Small Business Brief for 10/30

Politics

Days from the Election: Candidates Talk-up Health care and Taxes Democrat Barack Obama is attacking his opponent's health care policies. Republican John McCain is rallying opposition to Obama's tax plans. They are both scouring battleground states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Ohio in an effort to woo independents. Bloomberg

Business Groups Seek Pension Fund Relief from Congress Business groups from across the country have asked Congress to revise pension fund rules to counter problems posed by current market conditions. Among the things they want are lower levels of funding for the plans and clarification as to whether they can smooth out reported market values. Reuters

House Small Business Committee Hears Testimony from Small Business Owners Testimony regarding the effect of the credit crisis on small business was presented to the House Small Business Committee last Tuesday. Congress, however, is unlikely to take action until after the presidential election. CNN/Money

Law and Regulation Enforcement

A Lesson in Immigration and Labor Law Enforcement: Kosher Meat Plant Fined $10 million The message is clear: Don't hire illegal aliens, and if you do, don't cheat them! Iowa's labor commission has fined Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant, nearly $10 million for violating state labor laws. That is on top of the May 12 ICE raid, which was one of the largest immigration raids in U.S. history. The Tampa Tribune

Start-ups and Entrepreneurship

The Kurt Cobain Guide to Startup Success
It may seem a stretch to call Kurt Cobain and Nirvana entrepreneurs. After all, Cobain was so disturbed by fame that he ultimately took his own life to escape the pressure. The success of the album Nevermind was an accident of creative genius by punk rockers who reluctantly hit it big, right? Not exactly. Lateralaction.com

Doing Business

Challenges of the Future: The Rebirth of Small Independent Retail in America
Retail is overwhelming dominated by small businesses. More than 95% of all retailers are single store operations and almost 90% have less than $2.5 million in sales. Finally, over 98% employ less than 100 people. To compete, these small retailers need to be innovative, have an understanding of both personalization and value, and they must know how to execute best practices to build success.
NRF Foundation

Boosting Your Business Performance with Customercentric Strategies While Loyalty programs and other customer interactions can and do offer critical data on individual customers, the real driving force is not analytics. It is the support of the company leadership from the top of the organization on down. DMNews

Human Resources

Convergys Hit with $280 Million Loss on HR Outsourcing

Convergys, a leader in HR management, announced a third-quarter operating loss of $280 million on revenue of $59.4 million, blaming the loss on cost increases. Workforce Management