Shop Small Business Saturday Today.


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Shop Small Business Saturday

 

Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. In 2014, Small Business Saturday will be November 29. The day is intended to encourage American shoppers to consider small retailers and merchants as they think of their holiday shopping. It comes as an answer to the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November) called Black Friday and the following Monday called Cyber Monday. Both of those days have come to be associated with discounts and promotions at large retail chains and ecommerce businesses. Small Business Saturday is a promotional effort intended to encourage consumers to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

 

History

In 2010, the Small Business Saturday promotion was created and sponsored by American Express, who registered the URLSmallBusinessSaturday.com and registered the trademark for the term Small Business Saturday. The company also created a Facebook page supporting the event and promoted the event with national television advertising and a broad array of public relations activities. It was inspired by the 3/50 Project (choose three independent businesses at which to spend $50 each), that was created by Cinda Baxter, a small business advocate in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

As part of the promotion, the first 10,000 small business owners who signed up to participate received $100 worth of free Facebook advertising, and the first 200,000 American Express cardholders who pledged to use their credit cards on Nov. 27 to support small businesses received a $25 credit.

 

On the American Express website and Facebook page in 2010, credit was given also to the following co-sponsors and endorsers: American Express OPEN, The 3/50 Project, Business Matchmaking, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, Count Me In, Destination DC, E Women Network, Facebook, Girls Inc., Greater Boston Conventional & Visitors Bureau, LA Inc., NAWBO, National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s Main Street Center, NYC & Co., NYC Department of Small Business Services, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, SCORE, Women Impacting Public Policy, Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Leadership Exchange, Yelp.

 

In 2014, the Small Business Saturday website lists the year’s premiere sponsors as FedEx, Four Square, Twitter and the U.S. Postal Service. New promotional aspects of 2014 include an interactive map for participating businesses that accept American Express cards and a promotion that enables American Express card holders to get three $10 credits (total, $30) for use at three small businesses that accept the American Express card.

 

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BE PART OF AN AMERICAN STORY

SHOP SMALL® IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ON NOV 29

The story of America is written in every small business. It’s written in the cafes where we meet our first loves. And in the boutiques where we buy our babies’ clothes. On Nov 29, be there for the businesses that are there for you to help write the next chapter.

 

Small Business Saturday

 

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after U.S. Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. Small Business Saturday is a registered trademark of American Express corporation.

 

In 2010 the holiday was conceived and promoted by American Express via a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. That year Amex bought advertising inventory on Facebook, which it in turn gave to its small merchant account holders, and also gave rebates to new customers to promote the event.

 

American Express publicized the initiative using social media, advertising, and public relations. At least 41 local politicians and many small business groups in the United States issued proclamations concerning the campaign, which generated more than one million Facebook “like” registrations and nearly 30,000 tweets under the Twitter hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday (which had existed since early 2010) and #smallbizsaturday.

 

The Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday has existed since early 2010 and was used to promote small businesses on any Saturday (not solely that Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday). The hashtag is used in a manner similar to #FollowFriday to highlight favorite local businesses. Additionally, some small business owners have run marketing specials on the November Small Business Saturday to help capitalize on the boost in foot or online traffic, as most customers in this time period are actively shopping for the holidays.

 

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Small Business Saturday UK began in the UK in 2013 after the success of Small Business Saturday in America.

 

Small Business Saturday
Observed by United States
Celebrations Shopping
Date Saturday after U.S. Thanksgiving
2013 date November 30
2014 date November 29
2015 date November 28
2016 date November 26
Frequency annual
Related to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day,

Cyber Monday,Giving Tuesday, and Christmas

 

The First Family Supports Small Business Saturday

Raw: Obama Goes Shopping at DC Bookstore

Published on Nov 29, 2014

President Barack Obama bought at least two bags of books at Washington’s Politics and Prose bookstore on Small Business Saturday, a day designated to support independently owned businesses. (Nov. 29)

 

 

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Why You Need to Support Small Businesses

Small business is – quite frankly – big business. The Small Business Administration identified that there are more than 28.2 million businesses operating in the United States as of March 2014, with about 63% of new jobs being created from small businesses between 1993 and mid 2013. Of these 28.2 million businesses, most are “self-employed” – making up about 3/4 of the U.S.’s total businesses. Meanwhile, approximately half of small businesses survive five years or more, many of which make up your local coffee shops, favorite local boutiques, preferred chiropractor or local pet shop.

