For the sixth year in a row, the government has missed its goal to award 23% of all federal contract dollars to small businesses.
Small business is not to be trifled with. President Barack Obama's announcement last week of a proposal to temporarily elevate the Small Business Administration to Cabinet rank is a move in the right direction.
President Obama announced on Friday his plan to trim the federal government. CNN's Dan Lothian reports.
President Barack Obama asked Congress Friday for more power to streamline and reorganize the federal government, a move designed to claim the political middle ground in an election likely to be dominated by questions about Washington's role in the economy.
Bank lending to small businesses fell $15 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to a report released this week from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy.
If the government closes shop after Friday, the IRS will stop processing paper tax returns, the Small Business Administration will stop making loans and federal home loan guarantees will be put on hold.
With the federal government on the verge of a shutdown, many government services and agencies would be closed, suspended or otherwise affected.
Even as the Obama administration is promoting small business as key to the U.S.'s economic recovery, Congress is reviewing Small Business Administration programs with an eye toward cutbacks.
The Small Business Administration announced two new lending initiatives on Wednesday aimed at getting relatively modest loans to small businesses quickly.
After months of debate and significant pressure from the White House, the Senate on Thursday passed a $42 billion bill aimed at helping small businesses.
President Obama used an appearance at a small business in Washington to again call on Congress to pass small-business legislation that he says will help strengthen the American economy.
On Monday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took up the growing issue of lack of lending to small businesses by banks, and the havoc it's causing in the economy. Lending to small businesses contracted by $40 billion for the first quarter of 2010 as compared to 2008. Only a third to half of small businesses were able to secure a loan or line of credit in 2009. And Small Business Administration lending all but disappeared in June, thanks to the end of a popular stimulus program. Because of the dry-up, Bernanke said small businesses "have had difficulty obtaining the credit that they need to expand and, in some cases, even to continue operating."
A stimulus program aimed at boosting small business lending is so popular that it has run out of funds -- for the second time.
As the new evangelist for entrepreneurship, President Obama is finally on the right track. Mentioning "small business" 14 times in his State of the Union address last week, he pledged to increase small business lending and provide tax incentives to jump-start new jobs.
The small business credit crunch is still deepening: Major banks cut their small business loan balances by another $1 billion in October, according to a Treasury report released late Tuesday.
President Obama is expected to outline a set of proposals to spur job growth today. If you've tried and failed to find work it may be time to start thinking about starting your own business. We've come up with resources that are available to you now, if you want to start your own business.
With sales slow and credit tight, small merchants are scrambling to stock their shelves for the year's biggest shopping season.
Several top administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Small Business Administration head Karen Mills, will meet Wednesday with bankers, policy makers and business owners to discuss the grim state of small business lending.
Eight months after President Obama began prodding the nation's banks to increase their small business lending, the loan numbers continue to move in the opposite direction.
In August the Small Business Administration released its annual scorecard tallying federal dollars awarded to small business contractors last year.
QUESTION 1: I know that Congress is considering extending the unemployment benefits, but what about Cobra? That has been a godsend for my husband and me. Instead of paying $1,100 a month, we only pay $434. My husband has been laid off since December of 2008 after 22 years with a newspaper company. --Dawn, Ohio
The history of innovation tends to highlight products, not processes.
The economy is showing signs of revival, but in the small business trenches, companies are still struggling. Sales are down, credit is tight, and the tally of laid-off workers keeps growing. Leading the federal government's effort to shore up Main Street businesses is Karen Mills, now four months into her job heading the Small Business Administration.
For toymakers, the world changes on Aug. 14. That's the day a new regulation takes effect that small manufacturers say could force them out of business.
In the midst of a struggling economy, the Small Business Administration is hoping to create jobs and generate wealth in hard-hit urban communities by boosting small-business growth through its Emerging 200 initiative.
Here's something you probably haven't heard a lot these days: Despite an industrywide credit clampdown, many banks have sustained their lending to small businesses, and some are even making more loans now than they ever did before.
Employment at small businesses with 500 or fewer employees decreased by 614,000 positions in March, marking one of the sharpest drops yet in 14 consecutive months of declines, according to an employment report released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP.
President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Monday will announce administration plans to make lending to small businesses more attractive, two senior administration officials confirmed.
Two roads diverged before Jennifer Jackson in this flailing economy: She could restart her career as an electrical engineer or pursue her childhood dream of becoming a hairdresser.
Over two and a half million Americans lost their job last year. And more job cuts are expected this year. If you find yourself out of work, retraining may be the only option. Here is where you can find help free right now.
The credit freeze afflicting America's small businesses shows no signs of thawing. In the last three months of 2008, the Small Business Administration's flagship loan-guarantee program backed less than half the number of loans it approved a year earlier - a sign that fewer entrepreneurs are getting financing to start or expand their ventures.
If you're considering starting a business in 2009, you're probably wondering how the heck you'll finance it. Raising start-up capital has always been a challenge, but the downturn has made a hard process harder.
With sales slow and credit almost nonexistent, small businesses - the country's largest employer - face painful job cutbacks.
