New Minimum Wage Hikes, Slowing Job Growth Rates Make Small Biz Headlines





Businesses have already started to see some major changes in the new year, including minimum wage hikes that have taken effect in 18 states. But a new report suggests that wages were already rising in small businesses around the country, although job growth took a bit of a hit in December.

These are just a few of the headlines making waves in the small business community early in 2018. Check out even more news in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.



Employment

New Minimum Wage Laws Take Effect for Small Businesses in 18 States

The new year 2018 is upon us and if you have hourly wage employees at your small business, there’s nearly a 50-50 chance you’ll be paying them more right away. A total of 18 states have raised the minimum wage for hourly employees, effective Jan. 1, 2018, according to information from the Labor Law Center.

Small Business Job Growth Down – But Wages Up – in December

Job growth at American small businesses continues to slow as wages trend the opposite way. That’s the finding from the latest Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for December. The Paychex index uses a standard of 100. Anything below that figure shows a decline in job growth. In December, the Paychex index stood at 99.70.

OSHA Warns Small Businesses About Dangers of Employees Removing Snow

Businesses that rely on employees to clear snow in front of their storefront or office need to use care to prevent serious injury and illness, according to OSHA. OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor just released a warning to businesses that rely on employees to perform snow removal or other outdoor activities in severe winter conditions.

Finance

Moneta International Connects Businesses and Lenders as Regulations Change

Since the global financial crisis hit in 2008, many banks have been forced to ‘tighten their belts’ by lending less and steering clear of less profitable clients. Businesses are bearing the brunt of this climate of increasing regulation and scrupulous lending.



Marketing Tips

Pitchsome Encourages Small Businesses to Show – Not Tell – in Video Marketplace

Product descriptions play a big role in the initial purchasing decision of consumers. Pitchsome takes this step to a new level by using video to enhance the customer experience so they can see the product in action. Pitchsome says it is the world’s first video content platform for selling and buying products.

Video  Use in Influencer Marketing will Reach an All Time High in 2018, Report Says

A new report from Influicity (PDF) predicts the use of video in Influencer Marketing will reach an all time high in 2018, peaking at 80  percent of global online traffic by 2020. Marketers who work with influencers have their work cut out for them. The new “always on” campaigns will be longer.

Retail Trends

Restaurant Owners Expect Higher Sales in First Half of 2018

Restaurant operators are more confident about the business condition in the coming months. This is according to the latest National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) November report, released at the end of December. The monthly index for November trended higher at 101.1 compared to October, which was at 100.9.

The BlueCart Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends

BlueCart recently introduced a report spotting purchasing trends in the hospitality industry. The 2017 Hospitality Report is designed to help restaurants, hotels and suppliers gain a competitive advantage by revealing the food and drink that’s most in demand. It’s the first time BlueCart has issued such a report, but small businesses in this market will certainly want to take note.

Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction

One fraudulent online order can cost a small retailer nearly three times as much as the cost of the transaction. That’s what Stripe found in its December 2017 Online Fraud Trends and Behavior report (PDF). The online payment processor recently released the report and gave Small Business Trends a unique perspective via exclusive email comments.



Mastercard Says Retail Sales Grew 4.9% During Record Holiday Season

The largest year-over-year holiday sales increase since 2011 was just recorded by the Mastercard SpendingPulse report. The 4.9 percent increase comes at a time when terms such as “Retail Apocalypse” are in the headlines forecasting the demise of retailers. According to Mastercard, customer confidence is one of the biggest drivers.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Dat Dog Puts a New Spin on the Old Hot Dog Stand

Hot dog stands are nothing new. But the team behind Dat Dog, Enterprises set out to put a new spin on the popular concept, with unique recipes and a vibrant atmosphere. The company has since grown from one small stand to multiple locations throughout New Orleans. But it still maintains that unique vibe.

Small Business Operations

VendorGo Mobile App Creates Better Communication for Small Contractors

The VendorGo app from Constellation HomeBuilder Systems has been developed to improve communications between vendors, suppliers and contractors. According to the company, the app will provide accurate real-time communications for vendors and contractors whether they are onsite or in the office.

Procore  and Plans4Less.com Partner to Keep Construction Companies Literally On the Same Page

Procore Technologies, Inc., a provider of cloud-based applications for construction, recently partnered with fixed-rate reprographics services provider Plans4Less.com to inject more efficiency into the construction industry by putting construction industry pros –quite literally — on the same page.



Technology Trends

GlassWire Promises Free Network Monitoring and Protection with Free Firewall

In today’s fast-paced environment, every small and growing business owner requires fast and reliable Internet connection to run an operation effectively and to remain competitive. While you might have a good internet, unauthorized WiFi connections might be slowing your connection and that’s where GlassWire comes in.

Sift App Helps Business Users Find Hidden Benefits of Their Credit Cards

Do you know there’s an app that unlocks hidden benefits of your credit cards? Well, the Sift app — an innovative free mobile application — unlocks hidden benefits of your credit cards you probably were not aware of, such as price adjustment refunds, extended warranties, return protection, rewards and much more.

Cargo VPN Offers Your Business Protection While You Work Remotely

Cargo VPN for Mac provides personal IP address and server with an added layer of protection for your digital presence. Eltima Software’s newest VPN or virtual private network keeps unwanted eyes from peeking at your activity, location, communications and traffic. The personal static IP address and server from Cargo VPN gives you another level of control when you are online.

Libby  App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries

When was the last time you thought about going to your local library to check out a book? The Libby app connects local libraries and the thousands of eBooks and audiobooks on their digital bookshelves 24/7. The Libby app is developed by OverDrive. To date, more than 39,000 libraries and schools in 70 countries are part of the service.



What Apple’s Battery Mea Culpa Can Teach Your Small Business About Transparency

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) officially admitted it was slowing down iPhones as their batteries age. The reasoning for this move by the company makes perfect sense, but it was the execution which will cost Apple in terms of money and a black eye on its reputation and brand.

Photo via Shutterstock

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