The Week in Small Business – 08.20.11

by Kevin Casey on August 20, 2011

We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.

Obama: Recovery Starts with Small Business

As the 2012 election machine begins grinding its gears in earnest, President Obama renewed his emphasis on the role of small businesses in the economy’s recovery. “It’s going to start on the ranchlands and farms of the Midwest, in the workshops of basement inventors, in the storefronts of small business owners,” Obama said, according to a transcript of his remarks. notes that the U.S. Small Business Administration will double its funding for rural businesses over the next five years.

The President Has Checked In

Speaking of campaign season: The White House has joined location-based social network Foursquare. (The next time you’re invited to meet the President in the Oval Office, you’ll be able to announce it to the world by checking in!) In a blog post, the White House said indeed visitors will be able to check in to events and Town Hall meetings. It will also share “tips” from President Obama’s travels around the world. The potential impact for your business? Mashable puts it best: Expect lots of people to join Foursquare very soon.

Can Tight Credit Make You a Better Businessperson?

Much has been made lately about tight or altogether absent credit for small businesses — a problem that appears poised to stick around for a while as renewed economic fears play pinball with global financial markets. But could tight credit actually help your business in the long run? That’s what it’s doing for at least one small firm: NPR profiles an entrepreneurial engineer with a self-professed lack of business acumen who sharpened her skills after repeated loan rejections.

Business Owners Become Currency Traders

Foreign-exchange trading is the craps table of the financial world, subject to wild (and sometimes disastrous) swings for those who try their hand. According to The Wall Street Journal, more small business owners are doing just that, as a way to hedge against currency-related shortfalls in their bottom line. If you do business overseas or get paid in multiple currencies, how do you handle exchange-rate fluctuations?

Who Cares About Your Business? (Not These People)

Small business owner and columnist Gene Marks serves up a light — if unsettlingly accurate, perhaps — list of the 65 people who could care less about his company. No one is spared, not even Santa Claus. Before diving in, Marks offers these words of wisdom: “If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur take my advice; grow a thick skin, have a lot of self confidence, and buy a puppy.”