The Week in Small Business – 10.08.11

by Kevin Casey on October 8, 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.

California Amazon Associates: You’re Re-Hired

Amazon.com sent an email to its former affiliate marketers in California this week announcing that they’re welcome back on the payroll. You can now re-enroll in the Amazon Associates Program, though the company notes in its FAQ that traffic referred during the shutdown will not count toward earnings. While the program’s resurrection might be good news for California small businesses that rely on affiliate revenue from their websites, similar taxation battles loom elsewhere in the country. Amazon cut ties with its California-based affiliates in June, but the company reached an agreement with the state last month that delays a new sales tax law but ensures the online retail giant will comply once the change takes effect. Check out the Intuit Small Business Blog’s guide to protecting your affiliate revenue against future changes.

When the Going Gets Tough…

Amid continued doom-and-gloom economic headlines, The Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at some actual small businesses — and the people that own them — and how they’re dealing with tough times. The series of short profiles includes a former investment banker turned franchisee, a gift shop that has thrived during the downturn, and a café that was not so fortunate.

Small Companies Memorialize Steve Jobs

The passing of Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs at age 56 spawned an outpouring of tributes and commentary online in recent days. The Street highlights three small businesses that are doing something to remember Jobs, including one software firm that plans to donate a week’s worth of revenue to pancreatic cancer research.

Are Retailers Souring on Daily Deals?

The consumer appetite for coupons and deals doesn’t appear to have faded — witness the recent sellout of Whole Foods’ LivingSocial deal, for example. But the allure may be fading for the small businesses and other merchants that keep Groupon, LivingSocial, Amazon.com, and other sites flush with appealing deals. The New York Times analyzes the industry’s growing pains — one observer goes so far as to compare the offers to the subprime mortgage mess — and why some merchants are now saying “no deal.”

For Sale: Garden State Businesses

If you’re in the market to buy a business in New Jersey, you might find a bargain. If you’re an owner hoping to sell? Don’t expect to get top dollar. So says this short piece in The Record, which notes that the median asking price for a New Jersey business has dropped from $275,000 to $250,000 over the past year.

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