The Week in Small Business – 11.6.2010

by Kevin Casey on November 6, 2010
iStock_000011682782XSmall.jpg

We scour the web for the best in small business news and links so you don’t have to.

Don’t Leave Home Without… What?

American Express CEO and Chairman Kenneth Chenault on Wednesday indicated  a “major” new small business program in the works that he likened to a “stimulus plan” but offered scant details, simply saying more would be forthcoming. Take your best guess, but it at least seems clear that the credit card issuer and OPEN Forum publisher will pay even greater attention to the small business market going forward.

Small Biz Lending Back on the Rise?

Yes, according to this report and its corresponding video interview. This analysis, on the other hand, digs into the differences between the lending data reported by banks versus government numbers, and why they can appear to tell different stories about the direction we’re headed.

Getting Paid for Your Business’s Money

Interested? It could happen, thanks to a quiet amendment to the recent Wall Street reform bill that repeals a long-standing rule prohibiting banks from paying interest on business checking accounts. The amendment’s sponsor, though, won’t be in office to see his efforts take effect next July — Scott Murphy, a Democrat in New York’s 20th Congressional District, lost his bid for re-election this week.

Paying ($12 Million) Attention to Detail

Eliminating a single data field from Expedia.com’s checkout process produced an immediate sales surge that translated to an additional $12 million profit annually for the travel site. It’s an eye-opening reminder that every little detail of your website matters if you do business online.

No Sales Tax Rollback in Massachusetts

Voters in the state that hosted the actual tea party answered a resounding “no” on Tuesday to a ballot question that could have slashed their sales tax from 6.25% to 3%. It wasn’t even close. A much narrower tax cut did pass, repealing a year-old tax hike on alcohol sales — a win for liquor store owners there who compete with tax-free New Hampshire next door.

Audit Not Necessarily a Dirty Word

Energy costs can quietly drain your bottom line if you’re not paying attention, especially as most parts of the country head into winter weather. Check out the NFIB’s guide to auditing your business’ energy bill.

Happier New Year?

Some businesses might already be itching to bid farewell to a tough 2010, but there are still almost two months to go. The Wall Street Journal offers 5 year-end survival tips for surviving a cash crunch and shepherding your business safely into 2011.

Fall Forward

Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, and though the hour gained is somewhat of a mirage — it was just on loan to summer, after all — Harvard Business Review has a couple of ideas on how time-strapped managers can find an extra hour in their schedule for actual work.

And don’t forget to change your clocks.

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

Advertisement