http://www.sba.gov/community/blog/rss/13691/feed en Spring Is Here! Did You Know that April Is Financial Capability Month? http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/spring-here-did-you-know-april-financial-capability-month <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">President Barack Obama recently proclaimed April </span><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/31/presidential-proclamation-national-financial-capability-month-2014" style="font-size: 12px;">National Financial Capability Month</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. Recognizing the importance of financial planning in achieving the American Dream, this month calls on individuals to empower themselves by seeking knowledge and tools for strong financial capability.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In today&#39;s world economy, financial capability is vital to entrepreneurs and small business owners trying to start, grow, and succeed in the marketplace.&nbsp; Whether your target market is global or your local neighborhood, SBA&rsquo;s network of </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc%20" style="font-size: 12px;">Small Business Development Centers</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/wbc" style="font-size: 12px;">Women&rsquo;s Business Centers</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, and </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/score" style="font-size: 12px;">SCORE</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> chapters can help at every stage of turning your entrepreneurial dream into a booming business.&nbsp; Additionally, SBA&rsquo;s </span><a href="http://1.usa.gov/PXMuMM" style="font-size: 12px;">Online Learning Center</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> offers free online courses to help you brush up on your business skills.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I personally believe that financial capability encourages financial stability for individuals, families, and communities.&nbsp; The more small business owners know about business credit and </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/loanprograms" style="font-size: 12px;">loans</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, the more likely they are to succeed in securing their next </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/loanprograms" style="font-size: 12px;">loan</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> to start or grow their business.&nbsp;&nbsp; If you want to start a business or learn how to better manage your business finances, begin with </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/moneysmart" style="font-size: 12px;">Money Smart</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. SBA and FDIC collaborated to provide an instructor-led business training program, </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/moneysmart" style="font-size: 12px;">Money Smart for Small Business</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, for free. This program is designed to provide introductory-style training for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. The 10 modules provide the most essential information on running a small business from a financial standpoint.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">So far, more than 1,300 copies of the </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/moneysmart" style="font-size: 12px;">Money Smart for Small Business</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> course have been ordered and more than 50 </span><a href="http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/alliance.html" style="font-size: 12px;">Small Business Training Alliance</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> members have used the course. It&rsquo;s been an invaluable tool for small businesses looking to improve their financial capability and education. Small business owners, those without formal business training, financial institutions, small business assistance centers, city and county economic development offices, faith-based organizations and others have found the program greatly beneficial.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">From more information on </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/moneysmart" style="font-size: 12px;">Money Smart for Small Business </a><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;or to download the course at no cost, go online to </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/moneysmart" style="font-size: 12px;">www.sba.gov/moneysmart</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">For free resources on money management and on making the best financial decisions for you, visit </span><a href="http://www.mymoney.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;" title="www.MyMoney.gov">www.MyMoney.gov</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> or call 1-888-MyMoney.</span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/spring-here-did-you-know-april-financial-capability-month#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/826351 Open For Business Financing Managing Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:01:30 +0000 Tameka Montgomery 826351 at http://www.sba.gov Helping Small Businesses Grow Through Green Efforts http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/helping-small-businesses-grow-through-green-efforts <div> <em style="font-size: 12px;">Note: this post is by Donna J. Butler, SBA&rsquo;s Senior Sustainability Officer &amp; Deputy Chief Operating Officer</em></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> SBA helps small businesses find solutions to make their operations run efficiently. That&rsquo;s why this Earth Day and every day SBA encourages small businesses to incorporate a green office environment. Whether it&rsquo;s changing to a more energy efficient lighting system, implementing a recycling program, or considering eco-friendly machinery&mdash;all of these&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fcontent%2fearth-day" target="_blank">techniques</a>&nbsp;help to conserve energy and save money. SBA also helps entrepreneurs and organizations build on green ideas and turn them into a successful business.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong>Taking an Idea and Turning it Green</strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Small business owner Carina Whitham of California took her passion for renewable energy and used SBA&rsquo;s counseling services to help start an executive search firm&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fabout-offices-content%2f2%2f3102%2fsuccess-stories" target="_blank">Whitham Group Executive Search</a>. Today, Carina&rsquo;s firm successfully recruits and places executives in the arenas of Solar, Wind, Biofuels, Biomass, Geothermal Energy and all other areas of renewables.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> SBA also supports sustainability through initiatives such as the&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fabout-sba%2fsba_initiatives%2fclusters_initiative" target="_blank">Regional Clusters Initiative</a>&mdash;which combines a network of organizations and businesses in a geographic area that grow through increased collaboration, efficiency and innovation. SBA funded its initial clusters in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several other agencies. &nbsp;Regional clusters such as&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fsba-clusters" target="_blank">Illinois Smart Grid, Clean Energy, and GreenMe</a>&nbsp;are expanding thanks to the support from this initiative. Today, they are making their communities more sustainable and eco-conscious.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> And for small business owners seeking to upgrade an existing facility with energy efficient upgrades or financing innovative eco-friendly tools--<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2f" target="_blank">SBA.gov</a>&nbsp;has a reference list of<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fcontent%2fearth-day" target="_blank">green financing and green certification options</a>.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong>SBA Green Practices</strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> SBA is also reinforcing green practices throughout its office culture.&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fcontent%2ffy-2013-summary-performance-and-financial-information" target="_blank">The Agency&rsquo;s priority goal for Fiscal Year 2014</a>&nbsp;was to increase paperless loan processing.&nbsp; SBA succeeded with this goal and saw an increase in the use of paperless processing with both the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. The 7(a) program use increased from 72 percent to 90 percent and the 504 program use increased from 55 percent to 75 percent. Additionally, SBA is collaborating with the General Services Administration to ensure that&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2fabout-sba%2fwhat_we_do%2fcontact_sba" target="_blank">SBA&rsquo;s Headquarters and Field Offices</a>&nbsp;are housed in facilities that are energy and water efficient and are maintained with non-toxic and recycled content products. SBA has also reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from employee commuting by nearly 15% since 2010 in part through the increased use of mass transit and&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.telework.gov%2f" target="_blank">telework</a>. This year, SBA initiated an agency-wide toner and ink cartridge recycling program in partnership with the U.S. Postal Services.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong>Go Green and Thrive</strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Celebrate Earth Day today and everyday by adopting new environmentally sound practices for your business.&nbsp; SBA is here to help you grow your business and succeed in your green efforts.&nbsp; Visit our website or connect with our&nbsp;<a href="https://webmail.sba.gov/owa/redir.aspx?C=8mAZPcidnkS-WZ3JlWHbnXxZT4C1LtEI6dwLpToK9ydDtg-lov5jkf7jJni285DFooDQ1LTITng.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sba.gov%2ftools%2flocal-assistance%2fdistrictoffices" target="_blank">local offices and resource partners</a>&nbsp;for your small business needs.&nbsp;</div> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/helping-small-businesses-grow-through-green-efforts#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/826291 Open For Business Financing SBA News and Views Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:31:23 +0000 Stephen Morris 826291 at http://www.sba.gov ChallengeHer—Creating Opportunities & Access to Federal Contracts for Women-Owned Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/challengeher%E2%80%94creating-opportunities-access-federal-contracts-women-owned-small-businesses <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">If you&rsquo;re a woman-owned small business looking to contract with the federal government and seeking assistance on how to navigate in the federal procurement arena, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has good news for you!</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">In FY 2012, the federal government awarded $16.1 billion in federal contracts to women-owned businesses, but there is still more work to be done.&nbsp; That is why the SBA is continuing its partnership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express Open on the ChallengeHer initiative that was launched last spring, to help more women-owned businesses get a bigger piece of the federal contracting pie and benefit from SBA&rsquo;s Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Earlier today, I spoke at the ChallengeHer women-owned small business opportunity forum at the Department of Energy hosted by the SBA, WIPP and American Express Open.&nbsp; The event featured panel sessions on how to contract with the government from 8am to noon and networking opportunities for women-owned businesses from 1pm to 3pm.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong style="font-size: 12px;">ChallengeHer&ndash;What is it?</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The ChallengeHer campaign leverages the resources of the SBA, WIPP and American Express Open by hosting events around the country to connect women-owned businesses with decision makers and procurement officials at federal agencies and prime contractors to receive guidance on how best to sell their goods and services to them.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The events also provide insight on how women-owned businesses can register in the federal government&rsquo;s Systems for Award Management (SAM) database&mdash;the official contracting portal for small businesses to submit their profiles in order to do business with the federal government and provide eligibility requirements for women-owned businesses to participate in SBA&rsquo;s Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>How Can I Attend?</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">To date, the SBA, WIPP and American Express Open has hosted ChallengeHer events in Phoenix, AZ, Seattle, WA, New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, GA, Norfolk, Va, Denver, CO and Washington, D.C.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Below is a list of upcoming ChallengeHer events.</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER&mdash;Seattle, WA</strong><br /> Tuesday, April 22, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengeherseattle%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom"><strong>Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER&mdash;Boise, ID</strong><br /> Wednesday, April 23, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengeherboise%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom%2F"><strong>Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&nbsp;<strong>ChallengeHER&mdash;New York, NY</strong><br /> Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengehernewyorkny%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom%2F"><strong>Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER&mdash;WOSB Opportunity Forum with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <strong><a href="https://challengeherusda.eventbrite.com/">Register Here</a></strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER&mdash;WOSB Opportunity Forum with U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)</strong><br /> Thursday, June 5, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengeherepa%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom"><strong>Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER&mdash;Milwaukee, WI</strong><br /> Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <strong><a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengehermilwaukee%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom">Register Here</a></strong></span></span></p> <p> ChallengeHER&mdash;Chicago<br /> Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM<br /> <a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengeherchicago%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom%2F"><strong>Register Here</strong></a></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Stay tuned for more information on the ChallengeHer campaign and events near you.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/challengeher%E2%80%94creating-opportunities-access-federal-contracts-women-owned-small-businesses#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/826051 Open For Business Government Contracting Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:11:18 +0000 John Shoraka 826051 at http://www.sba.gov We’ll Be Their “Wingman” http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/we%E2%80%99ll-be-their-%E2%80%9Cwingman%E2%80%9D <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Are you a self-starter? Do you have a general-management skill set? Are you used to constantly changing roles and responsibilities? Are you disciplined and focused? Are you risk-tolerant and able to manage stress?</span></span></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/Pentagon photo(1).JPG" style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; width: 280px; height: 190px; float: right;" /><span style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">These are the threshold questions that SBA counselors ask every day to help prospective entrepreneurs asses</span></span><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">s if they have what it takes to be</span><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;a succe</span><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">ssful small business owner. And when those questions are put to veterans of the U.S. armed forces, they often get &ldquo;yes&rdquo; replies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The military has a track record of producing outstanding leaders, which helps explain why nearly 1 in 10 U.S. entrepreneurs are veterans. Statistics show that vets are 45 percent more likely to be their own boss than their non-veteran counterparts. Veterans own 2.5 million American businesses that employ more than 5.8 million people. These companies generate more than $1 trillion in sales a year. (That&rsquo;s a staggering sum. You could pay the salaries of 57 million Army privates with a trillion dollars.)