Hello, I'm Jean Wetzler and I'm talking with Elaine Johnson about the Business.gov Web site.
Elaine, what is Business.gov?
Business.gov is the official business link to the U.S. government.
Although the IRS and other agencies have individual Web sites, Business.gov is unique. It provides a single access point for the nation's businesses to government services and information. It's a true gateway.
Who manages this gateway?
SBA - the Small Business Administration - manages Business.gov.
So, has it been around for awhile?
Yes. It began as an e-government initiative in 2004. It has since grown into a program that continues to help small businesses start, manage, and comply with government regulations, using government-managed resources.
Give us an example of what's on Business.gov.
Ok - let's start with the guides. Business.gov has free guides to help an entrepreneur start a business, register it, manage it efficiently, and comply with local, state, and federal regulations.
The guides show which government regulations - federal, state and local - apply to their type of business. Some non-regulatory information is there too, such as how to find market research data.
The guides include sections on advertising and marketing, licenses and permits - and of course, taxes!
The guides sound like great tools. What else?
Well - there are search tools to help users find loans, grants, and other recommended sites based on their responses to a brief survey about their business.
There's a Business.gov Toolkit that can be placed on any Web site for immediate access to online resourcess.
There are resources devoted to home-based businesses, self-employed or disabled people, non-profit organizations, and businesses owned by minorities, veterans and women.
There's really so much more information than we have time to talk about here, but I guarantee - it's worth a visit.
What's really special and unique about Business.gov is that it's not organized around government. It's organized around businesses, and is shaped according to their needs. That makes it very intuitive to use.
Did Business.gov recently start some type of online community?
Yes. It's the first online business community sponsored by the federal government. This community is an open discussion platform that allows small business owners, and industry and government experts to share information that helps small businesses succeed.
Great! What's the Web address?
It's Business.gov. And I'd also like to remind viewers to visit the IRS Web site for small businesses - at IRS.gov, slash, smallbiz - with a "z."
Thank you, Elaine. I've been talking with Elaine Johnson of the IRS. This is Jean Wetzler.
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