Archive: July 6, 2008 - July 12, 2008

SBA Ombudsman Grades Agencies On Responsiveness

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit are the laggards when it comes to responsiveness to regulatory and compliance issues faced by small businesses during fiscal 2007. The Office of the National Ombudsman at the Small Business Administration released its annual report (pdf) today rating...

By Sharon McLoone | July 11, 2008; 5:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lawmakers Boost SBA Budget, Nix Women's Procurement Rule

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill late Thursday providing $107 million in additional funding for the Small Business Administration and some of its core programs. The bill increases funding for Small Business Development Centers, Women Business Centers, microloans, contracting assistance and veterans' outreach programs. The funding increases the budget...

By Sharon McLoone | July 11, 2008; 4:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Local Liquidator Flourishes in a Tight Market

While some firms are simply trying to stay afloat during this national economic slump, D.C.-based Liquidity Services is finding a booming market thanks to online bargain seekers. The company has about 900,000 registered buyers, most of whom are small businesses. Liquidity sells overstocked or returned goods from retailers, including some...

By Sharon McLoone | July 10, 2008; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (2)

Fortune 500s Awarded Contracts Tagged for Small Business

Washington Watchdogs, a periodic feature of the Post's investigations blog, wrote yesterday about investigators from the Department of the Interior discovering that $5.7 million in contracts earmarked for "small businesses" actually were given to several Fortune 500 companies. Department Inspector General Earl Devaney launched the investigation after complaints came in...

By Sharon McLoone | July 9, 2008; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Small Business Blog!

Today marks the first anniversary of the Small Business Blog on washingtonpost.com. Thanks for reading the blog, offering me comments and suggestions and making me part of your small business community. I've been a journalist for almost 20 years and this is my first venture into blogdom. It's taken me...

By Sharon McLoone | July 9, 2008; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Small Business Data Shows Mixed Bag

New economic data show a mixed bag for small business growth, but small firms continue to motor ahead in a sluggish economy. They are making more use of independent contractors as a means to avoid offering pricey benefits packages to new employees, according to new data from payroll service firm...

By Sharon McLoone | July 8, 2008; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

Everybody Loves a Parade

While national holidays around D.C. and other urban areas are often celebrated on a grand scale full of pomp and circumstance, don't forget the neighborhood parade. They can be a great way for a small business to reach out to customers and have some fun. I spent my July 4th...

By Sharon McLoone | July 7, 2008; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Unbundling To Offset Costs

Now is not the time for a small business to increase prices as customers already are feeling the effects of a sour economy, but "unbundling" may be one way to increase profits without directly increasing prices. Pauline Leitch, director of the Business Finance Center at the Community Business Partnership in...

By Sharon McLoone | July 7, 2008; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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