the more opportunities you have to put it to work for you. Perhaps investing your money instead of turning it over to the government right away could do wonders for your business.

Writing Off Expenses

There are many aspects of a business that can be deducted from your taxes: mileage, insurance, supplies, entertainment, etc. Take advantage of them!!! Take a look at a dozen deductions for your business. Don’t cheat yourself out of these, no matter how successful you become (or currently are)! If you have made a charitable donation, that can be deducted as well. And there still is time to donate to your favorite charity...and write it off. Take every legal deduction you can for yourself, and for your business.

Carry Forward the Health Credit

Businesses that employ fewer than 10 full-time employees with average wages under $25,000 per person get the most benefit. The healthcare tax credit is offered on a sliding scale to small businesses. Talk to your tax professional to see if you’re eligible, or use form 8941 to calculate your eligibility for the credit.  If your business did not owe taxes in that year, you may be able to carry the credit forward. If a remainder of the tax premium exists, you can claim business expenses against it.

The South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting growth and prosperity to our local businesses. We want you to be part of our community and join today!

Learn more about joining at the South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce or call us at (402) 494-1626 to see how we can help you grow your business through networking and other activities.  
Tax Tips for Businesses

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Marketing Opportunities for this Holiday Season

Black Friday might receive a lot of hype, but before there can be a Black Friday there must be a Thanksgiving. Make sure to capitalize on the calendar by creating a marketing plan for this Holiday season and especially the days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are some ideas for your small business this Holiday season.  
  1. Hype End-of-Season Products
The fall season means pumpkin this and apple that while Christmas tends to smell like cinnamon, pine, and sugar cookies. With so many Thanksgiving meals coming up, create an incentive to use these soon-to-be phased out products. Whether they are pumpkin pies, autumn-scented candles, or apple cookie mix they can be brought as gifts or as desserts.
  1. Happy HolidaysMake Life Easier for Hosts
Some entertainers think that hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner sounds like a fun idea… until it comes time to cook, clean, and decorate. Anything that you or your business can remove from the giant plate of chores will be beneficial to these hosts. Maybe your catering service can bring a prepared Thanksgiving or Christmas meal to the home. Maybe your rental service can rent a giant dining room table to fit the cousins you didn’t even know you had. Maybe your maid service can come make the house spotless before the guests arrive. Regardless, milk these services and market them to hosts and entertainers. Consider a limited-time sales promotion ending on Thanksgiving Day.
  1. Be Thankful for Customers
Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks. Make sure to send a targeted email or direct mail piece to your customers with a special offer. This will make them feel special and get them to stop in your store before the crazy Black Friday sales start.
  1. Host an Event
This event can be free depending on your businesses size, budget, and generosity. Regardless of the budget,  it will be a great way to build relationship with customers and build morale within your staff during this Holiday season. This warm invitation can be sent out via email or direct mail piece. It can be included in the promotion mentioned in Tip 3.
South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce strives to help our local small businesses succeed. We offer helpful tips on networking and other actives. Our office is located at 4401 Dakota Avenue in South Sioux City. To find out more about our services offered to small businesses, call (402) 494-1626 or visit our website. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Importance of Registering to Vote

It feels like the election has been dominating the news for quite some time. The upcoming election is November 8th, which means we’re less than three weeks away from casting our ballots! Voting is an important part of being an American citizen, and an opportunity for your voice to be heard by voting for the candidates you believe best represent you. In order to vote, though, you must first be registered.

Voter registration is the process by which citizens and residents register in order to be authorized and allowed to vote in elections. If you need to register to vote, visit Depending on your state’s voter registration rules, the site can help you:
  • Register online. This is available for 31 states (including Nebraska) plus the District of Columbia.
  • Download the National Mail Voter Registration Form. You can fill it out onscreen and print the completed form, or print the blank form and fill it out by hand. Remember to sign the form before mailing it to the location listed for your state.
  • Find guidance for states and territories with different registration procedures.

You can also register to vote in person at your state or local election office. Other places you can register to vote in person include the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), armed recruitment centers, and public assistance offices.

