Today’s roundup includes Starbucks’ plan to save small businesses, a website that links the House to SBOs and news that most small businesses don’t strive to be the next big thing.
Got extra change? Take it to Starbucks. Starting Nov. 1, the coffee giant, in partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network, will be collecting donations at 6,800 of its U.S. locations to help fund small-business loans as part of its new “Create Jobs for USA” fund. With every $5 donation, you’ll get a free bracelet inscribed with the word ‘Indivisible.’
I’m willing to bet that you hold strong opinions about government regulations affecting your small business, but feel frustrated trying to find someone (other than your relatives) to listen to your concerns. Now there’s a solution. David Mielach of BusinessNewsDailywrites that the House Small Business Committee recently launched ‘Small Biz Open Mic,’ a website that welcomes opinions, suggestions and comments from small-business owners. You never know, your beefs may end up at the next government hearing.
Finally, some good news! Ann Saphir of Reuters reports that borrowing in August by small businesses jumped 19 percent from last year and 8.6 percent from July. This means hiring and consumer spending may increase in coming months. Cha-Ching!
Last week the Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey citing that employer health benefits rose sharply from 2010 to 2011. As depressing as this sounds, it isn’t bad for SBOs. As Robb Mandelbaum of The New York Times reports, firms with less than 200 employees experienced an average premium rise of about 6 percent (for family and single coverage plans) in comparison to a national average 9 percent family plan increase and 8 percent single coverage increase. The burden is less on small businesses for reasons including higher beginning deductibles and consistent employer/employee share of premiums over the last 10 years.
The common perception that all small businesses want to become the next Google or Microsoft is simply not true. Jason Keith blogs for The Boston Globe about a University of Chicago study that reveals small businesses (up to 19 employees) are not looking to innovate (most are plumbers, hair salons, landscapers) and are happy staying small. Do you agree?
Twitter is not only a great place to browse for news and trends; it can also serve as a business generator for you. Farnoosh Brock writes on Basic Blog Tips about eight ways to turn your ‘follows’ into sales including writing guest blog posts and scheduling in-person meet-ups.
*Note: This week (Oct. 3-9) is National Customer Service Week.
Check out these great OPEN Forum articles on the topic: