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Tag Archives: Small Business

The Battle at Mayonaise!

This one has been going on for about 2 years believe it or not. Some folks just take their Mayo more seriously than others. Of course with Southern favorite, Dukes moving north and gaining traction, Hellman’s, the largest Mayo brand in the US, is beginning to feel some pressure. A small company came up with the idea of Vegan Mayo…And that’s when the troops rallied, the cannons began to fire, as the stuff became so popular, Whole Foods couldn’t keep it in stock… Just another case of how big business can kill off the little guys, with government help.

And then there is the stereotype forwarded in the really bad “Undercover Brother” movie of years gone by that black folks don’t like mayo…

A Food Giant Wanted to Squash Eggless Mayo. It Just Lost.

In the great mayo wars of 2015, there is finally a winner.

For those who haven’t been following the scandal-filled sandwich spread controversy, a bit of background: It all began in 2013, when the egg-alternative food startup company Hampton Creek launched a vegan mayonnaise-like product called Just Mayo, which soon became Whole Foods’ most popular mayonnaise.

So popular was Just Mayo, in fact, that in November 2014, Unilever, parent company of market leader Hellmann’s, sued Hampton Creek for false advertising and unfair competition. The food giant argued that Just Mayo, because it contained no eggs, “damages the entire product category, which has strived for decades for a consistent definition of ‘mayonnaise’ that fits with consumer expectations.” Unilever dropped the lawsuit about a month later “as consumers heaped scorn on the company for what they viewed as a frivolous lawsuit,” the food industry news site Food Divereported.

Nevertheless, in August of this year the FDA ruled that Hampton Creek couldn’t call its product mayonnaise. “The use of the term ‘mayo’ in the product names and the image of an egg may be misleading to consumers because it may lead them to believe that the products are the standardized food, mayonnaise,” the FDA said in a statement.

Then, in September, internal emails from the American Egg Board surfaced. They showed that the industry group had tried to stop Whole Foods from selling Just Mayo—and that Egg Board members were really worked up over Hampton Creek. From the Guardian:

More than one member of the AEB made joking threats of violence against Hampton Creek’s founder, Josh Tetrick. “Can we pool our money and put a hit on him?” asked Mike Sencer, executive vice-president of AEB member organization Hidden Villa Ranch. Mitch Kanter, executive vice-president of the AEB, jokingly offered “to contact some of my old buddies in Brooklyn to pay Mr. Tetrick a visit.”

Egg Board CEO Joanne Ivy retired early in the wake of the episode.

While all that was going on, Hampton Creek was working with the FDA on a compromise, and today, the company announced that it will be allowed to keep the name Just Mayo, as long as it makes its eggless-ness even clearer on the product label. The AP’s Candice Choi reports:

The changes include making the words ‘egg-free’ larger and adding ‘Spread & Dressing.’ An image of an egg with a pea shoot inside will also be smaller.

Now, all this hoopla over a “spread and dressing” and its picture of a pea-shoot-bearing egg might seem ridiculous, but keep in mind that this business played out against the backdrop of a devastating avian flu outbreak that hobbled the egg industry. What’s more, in April two former egg industry executives were sentenced to jail time for their connection with a 2010 salmonella outbreak that is thought to have sickened as many as 56,000 people.

All those egg woes aside, there’s another reason behind egg purveyors’ massive freak-out: At least according to writer Rowan Jacobsen, unlike most other eggless mayonnaise products, Just Mayo actually tastes good.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Domestic terrorism, General

 

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Go Girl! Black Women Fastest Growing Entrepreneurial Segment

Don’t like not being recognized for your contribution at big company?

Start your own.

Black women increasingly are doing just that, despite obstacles in terms of venture or bank financing.

Black Women-Owned Businesses Skyrocket By 322 Percent In Less Than 20 Years

 

African-American women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America, a new study reveals.

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report released this week found that the number of women-owned businesses grew by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015. That’s 1.5 times the national average of business growth to be exact.

