SBA, OMB launch restocked, revamped Business.gov

Officials from the White House and Small Business Administration formally unveiled a revamped Web site that provides small businesses with a compendium of federal regulations information.

The site, Business.gov, contains data on federal rules and requirements that all businesses must follow, including environmental regulations, taxes and office safety requirements.

It also contains a search function that lets small business owners search through a broad array of regulatory information.

“President Bush likes to say that small businesses are the engine that drives the economy,” said Stephen Galvan, SBA chief operating officer, at a Thursday briefing in Washington. “Business.gov provides those businesses the fuel.”

Business.gov was developed by SBA’s Business Gateway program. The site initially went online in 2004, when it focused largely on providing data on starting and maintaining a new business.

After consulting with small businesses over the past year, SBA dramatically reconstituted the site to provide relevant federal data for businesses in any form. SBA and Business Gateway officials could not estimate the cost of the Web site, as Nancy Sternberg, Business Gateway program manager, compared the cost for setting up the site to that of having a child. She did say, though, that the fiscal 2006 budget for the Business Gateway Initiative was approximately $9.6 million, and a portion of that amount was spent on Business.Gov.

Administration officials lauded the new version, stating that it is a solid example of information sharing, streamlining and cost savings — three pillars of the White House’s E-government initiative.

Because the government spends more money on IT services than any other company, organization or country in the world, the U.S. “must be the best with [how] we utilize that money,” said Tim Young, the Office of Management and Budget’s associate administrator of e-government and IT. “I can say with confidence that Business.gov” is a great example of money well spent.

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