Ed. note: Cross-posted from U.S. Department of Labor's "Auto Communities" blog by Matt Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development (EDA) We all know the situation a few years ago when President Obama took office: the American auto industry was shedding jobs by the hundreds of thousands and General Motors and Chrysler were in financial crisis. In the year before GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, the auto industry lost more than 400,000 jobs.Read More
I’ve been reminded twice in the last week about how important planning is to business, and how too many people misunderstand what a plan is supposed to do. My reminders came from two different people doing startups. Neither of them needs a business plan to show to investors. Both need business plans to figure out what steps to take and when, and how much money they need.
This reminds me of these important principles of business planning that everybody should keep in mind.
Are you a fan of TV business “makeover” or mentoring shows? Programs like Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Tabatha Takes Over, Shark Tank, or The Apprentice make for compelling viewing. Designed as pure entertainment, these shows often smack of voyeurism, like you’re watching a train wreck about to happen. But they can also offer invaluable insights to business owners – opening our eyes to some universal truths about entrepreneurship and business ownership.
Guest blog post by the International Trade Administration's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services Kenneth E. Hyatt.If you haven’t heard the news, the U.S. travel and tourism
industry is on pace for a record-setting year of creating American jobs and
growing the economy.
In fact, a new report (PDF) released today by the Outdoor Industry Association shows the impressive impact
of America’s outdoor recreation on the economy.
Yesterday, the Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted the second annual First Lego League (FLL) Award Ceremony, where two teams of young inventors ages six to 14 each won an FLL Global Innovation Award and a $250,000 investment to help develop their ideas for the marketplace.Read More
Ed. note: Cross-posted from ITA Tradeology blog by Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International TradeYesterday I toured Aquatech International’s facility in Canonsburg, right outside of Pittsburgh. The company has been working with Commerce Department staff to export more of their products, and it was great to see up close the great work being done at their facilities.Read More
When it comes to starting a business, there’s often some confusion about the process of business name registration. How are trade names and trademarks different? Does a trade name afford any legal branding protection? Can your trade name be the same as your trademark?
Due to the growing difficulty in obtaining traditional business lines of credit from banks, many business owners are turning to credit cards for small businesses as their primary unsecured business lines of credit.
Unfortunately, the majority is turning to the wrong sources. They end up putting their personal credit on the line and all their business credit card debts show up on their personal credit reports.
When it comes to insurance, small businesses stand to lose the most by not having adequate coverage. And while the mega-disasters like last year’s Hurricane Irene get a lot of media attention, those cataclysmic events are rare. Smaller disasters, like the neighborhood power outage or the burst pipes that leads to a business shutting down for just a couple of days, hour, can force an under-insured business to close down for good.Read More
Applying for a business loan and securing its approval can be a lengthy process. The actual approval time varies widely depending on the type of loan, its complexity, and the borrower’s timeliness providing the necessary information. This guide from SBA can help you gather the right paperwork, whether you’re applying for an SBA loan or a regular business loan.