Showing posts from January, 2013

1 Day Left for Nominations for Tibbetts/Hall of Fame

1 day left to submit nominations for 2013 SBIR Tibbetts and Hall of Fame! Submit by 5 PM EST on January 31, 2013: Tibbetts Awards – companies and individuals and Hall of Fame Awards . 2013 SBIR Tibbetts Awards and SBIR Hall of Fame Awards to be presented in May The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for awards honoring the critical economic role small businesses play in federally funded research and development through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Two awards will be given: the “Hall of Fame” award recognizing companies that have an extended period of extraordinary success of research, innovation, and product commercialization; and another, the “Tibbetts Award” with two categories, one for companies that have participated in the SBIR/STTR programs, and another for individuals who advocate on behalf of the programs. The Tibbetts Awards are named after Roland Tibbetts, who was instr

Raising Money in a Tough Economy

Raising money for any business in this tough economy isn’t easy. More owners are scrambling to attract new capital, and investors are holding tighter to their money, causing a major disconnect. Successful venture capital and private equity funds are only investing in 1 out of every 500 or so deals they see. Banks have cut back lending. Angel investors hammered in the 2008 market meltdown, lost their appetite for new deals while focusing on salvaging existing investments. However, you can raise the funds you need. You won’t get the very best terms and it will take you much longer than you thought. You may even have to retain an outside firm to help; but if it makes sense and you are fundable, you can get the deal done. More from the ASBDC HERE .

SBA launches AFFORDABLE CARE ACT web page & blog

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a new web page and blog dedicated to educating small business owners about the Affordable Care Act. The new tools will serve as a gateway for small business owners connecting them with information provided by SBA’s federal partners responsible for implementing the law, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The Affordable Care Act provides small business owners with access and opportunity to provide affordable health care options for their employees," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. "SBA’s new Affordable Care Act web page and blog will serve as a resource for small business owners who want learn more about how to take advantage of these benefits." The Affordable Care Act has many beneficial measures specifically for small businesses, including slowing premium cost growth and increased access to quality, affordable health insurance. SBA’s new web page,

How to tackle technology issues when you don’t have IT staff

Many small businesses can’t afford or may not even require full time IT staff, but that doesn’t mean technology challenges don’t arise. Fortunately, there are many ways for small businesses to access IT expertise even without a full time technology expert on the payroll. Educating yourself on basic technology issues that affect small businesses can go a long way toward helping you navigate IT problems that arise. Many Small Business Development Centers offer free or low-cost technology training. You can also look into what other local business organizations and chambers of commerce have on tap in the realm of technology training. More from the ASBDC HERE .

The Small Business Advocate – January 2013

Vol. 32, No. 1 The January 2013 issue of The Small Business Advocate reports on the IRS’s breakthrough announcement of the standard deduction option for home offices. Also covered are the Fish and Wildlife Service’s review of rules regarding critical habitats, an introduction to some of the new members of congress with small business backgrounds, four new research RFQs, and the Office of Economic Research’s FY 2012 annual report. In This Issue Entrepreneurs in the 113th Congress IRS Announces New Home Office Deduction Option Agencies Revisit Economic Analyses of Critical Habitats RFQs for New Research

Census Bureau to Host Instructional Webinar on Responding to 2012 Economic Census Forms

What: The U.S. Census Bureau will hold an instructional webinar to promote response to the 2012 Economic Census. This webinar will feature reporting options available to businesses and other information for respondents, associations and the media. The economic census is the U.S. government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy. It provides accurate benchmark statistics that are fundamental building blocks of economic indicators, including the gross domestic product, monthly retail sales and the producer price index. The economic census gives businesses the information they need to make informed decisions that affect America's economy. Please dial in by phone to listen to a simultaneous audio conference while viewing the online presentation. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. When: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013; 1 p.m. (EST) Who: Charles Brady, chief, Customer and Respondent Outreach Branch, Economic Pla

Steps to Prepare Your Business for Flu Season

he 2012-2013 flu season arrived earlier than usual, so it's time to prepare yourself, your business and your employees. Prevention is important for physical health, as it may impact your bottom line if your staff are out sick. These tips can help you avoid illness and maintain business continuity. More HERE .

