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Small Business Pulse Survey Phase 7 announced

The U.S. Census Bureau has recently announced that data collection has begun for Phase 7 of the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS). The SBPS measures the effects of changing conditions for small businesses (businesses that have a single location and under 500 employees) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This phase of the survey also includes new questions on changes in the use of digital technologies and in business, production, and management practices.

Japan to propose $88B university fund for science and technology innovation

Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s advisory panel called for an $88 billion university fund to establish the nation as a center of science and technology and distribute wealth to the wider public.

SSTI members share success from apprenticeships and other programs

A job market that was struck an unprecedented blow with the pandemic became the focus of a recovery built on better jobs, not simply maintaining the status quo. And for workers across the country, myriad programs exist, or are being developed, to help them upskill or reskill as they seek new opportunities and adjust to changing demands of the labor market. Even as National Apprenticeship Week is underway this week, change is evident as the U.S.

Making the most of SSBCI

The U.S. Department of the Treasury will be meeting with SSTI members on Nov. 22 to discuss the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). States, venture development organizations and numerous other tech-based economic development entities around the country are looking for information on how to best use the program to effectively support small business capital access in their regions.

Workforce, industry clusters listed as top priorities under EDA’s Statewide Planning Grants

As the Economic Development Administration (EDA) continues to award its $3 billion allotment of pandemic relief funding made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), many states are taking aim at several specific areas of economic concern — while others are maintaining a broad perspective. Under the Statewide Planning, Research & Networks program (“planning grants”), EDA provides $1 million grants to states to use in forming coordinated state-wide plans for economic development as well as developing the data, tools, and capacity to evaluate and scale evidence-based economic development efforts. SSTI’s analysis of the funded projects’ brief descriptions shows that states were split between those focusing on broadly-scoped planning projects and those focusing on a few specific areas of interest.

Bipartisan infrastructure act includes billions for regional innovation

Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure framework, formally, the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it the week of Nov. 15. While small as a percentage of the trillion-dollar total, there are a number of proposed items that can support regional innovation economies, with broadband being the highest funded.

Treasury releases SSBCI guidance

The U.S. Department of the Treasury released long-awaited guidance on the new implementation of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The rules provide preliminary guidance to states, territories and Tribal governments on permissible uses of $9.3 billion in funds to support small business capital access.

Useful Stats: SSBCI allocations by category and state

This edition of SSTI’s Useful Stats examines the expected allocation of approximately $8.5 billion in State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding by state and allocation category based on the Department of the Treasury’s recent guidance update.

New broadband mapping tool announced in Illinois

Gov. J.B Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) have announced a new project for interactive broadband mapping and speed test tools that is intended to help expand access to high-speed internet in communities across Illinois. The project entails the creation of the interactive Connect Illinois Broadband Map and the Illinois Broadband Lab.

FCC commits additional $421 million in off-campus learning support to bridge the pandemic “homework gap”

A $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) was established by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act to help ease the educational impact on students of school closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While much instruction transitioned to an online environment, many students were inadequately equipped to properly participate. To address issues with access to technology, the program provides funding to schools and libraries across the nation to purchase connected devices and equipment needed for students to use off-campus. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) latest commitment of $421 million brings the program’s total funding to more than $3 billion.

SBA hosting Innovation Ecosystem Summit next week

The U.S. Small Business Administration is hosting its first innovation ecosystem summit, a free virtual event that is open to all. The summit is expected to connect entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that work with startups and small businesses — particularly those serving underrepresented communities — that are trying to build out and commercialize their technologies. The three-day summit takes place next week, Nov. 15-17.

Applicants sought to address manufacturing workforce inclusion

As the manufacturing sector rebounds, it is expected to need over two million new workers over the next decade to meet supply shortages and increasing demand in sectors such as infrastructure, energy efficiency, and medical equipment.

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