Meanwhile, the growth in the number of businesses specifically owned by black women is outpacing that of all women-owned firms, the report says. The number of black women-owned businesses has grown by a whopping 322 percent since 1997. Today, black women own roughly 14 percent of all businesses in the country owned by women, which tallies to around 1.3 million businesses, according to the report.

“While nationally African American women comprise 14% of all women-owned firms, African American women comprise a greater than average share of all women-owned firms in Georgia (35%), Maryland (33%), and Illinois (22%),” the report says.

Statistics show that throughout these 1.3 million companies, nearly 300,000 workers are employed and the businesses generate an estimated $52.6 billion in revenue. When digging into the number of black-owned businesses overall, 49 percent are owned by women.

Businesses owned by black women also top the charts in revenue growth when compared to other minority women-owned firms proving that their economic clout is ever-growing.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Tammy Duckworth Hammers a Fraud!

At least the woman progressives are being real in terms of standing up for their principles. In this one, during a Congressional Hearing on companies which benefit from Small Business Set Asides for disabled Veterans (In tax hack Darrel Issa’s Committee no less), Tammy unloads on a guy who has fraudulently represented himself as a disabled vet to take advantage of the program…

 

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in American Greed

 

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Entrepreneurship and Immigrants

Just the immigrants in California do more for the country than a whole Red State full of  Tea Bigots! Not the least because these immigrants aren’t trying to bring the whole country down because we have a black President like the treason sipping Tea Bigot Republicans are.

Indeed…Save America! Deport a Tea Bigot!

In any event – a salute to those entrepreneurs, who got nothing to do with Silicon Valley…

And everything to do with true American grit!

And often, investment from financial sources outside of the US, which do a far better job at “micro-financing” than the herd mentality, often self destructive American Venture Capital market. That is changing with some of the web based “Crowdfunding” investment models like Rock The Post designed around the needs of small businesses which often only need $10000-200,000 – and not generally millions. New legislation allows small individual investors to purchase up to $1 million in stock or equity, without being restricted by State Blue Sky laws.  Here is how it works.

Insofar as the large number of immigrants starting businesses because of the lack of employment opportunities – about 30% of US incorporations are done by black Americans for much the same reason.

California leads U.S. in immigrant entrepreneurship, study finds

Gloria Suen owns Li Hing of Hong Kong, one of California's many immigrant-owned small businessesImmigrants own 33% of California’s small businesses, the highest share in the U.S., and make up 27% of the state’s population.

When Gloria Suen opened a retail shop in Chinatown, she and her sister knew so little English they could barely decipher the rules and regulations that govern small businesses. But she asked advice from anyone who would listen and persevered.

“In those days, I had to work 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” she said. “I had to, little by little, learn.”

Today her family-owned small business, Li Hing of Hong Kong, sells ornate Chinese antiques and fine crafts to businesses and homes across the U.S.

Li Hing is part of a movement pushing California to the forefront of a national trend: The state leads the nation in the percentage of businesses owned by immigrants, a share that exceeds the demographic’s proportion of the general population.

One-third of small-business owners in the state are immigrants, according to a report published Thursday by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a New York-based think tank. About 27% of the state’s population was born in a foreign country, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Small Business Owners Leave Republican Plantation Over Tax Cuts For the Rich

It is becoming ever more painfully obvious that the Republican Tax Giveaway to the Rich is a major element in the country’s finances being in freefall. The Chamber of Commerce has increasingly become noting but a propaganda arm of the Republican Party, much like Faux News.

Small Business Owners Demand Repeal Of Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich

Michael Teahan, like his father, mother, and uncles before him, is a small business owner. The 52-year-old has spent most of his adult life running his own businesses: a restaurant, a coffee bar and various companies involved in the espresso machine business.

“I was the only person in my family to go to college, because that’s not what we did — we all opened up businesses,” Teahan says. “For some people, that’s a big hurdle … for us, it was like having lunch.”

Teahan currently operates Espresso Resource, a company that imports espresso machine parts from Europe to sell to U.S. restaurants and coffee shops. And he’s doing very well for himself: The two-man operation clears about $1 million a year in total sales, Teahan says — enough to secure himself annual income in excess of $250,000.

