Business Trends and Outlook Survey Data Release

JAN. 19, 2023 — The U.S. Census Bureau today released data from the Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS), a survey that measures business conditions on an ongoing basis. The BTOS is the successor to the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS), a high-frequency survey that measured the effect of changing business conditions during the coronavirus pandemic and other major events like hurricanes on our nation’s small businesses.

The BTOS increases the scope of the SBPS to include large single-location employer businesses (those with 500 or more employees). It provides insight into the state of the economy by providing continuous, timely data for key economic measures every two weeks.

BTOS data are representative of all single-location employer businesses in the U.S. economy, excluding farms. By providing continuous data with geographic and subsector detail, BTOS captures the impact of events like natural disasters and economic crises and assists in monitoring recovery efforts.

The BTOS sample consists of approximately 1.2 million businesses with biweekly data collection. Selected businesses are split into six panels (approximately 200,000 cases per panel) that will be asked to report every 12 weeks for a year. The Census Bureau estimates it takes the average respondent approximately six minutes to complete the survey, including the time for reviewing the instructions and answers.  

Starting October 13, data will be released biweekly and available by sector, state and the 25 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. Survey results give local, state and federal officials essential, real-time data to aid in policy and decision-making. In addition, the information aids businesses in making economic decisions.

USPTO introduces new tool to help creators identify their intellectual property

Today at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) event in Naples, Florida, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Kathi Vidal announced the launch of the agency’s new Intellectual Property (IP) Identifier tool. This user-friendly, virtual resource— designed for those who are less familiar with IP—enables users to identify whether they have IP and the IP protections they need to support and advance their business, invention, or brand. The IP Identifier serves as an important foundation for an innovator, entrepreneur or creator’s IP journey. In addition to the tool helping identify a person’s or company’s intellectual property, it provides easily digestible information on intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

“Protecting your IP is a smart and necessary business strategy, and the IP Identifier is a great starting point for those new to IP,” Director Vidal told the audience at the WE event. “This resource will equip entrepreneurs with a basic understanding of the IP they have and will lead them to resources to protect it. We encourage everyone who is considering starting a business or trying to grow one to utilize this tool. It’s another example of our work to bring more people into the innovation ecosystem to increase American competitiveness, grow the economy, and solve world problems.” 

The IP Identifier is comprised of two modules: The Basic IP Identifier; and the Advanced IP Identifier. The Basic IP Identifier module consists of six simple questions that allow users to quickly assess the type of IP they should protect. The Advanced IP Identifier module allows users to learn about their specific type of IP and obtain links to additional resources, including how to file an application for protection. A third module, Managingyour IP assets, is currently under development. 

Companies benefit from having IP protection. When used as collateral, a company’s first patent increases venture capital funding by 76 percent over three years and increases funding from an initial public offering by 128 percent. It can also help serve as a recruiting tool: The approval of a startup’s first patent application increases its employee growth by 36 percent over the next five years. Further, protecting your IP can also increase your market share – a new company with a patent increases its sales by a cumulative 80 percent more than companies that do not have a patent.

The IP Identifier was announced as part of USPTO’s recently-launched Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative, a community-focused, collaborative, and creative initiative to inspire women and tap their potential to meaningfully increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity. WE includes a new online hub for aspiring women entrepreneurs that provides key information on how to get started, how to identify and protect their intellectual property, and how to secure options for funding and how to build and maintain a network.

Martin J. Gruenberg Sworn in as 22nd FDIC Chairman

WASHINGTON – Martin J. Gruenberg was sworn in today as the 22nd Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Travis Hill, who will serve as Vice Chairman, and Jonathan McKernan, who will serve as Director, were also sworn in as members of the FDIC’s Board of Directors (the Board).

“I am honored to serve again as Chairman of the FDIC,” said Chairman Gruenberg. “I look forward to working closely with my fellow Board members to carry out the FDIC’s critically important mission of safety and soundness, consumer protection, and financial stability.”

Vice Chairman Hill said, “It is a tremendous honor to have been appointed to serve as an FDIC Board member. I look forward to engaging with my fellow Board members, the FDIC staff, and counterparts at other agencies regarding the many important issues facing the FDIC.”

