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Enacted into law as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the Jobs Act), the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) is a dedicated investment fund that encourages lending to small businesses by providing capital to qualified community banks1 and community development loan funds (CDLFs) with assets of less than $10 billion. Through the SBLF, participating Main Street lenders and small businesses can work together to help create jobs and promote economic growth in local communities across the nation.
In total, the SBLF provided more than $4 billion to 332 community banks and CDLFs. Since these institutions leverage their capital, the SBLF could help increase lending to small businesses in an amount that is multiples of the total capital provided.
If you are like most business owners in the United States, you are constantly working to target the best opportunities for your firm within the constraints of more and more limited resources. You’ve heard of all the buzzwords and the hot global markets—but how will they relate to you? In order to be a global leader, you need quick and affordable access to up-to-the-minute and relevant information.
Long before we learned to “google” information, international business professionals have utilized the most complete resource for locating opportunities for their firms. globalEDGE is a one-stop shop—bringing together the most up-to-date and relevant economic, political, and cultural data from thousands of sources. This information is crucial for new to export and seasoned multinational corporations alike.
During President Obama’s January 2012 State of the Union Address, the president discussed progress of the National Export Initiative. The program, begun in 2010, aims to double America’s exports by 2014. To help reach this goal, the Obama administration added 20 percent to the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration budget, which now totals $540 million. The administration also increased the budget of the U.S. Export-Import Bank from $4 billion to $6 billion.
This is a commitment that is important to small businesses. Only about 8 percent of America’s 27.9 million small businesses export goods or services; and of those that export goods, 58 percent export to only one country.
Small business owners looking for ways to grow and develop their businesses are invited to take part in National Small Business Week’s free networking and educational forums and dialogue with leading business experts during National Small Business Week, May 20-22 in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and its private sector partners are holding key business forums, and are encouraging small business owners and entrepreneurs to sign up, register and spread the word to other small businesses interested in attending.
If you hire employees there is information that you need to secure for your records and forms that you must complete.
Eligibility to Work in the United States
You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. Have the employees you hire fill out Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (PDF).
Employee's Social Security Number (SSN)
You are required to get each employee's name and Social Security Number (SSN) and to enter them on Form W-2. (This requirement also applies to resident and nonresident alien employees.) You should ask your employee to show you his or her social security card. The employee may show the card if it is available. You may, but are not required to, photocopy the social security card if the employee provides it. Record each new employee's name and social security number from his or her social security card. Any employee without a social security card should apply for one using Form SS-5, Application for Social Security Card (PDF). The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers social security number (SSN) verification and quick access to relevant forms and publications.
Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes. You can identify an ITIN because it is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9" and is formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNN).