SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Women-owned businesses on the rise, but still lag in revenue, employee totals

The number of women-owned business has increased significantly in recent years, but more needs to be done to level the playing field to increase the revenue and employee counts of these businesses, according to two recent studies. More venture capital is needed, as well as mentoring, training and opportunities for women of color.

Fintech lenders boost growth in unsecured loans

More borrowers are utilizing the rapidly growing fintech lending industry to garner record numbers of unsecured personal loans.  American have “sharply increased their use of unsecured personal loans because of the growing presence of fintech lenders,” according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

EDA announces $23 million for 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies cohort

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced Regional Innovation Strategies awards — i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support — to 44 organizations. Those awards are worth $23.5 million in federal funding matched by $26 million from a variety of private and public sector sources for nearly $50 million for projects to support entrepreneurship and innovation in 28 states and two territories.

Ten states selected for manufacturing-focused Policy Academy

Ten states from across the country have been selected as part of a unique program designed to grow and strengthen their manufacturers. Over the course of the next year, interdisciplinary state teams will meet together in Washington, D.C., and separately in their home states, to develop and refine strategies impacting manufacturing industries.

New Business Formation Statistics: Census Bureau updates BFS format, invites user feedback

With the Census Bureau’s July 17 release of the 2019 2nd Quarter update, the bureau’s Business Formation Statistics (BFS) changed format. Originally developed as an experimental research project in the bureau’s Center for Economic Studies in February 2018, the BFS has been redesigned as a formal release, complete with interactive data selection and visualization tools, and relocated with the bureau’s other regularly released economic indicators.

Automation could increase economic divide between urban areas & rural communities

The continuing trend toward automation could widen the disparities between high-growth urban areas and rural counties at a time when workforce mobility is at historic lows, and the current economic health of urban, suburban and rural economies will impact their ability to adapt, according to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute: The Future

Rural hospital closures impacting counties’ employment, wage growth

A recent story from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City examines how hospital closures in rural areas have economic impacts that reverberate throughout the community. The report’s author, Kelly Edmiston, found that rural counties with hospital closures saw meaningfully lower annual growth in employment and aggregate wages three years after the closure than counties without hospital closures. Closings were found to have a larger effect on smaller counties, where the hospital has a higher share of employment and wages relative to the total county employment and wages.

Venture-backed exits set record for first half of year

Several mega-deal IPOs, including Uber, Zoom and Pinterest, and strong merger and acquisition activity, combined to create a record-setting $188.5 billion in venture-backed exit value for the first half of 2019, according to VentureMonitor, the quarterly report on venture capital investment compiled by the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook. According to the report, the six-month total for 2019 has already topped the full-year total for all prior years.

Report highlights changing geographical trends in U.S. manufacturing

A recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) details the changes in manufacturing’s geographic concentration across the country between 1940 and 2016. Manufacturing was the largest source of employment in 15 states in 1940, concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, and had grown to the largest source of employment in 18 states by 2000, concentrated in the Southeast and central states. However, manufacturing was the largest source of employment in only Indiana and Wisconsin by 2016.

DOL announces apprenticeship awards, new funding, seeks public comment

The Department of Labor recently announced awards totaling $183.8 million in Scaling Apprenticeships Through Sector-Based Strategies grants. Funded through H-1B visa fees, the grants will support the training of more than 85,000 apprentices. The grantees include 23 academic institutions and grant-matching industry consortia representing 18 states, and includes three SSTI members — the University of Cincinnati, Lorain County Community College and the State University of New York Research Foundation.

Useful Stats: NIH awards by metro, 2014-2018

Home to the Research Triangle Park and top-tier research universities like Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area led all regions in per capita NIH funding in FY 2018 and placed sixth in total funding that year, according to a new analysis by SSTI. This edition of Useful Stats looks at all NIH awards at the regional level over the five-year period between FY 2014 and FY 2018. Boston led all regions in total NIH funding in FY 2018, while NIH funding in the Washington, D.C., region increased by the greatest percentage over the five-year period among major metropolitan areas.

FLC calling for state & local government partnership success stories

The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) is accepting federal laboratory T2 partnership story submissions for an online publication of state and local government successes this year. Recognizing that federal lab and state and local government partnerships are critical to the nation’s economy, FLC will showcase the regional value that results from such partnerships. The stories will be published in the FLC Success Stories Gallery and promoted across different media channels. The submission deadline is Oct. 11, and submissions must be made through the FLC portal.

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