 

When you consider how many small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, it is impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive. Yet, many Americans frequent chain stores without considering their local merchant or other small business options. Whether it’s filling a prescription at a local pharmacy vs. Walgreens or picking up eggs and milk at a local corner store vs. your nearest Walmart, small businesses are too often overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Customers assume that pricing will automatically be higher at a small business vs. a corporate owned store,  as well as they dismiss the perks that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory assortment and community support. However, did you know that many of these misconceptions about small businesses are just that… misconceptions? Here’s why:

 

1. Stores do not control pricing of most products. Vendors do. When you consider brand names like Under Armour UA +1.15%, Melissa & Doug children’s products or Fossil FOSL -0.42%, you have to also consider that the prices identified on them for sale are identified by the vendor – not the store. With some exceptions, stores primarily have no control over a product price but rather are provided a MSRP (Manufactured Suggested Retail Price) that tells them the price the product should be sold at. Over time, if the product doesn’t sell or a store has a promotional event taking place, this price may be lowered. But generally speaking, vendors want their products sold at their suggested rate, therefore retailers are not encouraged to lower them unless it’s discussed in advance – such as stores like Nordstrom do for their famous Anniversary Sale. Many small merchants, as well, also offer discounted items for special occasions – therefore not making this exclusive to big box stores.

 

2. Inventory is not always more easily available at big box stores. Smaller merchants have the same access to vendors as big box stores do, therefore if you need an item and it’s not available in their store, it’s likely they can get in touch with the vendor right away and try and order it for you right away. Of course, there are always exceptions, but most small store owners are eager to go above and beyond in their customer service support and this is just one way they can do so for their customers.

 

3. Customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses. Again, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking you should expect that a smaller business will deliver stronger customer service. Their personal commitment to their business certainly helps in these efforts, but even from their collective team – no matter how small or large it is – typically stronger customer care is experienced. Among the reasons why is that they have a more hands-on role within the company, therefore building a stronger sense of care for the job they do. Additionally, smaller companies are more flexible in their customer support – with a willingness to bend rules if necessary (such as alter a return policy) or deliver VIP treatment when least expected (such as home delivery for a customer during a rain storm). While every business is different, what also makes customer care among small businesses more valuable is just that – being different.

 

4. Product diversity and options are often greater at small businesses vs. chain stores. Sure, a big box merchant may have a larger footprint in your local community, but that doesn’t mean they have more variety to offer you. When you walk into a chain store, you know exactly what you will find. However, when you walk into a local business, you are often surprised by the inventory options. This is to a customer’s advantage and is among the many reasons to frequent your local stores more often. And remember – just because a big box store is just that… bigger… doesn’t mean they have more to offer. The assortment of inventory at big box store are just deeper, not more diverse.

 

5. Local business owners are more likely to give back to your community. Beyond actual dollars being kept within your local community – which is significantly higher when dollars are spent at a local business vs. corporate one – small business owners are also more likely to “do good” for your community, as well. Small businesses deliver community character and economic advantages to the town they are positioned in, but also strengthen partnerships among neighbors, residents, other small business owners, community leaders and even schools by offering social and economic relationships. Many also support local causes, creating even more good within a community.

 

Another interesting point to consider is that small businesses do not always stay small – such as Ben & Jerry’s or Ralph Lauren. Both began as just dreams filled with a tremendous amount of hard work, long days and tired nights. Today, they are among the most recognized brands in our country. Yet while most small business owners will not see this type of growth, their value to our economy and more specifically – your local economy – are just as important. There’s even a day to celebrate them – Small Business Saturday – which takes place the Saturday following Thanksgiving, anchored between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 

Small Business Saturday, any Saturday or any other day in between, supporting small businesses deserves to be part of your everyday routine.

 

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Author of Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business from McGraw-Hill.

 

Expansion of Small Business Saturday

American Express continued its backing of the promotion in following years. Beginning in 2011, the company offered its cardholders a $25 “statement credit” for purchases a small businesses made on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. To support the promotion, in 2011 American Express produced a television advertising campaign that it ran on network and cable television networks prior to Small Business Saturday[6]. The official American Express promotion gained the endorsement of dozens of small business state and local government agencies, and small business-oriented organizations. Several large corporations that sell products and services to small businesses also provided financial and advertising support.

