Although the news might seem like it is all doom and gloom, the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans says otherwise. According to a study from LendingTree, business applications across the U.S. in 2020 has surpassed the number of last year's total by mid-October. LendingTree reports new business applications have already surpassed the 3.4 million mark of 2019, with almost three months still left in the year. What is more, in the first 13 weeks of 2020, an average of close to 74,000 businesses applied for Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) per week. This story in this week's roundup is one of many that shows the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses and Americans alike. You can read the rest of\u00a0 Americans Starting New Businesses at Record Pace, as well as many of the other topics addressing small business owners. Small Business News Roundup for Dec. 11, 2020 Here are the top headlines for small business owners this week: TechSmith Audiate Makes Audio Editing as Simple as Document Editing TechSmith has announced the launch of its new audio recorder and editing solution Audiate.\u00a0 Quality audio and accompanying transcriptions coupled with great video are important as they not only make it easy for your viewers to understand what you are trying to convey but also enjoy the video too. Shopify Data - Customers Want Free and Fast Shipping (Returns, Too!) E-commerce customers want free and fast shipping according to The Future of Commerce 2021 report by Shopify. The report by the e-commerce platform highlights trends in shifts in consumer behavior regarding e-commerce. According to the report, consumers are looking for more interactions rather than mere transactions. 57% of Marketing Pros Admit They're Unprepared for Shifting Consumer Behaviors As the holiday season comes into full swing shopping behavior among consumers is projected to shrink with in-store purchases. This according to research by BlueVenn. More than half of marketers (57%) admit to being concerned they can\u2019t adjust to changes in shopping behavior this holiday season. The research reveals 64% of US consumers will dramatically change the way they shop this year. Bluehost Identifies Top 3 Concerns of Small Business Owners in 2021 As we wave goodbye to a year nobody will be disappointed to see the back of, small businesses are both optimistic and cautious about what lies ahead in 2021. A survey by Bluehost shows what the leading concerns are for small businesses as we enter the New Year. The top small business concern for 2021 is securing new customers. Business Loan Approval Rates Drop by 50% in the Last Year Small business loan approvals at big banks are down by 50% compared to last year\u2019s figures according to data from Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. Loan approvals from big banks with more than $10 billion in assets were 13.2% in November this year compared to 28.1% from the same period. Google Introduces New Features for Small Business on Maps and Search Your online small business profile now must provide a whole host of information. And you have to make this information available quickly and accurately. Google is making this possible by bringing messaging capabilities and customer insights on Google Maps and Search. This new feature is the second part of an effort by Google to simplify the way businesses update their information. Soundstripe and Waymark Partner to Offer Creators Unlimited Music Access and Licenses As more businesses and consumers get online, content is becoming increasingly more important. A new partnership between Soundstripe and Waymark is going to offer creators unlimited music access and licenses. Whether it is music or video, quality content is essential to communicate with your audience more effectively. ADP: Small Businesses Add 110,000 Jobs to U.S. Economy U.S. small business job growth is on the rise but at a slower pace than earlier in 2020. According to the November ADP Small Business Report, private sector small business employment increased by 110,000 jobs from October to November. That is down only slightly from the September-October figures but is significantly less than the nearly one million new jobs reported in June. Strikingly Debuts Custom Checkout Fields and Other Upgrades to Ecommerce Users Strikingly has announced the launch of its customized checkout fields and upgrades for e-commerce users. The latest offering by the website builder allows users with a website store to provide their customers with additional options. This includes how to checkout, options to expand sections on their website store to showcase additional services and more.