Heesun Wee, NBR, CNBC.com’s Posts

Quick question about that sweater or blanket you’re clinging to this long winter. Was it “Made in the USA?” And if it’s wool, any idea where the yarn came from? Most wool apparel is manufactured with fine merino wool, which comes from Australian sheep. And global wool production is dominated by that country, as well …

Six years after the start of a deep recession and a growing call for more middle-class manufacturing jobs, one American industry is tackling workforce development in a unique way. Welding is courting fresh recruits—women in particular. Mention women welders and “Flashdance” might come to mind. The 1983 movie starred Jennifer Beals as a welder by …

For many small business owners, it may be akin to winning the lottery. Maybe even bigger. Start-up toymaker GoldieBlox—which creates games that expose girls to engineering and got its start from a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2012—has won a free 30-second commercial worth millions during Sunday’s Super Bowl. The spot—usually within the reach of larger, more …

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s purge of senior leadership seems to be continuing, amid reports he ordered the deaths of relatives of his executed uncle. But in the midst of political tension, experts say the regime is moving forward on economic policies that increasingly are tied to neighboring China. According to recently released figures, Chinese authorities …

As legalized marijuana sales take off in Colorado, here’s what a pot business model and mature marketplace might look like. Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana—and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a medical marijuana plan in his State of the State speech last week. But voters in Colorado and Washington state went a …

Heading into a new year and six years after the Great Recession began, small-business owners are modestly growing and adding jobs—not roaring back to life like the stock market. “It feels totally different to be a small-business owner in America on Main Street than on Wall Street, where they’re popping Champagne corks,” said Beth Solomon, president and …

U.S. small business optimism edged higher in November—reversing an October drop—as manufacturers and professional services, including architects, doctors and lawyers, led modest gains in newly created Main Street jobs. The National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday that its small business optimism Index nudged up 0.9 of a point to 92.5 last month, up from 91.6 for October. …

U.S. small business optimism fell in October, as business owners worried about the economy’s outlook and scaled back on hiring plans amid a partial government shutdown. The National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday that its Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.3 points to 91.6 for October from 93.9 from September. “Since the Washington paralysis could hardly …

As the government reopened after a 16-day partial shutdown, small-business owners have a message for Washington: “Thanks. Sort of.” “The damage has already been done,” said Ron Putman, an entrepreneur in San Diego. While the government was shuttered for more than two weeks, the region’s annual Miramar Air Show was nixed. The cancellation left Putman—operator …