The Obama Administration Monday celebrated a website that by most accounts is working well for entrepreneurs, small businesses and U.S. exporters — a sharp contrast from the tumult over that website having to do with health care.
BusinessUSA.gov was born on October 28, 2011, spearheaded by the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
President Obama’s memo at the time cited a need to have “a government that wisely allocates its scarce resources to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, so that it can best support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth.”
The site provides starting points for those wanting to start a business, grow an existing business, access financing, learn about taxes and credits — and yes — learn about new health care changes.
Redesigned in November 2012, BusinessUSA was simplified to give users access to programs and services, without having to know which agency manages the program.
At launch, the site included 297 resources from federal agencies. Today, it includes 2,575 grants, loans, training programs, and other helpful offerings from the federal, state, and local entities.
“BusinessUSA was one of the first government websites to recognize the new ways people were using the web,” writes Dennis Alvord, executive director of BusinessUSA, in a blog post on the SBA’s website. “We wanted users to be able to take us on the go, and get their questions answered when they needed, where they needed. So we created a responsive design that offers the same, rich experience on your smartphone or other mobile device that you would get on a laptop or desktop computer.”
Some more examples of the site’s functions:
- Entrepreneurs looking to get help starting their business can try the Start a Business tool.
- Established businesses interested in beginning to sell their goods overseas can use the Begin Exporting tool.
- Veterans looking for programs that can help them realize their dreams of owning a small business can use the Veterans Resources tool.
- Businesses looking for information about the Affordable Care Act can access health care information based on their specific situation.