For a business owner, obtaining the right information is as important as finding the right location, or getting the best price.
The Small Business Development Center in New York is one of only a few SBDCs in the U.S. with a full-time library (which we call the Research Network). Its services are available for free, but only to New York SBDC clients.
Another interesting tidbit on the radio this morning was concerning ageism in the workplace – in both directions. The British government is only now introducing legislation to attempt to curb age discrimination in the workplace. On PersonnelToday.com, a favorite magazine for the HR professional, they ran a story in about a small survey done by a consultancy called Water for Fish that revealed that 27% of the recruitment ads in a national Sunday newspaper contained language that might put the listing companies afoul of future laws. The article suggests it may be challenging for companies to rethink their hiring practices. Elements like requiring a specific number of years experience, asking for information that would reveal the applicant’s age, and using language such as “young”, “mature”, “dynamic” or “new graduate” won’t make the cut in the future.
Small businesses in the United States have received a share of federal procurement dollars not quite commensurate with their relative importance in the U.S. economy, according to a research study released by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. The study states that while 99.7 percent of all employer firms are small, they receive about 23 percent of direct federal procurement dollars and almost 40 percent of subcontracting dollars.
The Government's Role in Aiding Small Business Federal Subcontracting Programs in the United States was authored by Major Clark III, Chad Moutray, and Radwan Saade from the Office of Advocacy.
The study discusses the importance of the small business sector to the overall economy and the policy framework for the federal government's involvement in requiring federal prime contractors to subcontract with small businesses. It examines the policy from 1958 to the present; and discusses steps needed to improve the Americ…
Each year, the magazine Advertising Age publishes a supplement called the "Hispanic Fact Pack". This year's version can be found here. The table of contents for this 27-page PDF file promises such things as: Hispanic ad spending by media and categoryTop Hispanic DMAs by media spendingTop web sites by viewers & ad revenuesU.S. Hispanic population by race, origin, projected growthAnd other items, too. It's a macro view, to be sure, but the document provides a nice intro to this subject.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, www.britannica.com, would like you to know more about their online encyclopedia. Usually available only to subscribers, the renowned publication has just announced that they will make full-text, extended articles available to websites and blogs that wish to link to them. Users can then see the full entry, rather than the usual stub that appears for non-subscribers. They even give webmasters the code to add the link.
One recent reference question was about enforcement of the Americans with Disablilities Act. I scowled a bit. Even before I attended a workshop on the ADA at an ASBDC conference a few years back, I knew that the focus of the law was not so much on enforcement, but on creating accessibility. I remember one example from the workshop: a store trying to be more accessible might create a ramp, but that might not be practical; so one dry cleaner installed a bell at the bottom of the steps, so that the clerk would come out to the client. Accessibility achieved.
This is not to say that there isn't any enforcement, and even fines imposed by the US Department of Justice. It's just not the route of first resort. Read more about the ADA here.
Way back in May at staff training, we talked about your responses to a survey the Research Network had created one month earlier. Among the results to the survey was the majority's wish to have more information transmitted electronically. It's something we were interested in doing, so it's a good fit.
Tomorrow, Amelia & I will be attending a day-long seminar titled "Developing Digital Collections". It's the first of a four-part series, spread out over the next four months, on the subject of employing digitization in a library setting. We're very curious to hear from other librarians who've adapted this to their collection.
On another note, we're also close to upgrading our ancient copier. We'll be switching to one that will allow for scanning documents (for instance, our collection of 80+ start-up information packets), which can then be stored into specific files on our network. Scanning these will take some time, so it isn't like…
Many of our favorite information sources for general business advice are in Spanish as well as English. The following links provide access to some articles and documents that might be helpful to your Spanish-speaking clients.
Do you have other non-English resources? Things you’ve prepared? We’d love to be more multilingual on our website, so please think about what you might be able to share.
When I get a question about the number of international students in the United States, or U.S. students studying abroad, the source I check first is the Open Doors Report on International Exchange. There is a great deal of free information, such as: Total Enrollment Source of Funds Source of Funds by Academic Level Fields of Study Leading Countries of Origin Institutions with 1,000 or More International Students
while other data, such as All Countries of Origin All Institutions Enrolling International Students Countries by US State Fields of Study by State are available in publications to members. A Research Membership is available for $50 for a month's access to all member data.
Here's some more examples of the great free data:
STATISTICS ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE IN NEW YORK
From the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report 2005, statistics particular to the state of New York are listed below. Additional statistics are available at IIE’s Web site.
Being a Monday, it's my day to post to this blog. However, it's a different kind of Monday - a day of reflection for many people in our country. Instead of small business, I had a poem that I read in the aftermath of those sad, chaotic days from five years ago. It speaks of hope, and it reassures me.
Try to praise the mutilated world. Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew. The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles. You must praise the mutilated world. You watched the stylish yachts and ships; one of them had a long trip ahead of it, while salty oblivion awaited others. You've seen the refugees heading nowhere, you've heard the executioners sing joyfully. You should praise the mutilated world. Remember the moments when we were together in a white room and the curtain fluttered. Return in thought to the concert where music flared. You gathered acorns in the park in autumn and leaves eddied over the earth's scar…
It may be one thing to find opportunities to network, but it is quite another to succeed at it. For many people, the mere idea of networking is frightening, let alone entering a room full of strangers and striking up a conversation. I’ve come across a few articles that have some advice on how to network if you are not a natural.
Learning to Love Networking: How a Shy Guy Became a Master Glad-Hander Inc. Magazine August 2006 by Mike Spinney Describes techniques to overcome anxiety including acknowledging the fear, and then having a plan of attack. First, avoid the boring intro, keep the listener engaged. As an example, the author explains how Reed Thompson, the focus of the story, improved his delivery: You also have to keep them interested. To that end, he stopped telling people he was a personal financial adviser, which usually prompted glazed-over expressions and a change of subject. Instead, he began describing himself as the founder and president of a company that helps people take con…
Web 2.0: The power of 2This article gives a very perceptive and thoughtful overview of howWeb 2.0 applications can change the nature of marketing. Some Excerpts: "Social networks, blogs, user-generated content, tagging, wikis, P2P - all those are about conversation and fall neatly under 'reputation management', which is, essentially, PR," says Howell. Companies need to be out there, looking at what people say about them online, and respond in an open and appropriate way. Ignoring even one customer's negative comments on a blog could do serious damage to a brand's reputation.
Brands can learn an awful lot from blogs and social networks, which they can use to their advantage; not just to get their marketing messages right but also on a deeper business level, by involving consumers in product development.
An interesting example of this approach backfiring: ...car brand Chevrolet placed tools on its site that allowed users to remix and 'mash-up' its latest Ch…
"This report describes the prominent features of New York’s personal income tax, with particular emphasis on the 2003 tax year. It also includes taxpayer profiles consisting of number of taxable returns, sources of income, federal adjustments, New York modifications, deductions, dependent exemptions, tax liability and credits by NYAGI class, filing status and return type. In addition, it includes separate sections on income, itemized deduction amounts, exemptions, available credits and information on refundable credits. Finally, it compares statistics for 2003 with those from the prior year for most of these items." The PDF of this report is 125 pages long, but if you feel so compelled to print it out, please note that a number of even-numbered pages are actually blank.
On a related topic, "The Rockefeller Institute of Government has released State Revenue Preview # 65P, the first in a new series of releases covering state tax collections. The Preview provides an early sn…