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Blog May 2012
MBDA Realigns Regional Office Structure to Enhance Support and Resources for Minority-Owned Businesses
Today, I held a series of conference calls with MBDA staff and stakeholders to announce congressional approval of our proposal to realign our regional office structure. This change will enhance the efficient delivery of funds and services to our mission critical programs—particularly, the MBDA Business Center grassroots network that interacts directly with minority business owners on a daily basis.
Establishing a safe and healthful working environment requires every employer -- large and small -- and every worker to make safety and health a top priority. The entire work force -- from the CEO to the most recent hire -- must recognize that worker safety and health is central to the mission and key to the profitability of the American company.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) job is to provide leadership and encouragement to workers and employers to take that responsibility seriously. We continue to help employers and employees focus on reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities and to increase their commitment to improved safety and health.
OSHA can help small businesses and others through a variety of tools, including partnership, consultation, compliance assistance, education and training, outreach, and plain language regulations.
Why is safety and health important for a small business owner like me?
Safety is good business. An effective safety and health program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested. It's the right thing to do, and doing it right pays off in lower costs, increased productivity, and higher employee morale.
As an employer, you have a duty to protect your workers from injury and illness on the job. Protecting workers also makes good business sense. Accidents and injuries are more expensive than many realize. Costs mount up quickly. But substantial savings in workers' compensation and lost workdays are possible when injuries and illnesses decline. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can help you.
On May 16, 2012, SBA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to address the use of set-asides on multiple award contracts and to clarify the regulations on bundling and contract consolidation. This proposed rule would amend SBA’s regulations to implement the following sections of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010: section 1311 (definition of multiple award contract); section 1313 (consolidation of contracts definitions, policy, limitations on use, determination on necessary and justified); and section 1331 (reservation and set-aside of multiple award contracts and orders against multiple award contracts for small businesses). SBA also is proposing to amend the NAICS code appeal rules to permit challenges to NAICS codes on unrestricted procurements. SBA is proposing an amendment to the limitations on subcontracting to explain that the period of performance for each order issued against a multiple award contract will be used to determine compliance with the performance requirements.
Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted by SBA until July 16, 2012.
Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy and while Indonesia’s annual growth slowed down to 4.5% in 2009, it expanded to 6.1% in 2010. Some economists predict that Indonesia’s economic growth may reach 8% in 2011. During the difficult global conditions of 2009, Indonesia’s economy was among the top worldwide performers. Stock market valuation was up 87% in 2009 and 46% in 2010 and from 2000 until 2010, Indonesia’s average annual GDP growth was 5.17% with a stable currency and improved sovereign credit status.
The consumer market continues to grow in the world’s fourth-largest country. There are more than 237 million citizens, 50% of whom are under the age of 30. GDP per person exceeds its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbors such the Philippines and Indonesia has a GDP per person three times that of Vietnam. Indonesia is a thriving democracy with significant regional autonomy. It is located on the world’s major trade routes and has extensive natural resources. It is a top-ten market for U.S. agricultural products and within the top 30 overall markets for U.S. exports. Indonesia has ratified the Cape Town Treaty, which gives U.S. aircraft exporters access to financing through international protection and registration of financial interests.
On May 7th, U.S. Reps. Sam Graves (MO-06) and Scott Tipton (CO-06) introduced separate bills aimed at federal export promotion efforts.
The Export Coordination Act (HR 5393), introduced by Rep. Graves, proposes to increase coordination between state and federal agencies to streamline the export process. Among other provisions, it directs the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to clearly define the role of each member agency in the export process. It also directs the TPCC to work with member agencies to provide a detailed listing of future trade missions and make the list public.