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Small Business Brief for 11/20

Politics and Government

Acting Asst Sec Ramanathan Testimony

Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets Karthik Ramanathan's testimony before the House Small Business Committee.


Government ‘Fixes’ Actually Slow Recovery
John Stossel writes for Real Clear Politics that all the efforts of the Bush Administration to ‘fix’ the economy are only making it worse, creating even more uncertainty, and that only the private market can right itself in the end.


Economics and Labor Issues

Kroszner: Impact of Federal Reserve Crisis Policies “Highly Uncertain”

Federal Reserve Governor Randall Kroszner said the central bank's interest-rate cuts and emergency loans should help reverse a credit decline for small businesses, but their ultimate impact is unclear.

Is it Too Late For Small Business?
According to a new survey from George S. May International, 60.2% of business owners believe the government will deliver credit relief, but it will be too late. Top priorities for Washington listed by respondents include credit relief, affordable health care and tax rebates or incentives.

From the SBA: The 2008 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories

The 2008 edition of The Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories present key small business data for the United States, each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and some U.S. territories. The profiles combine data from several government sources to show small businesses’ overall numbers, their impact on employment and job creation, the industries they represent, plus bank and lending information.

Oil Hits 3-year Lows; Gas Less Than $2 in Half of US
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Oil prices have hit levels not seen in more than three years and retail gasoline prices are below $2 in nearly half of the country. Oil prices Thursday fell as low as $49.75 a barrel, levels last seen on May 18, 2005, when oil was at $46.80 a barrel.

Going From Christmas to Crisis—What Happened to Our Economy?
The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger has tied Christmas to the economic meltdown. According to Henninger, a society that can no longer say ‘Merry Christmas doesn't have the moral courage to stave off its own economic collapse.

Deflation May be Back as a Threat to US Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke once helped to stamp out the risk of deflation, but the threat is returning as the financial crisis and a worsening economic slump lowers inflation.

Law and Regulation Enforcement

Nonemployer is Not The Same as Self-Employed
Policymakers tend to forget about nonemployer small businesses even though the Census indicates that there are 21 million of them. Usually, policymakers talk about the self-employed or sole proprietors, which isn't the same since both can have employees.

Doing Business

Wall Street Cuts Hitting Small Operators
Austerity and job-cutting by Wall Street firms are worsening while the impact hits self-employed musicians, landscapers, decorators and others across America who have lost clients.

Profit Margins Narrow in Online Discount Frenzy
Retail price wars are becoming fierce and small online sellers caught up in the discount frenzy are coping by increasing their minimum orders, switching to less expensive products and cutting their margins.

Small Business Sees Increase in China Trade
Despite a global downturn in trade, Chinese companies are expanding in areas where they can pick up expertise or specialties the country lacks.

Sales and Marketing

How Blogs Drive More Sales Than Social Media Sites
Blogs are no quick marketing fix, but they can be highly effective and cost-efficient in driving sales.

Establishing Trust in Your Local Business
Tips for your website that tells visitors you've got a legitimate business with a long life ahead of it.

Recession Marketing is on The Rise
Major brands like Kellogg, Kmart, and Visa are promoting the economic value they can deliver to consumers.