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Doing Business in the Caribbean? Trade Mission and Webinar Series

Blogged By: 
Export.gov
Created on January 30, 2014
 

Cargo with ContainersCaribbean Trade Mission & Business Development Conference to Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean regional conference followed by one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, joint-venture partners or other key contacts.

Mission Dates:  June 8-12, 2014
Registration Deadline:  April 4, 2014
Registration Link: http://export.gov/tradeamericas/tradeevents/trademissions/caribbeanjune2014/index.asp

Caribbean Region Webinar Series

This six-part webinar series will provide valuable insights to new and experienced exporters who will gain knowledge of the export opportunities in this dynamic region. Companies will learn about the best prospects, financial and legal considerations and marketing strategies in the Caribbean Region to include Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

2014 Baldrige Award in Your Future? Time to Apply!

Blogged By: 
NIST
Created on January 30, 2014
 

Baldrige Performance Excellence ProgramThis post originally appeared on NIST Baldrige Award.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Organizations can apply for awards in three business sectors—manufacturing, small business and service—along with health care, education and nonprofit (including government agencies).

Forms and guidance for applying for the 2014 Baldrige Award are now available from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) at www.nist.gov/baldrige/enter/how_to_apply.cfm.

All applicants will be evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. To purchase the 2013-2014 Criteria, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/criteria.cfm.

Military Reservists Eligible to Apply for SBA Working Capital Loans

Blogged By: 
SBA News
Created on January 27, 2014
 

Military with US Flag in BackgroundSmall businesses that suffered economic losses when the owner or a key employee was called up to active duty are eligible to apply for a low interest loan of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small businesses can apply for a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) any time from the date of notice of expected call-up and ending one year after the date of discharge or release. The program was created to enable eligible small businesses to pay operating expenses it could have covered if the owner or key employee hadn’t been called to active duty.

“The absence of just one employee whose expertise is critical to the success of the company can pose significant challenges for a small business,” said SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne Hulit.

“These Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide funds that will help these small businesses cover operating expenses.  This way our brave men and women in uniform don’t have to choose between serving their country and growing their businesses.”

The MREIDL is a direct working capital loan, managed by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.  The interest rate on these working capital loans is 4 percent, with terms up to a maximum of 30 years.   In general, no collateral is required to secure an MREIDL of $50,000 or less.  The loan cannot be used to replace lost income or profits, refinance long-term debt or to expand the business.

Commerce Partnership to Benefit Minority-Owned Exporters

Blogged By: 
Antwaun Griffin, ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service Deputy Assistant Secretary
Created on January 24, 2014
 

National Export Initiative Connects Businesses with World Markets

World Map and ChartsDid you know that according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, minority-owned firms are twice as likely to export as other U.S.-owned businesses? The data indicates that minority-owned firms are best positioned to succeed and expand in the growing global economy. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States, exporting enables businesses to boost their bottom line while building their international competitiveness. For many U.S. firms, international diversification has enabled them to weather changes in the economy much better than if they had been selling only in their backyard.

That said, many more minority-owned firms could be exporting more. Many business owners that I meet don’t export, in part because they believe exporting is too burdensome, or they’re unaware of the various resources available to assist them. However, expanding your business through exporting is more viable today than ever before. If you have a good track record of selling in the United States, one of the most open and competitive markets in the world, you are likely a good candidate to make overseas sales.

In 2010, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative (NEI),aimed at expanding federal government-wide efforts to assist exporters while supporting millions of U.S. jobs.  These efforts have helped contribute to record U.S. exports culminating in an all-time high of $2.2 trillion in 2012. As a result of the NEI, more and more businesses are taking advantage of key export tools and resources to expand their global market share.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Seeks Comments on Crowdfunding

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on January 22, 2014
 

CrowdFundingOn October 23, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to propose rules under the JOBS Act to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding describes an evolving method of raising capital that has been used outside of the securities arena to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects ranging from innovative product ideas to artistic endeavors like movies or music.  Title III of the JOBS Act created an exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be easily used to offer and sell securities as well.  The JOBS Act also established the foundation for a regulatory structure for this funding method. 

SEC Chair Mary Jo White noted that the intent of the JOBS Act is to make it easier for startups and small businesses to raise capital from a wide range of potential investors and provide additional investment opportunities for investors. 

Did you know...

Between 2002 and 2007, minority-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-minority firms in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms. Minority firms are an engine of job creation.
Graph for MBE Growth

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