The Week in Small Business – 04.23.11

by Kevin Casey on April 23, 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.

Startup America Lines Up Big Backing for Entrepreneurs

Startup America, the White House-sponsored program to provide funding and other support to entrepreneurs, announced more than $400 million in commitments this week from a variety of partners including Google, Microsoft, HP, and Intuit. Facebook hosted a Startup America roundtable this week on the heels of President Obama’s broader Town Hall meeting at the social network’s headquarters. Read the Intuit Small Business Blog’s recap of the event.

Get a Big Break for Your Small Business — Or at Least $20,000

American Express OPEN and Facebook launched the Big Break for Small Business contest this week. Five owners stand to win $20,000 and a two-day trip to Facebook headquarters for a “business makeover.” Contestants will answer three questions about their business — via Facebook, of course. A panel of judges will determine 10 finalists and the grand-prize winners will be selected by a community vote. American Express and Facebook also recently partnered on Small Business Saturday.

Does Discounting Do More Harm Than Good?

Discounts and coupons can help bring customers in the front door, whether that door is real or online. But does discounting damage your small business? Technorati details five disadvantages to discounting, with an emphasis on daily deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon. If you’re considering using a daily deal site, check out the Intuit Small Business Blog’s advice first.

Taxes Done! (Or Maybe Not)

Breathe easy: April 15 18 is in your rearview mirror. Right? True, the annual stampede to meet the annual IRS (not to mention state) filing deadline has come and gone. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your taxes are done, says Newsfactor Business Report. (Cue the Debbie Downer music.)

South Dakota: Land of Business-Friendly Taxation Policies

The IRS tends to draw our attention this time of year, but states levy taxes, too — and all  of them do so differently. The Small Business Entrepreneurship Council recently released is 2011 Business Tax Index, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (South Dakota, feel free to use the above header as your new slogan — it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) If your state is a cellar dweller in these rankings, you might be happy to know not everyone agrees with the study’s methodology.

Do You “Humblebrag” About Your Business?

Maybe you’re not a celebrity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be guilty of “humblebragging.” The Wall Street Journal interviews Harris Wittels, the comedian-writer behind the @humblebrag Twitter feed, which calls out people for “false humility” in their tweets. The feed loves to tweak high-profile tweeters: Tony Hawk, Greta Van Susteren, and RuPaul are all recently anointed humblebraggers. But it’s not just for famous folks: If you’re humblebragging about your business on Twitter, you might find yourself retweeted, too.

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