Participants in the National Conference on the Entrepreneurship Imperative for Engaging People 50 and Older, held at the National Press Club, unanimously approved a seven-point Call to Action that urges the public, private, academic and non-profit sectors to stimulate the development of laws, regulations, policies and programs that provide an environment that encourages and supports entrepreneurship for persons 50 years and older (50+).
The Call to Action proposes financial, tax and other economic incentives to stimulate entrepreneurship; development of education courses and programs at the college and community college levels for start-up entrepreneurs (50+); increased collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors to develop networks, research parks, and incubators for start-up and early-stage entrepreneurs; and creation or restructuring of non-profits to provide a greater focus on entrepreneurs 50+, with a special emphasis on attracting more women as entrepreneurs.
The annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) study, launched in 1999 as a joint venture of Babson College and the London School of Economics, concluded that Americans age 50+ have a positive attitude about entrepreneurship, have a lower fear of failure, are as likely to see opportunities, and are nearly as confident in their capabilities as younger age groups.
The 2013 GEM survey, the worlds largest and most comprehensive annual study of entrepreneurship, covered 200,000 people in 70 countries with a network of 400 researchers.
More information can be found at http://ncei.co/.
The Federal Highway Administration completed an investigation of a complaint filed by Washington State Trucking, a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE), determining that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) were non-compliant with DBE program requirements regarding the Alaskan Way Viaduct Bored Tunnel Project. As a stipulation of the federal award, STP, prime contractor for the project, was required to meet a DBE contractor goal of eight percent. Washington State Trucking filed the complaint after they and several other DBEs experienced problems and setbacks during the bidding process.
The complaint was filed in collaboration with the leadership of the National Association of Minority Contractors at the state and national level, along with other partners calling for action from the U.S. Department of Transportation that led to the determination against WSDOT and STP.
The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced new measures to help get small business loans into the hands of veterans by setting the borrower upfront fee to zero for all veteran loans authorized under the SBA Express Loan Program up to $350,000. This initiative will start on January 1 and continue through the end of the fiscal year.
Of all SBA loans that go to veterans, 73 percent are $350,000 and below. The Express Loan Program, which supports loans under $350,000, is SBA's most popular loan delivery method, with nearly 60 percent of all 7(a) loans over the past decade being authorized through the program.
The announcement came during SBA's National Veterans Small Business Week, an initiative on the part of the agency to reach out to veteran entrepreneurs and business owners. SBA provides veterans access to business counseling and training, capital and business development opportunities through government contracts. In FY 2013, SBA supported $1.86 billion in loans for 3,094 veteran-owned small businesses. And since 2009, the dollar amount of SBA lending support to veteran-owned firms has nearly doubled.
For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.
The proposed rule was developed following a series of stakeholder meetings in 2010 to help OSHA gather information about electronic submission of establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. The first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees (and who are already required to keep records) to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.
OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only, their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA's Data Initiative.
The public will have 90 days, through Februray 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On January 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. A Federal Register notice announcing the public meeting will be published shortly.
Additional information on the proposed rule may be found at www.dol.gov/find/20131107/ and http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html.
A recent report published by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy analyzes the impact of an Internet sales tax on small business.
As the popularity of online shopping has grown, states have seen their sales tax revenues drop. Federal legislation has been introduced over the past several years to authorize online sales tax collection. With small business owners on both sides of the issue, the Office of Advocacy recognized the need for objective research for small businesses and policymakers. This report analyzes the number of firms that will be affected by the small seller exemption (SSE) if current legislation passes and how much e-commerce is likely to be affected.
The report found that the most commonly discussed SSE in the proposed bills has been $1 million. This report calculates that 974 of the Internet Retailer Top 1,000 companies have sales exceeding $1 million. The author's use established statistical techniques to account for the possibility that some larger firms are not included in the Internet retailer data. This generates a more realistic estimate of 1,817 online retailers that could be subject to the requirements of the Marketplace Fairness Act. In either case, the number of included retailers is a very small fraction of all online sellers.
Further, an SSE of $1 million would subject only a small share of business to the internet sales tax: less than 4.5 percent of electronic shopping and mail order houses and less than 2 percent of all non-store retailers. However, the volume of sales transactions subject to the tax would represent 57 percent of total U.S. online retail sales. A higher SSE of $5 million would affect an even smaller share of online retailers, but the share of online sales affected would remain near 57 percent
Donald Bruce and William F. Fox of the University of Tennessee's Center for Business and Economic Research wrote the report, "An Analysis of Internet Sales Taxation and the Small Seller Exemption."
