Created on January 7, 2014
After four and a half years as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, I am leaving the Agency to return to the private sector on January 15, 2014. It has been a privilege to work with each and every one of you and to serve the American people under the leadership of President Obama and four Commerce Department secretaries, including Secretary Pritzker.
During my tenure as National Director, we worked to help the U.S. economy rebound from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Like nearly every other federal agency, MBDA carried out its work under flat or reduced budgets, all while the demand for Agency services continued to increase. Despite these challenges, we experienced one of the most productive periods in Agency history. We increased funding for our national business center program for the first time in 15 years and we provided targeted support to our clients in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare technology, government contracting and exporting. We also increased bottom-line support for minority-owned firms by helping them get over $19 billion in capital and contract awards, resulting in the creation and/or retention of over 50,000 jobs.
Created on January 3, 2014
Start 2014 off right. Here are some actions to take now or in early January that will help you optimize your tax and financial results for the coming year.
1. Revisit your recordkeeping practices
Records are vital for both business and tax purposes. They help know whether or not you’re profitable and provide key information to help you take business actions, such as adjusting prices, cutting expenses, or raising money.
What’s more, in order to take all the deductions and credits to which your business is entitled in 2014, you’ll need good books and records. Often business owners fail to pay attention to this detail until it’s too late and the IRS is questioning write-offs claimed on a return.
Set up a recordkeeping system that satisfies tax law requirements, and make sure that employees know what to do. Check IRS Publication 583 [pdf] for details on recordkeeping rules for tax purposes. Consider using apps that can help with recordkeeping, such as those for capturing receipts for travel and entertainment expenses. Some may be available for use with, or provided by, your current bookkeeping software or cloud solution.
Created on January 2, 2014
Looking for New Year's resolutions for your business. No business, or business owner, is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. In case you missed it, here are 10 top articles on business resolutions to help you grow your business.
10 small-business resolutions for the new year
What could you do to make your small business better in 2014? Let these New Year's Resolutions from small-business owners and managers in the Shreveport, La., area inspire you to get started on a more prosperous 2014.
11 New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Keep
Because after 2013, well, let's just say we all need more realistic targets this time around. What's the last New Year's resolution you actually kept? If you're better than us and have cut down on your spending, effectively managed stress, or lost ten pounds and actually used that gym membership, than you need not read any further. For the rest of us, we're going to try and make things a bit more manageable.
Created on December 31, 2013
Are you a small business owner with an amazing success story to tell? If so, submit your nomination today for the 2014 National Small Business Week Awards. Nominations are currently being accepted online at http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/.
For more than 50 years, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions in their local communities, and to our nation’s economy. Winners will be announced during National Small Business Week – May 12-16, 2014.
Last year, we honored small business owner John Stonecipher—CEO of Guidance Aviation—with the National Small Business Person of the Year Award. John turned his childhood fascination with airplanes into a successful business. Today Guidance Aviation has a staff of 55, fourteen aircrafts and a waiting list of students ready to take flight into their futures.
Are you our next winner? Apply online today: http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/.
In addition to the portal, nominations can also be sent directly to SBA District Offices, which can be located online at district offices. All nominations must be submitted online, postmarked or hand delivered to the SBA no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on January 17, 2014.
Created on December 30, 2013
The U.S. Commercial Service and the Embassy of the United States of America in Canada is pleased to announce our upcoming webinar series on The Logistics of Doing Business in Canada. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has made doing business in Canada easier, however, many questions still exist.
This webinar series will give you the opportunity to get answers to the most frequently asked questions, as well as answer your specific questions.