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Connecticut and Illinois Invest in Minority Business

Blogged By: 
Terry Richards
Created on August 15, 2013

State of Connecticut Invests $2M for Minority Business Assistance Program

On July 24, 2013, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that the State of Connecticut will provide $2 million to support minority contractors through the Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCo).

The program will be designed to help businesses obtain surety bonds for capital construction. It will also provide a revolving loan fund to help minority contractors cover costs incurred while awaiting payment during the construction phase of projects. HEDCo already administers a similar bonding guaranty program that was created in 2006. Under the program, 110 bonds totaling $12.4 million have been guaranteed.

Why is Everyone Talking About Africa?

Blogged By: 
Claudia Easton, International Trade Administration Intern
Created on August 8, 2013
 

Talking about AfricaWith the President’s recent trip to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, as well as the announcement of two new trade initiatives, the spotlight is on Africa – and with good reason.

While speaking at the Business Leaders Forum in Tanzania, President Obama spoke of beginning a new level of economic engagement with Africa. The Doing Business in Africa Campaign (DBIA) is part of the president’s strategy, and the International Trade Administration (ITA) is proud to join other government agencies to support DBIA initiatives that are helping U.S. businesses compete on the continent.

Trade Africa aims to facilitate expanded trade on the continent. Its initial focus will be on the East African Community (EAC), a market with increasingly stable and pro-business regulations. The plan will support increased U.S.-EAC trade and investment, EAC trade competitiveness, and regional integration. The United States seeks to expand this initiative to other regional economic communities on the continent.

Sub-Saharan Africa Agribusiness Reverse Trade Mission

Blogged By: 
MBDA

Sub-Saharan Africa Agribusiness Reverse Trade Mission

Dates: August 18-28, 2013

Locations: Omaha, NE; Fargo, ND; Jackson, MN; Ames, IA

United States Trade and Development Agency is sponsoring a Reverse Trade Mission (RTM) to the United States for a delegation of senior representatives from sub-Saharan Africa’s agribusiness sector, including key decision makers from leading agribusinesses and government entities in Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Zambia, and other markets.

Global Investment is Important to the American Economy

Blogged By: 
Guest blog post by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Posted on August 2, 2013
 

Secretary of CommerceSince I was confirmed as Secretary of Commerce, I’ve been meeting with business leaders, entrepreneurs, and foreign leaders to let them know that America is “open for business.” The United States is one of the most desirable places to do business; our $16 trillion economy, with its productive workforce and diverse consumer base, could not do what it does without domestic as well as foreign investment. Yesterday, I participated in the White House Forum (Forum) on Global Investment to highlight the administration’s support for, and benefits of, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. 

For the meeting, I was joined by Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Pat Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez, and 21 foreign ambassadors and representatives to highlight the United States’ whole-of-government approach to attracting foreign direct investment.

A One-Stop-Shop on the Health Care Law for Businesses Big and Small

Blogged By: 
Blog by Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama
Created on August 1, 2013
 

Cross-posted from the White House Blog by Valerie Jarrett

Health Care ChangesAs we implement the Affordable Care Act, we continue listening to the needs of the business community. Based on our many conversations with leaders of our nation’s businesses, large and small, today we are launching Business.USA.gov/healthcare, a one-stop-shop where employers of all sizes can go for information on the Affordable Care Act.

The new site includes a web-based tool that allows employers to get tailored information on how the health law may affect them based on their business’ size, location, and plans for offering health benefits to their workers next year. From tax credits for small businesses to help make coverage affordable, to measures to help slow the growth of health care costs, there are a variety of ways that the Affordable Care Act can help businesses expand health care coverage and compete.

The site leverages the resources of our partners across the federal government to ensure that business owners get comprehensive health care information and easy-to-use tools, such as a timeline of key implementation dates; information about the SHOP Marketplaces and small business tax credits; and resources to help calculate a firm’s number of full-time equivalent employees or determine if the coverage they already offer meets the law’s minimum value standards.

The administration is working with the employer community to ensure the site continues to be a helpful resource for businesses and their employees, including updating the site with additional, timely information, so stay tuned.

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