Business Forward Survey: Access to Birth Control, Paid Leave, Child Care Support Critical for Women’s Career Advancement

Business Forward has built a network of more than 100,000 business leaders across the country. We’ve worked hard to make sure that network is over half women. But why was it hard? As the nation turns its eyes toward the real and problematic harassment women face in the workplace, employers across the country are trying to understand the challenges – workplace, systemic, legal – that make it harder for women than men to advance professionally. Sexual harassment is one serious problem, but...

An update on our work

It’s been a year since President Trump’s election, and I have been reflecting on what has changed and how we at Business Forward have adapted. I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on our work. First, business leader engagement is up. For eight years, our mission has been to “help local business leaders fix Washington by bringing Washington to them.” Naturally, we worried dysfunction here in Washington this past year would depress interest. We were wrong. By every measure,...

Confused about small business loans? This site will help.

Venturize.org does for small business loans what cars.com does for car buying. It simplifies the process and helps you compare your options. Type in how much you want to borrow, your credit score, how long you’ve been in business, and when you’d like the loan and Venturize will lay out different possibilities. The site does not lend money directly or recommend specific loans or lenders, but it does offer resources that help small business owners understand what types of financing may be...

These companies are helping small businesses adopt the latest tech

Small businesses create two out of three new jobs and generate almost 50 percent of the nation’s GDP. Yet with limited resources and staff, many don’t have access to the new technologies that larger firms can afford, making it harder to compete. For example, the U.S. Small Business Administration says that more than half of the nation’s 28 million small businesses do not have a website or a social media account. Only about half use digital tools to help with their business...

Small Business Saturday Conference Call

The weekend after Thanksgiving, shoppers will take to the stores. The Small Business Saturday initiative can help your business get the most out of the holiday shopping season. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Jason Lalak from the Small Business Saturday Coalition will discuss ways you can make the most out of the holiday season to drive sales and build community support in your area. There will also be time for you to ask questions and share recommendations with other business...

Small Businesses Using Alternative Methods to Raise Capital

Most small business owners are financing their businesses without the help of loans, despite increased access to capital, according to a report by financial information firm Sageworks.  Only 23 percent of current small business owners have ever applied for a small business loan, while nearly 77 percent have chosen other means of funding. Instead, 59 percent of owners used personal savings to start their business and nearly 30 percent didn’t need any funding at all....

4 Things You Should Know About Crowdfunding for Your Business

Last week, Business Forward hosted a webinar with Pravina Raghavan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on crowdfunding as it applies to business investment. A new crowdfunding provision created in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (JOBS Act) allows businesses to sell shares of their company to a large number of small investors without the expense and reporting requirements associated with going public. Crowdfunding is already being used for charity fundraising and to...

Maria Contreras-Sweet Confirmed As Head of Small Business Administration

Today, the United States Senate confirmed Maria Contreras-Sweet as the new administrator of the Small Business Administration, making her the latest addition to the President’s cabinet. Republicans and Democrats praised the nomination, confirming her in a voice vote. Contreras-Sweet founded ProAmérica Bank, which specializes in small-business loans in southern California, and Fortius Holdings, a venture capital firm. In 1999, she became secretary of the California...

“Big Business” for Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 30th marked the third annual Small Business Saturday, a day for consumers to support local businesses at the start of the holiday shopping season. This year, shoppers spent $5.7 billion at local businesses on Small Business Saturday – a 3.6 percent increase from 2012 revenue. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well-known days for retail, Small Business Saturday has struggled in past years to gather attention. With the help of social media, awareness of Small...

Atlanta Business Leader Briefs President at the White House

Marc Parham is Managing Partner of CAPBuilder Network Group and a member of Business Forward’s Local Leadership Council. On October 11th, he traveled from Atlanta to brief President Obama on the impacts of the government shutdown and threat of default on his business. He took some time to tell us about his White House meeting and the importance of continued cooperation between lawmakers on Capitol Hill for invest`ors, entrepreneurs and small business owners as we again approach the debt...