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Blog April 2014


SBA Improves Small Businesses Access to 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs; Enhances Job Creation

Blogged By: 
SBA News
Created on April 17, 2014
 

SBA LogoU.S. small businesses will gain improved access to two major government-guaranteed loan programs once a final rule to that effect issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration becomes effective April 21, 2014.

The SBA recently published a Final Rule on the Federal Register that eliminates or revises several requirements for its two main loan programs, 7(a) and 504. The rule expands eligibility, makes it easier for small businesses to secure SBA-backed financing, and encourages job creation.

“These 504 and 7(a) program enhancements will expand program eligibility and improve access to capital for small businesses. Improvements in CDC corporate governance oversight enhance program integrity and encourages more local involvement,” said Ann Marie Mehlum, SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access.

Intellectual Property Webinar Series

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on April 17, 2014
 

Intellectual PropertyDuring the month of April, MBDA will collaborate with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to conduct a three part webinar series on the intellectual property process.

The webinar series will focus on the three types of intellectual property protection: copyrights, patents, and trademarks. The complimentary webinars will provide a wealth of information, resources, and tools to protect and promote your intellectual property.

Register today to learn from USPTO intellectual property experts on best practices, common pitfalls and where to start!   

April 22 - Copyrights: An introduction to copyrights, how copyrights are protected in the U.S. and abroad, and the benefits of U.S. registration.
Register at http://go.usa.gov/kc4Q

April 23 - Patents: The facts about patents, including the differences between provisional and non-provisional applications and tips on making the application process more efficient.
Register at http://go.usa.gov/kcgA

April 24 - Trademarks: Understand the critical factors when choosing a trademark, the importance of doing a complete search, and whether an attorney should be used.
Register at http://go.usa.gov/kcgT

MBDA Centers Open in Bronx, Baltimore

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on April 17, 2014
 

Minority-owned businesses seeking to grow their firms and branch out into new markets have new resources to find help. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) proudly welcomed two new MBDA Business Centers into their family of network centers that operate across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

On March 17, while most of the Eastern region of the country braced for a snow storm, the Bronx MBDA Business Center held their grand opening ceremony. Local legislators, community leaders and business owners joined the celebration held at the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBro) offices. SoBro was awarded a $1.5 million grant to operate the center for three years.

“Our center is here to promote the growth and global competitiveness of the minority business community, making them better equipped to create jobs, impact local economies and compete successfully in domestic and global marketplaces,” said Phillip Morrow, President and CEO of SoBro. “Together, I know that we will engage minority businesses to promote growth, and further the discussion with leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors on how their current priorities and initiatives align with the goals of the center.”

Energy Partnership: MBDA and DOE

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on April 17, 2014
 

DOE SealIn 2013, MBDA and the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established a partnership aimed at increasing the participation of minority business enterprises (MBEs) in energy – one of the largest industries in the United States.  In addition to enhancing access to procurement and contracting opportunities available through the DOE for minority firms, MBDA and ED are also working to create and unveil growth opportunities for minority firms through technology transfer and commercialization. 

On March 13 and 14, 2014, MBDA Acting National Director Alejandra Castillo joined Director Dot Harris of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED), on a Domestic Trade Mission to one of DOE’S 17 national research laboratories - the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois.   Joined also by a delegation including minority-owned firms and the local Chicago MBDA Business Center, this Trade Mission represented a collaborative effort to advance the mission of the Minorities in Energy Initiative launched by DOE in September of 2013.

The delegation participated in meetings with instrumental partners and stakeholders including Clean Energy Trust, Energy Foundry, World Business Chicago, the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation, and the Office of Congressman Bobby Rush of the First District of Illinois.  The meetings proved informative, helping to open doors for minority firms to access innovation, technology, and capital resources through this partnership. 

The partnership shared with DOE will also help to level the playing field for minority firms and develop a gateway to new opportunities through technology transfer.  Upon gaining critical market intelligence of the technology developed at laboratories such as Argonne National Laboratory, MBEs will be able to better compete in their contracting programs.  Also, the sharing of expertise and resources between the MBDA Business Center network and the DOE national laboratories can be of immense benefit to the growth and development of MBEs in the energy and technology industries.

Join the Conversation on Investment

Blogged By: 
Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSA
Created on April 10, 2014
 

Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSAThis month, SelectUSA is really upping our game when it comes to online engagement around investment. We hope you’ll join the conversation on Twitter at #SelectUSA!

Our colleagues across the Commerce Department will be sharing their thoughts on how innovation, data and hard work contribute to job creation. We’re collaborating with our friends at the State Department’s Economic & Business Affairs Bureau, as well as with our Commerce and State colleagues throughout the United States and globally at our embassies and consulates.

But we’re not stopping with Commerce and State. We’re reaching out across the U.S. federal government through the Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), to more than twenty other agencies. (You can find all of our Commerce and IIWG twitter profiles here.)

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