Friday, October 29, 2010

The 2010 Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Although emphasis in the Statistical Abstract is primarily given to national data, many tables present data for regions and individual states and a smaller number for metropolitan areas and cities.

Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.

The PDF version is available for download here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, or DSIRE, is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Users can search for state or federal incentives, as well as benefit from other useful aspects of the website.

One such useful aspect of the website is the Library, which includes selected reports, technical papers, articles and presentations authored by the DSIRE staff. Related publications that were co-authored with colleagues in academia, government and the private sector are also included.

Another useful aspect of the website are the Links provided to National Organizations, Federal Resources, State Organizations, Regional Organizations, and International Organizations.

Overall, this is an incredibly useful source for finding information and resources related to energy efficiency and green business.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Data That Surrounds Us

For those visually inclined, here is an infographic of the information we share through the Internet. Some of these are such staggering numbers, it's difficult to get one's head around but neatly summarized at GOOD.

Other interesting infographics can be found at their site.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

World Statistics Day: Oct. 20

The United Nations General Assembly designated Oct. 20, 2010, as the first-ever World Statistics Day to highlight the role of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems. Statistical organizations throughout the world will celebrate World Statistics Day at the national and regional level. The census, the U.S. Census Bureau and 13 other principal federal statistical agencies together have been collecting statistics about the nation's people, economy and society since 1790.

Here are some statistics, including statistics about statistics.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4 tips for launching a successful business blog

Launching a blog for your business is an exciting way to generate continual buzz and to boost your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. Blogs are a more personal, conversational way to communicate with your customers, and they help foster customer loyalty. Through helpful, entertaining posts, you can start and maintain conversations with customers about your business and position yourself as an industry expert.

More HERE.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Franchising Webinar

On Wednesday, October 27th from 9:30-10:30 AM, the New York State Small Business Development Center (NYS SBDC) will be co-sponsoring a free webinar on Franchising. The webinar is being presented by Frank Dunne, Principal of the Hudson Valley FranNet, a company that provides no-cost guidance, information and support to individuals who are interested in exploring the purchase of a franchised business.

The program is primarily targeted at entrepreneurs who are seeking information on franchising. To register by phone call (914) 260-9082, or by email at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grants by Topic and Geography

While searching for local grant writers the other day, I stumbled upon a website created by a grant writer in New York City. describes itself as "the only website that provides a comprehensive listing of the most current funding opportunities: Federal, State, Foundation grants for nonprofits, for-profits, preschools, education, community, faith based organizations, universities, small businesses and government." Users can search the website by grant topic OR by state. I found the state search particularly helpful and unlike the main grant site we search here at the Research Network, this site has a free search option. Finally, one of the topic searches was "For-Profits", a topic we rarely find grants for and another main reason I will use this site when searching for grants.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Business quotes

Every month, Forbes magazine has a page of quotes at the back of the magazine - "Thoughts and Quotes on the Business of Life". Here's the link to the online database.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Small Nonprofits in Danger of Losing Tax-Exempt Status

From Guidestar:

"Time is running out for small nonprofits facing loss of tax-exempt status because they have not filed Form 990-N or Form 990-EZ for three consecutive years. The deadline for the IRS's one-time filing relief program is October 15, 2010. After that, nonprofits that (1) are required to file a 990 and (2) whose filings are at least three years in arrears will automatically lose their exemptions. To regain tax-exempt status, they will have to apply to the IRS all over again, a process that can take several months and requires payment of fees."

Friday, October 08, 2010

CIA World Factbook

The CIA World Factbook is an almanac that provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. Updated every two weeks, the Factbook can provide useful information to both importers and exporters. Entries are divided into the following categories:

Introduction - Background
Transnational Issues

When dealing with business associates in foreign countries, it is essential to know detailed cultural information, and this is an excellent source for the most basic information.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Senate Resolution celebrates 30th anniversary of SBDCs

From Tee Rowe, ASBDC President:

The Senate Resolution on the 30th anniversary of our nation's SBDC network recognizes the role of SBDCs in small business and economic development over the course of 30 years.

Special thanks go out to the Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Mary Landrieu, and to the Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Olympia Snowe, for their leadership on this legislation.

For the text of the Senate Resolution [S. Res. 638] on the 30th anniversary of the national SBDC network, click here.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

SBA Revisions of Size Standards To Expand SB Opportunities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration published today a package of revised size definitions for three broad commercial sectors affecting businesses in retail trades, accommodations and food services, and other services.

The changes were proposed on October 21, 2009, and will broaden small business eligibility and help them gain access to SBA’s financial assistance, contracting and other programs. The agency estimates as many as 17,000 additional firms will become eligible for SBA programs as a result of the revised size standards.

“These increases in the size standards mean more of America’s small businesses will be eligible for and can access the resources and services the SBA and other federal agencies have available,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “This comprehensive review is aimed at making sure the factors that determine eligibility are aligned with current economic and industry indicators and ensure that small businesses across the country have the tools they need to drive economic growth and create jobs.”

Last year, SBA began the process of reviewing and updating size standards based on industry-specific data. Before this comprehensive review, the last overall review of size standards occurred more than 25 years ago. Since then, most reviews of size standards have been limited to in-depth analyses of specific industries at the request of the public and federal agencies.

The SBA also makes periodic inflation adjustments to its dollar-denominated size standards. The latest inflation adjustment to size standards was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2008.

Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA will continue its comprehensive review of all size standards for the next several years, as the law specifies.

The three final rules will affect the following industries:

Sector 44-45, Retail Trade (RIN: 3245-AF69) In retail trade, a change in the new car dealer industry from a revenue-based standard of $29 million in average annual receipts to an employee-based standard of 200 employees will allow 5,700 additional new car dealers to become eligible for small business programs and services. Also, size standards were also increased for 46 industries under retail trade. SBA estimates more than 14,400 retail firms will become eligible for small business programs and services.

Sector 72, Accommodation and Food Services (RIN: 3245-AF71) Size standards were increased for five industries. SBA estimates 2,050 additional firms will become eligible for small business programs and services.

Sector 81, Other Services (RIN: 3245-AF70) Size standards were increased for 18 industries. SBA estimates more than 1,400 additional firms will become eligible for small business programs and services.

For more information about SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, visit and click on “What’s New.”

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Governor Paterson announces launch of New York First

My Fellow New Yorker:
I am proud to announce the launch of New York First (, an innovative business website geared toward the needs of companies within New York State and those who are considering relocating here. Until now, anyone looking for information on the State’s economic development programs would have to contact every agency in the State. With New York First, the full scope of what our State offers its entrepreneurs and potential corporate partners can now be found at one centralized, easy-to-navigate website.
New York First brings new clarity, efficiency, and transparency to the State’s economic development efforts. This new site also offers an “Experts on Demand” guarantee. Any email or phone call will receive a response from Empire State Development staff within twenty-four business hours. I’m confident this site will act as a catalyst for long-term business growth, jobs, and prosperity in New York, building on my Administration’s larger efforts to make New York THE State for doing business. For more information about New York First, please enjoy an introductory video with an overview of the website and a demonstration on how to fully utilize it.

Friday, October 01, 2010

SME Medic

Earlier this week while doing research on the Hot Dog Industry, I stumbled across the interesting article directory SME Medic. A business resource blog providing advice for companies looking for help with growing their business, the website provides tips, articles, guides, and solutions designed to "Take Your Business to the Next Level". There are 3659 published articles and 3203 registered authors in the article directory. You can find articles with interesting and useful information on most popular business themes, including:

Business Startup
Human Resources
Internet Marketing
Office Equipment
Real Estate