 

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Shop Local

Beginning in 2013, American Express began to use another trademarked advertising tag line, “Shop Small” in its Small Business Saturday promotions. The tag line enables the company to extend the marketing efforts surrounding Small Business Saturday into other parts of the year.

 

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Small Business Saturday 2014 Promo

Published on Nov 9, 2014

Rocky Hill CT Town Council passes Resolution supporting Small Business Saturday 2014 proposed by Scott Coleman of Business Now!. Mayor Henry Vasel reads resolution into the record.

 

 

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Shop Small Business Saturday

Published on Nov 3, 2014

Thanksgiving is almost here, that means the start of the holiday season! More food, more family and likely, lots of gifts. When you head out for holiday shopping, remember to visit your neighborhood businesses. Those local shops are what help communities thrive.

American Express wants to encourage people to shop at small businesses on “Small Business Saturday” November 29th!

 

 

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Helping Employers Connect To Job Seeking Service Members, Veterans And Their Families


 

By Jueseppi B.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell on Wednesday at a comprehensive Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum.

 

The First Lady and Dr. Biden‘s message was clear: our commitment to our service members and their families does not end when their service does, which is why they launched Joining Forces three years ago this month.

 

Since then, companies who have made commitments to Joining Forces have hired over half a million (540,000) veterans and military spouses. Commitments from America’s biggest firms like UPS, who announced a doubling of their commitment to 50,000 new hires and Xerox who will has committed to hire 10,000 veterans and spouses over the next five years.

 

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In June 2011, Dr. Biden launched the Military Spouse Employment Partnership with close to 60 companies. Today, Dr. Biden announced there are 228 partner employers with more than 1.8 million jobs posted on the MSEP Career Portal with more than 60,000 military spouse hires.

 

To help even more veterans and military spouses make the transition to civilian employment, Wednesday’s brought together the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army’s Army Career and Alumni Program, Soldier for Life, and Installation Management Command, and local government agencies and chambers of commerce for a free employment summit and career forum on base. Interactive forums and panel discussions focused specifically on transitioning service members and providing them the resources they need to manage their transition – especially finding a job.

 

In fact, every branch of our military has adopted a new approach: every member of our armed forces will start preparing for their transition months before they leave – they’ll be drafting resumes, attending job fairs and summits like this one, applying for college if they want, and mapping out their next steps well before they hang up their uniform.

 

At the Summit, the First Lady unveiled the Administration’s Online Veterans Employment Center. This new online platform supports transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses looking for new career opportunities. In 2011 the President called for a career-ready military, and led the first major transformation of the military transition process. He called on all of the federal government to work together to redesign the way we provide transition assistance and create clear pathways connecting our Veterans to meaningful careers.

 

The new Employment Center helps simplify the job search process by providing a single website which brings together the most important online career tools within government. This tool is a result of collaboration between the Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management, Small Business Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

Job seekers can use the “military skills translator” to match military career tracks with civilian occupations and critical skills, create and upload a resume online, and find public and private job openings in a single search. Employers are provided with a direct feed of resumes from Veteran applicants, can view reverse skills translation (military to civilian skills) for applicants, and can make public their own Veterans hiring goals.

 

Veterans will have access to:

  • Quick public resume posting with an instant connection to thousands of public and private employers
  • Target job searches based on specific, high-demand career paths
  • Single search for both public and private sector positions
  • Military skills translator and resume generator
  • Social media integration with bookmarking capability for saving job postings

 

Employers will have access to:

  • Targeted feed of qualified resumes from Veteran applicants
  • Reverse skills translation (military to civilian skills) for applicants
  • Showcase their Veterans hiring goals and make public their progress towards those goals
  • Connection to resources designed to help recruit and retain talented, Veteran employees

 

The Veterans Employment Center can be found at:https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs.

