The U.S. federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. For small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic over the past two years, this may offer a glimmer of hope as many attempt to pivot to stay afloat. While several businesses were forced to close due to losses, new businesses were formed by laid-off or dissatisfied workers.
But new firms are more vulnerable to economic swings. (more…)
This time last year, America was fresh off the high of a change in executive leadership. Americans started rolling up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccinations, and the nation was undergoing a racial awakening generations in the making. Then a week into the new year, democracy was breached, and the ensuing fallout would test the ideals of what it means to be American. In our 2021 ThinkNow year-end report we examine the economic highs and lows of the past twelve months, and how consumers, in their resilience, have weathered the storms by tapping into their power and wielding it to demand a fair and just society for all. (more…)
The American economy depends on jobs created by small businesses, which account for 64% of new jobs created every year. Some of the best-run U.S. small businesses are those participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program. The annual review required to maintain eligibility in the program can seem onerous to some, but it ensures participating firms are adequately capitalized and operating in a stable manner.
An annual business plan review is beneficial to all companies, but for 8(a) firms, the mandate prompts them to align their efforts with changes in the market to ensure they have a plan to respond. (more…)
A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with an SBA Business Opportunity Specialist who was lamenting the absence of SBA 8(a) program applicants. At the time, she was seeing three to five businesses graduate the Small Business Set-Aside program for every new one applying. I did the math and realized most of the graduating 8(a)s enrolled during the Great Recession. By 2018 things were going well enough in the economy that perhaps small businesses felt that pursuing government work was not worth their time and energy.
Due to COVID-19, however, the economy is once again unsteady. (more…)