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Small Business Brief for 11/17

Politics and Government

Major Challenges for Obama Health Reform Plan
With declining employment and a tough economy, Presid ent-elect Obama's health care reform plan is facing mounting challenges—more people to losing coverage; baby boomers signing-up for Medicare; rising prescription drug prices—even as PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the cost of Obama's plan to be around $75 billion in 2009 and rising as more people are covered.

Southern Senators From States With Foreign Carmakers Oppose GM, Ford Rescue
Senators from southern states with Asian and European car manufacturers oppose bailing out U.S. automakers, claiming that the industry can thrive without The Big Three.

Advocates: Small Business Stimulus Could Boost Jobs
Business groups are lobbying the incoming administration and Congress for economic-stimulus incentives, reminding both Democrats and Republicans just how important small business is in creating new jobs.

Hill Sources: Treasury Won't Use Full Bailout
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration has told top lawmakers it does not plan to use at least half of the $700 billion bailout fund that Congress approved this fall to aid the financial industry, congressional officials said Monday.

Auto-aid Plan Prospects Dim in Partisan Stalemate
WASHINGTON (AP) - Prospects dimmed Monday for enactment of a $25 billion bailout for the faltering auto industry before year's end, as congressional Democrats and the Bush administration seemed headed for a stalemate.

Economics and Labor Issues

As Spending Falls, U.S. Recession Will Extend Into 2009

According to a survey of business economists, the US recession will continue into next year, and economies around the world will follow suit.

Obama Vows to Revive Economy

President-elect Barack Obama stated that the U.S. government will do “whatever it takes” to revive the economy, meaning that we “shouldn't worry about the deficit next year or even the year after.”

Good Money After Bad as Slump Defeats Stimulus

President-elect Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could easily throw as much as half a trillion dollars at the economy to stimulate it, and yet get little or no growth to show for the money.

Small Businesses Need Help Now
Small business advocates say the government needs to act on President-elect Obama's small business rescue proposal either by making banks lend them money or by making direct loans. Since the proposal, lending has tightened, more jobs have been cut and more small businesses predict failure in the next six months.

Law and Regulation Enforcement

FMLA Final Rule Published

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a final rule to update the regulations under the 15-year-old Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)--a measure that will help workers and their employers better understand their rights and responsibilities, and speed the implementation of a new law that expands FMLA coverage for military family members.

Doing Business

Keep Your Employee Standards High
Paul Glover, president of the Glover Group, offers you a process for developing high standards for employees and enforcing them.

Surviving A Business Slowdown

Small businesses are often hit the hardest during economic downturns, and this one is no exception. When credit dries up, consumer and business spending does too. What can you do? How can you make it through the coming months? Here are some ideas.

Save Jobs by Cutting The Cost of Doing Business

This White Paper shows you how to upgrade what you’re already using in order to save money and get more done.

Balancing Productivity and Flexibility
Working through a holiday season affected by an economic crisis can be tough. Tension is high this time of year, more so when the economy is bad. Experts recommend that employers be careful not to act hostile, let employees know as quickly as possible if they are not going to get year-end bonuses and be flexible about letting workers have time off.

Sales and Marketing

Winning Marketing Tactics in an Uncertain Economy
Web site investments to make to optimize your search engine marketing initiatives. First in a series.