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Created on December 30, 2014
Helping small businesses and independent inventors with limited resources is an important goal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and supports the Administration’s commitment to balance the playing field for all entrepreneurs looking to innovate. It also supports the White House executive actions issued to improve the patent system.
One of those executive actions aims to expand coverage of the Patent Pro Bono Program to all 50 states, and I am pleased to announce that we are making great strides towards bringing pro bono assistance to inventors across the country.
Because patents fuel our economy and stimulate job creation, the USPTO wants to make sure the patent system is accessible to all. With this in mind, the USPTO works with intellectual property law associations and local bar associations across the country to help them establish pro bono inventor assistance programs in their specific regions.
Created on December 29, 2014
Athletes around the world have already begun their preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
For U.S. businesses looking to take advantage of export opportunities, preparations should also begin now.
The good news (for most of us anyway) is that preparations for businesses don’t require any sprints, hours in the pool, or extraordinarily difficult-looking skills on a pommel horse.
Actually, the best advantage for a U.S. company looking to win in Brazil is help from the International Trade Administration’s Commercial Service. We have teams on the ground in Brazil actively working with U.S. industry to identify opportunities presented by Rio 2016 and overcome challenges to capitalizing on these opportunities.
Created on December 23, 2014
By Marie R. Gill, Operator and Executive Director of the MBDA Business Center in Miami and Josh Dickson, Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the US Department of Commerce
Earlier this month, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Miami hosted its first Business Sunday at Samaritan Christian Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in partnership with the Miami District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Hallandale Parks and Recreation Department, the Hallandale Beach Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA), Career Source South Florida, the City of Miami and ACCION USA. Business Sunday is a program focused on promoting local economic growth and job creation by connecting congregations and communities with the valuable business development resources offered by the Federal Government. A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and BusinessUSA Business Sunday builds ladders of opportunity by meeting people where they are at and ensuring they have access to everything they need to start or grow their business.
Created on December 23, 2014
Did you know that the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program has been helping small business access capital for more than fifty years?
What’s the SBIC Program?
The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a multi-billion dollar program that, in fiscal year 2013 alone, invested $3.5 billion in financing dollars to small businesses! So how does it work?
SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds. They’re licensed and regulated by SBA and use their own capital plus funds – borrowed with an SBA guarantee – to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses.
Created on December 19, 2014
Building business credit is just as important as building and taking good care of one’s personal credit. In the business world, a company does not have a consumer FICO® Score. Instead, it has business credit scores, ratings maintained and calculated by business credit reporting agencies.
“Just as your personal credit has a big impact on your financial health, your business credit can help you get competitive business loan rates and terms from potential suppliers,” says Marc Kirshbaum, president of Experian's Business Information Solutions group.
Unfortunately, many small business owners don't even know there is such a thing as a credit score for a business and therefore lose opportunities to improve their own, says Jeff Stibel, CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.
Many times, small business owners make the mistake of assuming that positive personal credit scores will be enough to obtain good business credit ratings. While lenders and suppliers may initially consider personal credit history, once a business pays its first invoice, it will begin building its own credit history.