Monday, May 31, 2010

Rodrigue Extends Memorial Day Greeting, Introduces 'Fred and Lucy'

GoodBiz113 profilee George Rodrigue ["Louisiana Artist Brings Post-Katrina [Blue Dog] Relief to New Orleans"] just bade us a "Happy Memorial Day!" and unveiled his latest painting: "Fred and Lucy," a 20x24 acrylic on canvas board [pictured above].

Check it out at George's Facebook page -- and be sure to leave a comment:

For the latest events and good deeds happening via his far-reaching George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, visit

Best wishes to you and yours for a fun, safe and meaningful Memorial Day.

SOURCE: George Rodrigue Studio

Pre-Order Your Copy of "Blue Dog: The Art of George Rodrigue 2011 Engagement Calendar" Now!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SBA Administrator Explains Important Health Care Tax Credit Info for Small Businesses

Administrator Karen Mills [pictured], of the U.S. Small Business Administration [SBA], has just written an open letter to small-business owners across the United States, explaining the immediate benefits available to small businesses as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Following, is the full text of her letter:

* * *

Dear Small-Business Owner,

For decades, access to affordable health insurance has been the No. 1 concern of small-business owners. To help you address that concern and provide quality, affordable coverage for your employees, the new Affordable Care Act gives you a number of new tools and benefits.

The most immediate benefit you should know about is the tax credit to help you pay for up to 35 percent of your employee premiums starting this tax year. An estimated 4 million small businesses may qualify for these tax credits, totaling about $40 billion over the next 10 years. Go here to learn more about the tax credit, including new information that explains how this federal credit is in addition to state-level credits you might receive, and how dental and vision coverage are also eligible for the federal credit.

The Affordable Care Act also included reporting requirements if you pay another business $600 or more, starting with 2013 filings. Small-business groups have voiced concerns about the possible burden this places on people like you. That’s why the IRS is already planning to exempt from this requirement your transactions that use credit and debit cards.

Also, the IRS, SBA and others in the Administration are looking for additional ways to minimize burdens and avoid duplicative reporting. We welcome your comments and input as we move forward together to address implementation issues under the new law.

Over the last 16 months, this Administration has taken steps to provide tax relief that puts more money in the hands of small-business owners like you -- including write-offs for new equipment, credits for hiring unemployed workers, and capital-gains exclusions for small-business investors. We know that sensible tax relief like this will help you grow your business, create new jobs, and continue drive America’s economic recovery.

With warm regards,

Karen Mills

* * *

For detailed information about the new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, visit

SOURCES: Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Small Business Administration, The White House

Start Your Fitness Resolution Today -- Anywhere. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recovery Loan Queue Activated as SBA Presses for Longer-Term Funding

U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills today issued the following statement regarding efforts to ensure continued funding for two key provisions first implemented as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act [ARRA] of 2009:

"Two key enhancements to SBA’s loan programs -- increased guarantees and reduced fees in our two largest lending programs -- have engineered a significant turnaround in SBA lending, and have been successful in helping jump-start our economy for small businesses," said Mills. "To date, these programs have supported more than $27.5 billion in lending to more than 60,000 small businesses across the country. They have also brought more than 1,300 lenders back to SBA’s loan programs, increasing the points of access for small businesses to get the capital they have needed during these tough economic times.

"Due to the heavy demand from small businesses for available credit, the original $375 million provided under the ARRA for these loans was exhausted in November. Since then, additional funds have been provided for short-term extensions, and those funds, too, have been exhausted. As a result, today we communicated to our lending partners that we have reactivated the Recovery Loan Queue. The queue is an efficient and transparent way to ensure that every remaining dollar possible is made available to help small businesses drive economic recovery across the country.

"Small businesses are a key engine for job creation across the country. With that in mind, President Obama has laid out an aggressive agenda for providing small businesses with the tools they need to drive economic growth. A key piece of that agenda is a longer-term extension of these increased guarantees and reduced fees, and we urge Congress to move quickly to continue these critical programs."

SBA’s ARRA Programs
As part of the Recovery Act, enacted on Feb. 17, 2009, SBA received $730 million to help small businesses -- including $375 million to increase the SBA guarantee on 7[a] loans to 90 percent, and to reduce borrower fees on most 7[a] and 504 loans.

The funds for these programs were exhausted on Nov. 23, 2009, and an additional $125 million was provided in December. Those funds were exhausted in late February, and an additional $60 million was provided to extend the programs through March. SBA was authorized for an additional $40 million in late March, and an additional $80 million was provided in mid-April to support the programs through May 31.

SBA’s 7[a] and 504 ARRA Transition Plan
SBA has transitioned 7[a] and 504 programs back to their pre-ARRA terms and is communicating those plans with its lending partners. As part of this plan, SBA has reactivated its Recovery Loan Queue today. The queue will operate in the same manner as when originally implemented in November 2009.

Sometimes previously approved loans are later cancelled or never disbursed for a variety of reasons, and the funds committed to those loans can be applied to applications in the queue. The queue takes this into account and, beginning on the transition date, will allow eligible small businesses -- in consultation with their lenders -- to choose to be placed in the queue for possible approval for an ARRA loan if funding once again becomes available.

Small-business owners and lenders will have transparent access to the queue via, and will be able to remove themselves from the queue at any time to be considered for a non-ARRA SBA loan with all applicable fees and, for 7[a] loans, standard guaranty levels. Authorization for the 90 percent guarantee on 7[a] loans ends on May 31, but the authorization for fee waivers is in place through September 2010.

To learn more about SBA’s ARRA programs and other resources for small businesses, visit

GoodBiz113's Take
This timely move by SBA should provide welcome reprieve for small-business owners, whose business-development efforts have been hamstrung by a lack of capital. Now, let's just hope that lenders fully participate in the Administration's practical, well-intentioned and unprecedented efforts to promote far-reaching small-biz growth.

