Government Resources for Entrepreneurs
By Karen E. Klein | BusinessWeek
Government Volunteers for Discussions?
Sternberg hopes to recruit government employees from other federal agencies to take part in the discussions and even moderate the forums and blog on the site, although she acknowledges that it isn’t easy asking people to take on added responsibilities. She hopes to convince her colleagues that answering questions at the forum will help reduce the amount of time many of them spend answering telephone calls from frustrated business owners.
Although the SBA has aggregated federal, state, and local business regulations at the site, Sternberg says, they found that entrepreneurs often had questions about compliance that needed personal responses. “People have nuanced situations, like they’re doing business in one state and trying to sell in another. We found we were leaving some business owners high and dry,” she says.
Another government area that is the focus of increased interest from small business is federal contracting, particularly with the stimulus money set to flood into state and local governments over the next several months. A few of the resources aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with government contracts follow:
The National Association of Small Business Contractors and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce are sponsors of National Small Business Federal Contracting Week in Washington, D.C., in March. The conference, which aims to help small companies connect with government contractors, will be held Mar. 3-5. Regional events focusing on various areas of government work are held throughout the country several times annually.
Women Impacting Public Policy, an advocacy organization for female and minority small business owners, offers a program designed to help small business owners get involved in the federal contracting process. Podcasts about the basics of federal contracting are available at the group’s Web site along with a schedule of training Webinars. A guide to navigating the federal contracting landscape can be downloaded as a .pdf file here.
Karen E. Klein is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers entrepreneurship and small-business issues.
Courtesy of 2009 Yellowbirx