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Small Business Funding: How to Get a Business Loan

Blogged By: 
Created on August 4, 2015

This is a guest blog post by NerdWallet, which provides clarity for all of life's financial decisions and helps connect small business owners with resources to answer their funding, tax and legal questions. NerdWallet featured MBDA on a recent Google Hangout and is engaged in sharing resources with the MBDA network. A series of shared blogs will feature content provided by NerdWallet staff as part of MBDA’s continued support for Small Business Week 2015.

Business Loan ApplicationThe old adage that “it takes money to make money” often rings painfully true for small businesses struggling to grow and prosper. From overhead to inventory, the expenses required to run a business often seem staggering. Thankfully, plenty of funding is out there for small businesses in every sector.

Where can I find small business funding?

When it comes to loan offerings, small businesses have a number of possible entry points:

Five Drivers of Export Opportunity: U.S. Building Products and Green Building

Blogged By: 
Joanne Littlefair, Senior International Trade Specialist
Created on July 29, 2015

Green TechnologyThe vibrant global trend seeking a greener built environment will help create some $46 billion in export opportunity for a group of U.S. building product manufacturers by 2017, according to new report Top Markets, Building Products and Sustainable Construction from the International Trade Administration. U.S. manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment (HVACR), lighting, plumbing, insulation, wood products, doors and windows and glass construction products are well positioned to deliver on the resource conservation and environmental improvement benefits that are key goals of green building, and to meet traditional construction requirements.

The ITA Top Markets study ranks 75 international markets in terms of 2017 sector export prospects, supported by country-specific case studies detailing market trends and the competitive state of play.  The study elaborates at least 5 key drivers of export opportunity:

Interested in Doing Business In Cuba? Join SBA Conference Call on July 29

Blogged By: 
SBA News
Created on July 22, 2015

Conference Call Small business owners often tell us that they have many questions about how to enter a new market - and those questions are magnified when it comes to doing business with Cuba.  There have been several changes to the bilateral relationship in recent months, and, to address your questions, I hope that you will join SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet and other senior officials on July 29 at 4:00 p.m. ET to discuss the opportunities that exist for exporting to Cuba.

Today’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana is an historic step marking the new direction in U.S.-Cuba relations announced by President Obama last December. This step was preceded by a series of significant measures: in January, the Departments of Commerce and Treasury amended their regulations to increase travel, trade and the free flow of information to and from Cuba.  In April, during the Summit of the Americas in Panama, President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro.  And after a six-month review, Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism was rescinded.  Significant challenges remain, and the President has acknowledged the U.S. will continue to press the Cuban government on areas of concern, in particular human rights and basic freedoms.  And the trade embargo remains, which can only be lifted through Congressional action.  Nonetheless, the President’s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease some commercial and travel restrictions is a step toward increased economic opportunity in our hemisphere - particularly for American small businesses. 

New Top Markets Series Provides Data and Analysis to Help U.S. Exporters Compare Opportunities Across Borders

Blogged By: 
Marcus Jadotte, International Trade Administration
Created on July 22, 2015

Top Markets SeriesLast year, the United States exported $2.34 trillion worth of goods and services—an all-time record. Exports from the United States in 2014 equaled the entire gross domestic product of Brazil and exceeded all commercial output in India, Italy, or Mexico. What is more, exports are an increasingly important aspect of the U.S. economy. As the significance of exporting grows, the Obama administration and the Department of Commerce is committed to providing the data and analytics U.S. companies need to compete effectively in foreign markets.

To meet this objective, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is leading the NEI Next Initiative, a customer service-driven strategy that is delivering improved information to American businesses to help them win when competing abroad. Of course, winning in foreign markets is often a case of investing resources as strategically as possible – i.e., picking which market to introduce a new product; or choosing whether to expand in one market or focus on opportunities elsewhere. That is why we are proud to release a new product line today: ITA’s Top Markets Series.

Innovation: Much More than High-Tech

Blogged By: 
Patricia Tomczyszyn, MBDA Public Affairs Specialist
Created on July 21, 2015

MBDA High TechInnovation. When most people hear or use this term, they are referring to new, cutting edge technology and products. However, innovation means much more than that. Operational innovation involves creating entirely new ways of filling orders, developing products, providing customer service, or doing any other activity that an enterprise performs.

David Brier, a brand identity expert, explains the single difference between the innovator and the ordinary person as: The innovator sees the dots and connects them while ordinary people either 1) don’t see them, or 2) don’t explore, question, or connect any of them.

The Atlanta MBDA Business Center connected the dots when they recognized the potential for substantial growth among minority-owned information technology firms in relation to the growing demand for healthcare IT services. A successful partnership with the Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance enabled the Center to transition 77 minority-owned businesses into the rapidly growing healthcare industry in fiscal year 2014.

The Minneapolis MBDA Business Center connected the dots by realizing that baby boomer business owners are retiring and selling their companies. They also realized that acquiring these businesses is a perfect opportunity for minority-owned firms to increase revenue, expand operations, and create jobs.

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