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration

Get 20% Off QuickBooks Pro Small Business Accounting Software + Free Shipping + Free Learning CD. Download Your Copy Now!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google's Economic Impact on U.S. Businesses in 2009: $54 Billion

This morning, in honor of National Small Business Week, Google officials were in Washington, D.C., to unveil a first-time-ever report detailing the company's economic impact in all 50 states. The company's total contribution: a whopping $54 billion.

As GoodBiz113 reported earlier this month ["Google, SBA Launch 'Tools for Online Success' Partnership"], Google has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration in a big way to help America's small businesses grow. This report shows that the innovative tech company has helped hundreds of businesses in every U.S. state move closer to achieving their financial goals.

"People think of Google first and foremost as a search engine, but it’s also an engine of economic growth," blogs Claire Hughes Johnson, vice president of Google's Global Online Sales [pictured]. "In our report, we’re announcing that, in 2009, we generated a total of $54 billion of economic activity for American businesses, website publishers and non-profits.

"Over the years, people have asked us whether we could quantify our economic impact on a state level, and we’re pleased to do that for the first time with this report, which you can download at

"In a time of tighter budgets and a slow economic recovery, we’re glad to support so many small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country by helping them find new customers more efficiently and monetize their websites through targeted advertising...

"The report is filled with really wonderful stories about the direct economic impact that AdWords, AdSense, Google Grants and our search engine have across the country. These are the stories of entrepreneurs across the country growing their businesses with Google. And, this morning, Googlers are hosting events in 10 other cities across the country -- Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Oakland, Portland [Ore.], Raleigh and Seattle -- to help share those stories. Ladies and gentlemen, start your economic engines!"

To download a copy of the report and/or find a clickable map to see Google's economic impact in your state, go to

To view a video of Ms. Johnson and Hal Varian, Google's chief economist, discussing specifics about how the company compiled numbers for its eye-opening report, go to:

SOURCE: Google Inc.

Get Free Targeted Web Traffic, More Sales Leads, More Customers & More Profits. Click Here to Start Your 7-Day Trial Now!

New Jersey, Texas Firms Take Top Prize as National Contractors of the Year; Small Businesses, Business Leaders and Government Officials Honored

A small-business contractor from New Jersey and another from Texas were named the National Prime Contractor of the Year and National Subcontractor of the Year, respectively, during a breakfast ceremony held this morning by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The event, sponsored by Raytheon, was part of National Small Business Week 2010, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Small Business Prime Contractor and Small Business Subcontractor of theYear awards honor small businesses that have provided the government and private sector with outstanding goods and services, either as prime contractors or as subcontractors.

This year’s winners are:

* Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year: Anne C. O’Brien, president of Kalimex Inc., of Ocean View, N.J. This woman-owned, 8[a]-certified, small disadvantaged construction company boasts 14 years of successful project experience, plus more than $18 million in annual sales revenues. In one of those projects, Kalimex reopened the stairs to the crown in the Statue of Liberty for the first time since 9/11, ensuring visitors’ safe ascent up the famous double-helix stairway to the observation level in the statue’s crown. The National Park Service described Kalimex’s work on the Statue of Liberty as "sleek, elegant and magnificent." Another notable project for Kalimex Inc. includes exterior building renovation and masonry repairs on the Edgar Allan Poe House, located in Philadelphia, Penn., for the National Park Service; and

* Small Business Subcontractor of the Year: W.T. Gardner, founder and CEO of Savage Precision Fabrication Inc., of Wylie, Tex. Gardner founded Savage, a veteran-owned and Native American-owned firm, with $2,000 worth of tools. The company manufactures precision machine and sheet metal fabrication components -- including mechanical assemblies made of aluminum, titanium, copper, stainless steel and plastics -- to meet design specifications, and support the aerospace, military, defense and high-tech industries. It develops in-house processes -- such as heat treating, aging, Tungsten Inert Gas [TIG] and Metal Inert Gas [MIG] -- that are usually outsourced by a small business. The company has 38 employees, $4.4 million in annual sales in 2008, and is a preferred manufacturer in the aerospace and defense industry.

"Today, we celebrate the contributions of the outstanding business leaders, government officials and small businesses whose inspiring work in the federal contracting arena are creating jobs and helping lead economic recovery," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills [pictured].

"Contracting with small businesses is a win-win for both the government and small businesses," Mills noted. "The government gets access to the most innovative companies, and small businesses get the oxygen they need to grow and take their businesses to the next level.

"That’s why it’s so important that more than $7 billion in federal contracts have already been awarded to small businesses under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

Small-business owners, corporate leaders, government officials and volunteers from across the country are in Washington, D.C., for the three-day conference, to be honored during five major award events for their achievements as America’s top entrepreneurs. The contracting awards recognize businesses and organizations for their commitment to providing contracting and subcontracting opportunities to small, women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.

Other federal contracting awards included:

Frances Perkins Vanguard Award: Honoring government and industry for excellence in the use of women-owned small businesses as prime contractors and subcontractors.

The recipients are:

* Jim Cuff, senior vice president, Science Applications International Corporation [SAIC], of McLean, Va. [Industry Buying Activity];

* Kevin Boshears, director, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Department of Homeland Security, of Washington, D.C. [Federal Buying Activity]; and

* Bennie Boren, acquisition supervisor/small-business specialist, Public Works Department Gulfport, NAVFAC Southeast, of Gulfport, Miss. [Federal Procurement Official].

Gold Star Award: Recognizing the exemplary performance of federal agencies and their dedicated personnel who carry out the aggressive goals and strategic initiatives that help ensure a role for small business in the federal marketplace.

The recipient is:

* Judith P. Croxton, director of business operations, Shaw Air Force Base-20th Contracting Squadron, of Shaw AFB, S.C.

Surety Bond Award: Honoring the 16 participating surety companies and bond producers for the support they provide to small businesses who need help securing bid, payment and performance bonds.

Two prominent national surety trade associations accepted the awards on their behalf. They are:

* Ms. Lynn Schubert, president, The Surety & Fidelity Association of America; and

* Mr. Mark H. McCallum, CEO, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence: Recognizing large prime contractors that have excelled in their use of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.