 

Remarks by the First Lady at Joining Forces Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum

 

Remarks by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden at Joining Forces Meet-and-Greet with Military Families

 

Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden at Joining Forces Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum

 

 

Boston Red Sox Home Base Program Teams Up with Joining Forces

 

Published on Apr 24, 2014

Red Sox Home Base Program teams up with Joining Forces in a new PSA to support our military families. Learn more athttp://www.JoiningForces.gov

 

 

 

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Ms. Maria Contreras-Sweet Ceremonially Sworn In: Administrator, Small Business Administration.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, with her husband Ray Sweet holding the bible, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, with her husband Ray Sweet holding the bible, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak at the Swearing-In of Maria Contreras-Sweet as SBA Administrator

April 07, 2014 | 18:17 |Public Domain

 

President Obama says he nominated Maria Contreras-Sweet as Administrator of the Small Business Administration because “she knows first-hand the challenges that small businesses go through — and she has a proven track record of helping them succeed.”

 

 

 

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Yesterday, at the White House, President Obama and Vice President Biden participated in a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Maria Contreras-Sweet as the new Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Mrs. Contreras-Sweet is an excellent choice to lead the SBA, having served at high levels in both the public and private sectors.  Mrs. Contreras-Sweet served as the first Latina cabinet secretary in the history of California, oversaw one of the largest state government agencies in the country, and built a successful bank dedicated to serving traditionally underserved Latino communities from scratch.

 

Maria Contreras-Sweet is a champion for the success of small businesses; that’s why President Obama said during her nomination that “Maria Contreras-Sweet will help small businesses get their good ideas off the ground, to expand, to hire, to sell their products and ideas not only in our domestic markets, but also overseas.” Strengthening the economy is the President’s top priority and Mrs. Contreras-Sweet will play an integral role by supporting small businesses with expanded access to SBA loans.

 

America’s small businesses are vital for the creation of expanding opportunities for the middle class, including thousands of Latinos. Mrs. Contreras-Sweet has served a critical role in ensuring that entrepreneurs and small businesses have access to the capital they need to start and grow their businesses in both the public and private sectors. Small businesses will continue to add good paying middle-class jobs, help grow the economy, and create opportunities for hard-working Americans in the coming years.

 

Small businesses are on the front lines transforming an economy focused on speculating, spending, and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building, which is critical to America’s success in the 21st century. Today, as the economy continues to grow, businesses have created 8.7 million jobs in the past four years and small business will continue to be a critical factor in that growth.

 

As Secretary of the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency for California, she managed an approximately $12 billion budget, oversaw a workforce of over 40,000 and numerous state-wide departments. Mrs. Contreras-Sweet founded ProAmerica Bank – a bank focused on serving small and mid-sized businesses and the first Latino-owned business bank in California in over 30 years. Previously, Mrs. Contreras-Sweet served as Vice President for Public Affairs at Seven Up and co-founded Fortius Holdings.

 

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With decades of experience, Mrs. Contreras-Sweet has seen first-hand the business potential in the Latino community and nurtured it. Hispanics start businesses at 3 times the national average and contribute over $468 billion to the American economy. This keen understanding of the intricacies between the co-existence of business and government through her extensive experience in the small business and Latino communities allows her to hit the ground running at the new SBA Administrator.

 

Mrs. Contreras-Sweet is the second Hispanic in the President’s second-term cabinet, and the eighth woman in his current Cabinet. Mrs. Contreras-Sweet knows first-hand the challenges that small businesses face and has an established reputation as a fierce advocate for them. With her new role as SBA Administrator she will ensure that small businesses have the seat at the table they deserve. During her nomination in January, President Obama said, “I’m confident that she’s going to put her heart and soul into making sure that all the other people who are out there striving and trying to achieve their dreams can succeed as well.”

 

 

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Mrs. Contreras-Sweet also reminds us that in America, you can make it if you try. Mrs. Contreras-Sweet came to the United States at age 5 with her mother and five brothers and sisters. She didn’t speak a word of English and while growing up, she watched her mother work long and dangerous hours in a chicken packaging plant so that someday her children could work in an office. Mrs. Contreras-Sweet is living proof that with that kind of hard work and determination you can succeed. Today, we welcome SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, who brings a wealth of public and private sector experience, and look forward to the great work ahead.