Startup teaches a lesson in "advocate advertising"

From CBS News MoneyWatch : If you told people you were going to launch a small, independent snack food company, with essentially no marketing money, most would tell you to get your head checked. Going up against the likes of Nabisco and Keebler for supermarket shelf space is -- and this is a gross understatement -- a very low odds proposition. But that's exactly what two concerned dads did with their niche-market munchies, and their business is taking off, thanks to the unstoppable social power of an audience with a very personal, vested interest in their success. ...[The founders] ...both have children who are among the estimated 6 million people with Tree Nut and Peanut Allergies (TPA). TPA is one of the most prevalent and serious food allergies...and it affects many more than just the people who have it: There are millions more who care for, feed, coach, play with, teach and otherwise interact with them. ( My daughter has a peanut allergy as well. )

10 Hot Consumer Trends 2013

Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab From Computing for a Scattered Mind: From desktops, files, folders and garbage cans to flat surfaces, apps and cloud services, consumers are increasingly turning their backs on a computing paradigm for the focused mind. Instead of sitting at a work desk and completing tasks, there has been a shift in favor of a computing paradigm where things are handled on the spur of the moment and with one hand – subject to the flow of events as we stand in a shopping line, talk to someone at a café, or run between buses during the commute. In our study, 18 percent intend to purchase a tablet, compared to 15 percent who plan to buy a desktop PC. The PC at the work desk becomes the tablet on the living room table, used while watching TV – or on the kitchen table, picked up during a breakfast discussion with the family. Tablet interest is particularly high in Australia, China and Russia. Infographic

Doing Business 2013

FROM the World Bank : Poland was the global top improver in the past year. It enhanced the ease of doing business through four institutional or regulatory reforms, making it easier to register property, pay taxes, enforce contracts, and resolve insolvency. Besides Poland, nine other economies are recognized as having the most improved ease of doing business across several areas of regulation as measured by the report: Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan. Worldwide, 108 economies implemented 201 regulatory reforms in 2011/12 making it easier to do business as measured by Doing Business. Reform efforts globally have focused on making it easier to start a new business, increasing the efficiency of tax administration and facilitating trade across international borders. Of the 201 regulatory reforms recorded in the past year, 44% focused on these 3 policy areas alone. Singapore topped the global ranking on th

SUNY, SUNY RF announce entrepreneur-in-residence program (EIR)

Albany – The State University of New York and The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF) today announced the creation of the SUNY Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program (EIR), which will support campuses and SUNY Innovation Hubs in securing the time and skills of proven, private-sector entrepreneurs who bring startup experience and expertise that drive discoveries in SUNY’s research portfolio. “This year, we will pilot an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to help identify the milestones necessary to move a discovery-based idea to market,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “This program supports New York’s innovation capabilities and competitive future, and will ensure that startup companies are well-positioned to attract the outside capital and managerial talent that allows them to thrive locally.” “Educating faculty and student inventors, making sound licensing determinations, and increasing the opportunities for success for SUNY spin-off ventures are the outcomes we see

How to balance work and life

From CBS News MoneyWatch : Want the secret to never being stressed out, always knowing where your car keys are, meeting every deadline at work and never receiving a message from your child's teacher saying, "Are you aware that it's been three weeks since your precious snowflake turned in her French homework?" Me too. Unfortunately, much like losing weight, there is no magic pill you can take that allows you to achieve a zen state at work and home. When I start to get overwhelmed, I ask myself the following question: Is this important? So much of what we do isn't important, or it seems important in the moment but doesn't have true impact. Because it's sometimes difficult to distinguish the important from the unimportant, here are some clarifying questions...

Flu Season Hits US: Seven Steps You Can Take to Prepare Your Business and Employees

From SBA : The 2012-2013 flu season arrived earlier than usual. As the nation braces for increased flu activity, now is the time to prepare yourself, your business, and your employees. Not only is prevention important for physical health, it may impact your bottom line if your staff are out sick. Here are some tips to help you avoid illness and maintain business continuity.Flu 1. Identify a Workplace Coordinator [Note: many of the suggestions would also be useful in case of a disaster.]