Director McKernan added, “The FDIC’s mission resonates deeply with me, as the stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system is critical to a strong and growing American economy. I am eager to work with my colleagues on the Board and the FDIC staff to do my part to fulfill the agency’s vital mission.”

Chairman Gruenberg is the longest serving member of the Board, first joining as Vice Chairman in August of 2005. He previously served as FDIC Chairman from November 2012 to June 2018. Learn more about the Chairmen of the FDIC.

Prior to his appointment, Vice Chairman Hill served as Senior Advisor to the FDIC Chairman and Deputy to the FDIC Chairman for Policy from July 2018 until February 2022, and, prior to that, as Senior Counsel at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Director McKernan previously served as Senior Counsel at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, on detail as Counsel on the staff of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Treasury Department and to Senator Bob Corker. Prior to his government service, from 2007 to 2017, Director McKernan was an attorney in private practice focused on banking and consumer financial law.

President Biden appointed Chairman Gruenberg for a term of five years as Chairman and a six-year term as a Director on the Board; Vice Chairman Hill for a term of six years; and Director McKernan to serve for an expiring term until May 31, 2024. The Board will now have a full complement of members for the first time since June 4, 2015.

The Board is comprised of five members who are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The chairman, vice chairman and inside director are appointed to six-year terms on the Board. The remaining two Board members are the Comptroller of the Currency and the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. No more than three members of the Board can be from the same political party.

U.S. Economic Development Administration Issues Statement On Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriation

WASHINGTON — U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo issued the following statement on the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration:

“I am thrilled that President Biden has signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 into law, appropriating $1.6 billion* to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for Fiscal Year 2023 programming.

“This vital funding enables EDA to significantly expand its targeted and transformational economic development investments that stimulate private funding, create jobs, support our innovators and entrepreneurs, and help those impacted by natural disasters build back stronger.

“Implementation of this funding will strengthen our collective economic and national security, and improve our individual prosperity and wellbeing, enabling the United States to be the global leader in the industries of the future and increasing economic equity among regions across the country.

“EDA will target investments in innovation and competitiveness with a regional and place-based focus, building on the examples set by EDA’s Build to Scale, Build Back Better Regional Challenge, and Good Jobs Challenge programs. Specifically, the law provides:

  • $752.5 million* for grants authorized by Sections 27-30 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3722, 3722a, 3722b, and 3723), as amended, across four programs:
    • $500 million for Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Section 28),
    • $200 million for the Recompete Pilot Program (Section 29),
    • $50 million for the Build to Scale program (Section 27), and
    • $2.5 million for the STEM Apprenticeships Talent Challenge (Section 30);
  • $500 million* for infrastructure and other long-term economic recovery efforts for areas impacted by natural disasters in 2021 and 2022; and
  • $363.5* million to fund EDA’s other Economic Development Assistance (EDAP) programs.

“We are grateful to Congress for continuing to place their confidence in EDA as we work to best serve our grantees and their constituents across the country. We are excited to continue to build on EDA’s proud and impactful legacy of spurring equitable, placed-based economic development. Working closely with an expanded network of stakeholders, we look forward to developing the most beneficial programs and making the targeted and transformational investments that build needed capacity and that enable exponential, long-term growth.

“We are excited that we can develop a plan and launch the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs and Recompete Pilot programs that were authorized under the CHIPS and Science Act. These new programs will stimulate economic growth in communities that may not have had the opportunity to compete before — including communities of color and rural communities — delivering the impactful, place-based programing needed to widely stoke our innovation economy.

“EDA will continue to lead the federal government—and the nation—by designing and executing innovative and effective economic development programs. We will remain committed to promote innovation, cultivate entrepreneurship, help build a well-qualified workforce, and position our economic development partners to be more resilient, agile, and competitive in the global marketplace.”

