The Week in Small Business – 12.24.10

by Kevin Casey on December 24, 2010

We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.

How Home Prices Hurt Small Business Loans

You don’t need me to tell you the reasons for decreased small business lending in recent years — tight credit, scarce demand, etc. — you’ve heard them all before, right? But what about your house? The general decline in property values of late has had a much greater impact on small businesses than previously realized, according a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Independent Retailers Innovate to Drive Year-End Sales

The early returns on holiday shopping are upbeat, according to government figures. But that doesn’t mean it’s as easy as opening the doors and watching the money flow in — especially not for smaller stores. Independent businesses, particularly those that count on the holidays for a huge chunk of their annual revenue, continue to be creative to stay competitive with large chains and online retailers.

Do Old(er) People Make Better Entrepreneurs?

Young founders such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg tend to stir the media’s ink, but is he an exception? A story in Slate concludes that older entrepreneurs — or, ahem,“experienced” ones, if you’d prefer — tend to be more successful when launching new businesses.

When a Business Needs to Go to Plan B

Sometimes a business needs to make major changes to survive and thrive — even if Plan B requires a drastic shift in direction. In fact, smaller businesses — and especially relatively young businesses — may be more agile and better-suited to significant overhauls when necessary. Get more info from the Wall Street Journal in the above link.

SBA Redesigns Its Website

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) unveiled its redesigned website this week, complete with a virtual tour introducing the new digital digs.

How Businesses Find Ways to Give Back

Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein takes a look at how companies of all sizes find ways to incorporate charitable work into their businesses, including a car dealership with 30 employees that raises more than $100,000 annually for pediatric cancer.

Business Owners Struggle to Take Time Off

A story from Down Under that will likely hit home for small businesses just about everywhere in the world: 30 percent of Australian owners and managers have not had a single day off this year, according to a recent survey there. How about you? Will you take time off before the new year? Time’s almost up!

Finally, happy holidays to you and your business from us at the Intuit Small Business Blog!