Blog Posts

Stories that affect our business community.

By: Tenasha Williams

June 2, 2015

The President signed into Executive Order 13673 on July 31, 2014 as a way to guide and assist contractors and subcontractors working with the Federal government by creating comprehensive guidelines to make the contracting process more efficient and less costly. By implementing this order the Department of Labor hopes to mitigate and alleviate problems placed on contractors and avoid redundancy on documentation. Under the order, the subcontractors will be able to expose violations directly to the DOL instead of reporting the violations to contractors.

The Four Key components are as follows:

  1. “Define “administrative merits determination,” “civil judgment,” and “arbitral award or decision,”
  2. and provide guidance on what information related to these determinations must be reported by contractors and subcontractors;
  3. define “serious,” “repeated,” “willful,” and “pervasive” violations and provide guidance to contracting officers (or contractors with respect to their subcontractors) and Labor Compliance Advisors for assessing reported violations, including mitigating factors to consider;
  4. and provide guidance on the Order’s paycheck transparency provisions, including identifying those States whose wage statement laws are substantially similar to the Order’s wage statement requirement such that providing a worker with a wage statement that complies with any of those State laws satisfies the Order’s requirement. “-Executive Order 13673

The DOL will then report on the violations to the contractors. They are calling this a “Phase In, Slow down” process. Additionally, the DOL has yet to find a State law that is equivalent to the order.

DOL is asking for Public Comments during a 60-day period (ending on July 27th).

How to take action: You may submit comments, identified by ZRIN 1290-ZA02, by either of the following methods:

Electronic comments: Comments may be sent via, a Federal E-Government Web site that allows the public to find, review, and submit comments on documents that agencies have published in the Federal Register and that are open for comment. Simply type in “guidance on fair pay and safe workplaces” (in quotes) in the Comment or Submission search box, click Go, and follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Address written submissions to Tiffany Jones, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S- 2312, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.

Instructions: Please submit only one copy of your comments by only one method. All submissions must include the agency name and ZRIN, identified above, for this document. Please be advised that comments received will become a matter of public record and will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. Comments that are mailed must be received by the date indicated for consideration. For additional information on submitting comments and the guidance process, see the “Invitation to Comment” section of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION provided later in this document.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to Docket name: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces. Docket ID: DOL- 2015-0002.

By Maria Contreras-Sweet
Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

With apologies to baseball and your mother’s apple pie, nothing is more American than National Small Business Week.

Our country was founded by risk-taking pioneers in search of new horizons. More than two centuries later, what sets America apart in the world is the willingness of our entrepreneurs to take risks. Small businesses allow Americans to be their own boss and improve their lot in life through hard work – a core American value.

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation declaring National Small Business Week to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs, who create nearly two out of every three net, new U.S. jobs each year. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it was our small businesses that powered our recovery after the Great Recession.

National Small Business Week, themed “SBA: Dream Big, Start Small,” will be held May 4-8. Special events will take place in Miami/Boca Raton, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York, and Washington. D.C.

Tune in all week for live-streaming, beginning at 1 p.m. ET Monday with a panel discussion on small business financing followed by a conversation with Joyce Rosenberg of the Associated Press. Or join me @MCS4Biz at #DreamSmallBiz. I promise you’ll learn a lot.

America is one of the few countries that give entrepreneurs a seat at the President’s cabinet table. This allows the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to speak with one voice on behalf of 28 million small businesses with divergent interests.

The SBA also offers an extensive national network of small business lenders and counselors that’s unmatched anywhere in the world. Many entrepreneurs with great ideas and great potential do not begin with great wealth, so they need a great government partner to support their success.

The SBA offers the “three Cs” to help the best and brightest start or grow a business, secure capital, and commercialize their ideas to benefit society:

  • Capital: SBA fill gaps in the commercial lending marketplace so success in the small business sector is based on merit, not family wealth. To inquire about a small business loan, click here.
  • Counseling: SBA provides free consultation and advice to help businesses on Main Street succeed. To find a small business counselor near you, click here.
  • Contracts: SBA levels the playing field with big business by helping small businesses capture new revenue and new customers by winning government contracts, joining corporate supply chains, and exporting beyond our borders. To learn about contracting opportunities, click here.


This year, during National Small Business Week, we recommit ourselves to those fearless entrepreneurs who plan well, work hard, and dream big. Every business starts small. Nike, Apple, FedEx, Ben & Jerry’s, Under Armour and Outback Steakhouse were all once small businesses, until they found an SBA lender or investor to work with them.

