Entrepreneurship News: May 21, 2012

I’ve been out of town attending graduations for both of my brothers (one from undergrad and one from law school) so there is no Entrepreneurship News video this week. However, here are the top small business news stories:

Minority Contracts Fall for First Time in Decade: According the Washington Post, minority-owned small businesses are having a tougher time winning contracts with the federal government. While contracting for all companies is on the decline, that decline is more marked for minority-owned companies.

Senate Approves Extension of Export-Import Bank: I mentioned last week that the House had approved an extension of funding for the Export-Import Bank, and this week the Senate has followed suit. The Export-Import Bank provides insurance and financing for US companies that export goods and services and is often the only source of this type of support for small businesses.

Central Contractor Registration System to Shut Down May 23: For years companies wanting to do business with the federal government had to get registered in the Central Contractor Registration System or CCR. This is where all of your basic company information resided and it was a necessity before you could even begin to go after government contracts. However, the CCR wasn’t the only system being used to keep track of federal government contractors and the General Services Administration has been leading a charge to try to consolidate all of the disparate systems and, theoretically, make things easier for both the feds and for businesses. Since some of the transition is slated to happen over Memorial Day Weekend, the CCR will stop accepting updates this Wednesday, May 23rd. The new System for Award Management, or SAM, should be available – with all of the functionality of the disabled systems – starting on Tuesday, May 29th.

Obama Visits Small Business to Plug Tax Breaks for Hiring: President Obama visited a local DC deli to chat with Karen Mills, Small Business Administrator, and a few small business owners this past week. He took the opportunity to tout SBA’s successes and campaign a bit by promoting the small business tax breaks that he plans to get Congress to pass. It’s great to see the President out supporting small businesses, however, as someone with an office located less than 2 blocks from the White House I am well aware of what a Presidential visit means: shut down streets, locked down buildings, etc. So, while the deli that President Obama visited may be able to share in some of the great publicity that Obama created, I wonder what impact his visit had on the other small businesses on that block. Did his security team shut the street down, like often happens? If they did, how are those other businesses fairing having lost a day of revenues? I don’t know happened and I hope that President Obama planned ahead to ensure that no businesses were negatively impacted by his visit, but it would be great to have all of the facts.

Public Comments on the JOBS Act: Don’t forget to share your thoughts on how the JOBS Act should be implemented with the SEC!


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