|From the National Director||Legislative Corner|
In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for constructing an economy built to last -- an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and American ingenuity. An economy that’s built on making things the rest of the world wants to buy and where, if you work hard, you can earn a decent living.
It is a message that has deep resonance for the minority business community. Especially when it is backed-up by actions that create greater opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. Supporting the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned firms is a priority for the Department of Commerce and the Obama Administration. And we are making good on that priority.
BusinessUSA  was recently launched by the Administration to make it easier than ever for business leaders and innovators to access the services they need to start or grow a business, export to other markets, or learn about the latest contracting opportunity. BusinessUSA is specifically designed to help meet the President’s goal of streamlining business-related agencies to better meet the needs of America’s businesses in the 21st Century global economy. For too long, entrepreneurs – and especially small business owners – have been forced to navigate a confusing maze of government agencies to get the support and resources they need.
BusinessUSA isn’t just another website. It’s a virtual one-stop shop that gives businesses access to the full range of resources they need at every stage of their development.
Foreign investments also play an important role in the U.S. economy. Among their many contributions, foreign-owned companies operating in the United States support more than 5.3 million jobs. SelectUSA  was launched by the Commerce Department to attract, retain and expand foreign investments.
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United States Senate Passes JOBS Act
On Thursday March 22, 2012, by a vote of 73-26, the U.S. Senate passed a measure designed to assist small businesses raise capital. The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act is a compilation of six legislative proposals aimed at addressing how small start-ups raise capital and revising certain disclosure requirements.
The JOBS Act contains provisions that would allow small businesses to raise capital in a number of different ways. One such way is removing restrictions imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on crowdfunding. Under the JOBS Act, entrepreneurs can raise up to $1 million from investors before having to register with the SEC. It also allows small businesses to use advertisements to solicit investors. This was previously disallowed by the SEC beginning in 1982.
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|Initiative Aims to Foster National Teaming Arrangements with Alaska Native Corporations|
Director David A. Hinson joined Mayor Dan Sullivan at a press conference and ribbon cutting ceremony to open a new satellite center in Anchorage, Alaska on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. The new satellite center is designed to help minority-owned firms both in Alaska and throughout the country create and retain jobs, increase size, scale and capacity, and build globally competitive firms.
By leveraging the economic opportunities that could be realized by partnering with Alaska Native Corporations, minority-owned firms will be in a stronger position to successfully compete for public and private sector contracts globally.
The new satellite center will be directly linked to the Native American Business Enterprise Center in Mesa, Arizona  and a network of more than 35 additional MBDA Business Centers around the country. The satellite center in Anchorage is funded by a federal grant and operated by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development  in conjunction with University of Alaska – Anchorage.
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|Spotlight On: The Riverside MBDA Business Center|
MBDA offers services in the heart of the Inland Empire
Last month, MBDA presented a ceremonial check to Daniel Sieu, CEO & President of SoCal Corporate Growth Partners (SCCGP) for $1.775 million to operate a new MBDA Business Center in Riverside, California .
Joining MBDA leadership at the grand opening of the Center was Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge; Mike Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission; Tom Freeman, Commissioner, Office of Foreign Trade-EDA, County of Riverside; and over 125 business leaders, partners and stakeholders.
The MBDA Business Center in Riverside has a broad network of strategic partners and is staffed with experts dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned firms throughout the Inland Empire region.
Spotlight On promotes the work of our nationwide network, center by center.