The recipients are:

* Richard A. Heltzel, president, Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc., of Aiea, Hawaii [Construction Category];

* Amber Janey, small business liaison officer, Rockwell Collins, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa [Manufacturing Category]; and

* Keith Joy, director of small business programs, UT-Battelle LLC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory [ORNL], of Oak Ridge, Tenn. [Research & Development Category].

The 2010 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence-Research & Development is one of SBA's top honors. Administrator Mills praised the Department of Energy's ORNL's "hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to [its] community" while presenting the award to Keith Joy, director of small business programs at ORNL.

Joy tasked his office with "aggressive goals" to meet the requirements of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award. In 2010, he and his staff encouraged strong performance via an internal awards program, meetings between contractors and small businesses, and extensive outreach programs to maximize the impact of ORNL's small business programs. Joy noted that he was "very proud, humbled, and appreciative" to receive this honor on behalf of his team at ORNL.

"The President recognizes that small businesses are the building blocks of our economy," said Bill Valdez, acting director of the Department of Energy's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. "Our office's mission is to support the innovation and growth of small businesses, and we absolutely must continue to honor their hard work."

Small Business Week featured a series of forums on innovation, exporting and social media, designed to help entrepreneurs with current, real-world issues that impact their businesses. There was also a town hall forum to discuss small-business concerns.

For additional details on Small Business Week 2010 -- including a full schedule of events and information on all award winners -- visit

Small Business Week 2010 sponsors and co-sponsors include: Sam’s Club, Visa, Ford, ADP, Raytheon, Cbeyond, UPS, Intuit, Google, eBay, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, D&B, Verio, ASBDC, NADCO, NAGGL, NASE, NSBA, WIPP and SCORE.

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration

Infusionsoft Is the Only Software That GUARANTEES to DOUBLE YOUR SALES. Get a FREE 15-DAY TRIAL to Email Marketing 2.0 Now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

SBA Supports More Than $27.5 Billion in Small-Business Lending

The U.S. Small Business Administration received $730 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] to help unlock the small-business lending market and get capital flowing again to America’s small businesses. Due to the success of these programs, the SBA has received an additional $305 million to continue some ARRA programs through May.

SBA Recovery Efforts -- Impact to Date
* SBA Has Supported More Than $27 Billion in Recovery Loans to Small Businesses: As of May 21, SBA has supported more than $27.5 billion in small-business lending, with the approval of $20.6 billion in Recovery loans since Feb. 17. From Feb. 17, 2009, to May 21, 2010, weekly SBA loan dollar volumes rose more than 90 percent in the 7[a] and 504 programs, compared to the weekly average, before passage.

* More Lenders Making Loans: From Feb. 17, 2009, to May 21, 2010, more than 1,309 lenders who had not made a loan since at least 2007 made a 7[a] loan.

* Broad Support to Businesses: A significant share of Recovery loans have gone to rural [24 percent], minority-owned [20 percent], women-owned [18 percent], and veteran-owned [8 percent] businesses

* Secondary Markets Uptick with 7[a] Loans: After months of reduced activity and lower premiums, the SBA 7[a] secondary market is picking up and premiums are beginning to recover. From June to April, the average monthly loan volume settled from lenders to broker-dealers in the 7[a] secondary market has been $336 million, providing lenders with additional liquidity to increase lending.

* ARC Loans Helping Small Businesses: As of May 21, SBA has approved 7,582 ARC loans totaling over $245.4 million by 1,249 lenders to help small businesses make it through this tough economy.

SBA Recovery Programs
To date, SBA has implemented programs for all of the $730 million in SBA Recovery Act funding and an additional $305 million provided in December, February, March, and April for the agency’s lending programs, including:

* Eliminating and reducing fees for borrowers on 7[a] loans, and for borrowers and lenders on 504 loans;

* Raising to 90 percent the guarantee on 7[a] loans from 75 or 85 percent, depending on the size of loan;

* Doubling the surety bond guarantee from $2 million to $5 million, providing small businesses with another tool to help them compete for federal construction and service contracts;

* Assisting struggling small businesses with the new ARC loan program, which provides no-interest, deferred-repayment loans of up to $35,000 to viable businesses to help them make debt payments;

* Providing refinancing opportunities for certain eligible loans into SBA-backed 504 loans for expansion and job creation;

* Expanding access to investment capital for small businesses by increasing funding levels for SBA-licensed Small Business Investment Companies; and

* Taking steps to ensure the stability of the secondary market for SBA loans.

The SBA has also implemented two new programs that complement the ARRA measures and increase access to capital for small businesses by:

* Expanding 7[a] loan eligibility to more than 70,000 small businesses through a temporary alternate size standard; and

* Offering inventory financing for eligible auto, RV, boat and other dealerships under the new Dealer Floor Plan Financing pilot program.

To learn about how SBA and the Recovery Act are helping small businesses succeed, go to:

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration

PayPal: The Faster, Safer, Easier Way to Pay and Get Paid. Get Your Free Premier Business Account Now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Secretary Clinton Highlights Importance of American Exports to Overseas Markets During Visit to Boeing Maintenance Facility in Shanghai, China

Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton [pictured] visited the Boeing Maintenance Facility at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport to promote U.S. aviation exports to China. She toured the facility and met with U.S. aviation exporters and other companies to discuss commercial opportunities in China. Participants shared their experiences with the secretary, and explained the opportunities and challenges they face in this dynamic market.

Secretary Clinton highlighted the importance of American exports to overseas markets, particularly in Asia, in support of President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative -- a government-wide effort to double U.S. exports over the next five years, and support two million U.S. jobs.

* China is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets, and provides tremendous opportunities for U.S. companies and U.S. exports. Industry forecasts predict a 300 percent increase in passenger traffic, from 230 million passengers in 2009, to 700 million passengers in 2020 -- and further doubling to 1.5 billion by 2030. Aviation continues to be the leading U.S. export industry, generating a global surplus of $60 billion in 2008.

