Keep good records.
That was the message repeated over and over again May 26 during a small business summit hosted by the City of Perris and sponsored in conjunction with the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce.
About 35 small business owners attended the two-hour summit in the City Council Chambers. Lance Christiansen of the state Board of Equalization stressed the need to keep meticulous tax records to avoid running afoul of state and federal tax codes.
“You can be penalized for not keep good records,” Christiansen told the assembled business gathering. “Keeping good records makes running a business easier and it makes your tax preparation easier.”
The seminar included several topics aimed at helping small business owners navigate through the maze that is the U.S. tax code.
Those included what records should be kept and for how long; specifics about what to include in gross receipts and how to determine various tax formulas based on location.
Sponsored in conjunction with the recently formed Economic Development subcommittee, the seminar is the second in a planned series of quarterly symposiums aimed at promoting small-business development and expansion in Perris.
The initial seminar took place March 7 and included a financial literacy workshop co-hosted by the Hispanic Association of Small Businesses. Details for the third and fourth seminars have not been determined.
Perris City Councilwoman Tonya Burke sat in the audience during the seminar. She is one of the City liaisons to the economic development subcommittee and wanted to show her solidarity with small-business in Perris.
“It’s important for our business community to have the resources they need to succeed and to show that we are a City that is supportive of small-business,” Burke said. “It is important for businesses in Perris to know that the leadership in the City is behind them.”
Michael McDermott, Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager for the City of Perris and Chief Operating Officer of the Perris Community Economic Development Corporation, echoed Burke’s sentiments.
“When we can provide a forum for general workshops or a specific business seminar it’s beneficial to our local businesses and by extension to the City itself,” he said. “In this case, this series of presentations meets one of the Citizens’ Economic Development Committee’s goals, “Promote workforce development through business opportunities that stimulate higher education and skills.”
Matt Johnson, president of the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce, praised the efforts of the City to give small companies the tools they need to thrive. He commended McDermott and Michelle Ogawa, the City management analyst who helped organized the symposium, for the diligence in working with the Chamber.
“I have never seen another city take such a keen interest in assisting small businesses,” said Johnson, who operates a shooting range in Perris. “Small business is the backbone of America. “It’s important that business owners are educated so they can run a better business and become more profitable. We want businesses to stay in business.”