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Read the text and choose the most suitable title out of those given below.



- Small Business in the USA

- The Small Business Administration

- The Small Business Act

- Criticism of the SBA

The Small Business Administration, or SBA, is a United States Government agency that provides support to small businesses.

The SBA was established in 1953 by the United States Congress with the passage of the Small Business Act. Its functions are to make loans to small businesses unable to obtain financing from private sources on reasonable terms; to help small firms sell their products and services to the federal government; to make loans to small business concerns affected by natural disasters; to license and regulate privately owned investment companies that make loans to small businesses; to develop and improve the managerial skills of prospective and current small-business owners; and to provide aid and support to women and minority groups in order to increase their participation in small-business ownership. The head of the agency is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The SBA has directly or indirectly helped nearly 20 million businesses and currently holds a portfolio of roughly 219,000 loans worth more than $45 billion making it the largest single financial backer of businesses in the United States.

The SBA has survived a number of threats to its existence. In 1996 the then Republican-controlled House of Representatives planned to eliminate the agency. It survived and went on to receive a record high budget in 2000. Renewed efforts by the Bush Administration to end the SBA loan program have met congressional resistance, although the SBA's budget has been repeatedly cut.

The SBA has been subject to criticism on several occasions. Businesses applying for SBA loans are supposed to have previously been turned down by at least two banks. Designed to avoid direct competition with banks, this provision allows the most promising projects to be funded by the private sector leaving higher risk projects to be picked up by the government resulting in the government holding a higher share of non-performing loans.

The SBA has most recently been criticized for the manner in which it disbursed loans earmarked for businesses directly affected by September 11th. Lax oversight resulted in widespread abuse of the program as the low-interest loans were awarded unaffected business.

 

2. Draw up a plan of the text and use it to summarize the contents.

3. Find out if there is a specialized government agency in your country, performing the functions similar to those of the SBA. Present its profile to the group.

Text 5

SELF-EMPLOYMENT

1. Before you read the text discuss the following questions with your partners:

1. What do you understand by self-employment?

2. What advantages might there be in self-employment?

3. What disadvantages might there be?

2. Make sure you know the following words and phrases.

off the beaten track - в стороне от оживленных мест, дорог

afford sth or doing sth – позволить себе что-л.

go from strength to strength – библ. приходить от силы в силу; постоянно расти, улучшаться

touch and go (attr.) – рискованный, критический, опасный

Catch 22 – ловушка 22 – взаимопротиворечивые условия; положение, из которого трудно выйти; бюрократические препоны на пути к цели (выражение из одноименного романа американского писателя Дж.Хеллера (1961)

financial track record – кредитная история

order/buy on credit – заказывать/покупать в кредит

stock – запас, ассортимент товаров

run a business – вести дела, управлять предприятием

get over / overcome / cope with difficulties - справляться с / преодолевать трудности

extortionate – непомерный, грабительский

rate of interest / interest rate – процентная ставка

3. Read the interview of a small business owner and get ready to answer the questions that follow.

It's a small bookshop in the centre of Brighton. A place called George Street. It's a little bit off the beaten track, not in the main shopping street, because when we were first setting up, we didn't have the money to afford the rent on such premises. We sell books to students of English as a Foreign Language, and teachers in their schools. We've been open for about four years now.

The reason we set up the shop in the first place was because both of had been teachers for many years and we had the desire to be self-employed rather than working for someone else all the time.

We've just gone from strength to strength, really. It was the first six or eight months which were touch and go, trying to get new customers, but now we're very busy. We've got two other people working here.

Setting up the shop in the first place, as with all small businesses was very difficult, because it's sort of Catch 22. You have no financial track record in running a business yourself, so nobody wants to lend you any money. And you've never previously ordered goods on credit from anyone, so nobody wants to supply you any goods on credit.

So the most difficult thing is to get your potential suppliers, in our case educational publishers, to agree to supply you with your opening stock and wait for their money. And the other one is to find some friendly bank manager who's willing to lend you cash at an extortionate rate of interest, which is always the case with business loans.

Having got over those two problems, and found a property that we could operate from, the rest of it seems to have been comparatively easy. The business is going so fast now, we're beginning to wonder whether it's the business which is running us or us running the business. That's the problem.

The other thing is that you don't escape from being told what to do when you become self-employed. Because when you're an employee, your boss tells you what to do. And when you're self-employed, it's your bank manager or your accountant or most of all your customers who tell you what to do. So you still find yourself tipping your cap to someone or other.

 

4. Answer the following questions:

1. What is the speaker’s business? What does he sell? In which town?

2. Why isn’t his shop in a main street?

3. Why did he and his wife start the shop?

4. Have they been successful?

5. What were their first months in business like?

6. What are the common problems with setting up a small business?

7. What did the speaker need:

a. from educational publishers?

b. from a bank manager?

