USDOT Small Business Contracting Symposium: West Central Region SBTRC

 HOYA Foundation is contributing toward coordination of the symposium, and announces the first seminar in a national series to discuss how small businesses can get contracting dollars from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. The previously passed $1.2 trillion Senate bill allocated $550 billion in spending on infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will have Director Shelby Scales from the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization lead a day-long virtual seminar to provide resources and information for small businesses in the transportation and construction industry. Speakers from Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration will discuss their plans to engage small businesses. Directors from Utah Department of Transportation (DOT), Wyoming DOT, North Dakota DOT and Nebraska DOT will discuss their plans for implementation of the infrastructure spending in their respective states.

This virtual event is free to businesses to participate. To register and to see the agenda go to:

Date: Wednesday, May 18

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm MT

Location: Virtual – this seminar will be conducted via Zoom

Cost: Free

For more information, contact Steronica Mattocks at

Contact: Keller Hayes at 303.903.2905 or

HOYA Foundation

Keller Hayes




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Small Businesses Adapting to Rapidly Changing Economic Landscape, Study Finds

– • A new study by World Economic Forum finds that previous disadvantages can lead to new opportunities for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) – • Report highlights how SMEs can leverage their size, networks, people and technology to support sustainable growth, positive societal impact and robust adaptive capacity – • Report was developed in collaboration with the National University of Singapore Business School…

Hong Kong – Survey on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Credit Conditions for for Third Quarter 2021

Survey on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Credit Conditions for for Third Quarter 2021


The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority:

     The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published today (November 2) the results of Survey on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)’ Credit Conditions for the third quarter of 2021.
     Regarding SMEs’ perception of banks’ credit approval stance relative to six months ago, excluding respondents who answered “no idea/don’t know”, 88 per cent perceived similar or easier credit approval stance in the third quarter of 2021, up from 72 per cent in the previous quarter. 12 per cent perceived more difficult credit approval stance, down from 28 per cent in the previous quarter (Chart 1 in the Annex). The perception of more difficult credit approval stance may not necessarily reflect actual difficulties faced by SMEs in obtaining bank credit as the perception could be affected by a number of factors, such as media/news reports, business conditions and opinions of relatives and friends.
     Of respondents with existing credit lines, 95 per cent reported that banks’ stance on existing credit lines was easier or unchanged in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 97 per cent in the previous quarter (Chart 2 in the Annex). 5 per cent of the respondents reported tighter banks’ stance on existing credit lines in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 3 per cent in the previous quarter. In this survey, tighter stance on existing credit lines denotes a range of possible measures or arrangements, such as reducing unused and used credit lines, raising the interest rate, imposing additional collateral requirements, or shortening loan tenor. Therefore, respondents’ indication of banks’ stance on existing credit lines may not directly reflect banks’ supply of credit to SMEs. 
     The survey also gauged the results of new credit applications from SMEs. 4 per cent of the respondents reported that they had applied for new bank credit during the third quarter of 2021. Among the respondents who had already known their application outcomes, 89 per cent reported fully or partially successful applications, compared with 91 per cent in the previous quarter (Chart 3 in the Annex). 11 per cent reported unsuccessful applications, compared with 9 per cent in the previous quarter.
     Owing to small sample sizes of SMEs with existing credit lines (22 per cent of surveyed SMEs) and with new credit applications (4 per cent of surveyed SMEs) during the quarter, the results could be prone to large fluctuations, and hence should be interpreted with care.

About Survey on SMEs’ Credit Conditions
     In light of the importance of SMEs to the Hong Kong economy and concerns about potential funding difficulties facing SMEs over the past few years, the HKMA has appointed the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) to carry out this survey, starting from the third quarter of 2016. This survey is conducted on a quarterly basis, covering about 2 500 SMEs from different economic sectors each time. The results of this survey can help monitor the development of SMEs’ access to bank credit from a demand-side perspective.
     The results of this survey should be interpreted with caution. Similar to other opinion surveys, views collected in this survey may be affected by changes in sentiment due to idiosyncratic events that occurred over the survey period, which can make the results prone to fluctuations. Readers are advised to interpret the results together with other economic and financial information. In addition, views collected are limited to the expected direction of inter-quarter changes (e.g. “tighter”, “no change” or “easier”) without providing information about the magnitude of these changes.
     Detailed tables and technical information of this survey are published on the website of the HKPC (

Colorado Small Business Owner Steps Up to Invest in Employees Amid Inflation

 Mark Harrill, owner of All American Heating, in Fairplay, Colorado, announced Monday that each employee at All American will receive a $3 per hour pay increase to help weather the rising cost of living in the Colorado mountains. The move will inject almost $120,000 into the local economy in Summit and Park Counties and ensure that each employee is now paid what World Population Review and MIT consider the average required hourly wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the State of Colorado.

