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Created on July 9, 2013
From the start, this Administration has encouraged an ongoing dialogue with the leaders of our nation’s businesses, large and small. There’s more to do, but working together we’ve helped rebuild our economy. Businesses have added 6.9 million private-sector jobs in the past 39 months and we’ve helped strengthen the middle class. Today, most Americans get their health insurance through their jobs and that will be the case moving forward.
To help restore middle class security, we are making health care more affordable to businesses, government, and American families through the Affordable Care Act. While major portions of the law have yet to be implemented, it’s already a little more affordable for businesses to offer quality health coverage to their employees. A recent report suggests that medical cost growth will be lower in 2014 than an already low rate in 2013, both “defying historical patterns.”
Created on July 5, 2013
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new program that simplifies the process of buying health insurance for your small business.
The SHOP Marketplace gives you choice and control over health costs.
You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward employee premiums.
You can compare health plans online on an apples-to-apples basis, which helps you make a decision that's right for your business.
Created on July 3, 2013
President Obama believes sub-Saharan Africa could be the world’s next major economic success story. That is why in June 2012, he issued the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa (PDF) to escalate the U.S. efforts to stimulate economic growth, trade, and investment in the region. One year later, the President is in Africa to highlight our success under this strategy.
A key component of the President’s strategy is the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) Campaign, which was launched by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Johannesburg, South Africa last November. Its main objective is to bolster federal trade promotion and financing capabilities in order to help U.S. businesses obtain trade and investment opportunities. With these opportunities, the United States’ commercial relationship with Africa will continue to grow.
Since its unveiling, Commerce has been working alongside other federal agencies to encourage U.S. companies–with a focus on small- and medium- sized businesses and African Diaspora-owned business–to trade and invest in the region. A little more than six months into the Doing Business in Africa Campaign, we wanted to share some of successes with you.
The first of these developments was an online Africa Business Portal. This portal was created to give businesses the federal resources necessary to succeed in African markets, specifically with export and investment opportunities.
Created on July 3, 2013
Global investors are “rediscovering” the United States.
This week the consulting firm A.T. Kearney published its annual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index. The Index surveys top executives from more than 300 leading global companies – representing more than $2 trillion in annual global revenue – on where they are directing their investment strategies. For the first time since 2001, the United States ranked #1 on this list, retaking the top spot!
The Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program has seen this trend coming through the work we conduct on a daily basis. Companies both large and small increasingly understand that the United States is the destination of choice for capital, and an unparalleled place to invest and do business.
Markets such as Brazil, Canada, China, and Europe will continue to receive significant cross-border investment. However, the survey suggests that the resurgence of investment in American manufacturing is not just a temporary trend but the new reality.
Created on July 2, 2013
What do the states of Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, and Mississippi have in common? They are, according to a report published this spring by the Kauffman Foundation, Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 1996–2012, the states that posted the highest rates of entrepreneurial activity in 2012.
According to the Kauffman Foundation report:
• Montanans operate 530 businesses per 100,000 adults, Vermonters and New Mexicans operate 520 businesses per 100,000 adults, and Alaskans and Mississippians operate 430 businesses per 100,000 adults.
• A most important measure—the formation of businesses with employees—held steady from 2011 to 2012: At 0.11 percent (meaning 11 employer businesses per 100,000 individuals), an average of 193,000 new employer businesses were formed each quarter in 2012.
This is important, and good, news about our economy. And these states should be applauded for what they are doing to foster entrepreneurship, which is a driver of economic growth and prosperity.
Support for entrepreneurship is a central part of the Economic Development Administration’s mission as it works to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States.
• In Montana, the Montana Technology Enterprise Center in Missoula, with EDA assistance, is undertaking a major renovation of its business incubator and building a new pilot chemical processing plant to help technology start-up companies commercialize research.