 

 

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Barack After Dark™: Alicia & Michelle, Maria, Magic And North Carolina.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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As The Sun Sets…..It’s Time For Barack After Dark™

 

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The First Lady and Alicia Keys Discuss Education at the White House

January 15, 2014 | 23:11 |Public Domain

 

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a discussion with education stakeholders about the challenges and best practices regarding education access in underserved communities.

 

 

 

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First lady Michelle Obama  speaking in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, where she hosted a screening of "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," a coming of age story about two inner-city youth who are left to fend for themselves in the Bronx. Photo: Evan Vucci, AP

First lady Michelle Obama speaking in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, where she hosted a screening of “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” a coming of age story about two inner-city youth who are left to fend for themselves in the Bronx. Photo: Evan Vucci, AP

 

 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

January 15, 2014
07:14 PM EST

 

President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Maria Contreras-Sweet, left, as Administrator of the Small Business AdministrationPresident Barack Obama announces the nomination of Maria Contreras-Sweet, left, as Administrator of the Small Business Administration, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Jan. 15, 2014. At right is Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

America’s small businesses are on the front lines when it comes to creating jobs and new opportunities. They are the cornerstones of our communities, and can help lead the way as we continue to grow the economy and add jobs in the coming year.

 

“They’re part of the pact that America makes — the idea that if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can build something new,” President Obama said today.

 

“And that’s the dream that brought generations of hardworking immigrants to our shores, and that’s the idea that drives small business owners to create new products and expand their businesses every single day.”

 

Maria Contreras-Sweet, who President Obama announced this afternoon as his nominee to lead the Small Business Administration, knows first hand what it means to start a small business, and has a proven track record of helping other small businesses succeed.

 

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President Obama Nominates Maria Contreras-Sweet as SBA Administrator

January 15, 2014 | 11:09 |Public Domain

 

President Obama announces that he is nominating Maria Contreras-Sweet to lead the Small Business Administration.

 

 

She’s the founder of ProAmérica Bank, the first Latino-owned business bank in California in over 30 years. Its focus is small and medium-sized businesses in Latino neighborhoods. So not only did she start small businesses, but those have also been her customers, and she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means a lack of opportunity.

 

As Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Maria was the driving force behind major job creation and major public investments in infrastructure and in housing.

 

As a consultant, she helped companies expand into the Latino market. She’s a champion of women-owned and family-owned businesses … And as someone who moved to California from Mexico as a young girl, and whose mother worked long hours to support Maria and her five siblings, she knows firsthand the challenges that working families and recent immigrants are facing.

 

“So as we work to keep our economy growing, Maria will be charged with looking for more ways to support small businesses,” President Obama said, “to help them get that good idea off the ground, to expand, to hire, to sell their products and ideas not only in our domestic markets, but also overseas.  And I’m absolutely confident that she is going to do an outstanding job as our Small Business Administrator.”

 

 

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Magic Johnson
January 15, 2014
08:57 AM EST

 

No one plans to get sick or hurt — I certainly didn’t — but most people will need medical care at some point in their lives.

 

As an athlete, I understood the value of my health insurance. I knew that in my profession, injuries were common and could happen at any time.

 

It was important that I had the insurance needed to protect me in case I got hurt. It’s been almost 20 years since my playing days and having health insurance is still important to me. All athletes know that a broken bone, or knee surgery can cost a lot, and medical bills can add up. But it doesn’t just happen to professional athletes, it can happen to anybody. And, without health insurance, some medical treatments can cost thousands of dollars.

 

Magic Johnson: #GetCovered Because Earlier Detection Can Save People’s Lives

January 14, 2014 | 2:12 |Public Domain

 

Hall of Fame Basketball player, Entrepreneur and Activist Ervin “Magic” Johnson urges young americans to #GetCovered with the Affordable Care Act. Go to http://HealthCare.Gov and find the plan that best fits you.

 

 

The good news is, now you can finally get the health insurance you need. The new HealthInsurance Marketplace offers affordable, quality health insurance that can help you get the care you need without risking your life savings.

 

The Marketplace is a new, simpler way to purchase health insurance — all in one place. You can go online to find and compare options, determine if you qualify for lower costs, and enroll in the plan that’s right for you.

 

I encourage folks to check out my video and visit HealthCare.gov to determine your options.

 

Everyone should have the opportunity to get affordable, quality health coverage. There’s still time to enroll through March 31.

