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The Countdown to Manufacturing Day

Blogged By: 
Mark Schmit
Created on September 15, 2015

Facts about ManufacturingAll over the country, manufacturing companies and other organizations are preparing to host an anticipated 400,000 people who want to experience American manufacturing up close and in person. On October 2, 2015, the fourth annual Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) will simultaneously increase public awareness about what and where manufacturing is, provide some with a pathway toward a new career, and demonstrate manufacturing’s value to the United States’ economy.

Manufacturing Day is a big, national to-do. And it should be. In 2014, manufacturing accounted for 12.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, supported 17.4 million jobs and contributed $2.1 trillion to the economy.

Manufacturing Day is also group effort. At its core is a team of co-producers made up of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute, guest producer Industrial Strength Marketing, media partners Science Channel and EdgeFactor, and movie partner American Made Movie. Together they are leading the charge to organize towns, cities and states to amplify the promise of Manufacturing Day’s mission. The goal is to challenge outdated perceptions and address workforce recruitment concerns by presenting manufacturing in a straight-forward (yet ultimately flattering) light. Manufacturers are prepping, primping, polishing and getting ready to show off what they have to offer. 

New Authority Will Bolster Women-Owned Small Businesses

Blogged By: 
SBA News
Created on September 15, 2015

Federal ContractingThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently issued a final rule authorizing federal agencies to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses eligible for the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program. Effective October 14, 2015, the rule levels the playing field for women-owned small businesses across the federal contracting marketplace.

“Women-owned businesses are growing three times faster than their counterparts, yet the federal government has not achieved its goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contracts to women.  By granting contracting officers this new authority to award sole-source contracts to women-owned businesses, SBA is taking a major step forward in leveling the playing field and supporting our country’s dynamic female entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “After all, if we want a more diverse supply chain, Uncle Sam needs to lead by example.”

Six Survival Tips for Small Business Continuity

Blogged By: 
Javier Saade, SBA Official
Created on September 11, 2015

Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.As a small business owner, you know that being forced to close your doors, even for a day, is a costly setback.  Typically, it’s often the seemingly isolated incident, not the mega-disaster, that causes power outages and the interconnected fallout affecting your clients, employees, and your bottom line.

Between 2003 and 2012, roughly 679 power outages, each affecting at least 50,000 customers, occurred due to weather events, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The number of outages caused by severe weather is expected to rise as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, blizzards, floods and other extreme weather events.

Discover Global Markets! Compete, Win, and Expand Your Business

Blogged By: 
Created on September 10, 2015

Discover Global MarketsCompete, Win, and Expand Your Business

Plan to attend this unprecedented national series of conferences designed to help U.S. businesses expand sales, penetrate new markets, and boost their bottom line through exports. Reserve your spot now at a Discover Global Markets event in 2015.

At Each Discover Global Markets Conference, you will:

  • Meet one-on-one with U.S. Commercial Diplomats visiting from abroad
  • Participate in panel discussions on the latest industry trends
  • Identify new and emerging markets of opportunity ahead of your competition
  • Learn about U.S. export programs designed to cut your time to market
  • Network with U.S. trade officials, leading private sector experts and like-minded U.S. businesses active in overseas markets

Collaboration and Awareness Key to Local Minority Business Success

Blogged By: 
Antwaun Griffin, ITA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations
Created on September 10, 2015

Antwaun Griffin is the International Trade Administration’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations delivers keynote at MMBA Power Luncheon.Last week, I, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and my esteemed colleague Joann J. Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development for the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, participated in the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance Power Luncheon in Jackson, Mississippi. I was honored to deliver keynote remarks at the luncheon hosted by the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance, Inc. (MMBA) to promote international trade and economic development in Mississippi by providing information on business opportunities for individuals and businesses, including minority and women-owned companies, major corporations and institutions.

In Washington, DC, relatively far from Jackson, I lead the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) U.S. Commercial Service domestic network of more than 100 U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs). I frequently visit our offices and the organizations our USEACs partner with to help U.S. businesses begin exporting or export to more markets overseas. My part of the economic development pie is only exports; however, the Department of Commerce as a whole touches numerous aspects of economic development. Among many other resources — like the National Weather Service, which is always an interesting thing to point out — Department of Commerce bureaus offer trade counseling, technical programs, regional planning, and a variety of other resources that benefit U.S. businesses.
Within Commerce, my peers like Joann Hill collaborate across the country with other federal, state, local and private organizations similar to MMBA. These are critical relationships because the more robust, collaborative, and widespread they are – as in Jackson – the more of a synergy they create.

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