The National Women's Business Council (NWBC) has released its annual report on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The NWBC delivers its annual report and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the Small Business Administration. This year's annual report addresses four areas to advance women entrepreneurs: access to capital, access to markets, job creation and growth, and data collection.
The NWBC is an organization that is dedicated to advancing women's entrepreneurship with a strong focus on providing key insights and solutions to increasing economic gains for women business owners.
View the report at http://nwbc.gov/research/nwbc-2013-annual-report.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued two final rules in the Federal Register, revising size standards for firms in two North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors, namely, Utilities (Sector 22) and Construction (Sector 23).
Size standards define the maximum size a firm can be and still be considered a small business.
For industries in Sector 22, Utilities, SBA increased revenue-based size standards for three industries and changed the basis for determining business size from megawatt hours to number of employees in 10 electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industries. SBA retained the current 500 employee size standard for the one remaining industry (NAICS 221210) in the sector.
The final rule also removes Footnote 1 from SBA's Table of Size Standards, which stated that a firm was small if it, including its affiliates, was primarily engaged in the generation, transmission, and/or distribution of electric energy for sale and its total electric output for the preceding fiscal year did not exceed 4 million megawatt hours.
More than 400 additional firms will qualify as small under these new size standards for Utilities and become eligible for SBA's loan and federal procurement programs.
The SBA increased two size standards in Sector 23 (Construction). Specifically, SBA increased the size standards from $7 million to $25 million for firms in the Land Subdivision industry, and from $20 million to $25.5 million for businesses engaged in Dredging and Surface Cleanup activities, which is an "exception" to the size standard for NAICS 237990, Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction.
Nearly 500 additional firms will qualify as small under the new construction size standards and become eligible for SBA's loan and federal procurement programs.
A settlement between Ally Financial, Inc. and Ally Bank (Ally), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Department of Justice (DOJ) took a major step to combat the longstanding problem of discrimination in car loans originated by automobile dealers.
The practice that leads to this discrimination is auto loan "markups," when car dealers charge their customers higher rates than they qualify for. The dealer then retains some or all of the difference from the loan purchaser as compensation. During the past decade, these markups have been the subject of a number of lawsuits that found that markups led to discrimination against car buyers of color, who were charged more than white buyers with the same qualifications, and were more likely to have their interest rates increased. CRL has found that this practice added $25.8 billion in hidden interest to all US car buyers over the life of car loans made in 2009.
The Center for Responsible Lending noted that even though Ally capped the amount of the markups that dealers could charge, numerous violations of fair lending laws occurred and, further, while markup caps are touted as a solution to unfair treatment, the settlement shows that caps do not stop discriminatory treatment.
According to a new report issued by American Express, total government contracting spend among small disadvantaged businesses (the majority of which are minority-owned firms) in 2012 amounted to $32.3 billion, 8 percent of the total contract spending-which exceeds the government's 5 percent procurement goal.
Minority business owners reportedly invested an average $143,356 in seeking federal procurement opportunities-a figure that is 11 percent higher than the amount invested by all active small business contractors, and 32 percent higher than the investment minority-owned businesses made three years prior.
The report also concludes:
The full report, along with others, may be found online at www.openforum.com/governmentcontracting/?cid=vanity_ofcom_govcontracts.
A new report issued by the National Institute on Retirement Security calculates the severity of the U.S. retirement security racial divide. The analysis finds that every racial group faces significant risks, but people of color face particularly severe challenges in preparing for retirement. Americans of color are significantly less likely than whites to have an employer-sponsored retirement plan or an individual retirement account , which substantially drives down the level of retirement savings.
Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States examines racial disparities in retirement readiness among workers and households age 25-64. It analyzes workplace retirement access, retirement account ownership, and retirement account balances.
Key findings include:
Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States serves as a companion to NIRS' July 2013 study, The Retirement Savings Crisis: Is It Worse Than We Think?, which documented a significant retirement savings gap among working-age households in the U.S. This research is based on an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve and analyzes data for whites, people of color and-where data permits-blacks, Latinos, and Asians.
The full report is available at http://www.nirsonline.org.
MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.
MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.
Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.
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