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SBA Rolls out its National Online Loan Application Process

Blogged By: 
Stanley Nakano, SBA Acting Regional Administrator
Created on May 28, 2015

Online MatchmakingCash flow is the lifeblood of all small businesses. Across the nation, thousands of small firms are searching for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them build their business and create new jobs. Finding a business loan can be time consuming, and often times frustrating and disappointing.

Changes in technology have made the process of finding and securing a small business loan less tedious and time consuming. Online matchmaking services, pairing lenders with prospective borrowers, comprise a multibillion dollar industry. Examples include the TV commercial in which a creditworthy home buyer goes online and is delighted to find banks competing to finance her home. Small business lending is the next frontier for these online “matchmaking” services. Using the power of the Internet, commercial lenders are finding creditworthy business borrowers, while entrepreneurs are finding loan officers who are ready to sit down and talk specifics.

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Blogged By: 
Created on May 26, 2015

With the Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1, now is a good time to put a plan in place to protect your business, your employees and your family.  May 24-30 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, an initiative supported by FEMA’s campaign and the National Hurricane Center

For tips and information about hurricane preparedness, visit

What’s New with the 11th Edition of ‘A Basic Guide to Exporting’?

Blogged By: 
Curt Cultice, U.S. Commercial Service
Created on May 22, 2015

A Basic Guide to Exorting CoverThis post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog

For more than 75 years, A Basic Guide to Exporting has helped U.S. companies make their first international sale and grow their businesses through exporting. Now, with an 11th edition, you may ask, what’s different? I’ll give you a few examples.

In this new edition, there is expanded information on cross-border e-commerce and export controls, as well as a new chapter on rules of origin in Free Trade Agreements. This edition also provides updated content on creating export plans to strategically start or increase export sales. Good news for the many small- and medium-sized businesses who might be “winging” their current export sales.

Additionally, A Basic Guide to Exporting features all new case studies including “micro multinationals,” which are small U.S. companies that sell to buyers in 30 or more countries. For example, Chapter 3 profiles Pennsylvania-based Zeigler Bros., Inc., a firm that researches and develops foods for animal and aquatic diets. The company made an early strategic decision to boost its bottom line by doing business overseas and has never looked back. Today, Zeigler supplies 300 different products to 50 countries, with exports accounting for more than 50 percent of overall sales. In Chapter 3, the guide describes how International Sales Manager Chris Stock overcame the challenges the company faced when trying to sell internationally, including helping customers deal with localized issues such as diseases that affect fish species being farmed, finding reputable partners, and gaining an understanding of environmental regulations in the countries where the firm does business.

Colombia and Peru: Green Port Technologies Reverse Trade Mission

Blogged By: 
Created on May 21, 2015

Dates: May 31 - June 10, 2015
Locations: Miami, FL; Houston, TX; and Los Angeles, CA

This visit is designed to introduce delegates from Colombia and Peru to U.S. green port technologies and U.S. best practices for environmental management at port operations. The delegates will have the opportunity to learn about green port programs related to energy efficiency, pollution prevention, waste reduction, and resource conversation.

The visit will include an Industry Roundtable in Houston, Texas on June 5, where U.S. companies can learn about upcoming opportunities in Colombia and the Peru and can meet with senior-level delegates.

The Affordable Care Act and Employers: Why Workforce Size Matters

Blogged By: 
Created on May 19, 2015

EmployeesThis post originally appeared on IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2015-30

The Affordable Care Act contains several tax provisions that affect employers. Under the ACA, the size and structure of a workforce – small, or large – helps determine which parts of the law apply to which employers.

The number of employees an employer had during the prior year determines whether it is an applicable large employer for the current year. This is important because two provisions of the Affordable Care Act apply only to applicable large employers. These are the employer shared responsibility provision and the employer information reporting provisions for offers of minimum essential coverage.

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