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  • 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.

  • Submitted on 27 March 2012

    Obama administration launches online platform in response to requests from businesses for easy access to assistance at every stage of development

    BusinessUSA is more than a web site; it’s a gateway for small businesses and exporters of all sizes to find information about available federal programs without having to waste time and resources navigating the federal bureaucracy.

    BusinessUSA combines information and services from 10 different government agencies, including MBDA, through one consolidated website and coordinate telephone support through a single 1-800 number.

  • Submitted on 20 March 2012

    The U.S. Small Business Administration will host the fourth of its free Mentor-Protégé Matchmaking Conference series in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 21.  The program gives small disadvantaged businesses access to guidance on federal contracting, face-to-face meetings and opportunities to team with larger businesses and graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program.

  • Submitted on 29 February 2012

    The SBA also issued a proposed rule to increase the small business size standards for 28 industries in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector.   As many as 4,100 additional firms could become eligible for SBA’s programs and services if the proposed increases are adopted. 

    Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule on or before April 24, 2012, at Regulations.gov, identified by RIN 3245-AG30, where they will be posted.  You may also mail comments to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Size Standards Division, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC  20416.

  • Submitted on 08 February 2012

    STARTUP America Policy ChallengeThe White House announced $2 billion in public and private resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. In the spirit of open and participatory government, we also announced the Startup America Policy Challenge. We're calling on entrepreneurs and the broader public to share their ideas on how to accelerate entrepreneurial innovation in the areas of  healthcare, energy and education. Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, kicked off the challenge in a post on Quora and asked a few questions to get the dialogue going.

    Read Aneesh's post below and participate in the challenge by sharing your ideas on Quora

    Startup America is President Obama’s initiative to celebrate, promote, and inspire high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.  We’re working to expand access to private sector capital, accelerate the time it takes to get technologies from lab-to-market, and promote mentorship and entrepreneurship education.

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