That makes Teahan one of the few small business owners to actually benefit from the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy. He says the cuts save him about $12,000 a year, compared to what he paid before they were enacted. But as debates over the federal budget deficit have intensified, Teahan has found the political discussion increasingly divorced from the reality of his experience as a small business owner.

Tax cuts for the wealthy, according to Teahan, will do nothing to bolster his firm. They won’t affect his hiring decisions, they won’t encourage him to buy new equipment or help him move into a bigger warehouse. He says all of those decisions — the nuts and bolts of actually running a small company — depend on the his customers’ economic conditions, not his personal tax rate.

“What we do in business, how we spend our money, how we allocate our resources — that has very little to do with tax policy,” Teahan says. “I map my business based on my customers, and what my customers want to buy, and what they can afford to buy.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Unemployment Rate Drops (a little) – The Cause?

President Obama Signs the Small Business Jobs Bill in September

 

Big news this week that the Nation’s Unemployment rate dropped to it’s lowest level in 2 years.

Among the nuggets:

The ADP National Employment Report, which showed an increase of 297,000 private-sector jobs in December, with the bulk of them in small and midsize companies.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this? Passed BTW over Republicans stalwart resistance and fillibustering!

President Obama Signs Small Business Jobs Act – Learn What’s In It

  • A New $30 Billion Small Business Lending Fund:The bill would establish a new $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund which – by providing capital to small banks with incentives to increase small business lending – could support several multiples of that amount in new credit.
  • An Initiative to Strengthen Innovative State Small Business Programs – Supporting Over $15 Billion in Lending:The bill will support at least $15 billion in small business lending through a new State Small Business Credit Initiative, strengthening state small business programs that leverage private-sector lenders to extend additional credit – many of which have been forced to cut back due to budget cuts.
  • Eight New Small Business Tax Cuts – Effective Today, Providing Immediate Incentives to Invest: The President had already signed into law eight small business tax cuts, and on Monday, he is signing into law another eight new tax cuts that go into effect immediately.
    • Zero Taxes on Capital Gains from Key Small Business Investments:Under the Recovery Act, 75 percent of capital gains on key small business investments this year were excluded from taxes. The Small Business Jobs Act temporarily puts in place for the rest of 2010 a provision called for by the President – elimination of all capital gains taxes on these investments if held for five years. Over one million small businesses are eligible to receive investments this year that, if held for five years or longer, could be completely excluded from any capital gains taxation.
    • Extension and Expansion of Small Businesses’ Ability to Immediately Expense Capital Investments: The bill increases for 2010 and 2011 the amount of investments that businesses would be eligible toimmediately write off to $500,000, while raising the level of investments at which the write-off phases out to $2 million. Prior to the passage of the bill, the expensing limit would have been $250,000 this year, and only $25,000 next year.  This provision means that 4.5 million small businesses and individuals will be able to make new business investments today and know that they will earn a larger break on their taxes for this year.
    • Extension of 50% Bonus Depreciation:The bill extends – as the President proposed in his budget – a Recovery Act provision for 50 percent “bonus depreciation” through 2010, providing 2 million businesses, large and small, with the ability to make new investmentstoday and know they can receive a tax cut for this year by accelerating the rate at which they deduct capital expenditures.
    • A New Deduction of Health Insurance Costs for Self-Employed:The bill allows 2 million self-employed to know that on their taxes for this year, they can get a deduction for the cost of health insurance for themselves and their family members in calculating their self-employment taxes. This provision is estimated to provide over $1.9 billion in tax cuts for these entrepreneurs.
    • Tax Relief and Simplification for Cell Phone Deductions:The bill changes rules so that the use of cell phones can be deducted without burdensome extra documentation – making it easier for virtually every small business in America to receive deductions that they are entitled to,beginning on their taxes for this year.
    • An Increase in the Deduction for Entrepreneurs’ Start-Up Expenses:The bill temporarily increases the amount of start-up expenditures entrepreneurs can deductfrom their taxesfor this year from $5,000 to $10,000 (with a phase-out threshold of $60,000 in expenditures), offering an immediate incentive for someone with a new business idea to invest in starting up a new small business today.
    • A Five-Year Carryback Of General Business Credits:The bill would allow certain small businesses to “carry back” their general business credits to offset five years of taxes – providing them with a break on their taxes for this year – while also allowing these credits to offset the Alternative Minimum Tax, reducing taxes for these small businesses.
    • Limitations on Penalties for Errors in Tax Reporting That Disproportionately Affect Small Business:The bill would change, beginning this year, the penalty for failing to report certain tax transactions from a fixed dollar amount – which was criticized for imposing a disproportionately large penalty on small businesses in certain circumstances – to a percentage of the tax benefits from the transaction.

