The Week in Small Business – 04.30.11

by Kevin Casey on April 30, 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.

Royal Wedding Bells Toll for Small Businesses

You can run, but you can’t hide from the the Royal Wedding. Business Insider profiles 10 small businesses that earned a slice of the $34 million event. (Perhaps “industry” would be a better word than “event.”) Speaking of slices: Each wedge of the two wedding cakes — made by a small company — was worth $134. Meanwhile, USA Today columnist Rhonda Abrams — who notes “I figured the only way to get anyone’s attention this week is to put ‘royal’ and ‘wedding’ in a headline” — takes a broader look at the $70 billion-plus U.S. wedding market and how smaller businesses can cash in.

South Carolina Not Putting Out “Welcome Amazon” Mat

The South Carolina legislature this week voted against a tax-break package to lure Amazon.com — and nearly 1,250 new jobs — to the state. As a result, the internet giant is shuttering a planned $52 million distribution center there and looking elsewhere. While the move may seem strange with the economy still regaining its post-recession sea legs, The State reports that the vote could mark a historic change in how South Carolina approaches employment growth, favoring smaller businesses over massive ones.

Minimum Wage Debate: Would a Hike Stunt Jobs Growth?

As food and fuel prices rise (more on the latter below), NPR examines the political and economic debate around the federal minimum wage, which has stood at $7.25/hour since July 2009. (Some states have higher minimum wages; the federal version is the lowest allowed by law.) The topic has timely appeal as seasonal businesses staff up for the summer months, often with minimum-wage positions. Pro-labor groups say those workers are due for a raise; pro-business groups say an increase would stall job creation. What say you, small business owners? Are you for or against an increase in the minimum wage?

Gas Prices Pumping Pain Into Small Business Budgets

From north of the border, The Globe and Mail reports on a variety of local Canadian businesses that are being forced to adapt to sky-high fuel prices in some very specific ways. One restaurant took steak off its menu, for example. (Say it ain’t so!) In the U.S., the national average price of a gallon of regular hit $3.91 on Friday — that’s more than a dollar higher than the same day in 2010.

Build a Free Mobile App for Your Business

If you’ve wanted to try out an iPhone or Android application for your business, but lack the budget or development know-how to build one, check out a free service called Appsbar. I recently interviewed the startup’s founder over at InformationWeek. Time will tell on the quality of the apps — the service just rolled out to the public on Wednesday, so there’s not much track record to go on yet. But with little technical skill required — not to mention that $0.00 price tag — there’s not much risk involved. It could be a good option for small businesses that want to test the mobile marketing waters without busting open the piggy bank.

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

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