Numerous studies show that employees making a living wage are more satisfied in their daily employment and are less likely to leave. But Harrill’s biggest reason for making this change is not to reduce turnover – although that is a benefit in today’s labor shortage. He wants to make sure he takes care of his people and does the right thing. Harrill believes this is the path forward for business owners – that we are seeing a sea change in the American labor market, and he wants to help set the standard by valuing his people and providing a stable and healthy work environment. Much like Dan Price of Gravity Payments, Harrill believes in the importance of being a socially-conscious business, paying people what they are worth, and generally treating people the way they should be treated. That happy employees provide better customer service is a bonus side-effect.

A 30-year veteran of corporate environments in marketing, IT, and e-commerce in a variety of industries, Harrill wants All American Heating to be a different kind of company than those he’s experienced in the past.

“I want my employees to feel like they are part of something special – a company that does things the right way. I want them to know how important each and every person is to me, and how much I want them to succeed. I also want to be the best in the area at what we do, and do that by providing top-level service, doing great work, and treating our customers with respect.”

Living and working in an affluent community like Breckenridge and the surrounding ski areas can be challenging for permanent residents. A large portion of the residences in the area are second or vacation homes with out-of-state owners who are well-off. In addition, the region relies heavily on tourism in ski season and for hiking and other outdoor activities in the summer for revenue. Certainly, this is a beautiful and majestic area, but these factors have two effects: they drive up the cost of living, and they make it difficult to find affordable housing.

Harrill hopes to combat these effects by taking the initiative and making the investment in his employees, enabling them to live in the area in which they work, and by helping the City of Breckenridge maintain and upgrade hydronic heating systems in city or county-owned affordable housing developments.

“It could go either way,” says Harrill. “It could work out great for everyone involved, or it could break me. I am putting myself out there to walk the talk and to show that our company believes in our employees and in our community.”

All American Heating currently has positions open for experienced HVAC Service Technicians and Installers, Master Plumbers, and Customer Service Representatives.

All American Heating, Inc. is a full-service, locally-owned, HVAC company and NATE-certified Mechanical Contractor located in Fairplay, Colorado, serving Summit County and Park County with the highest standards and integrity since 2003. We handle all types of plumbing services, hydronic heating, and HVAC projects. Our staff of factory-trained, professional technicians specializes in providing top-quality plumbing and heating system designs, installations, repairs, and service. All American Heating is your honest, fair, and dependable home HVAC and plumbing services provider, and is at your service.

All American Heating, Inc.

Kerry Schneider


To reach Marketing Director: 216-856-4141


Microsoft Word Version of Press Release


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Copying the small structures of Salvinia leaves

Several plants and animals have evolved surfaces with long-term (i.e., days to months) air-retainability to prevent wetting and submersion. One example is Salvinia, a plant floating on water. The secret “how do they maintain an air-mattress” has been unraveled by researchers.

Salvinia leaves and the eggbeater structures

Researchers at Jilin University reviewed recent progress in the study of Salvinia leaves and their artificial replicas. “Salvinia has complex multicellular hairs on the upper side of its leaves, and each group of four hairs is connected at the terminal ends, forming an eggbeater structure. The hairs are coated with hydrophobic wax crystals, while the patches at the terminal ends of the hairs lack wax crystals and are, therefore, hydrophilic. These features make the air-water interface more stable, exhibiting long-term air-retention ability,” says author Huichao Jin of Jilin University in Changchun, China.

Since the air-retention ability of Salvinia leaves was discovered, researchers began to fabricate artificial Salvinia leaves and investigated their potential applications. However, the complex eggbeater structures present a difficult challenge for traditional manufacturing methods. In the past decade, photolithography, direct laser lithography, chemical vapor deposition, electrodeposition, electrostatic flocking, 3D printing, chemical etching, and plasma etching recently have been developed for fabricating Salvinia-inspired structures. However, the complex structures make many of these techniques unable to replicate the fine structures. Although direct laser lithography and 3D printing techniques succeed in fabricating fine structures, they cannot fabricate the hydrophilic tips at the end of hairs. Therefore, it is still challenging to fabricate artificial Salvinia leaves.

The robust air-mattress in Salvinia structures acts as a physical barrier for water to reach the substrate. This inspires many engineering applications, including drag reduction, water harvesting, evaporation, and repellence, oil/water separation, and thermal insulation. These works are currently limited to early laboratory demonstrations. There are still challenges in the development of artificial surfaces suitable for the complexity and variability of the real environment.

Jin and his colleagues are exploring the potential of Salvinia structures in preventing medical bacterial infection. “The air-mattress acts as a physical barrier for water to approach the substrate, and it can also act as a physical barrier for preventing bacteria reach substrates,” says Jin. He points that traditional antibacterial surfaces involving antibiotics may cause drug resistance while the artificial Salvinia-inspired surfaces are free of antibiotics. Employing Salvinia structures to prevent medical bacterial infection may be a promising strategy.

Article details:
Jin et al., “Small structure, large effect: Functional surfaces inspired by Salvinia leaves” Small Structures (2021)

Dr. Huichao Jin
Jilin University

Press release distributed by Asia Research News for Jilin University.

Topic: Press release summary