Key Business Links
U.S. GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
The U.S. Department of Commerce promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans by working in partnership with businesses, universities, communities and U.S. workers. To drive U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace, the Commerce Department works to strengthen the international economic position of the United States and facilitates global trade by opening up new markets for U.S. goods and services. It promotes progressive business policies that help America’s businesses and entrepreneurs and their communities grow and succeed. No matter where businesses are in their life cycle, whether just getting off the ground or looking to expand into overseas markets, the Commerce Department is singularly focused on making U.S. companies more innovative at home and more competitive abroad, so they can create jobs. The Department’s website address is http://www.commerce.gov. Information that can be found on the website includes recent news and economic indicators.
Export.gov brings together resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies to succeed in today’s global marketplace. The website, http://export.gov/, lists opportunities by industry or by country and provides information on market research, international sales and marketing, international financing and logistics, licenses and regulations, trade data and analysis, and trade problems.
EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE U.S. (EX-IM BANK)
Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. Its mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. It enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy. Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. It assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept and helps to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters. The Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing). Applications can be completed on-line. http://www.exim.gov/
OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE (USTR)
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy and oversees negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues. American trade policy works toward opening markets throughout the world to create new opportunities and higher living standards for families, farmers, manufacturers, workers, consumers, and businesses. The United States is party to numerous trade agreements with other countries, and is participating in negotiations for new trade agreements with a number of countries and regions of the world. USTR’s website http://www.ustr.gov / provides information about trade agreements and trade policy.
OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORPORATION (OPIC)
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical world challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC projects have generated $74 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 275,000 American jobs.
An on-line investor screener is available at http://www.opic.gov/ to provide a preliminary assessment of whether OPIC services are available for your company.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the U.S. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. It delivers services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing for small businesses from the smallest needs in micro-lending to substantial debt and equity investment capital (venture capital). It provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations throughout the United States and U.S. territories. It also provides small businesses with subcontracting procurement opportunities, outreach programs, and training.
SBA offers programs to support the diverse needs of small business owners. The website http://www.sba.gov/ has information on programs related to technical, financial, contracting, education and disaster assistance, as well as special interests, advocacy and civil rights compliance.
U.S. TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (USTDA)
USTDA helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries. It provides grant funding to overseas project sponsors for the planning of projects that support the development of modern infrastructure and an open trading system.
USTDA carries out its mission by providing grants directly to overseas project sponsors who, in turn, select U.S. companies to perform the USTDA-funded activities. While USTDA projects span a wide variety of sectors, many focus on energy, with a particular focus on clean energy, transportation, telecommunications, and environmental services.
The International Business Partnership Program (IBPP) brings procurement officials to the United States to witness U.S. technology and ingenuity firsthand and develop the relationships with U.S. companies necessary to spur increased exports to emerging economies. Through its unique foreign assistance program, USTDA supports U.S. small businesses by helping them expand into emerging economies. It relies on the technical expertise of small consulting and engineering firms to perform due diligence activities that help define projects, provide sector specific guidance, and evaluate technical and economic impacts for every project USTDA considers for funding.
USTDA’s website http://www.ustda.gov/ provides information about contract opportunities with USTDA, overseas opportunities, and small business opportunities.
Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR)
ABIR’s mission is to represent the public policy interests of Bermuda’s Class 4 insurers and reinsurers around the world. Its website http://www.abir.bm/ provides information or interest to insurers and reinsurers.
Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC)
ABIC represents the internationally owned businesses that are physically located in Bermuda but conduct their operations worldwide. There are more than 1,500 exempted or international companies currently registered in Bermuda, of which some 400 have a physical presence.
Through partnerships with regulatory, government and professional organizations, ABIC promotes and preserves a sound business environment for the international business community. Its website http://www.abic.bm provides links to agencies in Bermuda that are relevant to starting a business in Bermuda.
Bermuda Chamber of Commerce
The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, apolitical organization whose members share a common goal, to advance the commercial, industrial, civic, trade and general interests of Bermuda and to foster the spirit of free enterprise. It represents the collective commercial interests of its members, provides networking opportunities within the business community, acts as a conduit between private and public sectors, creates community awareness, and facilitate training. The Chamber’s website http://www.bermudacommerce.com/ is partially under construction.
Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)
The BMA regulates the financial services sector in Bermuda. It supervises, regulates and inspects financial institutions operating in or from within the jurisdiction. It also issues Bermuda’s national currency; manages exchange control transactions; assists other authorities in Bermuda with the detection and prevention of financial crime; and advises the Government and public bodies on banking and other financial and monetary matters. It develops risk-based financial regulations that it applies to the supervision of Bermuda’s banks, trust companies, investment businesses and insurance companies. It also regulates the Bermuda Stock Exchange. The BMA website www.bma.bm provides information about insurance, banking, trust, investment, and company matters as well as anti-money laundering, fees and penalties.
Government of Bermuda
The Bermuda Government’s all-purpose website is www.gov.bm. It provides organizational information, describes the responsibilities of government agencies, and provides contact information.
Registrar of Companies (ROC)
The ROC falls under the Bermuda Ministry of Business Development & Tourism. It has the day-to-day responsibility of administrating companies, company name reservation, company fees, insolvency, and real estate. The ROC registers all limited liability companies, which include local companies, foreign sales corporations, exempted companies and overseas companies under the guidelines of The Companies Act 1981. The ROC website https://www.roc.gov.bm enables a search of companies registered in Bermuda and allows application to reserve a company name or to apply for a certificate of compliance, certified documents, or tax assurance.
At the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April 2010, Secretary of State Clinton provided a call to action for established business leaders and entrepreneurs in the United States and overseas to serve as E-Mentors and to join the E-Mentor Corps. E-Mentor Corps is a free web-based mentor/mentee matching service available for entrepreneurs. This program is an initiative of the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs' (CBA) Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP)in the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs (EEB). The program is a key component of The Business Volunteer that President Obama announced in his June 2009 Cairo speech. While this initiative is an outgrowth of the President's Cairo speech and the Summit, and is available in English and Arabic, the E-Mentor Corps platform is open for all entrepreneurs worldwide.