</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Our veterans have worked hard and made so many sacrifices for our country. They have put themselves in harm&rsquo;s way and often must leave their families behind to keep America safe. At the SBA, we have a solemn duty to work as hard for them as they&rsquo;ve worked for us. No one deserves to live the American Dream more than those who&rsquo;ve put on a uniform and fought to defend it.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">On Tuesday, I attended the <a href="http://boots2business.org/" style="font-size: 12px;">&quot;Boots to Business&quot; program</a> at the Pentagon. In a small classroom of students, primarily service members transitioning out of the Air Force, the SBA put on a two-day &ldquo;Introduction to Entrepreneurship&rdquo; course that focused on how to translate military experience into succeeding as a small business owner. I was inspired by the power and diversity of these heroes&rsquo; dreams: aspirations to open a medical practice, a flight services engineering firm, a cybersecurity company, a photography business, a veterinarian practice, and a barbecue restaurant, to name just a few.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">This year, the SBA will train 15,000 transitioning service members and introduce them to the basics of business ownership. After the two-day intro class, SBA offers an intensive eight-week course to help these leaders evaluate their business concept and develop viable business plans. SBA then continues to provide guidance through our resource partner network in communities across America by offering one-on-one assistance to assess and mitigate risk, comply with regulations, access financing and create new jobs.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">I&rsquo;ve started three businesses, and I know it can often seem like a lonely road. But there are resources available; you just need to know where to look. In the military, you get used to being part of a team &hellip; and not just any team, but the finest team in the world: the United States Armed Forces. I promised the members of that class &ndash; and I extend this promise to all veterans &ndash; that if they pursue their dreams of opening a new business, they won&rsquo;t be alone. The SBA will be right by their side, <a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance" style="font-size: 12px;">offering counseling</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting" style="font-size: 12px;">contracting opportunities</a>, and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants" style="font-size: 12px;">access to capital</a>.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The SBA will be their wingman, fighting for them and with them, every step of the way.</span></span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/we%E2%80%99ll-be-their-%E2%80%9Cwingman%E2%80%9D#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/825061 Open For Business SBA News and Views Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:19:47 +0000 Maria Contreras-Sweet 825061 at http://www.sba.gov Webinar Series: How to Prepare to Access Capital for Your Small Business http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/webinar-series-how-prepare-access-capital-your-small-business <p>Access to capital is the number one concern for entrepreneurs and small business owners. However, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, are you prepared to access capital for your business? SBA and Dun &amp; Bradstreet Credibility Corp. have teamed up for a webinar series this month to help entrepreneurs and small business owners learn how to build business credit and prepare for a business loan. This webinar series is free, but registration is required.</p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">5 Steps to Building Business Credit [SOLD OUT] &nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">A recording of this webinar will be available on&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.youtube.com/sba" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA&#39;s YouTube channel</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">April 22 | 2:00-3:00 pm EDT</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204992&amp;t=71&amp;do=register&amp;s=&amp;rID=432&amp;edID=293">Register</a> </strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In this webinar, 20 +year business credit veteran Amber Colley shares real life business success stories and failures as a result of the care of or the lack of attention to establishing, monitoring and building strong business credit.&nbsp;&nbsp; Learn the basics of business credit and the different ways it can impact a company&rsquo;s ability to manage cash flow, access funding, become a successful supplier, win a contract and more.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Overview:&nbsp;</strong></p> <ul> <li> Why you should care about business credit?</li> <li> Who are we?&nbsp;</li> <li> Understand how business credit works.</li> <li> Concrete steps you can take to improve your business credit.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Access to Capital: Preparing to Meet Your Lender&nbsp;</strong><strong style="font-size: 12px;">[SOLD OUT] &nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">A recording of this webinar will be available on&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.youtube.com/sba" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA&#39;s YouTube channel</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><strong>April 30 | 2:00-3:00 pm EDT</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204994&amp;t=71&amp;do=register&amp;s=&amp;rID=432&amp;edID=293">Register</a> </strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Do you think a bank loan will help you grow your business?&nbsp; Do you know what it takes to get that loan?&nbsp; Have you considered alternative lending options?&nbsp; How about equity options? For many, the journey to access capital for a startup or growing business can feel like a daunting excursion into the unknown. The good news is that there are plenty of organizations in your area that have the resources and assistance to help you prepare.&nbsp; In this webinar, learn about the resources available in your area that provide business and technical assistance, and how to prepare for your journey to access capital.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Overview:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">What are the lending options available to business owners in today&rsquo;s climate?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">How do business owners who successfully get loans prepare before meeting a lender?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">What are the Federal resources available to help you get further educated on your options?&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/webinar-series-how-prepare-access-capital-your-small-business#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/819921 Open For Business SBA News and Views Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:09:56 +0000 ngoriel 819921 at http://www.sba.gov An Uncle You Want to Do Business With http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/uncle-you-want-do-business-with <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">At the SBA, one of our core objectives is to </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants" style="font-size: 12px;">provide access to capital</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, but that&rsquo;s not the end of our commitment to America&rsquo;s small business owners. It&rsquo;s the beginning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">We know small businesses need reliable lending to grow, but we also know it&rsquo;s important to provide entrepreneurs with information about business fundamentals, regulatory compliance, how to access government contracts and how to network your way into new opportunities and new customers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">While I&rsquo;m only on Day 5 in my new role as SBA Administrator, it&rsquo;s already abundantly clear to me that the work of our </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2463" style="font-size: 12px;">Office of Entrepreneurial Development</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> is vital. By working with our partners to provide </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance" style="font-size: 12px;">technical assistance, counseling, training, and mentoring</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, we are providing game-changing advice to help small businesses grow their profits and their payrolls.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I&rsquo;ll never forget a meeting I had with the head of a public utilities agency back in California years ago. He had worked with a program very much like our </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/sba-emerging-leaders-initiative" style="font-size: 12px;">Emerging Leaders initiative</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, which helps underserved businesses grow their companies and compete for public contracts. This executive told me that he had a strong preference to contract with companies whose leaders had been through programs like ours.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">He said emerging leaders &ldquo;get it.&rdquo; They are more sophisticated. They speak the language of business. They know how to run sound operations and how to problem-solve. He said these small businesses are, plain and simple, better partners.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">On Thursday, I attended the kickoff of our Baltimore Emerging Leaders class. The national statistics for small business owners who&rsquo;ve gone through the SBA&rsquo;s Emerging Leaders program are remarkable: two out of three leaders have increased their revenue; three out of four have hired new employees; and nearly half have secured government contracts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The United States government buys more than $400 billion worth of goods and services every year, making Uncle Sam the largest buyer in the world. That&rsquo;s an uncle you want to do business with.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Three months ago, SBA did a focus group with our Baltimore alums who took this class in previous years. We asked them how many of them are </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/8a-certification-minority-business-certificatio" style="font-size: 12px;">&quot;8a certified,&quot;</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> meaning they are underserved businesses that are preferred partners for sole-source federal contracts. Three out of four possess this certification.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">To date, 2,000 business executives have gone through our Emerging Leaders program, and they have secured more than $1 billion in contracts and accessed $73 million in new financing.&nbsp; Emerging Leaders is a program that can open lucrative doors for America&rsquo;s small businesses. It&rsquo;s why I went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday &ndash; my second full day on the job &ndash; to make the case to the Senate Small Business Committee for a $15 million appropriation to fund Entrepreneurial Education in the coming fiscal year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">A wise man once said, &ldquo;A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.&rdquo; At the SBA, taking care of business is our business, and it has been for 61 years. That means we&rsquo;re committed to ensuring that our small business owners have the tools to compete in the federal procurement arena and realize their full potential.&nbsp;</span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/uncle-you-want-do-business-with#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/819481 Open For Business SBA News and Views Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:53:44 +0000 Maria Contreras-Sweet 819481 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Takes Part in Muslim Business Leadership Roundtable http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-takes-part-muslim-business-leadership-roundtable <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">I had the pleasure to recently participate in the</span> <a href="https://whitehouse.uservoice.com/forums/131789-white-house-business-council-forum"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">White House Business Council&rsquo;s</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"> Roundtable with Muslim American Business Leaders that brought together the business and faith-based community for a dialogue on how to support small businesses that start, grow and create job that sustain our nation&rsquo;s economy. </span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">The forum recognized the tremendous contributions of Muslim American entrepreneurs and small business owners.&nbsp; There were nearly 20 business owners in attendance that represented various industries and sectors of small business.&nbsp; The roundtable provided a platform to acquaint business leaders taking part with SBA&rsquo;s programs and services that are available to assist small businesses.</span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Joining me at the roundtable was SBA&rsquo;s John Shoraka, Associate Administrator for</span> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2467"><span style="font-size:<br /> 10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Government Contracting and Business Development</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"> and Ann Marie Mehlum, Associate Administrator for</span> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2458"><span style="font-size:<br /> 10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Capital Access</span></a><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">.&nbsp; Other participating agencies included the National Economic Council and the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">The conversation outlined the progress that SBA has made in supporting entrepreneurs, including minority-owned small businesses, and laid the groundwork for greater collaboration in the coming months with these important community leaders.&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">The SBA was privileged to have a seat at the table to help address the needs of the Muslim American business community.&nbsp; It gave us an opportunity to tell the story of SBA&rsquo;s mission to counsel and assist businesses, and to strengthen the economy of our nation.&nbsp; We were able to provide information about our key programs they can use to grow their businesses.&nbsp; This includes SBA&rsquo;s lending programs that work to address gaps in capital, as well as our government contracting programs that help small businesses compete in the federal marketplace.</span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/36"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">SBA&rsquo;s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships</span></a><span style="font-size:<br /> 10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"> works to build strong relationships with both secular and faith-based nonprofit organizations to encourage entrepreneurship, support economic growth and promote prosperity for all Americans. </span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">We at SBA recognize the important role of all business communities and networks in economic development at the federal level, and that partnerships can provide effective and valuable steps in moving forward to engage and impact communities, especially those that are underserved and economically challenged.</span><o:p></o:p></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">We are working to ensure that the nation&rsquo;s job creators have access to the tools they need to build, grow and strengthen.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/Capture.PNG" style="width: 100%; height: 100%;" /></p> <p><o:p></o:p></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-takes-part-muslim-business-leadership-roundtable#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/818351 Open For Business SBA News and Views Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:46:27 +0000 Sarah Bard 818351 at http://www.sba.gov Top 5 Small Business Administration Resources for Veterans http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/top-5-small-business-administration-resources-veterans <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">These U.S. Small Business Administration resource partners have almost 1,500 locations across the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico to help veterans who want to start their own business or grow an existing business.&nbsp; All partners can advise veterans on small business loans and provide training and support on a wide variety of challenges small business owners face, from access to capital to marketing.</span></span></p> <p><strong style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">Veterans Business Outreach Center</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, support and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans who already own or are considering starting a small business.&nbsp; For more information, visit: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/veterans-business-outreach-centers">http://www.sba.gov/content/veterans-business-outreach-centers</a>.