 
 

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Major Hit For Beltway Bandit

This is a first for a major Government contracting company, euphemistically known in the DC area as a Beltway Bandit. This sort of underhanded dealing isn’t that uncommon. Indeed, during the Bushit Administration it was found that several of the major contractors had filed for contracts as Small Businesses and won millions of dollars of contracts illegitimately. A not that uncommon ruse is to set up “minority owned” companies as front companies, where the major contractor does all the work. This steals hundreds of millions of dollars in work from legitimate minority owned, and other small business contractors trying to get a start.

SBA Suspends Government Work For Major Contractor

This is great. I’m always happy to see government contractors held to the same letter of the law as everyone else. Actual consequences are still all too rare for them:

Federal officials on Friday suspended one of the nation’s largest government contractors from receiving new work, alleging that the Northern Virginia company inappropriately went through other firms to gain access to contracts set aside for small companies.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s action imperils hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for GTSI Corp., a top-50 contractor that has relied on the Pentagon and the rest of the federal government for more than 90 percent of its sales in recent years.

At issue is work GTSI did as a subcontractor for small businesses serving as the prime contractors on government contracts.

“There is evidence that GTSI’s prime contractors had little to no involvement in the performance of contracts, in direct contravention of all applicable laws and regulations regarding the award of small business contracts,” an SBA official wrote in a letter to GTSI’s chief executive, Scott W. Friedlander. “The evidence shows that GTSI was an active participant in a scheme that resulted in contracts set-aside for small businesses being awarded to ineligible contractors.”

[…] “It’s the first time in decades that the government has completely suspended a significant player, a legitimate top-tier contractor,” said Steven Schooner, a contracting law professor at George Washington University. “It puts everybody on notice.”

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2010 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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The Earth Moved! Senate Finally Passes Small Business Bill!

On a vote of 61-38, with all 38 opposing votes being Republicans – the Senate finally passed the Small Business Bill!

If you are a small businessman, and you are still stupid enough to vote Republican this fall…

You deserve to go out of business.

Senate passes small business aid, in victory for Obama

The US Senate Thursday passed a bill providing billions of dollars in aid and tax benefits to small businesses, handing a victory to President Barack Obama in his bid to rekindle economic growth.

The bill, which had been held up for weeks by Republicans using procedural tactics, passed by a vote of 61 to 38.

Two Republican senators, George Voinovich and George LeMieux, joined the Democratic majority in voting for the bill, which most Republicans argued was yet another government-sponsored bailout.

Obama thanked the Senate for “finally passing” a bill held up by months of “partisan delay.”

“It’s going to make a difference in millions of small business owners across the country, who are going to benefit from tax breaks and additional lending, so companies have capital to grow and hire, and this is really welcome news.”

The measure would provide 30 billion dollars in loans for small businesses and another 12 billion in tax breaks including investment credits.

The president and Democrats argued that the measure could help spur up to 500,000 jobs.

Arizona senator Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, said the bill would help the economy by offering “tax relief and greater access to capital” for small businesses.

“This timely support for small businesses, which is fully paid-for and won’t add one dime to the deficit, should create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he said.

