Small business owners seem to be getting sick of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Though it claims to represent the 99 percent of Americans not in millionaire status, small business owners only see the trouble that has been caused for them in communities where the protests occur. See the report on small business’s concerns with the movement and hear what the Chairman of the Fed has to say about the importance of small businesses to economic recovery. It’s all coming up with plenty of small business tips thrown in for good measure in today’s roundup.
How Occupy Wall Street may be hurting small businesses. It’s been talked about before, but there is tangible evidence that from New York to Oakland protest encampments may be hurting small businesses even though protesters claim these folks as part of the 99 percent and certainly not the elite. Has your small business been hurt? The Christian Science Monitor
Bernanke: we’re important to the recovery. Regardless of articles circulating in the mainstream press recently, it would seem the Chairman of the Federal Reserve still realizes the vital role our small business community plays in any long term economic recovery. Read what he has to say. WSJ
Finance & Education
When seeking investors, don’t do these things. Investment isn’t the only way to start or expand your small business, but if you decide that seeking investors is the route you wish to take, be sure to avoid these pitfalls in the process. Seeking investors the right way will save you many frustrations and headaches down the road. Open Forum
Online sources offer continuing education. Entrepreneurs need to keep learning, from updating new skills to more information about their companies and business in general. Today, the Internet offers many options and more are on the way. Entrepreneurs Unpluggd
How listings, maps and reviews in Google Places make all the difference. If you want to get business from your listing in Google Places, you’d better be able to maximize that listing with SEO, reviews and other Google Places optimization to be sure your company gets the attention it deserves. Capture Commerce
You’re on social media, but are you listening? Fred Caballero recently decided to test whether three major gaming companies would reach out to him while he considered which of their gaming consoles to buy. Guess what! These brands may have huge Facebook followings, but they’re not listening. Are you? Channelship
Exploring Google Plus business pages. You’ve heard the long awaited Google Plus business pages are here. We now look at some of the features these pages have to offer for the small business community. Have you created a page for your company? Resonance
How to grow your small business crop. Dr. Shannon Reese shares these ideas for small business owners about how to grow your business starting with the “seeds of peak performance.” You’ll want to check out her detailed planting instructions to see that you reap a bountiful small business harvest. Strategies & Tactics for Women
Always have fun with your small business. Whatever you do, it doesn’t need to be boring. Here David Siteman Garland shows that even an invoice can be fun and can show off your creativity. Your small business is a reflection of your own personality. Make sure you use that personality to brand your business in a way customers can’t ignore. The Rise To The Top
Innovative ways to market your brand. Along with shaking things up in other departments, marketing should never be boring. One option, says Torrey McGraw, is to use the exciting format of video to take your small business marketing to a whole new level. See Torrey’s list of tips for enhancing your video efforts. CreateHype
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How Occupy Might Actually be Helping Small Business
Located in north-central Kentucky, Flairty Distributing, was never focused on making a big profit. Employing 20 people at its height, the modest trucking company served as one of the many small economic engines propelling the tiny community of Butler, Kentucky. We paid generous wages and had awesome Labor Day barbecues in the company shop. Knowing that they would never get rich, my parents accepted the high degree of responsibility that comes with small business ownership because they measured their returns in social terms, not just profit. Before astronomical health insurance costs made their employee-friendly way of doing business impossible, the small operation represented a core American way of business: small and community focused.
The growing tide of the Occupy Wall Street movement crystallizes the need for a small businesses revolution in America. America’s search for answers to the economic recession and frustrated populace need look no further the an entrepreneurs in small towns and big cities across the country. Now is the perfect time to reevaluate the climate for small businesses, to encourage their growth, and provide funds to incubate new ideas.
A lack of faith in America’s corporate culture comprises a large component of the Occupy movement’s ennui. The “99%” are upset by the overwhelming success of multinational corporations that simply is not trickling down. Corporate profits are higher than they have ever been. Just this summer, over 29 corporations held more cash reserves than the US Treasury.
Yet real wages remain virtually constant. According to research from the Federal Reserve, the American worker has seen almost no real wage gains since 1970. Meanwhile, data from the Economic Policy Institute reveals, that CEOs of multinational corporations have seen their paychecks grow from 24 times the size of the average worker, to over 185 times the paycheck of their average worker. In the face of economic recession, this growing inequality adds fuel to the already raging frustration many Americans feel.
In responding to the economic recession America continues to court an unwilling suitor. Multinational corporations no longer serve American interest. When summarizing his vision for corporate America, in 1996, Jack Welch, then CEO of General Electric said, “Ideally, you’d have every plant you own on a barge to move with currencies and changes in the economy.” This epitomizes corporate indifference to local concerns. Yet instead of turning away from a losing investment, America uses more and more resources to tap water from an empty well. From bailouts of the biggest banks and corporations, to tax incentives, and state-to-state competition to lure corporations across state borders, America is racing to the bottom. And only the corporations gain.
Despite the White House’s focus on Wall Street, the entrepreneurs of Main Street continue to innovate. The meager $ 4 billion spend by the Small Business Lending Fund is dwarfed in comparison by the over $200 spent on bailouts of large financial institutions. Yet, according to a recent economic analysis from MIT, small businesses in America continue to produce a disproportionately large share of new jobs. In turn, according to Businessweek, those small but virile companies are “more likely to buy from local suppliers and hire local service providers.”
In sum, it is time America started demanding a different kind of investment return. The high profits multinational corporations achieve come at high social cost. Meanwhile, the modest financial returns hard working small business owners create resonate across a community. Although no one got rich from the 20 years my family’s small trucking company operated, the benefits to the local community were significant. Small businesses create a sense of community, an enduring entrepreneurial spirit, and good local jobs that multinational corporations simply can not offer.