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Women&rsquo;s Business Centers</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Women&#39;s Business Centers (WBCs) are designed to assist women start and grow small businesses. WBCs operate with the mission to &quot;level the playing field&quot; for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the world of business.&nbsp; WBCs offer comprehensive training and guidance on a variety of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses. For more information, visit: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/women%C3%95s-business-centers"><u>http://www.sba.gov/content/women&rsquo;s-business-centers</u></a><u>. </u></span></span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Small Business Development Centers</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. SBDCs foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention. SBDC clients receive free, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising, low-cost training and other specialized services.&nbsp; For more information, visit: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs">http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs</a></span></span></p> <p><strong style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">SCORE: Counselors to America&rsquo;s Small Business</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.&nbsp; Volunteer business counselors, advisors and mentors provide free, confidential business counseling, free business tools, and inexpensive or free business workshops to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. For more information visit: <a href="http://www.score.org/"><u>www.score.org</u></a></span></span></p> <p><strong style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">SBA District Offices</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">SBA District offices offer one-on-one and group programs on a wide variety of business topics for aspiring and existing small business owners, as well as connections and referral to lenders. Ask to speak to a Veterans Business Development Officer (VBDO) or a staff member who is available to help you start, manage and grow a successful small business.&nbsp; For more information, visit: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices">http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices</a></span></span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/top-5-small-business-administration-resources-veterans#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/816501 Open For Business SBA News and Views Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:03:09 +0000 Rhett_Jeppson 816501 at http://www.sba.gov Delivering on the American Dream http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/delivering-american-dream <p><span style="font-size:12px;">Today, with appreciation and humility, I begin my work as SBA Administrator and a relentless advocate for America&rsquo;s 28 million small businesses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">My journey as a first-generation immigra</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">nt born in Guadalajara, Mexico,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">to</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;Presiden</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">t Obama&rsquo;s cabinet is one that could only happen in America. I came&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">to this country at the age&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">of 5 with my mom and five siblings. We didn&rsquo;t have much, but w</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">hat we did have was a</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">n abun</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">dance of hope. We didn&rsquo;t speak the la</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">nguage yet, neither the English language nor the language of business, but I was taught to believe in the promise of America.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/MCS Swearing In 1(1).JPG" style="width: 299px; height: 287px; float: right;" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">This country was founded by risk-takers, resourceful pioneers</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;wh</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">o built this pros</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">perous&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">nation. Entrepreneurialism is our heritage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The American Dream has always been about the opportunity to earn a good educatio</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">n and the keys to your own home, but the expanding American Dream is also about the opportunity to start your own business. I&rsquo;ve lived that Dream, and as SBA Administrator, I&rsquo;m determined to help others re</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">alize theirs, as well.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Small businesses employ 1 out of 2 workers. SBA is a driving force that helps prop</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">el this economic activity. SBA provides access to </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants" style="font-size: 12px;">capital</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting" style="font-size: 12px;">contracting opportunities</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance" style="font-size: 12px;">consultation through a national network of partners</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, and </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans" style="font-size: 12px;">disaster relief loans</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. &nbsp;I&rsquo;m energized to begin my work on behalf of this nation&rsquo;s entrepreneurs, who risk so much to start new businesses and create most of our new jobs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I&rsquo;ve already had a busy first morning on the job. I met with our disaster assistan</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">ce team, which is on the ground in Washington State following the presidential declaration to assist those impacted by t</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">he devastating mudslide. I also met with a group of veterans to thank them and to explore how more of our military heroes can use their skills to become successful small business owners.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">John F Kennedy once said &ldquo;All&nbsp;of us do not&nbsp;have equal talent,&nbsp;but all&nbsp;of us&nbsp;should&nbsp;have an&nbsp;equal opportunity&nbsp;to develop our talents.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I&rsquo;ve come to realize that access to the American Dream means access to&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">capital. Entrepreneurs are the difference-makers in our economy. I&rsquo;ve seen the pivotal role the SBA plays in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. I was both a community banker and an SBA lender. I was a small business owner whose small business helped small businesses every day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">As a bank chairwoman, I examined business plans, their viability, and management&rsquo;s ability to execute. This not only strengthened my knowledge of the challenges that small businesses face, it also strengthened my resolve to help them overcome those hurdles and succeed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">When I started my first business almost 20 years ago, I experienced the same challenges that entrepreneurs face today. On any given day, I could be called upon to be the company&rsquo;s human resources director, CFO, spokeswoman, or chief sales officer &mdash; all while competing against larger firms in highly competitive markets.&nbsp;Today&rsquo;s small business owners multitask their way through similar&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">days, relying on their determination, the courage of their convictions, and the power of their entrepreneurial spirit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">At the SBA, we&rsquo;re working to create the next great American success story. SBA lending has helped launch businesses on a path to the Fortune 500, companies like Apple and Fed Ex. SBA has helped launch an iconic American ice cream brand, Ben and Jerry&rsquo;s. SBA even helped six small businesses partner with NASA to launch the Mars rover, Curiosity, which is exploring the surface of the planet as we speak.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">As Administrator, my mission is to make the SBA an agency that&rsquo;s as innovative as the small businesses we serve. Two out of three new jobs in America are created by small businesses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Millions of middle class families are working for folks who depend on the SB</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">A&rsquo;s ability to facilitate access to capital, counseling and contracting opportunities. We must draw on technology to streamline the process of working with the SBA to make it easier for borrowers to access capital and easier for lenders to lend. The SBA must be nimble and agile to keep pace with our digital age.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Remember when a bank was a tall building you walked into, to do business with a teller or a loan officer? Then ATMs came and transformed our relationship to our banks. Today, Americans can use their smart phone to scan their checks and make bank deposits from their living room. The SBA has to anticipate the kinds of rapid changes that are transforming how Americans access financial services, so our products are accessible and relevant in this technological age.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Demographic changes also require fresh thinking. We know there are more retired people who are looking to start a second career and be their own boss. There are more women and more minorities seeking to join the entrepreneurial class. And data shows that immigrants are twice as likely to file patents and twice as likely to start a new enterprise. As Administrator, I plan to embrace</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;them all with a broad, inclusive vision.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I&rsquo;m determined to get more loans into the hands of entrepreneurs who reflect the diversity of America. We know SBA lending to African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Latino-own</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">ed businesses, as well as women-owned businesses, can lift up entire communities. SBA must reach more Main Street businesses seeking loans. We&rsquo;ll do this by making it easier for community banks and micro lenders to become our partners.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Through our vast resource network, we can strengthen entrepreneurial education, which is so important to the one million people who get game-changing SBA counseling every year. We will seed start-up businesses focused in high-growth areas like advanced manufacturing. We must build bridges with rural communities, as well as urban centers alike, so they&rsquo;re exporting more and are integrated into the global supply chain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">With the President&rsquo;s support, I&rsquo;m going to collaborate with my cabinet colleagues to make sure more government contracts are awarded to small businesses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I&rsquo;m eager to get to work to help our entrepreneurs grow their companies &ndash; and the American economy along with it. At the SBA, taking care of business has been our business for 61 years. This agency has been a pivotal force in America&rsquo;s economic comeback story, but we&rsquo;re only getting sta</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">rted.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">So let&rsquo;s get down to business. And I invite you to join me on Twitter at </span><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23GettingDownToBusiness%20&amp;src=typd" style="font-size: 12px;">#GettingDownToBusiness</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> to begin that dialogue today.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/delivering-american-dream#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/816031 Open For Business SBA News and Views Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:25:16 +0000 Maria Contreras-Sweet 816031 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Participates in Business Sunday http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-participates-business-sunday <p>This weekend, SBA and the Department of Commerce Centers for Faith-based a<span style="font-size: 12px;">nd Neighborhood Partnerships joined forces </span><span style="font-size: 12px;">with the </span><a href="http://www.mbda.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">Minority&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.mbda.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">B</a><a href="http://www.mbda.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">usin</a><a href="http://www.mbda.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">ess Development Agency (MBDA)</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> and </span><a href="http://business.usa.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">BusinessUSA</a>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">to launch the first Business Sunday event in Washington, DC at the 19th Street Baptist Church.</span></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/crowdshot.jpg" style="font-size: 12px; float: right;" /><span style="font-size: 12px;">Business Sunday is a program focused on promoting local economic growth and job creation by connecting congregations and communities with the valuable business development resources offered by the Federal Government.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Close to 300 business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders came together for the first Business Sunday, packing the fellowship hall at 19th Street Baptist Church. The event included greetings from Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as well as presentations from SBA, MBDA and BusinessUSA on how to access important technical assistance, business counseling, loans and other practical resources. Participants also had the opportunity to sign up for health insurance for their business or themselves through the DC Health Benefit Exchange. Following the event attendees stayed for more than an hour to network and speak individually with Commerce and SBA staff.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Business Sunday is a reflection of President Obama&rsquo;s and the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s shared commitment to strengthening our economy by empowering our people &ndash; our business owners, entrepreneurs, community development organizations, faith-based groups and others &ndash; to effect positive change at the local level. We look forward to continued collaboration with our partners to keep this work moving forward.</span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-participates-business-sunday#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/813071 Open For Business SBA News and Views Tue, 01 Apr 2014 23:32:15 +0000 Sarah Bard 813071 at http://www.sba.gov Have You Considered a Second Act Career in Entrepreneurship? http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/have-you-considered-second-act-career-entrepreneurship <p>Did you know that one in four individuals between the ages of 44 to 70 are interested in becoming entrepreneurs? In fact, entrepreneurs over the age of 50, also known as <a href="http://www.sba.gov/encore">encore entrepreneurs</a>, are one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the United States.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">If you are one of the 63 percent of Americans planning to work during retirement, then small business ownership may be a good option for you to use your experience and knowledge gained during your career toward starting a new business.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Each year, the SBA helps more than one million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to start, grow and succeed. If you are thinking about starting a business, the SBA and our resource partners can provide you with the tools to help. During the month of April, SBA and AARP are teaming up to host </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/mentormonth" style="font-size: 12px;">National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> to provide a range of resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners over the age of 50. &nbsp;The events will help connect encore entrepreneurs with mentors such as those from SBA&rsquo;s network of </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc%20" style="font-size: 12px;">Small Business Development Centers</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/wbc" style="font-size: 12px;">Women&rsquo;s Business Centers</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, and </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/score" style="font-size: 12px;">SCORE</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> chapters that can help throughout the life cycle of an entrepreneur&rsquo;s business.