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Small Business Brief for 12/02

Government and Economy

SBA Applauds Treasury Action to Bolster Secondary Market for Small Business Loans

A plan by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to improve market conditions for asset-backed securities – including those composed of SBA-backed small business loans – should be welcome news to credit-hungry small businesses across the country, said U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Sandy K. Baruah.


Holiday Sales Season: One of the Weakest in Years
Increased retail shopping over Thanksgiving will not be enough to keep this from going on record as one of the weakest sales seasons in recent years.


Small Firms Win $35 Million in NASA Contracts
NASA has awarded contracts covering technology to measure and control noise in subsonic and supersonic vehicles, development of high-performance thermal protection materials and innovation of reusable flight software, with a combined value of about $35 million, to 382 small businesses.


Benefit and Labor Issues

Specialty Drugs Raise Employer Healthcare Costs
Their costs are growing at nearly twice the rate of other drugs. In 2007, the cost of specialty drugs grew by 12.3 percent, compared with 6.7 percent for drugs overall, a pharmacy benefit manager says.

Law and Regulation Enforcement

Know Your ADA Changes

The ADA Amendments Act makes important changes to the definition of the term "disability." Find out what those changes are and how they affect you as an employer.

New Sick Leave Law in Milwaukee
Several Milwaukee attorneys talked to BizTimes about the city's new sick-leave law, which requires small businesses, with fewer than 10 people on the payroll, to give workers five paid sick days each year.

Doing Business

A Culture of Recognition and Reward
What do the “best places to work” have in common? According to Hal Adler, president of the Great Place to Work Institute, a San Francisco-based management research and consulting firm, "They start thinking about how to fully welcome and engage a person from the first day, and they don't let them go. It starts the first day and it doesn't end."

Patriot Loan Helps Fighter Pilot-Turned-Restaurateur Launch His Dream
The US Small Business Administration's Patriot Express loan program helped retired Air Force fighter pilot Dave Brackett start a restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Sales and Marketing

Beating a Sales Slump

The feeling you get when you know your sales are diving can be overwhelming, but it is possible to dig yourself out of a sales slump and turn things around. Here are tips on how to do it.


Different Types of Contextual Advertising
Distinguishing between the many types of contextual advertising isn't as difficult as it might seem.


Put Yourself Into Your Story
One new company can help you create a life-like, 3-D avatar that can then be added into photos, videos, and more.