The Week in Small Business – 09.24.11
We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.
Help Not Wanted: Don't Inquire Within
Syndicated writer Dana Milbank calls attention to an underlying flaw in the political rhetoric around small businesses and their role in economic growth. Milbank is, in the eyes of the government, a small business — but like many other self-employed people, he's a company of one with no plans to hire anytime soon. "Like the overwhelming majority of small businesses, I am a one-man operation," Milman writes. "And, like most small businesses, I would not hire anybody even if the government dropped my tax rate to zero."
Facebook Moved My Cheese!
Facebook unveiled some major updates to its site this week at its F8 Developers Conference. Check out the Intuit Small Business Blog's overview of how the new features could impact small businesses. As with any Facebook redesign, some people aren't fans of the changes. The internet is seemingly awash with workarounds for disgruntled users, including a Google Chrome browser extension that removes the new news ticker. Inside Facebook, meanwhile, outlines some new opportunities for advertisers on the site — worth a look if your business buys Facebook ads or intends to soon.
Small Businesses Want Higher Fuel Economy Standards
A new survey conducted by Small Business Majority says that most small business owners — 87 percent — favor tougher fuel economy rules for new vehicles. Not too shocking, considering how gas prices continue to chip away at the bottom lines of businesses and consumers alike. The New York Times automotive blogger Jim Motavalli notes, though, that the finding belies the idea that smaller businesses are all staunch opponents of government regulation. Small Business Majority founder and CEO John Arensmeyer opines on the results over at The Huffington Post.
SEC Forms Small Firm Advisory Committee
Looking to borrow money but can't get a traditional bank loan? There are other avenues available, but they're not without their risks. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission has formed a two-year committee to make recommendations on how small businesses can better access the broad range of modern capital markets without putting themselves or investors in jeopardy. Among the drivers behind the committee's formation, says Corporate Secretary: Crowdfunding.
FREE! FREE! FREE! (Tools for Shoestring Budgets)
Sometimes you indeed get what you pay for. On the other hand, sometimes you can't pay for much — especially if you're trying to launch a business with minimal resources. USA Today's Rhonda Abrams lists a half-dozen free online tools that are worth more than their price tag and can help cash-strapped entrepreneurs get things done.
Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.