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Small Business Brief for 10/31

Politics and Economics

SBE Revises its Presidential Candidates' Issue Grid

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council has updated its Presidential Candidates' Issue Grid to offer a clearer picture of where Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain stand on issues important to small business. SBE Council

Raising Taxes is Not Smart Economics: The Economy Needs as Much Capital as It Can Get

The last thing our economy needs right now is for the government to be taking more capital from the private sector and out of our economy. Really, raising taxes is not a smart move – on anyone, or any business. There is no justification for siphoning more money out of our troubled, capital-deprived economy – period! Fox Business

Economist: Labor Market is in Decline Labor Department figures show that the number of U.S. workers seeking unemployment last week was unchanged, and that is an indicator that the labor market is in decline, according to economist Ian Shepherdson. "There can be no question that the labor market is deteriorating; the only issue is the speed of the decline and the eventual peak in unemployment."

Law and Regulation Enforcement

The ADA is No Excuse for Either Sabotage or Laziness According to employment law expert Lily Garcia, the Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to make only "reasonable" accommodations for workers with disabilities. However, the employer must address performance issues such as laziness and sabotage through constructive feedback and documentation. The Washington Post

Doing Business

Big Customers that Pay Late Cause Big Headaches for Small Firms Sometimes the problem isn't the politicians, it's your customers! Otherwise healthy small companies are getting hurt by customers -- especially the big ones -- who fail to pay their bills on time. In this credit-poor business environment, that can add up to real trouble for small businesses trying to make it through. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Minimizing Annoying Work Interruptions

Work has always been a terrible place to get anything done. Interruptions in the office are a fact of life, but there are ways you can minimize their impact while you address the needs of the various people seeking your attention. Manage Smarter

World Markets Drop 20% while IBM Profits Rise 20%: What's the Secret?

We are in the midst of an economic crisis, there are some companies that will use these troubled times to gain market share and increase profitability despite adjustments in overall revenue. What is there to learn from those companies?