Each year, certain “must pass” bills are pushed through Congress with the goal of providing funding for essential government functions. One such bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, is an annual bill aimed at funding the military. Over the past few years, according to the Washington Post, the bill has also harbored ride along bills aimed at boosting small business, especially where it comes to awarding them their fair share of government contracts. Given the importance of passing key budget acts, they are often used as a way to get things done where smaller bills might otherwise get swept up in partisan politics and have a much diminished chance of making it into law. Among small business bills riding the NDAA, the Women’s Small Business Procurement Policy Act was announced for 2015. In a report from seacoastonline.com, detail was given on Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H) announcement that this year’s defense bill would include a rider aimed at providing female owned contractors with better chances for procuring

In a study released by Magid Generational Strategies, marketers were introduced to the newest American generation, now officially recognized as different from the Millennial generation currently entering the workforce. In 2014, the last Millennial will turn 18, marking an important milestone and signifying the formation of a new generation called the “Plurals” for their diverse ethnic backgrounds and open attitudes towards issues including immigration, gay marriage and equalization of traditional gender roles. As the Millennials enter the realm of adulthood, with the increased purchasing power and political influence that entails, the Boomer generation will enter into their 50’s, again a significant shift in demographics that will see a shift of targeting and message through the media channels that target the 18-49 year old demographic with the most significant impact on purchasing in the US, as the golden years, according to the analysis, are characterized by staunch brand loyalty and moderate spending habits. What are the Plurals like? Changing technology, parenting strategies and legislation in the US

  Slumping Black Friday sales need not have worried small business owners, as numbers positive numbers have been reported by the National Retail Federation and American Express, the sponsor of the growing day of recognition for small businesses and the vibrancy they bring to their communities. In an Inc. article on the growth of Small Business Saturday, NFIB numbers were found to clock in consumer spending on Saturday at around $162 on average, an 11% decline from last year, but in keeping with broader economic trends that predicted shrinking retail numbers, potentially as online commerce grows in significance and volume. Small Business Saturday got a boost from social media. Awareness of the day has been helped along by social media campaigning both on the part of Amex and the small businesses that participated in the day. Amex provides resources to small business owners looking to get involved, and Inc. reported that over 126,000 tweets related to Small Business Saturday were sent out on the day of

Small business owners should expect some changes in the government in the coming months, as election results are in and Republicans now boast a majority in the formerly democratic controlled Senate. This news is good or bad, or neutral depending on the political leanings and policy ramifications it may have for business owners, and to say that they are a group with varied political allegiances is an understatement. However you feel about the change, here are three areas that are predicted to be effected by the shift in legislative power. Healthcare. Obamacare, which some Republicans would love to repeal outright, if most likely immune to being repealed but not to being changed by the new Republican majority. According to the  Standard Examiner’s coverage of the new Senate, the most controversial aspects of the law, including mandated company health plans and 30 hours a week defining full time worker status, are most likely among the first to be targeted for repeals and modification, though a bill for

The NFIB National Small Business Confidence index went down last month, continuing to essentially remain where it has been for months, hovering under pre-recession levels and subject to the turbulence of the US economy and other external factors. While small business owners remain optimistic that the economy will get better down the road, factors including the difficulty that many experience when applying for capital and a reported lack of qualified talent when hiring has seen actual business expansion lag behind the desire to expand. According to a Reuters report on the findings, business owners expected less profits and sales in the months to come, though they also anticipated positive development in the next six months. Essentially the needle has not jumped one way or the other, and small business owners continue to carry on doing what they can while hoping that conditions will improve to the point that they are able to pursue the plans they are siting on. How can small business owners prepare

SBA Goes after EPA Clean Water Rule

Thursday, 02, October , 2014 by

Clean water rulings from the EPA attempting to extend its jurisdiction to include not only America’s navigable lakes and rivers but feeder streams and ponds as well have come under fire from the SBA, who says they are representing the voices of Farming small businesses in particular as well as those who take issue with the potentially great expansion of jurisdiction the rule would represent for the EPA. However, according to earlier surveys of small business owners, a large majority were in favor of increased environmental protections that would protect the cleanliness of local waterways. Many businesses rely on the cleanliness of their local water as it directly impacts the cost of food production and the costs of doing business for many other industries. In a clarifying statement from Liz Purchia, EPA spokeswoman, the rule was defended as only a clarification of existing authority that would create no new requirements for small businesses. Is this rule really the issue, or are small business owners in general

You may remember reading about the FCC’s proposed Net Neutrality rules, which would allow for a tiered approach to internet bandwidth. In essence, it would create reserved high speed channels for the websites of entities that would be willing to pay for them, relegating those who do not to “slow lanes” which could create excessive loading times, seriously hampering the ability of those pages to rank in search results. Small businesses are among those who would be particularly hard hit, as they could lose significant shares of leads and digital commerce they gain through managing strong web presences. In protest to these proposed changes, on the 10th, many major websites participated in a “Go Slow” day displaying messages warning visitors of the reality of what the internet could become, and the danger present in allowing the creation of a segmented and corporation dominated internet. In an article that appeared on dailyfinance.com, the problems that could be created for small businesses by hampered internet speed include

  Optimism rises, but much stays the same in regards to small business owners outlook.  NFIB small business optimism readings from August reported an increase of 0.4 points, putting the index at 96.1 points, bringing it to the second strongest reading since October 2007. Despite this, small business owners still report general uneasiness about the next six months, with the majority predicting worsened business conditions as opposed to improvement. Overall, despite a trend of overall increase, small business optimism has been slow to recover and really only has made modest gains. According to NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg, weak consumer spending is one of the reasons behind the anxiety small businesses feel regarding their sales numbers, with low consumer sentiment and a lack of growth in terms of incomes preventing meaningful increases in consumer spending. This months report was summed up as basically “more of the same”, not bad news signaling a backslide into another recession, but not much good news either.   Photo Credit

The NFIB’s most recent numbers on small business optimism reported a rise in the month of July, indicating that small business owners are trying to retain a positive outlook on the economy while at the same time bracing themselves for whatever may come. The percentage rise was only 0.7%, bringing the index to 95.7 which according to the NFIB’s breakdown is still a historically low reading. Hiring and job creation have both continued to increase. Holding in a continuous rising pattern, the addition of jobs as well as plans to add them in the small business sector are moving forward slowly. While hiring is a positive indicator, small businesses will be pressed to maintain payroll for new staff and will be counting on consistent sales. Sales readings were mostly unchanged. Sales data for business owners reporting better than usual sales fell by a point, while expected sales volumes also dropped by a point. This isn’t really much to report, with the takeaway being that business owners are

  While on a case by case basis, entrepreneurs can vary widely in both their enjoyment of their lifestyles and their approach towards managing their businesses, according to a report issued by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor last year, when it comes to overall satisfaction women have the edge over their male counterparts. Forbes reported on the findings, in addition interviewing female entrepreneurs who related the engagement inherent in being a business owner as one of the draws of the lifestyle. The results of the survey offer some encouragement to female business owners, who can often experience difficulty starting out disproportionate to their male counterparts when it comes to courting funding from VC’s and applying for loans. The study revealed that, while female business owners who had passed the start up phase of their business growth generally reported higher levels of contentment than their male counterparts, during the start up phase they were actually less likely to be content than male entrepreneurs. On top of this, in

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