* The Boeing Maintenance Facility builds upon the commercial relationship between the United States and China to promote economic development, technological advancement, and prosperity for both nations and the world at large.

* U.S. exports to China are a key market -- the U.S.’s third-largest -- hitting record levels in the first quarter of 2010, with an increase of approximately 46 percent compared to 2009.

* The growth of imports from the United States in key sectors -- such as energy, chemicals, transportation, medical equipment, construction and machinery -- suggests that China will remain an important and viable market for a wide range of products. With growing numbers of Chinese people traveling abroad for education and leisure purposes, China’s contribution to U.S. educational institutions and the tourism industry is increasingly important, as well.

* The United States remains the largest single-country market for China’s exports.

Secretary Clinton has committed the Department of State and the U.S. Embassies overseas to support efforts to expand markets, promote American exports, advise businesses wishing to operate overseas, and protect U.S. economic interests. These efforts benefit American workers, businesses and economies and contribute to overall U.S. security and shared global prosperity.

For more information on President Obama’s National Export Initiative [NEI], please visit

GoodBiz113's Take
The NEI holds great potential for growing the economy, and helping U.S. businesses -- especially small businesses and farmers -- prosper for the long term. President Obama, Secretary Clinton and other members of the Administration are to be applauded for stepping up the win-win-win prospects of America's exporting activities.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of State

Top Deals for the Business Traveler -- Only at!

Friday, May 21, 2010

President Obama Proclaims National Small Business Week 2010, Highlights Small-Business Growth and Job Creation

Calling small business the backbone of the nation’s economy, President Barack Obama [pictured] stressed his Administration’s commitment "to helping small businesses drive our economy toward recovery and long-term growth" in his proclamation of the week of May 23-29 as National Small Business Week.

The President’s proclamation was issued yesterday, prior to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 47th annual observance of National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. [May 23-25]. The event honors the nation’s most outstanding entrepreneurs, and features the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year for 2010 from among the 53 state small-business winners, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

President Obama will meet with Small Business Week 2010 award winners at the White House on Tuesday, May 25.

"Small-business owners embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and strong work ethic that lie at the heart of the American dream," President Obama proclaimed. "They are the backbone of our Nation's economy, they employ tens of millions of workers, and, in the past 15 years, they have created the majority of new private-sector jobs. During Small Business Week, we reaffirm our support for America's small businesses and celebrate the proud tradition of private enterprise they represent.

"Our Nation is still emerging from one of the worst recessions in our history, and small businesses were among the hardest hit. From mom-and-pop stores to high-tech start-ups, countless small businesses have been forced to lay off employees or shut their doors entirely. In these difficult times, we must do all we can to help these firms recover from the recession and put Americans back to work. Our Government cannot guarantee a company's success, but it can help create market conditions that allow small businesses to thrive.

"My Administration is committed to helping small businesses drive our economy toward recovery and long-term growth. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has supported billions of dollars in loans and federal contracts for small businesses across the country. The Affordable Care Act makes it easier for small-business owners to provide health insurance to their employees, and gives entrepreneurs the security they need to innovate and take risks. We have also enacted new tax cuts and tax credits for small firms. Still, we must do more to empower these companies.

"In this year's State of the Union Address, I proposed creating a $30 billion lending fund to help increase the flow of credit to small businesses, and I call on the Congress to pass this legislation quickly. My Administration is also working to extend and enhance Small Business Administration programs that have helped small-business owners acquire loans and hire workers.

"This week, we celebrate the role of entrepreneurs and small businesses in our national life. They are the engine of our prosperity and a proud reflection of our character. A healthy small-business sector will give us vibrant communities, cutting-edge technology, and an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century."

National Small Business Week 2010 will begin with two-and-a-half days of events in Washington, D.C., at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where more than 100 outstanding business owners from across the country will be recognized. In addition to the State Small Business Persons of the Year, men and women involved in disaster recovery, government contracting, small-business champions, as well as SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development, will be honored.

A keynote address by SBA Administrator Karen Mills will highlight Monday morning’s agenda, followed by Mills hosting a town hall meeting entitled "Small Business: Driving America’s Economy." Also featured are a series of executive panel forums on innovation, exporting and social media.

Among the featured speakers confirmed are The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and The Honorable RayLaHood, Secretary of Transportation. A list of other outstanding speakers -- including prominent business leaders, CEOs and politicos -- are listed with the week's full agenda at

The public can "attend" Small Business Week events virtually, via the SBA’s streaming video on the Web at

Small Business Week 2010 sponsors and co-sponsors include: Sam’s Club, Visa, Ford, ADP, Raytheon, Cbeyond, UPS, Intuit, Google, eBay, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, D&B, Verio, Nomadic Display, ASBDC, NADCO, NAGGL, NASE, NSBA, WIPP and SCORE.

The full text of President Obama’s Small Business Week proclamation can be found at:

To learn about Small Business Week events in your area, go to:

To view highlights of National Small Business Week 2009 events, visit:

To stay informed about SBA's efforts to simultaneously promote entrepreneurship and economic recovery, bookmark the following URL:

SOURCES: U.S. Small Business Administration, The White House

Get 20% Off Intuit's QuickBooks Pro Small Business Accounting Software + Free Shipping + Free Learning CD.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 23-25: SBA's Free Forums to Address Key Small-Biz Concerns During National Small Business Week

The small-business public is encouraged to take part in this year's National Small Business Week town hall meeting and business forums, addressing key small-business concerns.

Participants will have an opportunity to exchange ideas and dialogue on relevant issues for small businesses with leading business experts during National Small Business Week, May 23-25, in Washington, D.C.

