Small Business Jobs Act
With the help of the Small Business Jobs Act, the DC Small Business Development Center has formed an International Trade counseling division to promote exports. (This is in line with the National Export Initiative, under which President Obama committed the full powers of the federal government to support American businesses that export goods and services in an effort to improve the American economic position and create jobs in the United States.)
The international trade team has been working to identify existing resources within the federal government, especially those that are best suited for small businesses and make them easily understood and accessible for their clients. To this end, they have engaged with international trade stakeholders from various institutions, including the Department of Commerce and its International Trade Administration, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Washington Business Journal, and more. The counselors have actively reached out to potential clients in Washington D.C. and have counseled clients from a variety of industries, ranging from electronics and apparel to spirits and medical devices. They held an “Exporting Basics” workshop in October 2012, and will be holding an open house this spring.
Improve Your Online Marketing Presence
More than 50 percent of U.S. small businesses do not have a basic website. To address this need, the DC SBDC Network has created this initiative with funds from the 2010 Jobs Grant Act. It provides free counseling and technical assistance to District of Columbia-based small business owners who have not had a previous online/web presence. The purpose of the initiative is to educate small business owners about social media tools for business development and; assist them in developing websites and blogs for their businesses.
As part of the initiative, technical assistants provide workshops and trainings, “WEB DEV BOOTCAMPS”, as well as one-on-one counseling sessions designed to help clients identify appropriate web tools and sustainable web platforms for their business websites. Business owners will also have free access to assistance in the development and review of web content for their websites. Business owners without web experience and who do not plan to hire website developer are invited to take advantage of this initiative. The goal of the DC SBDC Network is to help entrepreneurs to establish their online presence and grow their businesses through access to social media and website development.