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Events will include speed mentoring, which allows mentors with small business experience and entrepreneurs to share information during one-on-one counseling sessions, and workshops for entrepreneurs to get advice and assistance from successful business owners and community leaders.&nbsp; You can </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/mentormonth" style="font-size: 12px;">find local events</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> taking place around the country to learn more about how to become an entrepreneur or how you can grow your existing small business.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Now is a great time to explore your options. SBA has free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs to get started.&nbsp; Go online to access </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA&rsquo;s online small business learning center</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> that offers free courses on </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/encore-entrepreneurs-introduction-starting-your-own-business" style="font-size: 12px;">how to start</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> your own business and a course designed for </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/encore-entrepreneurship-women" style="font-size: 12px;">women entrepreneurs</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> over the age of 50.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">SBA and AARP are also hosting free webinars on related topics that you can easily access,&nbsp;</span><a href="https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&amp;eventid=745018&amp;sessionid=1&amp;key=A55041DCCCFE1D2DF5812CFB1D937C50&amp;partnerref=StartaBiz" style="font-size: 12px;">Are You Ready to Start Your Small Business?</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> and </span><a href="https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&amp;eventid=675319&amp;sessionid=1&amp;key=ADF4E956D7B5B1AE2AB5E6387D86C054&amp;sourcepage=register&amp;partnerref=Webinars%5d" style="font-size: 12px;">Steps to Starting Your Business: Encore Entrepreneurship Webinar Series</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">You can find more encore entrepreneurship information at </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/encore" style="font-size: 12px;">www.sba.gov/encore</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> and </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aarp.org%2Fworkresources" style="font-size: 12px;">www.aarp.org/workresources</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">We look forward to seeing you at a Mentor Month event and encourage you to visit with our mentors and counselors, as well as explore SBA&rsquo;s online tools to help you to build your own small business.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/have-you-considered-second-act-career-entrepreneurship#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/812731 Open For Business Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:57:46 +0000 Tameka Montgomery 812731 at http://www.sba.gov U.S. International Trade Commission Releases Report on How T-TIP Will Benefit Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/us-international-trade-commission-releases-report-how-t-tip-will-benefit-small-businesses <p>Editor&#39;s Note: This blog is by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and first appeared on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/press-releases/2014/March/USITC-Releases-Report-How-TTIP-Will-Benefit-Small-Business" style="font-size: 12px;">USTR.gov</a>.</p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;"><em>Washington, D.C.</em></strong><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;&ndash; A central goal of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations is enhancing the ability of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in transatlantic trade by addressing trade barriers that may have a disproportionate impact on them. &nbsp;</span></p> <p>The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) believes that U.S. trade and investment policies are made stronger when they are shaped by the broadest possible input, including from SMEs, the engines of growth of the U.S. economy.</p> <p>Pursuant to a request by USTR, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today issued a new report entitled &ldquo;<em>Trade Barriers That U.S. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Perceive As Affecting Exports to the European Union</em>.&rdquo;&nbsp; USTR requested that USITC undertake this study as part of USTR&rsquo;s effort to gather input from the public on the ongoing T-TIP negotiations. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the past six months, the USITC, USTR, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of Commerce worked together to convene 28 small business roundtables in cities around the United States, in addition to a hearing held in Washington, D.C., to hear directly from small businesses about barriers to exporting to the European Union (EU).&nbsp; The USITC report identifies cross-cutting and industry-specific barriers that U.S. small businesses have identified as disproportionately burdensome to them, compared to large companies, and also includes suggestions for increasing participation by U.S. SMEs in trade with the EU.</p> <p>Ambassador Michael Froman welcomed the report, stating that &ldquo;<strong>Small businesses are the backbone of economic growth, job creation, and a stronger middle class in communities across America.&nbsp; Nearly 95,000 U.S. small businesses export to the EU, sustaining good jobs at home.&nbsp; Tackling trade barriers in the EU that may disproportionately affect small businesses, and expanding market access for U.S. firms of all sizes through T-TIP, will help U.S. companies, farmers, and workers unlock opportunity by finding new European customers and boost job growth</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p>The EU is an important export destination for U.S. SMEs. &nbsp;SME merchandise exports to the EU totaled $67 billion in 2010 and $76 billion in 2011 (latest available data).&nbsp; However, many SMEs reported that EU technical regulations and other trade barriers limit their ability to export, and they expressed concern that standards-related measures may pose a greater burden on SMEs seeking to export to the EU than on larger companies.&nbsp; While complying with standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures can be costly for larger firms, it is potentially prohibitive for SMEs because many costs are fixed, regardless of a firm&rsquo;s size or revenue.&nbsp; Small businesses also cited difficulties involving patenting costs, logistics challenges, difficulties navigating customs requirements, and differing tariff classifications for products.&nbsp; SMEs also perceived that tariffs affected them disproportionately, in contrast to large firms.&nbsp;</p> <p>Small businesses also reported industry-specific barriers in chemicals, cosmetics, biofuels, emerging technology products, machinery, electronics, and apparel.&nbsp; For example, SMEs producing machinery, electronic, transportation, and other goods cited a lack of harmonized international standards and mutual recognition for conformity assessment, as well as problems complying with technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.&nbsp; Agriculture SMEs reported a range of export barriers, including high tariffs, inconsistent EU rules and testing mandates, non-science-based regulations, and a lack of harmonization between U.S. and EU standards.&nbsp; U.S. services SMEs in the healthcare, engineering, testing, and audiovisual industries highlighted the lack of mutual recognition of licensing, credentials, and standards, as well as other issues. &nbsp;In the T-TIP negotiations, the United States and the EU aim to make their approaches to regulations and standards more open, transparent, and compatible while maintaining high levels of consumer, environmental, and labor protection.</p> <p>The USITC report also describes SMEs that have had success exporting to the EU.&nbsp; Those small businesses cited the benefits of U.S. government resources available to SMEs, including SBA and U.S. Export-Import Bank financing programs, and the interagency web portal,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.export.gov/">www.export.gov</a>.</p> <p>The complete text of the USITC report may be found&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4455.pdf">here</a>.</p> <p>The U.S. and EU have also issued a joint document on T-TIP opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises, which may be found&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/03142014-TTIP-opportunities-for-SMEs.pdf">here</a>.</p> <p>A T-TIP factsheet describing the Administration&rsquo;s specific goals and objectives, and outlining how this agreement will benefit American businesses of all sizes, workers, farmers and consumers may be found&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/press-releases/2014/March/US-Objectives-US-Benefits-In-the-TTIP-a-Detailed-View">here</a>.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/us-international-trade-commission-releases-report-how-t-tip-will-benefit-small-businesses#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/812301 Open For Business International SBA News and Views Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:34:09 +0000 ngoriel 812301 at http://www.sba.gov Celebrating National Women’s History Month http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/celebrating-national-women%E2%80%99s-history-month <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Editor&#39;s Note: This blog first appread at <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/27/celebrating-national-women-s-history-month">WhiteHouse.Gov</a> on March 27, 2014.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Forty years ago, women owned just 5% of all small businesses in America. Today, they own over 30%, creating 200,000 women-owned small businesses in the past year. Additionally, between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenues grew nearly 50% more than all firms of that size, and in 2012 alone, angel investors poured 40% more dollars into high growth women-owned companies than in the previous year.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">With so many positive trends, now, more than ever, women are poised to thrive as entrepreneurs.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">But gender gaps persist in certain areas. Men still start more companies and receive more capital to scale their operations, leaving many women-owned small business owners facing challenges to turn their great ideas into successful companies.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Two of the major keys to bridging these remaining gaps are providing better access and opportunity to startup and growth funding. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken a number of steps to fully utilize the federal government&rsquo;s resources in addressing these two critical areas, including all of the following:</p> <ul style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 18px 18px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> Expanded our lending, making nearly $16.4 billion available through more than 45,900 SBA loans to women-owned businesses;</li> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> Set fees for loans under $150,000 to zero, providing greater access to small startup companies;</li> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> Increased the number of applicants and investment dollars in SBA&rsquo;s Small Business Investment Company program;</li> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> Opened the doors to 23 new Women&rsquo;s Business Centers. The network of Women&rsquo;s Business Centers guide and counsel even more than the 120,000 aspiring small business owners they currently see each year; and</li> <li style="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 0px; font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5 !important;"> Created the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program so women-owned small businesses can tap into the $100 billion in contracts that go to small firms every year.</li> </ul> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Just last month, President Obama announced his federal budget proposal for FY 2015. The proposal provides a roadmap for accelerating economic growth, expanding entrepreneurial opportunity for all Americans, and ensuring fiscal responsibility. His budget invests in infrastructure, research and innovation, and advanced manufacturing, while reducing deficits through health, tax, and immigration reform. All of these priorities are good for women business owners. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">As the President said in his State of the Union Address, &ldquo;When women succeed, America succeeds.&rdquo; Continuing to increase access and opportunities for our nation&rsquo;s women-owned small businesses ensures women can reach their full potential so that when we mark Women&rsquo;s History Month in another forty years, we will be able to see the gender gap as a vestige of history.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px;"><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/wh_cwg_agency_march_reports_.pdf" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">Click here for a fuller list of accomplishments by the U.S. Small Business Administration.</a></strong>&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/celebrating-national-women%E2%80%99s-history-month#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/811011 Open For Business SBA News and Views Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:31:56 +0000 Marianne Markowitz 811011 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Hosts Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Apply for the 8(a) BD Program http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sba-hosts-webinar-series-help-small-businesses-learn-how-apply-8a-bd-program <p>If you&rsquo;re a small disadvantaged business seeking to be certified in the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s (SBA)&rsquo;s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program, the SBA has good news for you!</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA will host a series of 8(a) webinars from April through August to help small disadvantaged businesses learn how to successfully apply for the 8(a) BD Program.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">The 8(a) Program &ndash; What is it?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA certifies small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged under its nine-year 8(a) BD Program.&nbsp; Individuals who are members of certain minority groups are considered to be socially disadvantaged.&nbsp; These groups include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.&nbsp; Firms owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Community Development Corporations are also eligible to participate in the program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The 8(a) BD Program helps these firms develop and grow through one-on-one counseling, training workshops and management and technical guidance.&nbsp; It also provides access to government contracting opportunities, allowing them to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace.&nbsp; In fiscal year 2012, small businesses received more than $15.8 billion in 8(a) contract dollars.</span></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: How to Prepare and Submit Your 8(a) Business Development Application &ndash; Tips for Success | April 9<sup>th</sup> and August 27<sup>th</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on how the 8(a) BD Program works, its eligibility requirements, and its benefits.&nbsp; It will also provide helpful tips on completing an 8(a) application.&nbsp;</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required.&nbsp; Please refer to the following links:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;April 9, 2014 &ndash; <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414419">http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414419</a></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;August 27, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414423">http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414423</a></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: How to Prepare and Submit your 8(a) Application &ndash; Tips for Success (Entity&ndash;Owned Firms) | May 21<sup>st</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on how the 8(a) BD Program works, its eligibility requirements, and its benefits.&nbsp; It will also provide helpful tips on completing an 8(a) application. This webinar is for firms that are Alaska Native Corporations (ANC), Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO), Community Development Corporations (CDC) and Tribally Owned.