The town hall meeting and business forums are free, and will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Conference Center, 1330 Maryland Ave., SW, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Small Business Administration [SBA] events on issues that impact small business and the economy include:
* Town Hall Meeting: "Small Business: Driving America’s Economy"
* Innovation Forum: "Turning Innovation Into Jobs"
* Exporting Forum: "Taking Your Business Global"
* Social Media Forum: "Join the Conversation"

Among this year's distinguished town hall and forum moderators and speakers:
* JJ Ramberg, MSNBC Host, "Your Business"; and Town Hall Meeting Moderator
* Sean Greene, SBA Innovation Special Adviser; and Innovation Forum Moderator
* Luz Hopewell, SBA International Tradel; and Exporting Forum Moderator
* Brian Moran, Veracle Media LLC; and Social Media Forum Moderator
* Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation
* Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
* Scott Griffith, Chairman & CEO, Zipcar
* Dinesh Lathi, eBay North America Marketplace
* Stephen P. Zimba, Cbeyond
* Claire Johnson, Google
* Dale Hayes, UPS
* Angus Thomson, Intuit Grow Your Business Division
* Luther Lowe, Yelp
* Rieva Lesonsky, GrowBiz Media

2010 Schedule of SBA-Sponsored Events
May 24, 2010 -- Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Conference Center
* 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. -- Town Hall with SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills
* 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. -- Innovation Forum
* 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Exporting Forum
Sponsors: eBay, Cbeyond and UPS

May 25, 2010 -- Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Conference Center
* 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 p.m. -- Social Media Forum
Sponsor: Intuit

Visit to register for forums, and for the full National Small Business Week schedule.

Live Webcasts Available
For participants who are unable to attend National Small Business Week events in Washington, D.C., the town hall meeting and business forums will be webcast live online at

2010 Small Business Week sponsors and co-sponsors include: Sam’s Club, Visa, Ford, ADP, Raytheon, Cbeyond, UPS, Intuit, Google, eBay, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, D&B, Verio, ASBDC, NADCO, NAGGL, NASE, NSBA, WIPP and SCORE.

To view highlights of 2009 National Small Business Week events, visit:

To learn about Small Business Week events in your area, go to:

To stay informed about SBA's efforts to simultaneously promote entrepreneurship and economic recovery, bookmark the following URL:

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration

Intuit Online Payroll: Easy to Set Up and Use. Try It Now FREE for 30 Days -- Plus 2 More Months at $9.99!

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Landrieu Amendment Provides Interest Relief for Small-Business Disaster Loans

Today, United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu [D-La., pictured], chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced her intention to introduce an amendment that would offer businesses with Small Business Administration [SBA] disaster loans from the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes, interest relief of up to $15,000. Sen. Thad Cochran [R-Miss.] has indicated he intends to co-sponsor the measure.

"Businesses along the Gulf Coast have faced some of the worst disasters this country has ever seen," Sen. Landrieu said. "To this day, many of these businesses are struggling to pay down loans made from the hurricanes in 2005 and 2008.

"Now, they are being faced with another disaster that is threatening their way of life once again. With the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impacting businesses in Louisiana and along the entire Gulf Coast, we have the opportunity to offer some relief.

"This amendment allows the SBA to offer interest relief to small businesses with existing loans. It is my hope that this amendment will be adopted quickly when the full Senate considers the Supplemental next week."

The proposal would apply to disaster loans made after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. SBA would be required to prioritize applications for businesses with 50 employees or less, and businesses impacted by the BP oil spill. Businesses would still be responsible for the principal and the remaining interest of their loans. According to loan data from the SBA, this program could potentially help up to 12,000 businesses.

This amendment is similar to a bill, S. 2986, the Southeast Hurricanes Small Business Disaster Relief Act of 2010 -- introduced by Sens. Landrieu, Cochran and Roger Wicker [R-Miss.] -- which was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week. To read the letter of endorsement, go to:

GoodBiz113's Take
What's good for America's 27.2 million small businesses is good for the entire country -- especially since we create 60-80 percent of all new jobs here.

Sen. Landrieu's proposal will help small businesses impacted by myriad forms of disaster, and deserves swift action -- before the next oil spill, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, etc., brings livelihoods to a far-reaching halt.

SOURCES: GovTrack, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Shop Green Office for Environmentally Friendly Office Supplies, Electronics, Furniture, Lighting & Accessories.

Friday, May 07, 2010

April Job Creation Highest in Four Years; BLS to Hold Jobs-Related Web Chat on May 11

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] announced that employers in almost every sector of work created a total 290,000 jobs in April -- the most jobs created in four years. U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu [D-La.], chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released the following statement on the announcement, pushing her committee's bipartisan small-business job creation package to keep the momentum:

"The numbers released by the Department of Labor are an encouraging sign that American companies -- from manufacturing and construction companies, to retailers and health services -- are putting people back to work.

"The number of jobs created last month is the highest we have seen in four years. That is great news, but there are still more than 15 million Americans out of work. This Congress must build on the extraordinary steps already taken to stabilize the financial system, provide for those searching for employment, and put even more people back to work.

"As chair of the Small Business Committee, I know that small business can pave the way for more job creation. We have put forth a package of bipartisan bills aimed at spurring small-business growth and job creation, and I am calling on members of Congress to swiftly adopt these measures and continue on the path to economic recovery."

Sen. Landrieu's complete package of proposals can be viewed at

May 11: BLS to Hold Web Chat
On Tuesday, May 11, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics subject-matter experts will conduct a live Web chat to discuss national employment and unemployment data. They will answer as many questions as possible during the allotted time.

To join the discussion on the afternoon of May 11, go to Questions can also be submitted in advance through that link.

SOURCES: Organizing for America [chart], U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Infusionsoft Is the Only Software That GUARANTEES to DOUBLE YOUR SALES. Get a FREE 15-DAY TRIAL to Email Marketing 2.0 Now.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Rodrigue Opens Gallery of His Own in New French Quarter Location

Wendy Rodrigue, wife/partner/muse of GoodBiz113 profilee George Rodrigue ["Louisiana Artist Brings Post-Katrina [Blue Dog] Relief to New Orleans"], just announced that her world-famous husband has opened up his very own gallery at 730 Royal Street [pictured above], in New Orleans' French Quarter.

