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First, the good news. According to the latest Small Business Employment Index released by Intuit, small businesses created 50,000 new jobs in January. The total represents an increase of 0.2 percent over the last month--equating to an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent.
Hearings and other meetings heat up during the week ahead on both sides of the U.S. Capitol. A roundtable discussion on “Developing & Strengthening High-growth Entrepreneurship,” including PDE’s Jonathan Ortmans, leads the way in the Senate while the House Budget Committee hears from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on “The State of the US Economy.” Meanwhile, off the Hill, Steve Case of the Startup America Partnership joins Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Mark Warner to talk about the Startup Act and ‘Improving the Environment for Entrepreneurship.’
Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation-- courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week:
As the White House fine tunes its messaging for the upcoming State of the Union Address, small business owners are starting to feel a bit more confident about the economic outlook, according to the latest survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. A commonly used phrase in the NFIB work last year was ‘stubbornly cautious’. However, the new numbers show continued growth in optimism--the December figures were positive for the fourth consecutive month.
Things are starting to pick up on Capitol Hill as the House of Representatives is set to reconvene tomorrow (Nov. 17). Relevant hearings are already scheduled for several committees, including Financial Services, Armed Services and Oversight & Government Reform. The Senate will reconvene next Monday, January 23.
The last we heard from the i6 Challenge, the Economic Development Administration was looking for comments on the "X Prize-style" competition designed to help additional cities develop economic blueprints for the future. Last week, four of the six winners of the competition were featured at a hearing on Capitol Hill to provide members of Congress with a look at how federal funds are impacting regional economic growth.
The United Kingdom remains a fierce competitor in the global race to develop the best startup ecosystem in the world. As noted in previous posts, Prime Minister David Cameron is keen for an economic recovery led by new firm formation introducing both policies and initiatives like Startup Britain to accelerate efforts nationwide.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills has been tapped by President Obama to join his Cabinet as part of a larger plan to consolidate the Small Business Administration and several other federal agencies with overlapping responsibilities. The move for Mills is effective immediately, but the reorganization plan requires the backing of Congress.
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