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Rethinking the boosterism about small business
Bloomberg Businessweek
With more than 14 million Americans out of work and the U.S. facing the prospect of a double-dip recession, it's heartening to know that Democrats and Republicans agree on at least one way to kick-start growth: support small business. In the U.S. in 2007 there were around 6 million companies with workers on the payroll. Ninety percent of those businesses employed fewer than 20 people, according to analysis of the latest census data by Erik Hurst and Ben Pugsley of the University of Chicago. Collectively, those companies accounted for 20 percent of all jobs.
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Hackers put a bull's-eye on small business
PCWorld
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 1 in 5 small businesses falls victim to cybercrime each year. And of those, some 60 percent go out of business within six months after an attack. Now let's pause for a moment and restate that another way: You've got a 20 percent chance of being hacked and if it happens there's a good chance your business is finished. Small-business owners do need to be smart and that starts with understanding that the security landscape has changed.
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Related story: NASE members receive discounts on computer support, virus software, hardware, etc. (NASE)


Affordable Care Act: Effects on small business
Vegas Inc.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," was signed into law March 23, 2010. Its purpose: increase the affordability of health insurance and reduce the cost of health care. This will happen by way of mandates, tax-credits and subsidies. For businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees, there are a variety of options. As a small-business owner, you're exempt from the ACA mandate of having to offer a group insurance plan. However, you might find it wise to offer coverage to attract and retain employees.
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Self-employment helping boomers stretch retirement savings
CNBC
There is one way to avoid outliving your money: Work longer, on your own terms. You may not want to or be able to retire at 65 or 67 but so what. If you're doing work you enjoy in your own business, setting your own schedule, fulfilling goals you've set yourself, it may not even feel like work. A recent survey by AARP found 10 percent of workers ages 45 to 74 plan to start a business and 15 percent of workers in this age range are already self-employed. On average, self-employed workers in their 40s or 50s may spend nearly two decades working for themselves, the AARP study found.
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Rethinking the boosterism about small business
Bloomberg Businessweek
With more than 14 million Americans out of work and the U.S. facing the prospect of a double-dip recession, it's heartening to know that Democrats and Republicans agree on at least one way to kick-start growth: support small business. In the U.S. in 2007 there were around 6 million companies with workers on the payroll. Ninety percent of those businesses employed fewer than 20 people, according to analysis of the latest census data by Erik Hurst and Ben Pugsley of the University of Chicago. Collectively, those companies accounted for 20 percent of all jobs.

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How to gather fabulous testimonials about your work
By Sydni Craig-Hart
Doesn't it feel great to receive commendation for the work you do? There's nothing better than knowing you've truly made a difference in someone's life or business and have helped them reach a new level of success. Even better than your personal feelings is the fact that receiving positive feedback from your clients creates social proof for prospective clients. This is one of the reasons websites like Yelp are so popular. Like it or not, the folks who are considering hiring you are going to look up details about what it's like to work with you.

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Federal website offers health reform information for businesses
Business USA via The Argus Leader
A new website from the federal government is aimed at providing employers with educational materials about the Affordable Care Act. It includes a tool that is tailored based on size and location, so businesses can learn how the law helps them provide coverage options to their employees.

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IRS targets thousands of small businesses for extra scrutiny
Forbes
Is the best defense a good offense? Maybe, and the IRS is still under scrutiny for targeting. Hate The IRS? You'll love these laws. The tax agency is doing some targeting of its own, fingering at least 20,000 small businesses. And that number will grow.
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Small business employment in recessions and expansions
Small Business Trends
Small-business employment has grown more slowly than big business employment since the end of the Great Recession. That wasn't supposed to happen. Small companies, the argument goes, are more nimble, making their employment decisions more responsive to economic conditions. The evidence was once consistent with this theory but the pattern has broken down over the past two decades. Between 1977 and 1991 — but not since 1991 — small company employment grew faster than big business employment during economic expansions and shrank faster during economic contractions.
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It's all about content
By Nikki Trufant-Wade
The world we live in has become a very different place in recent years. The invention of the smartphone, tablet and DVR, and the decline of the newspaper industry has changed what information we receive — as well as how and when we receive it. With so many outlets to choose from, getting the attention of consumers to generate traffic for your website and sales for your company has become much more of a challenge.
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    Federal website offers health reform information for businesses (Business USA via The Argus Leader)
How to gather fabulous testimonials about your work (By Sydni Craig-Hart)
4 small-business lessons learned in reality TV limelight (The Charlotte Observer via The Fayetteville Observer)
Facebook and small business: A match made in heaven? (Small Business Trends)
4-way step to gain loyal customers (Business 2 Community via Yahoo)

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Attract new customers with local ads on the Google Maps app
Google AdWords
Over one billion people use Google Maps services every month. On the Google Maps app, these users are often searching for local businesses — from restaurants, to car dealerships, to dentists and more. Recently, Google launched a new version of the Google Maps app for Android, iPhone and iPad where several new features were introduced. The most recent is an updated ad experience that is more attractive for users and more effective for advertisers.
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The 'Breaking Bad' ripple effect on small business
Bloomberg TV
VideoBriefExecutive vice president of EP Financial Solutions Joseph Chianese discusses state incentives for film and TV production with Alix Steel on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers."
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Social media and small business: A legal guide
The Star Tribune
Anyone who uses social media has heard stories of the pitfalls — you could be stalked, potential employers could snoop into your past, oversharing could lead to identity theft. But the state of Minnesota believes there's still one group that needs to be warned: small-businesses. In "A Legal Guide to the Use of Social Media in the Workplace," published by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minneapolis attorney Michael Cohen argues that a company's reputation, trade secrets and legal liability hinge on understanding the rapidly changing rules of using social media.
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Self-Employed OutFront Weekly
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