The administration has a number of services that help small firms obtain and fulfill government contracts. It sets aside suitable government purchases for competitive award to small business concerns and provides an appeal procedure for a low-bidding small firm whose ability to perform a contract is questioned by the contracting officer. The SBA maintains close ties with prime contractors and refers qualified small firms to them. In addition, it works with federal agencies in setting goals for procuring prime contracts and subcontracts for small businesses, especially those owned by women and members of disadvantaged groups.
The SBA is recognized for its longtime effort to provide education, counseling, and information to small business owners and prospective owners. It has increasingly relied on forging partnerships with nongovernmental groups to deliver business education and training programs at low cost.
The Business Information Center BIC program is an innovative approach to providing a one-stop location for information, education, and training. Components of BIC include the latest computer hardware and software, an extensive small business reference library, and a collection of current management videotapes.
The SBA also produces many pamphlets and publications about a variety of business and management topics. It has also established SBA Online, a toll-free electronic bulletin board for small businesses. Sections 7 j and 8 a of the Small Business Act provide for the Minority Enterprise Development Program, designed to promote business ownership by socially and economically disadvantaged persons. Participation is available to small businesses that are at least 51 percent unconditionally owned, controlled, and managed by one or more individuals determined by the SBA to be socially and economically disadvantaged.
Program participants receive a wide variety of services, including management and technical assistance, loans, and federal contracts. The Office of Advocacy serves as a leading advocate within public policy councils for the more than 22 million small businesses in the United States. The office, which is headed by the chief counsel for advocacy, lobbies Congress, the executive branch, and state agencies concerning the interests and needs of small business. The office also is a leading source of information about the state of small business and the issues that affect small business success and growth.
The Office of Women's Business Ownership OWBO provides assistance to the increasing number of women business owners and acts as their advocate in the public and private sector.
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It is the only office in the federal government specifically targeted to women business owners, assisting them through technical, financial, and management information and business training, skills counseling, and research. The OWBO has established 54 training centers in 28 states and the District of Columbia, which provide community-based training for women at every stage of their entrepreneurial careers.
In addition, the office created the Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training, a one-year mentoring program linking experienced entrepreneurs with women whose businesses are poised for growth. This program is designed to help women avoid the common mistakes of new business owners. Small Business Development Centers provide counseling and training to existing and prospective small business owners. The centers operate in every state, as well as in Puerto Rico , the U.
Virgin Islands , and Guam. Each center is a partner with state government in economic development activities to support and assist small businesses. Between and SBA programs assisted almost 20 million small businesses. The SBA continues to increase participation by minority-owned businesses by means of its minority small business program and publication of informational materials in Spanish. It maintains ten regional offices and has field offices in most major U. Bean, Jonathan J.
Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky. O'Hara, Patrick D. New York : John Wiley and Sons. Government Manual Website. License ; Small Business. The Small Business Job Protection Act SBJPA , signed into law in , contains a number of provisions that impact various aspects of small business operations, from retirement plans to changes in S Corporation structures. The small business community greeted many of the changes contained in SBJPA with considerable enthusiasm, since it was widely interpreted as an act that eliminated a number of unnecessarily burdensome provisions.
The act touched on a wide variety of areas relevant to small businesses, especially in the area of pensions. Changes made by the law can be found in such areas as the definition of highly compensated employees, deferred compensation arrangements, family aggregation rules, minimum pension participation rules, "safe harbor" rules for qualified cash or deferred arrangements CODAs , notice requirements, limits on matching contributions, distributions of excess contributions, elective deferrals that may be included as compensation, early participation nondiscrimination rules, plan distributions and QJSA waivers, employee leasing provisions, and modification of GATT interest and mortality rate rules.
Small business consultants strongly advise business owners who wish to take full advantage of the myriad changes included within SBJPA to consult with a tax advisor or other accounting professional.
Some observers estimate that the Small Business Job Protection Act has directly impacted as many as two million small businesses currently structured as Subchapter S Corporations. For instance, the law allows S Corporations to increase its shareholders from 35 to 75, giving businesses heightened capacity to attract additional investors and capital. Another change that benefited small business owners concerned an expansion in the kinds of organizations that can be shareholders.
