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Blog July 2014


myRA: A Simple, Safe, Affordable Retirement Savings Account

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on July 24, 2014
 

ReadySaveGrow myRAThe U.S. Department of the Treasury will develop the myRASM (“My Retirement Account”) program, offering a new retirement savings account for individuals looking for a simple, safe, and affordable way to start saving. Savers will be able to open an account with as little as $25 and contribute $5 or more every payday. myRA balances will never go down, and there will be no fees. Initially, myRA will be made available through employers and the investment held in the account will be backed by the U.S. Treasury.

WHO WILL myRA BE FOR?

myRA will be Roth IRA accounts available to anyone who has an annual income of less than $129,000 a year for individuals and $191,000 for couples. myRA will be for savers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. myRA is designed for savers who want an investment with a low opening amount.

HOW WILL myRA WORK?

The myRA investment will earn interest at the same variable rate as the Government Securities Investment Fund in the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees. Savers may voluntarily roll over myRA to private-sector retirement accounts at any time. Once a saver’s myRA reaches $15,000, or after 30 years, the balance will be transferred to a private-sector retirement account. Treasury will finalize transfer procedures when it launches the myRA program later this year.

U.S. Department of Commerce & Bloomberg Philanthropies Host Inaugural "U.S.-Africa Business Forum"

Blogged By: 
Commerce Blog
Created on July 24, 2014
 

The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Michael R. Bloomberg to host
President Obama to be keynote speaker

U.S.-Africa Business ForumOn August 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies will co-host the first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent. The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first summit of its kind, and the largest event that any U.S. president has ever convened with African heads of state or government.

As President Obama said in Tanzania last summer, “in our global economy, our fortunes are linked like never before. So more growth and opportunity in Africa can mean more growth and opportunity in the United States.  And this is not charity; this is self-interest. And that’s why a key element of my engagement with Africa, and a key focus during this trip, has been to promote trade and investment that can create jobs on both side of the Atlantic.”

Held at the Mandarin Oriental, in Washington, D.C., the U.S.-Africa Business Forum will intensify efforts to strengthen trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa. The Forum will focus on U.S. private sector engagement in Africa in the areas of finance and capital investment, infrastructure, power and energy, agriculture, consumer goods, and information communication technology. Heads of state will engage with business executives from both sides of the Atlantic to engage in conversations about successes and solutions to build greater access for trade and investment in Africa. President Obama will participate in the conversation with CEOs and government leaders from the U.S. and Africa.

MBDA Director Speaks at Miami’s International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show

Blogged By: 
Justin Chang, MBDA Intern
Created on July 23, 2014
 

 

National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo at  International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show

Pictured left to right: Ron Busby, President. U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce; Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director; Andy Ingraham, President National Association of Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers; and Toya Powell, VP U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce

 

On Friday July 18th, National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo spoke at the International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show at the invitation of National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD). As director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – the only federal agency tasked with building the size, scale, and capacity of minority businesses – Castillo was able to offer particular insight into the theme of this year’s conference, which was the “Business of Multicultural & Heritage Tourism.” Castillo highlighted the strong alignment of interests between MBDA and the success of minority-owned businesses in the tourism industry.

She also indicated how MBDA, through its resources, can offer particular support to this business community by working to increase their access to capital financing. In addition, the conference was a learning opportunity for MBDA as it allowed Castillo and her staff to learn more about this $90 billion market sector, and the particular challenges minority-owned businesses face working in this industry.

MBDA Recognizes Two Additional Honorees during the 2014 MED Week Conference

Blogged By: 
Hau Chu, MBDA Intern
Created on July 22, 2014
 

MED WeekThe Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) signature event is right around the corner. The 2014 National MED Week Conference will be held July 31 to Aug. 1 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The yearly conference features opportunities for minority businesses to engage and connect with numerous subject-matter experts in the private and public sectors. One of the featured events during the conference is the MED Week Awards Luncheon.

“This year’s MED Week awardees exemplify growth, diversity and transformation, and are true champions for the minority business community,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director. “We’re very proud of their tremendous achievements in helping grow the national economy through innovation, job and wealth creation.”

In addition to this year’s 13 MED Week Award winners, MBDA will honor two individuals with a National Director’s Special Recognition and a Pioneer’s Recognition.

Five Things Small Businesses Should Know About Export Control Reform

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on July 2, 2014
 

Satellites - Export Control ReformSmall businesses are growing at unprecedented rates. They employ about half – 55 million – of the nation’s private workforce and account for 99.7% percent of all employers in the U.S. Through exporting, they have the opportunity to grow even more: two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries. In a 2013 survey of 500 small business owners, the National Small Business Association (NSBA) found that 63% of participants who did not already export said that they would be interested in doing so, but cited lack of information on exporting as an obstacle for small businesses.

In 2009, President Obama launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, a significant effort aimed at enhancing our national and economic security through reform of the export control system—a system that had not been comprehensively updated in decades. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers export controls for commercial and some military commodities and technologies. Now, the President’s ECR initiative is transferring tens of thousands of less sensitive military items from the State Department’s jurisdiction to the more flexible Commerce regulations. Most are parts and components; many are manufactured by small businesses. Moving these items to Commerce benefits small businesses because BIS’s regulations allow for more nuanced distinctions among technologies, destinations, and end users than the State Department’s regulations.

Did you know...

MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients obtain capital totaling $4.76 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for Dollar Value of Capital

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