&nbsp;</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required. Please refer to the following links:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; May 21, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414420">http</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414420">://</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414420">emsp.intellor.com/login/414420</a></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: Keeping Your 8(a) Business Development Certificate Compliant </strong><strong>| June 18<sup>th</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on how 8(a) firms continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the 8(a) BD Program.</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required. Please refer to the following links:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;June 18, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414421">http</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414421">://</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414421">emsp.intellor.com/login/414421</a></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: Overview of the 8(a) Business Development Program </strong><strong>| July 23<sup>rd</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on the overview of the 8(a) BD Program along with its benefits. It will also discuss if the 8(a) BD Program is right for you.</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required.&nbsp; Please refer to the following link:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;July 23, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414422">http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414422</a></p> <p>The webinars are designed to help small disadvantaged businesses get and maintain their 8(a) certification and compete in the federal marketplace.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">To learn more about the 8(a) BD Program, visit: </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/about-8a-business-development-program" style="font-size: 12px;">http://www.sba.gov/content/about-8a-business-development-program</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. &nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sba-hosts-webinar-series-help-small-businesses-learn-how-apply-8a-bd-program#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/810181 Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:24:35 +0000 Darryl.Hairston 810181 at http://www.sba.gov Global Accelerator Network and SBA co-host Accelerator Demo Day in Austin and Unveil Competition http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/global-accelerator-network-and-sba-co-host-accelerator-demo-day-austin-and-unveil-competition <p>Tuesday, in downtown Austin, TX and coinciding with the South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) hosted an Accelerator Demo Day at the Capital Factory.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">To kick off the event, Pravina Raghavan, Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Investment and Innovation at the SBA, announced that the agency will be running a $2.5m contest for accelerators to compete with each other for cash awards. The cash awarded to contest winners is intended to assist accelerators in funding their operations and focus on opportunities for growth.&nbsp; The overall goal of the competition is to award capital to the best in class models focused on strengthening the accelerator and entrepreneurial ecosystems nationwide.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">This event marked the first of three events that SBA and GAN plan to co-host in 2014. GAN is a worldwide network of accelerators that provides members with access to a large network and mentorship opportunities. On a list of the top 15 accelerators in the country put out by Yael Hochberg at MIT and other experts, 10 out of the 15 are members of the GAN. The event in Austin, and the others to come, provide opportunities for accelerators to give brief pitches on their models to a room full of accelerators, aspiring accelerators, startups, entrepreneurs and potential funders.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">At our first event, 13 accelerators gave 5 minute pitches. We heard from accelerators based in Detroit, Cleveland, Memphis and Houston (to name a few). They also were representative of several sectors ranging from film, to energy, to biotechnology. All are focused on long term support of startups and on creating jobs to strengthen their communities. Pitches were followed by networking which was possibly the most fruitful part of the day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">We look forward to more successful Demo Days in the coming months, and stay tuned for more details on the competition.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">Please email </span><a href="mailto:accelerators@sba.gov" style="font-size: 12px;">accelerators@sba.gov</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> with any questions.</span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/global-accelerator-network-and-sba-co-host-accelerator-demo-day-austin-and-unveil-competition#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/806161 Open For Business SBA News and Views Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:25:22 +0000 Javier.Saade 806161 at http://www.sba.gov March is Red Cross Month- Learn How to Prepare Your Business in the Case of an Emergency http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/march-red-cross-month-learn-how-prepare-your-business-case-emergnancy <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Following a tradition begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943, </span><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/28/presidential-proclamation-american-red-cross-month-2014" style="font-size: 12px;">President Barack Obama has proclaimed March</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> as American Red Cross Month.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Since July 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration has supported a partnership with the </span><a href="http://www.redcross.org/" style="font-size: 12px;">American Red Cross</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, participating in events to promote the importance of disaster preparedness for individuals and businesses.&nbsp; Getting the word out about the Red Cross </span><a href="http://www.readyrating.org/" style="font-size: 12px;">Ready Rating program</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> has been a focus of the American Red Cross/SBA relationship.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Ready Rating is a free, self-paced, web-based membership program that helps a business measure its ability to deal with emergencies.&nbsp; All you have to do is answer the questions, based on what you know about your company and its operations, and Ready Rating gives customized feedback on how to start or improve your business continuity planning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">A recent </span><a href="http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/clean-energy/climate-change-preparedness-and-small-business.php" style="font-size: 12px;">report by the Small Business Majority</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> and the American Sustainable Business Council estimates the average cost of downtime from small businesses affected by an extreme weather event is $3,000 per day.&nbsp; Since small businesses don&rsquo;t have the resources of large corporations, it&rsquo;s a good idea to build a resilient organization by creating a solid disaster preparedness plan.&nbsp; And Ready Rating is a great, easy-to-use emergency planning tool.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">At the Ready Rating site (</span><a href="http://www.readyrating.org/" style="font-size: 12px;">www.readyrating.org</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">), you can:</span></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 38.55pt;"> Complete an assessment to measure the overall preparedness level of your business</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.55pt;"> Create a custom-made emergency plan for your organization</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.55pt;"> Access tools to help you complete a hazard vulnerable assessment</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.55pt;"> Get tips on implementing your emergency response plan</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.55pt;"> Download the Free First-Aid app</li> </ul> <p>Red Cross Month is a good time to take a step to protect your employees, customers and your community by joining Ready Rating, becoming an organization that&rsquo;s prepared to save both lives and livelihoods.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters, the SBA provides recovery assistance in the form of low-interest, direct loans to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters, and private non-profit organizations.&nbsp; Visit the </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans" style="font-size: 12px;">website</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> for more information about SBA&rsquo;s disaster loan program.</span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/march-red-cross-month-learn-how-prepare-your-business-case-emergnancy#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/805871 Open For Business Emergency Planning SBA News and Views Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:36:30 +0000 James Rivera 805871 at http://www.sba.gov Empowering Women Entrepreneurs during Women’s History Month and Throughout the Year http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/empowering-women-entrepreneurs-during-women%E2%80%99s-history-month-and-throughout-year <p style="word-wrap: break-word; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Note:</strong>&nbsp;This blog is by&nbsp;Erin Andrew, Assistant Administrator for SBA&#39;s Office of Women&#39;s Business Ownership</span></span></p> <p>Although Women&rsquo;s History Month only comes once a year, year round the SBA works to improve our outreach and services for women entrepreneurs, and to identify opportunities to empower&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/women" target="_blank" title="women">women entrepreneurs</a>&nbsp;to start and grow businesses. As a part of this effort, we continue to counsel and train roughly 500,000 women through&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/counseling-training" target="_blank">SBA&rsquo;s extensive resource partner network</a>, including our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/wbc" target="_blank">Women&rsquo;s Business Centers</a>.</p> <p>We are ready to hit the ground running with several key events for Women&rsquo;s History Month and invite you to join the conversation:</p> <ul> <li> Twitter Chat on &lsquo;Office Hours&rsquo; -&nbsp;<span data-term="goog_1247970132" tabindex="0">March 12 from 2-3pm ET | Hashtag #AskSBA</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Twitter Chat on &lsquo;STEM and Growing Hi&ndash;Tech Firms&rsquo;-&nbsp;March 24</span><sup>th</sup><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;2-2:30 ET</span></li> </ul> <p>We also are committed to continuing to identify opportunities to the challenges they continue to face.&nbsp;As Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women&rsquo;s Business Ownership, I have met women entrepreneurs around the country and they&rsquo;ve told me about the challenges they face including access to capital, access to markets, and limited resources to scale their businesses.</p> <p>To address these challenges, SBA continues to work with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nwbc.gov/" target="_blank">National Women&rsquo;s Business Council</a>&nbsp;to identify opportunities to empower women entrepreneurs as they access capital, access markets and to take their businesses to scale. Let&rsquo;s start with access to capital. SBA continues to help provide access to capital opportunities for women. More than 25 years ago, women still needed a male relative to co-sign a loan for commercial credit. We&rsquo;ve come a long way. Between January 2009 and December 2013, SBA made 57,831 loans worth $17.2 billion to women-owned businesses. In 2013 alone, SBA made $3.8 billion in capital available to women, a 31% increase since 2009. SBA has also improved its policies around underwriting loans worth $350,000 or less, which will allow for more loans to women-owned businesses.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is important because among nascent women-owned firms with employees, over 50% started with less than $10,000 in capital. When looking at self-employed women (i.e., those without employees), that percentage soars to 89%. Across all women-owned businesses, this averages out to 84% that start with less than $10,000. However, among women-owned firms that received loans from the government, only 25% started with less than $10,000. And among firms that received government-backed loans, such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/sba-loans" target="_blank">SBA&rsquo;s 7a program</a>, only 10% started with less than $10,000. Women are accessing more capital, but we can still do better.</p> <p>Although we&rsquo;ve worked hard, there is more to be done. We look forward to leading the charge to help even more women entrepreneurs by bridging the gaps and creating more business-to-business partnerships that support entrepreneurship for women. Women&rsquo;s History Month is an important celebration and we are thankful to the many strides women have made. However, we plan to make this a commitment that goes beyond the celebration of one month.</p> <p>We need women entrepreneurs to thrive with their diversity of product in the government market space, we need them to grow with additional opportunities for access to capital and we need them to scale their businesses to create jobs and fuel the American economy. Please join us this month and throughout the year as we move the needle forward on empowering and growing women entrepreneurs as they strengthen America&rsquo;s economy.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/empowering-women-entrepreneurs-during-women%E2%80%99s-history-month-and-throughout-year#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/805051 Open For Business Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Sun, 09 Mar 2014 01:25:59 +0000 Stephen Morris 805051 at http://www.sba.gov President Obama’s Budget Priorities for Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/president-obama%E2%80%99s-budget-priorities-small-businesses <p>The Obama Administration has made small businesses a priority since the day the president stepped into office. He has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times and has raised the position of SBA administrator to Cabinet-level. Under President Obama, SBA has improved opportunities for small businesses to start and grow.&nbsp; SBA has supported over $130 billion in lending to more than 225,000 businesses and nearly $380 billion in federal contracts went to small business over the past five years. Small businesses are a big part of this economic recovery.</p> <p>President Obama wants to build on that solid foundation. The <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/fiscal-year-2015-congressional-budget-justification-and-fiscal-year-2013-annual-performance-report">FY 2015 federal budget submission</a> builds on SBA&rsquo;s proven track record of assisting America&rsquo;s small businesses by increasing and improving access to capital, federal contracting opportunities, entrepreneurial development, and disaster assistance.&nbsp; The budget submission also focuses on America&rsquo;s long-term competitiveness by improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure small business owners and entrepreneurs are well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities and new markets as the economy improves.</p> <p>President Obama&rsquo;s budget submission will give SBA the capacity to:</p> <ul> <li> support more than $32.5 billion in small business financing;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> deploy nearly $4 billion in long-term investment capital;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> provide over $1 billion in loans to disaster victims;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> facilitate access to over $80 billion in federal contracting;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> counsel and train over one million small business owners through a nationwide network of&nbsp;&nbsp; resource partners;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> increase support for exporters, start-ups, veterans, and supply chains;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> continue in to waive upfront and annual fees on all 7a small business loans of $150,000 or less;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> continue to waive upfront fees on SBA Express loans to veterans between $150,000 and $350,000, and a 50 percent waiver of upfront fees on all non-SBA Express loans to veterans above $150,000;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> expand the Impact Investment Initiative to include loans to innovative, advanced manufacturing businesses; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> propose how to help bridge the financing gap to scale up advanced manufacturing technologies through the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative</li> </ul> <p>At SBA, we know there is more to do and we will keep fighting to help small businesses every day so they can start, succeed and grow. This budget submission ensures that America&rsquo;s 28 million small businesses have access to the tools they need to support our growing economy and a strong middle class.