The Week in Small Business – 11.05.11
We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.
Small Banks Heart Small Businesses
Looking for a loan? Look for a small bank, says a new analysis of FDIC data conducted by Multifunding. The lending adviser calculated the ratio of small business loans to total deposits as its key benchmark and has been publishing the numbers by region on its website. In New Jersey, for example, Heritage Bank in Randolph doles out some $77.8 million to small businesses against more than $130 million in deposits — a ratio of nearly 60 percent. (You can view all of the Garden State data in a Google Doc.) Considering working with a smaller lender? Check out the Intuit Small Business Blog's inside look at a community bank.
House Votes to Ease Financing Rules
If a bank — big or small — turns you down, it may soon be easier to raise capital from other sources. The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed separate bills to eliminate existing SEC restrictions on small businesses that seek funding from wealthy individuals or from a group of smaller benefactors online — better known as crowdsourcing or crowdfunding. That followed on the heels of two other pieces of legislation the House passed on Wednesday; both would make it easier for small businesses and small community banks to take on outside shareholders without registering with the SEC. The bills now go to the Senate for approval.
Business Owners Go Grinch for the Holidays
Small business staffers shouldn't wait with bated breath for lavish gifts and celebrations this holiday season. The Associated Press reports that while companies might be loosening their end-of-year budgets a bit compared with recent years, spending on things like catering and expensive gifts is still slow. You're a mean (but financially prudent) one, Mister Grinch.
Social Media Consultant 101
Blogger and consultant Mack Collier peels back the curtain with an interesting, honest look at being a social media consultant. While it indeed takes a social slant, it's a worthwhile read for consultants, freelancers, and self-employed folks in a variety of fields. Among the topics covered: How to make the most of (inevitable) downtime, and finding new income streams in unlikely places. (Tip of the cap @GeneMarks for the link.)
One for Fun (at Facebook's Expense)
If you've ever cringed while updating your business's Facebook presence — knowing full well that your information is now the social network's information, too — The Onion has some good (fake) news for you: New Facebook Feature Allows User To Cancel Account.
Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.