If your small business is importing goods into the United States check out the US Customs and Broader Protection’s Reasonable Care Checklist to help meet your regulatory burden of ensuring reasonable care is exercised when importing merchandise. Also, your small business should look at US Customs and Boarder Protections’s Informed Compliance Publications, which detail a number of areas related to import of merchandise and discuss issues concerning specific goods. Some noteworthy Informed Compliance Publications are: Entry (describing getting your small business goods into the US); ABC’s of Prior Disclosure; Customs Value; and Recordkeeping. www.erskine-law.com
United States government
The U.S. Census Bureau has a series of webinars on foreign trade relations (exporting) covering a variety of topics ranging from introduction to exporting to updates on recent regulatory initiatives on www.census.gov. The Bureau also runs virtual town halls on export issues, the next one is November 5. The Go Global series details governmental resources available to small businesses, including trade data and trade finance. The site is a good source for information related to exporting and collects resources from several government sites concerning international business transactions applicable to small businesses. www.erskine-law.com
Interested in obtaining a government contract with the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)? Check out the USTDA’s Consultant Database for U.S. Small Businesses where your small business can register for “agency’s desk study (DS) and definitional mission (DM) contracts for small businesses,” which the USTDA “reserves 100%” for small business. Generally, a DM “is intended to help USTDA to find, examine, and develop potential projects in a host country (or countries). These contracts, reserved exclusively for US small businesses, typically range from $40,000-$75,000 and involve a visit to one or more countries to develop potential projects for USTDA funding.” A DS “is a discrete analysis of a well-defined project proposal (see USTDA Model Proposal Format). A DS reviews and evaluates all aspects of a project proposal, including the Terms of Reference and budget, and recommends whether USTDA should provide funding for the project. DSs typically range from $2,000 to $8,000, do not involve travel, and are carried out exclusively by small U.S. businesses.” www.erskine-law.com
The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster loans to New York residents and businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Check out the SBA’s website.
According to the SBA there are three ways to apply.
1. Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center or Business Recovery Center. SBA disaster representatives are at these centers to meet individually with New York residents and business owners, explain how an SBA low-interest disaster loan can help pay for their disaster losses, answer questions, and help each individual complete their application.
2. Apply online using SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela (available at most centers)
3. Apply by mailing your application to SBA at 14925 Kingsport Rd., Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243
Keep tabs on pending and proposed legislation before the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Committee on Small Business is chaired by the Representative from New York. The site contains reports, statements, press releases, and a newsletter.