Women’s earnings by occupation, 2011

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor In 2011, women working full time in management, business, and financial operations jobs had the highest median weekly earnings of any major occupational category ($977). Within this occupation group, women who were chief executives and computer and information systems managers had median weekly earnings of $1,464 and $1,543, respectively.

How To Think About Differentiation For Your Business

From Small Business Newz I read about...a restaurant in Los Angeles that offers a 5% discount for tables that turn in all their cell phones for the duration of the dinner. So, instead of jamming cell calls and other onerous ways of forcibly stopping people from using their favorite screen, this establishment is going for something different. It’s very smart and there is a lot that we can learn from their approach, regardless of what business you are in. Think about what problem most of these other restaurants are trying to solve. They are catering to people who want a quiet dinner without listening to other people’s phone calls. So, they forcibly collect phones and declare themselves an oasis of technology. What’s wrong with that? You drive customers away.

Native American-run Businesses Spur Economic Growth

Many people don’t know much about Native Americans, even though their contributions to society are significant. And that’s especially true when it comes to the world of business; in some states, Native American-run businesses employ thousands of people and generate millions in revenue. In Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation paid $318 million to employees in 2011, and counting auxiliary affiliated jobs, that total was about $528 million. Following are some of the more prominent Native American businesses: Read more

SBA Adds Export Award to National Small Business Week List, Extends Deadline

WASHINGTON – A new award has been added by the U.S. Small Business Administration in celebration of National Small Business Week 2013. The Small Business Exporter of the Year award will recognize a small business that is successfully engaged in exporting. A national award winner will be selected from among state award winners from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The announcement of the Small Business Exporter of the Year award will be made during World Trade Month in May 2013. Detailed information including eligibility and required documents for the national Small Business Exporter of the Year award are available. Nominations for the Small Business Exporter of the Year award are being accepted through the online portal, launched last month , and in hard copy. The dedicated web portal was designed for easy submission and tracking of award nominees for Small Business Week 2013, and is actively accepting nominatio

Sunshine Breaks on Solar Purchases for Business

New this year, you could get a tax break when installing solar energy equipment in a commercial building, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced . Beginning January 1, 2013, the State's 4% sales tax won't be charged on the sale or installation of commercial solar energy systems equipment. The exemption also applies to the 3/8% sales tax imposed in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District. The new law also allows cities and counties, including New York City, to provide a similar exemption from their local sales taxes.

Google's Friday 15 Live Training Series for Small- & Medium-Sized Businesses

Google is introducing Friday 15 , a series of talks with industry experts designed to help small businesses succeed online. It promises to provide small business solutions in 15 minutes or less. You have an opportunity to join the live Hangout with Google on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 11am PST/2pm EST. The topic will be Google Trends; an industry expert explains how to use Google Trends to grow your business. Visit to learn how to join the Hangout, sign up for email reminders, and watch previously recorded sessions.

Historic Patent Reform Implemented by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

On September 17, 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented seven provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA). The new rules are intended to spur innovation and economic growth by streamlining the patent application process and introducing new procedures to ensure patent quality. Other provisions of the AIA will go into effect on March 16, 2013, including the shift to a first-inventor-to-file system. Read the USPTO press release here . Other provisions of the AIA will go into effect on March 16, 2013, including the shift to a first-inventor-to-file system. USPTO announced a new, user-friendly, web-based search tool to make its patent and trademark examining manuals more accessible to the public. Also, this week, the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO) announced the formal launch of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system , a global classification system for patent documents.

The 13 Worst Businesses to Start in 2013

From Open Forum : Over 500,000 businesses get started in the U.S. every year, and unfortunately not everyone is a success. (Many of them are bad ideas, and poorly executed.) If you’re thinking of starting up a business in 2013, heed our warning and watch out for these 13 bad business ideas. While you’re at it, check out the best business ideas that we think are winners for the coming year.