 

Protect your health — enroll today.

 


 

Related links:

Related Topics: Health Care

 

 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

January 15, 2014
05:30 PM EST

 

 

President Obama Speaks on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

January 15, 2014 | 18:46 |Public Domain

 

At North Carolina State University, President Obama announces new steps with the private sector to strengthen the manufacturing sector, boost advanced manufacturing, and attract good jobs with good wages that a growing middle class requires.

 

 

President Obama made two stops during his trip to Raleigh today: the first to tour a company called Vacon, where workers design the drives that power everything from elevators to the giant fans that help cool buildings, and the second to deliver remarks at North Carolina State University, home of one of the largest undergraduate engineering programs in the country.

 

“The reason I came here today is because we’ve got to do more to connect universities like NC State with companies like Vacon to make America the number-one place in the world to open new businesses and create new jobs,” President Obama explained.

 

And, to help make Raleigh-Durham a magnet for the good, high-tech manufacturing jobs that we need to grow the middle class and keep this country on the cutting edge, President Obama announced today that the area will be home to the nation’s newest manufacturing innovation hub.

 

Like the hub launched in Ohio last year to develop and train workers in 3-D printing technology, the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute in North Carolina will bring leading companies, universities, and federal research together under one roof to help develop the next generation of power electronics.

 

“Folks at this hub are going to develop what are called ‘wide bandgap semiconductors,’” President Obama said.

 

“For all you non-engineers out there,” he said, “here’s what it means in the simplest terms.”

 

Semiconductors, obviously, are at the heart of every piece of the electronics that we use every day — your smartphone, your television set, these days everything … Wide bandgap semiconductors, they’re special because they use up to 90 percent less power; they can operate at higher temperatures than normal semiconductors.

 

So that means they can make everything from cell phones to industrial motors to electric cars smaller, faster, cheaper.

 

“And the country that figures out how to do this first, and the companies that figure how to do this best,” President Obama said, “they’re the ones that are going to attract the jobs that come with it.”

 

President Obama first called on Congress in his 2013 State of the Union to create a network of manufacturing hubs all across the country. Over the summer, he encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation supporting an even larger network of 45 hubs.

 

Absent Congressional action, President Obama has directed his administration to move forward where they can, and today he said that in addition to the hubs in Ohio and North Carolina, plans are underway to launch two more in the coming weeks.

 

Together, these hubs will “help build new partnerships in areas that show potential,” President Obama said. “They’ll help to lift up our communities. They’ll help spark the technology and research that will create the new industries, the good jobs required for folks to punch their ticket into the middle class.”

 

And that’s what America is all about. We have always been about research, innovation, and then commercializing that research and innovation so that everybody can benefit.  And then we start selling our stuff all around the world, we start exporting it.  And we create good jobs, and middle-class families then are able to buy the products that result from this innovation.  And you get a virtuous cycle where everybody is doing better, and nobody is left behind.  And that’s what we can do if we pull together the way those companies and universities have pulled together as part of this bid.

 


 

For more information:

Related Topics: ManufacturingEconomyNorth CarolinaOhio

 

 

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C. Vacon Vice President Dan Isaksson.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C. Vacon Vice President Dan Isaksson.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours Vacon, a research and development center and lab for high-power AC drives, in Durham, N.C.

 

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The President Nominates Maria Contreras-Sweet New Administrator Of The SBA


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Remarks by the President in Nominating Maria Contreras-Sweet as Administrator of the SBA

 

South Court Auditorium

3:46 P.M. EST

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much. Well, welcome to the White House.  And I am pleased to be joined by many of the people on the front lines when it comes to creating jobs and new opportunities — America’s small business owners.  And I want to thank all of them for the hard work and the sacrifice of these entrepreneurs, as well as the workers and the families across the country that have helped us pull ourselves out of one of the worst recessions in our history.

 

Now what we’re seeing is businesses having created more than 8 million new jobs since we hit bottom.  Manufacturing is growing, led by a booming auto industry.  Our investments have helped bring about new technologies, more affordable energy, and our slowing health care costs, all of which are making America even more attractive for investors.  And we’re starting to see a lot of the jobs that had left our shores in manufacturing, for example, starting to come back, because we put ourselves in a much more competitive position.

