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Small businesses: Obamacare good, bad
Inc.
Even though the Affordable Care Act employer mandate has been delayed a year, heath care costs remain the number one economic concern for U.S. small businesses. Surveys by Sageworks and U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that most business owners expect their insurance costs to increase under ACA. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing where a handful of small-business owners offered their takes on how ACA was going to affect their business, for better or worse. Here's what they had to say.
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Small-business owners are neglecting retirement savings
Yakima Herald-Republic
For many small-business owners, the golden years aren't looking so shiny. Many have devoted so much time and money to their businesses that they have failed to plan for retirement. Catch-up plans for these owners usually consist of aggressively putting money aside or taking another big risk: Planning to sell their companies one day to fund their retirement.
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Why do I want to be self-employed? Becoming a freelance is a big decision
TeleManagement
Becoming a freelance or setting up your own business is a big decision and needs good planning in order to make it work. Not everyone is ideally suited to the freelance lifestyle and a good way to find out is to run through a few reasons people give for going self-employed.
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Small business contracting numbers inflated by errors and exclusions, data show
The Washington Post
The federal government is required by law to try to direct nearly a quarter of all contracting dollars to small businesses, and every year since 2005, officials have reported missing the goal by the slimmest of margins. A number of contractors and advocacy groups say the government has repeatedly inflated the share of contracting dollars awarded annually to small firms, masking serious problems in the procurement process that prevent small businesses from securing more government work.
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Small businesses: Obamacare good, bad
Inc.
Even though the Affordable Care Act employer mandate has been delayed a year, heath care costs remain the number one economic concern for U.S. small businesses. Surveys by Sageworks and U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that most business owners expect their insurance costs to increase under ACA.

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Affordable Care Act for the self-employed in Washington
U.S. Small Business Administration via The Peninsula Gateway
There are currently 23 million self-employed entrepreneurs in the United States and that number continues to rise, especially in Washington state. As the number of self-employed individuals continues to grow, thanks to technology that allows more geographic flexibility and baby boomers looking to open their own firms, one key concern has historically remained unaddressed: health care.

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5 big, brave choices to lead you to successful self-employment
Business Insider
Self-employment. It's the dream of many but the hard-fought-for reality of far fewer. If you find yourself in the latter group and wondering how you can plan for and switch to self-employment, make these five big and brave choices. You'll put yourself on the path to a successful work-for-yourself career.

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Small business: Protecting your trademark
Newsday
Basic trademarks can be a valuable asset to businesses both large and small, provided companies know how to police them. Many companies use the TM next to their name or symbol, which indicates that they claim unregistered trademark status, but that can be more difficult to defend compared to a federally registered trademark. Someone can still lay claim to your mark, which is why you must be vigilant in protecting it.
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Income tax returns: 9 tax saving options other than Section 80C
NDTV
Before you calculate your tax liabilities, remember to analyze the various sections of tax deductions under the Income Tax Act as tax planning does not end with Section 80C. Here are nine tax savings alternatives to Section 80C.
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To survive in 10 years, your business will need…
By Emma Fitzpatrick
For any business, it's really easy to get caught up in the day to day, but stepping back and taking a look where your business needs to be is the key to success. Big or small, no business is guaranteed a fruitful financial year. In fact, maintaining your popularity with customers is hard work — and you always need to be 10 steps ahead. A recent study surveyed professionals about the next 10 years of marketing. Read on to discover what your business needs to remain thriving (and relevant) in 10 years.
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Industry Pulse: Which social media platform will emerge as top dog in the next 10 years?
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    5 big, brave choices to lead you to successful self-employment (Business Insider)
Affordable Care Act for the self-employed in Washington (U.S. Small Business Administration via The Peninsula Gateway)
What's the best way for small business to grow? (USA Today)
Growing a small business? Here are 5 financial equations you need to know (The Huffington Post)
9 ways that 3-D printing is going to change business (The Next Web)

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Small businesses turning to Facebook and LinkedIn for social media branding
PCWorld
In a new study of Canadian small businesses, American Express — with Rogers Connect Market Research — has taken an in-depth look at how small businesses feel about their future prospects and how they're approaching the complex issue of corporate branding. One of the most interesting insights from the study is the question of what Web-based tools small businesses are using to help build their brand.
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Innovative use of technology boosts small business
Sci-Tech Today
Digital technology and the marketing possibilities of Websites and social media are making small businesses both bigger and better known. Social media can help engage customers, while tools such as Square let even the smallest of businesses accept credit or debit cards with a reader that can be used with smartphones or tablets.
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Small-business owners see extreme weather as tightrope without net
Environment & Energy Publishing
For the second time in a week, the effects of climate change on business performance took center stage as another report painted a grim picture of how small companies are faring against what many people believe is an era of increasingly extreme weather events fueled by an unstable climate. The report, from the Small Business Majority and the American Sustainable Business Council, argues that small businesses are "uniquely vulnerable" to extreme weather events because they lack the financial resources, organizational structures and geographic diversity that large companies have.
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Self-Employed OutFront Weekly
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