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/president-obama%E2%80%99s-budget-priorities-small-businesses#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/801951 Open For Business Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:26:35 +0000 Marianne Markowitz 801951 at http://www.sba.gov SBA’s HUBZone Program- Helping Urban and Rural-Based Businesses Succeed http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-hubzone-program-helping-urban-and-rural-based-businesses-succeed <p>SBA&rsquo;s Historically Underutilized Business Zone, or HUBZone Program, helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to government contracting opportunities. If your business is located in an area where business development and growth has been fairly limited, you may qualify.</p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Location, location, location</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The first step to determining your HUBZone Program eligibility is to locate your place of business on our </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/hubzone-maps" style="font-size: 12px;">HUBZone maps</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. By entering your address, you can quickly find out if your business operations are in a HUBZone. You&rsquo;ll see a clear message on the results screen telling you whether the location is or is not qualified.</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Am I eligible?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Once you determine that your business </span><em style="font-size: 12px;">is</em><span style="font-size: 12px;"> located in a HUBZone, there are a few additional eligibility requirements to consider. Generally, businesses must:</span></p> <ul> <li> Be a small business by <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-officials/small-business-size-standards">SBA standards</a></li> <li> Be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative or an Indian tribe</li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Have its principal office within a HUBZone, which includes lands considered &ldquo;Indian Country&rdquo; and military facilities closed by the </span><a href="http://www.brac.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">Base Realignment and Closure Act</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> &ndash; </span><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Note:</strong><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp; HUBZone regulations define &ldquo;principal office&rdquo; as the location where the greatest number of the concern&#39;s employees at any one location perform their work. For businesses whose primary industry is service or construction, the determination of principal office excludes the firm&rsquo;s employees who perform the majority of their work at job-site locations to fulfill specific contract obligations.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Have at least 35% of its employees residing in a HUBZone</span></li> </ul> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">What are the benefits?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Along with the growth you&rsquo;ll help bring into your community, there are </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/understanding-hubzone-program" style="font-size: 12px;">unique benefits</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> to the HUBZone Program. Because of specific government set-asides that require a certain percentage of work to be obtained from HUBZone businesses, you&rsquo;ll gain a competitive edge in the contracting arena. And when your business competes among other HUBZone-certified companies, you&rsquo;ll be competing within a smaller pool of contractors &ndash; so you&rsquo;re chances of winning are greater. Additionally, you&rsquo;ll also receive a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Need additional assistance?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Interested in more HUBZone help? HUBZone offers eligibility assistance on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3pm (eastern time) at-888-858-2144 (access code 3061773#). The staff facilitates the discussion &ndash; which is driven by participant questions &ndash; by providing the answers and introducing specific topics as time allows. You&rsquo;ll learn how to maintain eligibility and decrease the possibility of an initial application being declined or being decertified after obtaining the HUBZone certification.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">If you&rsquo;re looking for status information, need help in resolving technical difficulties or need individualized assistance, you can email </span><a href="mailto:hubzone@sba.gov" style="font-size: 12px;" title="hubzone@sba.gov">hubzone@sba.gov</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-hubzone-program-helping-urban-and-rural-based-businesses-succeed#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/801521 Open For Business SBA News and Views Mon, 03 Mar 2014 18:57:51 +0000 Mariana Pardo 801521 at http://www.sba.gov Unlocking the Potential of America’s African American Entrepreneurs http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/unlocking-potential-america%E2%80%99s-african-american-entrepreneurs <p>In honor of African American History Month, SBA convened a roundtable with faith lead<span style="font-size: 12px;">ers,</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;small business advocates, and non-profit organizations in the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">African American community to discuss how we can reduce barriers, increase economic mobi</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">lity, and create ladders of opportunity through our various resources. &nbsp;The conversation outlined the progress SBA has made in supporting minority-owned small busin</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">esses and laid the groundwork for greater collaboration in the coming months with these impo</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">rta</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">nt&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">community leaders.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Over the past five years, SBA has made great strides in unlocking new opportuni</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">ties for minority small business owners.&nbsp;&nbsp; Under President Obama, the SBA has supported record amounts of lending to small businesses -- more than $130 billion to more than 225,000 small bu</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">sinesses during the course of five year</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">s</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">In FY2013 alone, SBA supported almost $29 billion in lending to America&rsquo;s small business owners.&nbsp; Programs such as the Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage helped fill market gaps in smaller dollar loans and loans to underserved communities.&nbsp; And through our counseling network of Small Business Development Centers,</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;Women&rsquo;s Business Centers, and SCORE counselors, we helped entrepreneurs acquire over $4.5 Billion in capital infusion, start over 15,000 businesses, and create and/or retain more than 68,000 jobs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">But we know more must be done.</span></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/photo(1).JPG" style="font-size: 12px; width: 240px; height: 179px; float: right;" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">With the help of our public and private sector partners, SBA plans to follow the President&rsquo;s lead by making 2014 a year of action.&nbsp; &nbsp;We are proud to announce our participation in the launch of Business Sunday, a n</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">ew initiative with the Departm</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">ent of Commerce, the Minority Business Development Agency and Business USA. &nbsp;This initiative is focused on connecting current and future entrepreneurs and business leaders from congregations and communities around the country with the federal resources they need to start and grow their companies. Business Sunday will help people access valuable technical assistance, grant information and other resources. The first Business Sunda</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">y program will take place on Sunday, March 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">As we look ahead, SBA will continue to work on behalf of America&rsquo;s minority-owned small businesses because we know that entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of our economy and the foundation of our middle class.&nbsp; They make our country great and help drive economic growth.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><em style="font-size: 12px;">Sarah Bard is the Director of SBA&rsquo;s Faith Based and Community Initiatives. The office</em><em style="font-size: 12px;"> works to engage and build strong partnerships with community and nonprofit organizations, both secular and faith-based, to support entrepreneurship, economic growth and promote prosperity for all Americans. Learn more at&nbsp;</em><em style="font-size: 12px;"><a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/36">http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/36</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/unlocking-potential-america%E2%80%99s-african-american-entrepreneurs#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/800581 Open For Business SBA News and Views Fri, 28 Feb 2014 23:57:51 +0000 Sarah Bard 800581 at http://www.sba.gov SBA, USTR Helping U.S. Small Business Exporters Expand Trade with European Union http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-ustr-helping-us-small-business-exporters-expand-trade-with-european-union <p>Exporting is one of the most effective ways for small firms to expand their markets and grow their businesses.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In 2013, President Obama announced that the United States would begin negotiating a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: 12px;">Why T-TIP Would Benefit the Economy</span></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">United States and EU are each other&#39;s largest economic partners, with two-way merchandise trade of $650 billion and $3.8 trillion in foreign direct investment directly supporting more than 13 million jobs in both the United States and the EU. For small companies, the EU represents a considerable market, with over 94,000 U.S. small businesses exporting there in 2011.&nbsp; A successful T-TIP would slash red tape, cut costs, increase trade and investment and support new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic while upholding rules that protect people and the environment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In order to best represent U.S. SMEs in the negotiations, SBA has actively engaged with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to expand export opportunities and enhance cooperation with the EU to help even more SMEs benefit from increased transatlantic trade and investment.&nbsp; The goal of the effort is to represent American SMEs by documenting trade barriers that disproportionally affect small business exporters and to advocate for small businesses doing business with the EU.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and the U.S. economy FTAs are good for the economy. According to recent data from the International Trade Administration (ITA), trade agreements have greatly benefitted the U.S. economy:</span></p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Exports to FTA partners are up 57% since 2009</span></li> <li> 46% of U.S. goods exports go to trade agreement partners</li> <li> The U.S. has a $15.2 billion trade surplus in non-oil products with FTA partners, nearly 70% higher than the 2009 value</li> <li> In 2013, 21 states had record-high exports to trade agreement countries</li> <li> Current and proposed agreements account for</li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; a)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Nearly 70% of U.S. goods exports</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; b)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; More than 60% of both global services trades and global good trades (including the U.S.), and</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; c)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 65% of global GDP (including the U.S.)</span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: 12px;">T-TIP Current Status</span></strong></p> <p>T-TIP started in July 2013 and are set to continue throughout 2014.&nbsp; A fourth round of talks in Brussels will begin March 10.&nbsp; Given the relevant participation of SBA in the process leading up to the negotiations, the agency is sending a representative to this upcoming session.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">For more information on the SBA and export assistance, visit </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/oit%3chttp:/www.sba.gov/oit" style="font-size: 12px;">www.sba.gov/oit&lt;http://www.sba.gov/oit</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">&gt;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">For more information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), visit </span><a href="http://www.ustr.gov/ttip%3chttp:/www.ustr.gov/ttip" style="font-size: 12px;">www.ustr.gov/ttip&lt;http://www.ustr.gov/ttip</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">&gt;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-ustr-helping-us-small-business-exporters-expand-trade-with-european-union#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/798921 Open For Business SBA News and Views Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:33:56 +0000 Davidh 798921 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Launches 2014 Emerging Leaders Initiative to Help Small Businesses Reach the Next Level of Growth http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-launches-2014-emerging-leaders-initiative-help-small-businesses-reach-next-level-growth <p>For the seventh consecutive year, SBA is looking for small businesses to partake in our highly successful <a href="http://www.sba.gov/emergingleaders">Emerging Leaders</a> executive-level training initiative that provides the tools they need to sustain and grow their businesses. The Emerging Leaders initiative is an intensive training program for small companies that have the potential for quick growth and job creation.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">This seven-month executive educational series includes classroom time and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Local recruitment for the 2014 training cycle is now underway at selected </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-list/2" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA district offices</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, and classes are scheduled to begin in April 2014.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The number of participating cities has grown to 27 and includes Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Fresno, Calif.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Newark, N.J.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Miami, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; St. Louis, Mo.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; Wichita, Kan.; and Youngstown, Ohio.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">This year our nation&rsquo;s capital, Washington, D.C., has been added along with Miami, Wichita, and Newark.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">If you are an interested small business owner and want to apply to the 2014 training cycle, be sure to first look at the participant </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/emergingleaders" style="font-size: 12px;">eligibility requirements</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 2,000 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues its impact to help small business owners grow and create jobs.&nbsp;Nearly 400 businesses graduated in 2013 &ndash; the largest graduating class since Emerging Leaders began.