small business

Report: Nearly half of small businesses not ready for two-week slowdown

A report released last fall on the financial stability of U.S. small businesses in 25 metros has been given new context as attempts to slow the coronavirus pandemic have brought a majority of in-person commerce to a halt across communities, the country, and the globe. The JP Morgan Chase report found that 29 percent of small businesses were unprofitable and 47 percent had less than two weeks of liquidity. The situation was worse — often twice as much — in communities with lower-than-average home values, college graduates, or majority minority populations.

SBA: Small business share of GDP continues structural decline

The share of the nation’s economy stemming from small businesses — “the lifeblood of the U.S. economy” — has waned since 1998, according to a new report by Kathryn Kobe and Richard Schwinn on behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Despite overall growth in small business GDP, the number of small businesses and their employment levels have not yet recovered from their pre-recession value. At the same time, the numbers of large businesses and large business employees have grown continuously, and large business GDP makes up an increasing share of the national pie.

Large companies dominate business R&D expenditures

Companies employing more than 5,000 people represent nearly two-thirds (63.9 percent) of all business R&D in the United States, according to an analysis of NSF’s Business Research, Development, and Innovation Survey (BRDIS). With the recent release of more detailed numbers and to expand on a Useful Stats report from earlier this year, this analysis focuses on business R&D by company size. Small and mid-sized companies made up the highest share of business R&D in Alaska, New Mexico and Louisiana. In Delaware, Michigan and Oregon, large companies made up the highest share of business R&D.

DOE Announces Third Round Small Business Voucher Pilot Program

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has launched the third round of the Small Business Vouchers (SBVs) pilot program. In this round of funding, DOE will commit up to $5 million in technical assistance from DOE national labs to help bring the next generation of clean technologies to market in nine technical areas of interest. Proposals are due November 10. For the third round, EERE hopes to increase new small businesses collaborating with the DOE national laboratories. As such, small businesses with little to no experience working with the DOE national labs are strongly encouraged to submit requests for assistance.

DOE Selects 43 Businesses to Collaborate in Second SBV Pilot Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that 43 small businesses had been selected to participate in the second round of its Small Business Voucher (SBV) pilot project, and was collectively awarded more than $8 million for a wide range of R&D clean energy, public-private sector innovation activities. The winning businesses will have the opportunity to collaborate with 12 DOE labs, as well as access to world class facilities and expert advice from renowned scientists and engineers to bring their clean energy technologies to market. The DOE laboratories scheduled to work with the awardees will offer their support and resources to commercialize clean energy techs involving advanced manufacturing, bioenergy, buildings, fuel cells, geothermal, solar, vehicles and water. Nearly $15 million in SBVs have been awarded in Rounds 1 and 2. The first SBV pilot took place in the fall of 2015 and involved 33 small businesses. Information involving Round 3 of the SBV program is expected to be released in October.

SBA Releases Final Rules on Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program

On July 25, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a framework that allows qualifying small and disadvantaged businesses to obtain developmental assistance from mentor companies (both large and small businesses) and form joint ventures with those mentors to pursue government contracts. The new small business mentor-protégé program allows mentors to provide technical/management assistance, financial assistance, trade education and/or assistance in performing prime contracts with federal agencies through joint venture arrangements for up to three years. Under the rules of the program, mentors may own up to 40 percent of the protégé. Mentors may have up to three protégés under the new program. Read the final rules…

DOE Accepting Applications for Small Business Voucher Pilot Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is accepting applications for the first round of its Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV) program. Under the SBV program, the DOE will commit up to $20 million in technical and research assistance awards to help small businesses bring next-generation clean energy technologies. Companies may apply for and receive up to $300,000 in assistance from U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories nationwide. Assistance will be offered in nine topical areas and can range from materials development to modeling to prototyping and scale-up, and much more. 

The Link Between Creative Destruction, Life Satisfaction

Although the uncertainty associated with business churn may cause concern for some, regions with more job turnover also exhibit signs of higher life-satisfaction, according to a recent study. In Creative Destruction and Subjective Wellbeing, researchers from Harvard University, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania use cross-sectional MSA level data to analyze the relationship between turnover-driven growth and subjective well-being. Ultimately, the authors find life satisfaction is significantly higher in regions with high job turnover rates. 

Twenty Universities, Organizations Receive FAST Awards to Support Tech-Focused Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration announced the FY15 awardees of its Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. In FY15, 20 state and local economic development agencies, business development centers, and colleges and universities will receive $100,000 each to support programs to establish and/or sustain programs that provide support to innovative, technology-driven small businesses in their state and help them compete in federally funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Activities supported by FAST awards include: research and development assistance; technology transfer efforts; proposals development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR awards; and, the commercialization of SBIR/STTR-funded technologies.

Small Business Owners Optimistic About Future Economic Conditions, New Survey Finds

Business owners felt overwhelmingly optimistic about the future, as over 80 percent of them predicted their revenues would increase over the next three months and that financial conditions would be better as well, according to a new survey from and Bloomberg  Professional Service.  The Thumbtack Small Business Sentiment Survey captures the economic sentiment of more than 10,000 small businesses nationwide on a monthly basis by surveying both owners and employees of those businesses.  Other findings include:


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