OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY
President Clinton and Vice President Gore today announced a new on-line computer service directly linking the federal government to American businesses. Their announcement was included as a highlight of the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business now underway at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
The U.S. Business Advisor, on display at the Conference's Small Business Administration booth, was developed by the Vice President's National Performance Review in cooperation with federal agencies, the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration. It will provide users with one stop electronic access to the more than 60 different organizations which assist or regulate business.
The complexity of dealing with innumerable agencies was listed as one of their leading frustrations by delegates to this week's Small Business Conference. In presenting the U.S. Business Advisor to them, the President said, "In the past it has been difficult for businesses to communicate efficiently with the federal government. This is a step toward fixing that. We're building this web site as one stop for all the services and information government offers American businesses."
The U.S. Business Advisor will be opened as a single World Wide Web site, accessible through Internet (http://www.business.gov). Initially, only the Regulatory Assistance Center will be available, with information on labor, trade, finance and selling to the government to follow. Once in full operation, the Advisor will provide an interactive environment where businesses can retrieve timely information, ask questions, find out about best practices, send comments, get the names and phone numbers of regulators, and electronically file documents with the government.
The Vice President said: "This is going to help both Fortune 500 and start-up businesses. And it's going to be a better system because the final design will be based on input from the business community. They know what they need and we'll do our best to provide for them."
President Clinton named David Barram, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, and Phil Lader, head of the Small Business Administration, to lead a task force that will work with the business community in further developing the U.S. Business Advisor. They are to report back in six months with a design concept, action plan and timetable.
The President also told the Conference of other information technology initiatives including increased use of the Internet to promote broader public participation in the rulemaking comment process, and creation of a digital signature infrastructure for government use in 1996.