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">One such graduate is Eric Franklin, president and CEO of EriMax Inc., an information technology and acquisition management company in Maryland that handles large-scale contracts for the federal government. This 2012 Emerging Leaders graduate now employs 74, up from 35 in 2009. The business has focused on expanding into new areas through partnering and subcontracting. In previous years, its focus was procuring prime contracts. Franklin is also a graduate of the </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-support-small-businesses/8a-business-developme" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA&rsquo;s 8(a) Business Development Program</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> that helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">After participants in the Emerging Leaders training graduate, companies have reported they were awarded federal, state, local and tribal contracts, worth more than $1 billion. Sixty-two percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 72 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">More information on </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/emergingleaders" style="font-size: 12px;">Emerging Leaders</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> training is available online. You can also contact your local </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-list/2" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA District Office</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> in the participating cities to learn more.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-launches-2014-emerging-leaders-initiative-help-small-businesses-reach-next-level-growth#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/798581 Open For Business Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:40:14 +0000 CeceliaT 798581 at http://www.sba.gov Expanding the Legacy of Wealth -- SBA Celebrates Black History Month http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/expanding-legacy-wealth-sba-celebrates-black-history-month <p>When I was younger, my mother started a side business selling household goods, like figurines, pictures and other small items. I&rsquo;d help out occasionally, accompanying her to purchase merchandise, sell items and track revenue. She started this business as a way to gain financial independence and supplement her income. While my mother had aspirations of growing her business, she was unable to do so.&nbsp; Lack of funding, little understanding of how to grow a business and no mentor to help guide her along the way all proved to be insurmountable challenges.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nevertheless, I made some keen observations from my mother&rsquo;s experience.&nbsp; I saw the pride and confidence she had when talking about her business. I also could see the potential that small business ownership could have to powerfully affect a person&rsquo;s life and change a family&rsquo;s destiny.&nbsp;</p> <p>As we recognize the contributions of the great people of color who have shaped our world during Black History Month, we&rsquo;re also reminded of recent studies showing that the wealth gap between blacks and white Americans has nearly tripled over the past 25 years. Brandeis University&rsquo;s Institute of Assets and Social Policy cites that &ldquo;Over a 25-year period (1984-2009)&hellip;the total wealth gap between white and African-American families nearly triples, increasing from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> <p>In a <a href="http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/7540/584931">2013 research paper</a> contracted by SBA&rsquo;s Office of Advocacy found that black and Hispanic entrepreneurs start their businesses with less money than whites.&nbsp; Inadequate capital, the report adds, limits the growth, expansion and wealth creation of minority-owned firms.</p> <p>The U.S. Small Business Administration has a stake in doing all we can to eliminate these barriers to successful entrepreneurship.&nbsp; The <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2463">Office of Entrepreneurial Development</a> offers technical assistance and training to aspiring business owners in urban and historically underserved communities.&nbsp; SBA&rsquo;s outreach in these areas provides vital information to help guide individuals through the obstacles that my mother encountered.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Advocacy report offered suggestions toward eliminating the wealth disparities among minority-owned businesses. They included encouraging enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines as an option for women and minority aspiring entrepreneurs.&nbsp; Developing and expanding networks, the report added, can help women and minority business owners get access to resources such as financial capital.</p> <p>Dave Steward is a great example of what happens when a black-owned tech company connects with a great networking machine&mdash;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-support-small-businesses/8a-business-developme">SBA&rsquo;s 8(a) Business Development Program</a>.&nbsp; When Steward founded World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT), an information technology and supply chain solution provider in 1992, he immediately got involved in the 8(a) program.&nbsp; While in the program, Steward received management and technical training, and got help getting government contracts.&nbsp; The SBA program, he said, taught him the skills and gave him the encouragement and support to grow.&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, WWT has more than 1,600 employees and operates in 48 states and six countries&mdash;South Korea, Singapore, China, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.&nbsp; Revenue exceeds $5 billion, and WWT was ranked number one on <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/lists/be-100s-2013/"><em>Black Enterprise magazine&rsquo;s </em>2013 list</a> of the &ldquo;Largest Black-Owned Firms&rdquo; in the United States.</p> <p>Steward&rsquo;s entrepreneurial inspiration, like mine, came from his parent.&nbsp; Growing up in Clinton, Missouri in the 1950s, Steward remembers the discrimination his father faced while trying to make a living for his family. So the senior Steward created his own jobs hauling trash, mowing lawns, working as a mechanic and running a janitorial service.</p> <p>There should be a sense of urgency when it comes to encouraging the successful growth of black-owned small businesses. The SBA remains committed to offering programs that enable entrepreneurial success and prosperity that may continue for generations to come.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/expanding-legacy-wealth-sba-celebrates-black-history-month#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/796371 Open For Business SBA News and Views Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:41:12 +0000 Tameka Montgomery 796371 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Loan Fee Reductions Help Small Business Owners Nationwide http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-loan-fee-reductions-help-small-business-owners-nationwide <p>In order for small businesses to remain viable in a recovering economy, access to capital must remain an SBA priority.&nbsp; At the same time, applying for and getting a commercial loan involves certain costs that may make borrowers think twice before making that commitment.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Often times, small businesses that need loans with smaller dollar amounts --$350,000 and under- are usually either just starting or in their early stages. Attention to the bottom line is paramount at this critical time, and a lack of adequate financial resources may become an obstacle to growth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Mindful of this situation and consistent with our mission to help small businesses start, grow and succeed, SBA recently introduced two initiatives aimed at eliminating certain borrower fees, thus making it cheaper and easier for small businesses to obtain much needed financing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">One of the initiatives, launched at the end of fiscal year 2013, set borrower fees to zero (0) on all 7(a) loans $150,000 and under originated on or after Oct. 1, 2013. This initiative is among SBA&rsquo;s latest efforts to make sure we&rsquo;re reaching more business owners and entrepreneurs to help them to tackle the next challenge in their businesses.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/video/sba-loans-explained" style="font-size: 12px;">The 7(a) Loan Program</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> is the SBA&rsquo;s primary program to help start-up and existing small businesses obtain financing when they may not be eligible for conventional business loans .&nbsp; In just three months after its implementation, fee elimination on loans $150,000 and under have saved small businesses nationwide more than $5 million. A small business obtaining a $150,000 loan now saves more than $2,500 in fees, which can be used for other business expenses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA has begun a similar effort to help small business owners who are veterans. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, SBA launched the SBA Veterans Advantage initiative, which has zero borrower fees on all loans $350,000 and under made through this program.&nbsp; This program is expected to yield significant savings for veterans looking to start or grow a business.&nbsp; Of all SBA loans made to veterans during the last 5 years, 73 percent were below $350,000.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In the first 10 days (Jan 1 &ndash; Jan 10) this initiative saved veterans business owners almost $179,000.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">While it is still too early to gauge the impact these initiatives will have on the success of small businesses, the initial numbers seem to indicate that savings will be significant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">These two initiatives are in place through the end of the current fiscal year, Sept. 30, 2014.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">For more information about SBA loan programs and services or to find an SBA lender, visit </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/" style="font-size: 12px;">www.sba.gov</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">, or the </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA District Office</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> nearest you.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-loan-fee-reductions-help-small-business-owners-nationwide#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/796021 Open For Business Financing SBA News and Views Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:00:21 +0000 Ann Mehlum 796021 at http://www.sba.gov BusinessUSA Recognized for Leading Innovative Collaboration to Support Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/businessusa-recognized-leading-innovative-collaboration-support-businesses <p><strong><em>Editor&#39;s Note: This blog first appeared at <a href="http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2014/02/07/businessusa-recognized-leading-innovative-collaboration-support-businesses">Commerce.gov</a> on February 7.</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><a href="http://www.business.usa.gov/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 13px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 46, 115); text-decoration: none; ">BusinessUSA</a>&nbsp;was named as one of six winners yesterday for the&nbsp;<em style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: italic; font-size: 13px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; "><a href="https://actiac.org/custom-links/10005/54950/62288" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 13px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 46, 115); text-decoration: none; " target="_blank">2014 Igniting Innovation Award</a></em>, which recognizes government and industry individuals and teams who bring innovative thinking through their IT products, services, systems and solutions that benefit federal government and citizens.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">Managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration (SBA), BusinessUSA is the federal government&rsquo;s official assistance resource for American businesses. The platform was launched in February 2012 to serve as a &ldquo;one-stop-shop&rdquo; that provides businesses and entrepreneurs with access to the full range of government services and resources available to them at every stage of development.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">With thousands of federal, state and local resources, BusinessUSA makes it easier for businesses to locate, access, and utilize resources most relevant to their needs. The website also saves businesses valuable time by providing easy access to information and services through several customer service channels.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">In fact, President Obama&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/07/fact-sheet-opportunity-all-establishing-new-made-rural-america-export-an" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 13px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 46, 115); text-decoration: none; " target="_blank">today called for the White House Rural Council, in coordination with the Commerce Department, SBA and other agencies, to utilize the BusinessUSA platform</a>&nbsp;as part of a new &ldquo;Made in Rural America&rdquo; initiative. Specifically, the agencies were tasked with using BusinessUSA to better connect rural businesses with export and investment resources through coordinated support from across the government.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">The 2014 Igniting Innovation Award was presented by the American Council for Technology - Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), a public-private partnership in the government IT community. ACT-IAC selected BusinessUSA from a pool of over 80 candidates representing various governmental agencies and private industries.</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">Central to the success of BusinessUSA are alliances with state and local governments, as well as close collaboration with 24 federal departments and agencies that provide relevant services. In addition to the Commerce Department and SBA, the federal partnerships include: Agriculture, Defense, Education, Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Export-Import Bank, General Services Administration, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, State, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs.<span id="cke_bm_368S" style="display: none; ">&nbsp;</span><span style="display: none; ">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 1em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">For more information, visi<span style="display: none; ">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_368E" style="display: none; ">&nbsp;</span>t&nbsp;<a href="http://www.Business.USA.gov/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 13px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 46, 115); text-decoration: none; ">www.Business.USA.gov</a>&nbsp;or call: 1-800-FED-INFO (333-4636).</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/businessusa-recognized-leading-innovative-collaboration-support-businesses#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/794621 Open For Business Sat, 08 Feb 2014 00:46:22 +0000 ngoriel 794621 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Disaster Assistance During FY 2013 http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-disaster-assistance-during-fy-2013 <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Fiscal year 2013&mdash;the period between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013&mdash;was one of the busiest in recent memory for SBA&rsquo;s disaster assistance program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">SBA approved a total of 46,817 disaster loans for $2.8 billion during FY 2013.&nbsp; The majority of those loans were made to homeowners and renters recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Atlantic coast on October 29, 2012&mdash;nearly a month after the beginning of the new fiscal year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Here are some interesting stats:</span></p> <ul> <li> For Hurricane Sandy alone, SBA approved more than 36,500 disaster loans for a total of $2.4 billion by the end of FY 2013</li> <li> Of those, more than 32,000 loans went to homeowners and renters for a total of $1.9 billion</li> <li> The number of business disaster loans approved was 4,082, for a total of $478 million.</li> <li> In terms of SBA disaster loan volume, Hurricane Sandy is the third largest natural disaster in U.S. History</li> <li> The bigger disasters were the Gulf Coast Hurricanes of 2005 (Katrina, Rita and Wilma), with 169,900 loans approved for $11 billion, and the Northridge (CA) earthquake of 1994 (124,262 loans approved for $4 billion)</li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Meanwhile, 89 percent of the number of loans approved (41,698), and 80 percent of the dollars in disaster lending ($2.2 billion) went to homeowners and renters.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">About 10 percent of the number of loans approved (5,119) and 19 percent of the dollars ($550 million) in loans made went to businesses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">SBA quickly increased its staffing to support the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.&nbsp; In October 2013, prior to Sandy, there were 1,100 SBA disaster personnel.&nbsp; By January the number had grown to more than 2,400.