The Week in Small Business – 02.12.11

by Kevin Casey on February 12, 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.

Black-Owned Businesses Tripled U.S. Growth Rate

The U.S. Census Bureau released data this week showing that the number of black-owned businesses operated in the country surged at a rate of 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007 to 1.9 million – more than three times the national growth rate. During the same period, receipts generated by black-owned businesses grew by 55.1 percent to $137.5 billion. The recent statistics were published in the agency’s Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Businesses: 2007. The report is compiled every five years.

Loan Broker Dishes on Small Biz Credit

Ami Kassar, founder of financing site Multifunding, gives The New York Times the scoop on small business credit. Before becoming an entrepreneur himself, Kassar worked for Advanta, which was one of the country’s largest issuers of small business credit cards until it folded during the recent financial crisis.

Morgan Stanley Earmarks $500 Million for Small Business Loans

Morgan Stanley announced this week that it would commit up to $500 million in credit for small businesses. The investment bank will partner with nonprofit groups and community banks to deliver the funds via the SBA’s CDC/504 Loan Program.

Unhappy Employees? Read a Book with Them

Employee retention may not have been as big an issue with double-digit unemployment flooding the labor pool. But Deborah Cohen of Reuters finds that as hiring picks up, small business owners and managers again have to come up with creative ways to keep their top talent happy because they often don’t have the pocketbooks to compete with larger employers. My favorite? The pawnbroker who runs a book club for his staff.

Ranking the Most Profitable Types of Small Businesses

Forbes teamed up with Sageworks, a provider of financial tools and information, to rank the most profitable small businesses by category. The winners? Number crunchers rake in the highest margins, while back crackers generate the second-most profits. Did your business type make the list?

Are You An Innovator?

With all of the recent attention paid to entrepreneurship, Wipro Technologies and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania picked a good time for its second “Innovation Tournament.” The competition, which is open to individuals and groups from anywhere in the world, offers a cash prize of up to $20,000 for the best idea. This year’s tournament will “will require participants to create solutions by which society can implement green technologies as well as customer-centric work processes.” Get the details here.

How to Suck at Social Media

The headline says it all.

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

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