The House of Representatives, which adopted a similar measure in June, is expected to pass the Senate version of the bill to send to the president.

Obama this week welcomed the end of the stalemate on the bill, although he took a dig at Republicans, accusing them of staging a “months-long partisan blockade.”

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2010 in News, Stupid Republican Tricks, The Post-Racial Life

 

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President Obama Fights Back

At freaking last!

President Obama, after accomplishing his entire legislative agenda for the first two years, is now turning his full attention to the Rethugs, and how they are screwing the country.

Take ’em to the woodshed, Prez!

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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The Small Business President vs. The New Jim Crow

One of the reasons the right wing despises Obama so much is his focus on small business. Which is the same reason they despised Bill Clinton. Follow my logic here –

After the Civil War, the majority of skilled artisans in the South were black. The people who built wagons, coopers, dressmakers, furniture makers  – and many of the skilled labor jobs prior to the industrial revolution were done by either slave, or free black labor. By 1860, there were more free blacks in Virginia than black folks slave or free in most of the northern states.

What Jim Crow really was about was stopping these people’s economic progress, such as to preserve white supremacy. Ergo though the destruction of the black artisan class businesses, Southern whites prevented the emergence of a new, black merchant class – who by nature of existing skills was in position to dominate certain industries when freed from the “Black Codes”. A merchant class, who would have followed the logical progression of gaining a piece of political power through wealth.

In America today, according to Forbes Magazine and numerous other sources, black folks a 3 times more likely to start a business than their white counterparts. And despite receiving only .3% of the Venture Investment in this country, are – according to the same studies 8 times more likely to succeed when they do get Venture financing. Only in America does that not translate into quickly shifting 30% of the investment money into more successful enterprise.

Indeed, the Bushit Administration was quite possibly the most hostile administration in history to small business, and was especially toxic to Minority owned business, as I have documented in previous articles, in reducing the quantity of SBA Loan Grantees to black owned business by 60% over 8 years, while holding it the same or increasing it to non-Minorities. The Bushit administration was also adamantly pro BIG business. So much so as to flat-line R&D and emerging technologies in a number of previously competitive industries like Telecom and Energy.

So why don’t Republicans want small business to succeed? Because the wrong color folks just might make a success at it, and in doing so threaten the old-boy power structure.

The New Jim Crow… Not much different from the old.

Jim Crow in Alaska

Obama pushes for Hill passage of small business agenda

President Barack Obama turned the spotlight to his small business agenda Friday, urging congressional passage of legislation meant to boost federal assistance to a key segment of the economy.

Among the proposals highlighted by the administration is a $30 billion government lending program offering capital to community banks that boost their small-business lending. Banks with assets worth less than $10 billion would be able to borrow money from the Treasury at a dividend rate as low as 1 percent provided they use the cash to make more small-business loans this year than they did in 2009.

Other proposals being pushed by the president include an elimination of capital gains taxes on certain small business investments.

“Ensuring that small businesses can thrive is about more than our economic success,” Obama said at the White House after a meeting with small business leaders. “It’s about who we are as a people. It’s about a nation where anybody with a good idea and a willingness to work can succeed. That’s the promise of America.”

Legislation enacted in March included new business tax credits for hiring additional workers, as well as a measure allowing companies to write off, instead of depreciate, new equipment.

Many small businesses, however, are still struggling to regain their footing in the wake of the recent recession. The Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales fell for the first time in eight months in May, widely missing analyst expectations.

Total retail sales fell 1.2 percent to $362.5 billion last month, compared with April’s upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase. It was first decline since last September, when retail sales fell 2.3 percent.

Data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) show that small companies have generated 64 percent of the net new jobs every year over the past 15 years. Those businesses, however, were particularly hard hit by the economic downturn. A Senate report last year found that American businesses with fewer than 20 employees have suffered steeper job losses than larger companies.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2010 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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At Last! A Sane Program for Small Business!