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The number of disaster survivors using SBA&rsquo;s Electronic Loan Application (ELA) increased from 36 percent in FY 2012 to 55 percent during FY 2013. Marketing outreach and a simplified application process made the ELA more attractive to users.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">In the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters, the SBA provides recovery assistance in the form of low-interest, direct loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations.&nbsp; Visit the </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans" style="font-size: 12px;">website</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> for more information about SBA&rsquo;s disaster loan program.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-disaster-assistance-during-fy-2013#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/793501 Open For Business SBA News and Views Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:46:37 +0000 James Rivera 793501 at http://www.sba.gov SBA Hosts Twitter Chat for Young Entrepreneurs on Business Start Up http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-hosts-twitter-chat-young-entrepreneurs-business-start <p>The U.S. Small Business Administration is hosting a Twitter Chat for young entrepreneurs in recognition of <a href="http://www.entre-week.org/">National Entrepreneurship Week</a> (February 15-22) to learn how to turn their business idea into a reality, the steps to starting a business, and the know-how needed to help their businesses succeed.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">If you&rsquo;re already a young entrepreneur or want to become one, this chat is for you. In fact, the chat is open to anyone considering starting a business, and to everyone who can bring their best tweeting talents.</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Details</strong><span style="font-size: 12px;">:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">SBA Twitter Chat on </span><strong style="font-size: 12px;"><em>Startup Advice Young Entrepreneurs Love&nbsp;</em></strong><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Wednesday, February 19, 2014</span><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">3 pm - 4 pm (ET)</span><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Hashtag #sbaEweek</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Participants will hear from SBA&rsquo;s associate administrator for Entrepreneurial Development </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2463" style="font-size: 12px;">Tameka Montgomery</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. She will provide keen advice for young entrepreneurs to help them start, build and grow their small businesses from SBA&rsquo;s Twitter handle, </span><a href="http://www.twitter.com/sbagov" style="font-size: 12px;">@SBAgov</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Participants will also get advice from </span><a href="http://www.score.org/leadership" style="font-size: 12px;">Bridget Weston Pollack</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> with the SBA resource partner </span><a href="http://www.score.org/" style="font-size: 12px;">SCORE</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. She will help answer questions and give valuable insight on starting a business. Her Twitter handle is </span><a href="http://www.twitter.com/scorementors" style="font-size: 12px;">@SCOREmentors</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">You can also hear from genuine young entrepreneurs who have knocked down the hurdles to success. They are former SBA National Young Entrepreneur award winners:</span></p> <ul> <li> 2010 winner Dan Price, co-founder &amp; CEO of Gravity Payments &ndash; Twitter handle <a href="http://www.twitter.com/danpriceseattle">@DanPriceSeattle</a></li> <li> 2006 winner Genevieve F. Thiers, CEO &amp; Founder of Sittercity.com. &ndash; Twitter handle <a href="https://twitter.com/genevievethiers">@genevievethiers</a></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">No registration is needed to take part in the chat, but you must have a Twitter account.</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">Test your business readiness:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Are you ready to start a business? Check out the free SBA online course </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/young-entrepreneurs-essential-guide-starting-your-own-business" style="font-size: 12px;">Young Entrepreneurs &ndash; An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. It will help you understand the steps you need to get started and to be successful.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.sba.gov/training" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA&rsquo;s Small Business Learning Center</a><span style="font-size: 12px;"> has a full listing of self-directed online courses to help with your business needs.&nbsp;</span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-hosts-twitter-chat-young-entrepreneurs-business-start#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/792671 Open For Business SBA News and Views Fri, 31 Jan 2014 23:31:31 +0000 Tameka Montgomery 792671 at http://www.sba.gov SBA To Sign Alliance with United South & Eastern Tribes, Inc. to Expand Outreach to American Indian Communities http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-sign-alliance-with-united-south-eastern-tribes-inc-expand-outreach-american-indian-communities <p>SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/naa">Office of Native American Affairs</a> will take another step to expand outreach to American Indian communities and American Indian owned businesses when we join the <a href="http://www.usetinc.org/Home.aspx">United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc</a>. (USET) on Feb. 4, 2014, to sign a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM). Together, SBA and USET will work to boost entrepreneurship opportunities for Tribes and small businesses among USET&rsquo;s twenty-six member tribes from Maine, to Florida, to Texas.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">SBA and USET share a common mission by enhancing the economic development of Indian Tribes. This includes partnerships to create stronger economies including starting and growing small businesses. Today&rsquo;s alliance strengthens SBA&rsquo;s commitment to consultation and coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.&nbsp; The alliance will also provide resources for tribally-owned and tribal citizen-owned businesses so that they can achieve their business goals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The signing of the alliance helps us to move forward in our efforts to reach American Indian communities and support business development and growth. USET is dedicated to enhancing the development of Indian Tribes, improving the capabilities of Tribal governments, assisting member Tribes and their governments in dealing effectively with public policy issues, and in serving the needs of Indian people.&nbsp; In addition, USET works to promote Indian leadership, improve the quality of life for American Indians, and to protect Indian rights and resources on Tribal lands.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">USET member tribes include: Eastern Band of Cherokee, Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, Mississippi Band of Choctaw, Cayuga Nation, Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, Saint Regis Band of Mohawk, Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point, Passamaquoddy Indian Township, Penobscot Nation, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Seneca Nation of New York, Houlton Band of Maliseet, Poarch Band of Creek, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Narragansett Indian Tribe, Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, (Aquinnah), Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, Oneida Nation of New York, Aroostook Band of Micmac of Maine, Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina, Jena Band of Choctaw Indians of Louisiana, and the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">With our combined resources, we are even better equipped to support Native American communities in pursuing their small business ownership goals. We have a fully committed partner in USET to help existing American-owned small businesses and tribally-owned companies the U.S.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I am excited about the continued progress SBA has made to ensure our American Indian populations have full access to the tools available through SBA&rsquo;s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs.&nbsp; I look forward to the new opportunities to come.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-sign-alliance-with-united-south-eastern-tribes-inc-expand-outreach-american-indian-communities#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/792641 Open For Business SBA News and Views Fri, 31 Jan 2014 20:57:52 +0000 Christopher James 792641 at http://www.sba.gov SBA and Yelp Present: Success with Online Reviews http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-and-yelp-present-success-with-online-reviews <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><em><a href="http://officialblog.yelp.com/2014/01/sba-and-yelp-present-success-with-online-reviews.html">Editor&#39;s note: This was originally posted on Yelp&#39;s blog.</a></em></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid--af0a3b6-b0fd-b424-cfb1-67fdaac82b7c" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Sharing what you dig and what you don&rsquo;t is nothing new, but today this consumer word-of-mouth happens at lightning speed online, in the form of reviews. What&rsquo;s more is that in a <a href="http://www.brightlocal.com/2013/06/25/local-consumer-review-survey-2013/" style="text-decoration: none;">recent national survey</a>, 85% of consumers said that they read online reviews about local businesses. With that in mind, Yelp and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the Success With Online Reviews initiative to help America&rsquo;s small businesses successfully engage with online reviewers.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><img alt="" height="416px;" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/nU1EB6gQrBH36SBOMfx5l4UC0ppvgjDecWki98r7tk450bXf_EHV2QyXxjkivcHX2fvOGVRL3AcngteQcip6ly-Pb_LN9j5MlWdzCcyfmZNW4IQN4I1vEX4JUA" style="border: 0px solid transparent;" width="624px;" /></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">The kickoff event was held this past week at the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4moA3PvLenk" style="text-decoration: none;">New York Stock Exchange</a> (NYSE) where local business owners were invited to learn online marketing insights from a panel of business owner experts and reviewers from Yelp&#39;s Elite squad. The panelists included Pam Nelson of <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/butter-lane-new-york" style="text-decoration: none;">Butter Lane Cupcakes</a>, Michael Brau of <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/dorado-tacos-new-york-2" style="text-decoration: none;">Dorado Tacos</a>, and Jay Sofer of<a href="http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=locksmith&amp;find_loc=New+York%2C+NY&amp;ns=1&amp;ls=90c5d314a4a67e11#find_desc&amp;find_loc=Manhattan,+NY&amp;sortby=rating&amp;cflt=locksmiths" style="text-decoration: none;"> Lockbusters</a> (who also holds the title of most reviewed locksmith in New York on Yelp). During the interactive session, attendees learned several key points including what motivates online reviewers to write as well as the impact of customer service on ratings -- it turns out the highest rated businesses tend to be focused on providing a great customer experience. Another pearl of wisdom from the panelists was that consumers actually like it when business owners respond to their online reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><img alt="" height="624px;" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/OlQkjUW9h_t-S6eg_7Nn27cmNz6r5s5usZ_5nR4aT7mogFQ9v2dYEOfZpvWEEE6tipHr3wWjX7PIfEodoMmMRe1QkM_u-VAZy2l63rEhIk39D3tq5ifoRZ6HOw" style="border: 0px solid transparent;" width="624px;" /></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">In the coming months Yelp and the SBA will bring these local expert workshops to several key cities around the country, as well as host a series of webinars which begins on February 11th at 2PM EST. For additional dates, times, and workshop locations be sure to check out <a href="http://www.sba.gov/onlinereviews" style="text-decoration: none;">&nbsp;www.sba.gov/onlinereviews</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">The Success With Online Reviews initiative will run through <a href="http://www.sba.gov/nsbw/nsbw" style="text-decoration: none;">National Small Business Week</a> (May 12-16).</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-and-yelp-present-success-with-online-reviews#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/790061 Open For Business Managing Marketing Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:46:46 +0000 Stephen Morris 790061 at http://www.sba.gov It’s Always Earthquake Season—6 Ways to Prepare http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/it%E2%80%99s-always-earthquake-season%E2%80%946-ways-prepare <p>On January 17, 1994 at 4:31 a.m., Los Angeles area residents were rudely awakened by a 6.7 magnitude&nbsp; earthquake. The Northridge Earthquake was felt as far away as Las Vegas, 265 miles away. The toll was devastating: an estimated $20 billion in damages, 60 people killed, and more than 40,000 buildings were damaged.&nbsp; The U.S. Small Business Administration approved 124,262 disaster loans for a total of $4 billion.</p> <p>In the twenty years since, earthquakes have cost U.S. residents and business owners millions in property losses. And the quakes are happening in unexpected areas. A 4.0 magnitude quake that hit Southern Maine in October 2012 &nbsp;caused minor damages. Yet the 5.8 earthquake that hit the Washington D.C. and Virginia area in August 2011 resulted in significant property losses and rattled nerves to an area unaccustomed to earthquakes.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/ceus/">Seismic maps</a> produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), parts of the Central U.S. (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi) located in the New Madrid seismic zone are at risk for large quakes in the future. Alaska and Hawaii, the Pacific Coast and parts of the Southwest are also vulnerable.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Knowing your area&rsquo;s risk for earthquakes is important.&nbsp; You can find <a href="http://www.fema.gov/earthquake">earthquake hazard maps</a> and useful safety tips on the Federal Emergency Management Agency&rsquo;s (FEMA) website.</p> <p>Before the earthquake:</p> <ul> <li> Develop an emergency plan that covers internal and external communications, options for power outages, data backup, identifying exits, fires escapes, stairways, locked or restricted areas</li> <li> Review your insurance coverage, and understand your business interruption policies</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.25in;">During the earthquake:</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.25in;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">If you&rsquo;re indoors, duck, or drop down to the floor.&nbsp; Take cover under a study desk or table, hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, and heavy furniture or appliances that may fall over.&nbsp; Stay calm!</span></li> <li style="margin-left: 0.25in;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">If you&rsquo;re outside, get into the open, away from buildings and power lines. If you&rsquo;re driving, stop if it&rsquo;s safe, but stay inside your car. Stay away from bridges, overpasses and tunnels.</span></li> </ul> <p>Once the shaking stops:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">First, find out who needs medical care. Meet at the central point of contact you established before the quake.&nbsp;&nbsp; Use an Alert Notification System to keep all employees posted on the recovery status.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Check for fire hazards, gas leaks, or damaged electrical wires. Be prepared for aftershocks, which can come for several days after the quake and can topple already weakened building.</span></li> </ul> <p>Agility Recovery has a great checklist that will help you <a href="http://www2.agilityrecovery.com/assets/SBA/quakeprepsba.pdf">prepare for an earthquake</a>. The steps you take now will protect your business and minimize the toll on your employees, your property and your sense of security.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Other Resources</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes">Ready.gov: Earthquakes</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake" style="font-size: 12px;">American Red Cross: Earthquake Preparedness</a></p> <p><a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/">U.S. Geological Survey: Earthquake Hazards Program</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.iris.edu/seismon/" style="font-size: 12px;">Global Seismic Monitor</a></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/it%E2%80%99s-always-earthquake-season%E2%80%946-ways-prepare#comments http://www.sba.gov/crss/node/789411 Open For Business Thu, 16 Jan 2014 23:57:03 +0000 Carol Chastang 789411 at http://www.sba.gov