8. Do they feel themselves free from others’ dictatorship now when they are self-employed?

9. Who tells the self-employed person what to do?

10. What do you think ‘tipping your cap to someone’ means?

 

DEVELOPING VOCABULARY

 

1. Practise reading the following words aloud; iIn case of difficulties consult a dictionary.

Entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial, priority, familiarity, employer, employee, franchise, franchisor, franchisee.

2. Complete the following table.

Verb Noun Adjective
own owner/ownership -
  risk  
dream    
    creative
    strong
weaken    
familiarize    
will    
    successful

 

3.a) Form nouns using one of the following patterns a+-(i)ty à n, a+-ness à n; make the necessary adjustments in the words; give their Russian equivalents; the first has been done for you:

able à ability – способность; weak à weakness - слабость

Able, weak, (im)possible, aware, necessary, familiar, willing, clear, formal, prior, real, creative, personal, busy, certain, effective, difficult.

b) Use some of these words either as an adjective or as a noun in the following sentences; the initial letter of the word is given as a prompt:

1. There is a strong p……. that they win the next election.

2. When starting your own business you should be a……. of all possible risks.

3. Applicants should demonstrate a f……. with bookkeeping.

4. You need e……. communication within the organization.

5. The boss shouldn’t be disturbed unless it is absolutely n……...

6. We were impressed by his w……. to listen and learn.

7. Success is by no means c……..

8. Just try to do the job to the best of you’re a……..

9. The loss puts our company in financial d…….

10. I’ll keep Thursday afternoon c……. in case we need to meet.

11. We went through usual f……… at customs and passport control.

12. She resigned from her job for p……. reasons.

13. We offer people the opportunity to be c……..

 

4. Form agent nouns from the following verbs (nouns) according to the given pattern, work out the Russian equivalents of the resulting nouns.

employ

 

employ er employ ee

one who employs one who is employed

работодатель, наниматель работающий по найму

 

train, pay, franchise, mortgage, trust

 

5. Form agent nouns (names of people or things) by adding –er to a phrase; give the Russian equivalents of the resulting nouns.

to own a business +-er à a business owner – владелец бизнеса; to process words – a word-processor – текстовый процессор (программа и компьютер для набора и обработки текстов)

 

take a risk, make decisions, produce cars, to rise early, to write textbooks, throw flame, get attention, break ice, do wrong (things), pinch pence, kill pain, bust stress, tell stories, hold shares, seek a job, raise money, supply energy, provide the Internet (services).

 

6. Match the synonyms. 7. Match the opposites.

1. found a. sponsor 1. accept a. disable
2. difficulty b. opportunity 2. succeed b. borrower
3. effective c. own 3. strength c. disinterested
4. goal d. hardship 4. reasonable d. refuse
5. chance e. assistance 5. enable e. ineffective
6. possess f. aim 6. interested f. fail
7. trait g. intelligent 7. lender g. unreasonable
8. clever h. efficient 8. effective h. weakness
9. backer i. set up    
10. aid j. feature    

 

8. Form word partnerships (more than one option is possible) and use them in the sentences of your own.

pursue assume recognize own make establish set cut grant an opportunity a company a risk a dream a budget priorities goals a loan a profit

 

9. Sort out the following verbs and idioms denoting a degree of success in business under three headings:

Success Survival Failure
     
     

 

Boom; succeed; fail; breakeven; go bust; be in debt; prosper; lose count of millions; make a considerable profit; keep/stay afloat; thrive; sink; be a success; be a failure; survive; reach a break-even point; keep one’s head above water; flourish; be a flop; get a business off the ground.

 

10. Complete the sentences with appropriate prepositions.

1. He is a great expert … international management.

2. This book of tips for entrepreneurs was published in association … the Small Business Administration.

3. Could I interest you … something from our range of beauty products?

4. We have dealt … the company for years.

5. To make the right decision we need to look carefully … all options.

6. The project’s success depends … the support of everyone concerned.

7. They supplied us … our opening stock of clothes … credit and agreed to wait … their money.

8. Are you fully aware … all the difficulties that you'll have to overcome?

9. We only deal … companies which have a good credit record.

10. All successful entrepreneurs share a number … common traits.

 

