The Week in Small Business – 02.05.11

by Kevin Casey on February 5, 2011
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We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.

Mind Your Twitter-quette, People

If your business is on Twitter — or any other site, for that matter — fashion mogul Kenneth Cole provided a free lesson in what not to do online, unless you enjoy being the object of public humiliation and loathing. Cole posted a tweet this week tying recent events in Egypt to the launch of his spring line. The message was removed, but BNET blogger Lydia Dishman offers a good recap of the tweet and its fallout. Cole later apologized on the company’s Facebook page. Based on some of the immediate responses, his mea culpa may fall short.

Congress Considering SBA Cuts

While entrepreneurship has become an integral part of President Obama’s economic game plan, small business committees in both the Senate and the House are examining potential funding cuts at the Small Business Administration, which backs loans and provides education and other services to new and existing businesses. CNNMoney reports that while the Senate has yet to identify any particular programs that might be slashed, the House has already has its eyes on several candidates for elimination.

Senate Passes 1099 Rule Removal

Well, that didn’t take long. A little more than a week after the President called for the expanded 1099 reporting provision to be repealed from last year’s heath care legislation, the Senate passed an amendment to do just that. The Washington Post notes a somewhat awkward show of bipartisanship in the process, but while they quibble over who gets credit, business owners are now one step closer to avoiding a potential paperwork bloat in 2012.

Bad Weather to Blame for Unemployment?

This year’s winter weather has generated some creative additions to the popular vocabulary: “Blizzaster,” “snoverkill“, and “thundersnow” — seriously, thundersnow! — to name several. Winter by any other name still causes travel havoc, business and school closures, and disrupted municipal services. But unemployment? An article in The New York Times finds that harsh weather was a major factor in disappointing January employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

Small Biz Borrowing Spikes in December

Small businesses borrowed 20 percent more last month compared with the same month in 2009, according to the latest Reuters/PayNet data. The monthly small business lending index checked in with its highest borrowing levels since July 2008, and marked five straight months of increasing credit.

New Jersey Businesses Cough Up $600K to Cons

The New Jersey office of the Better Business Bureau says that the bottom lines of small businesses in the state were $600,000 lighter in 2010 thanks to scams. That’s less than half of the $1.4 million that Garden State businesses lost in 2009, but a BBB rep tells the Star-Ledger the sharp drop-off may be the result of under-reporting rather than better fraud prevention. Business owners weren’t necessarily grappling with the likes of Paulie Walnuts, but subtler threats such as bogus invoices and pitches for fake services or awards.

Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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