Still on the fence about voting this upcoming election? Don’t be. It’s important to remember that when voting, you’re not just voting for President. There are more candidates on the ballot than just President of the United States. The president’s power is limited if his or her party doesn’t have control of the Senate or House of Representatives. There are also important state and local officeholders on the ballot. Not voting in an election doesn’t just affect the presidential race, but it affects those down ticket as well. In order for democracy to work effectively and be representative of the people, the people need to get out and be heard. That means voting!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Celebrate Mexican Independence Day in South Sioux City

Mexican Independence Day is a holiday observed on September 16th that celebrates the “cry of independence,” which started the Mexican revolt against Spanish colonialism. September 16th is a national public holiday in Mexico, so banks, schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed in observance of the day.

Mexican Independence DayThe “cry of independence” is more commonly known as the Cry of Dolores, or Grito de Dolores in Spanish. A priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla hosted secret gatherings in his home to discuss whether it was better to obey or to revolt against a tyrannical government, as he defined the Spanish colonial government in Mexico. Hidalgo was in the small town of Dolores on September 15th, 1810, with other rebel leaders when they learned their conspiracy had been discovered. Hidalgo ran to the church, calling for all the people to gather, and from the pulpit called upon them to revolt. The people of Dolores – a poor and small group – all shouted in agreement. On the morning of September 16th, 1810, Hidalgo called upon the remaining locals to join him. Most did, and Hidalgo had a mob of around 600 men within minutes. The Cry of Dolores is what sparked the revolution, and is why September 16th is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day despite Mexico not gaining its independence for another 11 years. Although things didn’t end well for Hidalgo (he was captured, tried, and executed by the Spanish army ten months after his rebellion), he is remembered today as the “father of his country” and a great hero in the war for Mexican Independence.

Mexicans typically celebrate their Independence Day with fireworks, parties, food, music, and dancing. Flags, flowers, and decorations in red, white and green – the colors of the Mexican flag – are displayed all over cities and towns in Mexico. Whistles and horns are blown and confetti is thrown to celebrate this festive occasion. "Viva Mexico" or "Viva la independencia” are shouted amidst the crowds on this day, words believed to be declared by Hidalgo during his Grito de Dolores.

We invite residents of South Sioux City and visiting guests to join us for the Siouxland Multicultural Celebration of Independence! This event will take place September 17th and 18th and will be a celebration with traditional food, friendly soccer games, and Independence Proclamation by the Mexican Consul. For more information on the Multicultural Celebration of Independence, please visit our website:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Activities and Tips for Back to School Season

It’s hard to believe, but summer is already winding down! Some students (and parents) are eagerly anticipating going back to school, while others are trying to fit in some last-minute summer fun and recreation. Either way, back to school season is here and a little planning and preparation goes a long way to make the transition more fun and easy. Here are a few tips to help you through the busy final days of summer.

  • Shop the sales. Back-to-school shopping is an expense many parents have come to dread. But it doesn’t have to break the bank. Check weekly store ads for the best deals on what’s on your particular student’s list. Many parents realize, when they go through their home they already have some office supplies lying around that their child can use for school. After school begins and school supplies go on clearance, stock up for next year on basics you know they’ll always need, such as pencils, notebooks, and folders.
  • Set the clock. If you have a late sleeper, start getting them up a little earlier each day. A couple days before school starts, have them wake up at the time they’ll have to wake up during the school year. Likewise, start having students go to bed earlier each night. With the days getting shorter, it won’t be too difficult. Late summer nights are often part of vacation, but it will help students get in the school routine and start the year off well rested if they get on their school year sleep schedule.  
  • Back to schoolPractice the routine. Many schools have a supply drop-off day or a back-to-school social, where students can see their classroom and meet their new teacher. This is a great time to practice the exact route they will take to school as well as drop-off and pick-up procedures. Practicing the “getting ready for school” morning routine a few days before school starts is also a great way to get them back in the habit of school year expectations, and can help answer any questions (or soothe nerves) they have. It’s also a good time for you as a parent to notice if there are any glitches or problem areas in the morning--before the first day!