*includes funding for administration and oversight

USPTO patent fees for small and micro entities reduced

To support small and micro entities, Congress recently passed and President Biden signed into law on December 29, 2022 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which included the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022. In addition to supporting the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) expanded outreach and pro bono efforts by requiring the establishment of a Southeast Regional Office and community outreach offices, a study on and expansion of the USPTO’s pro bono work, and establishing a pilot pre-prosecution assessment program for first-time prospective patent applicants, the law increased small entity discounts from 50 percent to 60 percent and micro entity discounts from 75 percent to 80 percent. The USPTO fee schedule has been updated to reflect these changes. 

“Access to the innovation ecosystem by all is critical to inclusive innovation and growing our economy by $1 trillion by quadrupling the number of U.S. inventors,” remarked USPTO Director Kathi Vidal. “This bill complements our work to support small inventors, start-ups and those traditionally underrepresented in the innovation ecosystem. With the lower fees, additional outreach and support, and the expanded ability to obtain pro bono counsel, we are positioned to make meaningful progress in 2023 by measurably lowering the barriers for those entering the innovation ecosystem,” remarked Vidal. For more information on obtaining pro bono counsel, visit to the pro bono page on the USPTO website.

A rule notice will be published soon to update the fee amounts appearing under Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. For patent issue fees, the fee due is the amount appearing on the Notice of Allowance and Fees Due letter (form PTOL-85). For other fees, the applicable fee amount is the fee amount in effect on the day the fee is paid (in full). The day a fee is paid is the date of receipt of the fee payment in the USPTO under 37 CFR § 1.6, or the date reflected on a proper certificate of mailing or transmission on the fee payment, where such a certificate is authorized under 37 CFR § 1.8. 

The Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 can be viewed starting on pg. 1060 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 at congress.gov.

USPTO and WIPO agree to partner on dispute resolution efforts related to standard essential patents

WASHINGTON — The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today agreed to undertake joint efforts to facilitate the resolution of disputes related to standard essential patents.

Standard essential patents, or SEPs, are patents that have been declared essential to a given technical standard. As part of the standards-setting process, patent owners may agree to license SEPs on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms. Standards touch all aspects of modern life and include video compression, wireless communication technologies, computer connection standards, automotive technology, and more.

“International standards, and the role of patents that are essential to them, play an important role in promoting a strong national and global economy,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal. “The USPTO is grateful that Director General Tang recognized the USPTO’s leadership role in advancing discussions on standard essential patent policies. Our work with WIPO underscores the USPTO’s view that SEP policy is an international issue of international importance. This agreement will leverage existing resources at both the USPTO and WIPO, supporting options to enhance the efficiency of licensing of standard essential patents, and promote resolution of disputes related to those standards.”

The signing of the memorandum of understanding occurred during a meeting this week between Director Vidal and WIPO Director General Daren Tang on the sidelines of WIPO’s General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Under the terms of the agreement, the USPTO and WIPO will:

  • Cooperate on activities that will lend efficiency and effectiveness to the resolution of disputed standard essential patent matters by leveraging existing WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and USPTO resources, and
  • Engage in stakeholder outreach to raise awareness of the services provided by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center through joint USPTO-WIPO programs.

The agreement will continue in operation for five years from the date of signing.

“We appreciate all the work Director General Tang and WIPO have done in this critical area. We look forward to a successful collaboration and engaging stakeholders to ensure we shape dispute resolution that will facilitate participation and implementation of standards by all innovators including small to medium-sized enterprises,” remarked Director Vidal.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has time and again demonstrated its value in the efficient and timely resolution of commercial disputes. In the last few years, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has been facilitating the resolution of SEP-related disputes and the new collaboration with the USPTO is an exciting development which will contribute to improving the efficiency of standard implementation,” noted Director General Tang.

Secretary Blinken and Secretary Raimondo Co-Host Supply Chain Ministerial

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will co-host a Supply Chain Ministerial Forum July 19-20, 2022, as part of ongoing work with key partner nations on supply chains.  Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago will welcome participants and deliver opening remarks on July 19.