After decades of exhibiting and selling his award-winning art in a handful of galleries -- some owned by others, plus spaces in [or under] properties he rented and/or lived in -- the "Blue Dog artist," entrepreneur, author and philanthropist finally seized the opportunity to buy an entire building devoted solely to displaying his myriad creations.

"...George Rodrigue has a gallery of his own, just one block from the Reilly Gallery, the location of his first show, and the only gallery that ever took a chance on him, now 40 years ago," Wendy posted on her blog. "He has the money and owns the space, to wield as he will, to display his creations. We will see things from him in the coming years the likes of which most viewers never knew him capable..."

To read Wendy's compelling account of her husband's journey -- including her insightful and inspiring perspective about her role in his rise to global renown and artistic freedom -- go to:

SOURCES: Musings of an Artist's Wife [photo], Wikipedia

"Blue Dog: The Art of George Rodrigue 2011 Engagement Calendar" Will Be Published on Aug. 1, 2010. Pre-Order Your Copy Now!

Google, SBA Launch 'Tools for Online Success' Partnership; Free Small-Business Marketing Tips Offered

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration [SBA] and Google announced a new partnership and unveiled "Tools for Online Success" -- an array of online resources and training designed to help small-business owners harness technology to grow their businesses.

The "Tools for Online Success" site [] features tutorials, video testimonials, and tips from savvy small-business people who have leveraged the Web to become more efficient, more cost-effective, and more successful.

"The SBA is pleased to partner with Google to put these important tools in the hands of small businesses across the country," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "As the Web evolves and consumers adapt accordingly, we know that more customers are finding traditional 'Main Street' businesses online. With these tools for online success, we can ensure that these small businesses reach new markets and customers, so they can continue to create jobs."

"One-fifth of searches on Google are related to location, which shows that people are looking to the Internet to make decisions about where to go and what to do in their daily lives," said John Hanke [pictured], vice president of product management, Google. "We want to connect our users with the businesses that provide the goods and services they need. But the first step is for those businesses to have an online presence. We're excited to team up with the SBA to make that process easier for business owners across the country."

Google and the SBA unveiled the partnership during a forum held today at the SBA’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and broadcast live online to press and small-business owners across the nation. Susan Holt, principal and owner of CulinAerie, a recreational cooking school in downtown D.C., shared her experiences working with the SBA, and explained how she has used online tools like Google Places and search engine optimization [SEO] to attract more aspiring cooks.

Holt is just one of the many small-business owners from across the U.S. who are sharing how they've used online tools to reach new customers. Many are featured in the video testimonials found at the Google/SBA "Tools for Online Success" site. Each video documents the unique success stories that these small businesses have created using online technology:

* Masha Hleap-Hershkovitz, owner of Fuego Mundo in Sandy Springs, Ga., uses social media to request feedback from restaurant customers for improvement. Ms. Hleap-Hershkovitz even used social media to name her restaurant. "We bounced back and forth with a potential name for months, and we were kind of bottlenecked," she says. "We put it out there [on social media], and it came back 70 percent 'Fuego Mundo.'" Visit

* Sean Vahey, owner of Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream in San Francisco, uses social media and Google Places to launch new menu items and cultivate a worldwide following for his company’s unique ice cream flavors. "I don’t have a lot of time do marketing," Mr. Vahey says. "I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and reach out to people. I’m able to get on the computer and, two minutes later, I’ve gotten the word out… Our Google Places page is important, because it’s got all of our information in one spot -- our website, our phone number. You can see where we are on a map, and you can even get directions." Visit

* Sumul Shah, owner of Lumus Construction in Woburn, Mass., uses its website and online maps to research projects all over the United States, and to show potential customers examples of its past work. According to Mr. Shah, "Customers can see and visualize the types of projects, and the complexity of the work we do… In the future, our website will not only talk about how much renewable energy we’re building, but we’ll actually quantify it. We’ll be able to take live data coming from all the wind turbines and solar panels that we’ve installed, simulate it, and be able to report not only how much energy we’re producing, but also what the environmental benefits are." Visit

* Aliyyah Baylor, owner of Make My Cake in Harlem, New York City, redesigned her website to display vivid imagery of its baked goods. Make My Cake is family-owned and operated, and Ms. Baylor says, "Our website is an extension of our business when it’s too busy for someone to answer the phone. It’s our virtual salesperson, and that is very key." Visit

* Mandy Scott, owner of Mandy Scott Flowers in San Francisco, uses highly targeted online advertising to help her premium flower boutique compete with national brands on a small marketing budget. She says, "We are tiny compared to the big players. I can’t hope to compete with them on any kind of national scale, but I feel that, locally, we do very well. Showing up in both natural and paid search results is important for us, because we want to be on a level playing field with the big guns." Visit

* Jessica Soler, owner of Salon Red in Decatur, Ga., uses a website and local online listings to help her customers find salon locations and to book appointments. She says, "A great example of how the Web helps Salon Red is, we were nominated with one of the local papers to be a 'Best Of' salon in Atlanta, and tons of people went online to vote for all of our locations. We just were flooded with business, and it all came from online." Visit

* Christopher Bartlett, owner of Skaters Landing in West Hartford, Conn., uses online videos to teach customers from all over the world how to properly shop for, and use, ice skating products. "We really were able to reach out to new markets," says Mr. Bartlett. "I don’t look at [our online efforts] as a place to go to and hard-sell, but to really talk with people and answer some of the questions that people might have." Visit

* Louis Rossetto, CEO of TCHO in San Francisco, brings a start-up mentality to his company’s premium chocolate production. TCHO uses Web analytics to constantly improve its website's layout, ensuring consumers are engaging with its products in the most effective way possible. "You can’t be a modern company without using modern tools, and online is just fundamental to being in business today," says Rossetto. "Our website represents our direct link to our customers. We use it to explain who we are, engage our community, and it’s certainly a storefront for us. You’re inviting the whole world into your store if you do that online." Visit

Continued success stories like these are the goal of the Google/SBA partnership. Visit the "Tools for Online Success" website for a full rundown.

