Nissan, SBA Video Contest and New Legislation | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Nissan, SBA Video Contest and New Legislation

Nissan and employees at the company's vehicle assembly plant in Canton pledged to contribute $354,400 to the United Way in 2013, beginning with a $25,000 donation to United Way of the Capitol Area.

Nissan and employees at the company's vehicle assembly plant in Canton pledged to contribute $354,400 to the United Way in 2013, beginning with a $25,000 donation to United Way of the Capitol Area. Photo by Courtesy Nissan

Nissan and Employees Pledge $354,400 to United Way

Nissan and employees at the company's vehicle assembly plant in Canton pledged to contribute $354,400 to the United Way in 2013, beginning with a $25,000 donation to United Way of the Capitol Area. Nissan and its employees have contributed more than $3.5 million to Mississippi United Way chapters since 2005.

"One of the privileges of being on the Canton team is the opportunity to support United Way and other community betterment organizations," Dan Bednarzyk, vice president of manufacturing for Nissan's Canton plant, said in a press release. "We do that through our contributions as well as employee volunteerism, and it makes me especially proud to work with a group of employees that are so generous and supportive of helping others in the community."

The United Way of the Capitol Area focuses on education, income and health across Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties, collaborating with community and business partners and supporting initiatives in all three areas.

"Our strategy is to invest, advocate and leverage resources in order to solve problems at their root causes," Carol Burger, president and CEO of United Way of the Capital Area, said in the press release. "In 2011-2012, United Way invested more than $1.5 million to provide opportunities for families in the tri-county area. The longstanding support of Nissan and its employees is vital to our work in this community."

Nissan's Canton plant is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Since 2003, the company and its employees have contributed more than $7 million to community organizations.

The Canton plant employs more than 5,000 people with an annual payroll in excess of $200 million. Nissan plans to move assembly of the Nissan Murano from Japan to Canton in 2014. The Canton plant currently manufactures Altimas, Armada full-size SUVs, Xterra mid-size SUVs, Titan and Frontier pickup trucks and NV commercial and passenger vans, with production of new Sentra compact sedans beginning this spring.

SBA Hosts Exporter Contest

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Visa Inc. are hosting the 2013 SBA-Visa Export Video Contest. Small businesses that export goods or services around the world are invited to send videos telling their stories for a chance to win up to $10,000 in prize money.

Participating companies must be a small business according to SBA's size standards, have successfully completed at least one export transaction and have used at least one federal program or service to support such a transaction. Contest participants must register and create an account with the contest portal for submissions. Registration is free.

The videos must be no longer than three minutes and be in high-resolution format. Content should be educational, not promotional. SBA will choose a panel of judges that will select five videos to receive cash prizes from Visa, Inc. First place will receive $10,000 for first place; second place, $8,000; third place, $6,000; fourth, $4,000 and fifth place will receive $2,000.

The contest is open from Feb. 25 through April 5, 2013. Winners will be announced no later than May 31, 2013. For more information and submission procedures and requirements, visit exportvideo.challenge.gov.

SBA Proposes New Legislation

Proposed legislation will streamline the U.S. Small Business Administration's application process, giving borrowers and lenders of loans backed by SBA greater access to capital and less paperwork. The proposed measures will also strengthen oversight and the integrity of the agency's loan programs.

"Streamlining and simplifying has been a key focus of our agency over the last few years," SBA administrator Karen Mills said in a press release. "The changes are the latest steps to reduce paperwork burden, with our eye on the larger goal of expanding access to capital and giving entrepreneurs and small business owners the financial resources to grow and create jobs. Specifically, these proposed regulations will provide greater access to capital through our two largest loan programs, while also reducing risk to taxpayer dollars."

For comprehensive information on the new rules and their benefits, visit SBA's website.

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