 

And so all the pieces are there to bring back even more new jobs to America this year, but it’s not going to happen by itself.  This has to be a year of action.  We got to keep our economy growing.  We got to make sure that our working families are sharing in growth and increasing success.  We’ve got to make sure that we’re creating more good jobs that pay good wages and provide families with some measure of security.  We’ve got to make sure that the recovery doesn’t leave anybody behind.

 

And that’s where our small businesses can help lead the way — because small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy.  They create most of the country’s new jobs.  They’re cornerstones of our communities.  And they’re part of the pact that America makes — the idea that if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can build something new.  You can make something of yourself.  You can leave something behind for your children.  And that’s the dream that brought generations of hardworking immigrants to our shores, and that’s the idea that drives small business owners to create new products and expand their businesses every single day.

 

And that’s one of the reasons why I made small business a priority from day one when I took this office.  It’s why we cut taxes for small business owners not once but twice — not once or twice, but 18 times in my first term.  Small business owners had a real tough time in the financial crisis.  When lending froze, they were the ones who were getting hit the hardest.  So my administration supported record amounts of lending to small businesses through the SBA — more than $130 billion to more than 225,000 small businesses during the course of five years.

 

We made it easier for small business to compete for and win federal contracts by eliminating unnecessary paperwork and cutting red tape, and accelerating payments to small business contractors through the “QuickPay” program so that they can maintain the cash flow that they need to grow their businesses and create more jobs.  And so in my first term, nearly $380 billion in federal contracts went to small business.  That’s almost $50 billion more than in the four years before I took office.

 

So I deeply believe in small businesses that can help to drive and continue the growth that we’ve already seen.  And I elevated the role of the Small Business Administrator to Cabinet level — to give small businesses a seat at the table when we are talking about our economic agenda.  I searched for an exceptional person to serve as the next leader of the SBA.  I wanted somebody with a proven track record of helping small businesses succeed; somebody who had firsthand experience both in the private sector and the public sector who can work with us and work with me to increase growth and expand opportunity.  I wanted somebody who understands entrepreneurs, and it would be even better if that somebody had actually started a business of her own.

 

And that’s why I’m so proud to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet to be the next Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

 

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Maria knows how hard it is to get started on a business — the grueling hours, the stress, the occasional self-doubt — although I have not yet seen self-doubt out of Maria.

 

(Laughter.)  She knows it herself.  She’s the founder of ProAmérica Bank, the first Latino-owned business bank in California in over 30 years.  Its focus is small and medium-sized businesses in Latino neighborhoods.  So not only did she start small businesses, but those have also been her customers, and she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means a lack of opportunity.

 

As Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Maria was the driving force behind major job creation and major public investments in infrastructure and in housing.  As a consultant, she helped companies expand into the Latino market.  She’s a champion of women-owned and family-owned businesses.  When she started her bank, she said she wanted the bank to be a place where families would come for help, “because when family businesses thrive” — and I’m quoting — “the community thrives and the economy thrives.”  And as someone who moved to California from Mexico as a young girl, and whose mother worked long hours to support Maria and her five siblings, she knows firsthand the challenges that working families and recent immigrants are facing.

 

So she understands the needs of small business owners like herself.  She knows how they can lift entire communities, and ultimately how they lift our country.  So as we work to keep our economy growing, Maria will be charged with looking for more ways to support small businesses -– to help them get that good idea off the ground, to expand, to hire, to sell their products and ideas not only in our domestic markets, but also overseas.  And I’m absolutely confident that she is going to do an outstanding job as our Small Business Administrator.

 

So I want to thank her for accepting this position and the challenge, and I know that she’s going to be up to the task.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank her husband Ray and her three outstanding children -– because jobs like this turn out to be family affairs — and I know that Ray is very supportive and is going to be a great partner with her in this task.

 

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Now, Maria follows in the footsteps of two extraordinary leaders –- Karen Mills, who served as Administrator of the SBA in my first term, and Jeanne Hulit, who has graciously agreed to serve as Acting Administrator after Karen stepped down last year. Together, they made it easier and faster for entrepreneurs to get loans, to win contracts, to hire more people — and the results are thriving small businesses across the country.

