Mills to Head SBA, Agency Gets More Lender Oversight

Government and Economy

Karen G. Mills to Head SBA
Venture capitalist Karen Gordon Mills is President-elect Barack Obama's pick to head the Small Business Administration.

Kennedy Pushes Healthcare Reform
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 76, who is battling cancer, has focused his team on developing a comprehensive health care plan and getting it ready for President-elect Barack Obama soon after he takes office.

SBA Announces New Lender Oversight Regulations

The U.S. Small Business Administration issued an interim final rule for new lender oversight regulations in its guaranteed loan program. The regulations, which take effect on January 12th, give SBA greater enforcement authority and increase transparency on how risk is evaluated.

SBA Approves Disaster Loans To Midwest Floods And Gulf Coast Hurricane Survivors

In the aftermath of the devastating Midwest Floods and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than 20,100 disaster loans worth $1 billion to homeowners, renters and businesses in nine states.

Management and Financial Issues

Niche Market Strategies
Henry Dubroff, founder of the Pacific Coast Business Times , is offering a business-starting guide for people who have left corporate jobs in the form of a book he co-wrote, Battling Big Box: How Nimble Niche Companies Can Outmaneuver Giant Competitors , which is due out in January.

Creative Solutions for Building a Business
Bonnie Marcus, owner of The Bonnie Marcus Collection in northern Florida, offers three tips for using innovation and creativity to build small businesses in a downturn: Be flexible with hours for work and home, get help with the books and become part of a network.

Technology Issues

Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords (2008)

For the third year running, The Global Language Monitor has found the most confusing, yet frequently cited, high tech buzzwords of 2008. The list includes terms like cloud computing, green washing, and buzzword compliant while the most confusing acronym for 2008 was SaaS .

Cloud Computing Gathers on the Corporate Horizon
To meet the computing needs of 16,300 employees and contractors at Genentech Inc., Todd Pierce decided not to rely entirely on business software from Microsoft, IBM or other long-established suppliers. Instead, he decided to rent these indispensable products from Google Inc.

Benefits and Labor Issues

Thoughtful Ways to Boost Morale
Some small business owners say that they can improve company morale by providing opportunities for employees to share, communicate and volunteer with one another. Others prefer to offer personalized gifts, one-on-one time with the boss and other incentives.

Budget Office Sees Hurdles in Financing Health Plans The Congressional Budget Office said many plans championed by President-elect Barack Obama would generate only modest savings.

Sales and Marketing

Social Media: Your Customer Is More Important Than Ever
And measuring social media is vital.

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Should you be creating messaging around what's happening in consumers' minds and in their respective inboxes?