Get started: Health care, lending, export study

NEW YORK (AP) — HELP ON HEALTH CARE

The Small Business Administration has created a website to help small businesses learn about the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect them. The website, www.sba.gov/healthcare , breaks down the provisions of the health care law for owners according to the size of their companies: those with no employees, those who have 25 or fewer workers, those with 50 or fewer workers and those with 50 or more. It also includes a timeline so owners can know what steps they need to take to comply with the law, and when.

The SBA has also started a blog called Health Care Business Pulse that will contain updates about the law and its implementation. You can access it at www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/health-care-business-pulse

Although many provisions of the law don't take effect until Jan. 1, 2014, business owners need to prepare for them before the end of the year.

Many businesses are expected to purchase insurance from exchanges that will be run by the states or the federal government. The SBA website includes state-by-state breakdowns of health care options.

SMALL BUSINESS LENDING

Bank of America says the amount of new loans it made to small businesses last year rose 28 percent to $8.7 billion. That's on top of a 20 percent increase in 2011. The nation's second-largest bank also says it has reached its goal of hiring more than 1,000 bankers who serve small business across the country.

EXPORT SURVEY

The National Small Business Association is surveying its members to study their exporting practices and the challenges they face selling overseas. The study, to be conducted with researchers from West Virginia University, will study companies' marketing strategies, and how they choose the countries that they target for exports.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

SCORE is holding an online seminar Thursday to help small business owners prepare their companies for a disaster and learn about the recovery process, including how to get disaster loans. It's Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern time. You can sign up at www.score.org/onlineworkshops/tab-a

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Joyce Rosenberg can be reached at https://twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg

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