The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative
eNews: The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative

Don't Forget the Dates!

The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative has several upcoming dates, we don't want our valued subscribers to forget.

Workshop Mini - Grant Quarterly Application Deadline

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Launched in 2008, the Program Implementation Mini-Grants for Extension Educators and Teams showcase new e-commerce curricula from the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative. With the expectation of Webinar participation, each grantee will have the exciting task of employing cutting edge e-commerce educational resources designed with rural service areas in mind. Additionally, grantees will be working closely with the staff of the Southern Rural Development Center to create initial program benchmarks and track long-term community impacts. Download the Complete Request for Proposals.

Educational Resource Grants Application Deadline

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC), in partnership with NIFA/USDA and the Regional Rural Development Centers, is pleased to announce a new round of funding for its e-commerce competitive grants program. The intent of this program is to support the development or expansion of innovative educational resources focusing on key e-commerce and broadband-related topics. Click here for complete information and the full RFP.

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The Special Small Business and Money Edition

New SBA Lending for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

SBA rolled out two new initiatives on February 15, 2011, aimed at increasing the number of loans in these communities. SBA and U.S. Department of Commerce studies have shown the importance of lower dollar loans to small business formation and growth in underserved communities. With that in mind, and building on the agency's "Advantage" platform, both Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage will offer a streamlined application process for SBA 7(a) loans up to $250,000. To learn more, go to

USDA Funds REDLG for Job Creation and Business Growth

USDA recently announced that they will be accepting applications for loans and grants to create jobs and spur economic development in funding provided through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Examples of eligible projects include business incubators, community development assistance to non-profits and public bodies (particularly job creation or enhancement), facilities and equipment for education and training for rural residents to facilitate economic development, facilities and equipment for medical care to rural residents, and telecommunications/computer networks for distance learning or long distance medical care.

10 Business Investments to Make Now

By Gwen Moran

Salaries, technology, supplies? Every day, you spend money and time on your business. But do you know which investments are giving you the most bang for your buck? Taking a close look at what is actually helping your business grow and generate revenue can help you make wiser decisions that pay off for your company. Click here for top 10 investments in which business owners can get the best return for their money.

Three Online Tax Resources for Small-Business Owners

By Jonathan Blum

Looking for ways to make Tax Day a little less painful? April 15 is just a few weeks away. Of course you should be finished with your taxes now. But if you're shop is like mine, you spend every free second on your clients. So getting business expenses, forms and tax planning done tends to get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. These websites might have what you need.

Don't Miss Out on Tax Credits for Small Business

by Tamara Schweitzer Raben

As tax season rolls around, small-business owners stand to benefit from the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and the Small Business Jobs Act, which President Obama signed into law last year. The two pieces of legislation that came out of the Obama administration last year -- the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and the Small Business Jobs Act -- have implications for small business, and according to industry publication AccountingWEB, are responsible for the spike in small-business searches. Click here to review the entire article.

How Entrepreneurs Can Plan for Retirement

For many entrepreneurs, retirement is something to worry about down the road. Today, you've got enough on your plate—managing your business can easily occupy every spare moment you've got. But the sooner you can spend some time thinking about retirement, the better. Here are some good ideas on retirement resources.

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Additional Online Resources

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eXtension Entrepreneurship Webinar Series

Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors
April 11, 2013
Londa Nwadike, University of Vermont Extension Food Safety Specialist

Tracking Sales to Learn What Customers Really Think
May 9, 2013
Mary Peabody, UVM Extension

Are you a Supermarket Vendor or a Super Market Vendor?
June 13, 2013
Ginger Myers, UMD Extension Marketing Specialist

All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at 2 p.m. (ET); 1p.m. (CT); noon (MT); 11a.m. (PT). No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at . You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest" option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

For more information and archives on the Webinar Series, please visit our Webinar page.