For more great back-to-school activities that help get students in the back-to-school mindset, check out these teacher-tested methods!
Do you have a favorite back-to-school activity you’d like to suggest for Siouxland residents and visitors? Let us know below! South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is dedicated to promoting business, tourism, and recreation in greater Siouxland. For more information, follow our blog or visit our website today.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Activities in South Sioux City

It’s hot out there in Siouxland! Although it’s tempting to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioned comfort of your living room, there’s plenty going on in South Sioux City to get you out, about, and active. Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather with some of these great activities. After all, summer only comes around once a year!

Cool off at the Norm Waitt Sr YMCA: The local Y right here in South Sioux City has both an indoor and outdoor pool, and of course, lots of classes for fitness, fun, and childhood development. From swim to spin, the Y is a great place to get fit and make community connections. Visit for pool and class schedules, and more!

Get active on the brand-new 14-mile trail loop: In late June 2016, South Sioux City held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-completed biking, walking, and running trail that now encompasses the entire city. South Sioux City is famous for being a bicycle-friendly locale, but now the city has improved upon a good thing by connecting the existing bike trails into a contiguous route. You read about the inaugural ceremony and route here!

PDGADisc Golf and PDGA Tournament: On July 16 & 17th, South Sioux City CVB and VOLO Sports proudly hosts the 3rd annual Bridge the Gap disc golf tournament. This is a PDGA Tier B tournament occurring over 2 days and 3 courses. Find out more about this fun event here!

For more disc golf, Crystal Cove is a PDGA-sanctioned, 18-basket course open to the public located within Crystal Cove Park. Come check it out!

Play ball: Golf, that is! South Sioux City boasts two golf courses to get you out on the green: Covington Links and South Ridge. Visit here for directions, fees, and membership information.  

Reflect on US history: Visit Freedom Park, where US servicemen and women are honored and remembered. Located on the bluffs of the Missouri River, Freedom Park contains a replica of the famous Vietnam Wall, as well as the John Douangdara Memorial War Dog Park. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the creation of this park in progress--there are more great things planned for this beautiful space, including an interpretive center, Korean War Memorial, and children’s play areas.   

Visit the Danish Alps State Recreation Area: Located less than 15 miles from South Sioux City, the Danish Alps offers camping, fishing, hiking, an equestrian trail, and more. Visit this natural area in our own backyard!

Do you have a favorite summer activity you’d like to suggest for Siouxland residents and visitors? Let us know in the comments section below! South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is dedicated to promoting business, tourism, and recreation in greater Siouxland. For more information, follow our blog or visit our website today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Explore Summer Fun in and around South Sioux City

South Sioux City, Nebraska, sits at a unique location, nestled in a horseshoe bend of the breathtaking Missouri River, as well as seated at the portal of two scenic historical routes, the Outlaw Trail and the Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway. Whether you’re passing through or a local resident exploring new aspects of where you live, be sure to spend some extra time this summer in the South Sioux City area. In addition to natural beauty and historical landmarks, the South Sioux City area has summer events with fun to offer for all ages.

Cardinal Days, June 10th-12th
The seventh annual Cardinal Days is almost here and you won’t want to miss this three-day festival.  With fun for the whole family, just some of the events and activities you can enjoy include Pony Rides, Kids Fun Zone, Meyers Petting Zoo, a Farmers Market and plenty of incredible food and drinks from local vendors.  For a complete schedule of events at Cardinal Days, visit the following link!

Dakota-Thurston County Fair, August 3rd-7th
The Dakota-Thurston County Fair is one of the area’s biggest events each summer. This year’s theme is Sew It, Grow It, Show It. Featuring a demolition derby, tractor pull, parade with free barbecue afterward, live music and animal shows, 4H exhibits, and of course, lots of local vendors and food stands, the Fair is fun for the whole family, all weekend long! Saturday, August 6th is Kids’ Day at the Fair. New at this year’s fair is Top End Racing’s NASCAR Simulator. Visit the fair’s website for a full list of attractions and schedule.