It's no exagerration to say that entrepreneurs are being crushed by regulatory costs. A 2005 report by the Small Business Administration found that small firms spend $2,400 more per employee, on average, than bigger counterparts to keep up with the demands of Uncle Sam.
Dear FSB: My business partner and I have a small horse-treat manufacturing and distribution business. We are in a small commercial space and have no employees. We would like to expand, but need guidance with how to go about it. Do we hire people? Outsource the baking and packaging? As far as financing, is a commercial loan better than investors?
The Small Business Administration and preferential contracting - procurement policies designed to assist small companies and other vendors designated as disadvantaged in open competition - have been inexorably linked for more than 50 years.
Dear FSB: Where can I get a small start-up loan for my business?
Dear FSB: How can I write a winning business plan with ever-changing financial information?
Nearly two years after a flap in which veterans' personal information was put at risk of identity theft, the feds are still not doing all they can to prevent further lapses
Dear FSB: My friends own an artisan gelato and coffee store whose products are excellent. They are even better than the big guys (who have a store right across from them). But they are a struggling family business. How can they generate adequate cash flow to start making some money?
Dear FSB: My entire business to date is built on personal credit ... which is now outstanding! When I go to apply for a business loan there is no history and I cannot get the line of credit I'm looking for. What's the deal?
You can increase business profits by moving, but not without risks to your brand.
Women's business groups will be rallying at a U.S. Senate hearing today to fight a proposal by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that would limit federal contract set-asides to four, fairly obscure industrial sectors.
Dear FSB: I have created a line of clothing that spreads a positive message of love, encouragement and manifesting one's destiny. I would love to have this clothing offered in hospital and school gift shops. Also, I believe that they would be very uplifting and perfect for charities and other groups that cater to those with illnesses or the less fortunate. Please tell me where I should start. What's the most efficient way to present a product to these buyers? Do I have to approach them one by one?
Dear FSB: I'm starting a small business in building services. I'm already operating in two small locations. My first service has been to clean the offices in these buildings on a trial basis for the owner, who has other properties. The owner says he really likes my work. The owners of the buildings I've been working in know that I don't have a business license and that I'm trying out this type of business for the first time. I know that the next step is to get a business license but after that, what next? Help.
Dear FSB: Where can a successful company that has grown through reinvesting profits look to get investors to help take the company to the next level?
The economic impact of women business owners has been underestimated because women-led firms have not been recognized, according to a new study released Monday.
Are skyrocketing gasoline prices cursing your commute? Wondering why you're driving to work only to spend your hard-earned dollars to get you there and back? Perhaps telecommuting is the answer.
The Small Business Administration took quite a beating on Capitol Hill today. A Senate oversight committee held a hearing on how the agency measures success. Meanwhile Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced a bill that would force the agency to improve its data collection.
Dear FSB: I am having trouble winning a business loan. Can you point me to any good resources to help minority business owners get started?
Handbook for Small Business. This publication from the SBA includes information on how to select the right city and site for your venture.
You can't expect to compete as a small business today without taking advantage of online marketing tools. These links can help.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you're in good company. An average of 464,000 adults a month create new businesses, according to the most recent statistics available from the Kauffman Foundation (kauffman.org), which tracks and promotes entrepreneurship.
Got a great business idea, but need cash to get it off the ground? Check out these links.
Women's business advocates criticized the Small Business Administration for failing to properly support a national program for female entrepreneurs at a Senate hearing Thursday morning.
CNN's Gerri Willis offers tips on setting up a home-based business.
Question 1: Will the lower rate affect the interest rate the credit card company charges me? - Kim, TX
In May, the House of Representatives passed the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act, which would raise the government goal for small-business participation in federal procurement contracts from 23% to 30%. Time to celebrate? Probably not.
Going to court is near the top of the list of dreaded activities for small business owners. But many entrepreneurs say that their efforts to resolve disputes outside of litigation haven't worked, according to a 2005 report by the Small Business Administration. The result? Their companies end up with legal bills from $3,000 to $150,000 and have to cut overhead or drum up new sales to compensate.
Seeking legal advice can be costly. Get more out of your next conversation with your lawyer by doing some homework ahead of time. Here are some useful sites and articles to help you take a proactive approach to issues that often result in legal suits - so you can stay out of the court room.
Don't let government deadlines sneak up on your company. Use these websites to stay on top of the latest regulations that affect your business.
Sometimes you get what you don't pay for. Here are nearly two dozen of the best freebies and -- most important -- how to score them
Dear FSB: I am a software entrepreneur who is starting a new venture based on preventing identity theft. I want to create a business plan to show to potential investors and lenders. Should I hire a consultant to write it for me? And how do I find a reputable one who won't steal my idea?--Vilay Luanglath Huntersville, N.C.
Today entrepreneurs are America's role models. Almost everyone wants to own a business - from teens and college students, who are signing up for entrepreneurial courses in record numbers; to those over age 65, who are forming more companies every year; to recent immigrants, who in 2005 started 25% more companies per capita than native-born citizens did.
2006 started strong for small business owners but sluggish economic growth took a toll on entrepreneurs towards the end of the year. Next year promises to be better, but not by much experts say.