For the full report or summary, visit www.sba.gov/advocacy/7540/758295.
The National Women's Business Councils (NWBC) latest research reveals government performance and trends in procurement as it relates to women-owned small businesses.
The average award to women-owned businesses remains lower than those of other small business that are not women-owned. Our research allows us to make the best possible recommendations to strengthen the economic stability of women entrepreneurs. The NWBC began investigating the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Procurement Program (WOSB FCP) after its implementation in 2011.
Important Highlights From The Report Include: The WOSB FCP has facilitated entry of new participants in federal contracting through the use of the WOSB and EDWOSB (economically disadvantaged WOSB) set-asides, in addition to increasing their procurement share. During the period of analysis, WOSBs generally received an increasing share of contracts and awards, not only within the 83 designated industries but in other industries as well. However, although WOSBs are generally meeting the contract threshold within the 83 industries, they remain underrepresented in terms of awards share. Despite WOSB progress, average WOSB awards remain lower than those of other small businesses. The number of industries in which the WOSB share of awards is greater than the WOSB share of contracts remains low, indicating that on average, WOSBs are earning less money per contract than non-WOSBs in the majority of industries.
Consistent with general procurement trends for WOSBs, vendors with more longevity and stability (i.e., receiving contracts in multiple fiscal years) were able to secure a larger portion of contracts through the use of the WOSB and EDWOSB set-asides. However, almost half of all WOSB vendors received contracts only in a single fiscal year, indicating a high rate of turnover.
A full view of the infographic can be found at http://www.nwbc.gov/sites/default/files/NWBC_infographic3.pdf.
Black Network Television's attorneys issued an official Letter of Demand for settlement to the City of Greensboro, seeking damages for losses related to an economic development loan from the City that was approved on June 18, 2013, and then rescinded one month later by a City Council vote of 6 to 3. The network retained high-profile attorney Willie E. Gary (senior partner of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson and Gary, P.L. located in Stuart, Florida;) and co-counsels James Leonard Brown of Los Angeles, California and Michael Jones of Durham, North Carolina, to bring a multimillion-dollar discrimination claim for damages caused by denial of the funds. The loan was slated for network operations, including production of a new national comedy series titled,
Black Network Television's stated goal is to be a voice of a people that presently are under represented on and in the media. Currently, the network serves 28 counties in North Carolina and Virginia, reaching more than 4.2 million viewers.
For more information, visit www.blacknetworktelevision.com.
The DBE Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) listening session originally that was scheduled to be held October 9, 2013 has been rescheduled to Thursday, December 5, 2013, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time.
The comment period for the NPRM is reopened and extended to December 26, 2013. The DBE NPRM listening session will be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation (1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC).
The listening session will provide an opportunity for the public to speak to the Department about certain aspects of the NPRM. Specifically, the Department is interested in hearing from the public on the following: What are the specific, quantifiable costs and benefits associated with completing or reviewing the proposed forms (Personal Net Worth, Certification Application, Uniform Report on Awards/Commitments; DBE Payment Data) from the perspective of a certifying entity, an applicant firm, or a recipient (where applicable)? What are the specific, quantifiable costs and benefits associated with requiring certified DBEs to submit additional documents with the annual no-change affidavit from the perspective of a certifying entity and a certified DBE? What are the specific, quantifiable costs and benefits associated with requiring good faith efforts documentation when bids are due and requiring additional documents (i.e., DBE and non-DBE quotes, DBE subcontracts) from the perspective of a prime contractor, a DBE, and the recipient letting the contract?
Parties may attend the session in person (to speak or listen) or participate by Web Conferencing (written comments may be provided through the chat room).
A panel of Department representatives from the Office of the Secretary and the Operating Administrations will be present to listen to the speakers and may ask questions, if necessary, to seek clarification of comments made by a speaker. However, there will not be a question and answer period during the session where speakers ask questions of the panel. The Department will not respond to questions posed through the chat room. If necessary, the Department may provide additional instructions at the time of the listening session. A transcript of the session will be made a part of the public docket in this rulemaking. All comments submitted through the chat room also will be made a part of the public docket in this rulemaking.
More information can be found at http://www.dot.gov/osdbu.
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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