Cottonwood Days, August 19th-21st
Summer FunHeld in Cottonwood Cove Park in Dakota City, Nebraska, Cottonwood Days is a community festival bringing people together. Come out to see fireworks, a parade, sand volleyball tournament, barbecue cook-off, classic car show, and more!  

Hoot Owl Days, August 26-28th
The Town of Hubbard is proud to hold Hoot Owl Days, complete with an on-stage hooting contest, 5K run, kids’ crafts, pet show, wagon tours of the nearby Danish Alps State Recreation Area, and much more. You’re sure to have a hoot!   

What are your favorite summer events and things to do in the South Sioux City area? Leave us a comment below! Southern Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is dedicated to boosting tourism and recreation in greater Siouxland. For more information, follow our blog or visit our website today. On our website, you’ll find a calendar of local events, as well as suggestions for where to eat and stay while you’re visiting!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Are Taxes Too High?

The question of taxes being too high is one that comes with a plethora of responses and sometimes a great deal of controversy. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggests over half of Americans (57%) feel that income taxes are too high. However, there are mixed reports regarding how US stacks up to other countries around the world.  

US Tax Burden Low
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggests the US is among the lowest taxed countries worldwide. While the individual tax burden in the US has been slowly increasing over the past few years (0.6 percentage points from 25.4% to 26.0% in 2014), when looking at the figures since the year 2000, there has actually been a decrease in the tax burden (from 28.2% to 26.0%).

US Statutory Corporate Income Taxes High
While the US individual tax burden is relatively low when compared to other countries, corporate tax rates are among the highest worldwide. In a report put out in the fall of 2015, the United States ranked third highest when evaluating the corporate income taxes of 173 developed countries around the world. The US’s 39% statutory corporate income tax rate tied with Puerto Rico and was exceeded only by the countries of Chad at 40% and the United Arab Emirates at 55%. By comparison, the average corporate tax rate for all countries included in the survey was only 22.9% or 29.8% when weighted by Gross Domestic Product.

Understanding the numbers
What makes the corporate income tax statistics a bit muddy is the fact that many US businesses do not pay even close to their entire tax bill because loopholes in the US tax codes often provide significant breaks. In fact, the latest statistics from the Government Accountability Office suggests that most companies only pay an average of 12.6% in corporate income taxes. Many of these deductions come from the purchase of foreign subsidiaries or other investments in off-shore organizations.

So, again we ask the age-old question – “Are taxes too high?”  The answer – “It depends on who you ask.”  What we can say for certain is that while the tax burden for US citizens is low, smart business owners should investigate all their options before filing their annual tax bill. For up-to-date news and relevant information on the South Sioux area, please visit our website and follow our blog!
Are Taxes Too High?


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Confronting the Need For Skilled Workers in America

The economy is slowly on the rise and the job market is as strong as ever.  If you’re looking for a job, this is great news… right?  Not exactly.  In this technology driven age, employers are looking to hire people with more advanced skills.  Part of the reason there are millions of job openings across America is because there is a strong need for skilled workers.  Why is there a growing shortage of skilled workers in our country and how can we confront this issue?  Let’s take a look.

A skilled worker is any worker who has special skill, training, knowledge or ability in their work.  They have acquired special skills through college, technical school or learned their skills from experience on the job.  US companies are having a hard time finding skilled workers like welders, electricians and machinists.  A few of the reasons this is occurring in the workforce is because of skills mismatch, aging trade workers and low wages.

skilled workersEmployers are looking to hire workers with skills and experience but many companies do not want to spend the time and money for on-the-job training.  As highly skilled workers edge into retirement, it’s important to remember that we must train the new generation as replacements.  On the other hand, many young Americans are fixated on attending a four-year university and receiving a college degree.  They believe that is the only way to make a sizeable salary and refuse to look for jobs that are considered “blue-collar”.