I came to this country as a 5-year old immigrant who didn’t speak a word of English. Today, I serve in the cabinet of the President of the United States. My story is possible only because of the entrepreneurial spirit.

Success in business comes one small step at a time. So dream big, but take that next small step today, because the next great American success story could be staring back at you in the mirror.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet started three businesses in Los Angeles, including a community bank, before joining President Obama’s cabinet in April 2014.

Unlike most Democrats, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus wants a legislative fix on net neutrality. 

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule-making process has been "politically driven" by special interests and Congress needs to get involved. He did not, however, give support to any specific plan.

"They’ve made a rule change under Title II of the Communications Act that’s going to regulate broadband just like utility and phone companies, and we need to get Congress involved," he told "Congress needs to come in and establish broadband policy going forward."

His words break with many in the Democratic Party who have lauded the FCC's rules. 

Butterfield questioned, however, whether Congress has the political will to get anything passed, given the partisan dynamics. He said he would help outline the legislative record so that "one day, we can get it done."

He said he supports the principles of net neutrality, like preventing service providers from blocking or throttling traffic. But there is not always agreement on which authority should be used to enforce the rules.

"When you start getting in the weeds, the issue gets very complicated," he said. "And that’s why Congress needs to develop sound broadband policy. Congress has the power to do it, but the question is, does it have the political will to do it?"

Butterfield warned of the lack of permanence of the FCC's rules.

“These commissioners don’t serve for life, so when the new commissioners come in, they can reverse what these commissioners have done," he said. "So we need to write into the law good consumer protections and something that individuals and companies can depend on."

Republicans have failed to get any Democrats to sign on to draft legislation that would enact many net neutrality rules supported by advocates, but also roll back some authority at the FCC. Some Democrats have remained open to legislation, but not in its current form. 

House Republicans on the Commerce Committee are also partway into a multi-year process to rewrite the nation's communications laws. 

Butterfield previously warned the FCC against reclassifying broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service, as the commission did last month. Last year, he signed on to a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the reclassification plan could have "adverse consequences."

This research explores the state of financial health in America in a groundbreaking examination of consumer behaviors, attitudes, and preferences. In it, we define seven consumer financial health segments based on a combination of behaviors and attitudes, offering an analysis that goes beyond income, age, education, or credit score. Tweet: New @CFSInnovation research goes beyond age, education, income, etc. & defines 7 consumer #FinHealth segments

What are those seven segments and how can you improve the design and delivery of your products to better serve your customers? 

About the Survey

The Consumer Financial Health Study’s survey was fielded from June through August 2014. More than 7,000 individuals over the age of 18 responded to the survey, and the data has been weighted to ensure it is representative of the US population.  The Consumer Financial Health Study benefited from guidance and generous financial support from Ford Foundation and MetLife Foundation. The Consumer Financial Health Study also benefited from generous financial support from American Express.

AMEX-Logo.jpeg FordFoundation_Logo_Transparent-(1).jpgMetLife_Foundation_Stk_RGB.jpg

Experian® and LexisNexis® Risk Solutions provided in-kind support to facilitate inclusion of objective measures of creditworthiness (VantageScore® credit score and RiskViewTM score, respectively) into this study.



- See more at:

Strategist Shontaye Hawkins shares steps to ensure success

[Related: Setting Financial Goals: Where to Begin, Part 1]

As a small child, Hawkins recalls sitting in her dad’s office playing on a 10 key machine, pretending to answer the phone and take messages. Today, as a thriving business coach, speaker, trainer, and founder of Profit Is The New Black™, she handles real deal scenarios with hundreds of entrepreneurs who have hit the “profit ceiling.” She helps clients to silence the stress, confusion, and adversity that deter sustainable growth and accelerated profits.

We asked Hawkins to share expertise and strategies on how business owners (full time and side hustlers) can eliminate money leaks and income barriers to grow their business’ bottom line.

Money leaks are activities that cost your business in the form of lost revenue or paying more expenses than necessary. Building a profitable business isn’t one sided. You need to manage both generated income and paid out expenses. You can generate loads of revenue and still be in the red. For example, if you’re spending money faster than it’s coming in the door. Income barriers are operational inefficiencies that limit a business’ ability to grow, expand, and maximize its bottom line.

Latest post

Who's Online

We have 58 guests and no members online