11. Match the following phrasal verbs with their meanings; in case of difficulty consult a dictionary:

1. get something lined up 2. run out of sth 3. run down 4. set up 5. make up one's mind 6. take charge of 7. keep going 8. put oneself out 9. get going 10. stick to sth 11 get along with sb 12 see things through   a. take responsibility for controlling or caring for sth b. start doing something c. continue to do one particular thing and not to change it or stop it; continue to follow a particular path d. try hard, do one's best even if it causes problems for you e. continue doing sth f. organize or prepare things g. establish or arrange h. like each other and be friendly to each other i. to use all of sth and not have any left j. lose power; get exhausted k. continue doing something until it is finished, especially something unpleasant or difficult l. make a decision

 

12. Translate the following sentences into Russian with a focus on phrasal verbs.

1. She really put herself out to get everything ready for us.

2. I think we should stick to our original plan.

3. Since he took his extra job he's really run himself down.

4. My doctor said I was looking run-down and ought to take some time to rest.

5. I can't make up my mind whether to buy it or not.

6. Many hospitals are running out of money.

7. They got a series of activities lined up to keep their business partner entertained.

8. A committee has been set up to organize social events in the college.

9. The boss asked him to take charge of the office for a few days while she was away.

10. I get along well with most of my colleagues.

11. Don't give up; keep going.

12. Having come this far, we were determined to see things through.

 

13. Complete the sentences with the words given using them as either countable or uncountable nouns; make the necessary form adjustments – mind the number of the noun and the article). Translate the sentences into Russian.

1) business

a. She’s finished college and now she works in ….

b. The two brothers started up (…) clothes retailing ….

c. If the introductions are over I’d like to get down to …

d. Many small … fail in the first year.

e. Are you here for … or pleasure?

f. Those were the years of private enterprise, when lots of small … were started.

g. Mathew’s little shop has turned into (…) thriving ….

h. Our firm does a lot of … with overseas customers.

i. I have a hobby out of which I think I could make ….

j. Most small … go through a period of time before they break even, and considerably more time before they make a profit.

k. It was a mistake to go into … with my brother.

2 ) venture

a. There are many joint … between American and Japanese companies.

b. They’ll need to raise £1 million in … capital if they’re to get the business off the ground.

c. I don’t think he will obtain another loan because all his previous … failed.

3) enterprise

a. Euro Disney is (…) much smaller … than its American counterparts.

b. The country needs a government that works to encourage free ….

c. They’re involved in (…) exciting scientific ….

d. We need someone with … and imagination to design a marketing strategy.

e. Don’t forget this is (…) commercial … – we’re here to make money.

f. Margaret Thatcher often talked about the benefits of private … and said that her achievement was to establish an … economy in Britain.

g. State-owned … account for 90% of the country’s output.

 

14. Render the following excerpt from the Russian translation of N.C. Stropolis’ book Small Business Management back into English; use the topical vocabulary.

Как правило, предпринимателям больше всего нравится получать психологическое удовлетворение от того, что они являются хозяевами своей компании, особенно, если это чувство подкрепляется уважением со стороны друзей и родственников.

В финансовом отношении удачливые предприниматели не станут копить деньги или заниматься ценными бумагами, а скорее всего будут вкладывать прибыль в свое предприятие для обеспечения его роста. Они нередко более заинтересованы в расширении дела, чем в получении высокой зарплаты.

В этом заключаются основные вознаграждения от занятия предпринимательской деятельностью. А как обстоит дело с опасностями? Создание нового предприятия всегда связано с определенным риском неудачи. Абсолютно надежного вложения капитала не бывает. Как правило, чем рискованнее предприятие, тем выше потенциальная прибыль. Если предприниматель добивается успеха, прибыли могут быть высокими; если нет - можно потерять все свои сбережения. Для некоторых людей неудача является трагедией; для других – это возможность начать дело заново. Генри Форд, например, дважды терпел неудачу, прежде чем создал «Форд мотор компани». Многие не могут перенести неудачу; она разрушает их «Я», ослабляет волю и энергию. Общество в целом также несет потери при каждой личной неудаче.

 

LANGUAGE FOCUS

1. Complete the sentences with appropriate words choosing from those given in brackets.

1. That three hour lecture yesterday was really …! (tired/tiring)
2. It is … to read of such crimes. (shocked/shocking)

3. We were deeply … to hear of the failure of his business. (shocked/shocking)

4. I like … tasks. (challenged/challenging)

5. This decision of the company management is likely to be …. (challenged/ challenging)

6. I was … by a new security guard who didn’t recognize me. (challenged/ challenging)

7. This idea for starting a business doesn’t seem very …. (excited/ exciting)

8. My trip to Paris has been cancelled. I’m really …. (disappointed/disappointing)

9. I’m very … in this subject. I find it fascinating. (interested/interesting)

10. – I heard some very … news. I’m going to lose my job. I feel terrible.

