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Get a Head Start on Taxes

Government & PoliticsSmall Business Incentives Face a Hard Road in CongressPresident Obama’s incentives for small business to create jobs appear to be foundering at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Those proposals — tax credits for hiring and investment and initiatives to spur lending to small firms — all face strong resistance, and not all of it comes from the Senate. Each chamber has embraced separate elements of the administration’s agenda, and, for the moment, none of those elements overlap.Government & PoliticsU.S. Salary-Increase Budgets Hit 25-Year LowChanges to salary structures... [Read Full Article]

Main Street Frustration: 'Everything is Going to Banks'

Government and PoliticsWhat Obama Said About Small BusinessA short but prominent section of President Obama’s State of the Union focused on helping small businesses to create jobs. Here’s a look at what he said and what it means. BusinessWeek.comGovernment and PoliticsGlobal Workforce Report on Emerging Markets: The Backshoring MythDespite media hype about the recession driving jobs back to the U.S., the business case for outsourcing to the emerging markets remains overwhelming. Workforce.comGovernment and Politics [Read Full Article]

Consumers Do Homework Before Buying This Holiday Season

Government, Politics, and the Economy Is It Too Early to Start Thinking About a Rebound? It may not feel like it yet in your town or in your industry, but there are indications that things are getting better. NYtimes.comManagement and OperationsHow to Not Go Out of BusinessStart by studying how your best customers interact with your brand and its competitors, then brainstorm ways to address any shortcomings. Management and Operations [Read Full Article]

Who Gets Credit?

There is a lot of talk about small business and the need it has for credit to survive the recession. We hear that small businesses are having trouble, yet we also get news of small businesses successfully finding the credit they need. Which is it? As part of a new report from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy called Small Business in Focus: Finance, we finally have some answers to the question of who gets credit. The study, “Who Needs Credit and Who Gets Credit? Evidence from the Surveys of Small Business Finances” (pages 94 – 133), by Rebel A. Cole of Krähenbühl Global Consulting, divides businesses into four distinct categories, each with its own characteristics: Non-borrowers . Those that do not need credit. Discouraged borrowers . Those that do not apply for credit believing that... [Read Full Article]

Small Biz Tip: Pre-Screening Employees: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Tips from June 25, 2009 The Small Business tips today will be discussing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers generally ask a credit reporting company for credit, employment history, motor vehicle records, criminal background, and references which must comply with the FCRA requirements. Under the FCRA, a credit reporting company will not provide an employee’s credit report to an employer without proper written consent. As an employer, if you decide to not hire or promote an employee based on their credit report, you must provide a copy of the report and let the employee know the right to challenge the report. FCRA also requires businesses to report accurate information regarding debts owed to a credit reporting company by a debtor to avoid costly fines. Daily Overview: The FCRA protects credit reports of employees.  For more information, go to the [Read Full Article]

Is the Economy Improving?

  Government, Politics and the Economy The Recession: Signs of Improvement, No Jobs Yet There are signs of improvement, sales are picking up, but according to a recent survey of small business owners, layoffs and poor credit are still a problem. Business Groups to Obama: Limit Union Boss Pay With President Obama intent on capping executive pay, business groups are now daring the President to impose pay caps on labor union bosses as well. Management and Operations [Read Full Article]

The IMF Sees a New Great Depression, Americans Go From Blandly Affluent to Authentic Chic

  Government and Economy IMF Sees Parallels Between Today and the Great Depression In spite the unprecedented steps already taken by central banks and governments across the globe, the International Monetary Fund is warning world leaders of "worrisome parallels" between the current global economic crisis and the Great Depression. Is Bland Affluence Giving Way to Authenticity Chic? Americans seem to be looking for simpler—and cheaper—ways to live. Columnist Peggy Noonan explores what may be a growing trend toward an easier way of life. Management and... [Read Full Article]

Small Business Goes to War Against the Banks

  Government and Economy After the Fed’s Money Flood, Will Democracy Need a Bailout? The bailouts may be the least popular government program in history, and if the Treasury needs more money to keep it going, who knows whether Congress would provide it? As a result, Treasury and the Fed have been running what Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, sees as a scam. Small Business Fights Back Against the Banks As banks pull back on lending and work to purge bad loans from their balance sheets, some small business borrowers are on the attack, filing lawsuits, putting out news release... [Read Full Article]

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