Small-business tax workshops set

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which is chaired by Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., will hold tax workshops in Walker, Hammond and Slidell this week.

“Keeping It Simple: Tax Basics for Small Businesses” will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with information about how to navigate the federal tax code.

The workshops are:

WALKER: Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 a.m., at the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center in Room 330 at 9261 Florida Blvd.

SLIDELL: Thursday, 1 p.m.-2 p.m., in the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce’s boardroom at 118 W. Hall Ave.

HAMMOND: Friday, 9 a.m.-10 a.m., at the Southeast Louisiana Business Center in Room 131 or 208 at 1514 Martens Drive.

Verizon 4G network comes to BR July 21

Verizon Wireless said its 4G Long Term Evolution network will be available in Baton Rouge on July 21.

Verizon said residents in the greater Baton Rouge area with 4G LTE smartphones, laptop modems and hotspots will be able to take advantage of speeds up to 10 times faster than the company’s 3G network.

4G LTE users should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.

The company is building out its 4G LTE network and is on course to deliver 4G LTE to its entire 3G network by the end of 2013.

Teche Federal completes conversion

Teche Federal Bank has completed its conversion from a federally chartered savings bank to a Louisiana-chartered commercial bank.

Teche Federal, which is owned by Teche Holding Co., will be regulated by Louisiana’s Office of Financial Institutions and the Federal Reserve System rather than the federal Office of Thrift Supervision.

Teche Holding made the move because changes brought about by the Dodd-Frank Act removed most of the advantages of Teche Federal’s savings bank charter, Patrick Little, president and chief executive officer of Teche Holding, said in a news release.

“We also believe there is a significant advantage to being a commercial bank and having a local, Louisiana-based regulator who understands and lives in our market area,” Little said. “Additionally, we expect our annual regulatory assessment to decrease by approximately $100,000, a significant annual savings for our shareholders.”

Teche Federal has 19 offices in south Louisiana with more than 60,000 customers and $782 million in assets.

Seminar set on working with state

Entrepreneurs can learn how to do business with state government during a free seminar from 10 a.m. to noon July 14 at Southern University’s Louisiana Small Business Development Center at 4826 Jamestown Ave.

The seminar, “Doing Business with the State of Louisiana — Eliminating the Mystery,” will offer an overview of the state purchasing office; vendor registration; bid preparation; mentor-protégé programs; and state statutes, rules and regulations.

Southern’s center is partnering with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center to put on the seminar.

Email Shantel Gray at, or call (225) 922-0998 to register by Friday.

Group expands legal nursing services

Louisiana Legal Nurse Consultants LLC is expanding its legal nursing services.

The company’s services include disaster triage, home health, hospital, hospice, wound, geriatric, skilled nursing, coding, documentation, compliance, management, quality assurance and case management, clients receive quality litigation support. Services also include experience in disability, contract review, insurance, document review, risk group placement, private and government insurance regulations, cost effective analytical utilization of current Medicare/Medicaid regulations, payment systems, medication reviews, coding, protocols and rehabilitation regulations.

Government to review I-9 forms

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun notifying 1,000 businesses nationwide that it wants to review their I-9 forms and other documents to make sure they are hiring only people authorized to work in the United States, the National Federation of Independent Business, Louisiana, said in a press release.

Form I-9 is used by employers to verify an employee’s identity and legal status.

The government is focusing on companies vital to national security and other government and economic functions, but other businesses may be subject to inspections at any time, the NFIB said.

“Employers must take the ICE investigations very seriously and be certain they can document that they’re obeying the law,” said Renee Baker, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Here’s how to prepare for an ICE investigation: Make sure I-9 forms are completed correctly and accurately for all new hires. There is now a small-business exception for the Form I-9. Ensure the employee completes Section 1 of the I-9 on the first day of employment. Accept only original documents, not photocopies, and don’t require additional documents from foreign employees. Keep I-9 forms separate from other HR files. A separate file should be kept for terminated employees. Conduct an in-house audit of I-9 forms and correct mistakes. Do not back-date any mistakes or use white out. Cross out incorrect information, add correct information, initial and insert current data. Contact an attorney immediately if you receive notice from ICE. ICE only provides 72 hours to assemble the requested documentation.