 

Some of those entrepreneurs are here today.  Twenty years ago, Deb and Dan Carey wanted so bad to start their own brewing company that they sold their house to help pay for it.  And with a little help from the SBA, they rented an old appliance factory, set up their equipment, they got to work.  Today, the New Glarus Brewing Company is one of the top craft beer-makers in Wisconsin, with more than 80 full-time employees.  So Deb and Dan, where are you?  They’re around here somewhere.  There they are, right there.  Good to see you again.  (Applause.)

 

There’s another success story here — the team behind Taylor Gourmet, a hoagie shop with locations all over D.C., including one just half a block from the White House.  (Laughter.)  If you’re wondering why I know about this, the staff are steady customers at Taylor Gourmet and I have tasted those tasty sandwiches.  When Casey Patten and Dave Mazza moved to D.C., they looked everywhere for hoagies like the ones they’d grown up with in Philly.  And when they couldn’t find any, they thought, we should make them ourselves.  And with the help of the SBA, they opened eight shops in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  And so not only are they providing great sandwiches, but they’re also creating jobs here in the area.

 

That’s the power of small business.  That’s the charge of the SBA.  That’s the extraordinary work that Jeanne has done and, before her, Karen, to help advance the agenda of people who just have a dream and are willing to put in all the blood, sweat and tears that they need to do in order to achieve that dream.  And so when we think about our small businesses, just remember that’s what keeps our communities and our country strong, and we should be doing everything in our power to help them succeed.  If here in America, you’re willing to work hard and dream big, you should have your shot at success.

 

Jeanne has understood that and, in fact, she’s going to be going back into the private sector and helping small businesses back in Maine.  I told her she might have wanted to stay here until the winter is over — (laughter) — but she’s eager to get back and she’s already stayed longer than she originally intended.

 

And I know this is something that Maria understands.  Maria, on the way in, told me a wonderful story about how her grandmother, back in Mexico who was a migrant worker, said to her that if she worked hard, studied, stayed in school, that someday she’d be able to work in an office as a secretary and really make her proud.  And she ended up being the Secretary of Business Development and Transportation in California.  And now she’s going to be helping the folks who are following behind her achieve their dreams.  That’s what America is all about.

 

So Maria is fulfilling the vision of her grandma in ways that maybe are not entirely expected.  And I’m confident that she’s going to put her heart and soul into making sure that all the other people who are out there striving and trying to achieve their dreams can succeed as well.  That’s what this administration is about and I’m looking forward to working with her.

 

So thank you very much.  Give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

 

END
3:57 P.M. EST

 

 

President Barack Obama announces he will nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, left, founder and board chairman of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, as the head of the Small Business Administration.

President Barack Obama announces he will nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, left, founder and board chairman of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, as the head of the Small Business Administration.

 

Obama Nominates Maria Contreras-Sweet as Head of SBA

 

Former California official Maria Contreras-Sweet is President Obama’s pick to lead the Small Business Administration. She was introduced and her official nomination announced at a White House event Thursday.

 

Born in Mexico, Contreras-Sweet became the first Latina to serve as a cabinet secretary in California when she led its Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999-2003.

 

That post led Obama to tell this anecdote:

“Maria, on the way in, told me a wonderful story about how her grandmother, back in Mexico who was a migrant worker, said to her that if she worked hard, studied, stayed in school, that someday she’d be able to work in an office as a secretary and really make her proud. And she ended up being the Secretary of Business Development and Transportation in California. And now she’s going to be helping the folks who are following behind her achieve their dreams. That’s what America is all about.

 

“So Maria is fulfilling the vision of her grandma in ways that maybe are not entirely expected,” he said.

 

“Her grandmother, back in Mexico who was a migrant worker, said to her that if she worked hard, studied, stayed in school, that someday she’d be able to work in an office as a secretary and really make her proud.  And she ended up being the Secretary of Business Development and Transportation in California.  And now she’s going to be helping the folks who are following behind her achieve their dreams,” the president said. “That’s what America is all about.”

 

Contreras-Sweet is the founder of ProAmérica Bank, a California bank which works with small- and mid-size businesses. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Contreras-Sweet also previously served as secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

 

Contreras-Sweet would fill the spot previously held by Karen Mills, who left the position last year to work at Harvard.

 

Maria Contreras-Sweet

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