This virtual event will bring together stakeholders from labor, industry, and civil society – including representatives of historically underrepresented communities – to identify solutions to reduce both short-term bottlenecks and longer-term supply chain challenges.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo Reestablishes the NACIE

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the appointment of 32 leaders and experts to the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE will be charged with developing a National Entrepreneurship Strategy that strengthens America’s ability to compete and win as the world’s leading startup nation and as the world’s leading innovator in critical emerging technologies.

“We must invest further in our entrepreneurs and innovators so that America continues to lead the world in discovering and commercializing critical technologies. At the same time, we must better ensure that more communities throughout the country are included in the ecosystems that will generate these critical innovations. The Biden Administration looks forward to tapping the expertise of the new NACIE members to build a better America and further strengthen our competitiveness on the global stage,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “I applaud these individuals – leaders in their respective fields of industry, workforce development, academia, technology and innovation – for their commitment to serve.”

“The new NACIE members are an impressive group of individuals from diverse backgrounds, regions and industries,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo, who will serve as one of NACIE’s two federal ex-officio co-chairs. “We have plenty of challenges and opportunities to tackle. I’m eager to get to work to ensure our tech and innovation economy prospers equitably for everyone across the nation.”

“The technological, societal and economic challenges that we face as a Nation today require even stronger bridges between discovery, innovation, and commercialization,” said National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, who will serve as a federal ex-officio co-chair. “I’m excited to work with the NACIE to help advance the highly integrated research and innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on expanding the geography of innovation by engaging with diverse communities all across the country.”

NACIE is charged with identifying and recommending solutions to drive the innovation economy, including growing a skilled STEM workforce and removing barriers for entrepreneurs ushering innovative technologies into the market. The council also facilitates federal dialogue with the innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development communities.

NACIE is a federal advisory committee managed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. More than 260 nominees were received. Members will serve two-year terms.

The newly appointed NACIE members are:

Non-Voting Federal Ex-Officio Co-Chairs

  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, National Science Foundation

Voting Non-Federal Co-Chairs

  • Steve Case, Chairman/CEO, Revolution; Co-Founder, AOL
  • Kristina M. Johnson, President, The Ohio State University

Voting Members

  • Byron G. Auguste, Co-Founder/CEO, Opportunity@Work
  • Patricia Beckmann, Founder/Managing Director, BioStrategy
  • Melissa Bradley, Founder/Managing Partner/General Partner, 1863 Ventures
  • Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital
  • Christopher Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
  • Sherrese Clarke Soares, Founder/Managing Partner, HarbourView
  • Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • Lisa Feria, Managing Partner/CEO, Stray Dog Capital
  • Annette Finsterbusch, President/CEO, EnPower, Inc.
  • Brit Fitzpatrick, Chief of Staff, Stark
  • Aziz Gilani, General Partner/Managing Director, Mercury Fund
  • Orin Herskowitz, Executive Director, Senior VP of Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer, Columbia Technology Ventures
  • Neil Kane, Director, Curriculum and Capstone Advising, ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s) Graduate Program, University of Notre Dame
  • David Kenney, President/Executive Director, VertueLab
  • Wendy Lea, Co-Founder/CEO, Energize Colorado
  • Ian McClure, Associate VP for Research, Innovation & Economic Impact, University of Kentucky
  • Senofer Mendoza, Founder/General Partner, Mendoza Ventures
  • Rachel Meyers, Chief Science Officer, Faze Medicines
  • Nate Mook, CEO, World Central Kitchen
  • Bill Provine, CEO Delaware Innovation Space
  • Ryan Ramkhelawan, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Lasting Machine Ventures
  • Aimée Rose, Executive Managing Director, Activate Boston
  • Laura Sachar, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, StarVest Partners
  • Peter Scher, Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Liz Shuler, President, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • Grace Simrall, Chief of Civic Innovation & Technology, Louisville Metro Government
  • Dug Song, Chief Strategy Officer, Cisco Security
  • Tamara Steffens, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Venture Fund

U.S. Remains Top Destination for Foreign Business Investment for 10th Consecutive Year

WASHINGTONThe United States has been ranked as the top destination for foreign direct investment for the tenth consecutive year according to Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council’s 2022 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index.