Tips for Small-Business Marketing Online
Here are a few easy tips that all small-business owners should be using in order to optimize the free and low-cost marketing power of the Internet:

* Establish your online presence. One out of five searches on Google are related to location. Most local online listings such as Google Places are free, and if your business doesn’t have a website, there are ready-made site templates and free hosting services that make establishing an online presence easy.

* Use free marketing to reach customers. You can build a fan base with free services -- e.g., YouTube, Facebook and Twitter -- that keep your customers in-the-know about new products or specials, and aware of promotions. These services are great "word-of-mouth" platforms -- where a customer following you might tell their friends about your business.

* Know your customers. Easy-to-use Web analytics tools -- e.g., Google Analytics -- can tell you a lot about your customers -- by analyzing what search term brought them to your website, or what they look at while they are there. This information can help you make smart decisions about what you feature and what search terms you should run search ads on.

* Keep an eye on the latest trends. The growing popularity of smart phones means that more and more customers are searching for local information on the go. This makes it all the more important that a business’s online presence be accurate and up-to-date. For example, you can link to your menu, give users driving directions, and even post digital coupons. Oh, and be sure to bookmark Google Trends, too:

SOURCES: Google [photo], U.S. Small Business Administration

Brute Force SEO -- 30 Minutes to Massive, Free Web Traffic!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

SBA Proposes Higher Surety Bond Guarantees to Help Small Businesses Secure Larger Contracts in Disaster Areas

This morning, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it has proposed changes -- including higher surety bond guarantee limits -- that will help construction and service-sector firms secure larger contracts for work in areas impacted by disasters; e.g, BP's Gulf Coast oil-spill disaster.

The proposed changes, which were published as part of a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register on April 26, include:

* For a non-federal contract or order up to $5 million, a bond guarantee may be issued if the products will be manufactured, or the services are performed, in the disaster area.

* For a federal contract or order up to $5 million, the performance site can be outside the disaster area if the contract or order will directly assist the disaster-recovery efforts.

* For a federal contract or order, the amount of the guarantee can be as much as $10 million at the request of the head of an agency that is involved in reconstruction efforts.

"These proposed changes are one more way we can help small businesses -- particularly in the construction and service sectors -- compete for and win critical contracting opportunities that help them grow their business and create jobs," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills [pictured]. "Additionally, these proposals would help spur economic growth and recovery in areas that have been hard-hit by disasters, bringing jobs and economic activity to a region at a time when it is needed most."

The proposed changes are related to the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act of 2008, which increases the eligible amount for contracts or orders related to a major disaster area. These proposals build on increases to surety bond guarantees made possible under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The major disaster areas are identified on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website:

Generally, the increased amounts would apply during the 12 months following the disaster declaration, unless SBA provides for an extension related to a particular disaster.

In addition to the disaster-related proposals, the Proposed Rule clarifies SBA’s position that it does not cover any costs related to insurance or indemnification requirements that may be contained in the bonded contract. It specifically excludes from the losses covered by SBA any costs that arise from the principal’s failure to secure and maintain insurance that result from any claims or judgments that exceed the amount of insurance coverage, and that arise from an agreement by the principal to indemnify the contractor or any other persons.

SBA partners with the surety industry to help small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding in the traditional commercial marketplace. Under the partnership, SBA provides a guarantee to the participating surety company of between 70 and 90 percent of the bond amount.

Through its Surety Bond Guarantee Program, SBA also helps owners by guaranteeing bid, payment and performance bonds to protect the project owner against financial loss if a contractor defaults or fails to perform.

The Proposed Rule is available for public inspection at the Federal Register:

Comments on these proposed changes must be received on or before May 26, 2010, and can be submitted at, or mailed or hand-delivered to Office of Surety Guarantees, Suite 8600, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416. SBA will post all comments on

SBA assistance in locating a participating surety company or agent, and completing application forms, is available online. For more information on SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program, including Surety Office contacts, go online to, or call 1-800-U-ASK-SBA.

SOURCES: Library of Congress, U.S. Small Business Administration

PayPal Is the Safer, Easier Way to Make a Payment or Set Up a Merchant Account. Get Your FREE Premier Business Account Now.

Monday, May 03, 2010

May 10-13: SBA, AEO to Co-Sponsor National Conference to Promote Microenterprise Development and Job Creation

Expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs and small-business owners will be the focus of the 2010 National Microenterprise Conference and Training Institute, May 10-13, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Va.

"Some of the most innovative and promising businesses across the country are microenterprises, small companies that offer significant opportunities to create jobs and strengthen the nation’s competitive edge in the global market," said Karen G. Mills, administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration. "This conference gives us the chance to bring together a broad coalition of organizations to ensure we are leveraging our resources in effective ways and making sure that these entrepreneurs and small-business owners have the tools and support they need to succeed and drive our nation’s economic recovery.”

"Our country has been, and its recovery will be, built on the enterprise of our people -- on their ideas, their energies, and their willingness to take risks and pursue their aspirations," noted Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity [pictured]. "Through microenterprise development, those kinds of dreams can become reality for countless numbers of people to create jobs, support their families, and revitalize our communities. This gathering represents more than a conference; it is a validation of our commitment to provide economic opportunity for those who seek to seize the promise of America through microenterprise."

Co-sponsored by SBA and AEO, the event will bring together hundreds of representatives of nonprofit institutions, government agencies, foundations and universities to promote and support small-business job creation in the U.S.

The event will focus on microenterprise development, credit building and microfinance, and will feature workshops, town hall meetings, networking opportunities, plenary sessions and speaker presentations on solving the challenges that small businesses face in order to succeed in the new economy.

