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Entrepreneurs interested in obtaining data from the U.S. government should check out a new Web site called CBDNet. The site features Commerce Business Daily, a newspaper put out by the U.S. Commerce Department, which contains notices of federal government procurement opportunities valued at more than $25,000 and those that will likely have subcontracts. Federal government prime contractors publish their subcontracting opportunities as well.
CBDNet includes data on government-sponsored seminars, foreign business leads, and sales of surplus U.S. government property. Within the next year, state and local government contract listings will also be featured.
The site lists contracts offered as of November 1, 1996, and all listings have a contact source. You can access CBDNet at http://cbdnet.access.gpo.gov
Selling Products On Television
If you've ever wondered how to get your products on television, the Home Shopping Network (HSN) offers an answer. The St. Petersburg, Florida, TV retailer recently created the HSN Institute to find new products to include on its broadcast. Entrepreneurs can submit any type of product to the Institute, whose personnel will evaluate it for visual and commercial appeal. According to Marty D. Smuin, head of HSN Institute, products should make life easier or "be a better mousetrap."
If the evaluators think a product is saleable and HSN's quality assurance lab finds it does what it claims, a product description is written, air time is scheduled and a shipment of products is requested from the vendor.
Realizing that filling large orders can sometimes be a problem for smaller companies, the institute offers assistance ranging from suggesting alternative manufacturing sources to getting involved in product development.
The Institute is also conducting a series of trade fairs where people with products in all stages of development can go to submit their ideas. The next fairs will be held this fall in Seattle and San Francisco; the Institute hopes to visit every major area of the country within the next year.
There is no cost to submit a product for review. For more information about the trade fairs, or if you can't attend but would like to request a vendor package, call (800) 436-1010.
Yearbook Offers National Exposure
Small-business owners who want to gain national media exposure for their products or services but don't have the money it takes might want to investigate the Yearbook of Small Business Icons.
Created by Sacramento, California-based public relations firm Icon Publications, the yearbook features businesses with no more than $25 million in sales, whose concepts are innovative or newsworthy, or whose owner previously operated another business.
For $2,500 per issue, the yearbook will publish a 500- to 600-word article on your business and a photograph. The publication is distributed free to media organizations nationwide; the write-ups are also included on the yearbook's Web site.
The deadline to be featured in the January 1998 issue of the quarterly yearbook is November 14. For more information, visit http://www.iconpub.com or call (800) 455-8857.
Asian-American Firms Aided.
The Asian American Business Development Center Inc. (AABDC) will hold a conference in early December on how to do business in New York City. The event is designed to help Asian-American owners of small and midsized firms better understand and utilize government and private resources by providing information and answering questions.
Partially funded by the Small Business Administration, the center offers assistance ranging from one-on-one counseling to help with loan packages and business plan writing. There are also seminars, workshops and networking opportunities. This year, the center also hosted a trade mission to the People's Republic of China for African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic-American entrepreneurs.
There is no charge for an initial assessment. Depending on the depth of assistance needed, however, there may be a fee for additional services. Call AABDC at (212) 483-8898, access its Web site at http://www.aabin.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian American Business Development Center Inc., (212) 483-8898, email@example.com
CBDNet, 14th and Constitution N.W., #6422, Washington, DC 20230,firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Shopping Network Institute, 1 HSN Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33729, (800) 436-1010
Icon Publications, (800) 455-8857, http://www.iconpub.com