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Created on May 20, 2014
This post originally appeared on the Commerce.gov Blog
At 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).
Created on May 20, 2014
The 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.
Created on May 16, 2014
This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog
Jonathan Rees is the Managing Director of Western Union Business Solutions in North America. Western Union Business Solutions is an International Trade Administration Strategic Partner.
A healthy U.S. economy includes strong exports. In an age of ever-increasing global trade, these exports indicate the demand for U.S. products and services, particularly in countries with an expanding middle class.Since 2010, the government has committed to help U.S. businesses find buyers worldwide, win more contracts, and learn new ways to sell products and services overseas. This commitment highlights the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in propelling the American economy.
However, after a sharp appreciation, over the last two years U.S. exports have been showing signs of hitting a plateau.
The good news is this: U.S. exports have abundant room to grow. In fact, compared to other industrialized countries, there are signs that the United States is only beginning to tap into its export potential.
Created on May 14, 2014
In March, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) celebrated its 45th anniversary. And as the Agency begins planning for the next 45 years, it will do so missing a key team player.
Venice Pamela Harris was 17-years old when she started working with the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1972. She was still in high school when she applied and was accepted into the Junior Technician Program, a federal program managed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was geared for high school students who didn’t plan on going to college. Little did she know that entering that program would lead to a memorable and rewarding 42-year federal service career.
“In high school, my curriculum was geared towards business. I had a lot of shorthand, typing classes,” she said. “What’s funny is that DEA also had a program where they recruited young high school ladies for entry-level secretarial positions. I also applied for their program, was accepted and offered a GS-3 position. It was a tough decision to make, but I decided to go with the Department of Commerce’s GS-1 position working with the Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of Personnel.”
Harris thanks Mrs. Ruffin, her high school business teacher, for helping her make that decision—the one she said was “the right decision.”
Created on April 2, 2014
Since 1977, the month of May recognizes the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians to the American story. The legislation honoring the significance of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage was introduced by some of the finest Asian Americans in U.S. history: Congressman Norman Mineta, Senator Spark Matsunaga, and Senator Daniel Inouye.
On May 5th, the White House Initiative for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage hosted a business roundtable at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where representatives from the Small Business Administration, International Trade Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), met with more than 50 AAPI business leaders from around the country.