Mills will be the luncheon keynote speaker on Tuesday, May 11. In addition to Mills and Evans, other confirmed speakers include:

* Robert Annibale, Global Director, Citi Microfinance & Community Relations
* James Gutierrez, Founder & CEO, Progress Financiero
* Jennifer Henderson, CEO, Strategic Decisions LLC; and Director, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream Inc. Board of Directors
* Ted Howard, Executive Director, Democracy Collaborative
* Chris Larsen, CEO,
* Rae-Ann Miller, Special Advisor to the Director, Division of Insurance and Research, FDIC
* Eskinder Negash, Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
* Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Dept. of Labor

About SBA & AEO
SBA is an independent agency of the federal government that was created to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small-business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

AEO is a national membership organization and voice of microenterprise development in the United States. AEO strives to foster greater understanding of the importance of strong and effective microenterprise initiatives to the U.S. economy, and to increase capacity of the field to support underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and establishing businesses.

For more information about the 2010 National Microenterprise Conference & Training Institute, or to register as a participant, visit

SOURCES: Association for Enterprise Opportunity [photo], U.S. Small Business Administration

Top Deals for the Business Traveler -- Only at!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

May 2: Young Entrepreneurs to Serve Up Lemonade Day Across the U.S.

Tomorrow, young and aspiring entrepreneurs [think "Family Ties"' briefcase-toting Alex P. Keaton, portrayed by the inimitable Michael J. Fox] in cities from coast to coast will gather for hands-on lessons about the importance of doing good while doing well. Glass by glass, boys and girls in grades pre-K through 12 will celebrate Lemonade Day, a unique experiential learning opportunity combining academics and life skills to teach youth about entrepreneurship.

Lemonade Day is an initiative organized by Prepared 4 Life, a growing nonprofit network of communities devoted to developing meaningful outreach and educational opportunities for young people. The program is designed to teach children how to start, own and operate their own business -- a lemonade stand, an iconic American symbol of entrepreneurship. It provides an opportunity for families, businesses, faith-based community organizations and schools to come together for a common purpose: to train the next generation of entrepreneurs through a free, fun, engaging and experiential activity.

Young Lemonade Day entrepreneurs keep everything they earn. In the spirit of a true business, they are encouraged to open a savings account; pay back investors; and make a further investment in their community by donating a portion of their profits to a charity of their choice.

The annual event started in 2007, with just three flagship cities: Austin, Tex.; Houston, Tex.; and Wayne County, Ind. In 2010, 11 metropolitan cities have been added: Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tex.; Denver, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Los Angeles, Cal.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Antonio, Tex.; San Francisco Bay Area, Cal.; and Washington, D.C. Additional communities include Durham, N.C. and East Hartford, Conn.

Through sponsorships, companies can donate or become a partner. Businesses are also encouraged to get employees involved by distributing information, or even creating a companywide family event around Lemonade Day.

For information about how your business or organization can get involved in future Lemonade Day events, visit Or, you can contact Julie Eberly at

SOURCE: Prepared 4 Life

Help Nurture the Learning and Development of Future Generations. Shop PBS KIDS at

Landrieu Letter to SBA: Support Small-Business Owners Impacted By Oil-Spill Disaster

Yesterday, United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu [D-La., pictured], chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent the following letter to Karen Mills, administrator of the Small Business Administration [SBA], in support of small-business owners who may be impacted by the BP oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

* * *

April 30, 2010

The Honorable Karen G. Mills
Small Business Administration
409 Third Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20416

Re: Disaster Loans and Financial Relief for Small Businesses Impacted by the April 20th Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Dear Administrator Mills:

I write to urge the Small Business Administration [SBA] to make available as soon as possible SBA disaster loans and all other SBA assistance to small businesses in Louisiana impacted by the oil spill. This request is strongly supported by the Governor of Louisiana and other state leaders. In anticipation of a declaration, I ask that the SBA organize a lending briefing on the coast of Louisiana for the fishermen and other impacted businesses, and to coordinate with other federal agencies -- including the Department of Commerce [Commerce] and the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] -- to make the recovery process as easy as possible.

As you know, a significant portion of my state’s businesses rely on the Gulf for their livelihoods, from shrimpers and oystermen to restaurants, processing plants, and shipping companies. With an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil a day spewing from the blown-out well underneath the Deepwater Horizon rig, it is urgent that SBA coordinate with the other agencies to assess the impact of the oil spill, issue the necessary declarations for businesses to access disaster loans, and make it as easy as possible for the harmed businesses to determine which agency will help them and how to apply.

Of particular concern is coordination between the SBA and USDA. In recent years -- for example, when Red Tide struck coastal communities in New England -- businesses have fallen through the cracks because SBA and USDA have not had clear policies about whether a fishing or shellfish entity is a business or a farmer, and therefore whether it is eligible for assistance through the SBA or the USDA. And, when it was eligible for assistance through the USDA, the assistance was more limited.

Following the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes, many Gulf Coast businesses also were deemed "too agricultural" for SBA and "not agricultural" enough for USDA, leaving them without sufficient disaster recovery assistance. I ask that you personally make sure that this process runs smoothly.

I also strongly support the State’s request to temporarily defer loan repayments for Louisiana coastal businesses that are impacted by the oil spill and have existing disaster loans, and am ready to help in any way to make that possible. To complement those deferrals, I ask for your support for legislation I have that would forgive a portion of the interest on outstanding disaster loans for businesses that are still struggling as Louisiana continues down the long road to recovery from the devastation of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav.

More specifically, S. 2986, the Southeast Hurricanes Small Business Disaster Relief Act of 2010, would create a program to waive up to $15,000 of interest on 2005 and 2008 small-business disaster loans. It would be available over a three-year period and have the effect of significantly lowering the monthly payments owed by small businesses, so that they would have needed capital to keep operating and retain employees.

Thank you, in advance, for your prompt cooperation on these requests. I look forward to working with you to make federal emergency assistance available as soon as possible to the businesses in my state.


Mary L. Landrieu
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

SOURCES: GovTrack, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Infusionsoft Is the Only Software That GUARANTEES to DOUBLE YOUR SALES. Get a FREE 15-DAY TRIAL to Email Marketing 2.0 Now.