The Week in Small Business 11.19.11

by Kevin Casey on November 19, 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.

Will Crowdfunding Appeal to the Masses?

As Congress considers lifting certain Securities Exchange Commission prohibitions on how small businesses raise capital, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at crowdfunding and its potential as a legitimate source of financing. Some crowdfunding sites aren’t necessarily waiting for government approval — creating potentially unsafe ground for small businesses and lenders. Likewise, while the rule changes might be welcomed by businesses — especially those that have had trouble securing a bank loan or other traditional financing — experts question whether they could lead to a rash of uninformed individual investors making risky bets.

Loans Still Lean, Even for Successful Entrepreneurs

If crowdfunding does take off, it may get some unintentional help from big banks. The Los Angeles Times notes that while Bank of America and some other large lenders are running ad campaigns touting their small business support, the story can sound a little different at ground level. Take restaurateur Paul Boettcher — in spite of co-owning five successful establishments around town, with no failures, he tells the newspaper he has been repeatedly turned down for new bank loans of late, scuttling plans to open three more businesses.

5 Reasons Not to Drop Health Insurance

As more provisions of 2010′s federal healthcare reform get set to kick in, Forbes contributor Rob Lynch wonders whether some small businesses will consider dumping their existing employer-sponsored plans — and lists five key reasons why doing so would be a big mistake. Many of them can be tied to a basic lack of understanding about the health care law. Here’s one for business owners worried about how employees use their time on the job: “You thought Facebook was a time suck? By shifting the burden of health care research onto your already time-strapped employees, you’re going to lose even more precious hours on the job,” Lynch writes.

Small Biz Owner: Count Me Part of the 53%

Another week, another small business owner who’s not too thrilled with Occupy Wall Street. Staten Island Live profiles entrepreneur John Tabacco and his brother, Derek, who stopped by the lower Manhattan site to protest, well, the protest. The brothers don’t have a problem with the anti-greed idea — just the way it’s being conveyed. Tabacco says don’t count him among the 99 percent, but the “53 percent who pay the taxes in this country.”

Thailand Gives Rise to “Flood Entrepreneurs”

Chronic flood disasters in Thailand have spawned a cottage industry of new businesses there, particularly in Bangkok, selling products or services intended to help people adapt. Among other inventions and businesses highlighted in the Associated Press feature: “Engine snorkels” to enable vehicles to drive though flooded streets.

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

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