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  • Submitted on 10 December 2013

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerLast month, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker outlined the U.S. Commerce Department’s bold new policy agenda focused on U.S. trade and investment, innovation, and data. These core areas reflect the department’s role as the voice of business and embody the attributes of a globally competitive economy. And they signal that the United States and the Department of Commerce are indeed, “open for business,” and focused on economic growth and job creation.

    Among the new initiatives Secretary Pritzker announced are the next phase of the National Export Initiative; an enhanced and expanded program to attract foreign investment; a first-time Commerce effort to ensure skills training programs meet industry needs; and public-private partnerships that enable businesses and communities to make better use of government data.

    Secretary Pritzker also committed to leading a robust environment agenda at Commerce, and to ensuring that operational excellence and public accountability are a top priority of departmental leadership.

    The Commerce Department plan builds on the significant progress the U.S. economy has made in recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression: more than 8 million new private sector jobs added in the last 45 months; GDP at an all-time high; more exports than ever before; and a resilient manufacturing sector.

  • Submitted on 09 December 2013

    Purpose

    Tax expenditures are provisions in the tax law designed to benefit specific groups of taxpayers. They are similar to spending programs but generally do not involve direct federal outlays. Rather, they work through the income tax system, taking the form of special credits, exemptions, deductions, exclusions, and preferential rates. This study estimates the utilization of federal tax expenditure provisions by small and large businesses in 2013.

    Background

    Figure 1: Small Business by Entity Type

    By design, most tax expenditures provide incentives for taxpayers to engage in, or increase their contribution to, activities in which they ordinarily would not engage in the absence of the provision. For example, some of the largest federal tax expenditures involve incentives for home ownership (e.g., the mortgage interest and property tax deductions), investment (e.g., accelerated cost recovery for equipment and structures), healthcare (e.g., exclusion for employer-provided insurance), and research (e.g., expensing of research and experimental expenditures).

    Tax expenditures are typically viewed as tax loopholes or special tax breaks for limited classes of taxpayers. However, many of the provisions identified as tax expenditures are broadly available to individual or business taxpayers.

    The complete picture of the use and impact of tax expenditures by small businesses requires examining the legal form of a small business and the tax advantages afforded each entity type under the tax law. About 80 percent of small businesses organize as sole proprietorships and report their income, deductions, credits, and tax liability on Form 1040 (Schedule C) (Figure 1). Another 16 percent of small businesses are pass-through entities such as partnerships and S corporations and report their taxable income on Form 1040 (Schedule E). The 3 percent of small businesses that organize as C corporations report their business income and taxes on the Corporate Income Tax Form 1120. Among larger firms, 50 percent are S corporations, 25 percent are C corporations, and 25 percent are partnerships (including LLCs).

  • Submitted on 05 December 2013

    Grow your Sales in the Middle East

    Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will lead an Infrastructure Business Development Mission to the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar that will highlight infrastructure export opportunities for U.S. businesses with an emphasis on project management and engineering (including construction, architecture and design), renewable energy (solar, wind, waste-to-energy), smart grid and energy efficiency, and environmental technologies (including water/wastewater; air pollution control; and waste management). This mission advances the 2010 launch of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting economic and job growth.

    An Incredible Business Opportunity

  • Submitted on 03 December 2013

    AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
    Monday, December 3, 2013

    Remarks at Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards Ceremony
    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker

    Thank you, Director Hinson.  Welcome to Washington and to the Commerce Department.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. When I became Commerce Secretary, I hung a sign on my office door just across the hall. It says “Open for Business.” 

    The facts are clear.  We have momentum.

    • Our GDP has grown for 10 straight quarters.  

    • Exports are up.  

    • The deficit has been cut in half.  

  • Submitted on 03 December 2013

    David Hinson - Credit (Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)The Department of Commerce is giving nearly $1 million to promote minority business enterprises, or MBEs, in the St. Louis region.

    The $900,000 grant announced Tuesday will establish a business center to provide minority entrepreneurs and business owners with contract and financing opportunities, bonding services and executive training.

    The center is based on a new partnership among the St. Louis Minority Business Council, the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The Chicago organization will operate the center out of the St. Louis Minority Business Council’s office downtown.

    Mayor Francis Slay says the initiative will increase financing and contract opportunities for minority business enterprises and help foster ties with major corporations.

    “The grant aims to generate $75 million in MBE transactions in the first year, $100 million in the second year and $120 million in the third year,” Slay said.

    MBDA National Director David Hinson says access to capital is generally the biggest impediment to growth for minority owned-firms.

    “Capital does not flow to the best ideas,” Hinson said. “Capital flows to the best relationships. So a big component of this effort is to make sure that these minority-owned firms who are growing businesses, hiring people, creating economic opportunities for families, have the necessary relationships for them to prosper.”

  • Submitted on 29 November 2013

     This August, as we marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we were reminded that the measure of America's progress is not whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a little wider for a few, but whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many. Minority-owned businesses play a crucial part in driving this progress -- not only when their founders pursue their fullest measure of success, but also when they offer employees of all backgrounds a chance to enter the ranks of the American middle class. During Minority Enterprise Development Week, we recognize the strength of our diverse workforce and the many ways minority entrepreneurs contribute to our economy, our society, and our Nation's fundamental promise.

  • Submitted on 14 November 2013

    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker

    AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Remarks at the "Open for Business" Agenda

    Thank you.  It is such an honor to be with so many business leaders as we roll out our strategic vision and priorities for the Commerce Department.

    And it is particularly great to be here at 1776, which grew out of the resident’s Startup America initiative.   Here at 1776, revolutionary ideas are turned into products, business plans, and companies.  We can all feel the excitement and energy here because of the vital guidance and support that organizations like 1776 provide to budding entrepreneurs.  Can everyone give the 1776 community a round of applause? 

    1776 is the perfect name for a place where start-ups are launched.  As America’s founding entrepreneur, Benjamin Franklin, once said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  That notion comes to life here in a place where insight, ideas, and sweat equity result in new businesses… and perhaps even new industries.

    Many things have changed since 1776 – but our American entrepreneurial spirit has remained steadfast. 

    I, personally, have started several businesses.  I have felt that energy and excitement – and yes at times the fear – that comes with a start-up.

    Since I came on board at the Commerce Department, I have worked to foster that kind of environment where good ideas can rise to the top.  Our 44,000 employees were already doing a great job, but we started pushing for ways to make our work even more meaningful, customer-focused, and outcomes-oriented.

    On my first day, I hung a sign on the door to my office that says, “Open for Business.”

  • Submitted on 06 September 2013

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement on the release of the July 2013 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data. U.S. exports hit the second-highest monthly level on record in July, dropping slightly to $189.4 billion, from an all-time monthly record of $190.5 billion in June. Record export levels were achieved in services and petroleum products. Exports through the first seven months of 2013 totaled $1.3 trillion, keeping the United States on track for another record-setting year.

  • Submitted on 08 August 2013

    The United States exported a record $191.2 billion of goods and services in June 2013, according to trade data was released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Commerce Department. U.S. exports in June 2013 reached an all-time high, exceeding the previous record of $188.7 billion set in December 2012.

  • Submitted on 08 August 2013
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