NASE on Micro-Business

Posts Tagged ‘benefits

Traveling for the long weekend? It’s not too late to save on your travel needs with help from the NASE.

Filed in one of our more fun benefits categories, the NASE group discounts can help you save on rental car discounts from Budget, Hertz, and Enterprise. Or, compare your hotel rate for this weekend against the savings you can get through NASE’s hotel savings program — 10% off Wyndham, Ramada, Baymont Inn hotels, and more!

The NASE can also help with more than just saving a few dollars on your travel needs — being there for you in an emergency while you travel.

Assist America and TelaDoc can be two of the most important benefits an NASE Member uses while traveling. Hopefully, you and your family will never need the services of either benefit. But if you get sick while away from home, these free benefits can save you time, money and worry.teladoc

TelaDoc physicians can diagnose medical problems, recommend treatment and prescribe medicine, all over the phone. If your child comes down with a sore throat, or you forgot to pack one of your prescription medications, just call the toll-free number and a TelaDoc doctor can help.

If you suffer a more serious medical emergency while traveling, Assist America can help. If you are traveling moassist americare than 100 miles from home and need medical consultation, emergency evacuation, care for your minor children or hospital admission guarantee, Assist America can arrange and pay for these services — all free to you as an NASE Member.

If you’re an NASE Member, log into the NASE Web site and write down the phone numbers for Assist America and TelaDoc — and put them in your luggage, car or purse before you go away this weekend. This simple act can save you more than time and money if you have an emergency — it’ll give you peace of mind that you’re taken care of.

I’ve worked for the NASE for seven years now, yet I’m still learning new things about the benefits package we offer our small-business members.

Last week I met with representatives from Assist America, an NASE benefit. Assist America describes themselves as “global emergency services,” but you may not be entirely sure what that entails (I wasn’t). And that’s too bad, because it’s an invaluable service you get for free as an NASE Member.

Here’s the deal. You travel — for business, for family vacation, it doesn’t matter. You’re more than 100 miles from home, something goes wrong, and you end up in the hospital for a medical emergency. If you miss your flight back — Assist America will arrange your transportation. If you’re alone, and your hospital stay is expected to be more than seven days long — Assist America will get a friend or family member out to stay with you. What about your children? If you can’t care for them because of your emergency — Assist America will get them to another family member.

And the best part is, all services Assist America arranges for you are completely free.

Oh, wait! There’s another best part! Your family is covered. So if you husband or wife or child gets sick, they can use Assist America’s services through your NASE Membership, too!

I travel a good deal for the NASE. (Have you read my bio? I get to travel around with our grant and scholarship program, and I go to our Dallas office a good bit.) But I have to admit that I don’t think about packing the Assist America phone number with me for emergencies. That’s why we’ve redesigned the NASE Member cards that we send to new members to include the Assist America phone number (it’s 800-909-5868. Or, if you’re outside the US, you can call collect at 609-683-5868).

Learn more about the long list of service Assist America can provide.

How can we better communicate the valuable benefits you have as an NASE Member? Do you prefer e-mail, postal mail, or some other way to hear from us?

According to the recently released 2008 Employee Benefits study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the cost to small businesses of providing employee benefits increased significantly from 2006 to 2007 (the last year for which data is available).

Health insurance costs averaged $4,559 per employee in 2007 from $3,961 in 2006, an increase of 15 percent.  Costs of retirement and savings benefits increased 14 percent from 2006 to 2007, with the average cost per employee rising from $2,356 to $2,694.

Have you had to cut back on these or other benefits for you employees?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Hat tip: Independent Street

Not a moment too soon, the NASE is now accepting applications for the 2009 Business Development Grant program.

In 2008 alone, the NASE awarded $85,000 to members to help them grow their businesses. That means that since the grant program started in 2006, we’ve given away over $350,000!

The program started as a way to show that micro-businesses can do a lot with a small amount of capital. Just enough to buy new computers or run a newspaper adverising campaign, or hire some seasonal part-time help.

When we announced the program, we didn’t know what kind of applications we’d get, or what members would want to use $5,000 on. We weren’t disappointed. We’ve had toy distributers, farmers, general contractors, elder care providers, dog groomers, lawyers, retail store owners, plumbers, and every job, service and industry in between apply for a grant.

And this year, we are now able to accept applications online.

Missy Axton Wynn, an NASE Business Development Grant recipient

Missy Axton Wynn, an NASE Business Development Grant recipient

This will help members applying because after submitting the online application and faxing or mailing in the supporting documents, applicants can check their status online, 24-hours-a-day. They’ll be able to know if their materials were recieved, if they forgot to include anything, and where they are in the review process.

From the staff perspective, I hope the online form will mean a quicker turn-around on applications. It will definately mean a more organized process, and that can only benefit our members.

The online application is now active, and applications can be submitted from now through November 30th. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis, so don’t wait until November to apply. After submitting the online form, you’ll be asked to fax or mail in some supporting documents including a resume, business plan, and verification of current business status. Once we recieve those forms, it’ll take about 60 days for your application to be processed.

So what are you waiting for? Apply today!


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