Small business is the heartbeat of America. You’d have never known it the last 9 years, as first the Bushit Administration did their damnedest to crush emerging technology companies, and over the last year the Obama Administration has been consumed by the Big Banks and Health Care. Finally, in an effort to clean up the Bushit disaster, President Obama has come up with the first lucid plan to support small business growth in over 40 years!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2010 in News, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Tough Times For Black American Small Businessmen

Yeah, I know… Times are tough all over. Never ceases to amaze me the dichotomy of “Home for Sale” signs, foreclosures, and boarded up houses and the folks walking out of the Mall with armloads of “bargains”.

Lobloly Pine Trees, Common to Tidewater Virginia

Lobloly Pine Trees, Common to Tidewater Virginia

Anyway, one of my Uncles on my Mother’s side was a lumber man. He owned his own portable mill, bought the land, planted the trees, and employed over a dozen men to cut, trim, load, and finish cut the timber before shipment. Some of his timber went to a pulp mill, to make paper.  Some went to make framing lumber, and some special runs went to a guy nearby who hand built wood luxury yachts cut as keel and rib strakes. I would go and visit with my Uncle, who lived in the southeastern part of Virginia several times a year, and as a small child have fond memories of the smell of fresh cut wood which seemed to follow him home from work.

So this story really sparked my interest, and the pictures aren’t much different than if they had been taken of my Uncle and his family.

Waiting for Work In the Silent Woods

CAMDEN, Ala. — Clarence “Sunnyman” Primm figures there are more than 70 people connected with the lumber industry in these parts who know how to reach him on his two-way radio. He loves the crackling sound of the thing. Because when a call comes in, when the buzzing pierces his blue shirt, when that scratchy human voice reaches out to him, it’s often a work order. And then Sunnyman circles his beefy arm in the air — as though he were twirling an invisible rodeo rope — and says, “Let’s go.” And he and his men are off, rolling through the thick woods of southwestern Alabama.
Sunnyman has known these woods since childhood, and he wants to keep clearing them.

“But the dang thing ain’t been ringing,” he says of his two-way, standing in the forest with his assembled crew of five men at the beginning of a workweek. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2009 in General

 

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The New Economy – Getting Back to Basics

One of the reasons the Bushshits tanked the American economy has to do with their love of anti-competition. The Bushits never met a merger or acquisition they couldn’t approve of – no matter how uncompetitive it made the marketplace. The result was a near collapse in the development of new telecommunications technologies, as well as the destruction of an entire generation of companies, some of which might have emerged to be the new Microsofts or Ciscos.

It will take years to recover from the damage wrought in the marketplace by the conservatives – with a loss of American competitiveness for perhaps the next 10-20 years.

This interview with the new Federal Communication Commission Chair lays out the groundwork of getting one of our key industries back on it’s feet. Not surprisingly, the key to that is going to be small business –

Julius Genachowski, President Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, has a soft spot for the little guy.

In his first interview since taking over the federal agency, Genachowski talked about the importance of “edge” Internet and software companies in pushing forward technological advances. He suggested that these companies might play a key role in boosting the economy and in helping the agency meet its mandate to bring high-speed Internet access to all Americans.

Julius GenachowskiJulius Genachowski

“That’s where the greatest innovation is,” he said. “What is interesting to me is to find ways to work with early-stage innovators to build from the edge and work on tomorrow’s ideas.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in News

 

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Pushback on The New Jim Crow – Small Business

Back in may I did a piece entitled The New Jim Crow – Killing Small Business covering just a bit of the efforts by the Bushit Administration and conservatives to kill small business in America – particularly and specifically minority owned small business. Now I didn’t get into all the efforts to stymie and destroy minority owned business – but I discussed three specific actions-

The Business That Jack Built

This is the house that Jack built, y'all Remember this house! This was the land that he worked by hand It was the dream of an upright man There was the room that was filled with love It was a love that I was proud of This is the life, the life that he planned On the love, the same old loved Of the house that Jack built. Remember this house!

  1. Cutting the Small Business Administration’s budget by nearly half. The SBA is the financial guarantor of only resort for many Minority owned businesses because of active redlining by commercial and merchant banks.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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