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Small Business Brief for 11/21

Politics and Government

Bush Promotes Action Plan For Global Crisis

President George W. Bush, fighting to get ahead of the growing global financial crisis, hopes to win more converts for an action plan designed to demonstrate that governments have the will and the means to halt the turmoil.

Unions Sure Card Check Bill Will Pass

The government-affairs director of the AFL-CIO said he is certain that organized labor's top priority—a law that would make it much easier for unions to organize businesses both large and small—will pass Congress and be signed by President Barack Obama.


Economics and Labor Issues

Old Line Lends to Those It Knows

As the economy worsens, one Maryland bank has not only stayed out of trouble but has developed a lending record that rivals can only dream about.

Massachusetts Banks Increase Lending
Small-business owners in Massachusetts report not having problems getting loans from small and regional banks. According to bank analyst Suzanne Moot, the total value of loans made by 12 of the state's 18 publicly traded banks reporting third-quarter earnings was up 5.9% or more this year.

Retailers Still Waiting for Credit Rescue
Retailers say they have not seen any improvements in credit availability since Congress passed its $700 billion economic rescue in October and a slowdown in consumer spending is making the matter worse.

Law and Regulation Enforcement

Obama May Rewrite Contractor Definition
Democrats in the new administration may rewrite the law that defines the difference between employees and independent contractors, a measure President-elect Barack Obama tried to get passed last fall. Small-business advocates say self-employed workers may be hurt by the measure.

Doing Business

This May Be The Time to Start That Business
A recession can be a good time to start a business that is focused on providing low-cost services and products such as office supplies or technical services but avoid middle-ground products. Consumers are either looking for savings or treating themselves to luxury items.

Traditional Business Loan Alternatives

Having trouble getting a business loan? Whether your business needs capital to grow, meet payroll, or to just simply survive, there are numerous alternatives for your company when banks say "no." Here are nine alternative sources of capital that you may not have considered.

In a Downturn, Watch Your Credit and Cash Flow
As the economy gets worse, business owners should take a hard look at exactly how their companies work, particularly how they receive payments and pay bills.

Sales and Marketing

Paid Searches Can Pay Off for Small Business

Since the whole point of advertising is to get the most bang for your buck, you need to explore every avenue. Have a look at what paid searches has to offer.

Using Search Engines to Attract Buyers
To get the attention of the millions of people surfing the Web, a small-business operator needs to learn how to make search engines point out their sites, such as developing a basic understanding of keyword use and how search engine algorithms work.

Are You Optimizing the Way Homer Simpson Diets? Optimizing your site or campaign and keeping off the donuts both take work. A lack of commitment can keep you from getting the results you want.

Boost Your Holiday Sales

The Holidays are upon us again and so is the challenge of ensuring that your e-commerce store receives its share of the Christmas shopping extravaganza pie? Here are seven tips that can help.

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