Ruling Changes SBA’s Disadvantaged Business Program

A recent federal court ruling has led the Small Business Administration (SBA) to halt the automatic categorization of small businesses as disadvantaged based on the race or ethnicity of their owners when applying for the 8(a) business development program. Previously, if a business owner identified as a racial or ethnic minority, their business would automatically qualify as socially disadvantaged, granting eligibility for the 8(a) program which secures federal contracts for them. However, following the court’s decision, each business owner must now provide specific evidence of facing social disadvantages to qualify. This ruling stems from a lawsuit initiated by Ultima Services Corporation, alleging racial discrimination when a contract was moved into the 8(a) program. This change could impact the Biden administration’s goal to allocate 15% of federal contracting expenses to small, disadvantaged businesses by 2025. While the precise implications remain uncertain, this shift emphasizes the need for small business owners to grasp federal guidelines and adapt to evolving regulations for securing federal contracts.

Source: Small Business Trends


Research Reveals that Americans are Prioritizing Cash

Recent research from Empower revealed that a notable proportion of Americans (17%) prioritize the security and convenience of cash, while rising interest rates further substantiate this preference for cash holdings. Increased rates and yields in high-interest accounts are motivating 22% of U.S. adults to increase their cash reserves. Inflation has influenced just 26% of savers’ decisions to hold onto cash, and despite regional bank failures, a substantial majority (73%) maintain their cash savings strategy. The study also underscores the need to strike a balance between cash and investments, with Gen Z trending towards market investments. Empower emphasizes the importance of yielding optimal returns, advocating for high-yield cash accounts that maximize potential while offering flexibility in accessing funds.

Source: PR Newswire


SBA Announces Cybersecurity Grant Recipients

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a $6 million funding initiative, the Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program, aimed at bolstering cybersecurity measures for small businesses across America. The program has announced six recipients, all state entities, to receive $1 million each, including the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Ohio State University, Old Dominion University, State of Hawaii Cybersecurity Assistance for Small Businesses, and the University of Wyoming. These grantees will play a pivotal role in enhancing cybersecurity infrastructure and countering cyber threats, assisting small businesses that often lack the resources for robust IT solutions. This initiative arrives at a critical juncture as cyberattacks increasingly target small businesses, posing a substantial economic risk to the nation. The SBA will further address this concern through its annual Cybersecurity Summit, where experts will share insights on safeguarding small businesses from cyber threats.

Source: Globe Newswire


GoDaddy Launches ‘Instant Video’ to Empower Small Businesses

GoDaddy is introducing “Instant Video,” an AI-powered feature designed to assist small business owners in easily creating video-based digital marketing content and enhancing their online presence. With thousands of templates available, entrepreneurs can create professional branded assets for everything including social media, websites, and email marketing to boost customer engagement and sales. Instant Video uses AI to enable users to select relevant video styles, auto-generate slogans, and effortlessly combine their videos and photos into quality content. This feature also facilitates the use of royalty-free music and offers the option to purchase domain names and access Website Builder within the app, providing a comprehensive suite of tools to elevate small business marketing efforts.

Source: PR Newswire