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).
The U.S. Small Business Administration is inviting experienced early stage investment fund managers to apply for licensing as Early Stage Innovation Funds as part of SBA’s Small Business Investment Company capital investment program.
Licensed Early Stage Innovation Funds can receive SBA-guaranteed funding to match their privately raised capital up to a maximum of $50 million. Early Stage Innovation Funds must invest at least 50 percent of their investment dollars in early stage small businesses.
“This intiative is intended to promote American innovation and job creation by encouraging private sector investment in early stage small businesses,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Early stage small businesses face difficult challenges accessing capital. At the same time, in this financial climate, venture capital funds are finding it difficult to raise money from institutional investors. By licensing and providing SBA financial backing to Early Stage Innovation Funds, we hope to expand entrepreneurs’ access to capital and encourage innovation as part of President Obama’s Start-Up America Initiative launched last year.”
As part of the Start-Up America Initiative, SBA intends to commit up to $1 billion in SBA guaranteed leverage over a five-year period to selected Early Stage Innovation Funds using its current program authorization.