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  • Submitted on 05 August 2014

    Created on August 5, 2014
     

    Supply Chain

    Originally posted on the SBA.gov Blog

    Three years ago, entrepreneur Maurice Brewster made one of the best business decisions of his life: He signed his limousine company, Mosaic Transportation, up for IBM’s Supplier Connection – a collaboration between small businesses and the supply chains of Fortune 500 corporations

    It was a wise decision because small firms that enter the supply chains of major corporations grow their revenue by an average of 250 percent and their workforce by an average of 150 percent.

    In three years, Maurice has signed contracts with seven major corporations, grown Mosaic from 20 to 46 employees, and tripled his annual revenues. His company had lost half of its business during the Recession, but now it is reaping record profits. Maurice credits this remarkable turnaround to two things: he joined a corporate supply chain, and all seven of his new clients pay him up front with a corporate credit card.

  • Submitted on 24 July 2014

    Created on July 24, 2014
     

    ReadySaveGrow myRAThe U.S. Department of the Treasury will develop the myRASM (“My Retirement Account”) program, offering a new retirement savings account for individuals looking for a simple, safe, and affordable way to start saving. Savers will be able to open an account with as little as $25 and contribute $5 or more every payday. myRA balances will never go down, and there will be no fees. Initially, myRA will be made available through employers and the investment held in the account will be backed by the U.S. Treasury.

    WHO WILL myRA BE FOR?

    myRA will be Roth IRA accounts available to anyone who has an annual income of less than $129,000 a year for individuals and $191,000 for couples. myRA will be for savers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. myRA is designed for savers who want an investment with a low opening amount.

    HOW WILL myRA WORK?

    The myRA investment will earn interest at the same variable rate as the Government Securities Investment Fund in the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees. Savers may voluntarily roll over myRA to private-sector retirement accounts at any time. Once a saver’s myRA reaches $15,000, or after 30 years, the balance will be transferred to a private-sector retirement account. Treasury will finalize transfer procedures when it launches the myRA program later this year.

  • Submitted on 18 July 2014

    Created on July 18, 2014
     

    Originally posted on the SBA.gov Blog

    Credit RatingIf you run a company, your business credit profile is related to your reputation. With a strong business credit profile, you have access to much greater financing opportunities with favorable terms and lower interest rates.

    For lenders, a company with a creditworthy profile is considered a good risk. Whether you own a startup or existing business, managing and protecting your profile with all three major business credit reporting agencies is crucial.

    Here are ten essential tips for establishing, maintaining and protecting your business credit profile:

    1. Keep all company data identical – Whether applying for a D-U-N-S Number, submitting a credit application or opening a business bank account, provide all the same information in order to avoid any potential issues. Inconsistent data can cause a denial of credit due to mismatched data or even cause your company to have a duplicate credit file.

  • Submitted on 14 July 2014

    Created on July 14, 2014
     

    Reason for Declined Loans

    Originally posted on the Manufacturing Innovation Blog

    Access to capital, especially access by small privately held companies, is a component of growth.

    According to an article in Forbes magazine, citing data from Pepperdine University’s  2014 Capital Markets Report, while nearly 89% of business owners report having the enthusiasm to execute growth strategies, only 46% report having the necessary capital resources to successfully execute the growth strategies. Among the smallest businesses (those with less than $5 million in revenue) that sought bank loans in the previous three months, only 39% in the same study reported they were successful in securing a loan. It is also quite common for these small company owners to be turned down for loans and not know exactly the reasons why.

    The Reasons Business Loans are Rejected

    The President of New Markets and Community affairs at Northside Bank in Adairsville, Georgia, acknowledges that he often hears from business owners whose loan applications have been rejected by other banks and many times they are not told the reason for the denial.   His bank is currently working with those clients to help them understand any credit-related shortcomings.

  • Submitted on 16 May 2014

    Created on May 16, 2014
     

    This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog

    Jonathan Rees is the Managing Director of Western Union Business Solutions in North America. Western Union Business Solutions is an International Trade Administration Strategic Partner.

    Monthly U.S. Goods and Services Exports - January 2009 - March 2014A healthy U.S. economy includes strong exports. In an age of ever-increasing global trade, these exports indicate the demand for U.S. products and services, particularly in countries with an expanding middle class.Since 2010, the government has committed to help U.S. businesses find buyers worldwide, win more contracts, and learn new ways to sell products and services overseas. This commitment highlights the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in propelling the American economy.

    However, after a sharp appreciation, over the last two years U.S. exports have been showing signs of hitting a plateau.

    The good news is this: U.S. exports have abundant room to grow. In fact, compared to other industrialized countries, there are signs that the United States is only beginning to tap into its export potential.