– Cheer up. Don’t feel so …. There are plenty of other jobs. (depressing/

depressed)

11. Her presentation was good but a little … for people who were new to the subject. (confused/confusing)

12. I doubt that this business can be …. (rewarded/ rewarding)

13. Her success story is an … example to her followers. (inspired/inspiring)

 

2. Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in brackets into the present simple or present continuous.

1. We … about going public next year. (think)

2. I … with Andrew’s clients while he’s on holiday. (deal)

3. He … a small corner shop in Manchester. (own)

4. The new equipment … a fortune, we can hardly afford purchasing it right now. (cost)

5. – How long … your visitors …? (stay)

– Oh, I’m sorry, I … (not/know). We really need to speak to Helen, she generally … with visits. (deal)

6. We … a big risk if we go ahead with the project. (take)

7. This building … too old, we need to find better premises. (get)

8. I … to Minsk next week – I can call in to your office. (come)

9. My name is Andrey Matusevich and I … from Minsk, Belarus. (come)

10. This photocopier … (always/break down).

11. We … the sales to go up the next quarter. (expect)

12. I … an important call from my Moscow partner. (expect)

13. The number of franchises … all over the world due to the obvious advantages of this form of business. (grow)

14. This product … as well as we hoped. (not/sell)

 

3. Helen is starting her own business. Look at the extract from her planning schedule and then complete her letter to a business advice service.

Choose either the present perfect passive (has/have been done), present continuous passive (is/are being done) or a modal passive form (eg: should be done).

Contact bank to arrange loan Find office space Equipment needed? Order if necessary. Print business cards, stationery Decorate office, order furniture, etc. Place advertisements in local press. Review staffing needs for Christmas period   Ö Ö In progress In progress Finish end of month Ö November

 

Dear Sir or Madam

 

I am writing to arrange an interview with one of your business advisers to discuss my business start-up. I've analyzed the market very carefully and I believe that I have a good business plan. I can give you a few details of my progress so far.

 

I've had several meetings with my bank, and a loan (1) has been arranged (arrange). I've found some office space in a good location, although some work (2) …………. (will/need) there before I can move in. I've reviewed my equipment needs and in fact some specialized items (3) ……….. (order) at the moment. My business cards (4) ………… (print) and will be ready in a week or so. This week I'm busy decorating the office, and I (5) ………… (should/finish) by the end of the month.

 

I know that soon I'll have to advertise in the local press, and perhaps you could advise me on the matter. Finally, I'd like some help planning my staffing needs – extra staff (6) …………. (might/need) over the Christmas period.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Helen Chadwick

 

4. Use an appropriate article where necessary instead of the gaps.

Developing a Business Plan

Perhaps (1) … most important step in launching your own business is planning. You need to develop (2) … written statement that explains what you are going to do. Your plan should describe (3) … basic idea for your business and set forth (4) … specific goals and objectives. This plan not only guides your efforts but also helps convince (5) … lenders and investors to finance your business.

(6) … business plan should highlight (7) … following information for (8) … investors.

1. Summary. (9) … crisp overview will help investors decide whether reading (10) whole plan is worthwhile. (11) … potential investors spent (12) … average of five minutes screening (13) … plan. If you don't grab their interest at (14) … beginning, your plan will probably disappear into the wastebasket. It should include:

● A brief description of your product and market;

● (15) … brief description of your company and its principles;

● (16) … summary of your financial projections and expected return on (17) … investment;

● (18) … amount of money you now seek, in what form, and for what purpose.

2. Company and industry.

3. Products.

4. Market.

5. Marketing strategy.

6. Design and development plans.

7. Operations plan.

8. Overall schedule.

9. Critical risks and problems.

Although the business plan has (19) … simple, straightforward purpose, it required (20) … great deal of thought.

 

5. Fill in each of the numbered blanks in the following passage with the words you find appropriate. Use only one word in each space.

John and Mary are in many ways typical of young entrepreneurs today. They have their ……….(1) business, a hamburger restaurant in a shopping centre …….…(2) the South of England. They already have a ……….(3) of over 40 people, because ……….(4) the restaurant is quite small, it has to ……….(5) open for long hours.

They bought the business a couple of years ……….(6) and spent the first few months working ……….(7) hard that they rarely saw any of ……….(8) friends. But once they had got ……….(9) to the way the restaurant worked, they did not ……….(10) to work such long hours and were ……….(11) to take more time ……….(12). Since then they ……….(13) improved efficiency by installing a new computer system.

The restaurant has been very successful, and …….…(14) the competition from another fast food restaurant nearby, the ……….(15) of customers ……….(16) increased steadily. As a ………. (17), they are planning to enlarge the restaurant ……….(18) buying the hairdressing salon ……….(19) door and turning it ……….(20) another seating area.

SPEAKING



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