2014 Special Recognition: Utilizing Technology to Help America’s Businesses
In a 1925 address, then President Calvin Coolidge famously proclaimed that “the chief business of the American people is business.” Although much has changed in the decades since that quotable moment, it can still be said that business is a cornerstone of American society. Understanding this fact, the federal government currently offers thousands of benefits and tools for businesses of all kinds. The majority of these resources, however, are operated within separate agencies. As a result, entrepreneurs are tasked with navigating the myriad of resources positioned throughout the government and programs remain relatively unknown and unused.
In the fall of 2011, President Obama issued a Memorandum entitled “Making It Easier for America’s Small Businesses and America’s Exporters to Access Government Service to Help Them Grow and Hire.” In doing so, he named the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration as the Co-Chairs of an Executive Committee responsible for the design and operation of a website that would connect businesses to the governmental opportunities most relevant to them. Soon, BusinessUSA, a collaboration of twelve federal agencies, was launched with the goal of creating such a website. In the time since, the number of contributing agencies has doubled.
Such a unique partnership allows for BusinessUSA to provide an all-inclusive online portal tailored for American entrepreneurs seeking to take advantage of government programs. By creating an intuitively designed and up-to-date website, BusinessUSA has made formerly complex processes easy to understand and navigate. What’s more, BusinessUSA collaborates with local and state governments to provide the user with as much relevant information as humanly possible.
At its core, BusinessUSA is about collaborations that maximize and enrich the user experience. The devotion inter-departmental teamwork and transparency had yielded great results. To date, BusinessUSA has attracted over 1.74 million visits, 4.9 million page views, and 86,000 newsletter subscribers.
With the understanding that every business has unique needs, BusinessUSA has tailored a website designed to best assist Americans seeking to utilize government programs. Aside from helping entrepreneurs access and understand federal resources available to them, BusinessUSA also serves as a model for partnerships among federal departments.
With the needs of the businessperson always a priority, BusinessUSA is introducing the federal government to the advantages of technology and teamwork.
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