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Conducting Business Online


  • Submitted on 08 November 2016

    The holidays are right around the corner and that means food, fun, parties, and lots of online shopping. Online shopping can be a great solution, allowing you to find the perfect gift and saving time, but it can also end with identity theft, malware, and other cyber unpleasantness. Rather than letting it ruin your holiday season, you can take a few simple security precautions to help reduce the chances of being a cyber victim.

    When purchasing online this holiday season - and all year long - keep these tips in mid to help minimize your risk:

  • Submitted on 03 November 2016

    “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for BusinessWant something old and something new, all in one? Check out the FTC’s updated “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business.” It’s the same principles that we’ve relied on for years, but with a new twist.

    You’ll find the latest tips about technologies that have emerged since we last published the guide. And a fresh look to match the Start with Security business education campaign.

    The updated version relies on the same bedrock principles: (1) Take Stock, (2) Scale Down, (3) Lock It, (4) Pitch It and (5) Plan Ahead. And the new twist? Here’s a glimpse of some of the updated advice:

  • Submitted on 19 July 2016

    Created on July 19, 2016
     

    The Grow Her Business: A Resource from Start-up to Scale-up platform is LIVE! Grow Her Business is a searchable repository of nearly 200 premiere, growth-oriented programs. This platform will serve as a resource of valuable information and guidance for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow and scale their businesses. The platform will be an easy-to-use platform functioning as a data repository for relevant tactical resources on how to ideate, launch, and grow a business. A few things:

    • Of the 196 fully coded resources, the primary content for 50 percent is accessed in-person, with at least one resource in every state.

    • The other 50 percent of resources have some or all content online. Of the four types of assistance common to business development programs—technical, education, finance and networking—over half of the resources (106) offered multiple types of assistance within one program, potentially making for a more efficient time investment for women.

    • Fourteen percent provide opportunities for financing, as do several of the multi-assistance resources.

  • Submitted on 29 June 2016

    Created on June 29, 2016
     

    Assess Costs EverywhereThe Department of Commerce's Assess Costs Everywhere tool (ACE) highlights the hidden costs and risks that manufacturers need to consider when deciding where to locate their operations or supply chains in the United States. 

    Since launching ACE in April 2013, the Department's Office of the Chief Economist has periodically updated the data and research underlying its analysis of 10 costs and risks.  This week, coinciding with the third SelectUSA Investment Summit, we are announcing a new set of updates to the tool. The Summit brings together global companies, U.S. economic development agencies, and other parties working to encourage and facilitate investment in the United States—people who have done the calculus that ACE promotes and find that investing in the United States pays off.

  • Submitted on 07 February 2016

    Created on February 7, 2016
     

    When a crisis hits your small business, getting the right message out quickly can protect your brand and speed up the recovery process.  Increasingly, organizations are relying on social media to get ahead of and dispel misinformation that can lead to a tarnished reputation, and even failure of the company.

    Get tips on creating a crisis communications plan using social media during a free webinar on Feb. 16, co-hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The discussion will include:

  • Submitted on 01 February 2016

    Created on February 1, 2016
     

    Identity TheftWhy is it your business if identity theft victims can get free personal recovery plans and other help that makes it easier for them to report and recover from identity theft?  Here’s an answer: Because it’s good business – for you, your customers, your employees, and your community.

  • Submitted on 29 December 2015

    Created on December 29, 2015
     

    Small Business ScamsA small business or nonprofit gets what appears to be an invoice for a listing in an online yellow pages directory. On the face of it, it looks legit. It includes the name of an employee at the office, a copy of what the listing looks like, the “walking fingers” symbol associated with directories – and a demand for the $486.95 the business or nonprofit supposedly owes for the listing. What’s really going on? As an FTC case against Canadian scammers suggests, chances are it’s a fraud targeting small businesses, doctors’ offices, retirement homes, churches, etc. And your company or community group could be at risk.

    Earlier this year, the FTC sued Ivan Chernev, German Lebedev, American Yellow Corporation, and a host of Montreal-based entities for pulling a fast one on smaller offices. It was bad enough that they billed the businesses and nonprofits for unauthorized listings. But when the companies that got the phony invoices dared to fight back, the FTC says the defendants turned up the heat. Recipients who ignored the bogus bills were sent collection warnings demanding payment of more than $2,000. When they refused to knuckle under, the defendants masqueraded as third-party debt collectors. In March 2015, the court halted the operation and froze the defendants’ assets pending litigation. The defendants didn’t respond, so the court entered a default judgment. That order requires the defendants to pay more than $1.2 million and bans them for life from the directory business.

  • Submitted on 02 June 2015

    Created on June 2, 2015
     

    BEA New Data ToolA new data tool--International Trade and Investment Country Facts Application--on the Bureau of Economic Analysis website gives users a snapshot of statistics on trade and investment between the United States and another country by simply clicking on a world map.

    These fast facts at your fingertips can include:

    • Total exports, imports and trade balance between the United States and the country you select.
    • The top five categories of goods and services the United States buys from and sells to that country.
    • Country level data on U.S. direct investment abroad and foreign direct investment in the United States and on the activities of multinational enterprises such as employment and sales.
  • Submitted on 28 May 2015

    Created on May 28, 2015
     

    Online MatchmakingCash flow is the lifeblood of all small businesses. Across the nation, thousands of small firms are searching for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them build their business and create new jobs. Finding a business loan can be time consuming, and often times frustrating and disappointing.

    Changes in technology have made the process of finding and securing a small business loan less tedious and time consuming. Online matchmaking services, pairing lenders with prospective borrowers, comprise a multibillion dollar industry. Examples include the TV commercial in which a creditworthy home buyer goes online and is delighted to find banks competing to finance her home. Small business lending is the next frontier for these online “matchmaking” services. Using the power of the Internet, commercial lenders are finding creditworthy business borrowers, while entrepreneurs are finding loan officers who are ready to sit down and talk specifics.

  • Submitted on 17 December 2014

    Created on December 17, 2014
     

    Big DataThe landmark joint partnership between the Harvard Business School and the U.S. government, created to give businesses access to new tools to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.

    How does it work? In short, the project uses over 50 million open data records to identify “clusters” of related industries that can be hubs of innovation, jobs, and private investment.

    How does it benefit businesses and communities? The cluster mapping tool helps "promote America's clusters and provide businesses and organizations with the data and strategies they need to capitalize on their region's assets," says U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

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