Reference Guides, Blogs and Policy Papers

Small Business Reference Guide

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), chairman and ranking member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, released a reference guide (pdf) this week detailing successful practices for small businesses. What Works for Small Businesses (pdf) contains hundreds of methods designed to enhance entrepreneurship and improve the economy. The guide includes responses from economic development agencies and policymakers in 38 states detailing effective practices.

Changes to Reservist Loan Program

Legislative changes have made a Small Business Administration loan program more accessible to small businesses facing financial loss when the owner or an essential employee is called to active military duty. Changes to the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program became effective Oct. 28. The legislation extended the application period, increased the unsecured loan threshold, and raised the maximum loan limit.

A small business now can apply for a loan on the date the essential employee receives notice of the expected call-up. The application period is extended to one year after the essential employee is discharged from active duty, an increase from the previous 90-day application window. Additionally, the small business is no longer required to pledge collateral to secure a loan of $50,000 or less. Previously, the business was required to put up collateral if the loan amount exceeded $5,000.

New Small Business Blog

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has launched a blog, The Small Business Watchdog, highlighting its working papers, interviews and other topics of interest to the small business community. Additionally, Shawne McGibbon has been named acting chief counsel at the office replacing Tom Sullivan who departed on Oct. 24.

Hispanic Small Businesses in D.C.

The Washington DC Economic Partnership and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce released a Spanish edition of the "2008 Doing Business in Washington, DC Guide Book" at a program held at the Spanish Embassy this month to encourage entrepreneurship and business development within the District's Hispanic community. The program also unveiled an outreach program to educate the Hispanic business community about the benefits of achieving Certified Business Enterprise status. This initiative is scheduled to launch next year. The 65-page book can be picked up from the partnership's office at 1495 F St., NW, or downloaded from the Web as a pdf file. An English version of the book (pdf) is also available.

Policy Paper

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council has released a policy paper, Entrepreneurs & Elections: The Issues that Matter to Small Business and the Economy (pdf) outlining its positions on issues such as the personal income tax, the capital gains tax, expensing and tax reform.

By Sharon McLoone |  October 29, 2008; 2:07 PM ET Tools and Tips
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