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Meeting the Needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Blogged By: 
Bill Imada
Created on June 6, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on the White House AAPI Blog.

Bill Imada is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

More than 1.5 million businesses in the United States are owned by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. These firms account for $508.6 billion in spending power nationwide and have resulted in the creation of more than 2.8 million jobs. A vast majority of these companies are small and are fueled almost exclusively on creatively, ingenuity, business innovation and an unparalleled level of entrepreneurial spirit that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

They include a robotics company designed to entice young people to consider careers in science, technology and engineering; a brick and mortar Boba tea shop that will introduce new flavors and customer enhancements to widen its appeal; a fashion design company that draws inspiration from the cultural diversity of America; and, a shoe designer who incorporates recycled and repurposed paper to create an environmentally friendly consumer product.

On May 5, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) teamed up with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by holding a roundtable discussion to address some of the key issues facing business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders in the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

The Look South Slice of the Export Pie Continues to Grow

Blogged By: 
John Larsen is the Deputy Director
Created on June 2, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog

John Larsen is the Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat.

The Look South campaign is encouraging companies to seek export opportunities in Latin America.Department of Commerce data show that U.S. goods and services exports set a record for the fourth consecutive year, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013.

U.S. companies that export to our 11 free trade agreement partner countries in Latin America played a major role in this success. Through the Look South campaign, federal trade-promotion agencies hope to help more companies find success by taking advantage of these free trade agreements.

In 2013, U.S. goods exports to Look South markets increased $12.5 billion to $312.6 billion – more than double the 1.7 percent rate of growth for goods exports to the rest of the world.

This isn’t just a blip; we see a clear growth trend as market liberalization, growing middle class consumption, and diversifying industrialization by Latin American markets fuels healthy economic growth and import demand.

As U.S. exporters respond, the Look South markets’ share of total U.S. goods exports has steadily grown from 17 percent in 2009 to 20 percent in 2013.

Maryland’s Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs Host Conference, Expo Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs

Blogged By: 
Alberto Betancourt, MBDA Public Affairs Specialist/Media Relations
Created on May 20, 2014
 

Joann Hill Maryland’s Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs hosted their 5th Annual MBE University Conference and Expo at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore on May 20.

The event was a unique forum, combining educational workshops with business development and networking opportunities that meet the unique needs of small, minority and women-owned businesses.

“The workshops, exhibitors and matchmakers who participated in this conference were all chosen with the intent of adding great value to our small, minority and women-owned entrepreneurs,” said Zenita Wickham Hurley, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.

Several federal government representatives addressed more than 200 attendees during the opening session. The speakers included Congressman Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, Sharon R. Pinder, Director, Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development, and Joann Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency.

“Each minority business enterprise attending today’s conference represents job creation and economic growth,” said Hill. “Through your businesses, each of you keeps your community, city and state thriving and moving forward economically. That is an invaluable contribution and is to be applauded.”

After the opening session, the crowd dispersed into one of the three designated areas that included workshops, exposition hall and the matchmaking seminar.

Simple Steps to Expanding Your Business through Exports

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on May 20, 2014
 

This post originally appeared on the Commerce.gov Blog

Warehouse - ExportingAt the Department of Commerce and the Minority Business Development Agency we are dedicated to helping more minority-owned business leverage their competitive advantage and expand their business through exports. The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals how minority-owned firms employ nearly six million American workers and contribute one trillion dollars in annual economic output to the U.S. economy. This economic output includes significant exporting contributions. In fact, minority-owned firms are export leaders in 14 key industry sectors.

To celebrate World Trade Month we are kicking off a blog series to highlight valuable resources and information for minority businesses looking at exporting for the first time and firms looking to expand their existing exporting efforts. 

Here are six steps to start exporting:

Complete an export readiness self-assessment: Find out if you have what it takes to market your products or services into the global marketplace. Provide answers to nine questions and receive advice on your exporting potential.

Training and counseling: use online resources like webinars and training courses to learn the basics of exporting and increase your understanding of the exporting process. Access webinars and online courses from the International Trade Agency (ITA), U.S. Census Bureau Go Global Webinars, and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

SBA Proposes Revisions to Size Standards for Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade Industries

Blogged By: 
SBA News
Created on May 20, 2014
 

Wholesale Trade IndustryThe U.S. Small Business Administration has proposed increasing small business size standards affecting businesses in 46 industries in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Sector 42, Wholesale Trade, and in one industry in Sector 44-45, Retail Trade.  If they are adopted, nearly 4,000 more firms will become eligible for SBA’s loan programs.  The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register today.  

The proposed size standards would define the maximum number of employees a firm in these industries could have and still be a small business.  The proposed revisions reflect changes in marketplace conditions.

SBA proposed to retain the current size standards for the remaining industries in those sectors.  SBA reviewed all of the employee-based size standards for both sectors to determine whether the size standards should be revised or retained. 

The SBA has also proposed to retain the current 500-employee size standard for federal procurement of supplies under its non-manufacturer rule because Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade NAICS codes and their small business size standards cannot be used for procurement of supplies.  These proposed revisions primarily affect eligibility for SBA’s financial assistance programs. 

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