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FEATURE STORY



Confidence at US small companies hits 3-year high
Bloomberg    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Confidence among U.S. small companies rose in February to the highest level in three years as hiring and sales expectations increased, a survey showed. The National Federation of Independent Business's optimism index climbed to 94.5, the highest since the recession began in December 2007, the Washington-based group said in a statement. The reading compares with the average 100.7 during the previous expansion that started in November 2001. More

BUSINESS



Credit unions push for small business lending
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber only)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Credit unions - nonprofits that offer basic banking services - want to double the amount they lend to small businesses. And they may get some help from the government. Sen. Mark Udall plans to file legislation that would increase to 25 percent the amount of assets credit unions can lend to small businesses. Currently, small business loans by credit unions are limited to 12.25 percent of assets, according to a 1998 federal law. "It is one of the few easy ways that we have to support credit unions, small businesses and help create jobs all at once," Sen. Udall said in an e-mail. More

Higher gas prices have big impact on small businesses
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When watching news about the turmoil in the Middle East, you probably weren't thinking, "How's this going to affect my small business?" But take a look at the gas pump, and you'll see. Right now, regular gas is around $4 a gallon. High gas prices are a particularly tough burden on small businesses. It's not just companies that make deliveries or use a lot of gas directly that are affected. More

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Repeal of expanded 1099 rules in the works
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It appears that the 1099 train wreck may not get to leave the station. On March 3, The House of Representatives passed the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011. This legislation would repeal the expanded 1099 reporting requirements mandated in last year's health care legislation and also repeals the new 1099 reporting requirements on landlords of small rental properties. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) greatly increased the 1099 reporting requirements on businesses and other entities. More

States approved record number of immigration reform laws In 2010
Personal Liberty Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A total of 346 laws and resolutions related to immigration were approved by State lawmakers in 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. William Gheen, the president and spokesman of Americans for Legal Immigration, told ABC News that the increasing trend of stricter immigration laws will continue over the next several years. "We are going to pass more immigration enforcement legislation in the states in 2011 than any year prior. And what we don't get done in 2011 we will get done in 2012," Gheen told the news provider. More

INDUSTRY



Designing landscapes with energy savings in mind
Amherst Bulletin via Lawn & Landscape    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As homeowners and architects become ever more conscious of energy consumption when building new homes or renovating old ones, it's important to consider the role of landscaping in conserving energy, says Sue Reed, a Shelburne, Vt., landscape architect. Reed, whose 2010 book "Energy-Wise Landscape Design" is already being used as a textbook in university sustainability programs, will share information on the topic as the keynote speaker for the spring gardening symposium. More

Survey: Boom in home improvement projects
KARE-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefIn yet another sign the economy is coming around, a recent survey shows more people are delving into home improvement projects than two years ago. "People are really focusing on their landscaping, their patios, their decks, outdoor kitchens are becoming huge," said Bruce Evans with the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show. More

Washington State House passes limit on phosphorous in fertilizer
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The House of Representatives approved a bill to limit the use of fertilizer containing phosphorus, among several other environmental-protection measures. The Washington Environmental Priorities Coalition lobbied for legislation against phosphorus-based fertilizer as one of its top priorities this year, saying that phosphorus used in lawn fertilizers contributes to harmful algae blooms in lake and river water. More

MARKETING/SALES



Small and medium businesses double up on Twitter usage
Marketing Pilgrim    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The small and medium business market is working to keep pace with change in the marketing space as a whole and in particular, Internet marketing. It's a difficult task for most due to the all too familiar chorus of not enough resources whether they be money, time, people or some combination of these and other factors. According to a recent study from BIA/Kelsey and ConStat (via eMarketer) the SMB market is moving forward despite the obstacles. Twitter in particular is seeing strong growth while traditional marketing vehicles like the Yellow Pages are lucky to remain stagnant. More

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Why customers unsubscribe, unlike and unfollow you
Entrepreneur via Lawn & Landscape    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
There you are, busily marketing your business or brand through social networking and suddenly you're experiencing a rash of unsubscribes, unfans, unlikes or unfollows on your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter accounts. What's going on here? It's like that old Righteous Brothers hit, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." Only this time around it's not a mid-60s teenager who's hurting. It's you. More
 


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