Gratitude Referral Network dinner meeting on Monday

Gratitude Referral Network is hosting a networking dinner meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, at Brewers Restaurant and Sports Bar, 2331 S. Avenue B.

Learn how to use the power of gratitude to grow your business. At each meeting of GRN, a Yuma networking group, a different member gives a 10-minute presentation on their business.

The meeting is free; just be ready to order food. Bring business cards and take a friend.

Tomcat Engineering named SBA’s 2020 Top Prime Contractor

Randy Nelson, director of the Arizona Western College Small Business Development Center, announced that the Small Business Administration has named Yuma’s Tomcat Engineering Unlimited as the Arizona Top Prime Contractor for 2020.

Tomcat, owned by Mickey Garza, was previously named the Small Business of the Year for Yuma and LaPaz counties.

“When you have great employees, it makes it easy to do great things. This is for the Tomcat team! It wouldn’t be possible without each and everyone,” Garza said.

“This new recognition is very prestigious and represents the company’s success over many years,” Nelson noted.

Spectrum participating in broadband benefit program

Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum Internet, is participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Yuma County households may be eligible for a credit up to $50 per month (up to $75 for households on tribal lands) toward qualifying Spectrum Internet plans for the duration of the program.

Charter is offering a variety of broadband options under the program, and all Spectrum Internet plans available have no modem fees, data caps or contracts and include free self-installation. Interested consumers who are not currently Spectrum customers should visit spectrum.com/getqualified or call 1-855-662-9946. Current Spectrum customers can visit spectrum.net/broadbandbenefit to learn more.

Households can qualify based on several criteria, comprising income level and eligibility for the National School Lunch Program (or the Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Consumers can verify their eligibility for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program through the Universal Service Administrative Co.’s Lifeline National Eligibility Verifier portal at https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/lifeline/.

For more information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, including eligibility requirements, visit https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit/.

BBB hosts Industrious Women’s Collective on Tuesday

As the economy forges ahead and climbs out of the 2020 downturn, women are emerging as leading entrepreneurs, creating an estimated 1,800 new businesses a day. To give these powerhouse entrepreneurs a competitive edge, the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest will host the second annual Industrious Women’s Collective, presented by GoDaddy.

Women entrepreneurs are often uncertain where to access resources and mentorship to elevate their business. This complimentary virtual event will be held on Tuesday, May 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Attendees will gain professional development on effective leadership, how to excel in industries and develop meaningful connections. The expert panel of speakers includes Susan Brooks from SusanLBrooks.com, Denisse Delos Santos and Marissa Sotomayor from Salt River Project, and Odelia Younge and Sarah Cacicio from Digital Promise.

The keynote will be delivered by Raisa Lynn from GoDaddy on What Being a Women Entrepreneur Means to the Greater Entrepreneur Community.

The Industrious Women’s Collective serves as the kickoff to BBB’s 2021 Industrious Women’s Summit, which is a full-day event on Aug. 20 geared towards women working in the trades.

Attendees at the Industrious Women’s Collective will have an exclusive chance to win a complimentary ticket to this upcoming summit along with additional gifts.

View upcoming events and register for the Industrious Women’s Collective at https://www.bbb.org/local-bbb/bbb-serving-the-pacific-southwest/events.

Yuma County ranks No. 5 in Arizona for mortgage approval

According to a recent study by SmartAsset, Yuma County residents ranked No. 5 in Arizona when it comes to being approved for mortgages.

These rankings are part of an overarching study on the “Best Places to Get a Mortgage,” which compared four factors, including overall borrowing costs, likelihood of securing a mortgage, property taxes and annual mortgage payments.

To calculate the overall borrowing costs, SmartAsset analyzed the expected costs throughout the first five years for a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment, including closing costs. The company calculated the ease of getting a mortgage as the ratio of mortgage applications to mortgage originations (secured mortgages) in each county. Annual mortgage payments are a measure of the annual principal and interest payments for a $200,000 loan in that location using average mortgage rates in each county.

Finally, SmartAsset ranked locations based on these four factors, giving equal weight to each factor. The areas with the lowest average rankings are the best places to get a mortgage.

The study showed that Yuma had the following averages: 63.85% loan funding rate, $68,796 five-year borrowing costs, $11,581 property taxes, $13,056 annual mortgage payment and 63.90 loan funding rate index.

Boot Camp webinars on marketing, Google ads

The Arizona Commerce Authority regularly hosts Small Business Boot Camp webinars, with speakers sharing strategies on navigating these unprecedented times and making important mentorship connections. The webinars are held from 9-10 a.m. on Tuesdays and normally Fridays with occasional extra or off-day sessions.

Here are the upcoming webinars:

• May 18: How to Motivate and Incentivize Employees: How to keep up and maintain employee morale in a COVID-19-era, featuring the experts at The Law Offices of Snell & Wilmer. Learn cost-effective ways to reenergize your team and improve camaraderie through the implementation of performance and liquidity bonuses, employment agreements and more.

• May 20: Bookkeeping Basics: Hear from a panel of industry experts from Central Arizona College, Northern Pioneer College and Coconino Community College Small Business Development Centers on the basics of bookkeeping. Understand your financial responsibilities as a business owner and learn the fundamentals and best practices for business bookkeeping.

To register and/or see upcoming or archived webinars, go to https://www.azcommerce.com/small-business-boot-camp.

Free tax preparation help available in Yuma County

Several agencies offer assistance with filing state and federal tax returns free of charge in Yuma County. The tax return deadline for this year has been extended to May 17.

Here are some of the local programs:

• United Way’s MyFreeTaxes helps people file their taxes for free through self-preparation software or with assistance. The program helps with a variety of tax situations. For more information, go to https://www.myfreetaxes.com/ or call 866-698-9435.

• The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Volunteers prepare taxes in English and Spanish; no appointment is required. In Yuma County, the programs are available at the following locations: Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 300 S. 13th Ave., Yuma, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; Catholic Community Services San Luis, 788 B St., San Luis, Arizona, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

• AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides virtual and in-person tax assistance free of charge, with a special focus on taxpayers who are over the age of 50 or have low-to-moderate income. In Yuma County, Tax-Aide can be found at Wellton Library, 28790 San Jose Ave., Wellton, and Assembly of God, 12831 E. 41st St., Yuma. The tax service is available by appointment only and will vary due to COVID spread and volunteer capacity. For more information about Tax-Aide, visit www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide.

Compiled by Yuma Sun staff writer Mara Knaub. Submit items for Business Glance to mknaub@yumasun.com.

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