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What do you need to know about taxes? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 February 2018 12:53

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ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



Thursday marked exactly two months before April 15, the day income tax returns are officially due.

Seward County Community College’s Business and Industry department, along with the Liberal Chamber of Commerce and the local Kansas Small Business Development Center, is offering some help with this year’s taxes with this month’s edition of “Business Over Breakfast.”

This month’s seminar, entitled “Taxes: What Should I Be Aware Of?,” will focus on paying taxes and the recently-passed tax overhaul. Those who come to Business Over Breakfast (BOB) on Wednesday will likewise learn how the overhaul affects their businesses as well as themselves individually.

SCCC Business and Industry Director Norma Jean Dodge said she reached out to local tax professional Steve Rice last year to get some ideas for the seminar.

“When we were trying to get the schedule this year, I sent his ideas back and said, ‘Can we do it this spring?’” she said. “He said, ‘Hold on for a minute. I think there’s going to be some tax laws enforced here soon,’ and as soon as they were, he said, ‘I have a topic for you because this’d be really relevant to what’s going on right now, and it could help them personally as well as professionally.’”

Dodge said Rice will talk about newly passed tax laws and what taxpayers should be looking for when filing and even things they should be aware of when filing for next year.

“I think for anybody that comes to this, this’ll be a great piece of information for them,” she said.

Business Over Breakfast will start at 7:30 Wednesday morning in Room No. SU214 E/W at SCCC. Dodge said she is encouraging everyone to sign up quickly.

“Monday is the deadline,” she said. “We like to give Jerry a head’s up on how many people are going to be there so he has enough breakfast prepared and ready for people.”

Registration can be completed by using the online form available at sccc.edu, calling 620-417-1170, or e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . As with other Business Over Breakfast events, the cost is $10.

Dodge said seminars in the BOB series are offered during both the spring and fall semesters at SCCC.

“We don’t do anything during the summer,” she said. “We just brainstorm on what are some ideas and topics that our businesses, small businesses or even big businesses, need to be aware about.”

Dodge said BOB has not been as successful as she would like it to be, but January’s seminar on “Budgeting Basics” did see a good turnout.

“We had more than 20 people in the class,” she said. 

Dodge said she and Liberal Chamber Director Rozelle Webb decided to do BOB was to give business owners another avenue to get together, network and get information to take with them to help them at work and/or personally.

Dodge said the cost of attending BOB, which includes a hot meal, is quite reasonable.

“They go through Jerry’s line, and you can get things off the line, or you can get eggs made the way you like it,” she said. “It’s kind of a neat little deal for just $10 and all that information.”

Dodge said she encourages business to get together and know what others are doing.

“They can help promote and market to others when people are saying, ‘I’m looking for someone to embroider this or somebody who can fix this,’” she said. “They say, ‘Have you ever tried this company or this company?’ Being our own advertisement within our own community and marketing businesses that way because we are able to network and visit and hear what the others are doing.”

BOB has three sessions remaining for the 2018 spring semester, starting with March 21, where attendees will learn how to “Put Your Business on Top of the Search Bar.” 

“A lot of the stuff we do is computerized, and people use their phones to search things or find things,” Dodge said. “We’re just fortunate to have very informational people throughout the community, and Taylor Harden, who owns his own business in dealing with computers, is going to come out and talk to people about how do they get their company the first on the search bar. How do you get out there when people are searching and they find you?”

Dodge said she believes this BOB seminar will be a great way to increase marketing for local businesses.

April 18 will bring the next seminar dealing with “Cultural Humility in the Workplace.”

“That topic has come up quite often the last couple of years, especially living in such a diverse community as Liberal,” Dodge said. “How do you work with different cultures and genders? Travis Combs, he’s our dean of industrial tech, but he also used to be our director of adult basic education. He’s done some seminars on this specific topic. He’ll be doing a short one-hour presentation, just kind of things people need to be aware of, things when they’re in their business how to improve.”

Dodge said this BOB event will help employees work through cultural differences in the workplace.

The final session of BOB for the spring semester will deal with “Healthy Living at the Office,” where Ali Lyon, wellness education coordinator and aquatics director for SCCC, will teach techniques to implement some simple lifestyle and work habit changes. That seminar will take place May 16.

Thus far, Dodge said she has received some good feedback from people who have attended BOB.

“I think the ones that have come so far have really enjoyed it,” she said. “We’ve had some people that are repeats that keep coming back.  I’m really glad for those. I think they like the time frame.”

Dodge said there was one thing some people would like to see changed, though.

“They wish it was longer, but we try to emphasize this is just a bit of information,” she said. “We try to emphasize why we started it. If they want more, we tell them to make sure to write that on evaluation so we can maybe do a course that’s maybe eight hours or maybe longer, depending on what the instructor thinks we need to present on. This is really just an overview to bring people together, to network and to just have a good time in the morning and see what others are up to besides getting that information.”

Dodge said she believes BOB is quite beneficial, and she explained the format of the seminars.

“The way the format starts, I know it says 7:30,” she said. “We allow 15 minutes. I set them up in roundtables specifically so it’s a conversational type atmosphere. We give them 15 minutes to talk and visit and eat their breakfast, and then, we give an hour presentation and questions. They can stick around and continue to talk if they’d like.”

Dodge said with everyone living busy lives, it becomes more difficult to visit with others, and BOB gives them just that chance.

“I know when you look at other communities, some chambers offer luncheons,” she said. “On this one, we’re working on offering a breakfast.”

During the fall and spring semesters at SCCC, BOB typically takes place the third Wednesday of each month.

“Each semester, it might kind of change based on holidays, but the spring, it’s the third Wednesday of the month,” Dodge said.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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