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A Raise or a Benefit: You Choose

Tue, 2012-06-12 10:09

Companies that have survived the economic downturn of the past several years may be in a position now to reward employees that hung in during tough times. Many workers have not had raises in years or have even seen wages and benefits cut. Before you jump to offer a raise, think about the best way to reward your staff from a tax perspective.
The cost of a raise
When you increase a worker’s pay, it costs the company more than the actual addition to the paycheck. The company must factor in:

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Census Innovation Day: Government at the Speed of Business

Mon, 2012-06-11 12:37

Guest blog post by Robert Groves, Director of Commerce's U.S. Census BureauI’m blogging from the Census Bureau’s Innovation Day event. We’re highlighting for all our staff the newest tools and techniques that we’re developing to do our work more efficiently.These are the fruits of programs that seek ideas from every staff member, from the newest to the most senior, about how to do our work for less money, to do it faster, and to complete it with higher quality. Hundreds of proposals were submitted and scores of projects are underway to introduce the new procedures.

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Innovative Financing: Creating Access and Opportunity For Small Business In America's Rural Economy

Mon, 2012-06-11 07:56

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the creation of the White House Rural Council, an Administration-wide initiative to support and strengthen America’s rural economy. And our progress over the last year is detailed in a new report released today. 
As part of our efforts, we are making sure that more entrepreneurs who live in rural areas have the access and opportunity they need to start, build and grow their businesses.

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Small Business Lending is Improving: Tips for Finding and Securing the Right Loan

Mon, 2012-06-11 07:05

If you are looking for capital to finance your startup or business growth, many signs suggest that lending markets are showing renewed vigor.
Earlier this spring, for example, SBA Administrator Karen Mills blogged about the new signs of strength in business lending. Among the positives, Mills noted that:

Thanks to the Recovery Act and the Small Business Jobs Act, SBA had a record year in FY2011, supporting more than $30 billion in small business lending across the country.

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Assistant Secretary Michael Camuñez Concludes U.S.-Mexico Border Trade Policy and Promotion Week Visit

Fri, 2012-06-08 16:30

Guest blog post by Michael C. Camuñez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance, International Trade AdministrationDuring this past week, in my official capacity as Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance, I had the privilege of
leading a high-level delegation of U.S. and Mexico government officials on a
tour of the U.S.-Mexico border region, which, with $460 billion in trade
passing across it each year, is one of the most economically significant

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U.S. Experiences Second-Warmest May, Hottest Spring on Record

Fri, 2012-06-08 10:30

Lower 48 also experienced record warm year-to-date and twelve-month periodsThe average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during May was 64.3°F, 3.3°F above the long-term average, making it the second-warmest May on record.

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Secretary Bryson Encouraged by President’s Export Council Recommendations to Help Strengthen U.S. Economy

Thu, 2012-06-07 16:15

Yesterday, Secretary John Bryson met with the President’s Export Council (PEC) with two goals in mind: to discuss further ways to strengthen the U.S. economy; and to update PEC members on the actions taken by the Department and the administration to increase exports. As the principal national advisory committee on international trade, the PEC provides a forum for public-private interaction at all levels of government and business. It is responsible for advising the president on government policies and programs affecting U.S.

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Never Run Out of Blog Topic Ideas: Here are 36

Thu, 2012-06-07 15:50

One of the most popular articles in the SBA Community is “8 Tips for Keeping Your Business Blog Current, Relevant and Fresh.”   It has excellent advice, but after you read it you may wonder, “So how do I come up with ideas for WHAT to write about?”  

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A Collaborative Effort to Support Ogden, Utah’s Growing Software Applications Sector

Thu, 2012-06-07 13:45

Guest blog post by Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt ErskineToday, I joined Mayor Mike Caldwell in Ogden, Utah, to announce a $1 million investment by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) with the Ogden City Corporation to help create a lab that will train workers and provide space for business startups in the growing field of software applications for mobile computing devices.This new facility will be strategically located in Ogden’s downtown and will be operated by a consortium of experienced, capable partners, including

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USPTO: Leading the Way on International Patent Harmonization

Thu, 2012-06-07 11:00

Nearly 80 percent of all patent applications filed worldwide are processed through five patent offices: Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO). In 2007, the five agencies formed a group called the IP5, to work on increased cooperation and collaboration.

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