Small businesses bring both revival and new challenges. In this roundup, we’ll look at what continues to make small businesses critical for long-term economic recovery. At the same time, we’ll look at some of the challenges small businesses continue to face and how to overcome them.
The Chamber View: Small businesses key to employment. Rising national debt, a very slow economic recovery, and financial markets hesitant to lend needed capital have resulted in continued high unemployment. The President, as well as many in Congress have advocated a major program on infrastructure improvements. While the Chamber agrees with this idea to create jobs, they feel it is only a short term solution. The chambers feel strongly that there needs to be a change in and consistency in long term policies that will result in the economic revitalization of America. They believe these policies must have a strong small business emphasis since small businesses are the greatest job creators. The Maui News
Economy knocks self-employed out of business. The number of self-employed people has decreased about ten percent since the middle of 2008. One of the contributing factors has been the lack of demand for their products and services. This decrease in small business activity has resulted in a decrease in the supplies and services that they purchase from larger companies. Since small businesses employ about half of the private sector work force, they need the tools to reestablish their growth pattern before there can be any significant decrease in the unemployment rate. SF Gate
5 tech tools to help you manage your small business from home. Here’s a discussion of the use of various tools to help manage a small business from home. They include Yammer, Skype, FaceTime, Google Docs, and GoToMeeting as well as the phone and email. Check how these tools can be used effectively in your business. Small Business Trends
CDW Report: Growing numbers of small businesses gain agility. It’s time to cut costs with server virtualization. Small businesses are more and more using virtualized computing infrastructures using a single server to run multiple, independent, virtual operating systems. This results in increasing their efficiency, cutting their costs, and increasing their flexibility to meet changing business requirements. CDW provides a five-step roadmap to help small businesses to move toward server virtualization. Market Watch
Qualifying for capital gains tax discounts. Do you or your small business qualify for capital gains tax rules? Do you know the rules to qualify? The goal of these discounts is to help individuals, but they do not apply to companies or unit trusts. Be sure you know the rules and don’t miss out if you qualify. MY Small Business
Some small businesses consider “invoice discounting.” Is your small business in need of immediate cash and bank loans but unable to get them quickly if at all? What are your options? Two options are peer lending or pawning small valuables, but both of these have their own pitfalls. A third option is what is referred to as invoice discounting. Companies exist that will buy your outstanding invoices at a discount and give you your needed cash within a few days. The Street
Nation’s top priority is creating favorable climate for job creation. Our nation’s fiscal health and job creation are intertwined. Lately our government has emphasized the need to lower our nation’s debt and to reduce our deficits by making deep spending cuts and/or raising taxes. There is another part to the economic puzzle. Many believe the real way to balance our budget is to grow our economy in the private sector and thereby begin building a real and lasting economic recovery. This article lists six immediate steps we can and must take. Courier Times
Planning strategically to grow a business. When you start a small business, you must remember your continued success will depend on your ability to grow your business. The author reminds us of a quote from Irving Berlin, “The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success”. Successful growth doesn’t usually happen on its own. You must plan for it. You need to recognize and stay ahead of changing trends and be able to adapt to them. Learn what contributes to growth in the value of a business and some of the ways in which a business can grow. The Standard
Small business owners struggle to turn social media “likes” into sales. Now that you’ve jumped into social media to promote the goods and services you market and even more importantly your small business itself, how do you measure its value? You may get feedback as to how current and potential customers like what they see, but is the use of social media actually increasing sales. Is it worth the time and expense? Unfortunately many small businesses do not have the staff or budget to find out. Suggestions are given about how to approach the use of social media and how to measure results. OregonLive.com
Why governments don’t get startups. Exactly what is an entrepreneur? What is a startup? Do you know and understand the difference and role of public verses private funding? Most governments do not, and they don’t understand the various ecosystems needed to foster creation and promote growth of small businesses. Hence, the attempts of governments to help result in very inefficient use of funding. The author lists six distinct organizational paths for entrepreneurs. Each requires different public policy and other decisions from the government to allow them to thrive and grow. Reuters
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