The Department of Commerce, which was established in 1903, is one of the main government agencies intended to assist businesses—large and small—and represent their interests domestically and abroad. The agency states that its broad range of responsibilities include expanding U.S. exports, developing and promoting innovative technologies, gathering and disseminating statistical data and other important economic information, measuring economic growth, granting patents, promoting minority entrepreneurship, and providing stewardship. The department promotes these goals by encouraging job creation and economic growth through exports, free and fair trade, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, deregulation, and sustainable development.

One of the key offices within the Department of Commerce is the Office of Business Liaison. That office serves as the intermediary between the business community and the agency. Its objectives include:

Another office that is of interest to small business owners is the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Utilization. This office is responsible for ensuring that the department purchases goods and services from small businesses. It helps small businesses identify which bureaus small businesses should pursue as potential buyers, clarifies who the key individuals at that bureau are, and provides small businesses with basic information on the procurement process and helps them develop marketing strategies.

Following is a list of other key offices, departments, and programs at the Department of Commerce that are also of interest to small business owners:

Extensive information on the Department and its various bureaus and programs is available on the World Wide Web at www.doc.gov .


U.S. Department of Commerce Handbook. USA International Business Publications, n.a.

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