Small Business Brief for 11/18

Politics and Government

What Change Really Means to Small Business?

Many small business owners are skeptical of President-elect Obama's tax proposals and the long-term direction he wants to take with the economy.

Paulson, Bernanke Defend $700 Billion Bailout
WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke waged a stout defense of their management of a $700 billion financial bailout on Capitol Hill Tuesday, just one week after the administration abandoned the original strategy behind the rescue.

Bernanke: Borrowing Conditions Still Far From Normal

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said lending in the U.S. is “still far from normal,” even after emergency federal programs expanding credit have helped reduce interest rates for some borrowers.

Paulson: Bailout is Not a Panacea

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rejected using the government's financial-rescue program as a ``panacea'' for economic difficulties, clashing with lawmakers who want the funds to help beleaguered homeowners and automakers.

Politics and Recession Equals Tax Cuts?

Thanks to our economic troubles, there may be some financial relief coming as the idea of tax cuts begins to make a cross-party comeback.

Economics and Labor Issues

October wholesale prices plunge record 2.8 percent
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wholesale prices plunged a record amount in October as energy prices fell by the largest amount in 22 years. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that wholesale prices dropped by 2.8 percent in October, the biggest one-month decline on records that go back more than 60 years.

U.S. Economy Shrinking, Some Credit Markets Firming Up

According to Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto, the U.S. economy is shrinking and will probably suffer more than a usual downturn in growth.

Fed Has Done All it Can to Revive Economy, Says Hoenig

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig said the central bank has “done about as much as it can do” to revive the economy, which has worsened faster than he expected.

Weak Economy Signaling a New Dot-Com Bust?
The tech sector has seen more than 49,000 layoffs since late August, while startups are being warned of more difficult times ahead.

Law and Regulation Enforcement

"Vexatious" ADA Litigant Rejected by Supreme Court The Supreme Court has rejected the case of a paralyzed man labeled as a "vexatious litigant" by California's federal courts after filing 400 lawsuits against businesses over alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

New Guns-at-Work Laws Raising Concerns
A growing number of states permit employees to bring guns to work and leave them in their cars. Companies risk civil and criminal penalties for not complying with the new law, but how do you balance that with employee safety?

Federal Contractors Must Use E-Verify
All c ompanies with a federal contract of more than $100,000, and all subcontractors with contracts of greater than $3,000, must enroll in the employee eligibility verification system within 30 days of the award.

Doing Business

Coping in The Real Economy

How the world’s most basic industries are coping with the crash

For Small Business, There is Still an Upside to This Crisis

Fox Business spoke with Columbia B-School Professor Amar Bhide on the outlook for entrepreneurs in this shaky environment.

Sales and Marketing

What is Your Human Asset Strategy
Here are four lessons from Barack Obama's campaign to grow the value of your customer database.

Focus on the Customer, Not the Competition, for Success
Managers who are more concerned with their competition than customers pose special problems in organizations because of the role they play in strategic decision-making. The problem comes when executives see themselves as successful because they have beaten a competitor instead of using the best practice to ensure customer loyalty.