The Week in Small Business – 12.11.10

by Kevin Casey on December 11, 2010
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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.

Who Is Sam Graves?

The newly chosen chairman of the House Small Business Committee, that’s who. Graves, a Missouri Republican, had been the ranking minority member of the committee since 2009. His appointment to the chair comes after Republicans took control of the House in the recent midterm elections. In a statement, Graves said: “One of my primary goals will be to aggressively weed out waste, fraud, and abuse within programs intended to encourage small business development.”

Enter Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

Mr. Graves will be busy, then: The Washington Post reports that six different federal agencies are investigating alleged malfeasance involving small business contracts. Government rules require a quarter of federal procurement spending be set aside for small businesses. Meanwhile, a civil rights complaint has been filed accusing the California High-Speed Rail Authority of unfairly excluding small and minority-owned businesses from contracts, according to a report in The Bakersfield Californian. The complaint asks the U.S. Department of Transportation to withhold federal funding for the authority’s $43 billion project to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by high-speed train.

Is Small Business Getting Too Much Credit?

Never! Well, maybe, depending on your perspective. Small business has been used as a virtual bargaining chip quite a bit lately, especially in the tax cut extension debate, and this pro/con piece debates whether or not politicians and pundits are assigning too much value to smaller employers. (Perish the thought.)

Cash Is Dead. Long Live Cash!

Cash has been dethroned, or at least it should be — so says blogger and business owner Jay Goltz in The New York Times. Goltz argues that too many small business owners ignore the basic principles of accounting when assessing their financial health, and that profit — not cash — should be king.

Pain at the Pump

If fuel is an expense in your business’s budget, you may have noticed it taking a larger bite out of your bottom line lately. That’s because gas prices have climbed back into $3 per gallon territory. The national average price on Friday was $2.977 for a gallon of regular. That’s up 35 cents from the same time last year, and almost eight cents in the last week alone. Diesel checked in at $3.242 per gallon.

Workers’ Compensation Credit Proposed in California

A bill introduced in the California assembly would allow the state’s small businesses to claim a tax credit for 20% of their workers’ compensation insurance premiums. If enacted, businesses with fewer than 20 employees and less than $1 million annual revenue would be eligible.

How to Give Your Employees Gifts – Tax-Free

‘Tis the season: If you’re planning to give your employees gifts this month, the NFIB offers some tips on doing so without incurring a tax liability.

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

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