The number of Hispanic-owned companies grew 82 percent since 1997, which is triple rate of growth for all U.S. businesses, and are expected to grow exponentially in the near future, according to a recent survey.
The U.S. government as personal financial adviser--somehow the image does not compute. But, in fact, many of the websites maintained by federal agencies, departments and other government entities a...
"They want to help New Orleans go on," said Roxanne Candebat referring to the tourists that have been trickling in to town to eat, shop and listen to music.
While half of all baby boomers expect to be working past 65 years old, only about 13 percent of retirees are actually doing so, according to a recent study.
The federal budget is stacked up for a chop--but, so far, IT spending is escaping the ax. Selling tech to the feds remains a growth industry, but it's trickier than ever for small businesses. Gover...
Seven out of 10 Americans fantasize about starting their own business (often after a bad day with the boss), and many act on that dream: More than 550,000 small businesses are launched each year. U...
Your role as a spectator who merely watches as other adventurous souls launch their own startups is about to end. The decisions you make at this early stage of the game will do much to shape the long-term destiny of your venture.
BY SYBIL HILLMAN-KATONA, 26, CINEMA & DRAFTHOUSE, WEST HAZLETON, PA.
President Bush has nominated Steven Preston to head the Small Business Administration after Hector Barreto announced he was resigning to lead a Hispanic organization.
Hector Barreto announced Tuesday he was resigning as head of the Small Business Administration in order to lead a Hispanic organization. His agency and his leadership of the agency had come under fire from key members of Congress as well as business and political leaders in Louisiana and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast who said the SBA was slow to provide help to businesses devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
(FORTUNE Small Business) - Controversy over the Small Business Administration's lethargic response to the autumn hurricanes ("Small Bungling Administration," Startup, November) continues to swirl. ...
Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding in the Southeast could cost the economy more than $100 billion, according to some estimates.
So you've been struck by disaster. Now that the worst is over, and you're safe, start thinking about rebuilding your financial future. These eight tips are a good place to start.
Even if you can't imagine losing your job, keep this four-step plan in your pocket. If something happens, your old salary might be hard to match. Self-employment could be your most rewarding option (in every sense).
A week after chlorine gas leaked from a train wreck and killed nine people in this mill town, officials will let about half the 5,400 residents displaced by the accident return home Thursday morning.
More and more people over 50 these days are starting at home businesses. Some are worried about the prospect of having enough in retirement, but others simply want to remain active.
Here's a Juicy Election-season mystery: Has America gained or lost jobs under President Bush? In one survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), businesses report 1.1 million fewer employe...
Ever fantasize about telling your boss goodbye? One way to do so -- and still keep the money rolling in -- is to start your own business.
In 2000, the Small Business Administration tried to launch a pilot program to provide loans to filmmakers. The program never took off, but the SBA did grant a loan to the makers of The Gristle, a f...
Olympia Snowe doesn't have a reputation as a team player these days. The Republican Senator from Maine almost single-handedly forced President Bush to cut the size of his tax-relief plan. But when ...
Okay, time to fess up: Your MBA dates back to the Carter Administration, and your last good business idea came from eavesdropping at a cocktail party. Luckily, thre's hope. Executive education prog...
A Private Backer
The Web might be the world's greatest research tool--and we've got four examples right here--but can it answer your phone? Apparently not.
It seems that every day someone else comes up with a business idea you wish you'd thought of first. But big ideas are only part of the big picture. For our third annual Big Ideas issue, our editors...
There has been much--perhaps too much--said about the approach of the new millennium. After all, what real change will Jan. 1, 2000, bring other than the resolution of our Y2K anxiety? Well, small ...
So you've been saying for ages that no one in your industry really understands technology. What you ought to do, you keep repeating, is start a company with a high-tech edge and make a killing. Or ...
MEMO TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: While you and the rest of the Beltway bigwigs consider re-engineering affirmative action programs that favor minorities, the nation's 60 million working women might not c...
Cash-hungry entrepreneur joel Hensley wasn't about to let rejection grind him down. In early 1994, the 27-year-old owner of Market Street Coffee & Tea in Fresno, a three-employee store with annual ...
ESCAPING FROM WAGE slavery was your aim in starting a business. And it's true that you no longer have to take orders from Mr. Kisstoe, your drippy ex-boss down at Quashmore Corp. But life as an ent...
John Hickenlooper and his three partners thought they had a can't-miss idea. They would double the size of their popular brewery and restaurant to 36,000 square feet, thereby making their two-year-...
Fortunately, now is an excellent time to look for someone to buy your company, says Small Business Administration economist David Hirschberg. Interest rates are at a 20-year low, the credit crunch ...
Small loans are often the toughest to get, because lenders consider the potential profit not worth the paperwork. Therefore, if you need between $100 and $25,000, you might turn instead to nonprofi...
ASSOCIATIONS -- National Federation of Independent Business (600 Maryland Ave. S.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20024; 202-554-9000; minimum annual membership: $75). The NFIB polls its 540,000 mem...
Given the magnitude involved, Nexis produced an answer with astonishing swiftness -- about 20 seconds, we estimated. To be sure, our favorite electronic database may have had a lot of practice deal...