What do you want to see on BusinessUSA?
Responding to feedback from business owners across the country, the Obama administration is launching BusinessUSA in early 2012. BusinessUSA is going to be a one-stop shop, online platform where businesses of all sizes can access services and information to help them grow and hire.
To ensure that it is oriented towards the needs of the customer, we want to make sure that the customers are involved in BusinessUSA's design. That's where you come in. Tell us how you would like this system to be structured, what you would like it to do and how you think it should work.
I'd like to see BusinessUSA used as a forum to urge the White House to reduce taxes enough that small businesses have a fighting chance, and Americans have a choice between leeching off of the established or taking a corporate job.
Hamza Mohammed commented
Looking for ideas for ideas for American businesses to collaborate in new enterprises in Africa. Particularly in countries in West Africa. Export/Import, Venture Capital and Infrastructure or sustainable development.
Would like to see more startup funding for minorities who due to layoffs are other problems due to the ecomonic down turn there credit have taking a hard hit but have a good ideals for a business they could start.
Small businesses do not have the resources (or sometimes capabilities) to research information and services that helps them grow in a competitive environment which is becoming increasingly global in nature.
The BusinessUSA should specifically focus on mitigating small business challenges. There should be services that connect large and small businesses to connect and create value for growing and hiring.
Carol Coughlin commented
There are many state as well as federal programs for small businesses but these programs are not well known. I would suggest that federal and state level officials launch joint programs to get the word out about these programs.
I would like to see a program where each Gov't agency and each big business division establishes a coaching partnership with a U.S. small business. Giving them opportunities, coaching them, helping them to grow to the next level. This should be targeted to help small companies who are over 500,000 and under 5 million in sales and over 10 years old.
Quarterly reporting on gov't agency and big business spend with small and diverse businesses. Break down per category. Penalties for those who don't spend appropriately.
Gov't and big business should have to spend an equal amount or more in small business as they spend outside the country.
Deb Carey commented
A site that lists things made in America. Also, a logo that can be used on products would be great.
Argeo Dominguez commented
Priority to areas of the country most affected by unemployment and foreclosures
Argeo Dominguez commented
Prioris areas of the country most affected by unemployment and foreclosures
Family business is ok but what happen when "it is all in the family"
Is there any way to make sure sub contractor are of a different family?
Michele Gault commented
I second Sheri Sensabaugh's suggestion to include links to state programs. Perhaps you could have an interactive map where site users could click on their state to get either a listing of state programs for small business, or a link to the state's economic development office. I looked at the temporary site and think it's a good start, but I suggest that you list SBDC much higher on the list, and highlight it as the premier resource that it is. The SBDC should be the first stop for existing businesses and is a great example of a federal-state economic development partnership. In the interest of disclosure, I work for the California SBDC network as their statewide director of outreach and partnerships.
Mickey Blake commented
The current site updates are amazing and well organize. I'm hoping this Business USA platform will provide the infrastructure for local agencies such as the SBA to help get the word out. I know you have limited resources in the marketing department but continuing to reach out using social media tools will be somewhat effective. I will add a link to my website and reach out to local commerce and small business offices but my reach is limited. It would be valuable to have a map of services and agencies per state. Now that I think about it, a national marketing campaign with the SBA/Commerce offices combined with the mapping tool could be highly effective. They know on a local level which business exist.
Sheri Sensabaugh commented
I think it would be helpful to have not only a federal directory of services but state links as well. They need to have immediate access to the person of authority not an administrative assistant. Perhaps educating local SBDC employees on all programs available to access cash and successfully utilize incentives and tax credits would be the quickest way to grass roots this program. SBDC would then have to contact/market this to their business community. I find it very frustrating and overly time consuming for myself and my staff to research what is available, then determine what we qualify for and finally figure out a system that works for our business to actually benefit...examples the HIRE act tax credits 2010, ARC small business $30,000 loan. In talking with my peers, my bank and regional businesses no one took advantage of the above referenced credits/loan because it was too hard to figure out/implement for too little money/advantage. So actually they did not help create many jobs or keep small businesses from financial crisis in our region of western MD. Local SBDC offices seem to be the most likely vehicle to market the Veterans HIRE act and perhaps identify unemployed vets in there region. These offices exist nationally all ready and in my opinion don't really help small business as they could.
Thank You .
As Small Business owner I greet the Mr. President online platform all sizes business
help grow program. I see the innovation as necessary , especial in online platform
when a foreign Small Business have at the same possibility and new offers and options
to reach many of customers by fullscale advertising , as allow rech the most of
Successful Companies through diffirent communications.
Mr. Ari Matusiak,
Thank You for a exclusive privilege that I am honored , for great opportunity as allow
me promotion a current Feedback Representation . I would like to hope do not
dissapoint that high trust as U.S. Government has been render to me.
I will try to do my best for reach successful realization that very important for me,
and will be happy , in case successful final of current ' HALEL LA SHEM ' realization,
Respected Representative Mr. R. A. Abramovich Whom skill and astonish talent to find
the right and suitable nacessary threads from diffirent sides of our World for bring
progress and success particular to Small Business Fine Art , the way permit to find us
the most of Respected Government Partners, that we as Small Business are honored
Thank You again.
Wendy J commented
Good point from Anonymous. When my husband left the Air Force, his resume read well for military service, but it meant nothing to anyone in business. He has found similar among retirees and other friends leaving a service. They simply don't know how to write a good resume to apply their skills to what is needed in the business community. Get them some assistance on resume writing, and then help them find US, and us find them.
For example, Is there an online job bank of exclusively service vets that we can visit to see if they qualify for our open positions? That would be really helpful, whether at the State, local or Federal level. Maybe you can partner with an online jobs bulletin board, such as Monster or CareerBuilder to create a section exclusive to Vets?
One stop shopping would be great. I am working with my State to try to make it easier to know what Veterans are looking for work and how we can better connect with them. One thing that needs to be made available is we need a clear and concise description of their skill sets as well as anyone that is interested in entering and has the apptitude to be successful in other areas of interest. Therefore, testing up front for job fits and past experience and training is important.
Wendy J commented
Ari, the site you link to (and its subsequent links) is sooo much better than anything I've seen before from the US government. I've been wandering a few sections, and there's so much there that seems organized and well considered, I'm blown away. I commented on my FB page at how impressive and how much better it is.
Like we said in the Forum, you need a Chief Marketing Officer to get the word out, to market these new and improved services. My reach is tiny. You need some serious PR, for both the new websites AND the services they link to. Trust me...nobody knows about this stuff.
I wish you guys had some sort of mind map of how services, agencies and programs are connected at the federal level. A visual showing connections goes a long way in explaining what words cannot.
Ari Matusiak commented
Thanks for all of the good feedback, everyone. It is much appreciated. I just want to note that we have put a lsting of resources together for you to access and use while we're in the process of standing up BusinessUSA. You can find this digest of programs and services that can help your businesses grow and succeed at www.whitehouse.gov/economy/business/resources. Please check it out. We don't want you to wait.