A great start for filling the need for skilled workers is by raising the wages of tradesmen based on skills.  Highly skilled workers are approaching retirement every day.  The only way these positions will be filled is with readily available training, education and incentives.  Not only should companies be ready to make a change, but educators should be helping students recognize the skills and credentials needed by employers.

At South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, we are dedicated to advancing the commercial, industrial, agricultural and educational industry for residents of the Tri-State Area.  If you are looking to learn more about skilled trade jobs in the Siouxland, browse our website or call 402-494-1626 for more details.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Technology Overload

Wake up; check Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and turn on the news (maybe even in that order). For some people, being glued to technology is no problem at all. For others, hours of technology can turn into an addiction. According to Global WebIndex, the average American spends a little over six hours per day online and 1.72 hours a day using social media alone.

Let that sink in. Now, try and remember the last time you went more than six hours without some sort of device that beeps or vibrates letting you know the latest in news from around the world. It’s no question that technology has taken over our lives. Just about everything we do involves some degree of technology. Whether you are an avid email checker or social media butterfly, technology is always creeping over our shoulder.

The question circling is… When does the use of technology become too much? When technology starts to alter your life, work and those nights out on the town. If you can’t go 24 hours without it or are more comfortable communicating via text, STOP what you are doing and check back into reality.

Here are some simple ways to let go of technology:
  • Don’t let technology control you. YOU control your technology.
  • Learn when to say no. If someone is blowing up your phone, simply respond one time and tell them you will get back to them soon. If there’s no emergency, don’t be available 24/7.
  • For those nights out to dinner or meeting up with friends; keep your phone in your purse or pocket and turn it on silent. Whatever it is, it can probably wait a couple hours.

While technology has taken over our everyday lives, it has also changed the world for the better. Technology has evolved and given us the knowledge to answer questions nobody thought was possible. There just comes a moment in time when you realize there are technology boundaries that need to be set.

At South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, we are a local association looking to advance the business community of the South Sioux area. So, whether you are a technology guru or a little old fashioned, visit our website or give us a call at 402-494-1626 and learn how your input and involvement can advance Dakota County.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Generation X & Y: What’s the difference?

The term “Millennial” is thrown around a lot these days. But what does it mean, exactly? Naming generations is not a new concept. First there were the post-WWII baby boomers, then the children of the boomers born in the early 1960’s through the early 1980’s known as Generation X. The current young adult generation is Generation Y, born in the 1980’s through the early 2000’s, hence the nickname “Millennials”. Right now, Generations Xers are aged in their mid-30’s to early 50’s, and Millennials are their early 20’s through early 30’s.

So what’s the difference between Generations X and Y? According to Wikipedia, Gen Xers are often called the MTV Generation because they came of age during the emergence of music videos, new wave music, electronic music, heavy metal, punk rock, alternative rock, and hip hop. Compared with previous generations, Generation X embraces social diversity with open arms. Unlike their Boomer parents who challenged leaders with an intent to replace them, Gen Xers are less likely to idolize leaders and are more inclined to work toward long-term institutional and systematic change through economic, media, and consumer actions. Gen Xers are notoriously cynical, but considering this is a large generation, blanket statements like these do not cover all subcultures and eras within it.

Millennials are sometimes referred to as “Generation Me” due to the characteristics of confidence and tolerance, along with a sense of entitlement and narcissism. This generation is largely shaped by technology. They are comfortable sharing their entire life with the world online. While a Gen Xer might hold one job for their entire working career, Millennials switch jobs frequently due to higher expectations and entitlement. Generation Y is also unfortunately plagued with high student loan debt and unemployment rates. It is said that Generation X lives to work, while Generation Y works to live.

It is important to note that these are sweeping generalizations about the two generations, and although these are traits and characteristics of the generations as a whole, it does not apply to many individuals within the groups. Just as individuals are a product of their upbringing and environment, so too are generations a product of the social and economic landscape in which they are born.

At South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce, we are dedicated to increasing business opportunities and quality of life for all generations.  If you’re interested in learning more about how we serve the local community, browse our website or give us a call!