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Archives: December 2009

Big Ideas for 2010

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 31

What big ideas will change small business and entrepreneurship in 2010? I'll start with two that are on my radar. New ways to finance social ventures. Right now profit-making enterprises...

Wednesday Links: Crossing State Lines

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 30

Tips on doing business in multiple states, via Becky McCray of Small Business Survival. Ian Mount at The New York Times looks at seven businesses that failed this year, and...

Negative Trends: Why Lending May Not Pick Up In 2010

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 30

Small business owners expecting an easier time getting a loan or credit line in 2010 should watch out for two words: Negative trends. Bankers look at a business's past two...

The Top 10 Small Business Stories for 2009

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 29

The ongoing effects of the recession meant another mostly blah year for small businesses, with entrepreneurs reporting slumping sales and restricted access to capital among their biggest roadblocks. While we...

Tuesday Links: Bracing for 2010

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 29

California small business owners are bracing for another hard year, Cyndia Zwahlen writes in the LA Times. Struggling farmers are increasingly relying on SBA loans, Rick Barrett writes in the...

Monday Links: Farming Detroit

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 28

Holiday retail sales jumped 3.6% over last year (as measured by MasterCard Advisors' Spending Pulse), Bloomberg's Linda Sandler reports. One Michigan entrepreneur eyes farming Detroit's empty lots, P.J. Huffstutter reports...

Retail's New Reality: Affordable Luxury

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 24

One more dispatch from the retail world before Christmas. Mathias Eichler, owner of the small home and kitchen retailer Einmaleins in Olympia, Wash., reports that he's seeing more buyers, but...

Wednesday Links: Health Care Details, Lending Solutions

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 23

The NY Times's Robb Mandelbaum dives into the details of what the Senate health reform bill means for small businesses. Small business bankruptcies rose 81% in California and 44% nationwide...

Another Small Retailer Beats Expectations

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 23

Another one of the retailers we've been tracking through the holiday season exceeded expectations. David Sasson of Overstock Art, an online retailer of replica oil paintings based in Wichita, Kan.,...

Tuesday Links: What About Community Lenders?

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 22

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism asks why the Obama administration hasn't followed through on assisting Community Development Financial Institutions and credit unions, which could spur small business lending, especially in...

Monday Links: Insurers Respond to Congress

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 21

Health insurers deny that they've raised premiums on small businesses in anticipation of reform. The NY Times's Reed Abelson posts Congress's questions and the industry's response at the paper's Prescriptions...

Year-End Sales May Not Signal Recovery

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 21

Strong holiday sales are buoying some small businesses and blunting losses from a mostly dismal year, but the increase may not sustain them into 2010. Case in point: Aunt Sally's...

Temp Workers Driven Into Entrepreneurship

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 21

Companies are replacing full-time jobs with temp positions, and that drives some unemployed and temporary workers to start small businesses to create income. Increases in temp hiring used to signal...

Friday Links

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 18

Steve King explains 10 trends in home-based businesses for 2010 at Small Business Trends. Pros and cons of business plan competitions, by Lora Kolodny at the NYT's Your the Boss....

Thursday Links: Christmas Trees; Taxes; The End of SEO

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 17

Lots of hat-tipping today... A California entrepreneur has found a niche business delivering live Christmas trees for rent and retrieving them at the end of the season, Jennifer Steinhauer reports...

A Second Look for Small Business Loan Applicants

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 16

One of the notions to come out of President Obama's meeting with bank execs Monday was that lenders would take a "second look" at rejected loan applications. From the AP:...

Tuesday Links: Get Fit

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 15

Springwise features a new fitness gadget positioned as a way for employers to improve their workers' health. States have been missing their goals for allocating stimulus contracts to women- and...

Monday Links: Obama and the Bankers

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 14

Obama presses top bank execs to expand small business lending, the FT's Anna Fifield reports. Bank of America pledges to boost small business lending by $5 billion in 2010, Reuters...

Making Borrowers Healthier, As Well As Banks

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 11

One reason the credit crisis persists for small businesses is that even as banks have tightened their lending standards, fewer small businesses are considered creditworthy. Many have seen sales drop,...

Weekend Links: TARP, Taxes...Madams?

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 11

Yearend tax advice from Bill Bischoff in the WSJ. Slightly different tax advice: Even illegal business activity is subject to taxes. Kelly Phillips Erb (aka Taxgirl) explains. WaPo's David Cho...

Thursday Links: Born With It

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 10

Is entrepreneurship literally in the DNA? CNNMoney's Ian Mount reports on research, including Scott Shane's study on genetics and entrepreneurship. How to deal with slow payments from big clients, by...

Comparing Expectations: Big Business vs. Small Business

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 10

We've been chronicling the disconnect between small businesses still mired in the recession and big public companies beginning to recover. Hoping to explain this a bit more, I took a...

Wednesday Links: Hobbypreneurs

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 09

Steve King of Small Business Labs just published a new Intuit Future of Small Business report on hobbypreneurs. The CS Monitor's Laurence Belsie examines Obama's small business proposals at the...

Tuesday Links: Startup Addictions

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 08

Working at a startup may be "slightly better than a coke habit" but can be similarly damaging for those who let it take over their lives, David Heinemeier Hansson writes...

Obama Pushes Small Business Aid for Job Recovery

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 08

The president pledged to extend loan aid and tax breaks to small businesses and to create a new tax credit for hiring new workers in a speech at the Brookings...

Monday Links: Season's Greetings

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 07

A good run-down of the basics of commercial lending from Becky McCray at Small Biz Survival. Do your investors send you a holiday card? Scott Austin looks at one firm's...

Weekend Links: Good Efficiency, Bad Efficiency

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 04

Plenty to read over the weekend if you're so inclined: Can you get your utility company to help you reduce your utility bill? Kelly Spors explains incentives for becoming more...

Note to Entrepreneurs and VCs: Trust, But Verify

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 04

This is a post by guest blogger Jeff Bussgang. A lot has been written in the last week about the scandal at Canopy Financial, a venture-backed, high-flying start-up that attracted...

Wednesday Links: Deliquencies Down, Pot Business Up

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 02

Many big banks "still don't have enough capital to adequately protect themselves against potential credit losses" by Standard & Poor's analysis, Aaron Elstein writes in Crain's New York. Delinquencies by...


What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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