  • Submitted on 17 April 2014

    Created on April 17, 2014
     

    SBA LogoU.S. small businesses will gain improved access to two major government-guaranteed loan programs once a final rule to that effect issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration becomes effective April 21, 2014.

    The SBA recently published a Final Rule on the Federal Register that eliminates or revises several requirements for its two main loan programs, 7(a) and 504. The rule expands eligibility, makes it easier for small businesses to secure SBA-backed financing, and encourages job creation.

    “These 504 and 7(a) program enhancements will expand program eligibility and improve access to capital for small businesses. Improvements in CDC corporate governance oversight enhance program integrity and encourages more local involvement,” said Ann Marie Mehlum, SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access.

  • Submitted on 17 March 2014

    Created on March 17, 2014
     

    The following is an excerpt from Frequently Asked Questions about Small Business Finance

    Dollars bills and question markWhat is the lending picture for ventures owned by women, veteran, minorities, and immigrants?

    Women-owned businesses (just like their male counterparts) largely depend on personal finances; but women-and minority-owned firms are more likely to use credit cards for startups and expansion. Women are 30 percent more likely than males to start businesses without seeking financing, and only half as likely to obtain business loans from banks. Hispanic- and African-American owned firms are more likely than other business owners to rely on owner equity at startup. Veteran-owned businesses’ use of credit for startup and expansion was similar to other businesses. For example 11 percent of veterans used credit cards and 8 percent used bank loans for expansions, while the figures were 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively, for all firms.

    The sources of startup capital used by immigrant businesses do not differ substantially from those used by non-immigrant firms. However, their heavier-than-average reliance on credit cards negatively affects a business by displacing a personal relationship with a bank, which is often the source of less costly financing that is tailored to a business’s needs.

  • Submitted on 14 February 2014

    Created on February 14, 2014
     

    Global Connect: Arizona Trade Finance SeminarThis post originally appeared on International Trade Administration Tradeology blog.

    Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist with the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries in the International Trade Administration.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce is partnering with a number of local organizations and federal agencies in offering The Global Connect: Arizona Trade Finance Seminar at the Thunderbird School of Global Management on February 21 in Glendale, Ariz.

    This seminar will be available in person and via teleconference, covering a series of important export finance subjects:

    • How to get paid from export sales;

    • Ways to approach and work with banks to enter and grow in global markets;

    • Steps to access export working capital and trade credit;

    • How to increase export sales and reduce the risk of nonpayment by foreign buyers;

    • Methods of receiving payment in foreign currencies;

    • U.S. government export assistance resources; and

    • Global business development resources for minority-owned businesses.

    Global Connect: Arizona will bring together experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss resources available to U.S. exporters. This applies to businesses of any size for their financing needs.

  • Submitted on 05 February 2014

    Created on February 5, 2014
     

    This post originally appeared on SBA.

    SBIC InvestingSBA’s loan-guaranty programs are among the best-known ways we fulfill our mission of helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed.  In FY13, for example, together with our lending partners we facilitated over $29 billion dollars in loans to new and existing small businesses.

    But for some small businesses, equity financing is a better option – and SBA has great tools to help those businesses too.  One of my priorities as Regional Administrator is spreading the word that our Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program provides additional capital to private fund managers for investment in high-potential small businesses.

    Greater capital access for our fastest-growing businesses

    Costco, Amgen, Apple, FedEx, Staples, Intel – these are just a few of the well-known companies supported by SBIC investments in the past.  Five decades since its creation, the SBIC program continues to be among our most innovative examples of public-private partnership, successfully channeling billions of dollars in growth capital to small businesses across the United States.

  • Submitted on 27 January 2014

    Created on January 27, 2014
     

    Military with US Flag in BackgroundSmall businesses that suffered economic losses when the owner or a key employee was called up to active duty are eligible to apply for a low interest loan of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    Small businesses can apply for a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) any time from the date of notice of expected call-up and ending one year after the date of discharge or release. The program was created to enable eligible small businesses to pay operating expenses it could have covered if the owner or key employee hadn’t been called to active duty.

    “The absence of just one employee whose expertise is critical to the success of the company can pose significant challenges for a small business,” said SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne Hulit.

    “These Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide funds that will help these small businesses cover operating expenses.  This way our brave men and women in uniform don’t have to choose between serving their country and growing their businesses.”

    The MREIDL is a direct working capital loan, managed by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.  The interest rate on these working capital loans is 4 percent, with terms up to a maximum of 30 years.   In general, no collateral is required to secure an MREIDL of $50,000 or less.  The loan cannot be used to replace lost income or profits, refinance long-term debt or to expand the business.

Did you know...

Between 2002 and 2007, minority-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-minority firms in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms. Minority firms are an engine of job creation.
Graph for MBE Growth

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