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8 Ways Your Business Can Get Ready for the 2013 Tourist Season

Thu, 2013-05-02 07:01

While the U.S. economy continues to see positive signs of growth, consumer spending in one sector is booming – tourism.
Consider the facts – spending by international travelers to and within the U.S. increased 10.5 percent in 2012 (source: U.S Travel Association). Travel also continues to lead export growth, accounting for a 23 percent rise in U.S. exports. Home grown tourism is also experiencing a surge, with more and more Americans opting to take “staycations” – enjoying recreational and entertainment options closer to home – as opposed to hitting the roads and skies.

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Celebrating World Trade Throughout May

Wed, 2013-05-01 12:52

Cross post from Tradeology, the official blog of the International Trade AdministrationThe following blog post was written by Francisco J. Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International
May brings warmer weather, longer days, and, most importantly for us at the
Department of Commerce, World Trade Month. For years, this has been a special
time to reflect on the importance of trade to our nation’s economic
Over the past few months, we’ve discussed what an

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Franchise Businesses Can And Do Impact Local Communities

Wed, 2013-05-01 08:30

Are you thinking of purchasing a franchise someday?
If so, you’re going to be focusing on things such as finding a franchise that’s a good fit for you, doing research, scouting out potential business locations and getting a small business loan.*

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Does Your Website or Online App Target Kids? Stricter COPPA Rules Go into Effect Soon

Wed, 2013-05-01 07:56

Do you target children or a youth demographic online? Perhaps you’ve developed or are marketing a mobile app that appeals to a youth market? If so, you should be aware of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) – a federal ruling enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that gives parents control over what personal information websites can collect from children under the age of 13.

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Small Businesses Get a Leg Up with Financial Literacy

Tue, 2013-04-30 11:59

President Barack Obama recently proclaimed April National Financial Capability Month. Recognizing the importance of smart financial planning in achieving the American Dream, this month calls on individuals to empower themselves by seeking knowledge and tools for strong financial capability. 
Nowhere is financial literacy more important than in the small business community. Small businesses are the embodiment of the American dream and the backbone of the American economy, creating 64 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2011.

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Join the US Government for #TradeChat and Get Your Exporting Questions Answered

Mon, 2013-04-29 14:15

Export, trade and finance related agencies across the federal government are teaming up during World Trade Month - May 2013 - to host a series of Twitter Q&A’s for U.S. companies.  Businesses can participate by tweeting their questions using the hashtag #TradeChat during the scheduled times.

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More Than Just a Sales Portal – 5 Ways to Jazz up Your Online Store

Mon, 2013-04-29 07:42

What does your online storefront look like? How are you attracting customers to purchase a product they can’t touch, feel or try until it arrives on their doorstep?
This is a common, yet often overlooked, problem for small business owners who sell exclusively online through their own site or a third party site like Etsy or eBay. You might sell the most exquisite artisan product, but if you don’t present it effectively, shifting inventory might be harder than you think.

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Hurricane Sandy Update-- Six months later, A Steady Recovery

Fri, 2013-04-26 17:07

It’s been six months since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast and signs of recovery are emerging.  Businesses are reopening, homeowners are rebuilding and communities are rebounding.  I’m proud to say that the SBA, together with our federal partners, stepped-up to provide assistance to those affected by Sandy.  SBA has approved more than 34,000 disaster loan applications for a dollar total of $2.2 billion – making Hurricane Sandy the third largest natural disaster in terms of SBA disaster lending in U.S. history.   

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Commerce Renews Commitment to Environmental Stewardship with Awards Ceremony and New Green Store

Thu, 2013-04-25 12:00

As part of administration-wide efforts this week to
commemorate Earth Day, the U.S. Department of Commerce held an award ceremony
to recognize the 22 winners and runners-up of the Department's sixth annual Energy
and Environmental Stewardship Awards yesterday. In accordance with President Obama’s Executive Order 13514, the awards recognize individual employees and teams across 13 categories
for energy and environmental stewardship, including those that exemplify
exceptional energy and/or environmental performance within their program,

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Getting Stiffed: What Can You Do?

Thu, 2013-04-25 08:57

In business, it’s inevitable that sooner or later you won’t get paid for the goods you shipped or services you performed. Or you may have lent money to an employee or your business, but won’t be repaid. Being passive about the whole thing doesn’t help. Learn what you can do to get your money!

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