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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: September 18

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Obama is more small business friendly than Romney, survey says. According to a survey by the George Washington University School of Political Management and Thumbtack.com, 39% of business owners view President Obama as "most supportive" of small business, compared to 32% who named Romney as most supportive of their needs. The rest were undecided, the survey says.

The survey polled 6,145 small business owners, of which 32% identified themselves as Democrats, 29% as Republicans and 39% as independents, an article in The Business Journals reports.

2. What does it take to be "Made in the USA"? More companies are touting their American-made goods as consumers look to buy things that their friends or neighbors have a hand in making. But before a company can use the label of "Made in the USA" it must comply with a complex set of regulations, says CNNMoney.

The Federal Trade Commission has a "dizzying" 44-page rulebook laying out guidelines.

One challenge for the Made in the USA claim is the global supply chain, making it much harder to determine if a product was truly made domestically. A t-shirt, for instance, that was sewn in the U.S. but with fabric made overseas would not be considered USA-made.

If all parts are not from domestic manufacturing then companies can use alternative labels including "Made in USA from imported parts" or "Assembled in the USA," the article says. The distinctions may be minor but failure to comply could cost thousands in fines.

3. NASA is looking for proposals from small businesses. Small businesses looking to get into space technology now have a greater opportunity to do so. NASA is seeking proposals for its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs that will create new technologies for the agency's missions.

The programs are designed to foster the government's R&D efforts with more high-tech small business opportunities. NASA program results, administered through the Small Business Administration, have benefited many space efforts, ranging from modern air traffic control systems to Earth-observing spacecraft, the International Space Station, and the Curiosity craft now roving the Red Planet, the agency says.

"Space technology is the linchpin that joins together NASA's science, aeronautic and exploration goals, providing the essential new knowledge and capabilities that enables our present and future missions," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program. "The annual solicitation for the SBIR and STTR programs embodies our desire to generate innovative ideas to address NASA's future mission needs by offering a broad collection of research and development needs and opportunities."

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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