Created on June 12, 2014
Disaster can strike at any time, and even the most prepared businesses and business owners can be adversely impacted. Scenes of disaster replay on televisions across the country with numbing regularity: A hurricane blasts through Florida... fire sweeps through a small-town manufacturing plant...floods destroy a local business district... a winter storm causes widespread power failure in the Northeast.
Every year emergencies take their toll on business and industry in terms of lives and dollars. But something can be done. Businesses of all sizes can limit injury and damage and return more quickly to normal operations if they plan ahead. Preparedness works.
Why Develop an Emergency Plan?
Business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, so it would seem natural for owners to take steps to protect those investments. While the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, the urgency of the task is often blunted by the immediate demands of the workplace. Also, owners and managers may have only a nominal idea of the risks their business faces, or possess only a limited understanding of steps they can take to reduce the potential impacts of disasters.
Last but not least, the business person is prone to the all-too-human tendency to believe that “it won’t happen to me.” In the meantime, businesses will continue to suffer setbacks that often could have been reduced or prevented altogether had someone taken the time to plan.
Created on June 6, 2014
This post originally appeared on the White House AAPI Blog.
Bill Imada is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
More than 1.5 million businesses in the United States are owned by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. These firms account for $508.6 billion in spending power nationwide and have resulted in the creation of more than 2.8 million jobs. A vast majority of these companies are small and are fueled almost exclusively on creatively, ingenuity, business innovation and an unparalleled level of entrepreneurial spirit that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
They include a robotics company designed to entice young people to consider careers in science, technology and engineering; a brick and mortar Boba tea shop that will introduce new flavors and customer enhancements to widen its appeal; a fashion design company that draws inspiration from the cultural diversity of America; and, a shoe designer who incorporates recycled and repurposed paper to create an environmentally friendly consumer product.
On May 5, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) teamed up with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by holding a roundtable discussion to address some of the key issues facing business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders in the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Created on June 2, 2014
This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog
John Larsen is the Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat.
Department of Commerce data show that U.S. goods and services exports set a record for the fourth consecutive year, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013.
U.S. companies that export to our 11 free trade agreement partner countries in Latin America played a major role in this success. Through the Look South campaign, federal trade-promotion agencies hope to help more companies find success by taking advantage of these free trade agreements.
In 2013, U.S. goods exports to Look South markets increased $12.5 billion to $312.6 billion – more than double the 1.7 percent rate of growth for goods exports to the rest of the world.
This isn’t just a blip; we see a clear growth trend as market liberalization, growing middle class consumption, and diversifying industrialization by Latin American markets fuels healthy economic growth and import demand.
As U.S. exporters respond, the Look South markets’ share of total U.S. goods exports has steadily grown from 17 percent in 2009 to 20 percent in 2013.
Maryland’s Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs Host Conference, Expo Empowering Minority Entrepreneurs
Created on May 20, 2014
Maryland’s Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs hosted their 5th Annual MBE University Conference and Expo at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore on May 20.
The event was a unique forum, combining educational workshops with business development and networking opportunities that meet the unique needs of small, minority and women-owned businesses.
“The workshops, exhibitors and matchmakers who participated in this conference were all chosen with the intent of adding great value to our small, minority and women-owned entrepreneurs,” said Zenita Wickham Hurley, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.
Several federal government representatives addressed more than 200 attendees during the opening session. The speakers included Congressman Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, Sharon R. Pinder, Director, Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development, and Joann Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency.
“Each minority business enterprise attending today’s conference represents job creation and economic growth,” said Hill. “Through your businesses, each of you keeps your community, city and state thriving and moving forward economically. That is an invaluable contribution and is to be applauded.”
After the opening session, the crowd dispersed into one of the three designated areas that included workshops, exposition hall and the matchmaking seminar.
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).