The annual survey of global senior executives and investors found that the Unites States retained its position for a decade due to the innovation of the U.S. economy as the key indicator to driving growth through FDI long term.

Foreign investors look for established innovative markets that are financially strong and safe while also having strong governance and infrastructure. The ranking is testament to the attractiveness of the United States to foreign companies despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This ranking is cause for celebration and it reflects what so many in the global business community already know: the United States is unmatched not only in its economic power, but also in its appeal for businesses development through a strong culture of innovation and employment of a world-class productive workforce,” said Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Department of Commerce is committed to creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all Americans, including through foreign direct investment which creates jobs and contributes to economic development across the United States.”

“The United States retains the top position on Kearney’s 2022 FDI Confidence Index for the tenth consecutive year,” said Paul Laudicina, founder of the FDI Confidence Index. “Our findings suggest we are likely to see a continued shift in FDI to developed markets, with the U.S. being chief among them. Investors seek to capitalize on destinations marked by regulatory transparency and stability on the one hand and technological innovation on the other. Robust U.S. economic performance and bi-partisan action on the U.S. infrastructure initiative also obviously have helped restore confidence in the country’s longer term investment attractiveness, even as global geopolitical challenges persist.”

The United States rank in the FDI Confidence Index is supported by the work of the Department’s SelectUSA program that focuses on facilitating job-creating business investment into the United States and raises awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy. Since its inception, SelectUSA has facilitated more than $105 billion in investment, creating and/or retaining over 138,000 U.S. jobs.  

As part of the national effort to attract foreign direct investment, Secretary Raimondo will host the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit June 26-29 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The annual investment summit is the highest-profile event in the United States dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment and provides prospects for investors from global markets and economic development organizations across the nation to interact and create investment opportunities.

U.S. Commerce Department Releases Strategic Plan to Boost America’s Competitiveness

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Commerce released its fiscal year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan laying out an agenda for innovation, resilience and equity to strengthen America’s competitiveness in the 21st century.  Along with the strategic plan, the Department also published the first-ever learning agenda, through which all bureaus will build rigorous evidence on program outcomes. 

“Everything we do at the Department is focused on increasing America’s competitiveness in the global economy.  With this plan, we are positioning America’s workers and businesses for success in the 21st century.  And all Americans, especially those that have been historically excluded, will share in our prosperity,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. 

The Department has revised its mission statement to underscore the connection between our programs and all Americans. As of today, the Department’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities.

The Department’s strategic plan has five goals: 

  • Drive American innovation and global competitiveness. By investing in resilient supply chains, advancing emerging and critical technologies, and engaging in strategic partnerships with allies, we will expand opportunities for American innovators, workers, and businesses. At the same time, improve cybersecurity, promote intellectual property rights, and vigorously enforce our trade rules.
  • Foster inclusive capitalism and equitable economic growth. By creating an economy that works for all Americans, we will translate short-term growth into long-term prosperity. Once in-a-generation investments in broadband and economic development will empower entrepreneurs in all regions of the country. Smart workforce development will align workers’ skills with industry needs and provide wraparound support so job seekers can successfully complete their training.
  • Address climate crisis through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts. By accelerating cutting-edge clean technologies advancing our collection and dissemination of climate data and investing in restoration and preparation, we will combat climate change, protect the ocean, and lead the world toward a clean energy future while creating millions of good-paying jobs. 
  • Expand opportunity and discovery through data. By leveraging our world-class scientific and statistical tools, we will establish a level playing field for American workers and businesses in the global economy. 
  • Provide 21st century service with 21st century capabilities. By deploying smart technology and modernizing our systems for hiring and procurement, we will ensure that across the Commerce Department’s 13 bureaus are focused on achieving results for the American people and American businesses.

The creation of the strategic plan was a collaborative effort involving staff from every Department of Commerce bureau and serves as a foundation for equitable economic growth and opportunity. The plan is in direct alignment with the President’s FY 23 budget request which reflects the Department’s role to drive U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad, and the Administration’s focus on economic growth and job creation. Department leaders and employees will use this plan to transform strategies into actions, and actions into results for all communities.