Since many pension plans are willing to invest in promising young businesses, S Corporation owners have been able to turn to these entities as a source of significant capital. Prior to the passage of the SBJPA, S corporations could not own more than 79 percent of another company, but with the new law, they may now own percent of affiliated companies. Finally, business experts note that the SBJPA expands the number of allowable beneficiaries when an S Corporation puts together a small business trust.
Under these plans, which are designed for employers with or fewer employees who do not maintain another employer-sponsored plan, employers and employees work together to help ensure that workers have adequate financial security when they reach retirement age. The employer is required to make matching contributions and do so every year.
The SBJPA also requires that businesses contribute at least 1 percent of all employees' compensation or be subject to significant penalties. The law also impacts other elements of pension plans. For example, for the years , , and , the 15 percent excise tax on excess distributions from pension plans was suspended.
Moreover, the act introduced safe-harbor formulas for k salary deferral and matching contributions that eliminated requirements that employers conduct annual nondiscrimination testing. The safe-harbor formulas provide a way for employers to avoid nondiscrimination testing by adopting a plan with a relatively generous employer match — one that includes a contribution of at least 4 percent of pay on behalf of all eligible employees depending on employee contributions.
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June Sharp, Joel, Jr. Shaw Jr. Spring Sherman, Jr. July Department of Labor. Employment and Training Administration. Wyrsch, Mary Anne. Retrieived on 5 June When the original law expired after ten years, Congress reauthorized SBIR and increased the agencies' contributions to 2. It directs implementation of the program among participating agencies, reviews their progress, and reports annually to Congress on the status of the program. The SBA is also the information link to the program, collecting solicitation information from participating agencies and publishing it in quarterly Pre-Solicitation Announcements PSA.
These announcements are the single source for the topics and anticipated release and closing dates for each federal agency's solicitations. By , 11 federal agencies were participating in SBIR, bestowing research and development funds to small businesses in an array of industries. These agencies set aside seed funds to help small businesses develop innovative high-tech ideas whose commercial appeal may by some time in coming. Each year the agencies release for consideration more than 3, technology topics under which businesses may apply.
The topics speak to specific program problems or needs and may be found in the quarterly Pre-Solicitation Announcement PSA , which is only provided online. To be eligible for SBIR funding, a small business concern must be American-owned, independently operated, for-profit, and employ fewer than people. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible for SBIR awards. The SBIR program comprises three phases. This approach allows the government agency to invest a small amount in the beginning and then increase their financial support later should the idea show promise.
Once the project nears completion, funding drops off and the business must solicit capital from other sources. Phase One — The Concept Stage.
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At this point, business owners must have a well-formed idea for an innovative product and a specific plan for how to transform it into a commercially viable form. From here, determinations are made about whether the product is a success or a failure and whether or not it is commercially viable. About 40 percent of Phase One ideas reach this second stage. Phase Three — The Commercialization Stage.
Instead, funding must be secured from the private sector or other non-SBIR federal agency funding.
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Giannone, Michael A. November-December Gillis, Tom S. Bard Press, Wallsten, Scott J. STTR's most important role is to foster the innovation necessary to meet the nation's scientific and technological challenges in the 21st century.
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The STTR program is a cooperative research partnership between small business concerns and research institutions. It differs from SBIR in two ways. First, it places a greater emphasis on the potential for commercial success. This has spurred participating agencies to be more stringent in their evaluations of applicants. Secondly, it requires that universities, federal laboratories, or nonprofit research centers team with businesses to get product into the marketplace. These research partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit institutions enable participants to combine entrepreneurial initiative and creativity with the expertise, equipment, and other assets of nonprofit research laboratories.
The SBA summarizes the program's development and rapid growth this way. In order to be considered for the STTR program, interested small businesses must meet several criteria. For instance, they must be American-owned and independently operated for-profit enterprises. In addition, the size of the company may not exceed employees.
There is no workforce size limit for participating nonprofit research institutions, but they must also meet certain parameters of the program.
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