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  • Submitted on 15 April 2013

    The U.S. Census Bureau is requesting nominations of individuals, both experts and organizational representatives, to the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. The 32 member Advisory Committee provides insight, perspectives, expertise and advice to the Director of the Census Bureau on the full spectrum of Census surveys and programs. The Committee assists the Census Bureau in developing appropriate research/methodological, operational, and communication strategies to reduce program/survey costs, improve coverage and operational efficiency, improve the quality of data collected, protect the public's andbusiness units' privacy and enhance public participation and awareness of Census programs and surveys, and make data products more useful and accessible.

    Topics may include: hidden households, language barriers, students and youth, aging populations, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal considerations, new immigrant populations, populations affected by natural disasters, highly mobile and migrant populations, complex households, poverty populations, race/ethnic minorities, rural populations and population segments with limited access to technology. The Committee also advises on data privacy and confidentiality concerns, the dynamic nature of new businesses, minority ownership of businesses, as well as other concerns impacting Census survey design and implementation.

  • Submitted on 28 February 2013

    Created on February 28, 2013
     

    Borrowers and lenders of loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration will have greater access to capital and less paperwork as a result of a proposed regulation aimed at streamlining the SBA application process, while also strengthening oversight and the integrity of the agency’s loan programs.

     “Streamlining and simplifying has been a key focus of our agency over the last few years. The changes are the latest steps to reduce paperwork burden, with our eye on the larger goal of expanding access to capital and giving entrepreneurs and small business owners the financial resources to grow and create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Specifically, these proposed regulations will provide greater access to capital through our two largest loan programs, while also reducing risk to taxpayer dollars.”

    The SBA proposes the new measures after extensive consultations with lenders and borrowers to identify the greatest challenges they face and find ways to reduce barriers to making and accessing loans, while still maintaining strict oversight.

  • Submitted on 14 February 2013

    Created on February 14, 2013
     

  • Submitted on 20 July 2012

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking comment on three proposed rules published today in The Federal Register that would revise the size definitions for small businesses in the Utilities; Construction; and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sectors. The proposed revisions reflect changes in marketplace conditions.

    The proposed rule for the Utilities sector will revise the size standard for nine industries. The rule proposes changing six of the industries dealing with electric power generation, distribution and transmission from revenue-based size standards to an employee based size standard of 500 employees.

    It would also increase the size standards for the remaining three industries in the Utilities sector from $7 million to $25.5 million for water supply and irrigation systems, $7 million to $19 million for sewage treatment facilities, and $12.5 million to $14 million for steam and air conditioning supply. SBA estimates as many as 400 additional firms in this sector would become eligible for SBA programs as a result of these revisions.

  • Submitted on 18 June 2012

    Applying for disaster recovery assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration just got easier thanks to revisions made to its electronic loan application, significantly reducing the number of screens an applicant must read while filling out the form.

    “Our goal is to provide support for those rebuilding after a disaster, and we wanted to make the process more user-friendly,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills.  “Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or devastating flood, the SBA can step in to help communities get back on their feet by providing access to both home and business recovery disaster loans. To make the loan application process more streamlined and simplified, we have taken a different approach with the online applications.  This improvement will make those first steps toward recovery more convenient.”

    The new online application is easier to read, and users will spend less time filling out the form. 

    The original electronic loan application—launched in 2008—guided applicants through a series of 80 screens, based on responses to questions aimed at determining eligibility. Now, applicants for disaster assistance can fill out a form on SBA’s secure website that looks exactly like the paper application, four pages for home loans, and three pages for business loans.

  • Submitted on 07 May 2012

    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.

  • Submitted on 19 April 2012

    IP Awareness AssessmentThe U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) unveiled a new web-based intellectual property (IP) Awareness Assessment Tool designed to help manufacturers, businesses, entrepreneurs and independent inventors easily assess their knowledge of intellectual property (IP). 

  • Submitted on 19 April 2012

    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it will begin accepting comments from the public as the agency sets out to make rules required under the recently-signed Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.

    Under a process first utilized with the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the public will be able to comment before the agency even proposes its regulatory reform rules and amendments.

  • Submitted on 27 March 2012

    Web site maps out value proposition offered to firms located in the United States

    SelectUSA is the Department of Commerce’s first-ever federal initiative to help attract, retain and expand business investment in the United States. It was created to showcase the United States as the world’s premier business location and to provide easy access to federal-level programs and services related to business investment. SelectUSA is designed to complement the activities of our states—the primary drivers of economic development in the United States.

  • Submitted on 27 March 2012

    In conjunction with the launch of BusinessUSA, the Department of Commerce is challenging app developers to find innovative ways to utilize Commerce and other publicly available data and information to create an application that supports businesses.  Developers may choose the platform that best suits them. Applicants may design for the web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, or any platform broadly accessible to the open Internet. A list of developer-friendly data sets can be found on the Business Data and Tools page of Data.gov.

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