Today’s roundup starts off with news that the Occupy Wall Street movement is interfering with some small businesses and continues with stories about how Herman Cain’s tax plan isn’t good for SBOs and how Google plans to invest in startups.
The fight for the ’99 percent’ is looking a tad hypocritical as of late. As The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah E. Needleman reports, protestors in Boston recently took over a public park intended for a food truck festival. This wasn’t good news for truck owners—most of which operate on small budgets and look forward to festival profits. In a related piece by The New York Times, New York protesters were caught destroying bathrooms and robbing small businesses of toiletries. Maybe the movement needs to realign its priorities.
Herman Cain may be soaring to the top of GOP field, but it’s not because of his 9-9-9 tax plan. As Inc. magazine’s Eric Markowitz reports, small business owners are up in arms about the plan that would institute a 9 percent income tax, 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent business tax—primarily because it would add 9 percent on top of current state and local taxes. But take note: he is doing well in the polls, so you might want to start saving.
The economic downturn has proved mighty difficult for small business owners. As Reuters reports, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner validated that statement yesterday in front of the Senate Small Business Committee. Poor sales and lack of demand have hurt small businesses during the recession and Geithner hopes lawmakers will pass President Barack Obama’s jobs bill to help challenged small businesses.
In its continuing effort to achieve world domination, Google plans to dedicate serious resources to the next big startups. As Ben Parr of Mashable Business writes, yesterday Google Ventures, the VC arm of the company, announced plans to invest more than $200 million in more than 100 companies over the next year. The company will tap its analytics to find the most promising startups. Time to work on your Google rankings.
Fairytales are the best—especially when they come true. As Victoria Barret of Forbes writes, Drew Houston is living such a tale as founder of the wildly popular startup Dropbox. The company is so hot that in 2009 Steve Jobs basically begged Houston to join Apple. Houston declined, signed on a partner and now the company is turning revenues in the eight figures. In fact, the company just raised $250 million—a real win in today’s struggling VC market. Lesson learned: believe in your vision and you may just end up a billionaire.
My goodness. In the midst of startup mania, Steve Tobak is a bit of a grinch. As he writes for BNET, entrepreneurship is an attractive goal for many Gen Ys, but that doesn’t make it right. The generation is expected to jump right into startup land—thereby forgoing valuable learning time in the corporate world—and if all of them start their own companies, what will happen to the much needed manufacturing industry? Food for thought.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to review the domestic violence policies in your workplace. As Kim Wells and Ellen Yu write on Small Biz Daily, domestic violence results in eight million paid days off per year. As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to address suspicious situations by offering help and instituting domestic violence trainings for your employees.
It’s time to gear up your site to accommodate the increasingly large onslaught of Web-based holiday shoppers. As David Sasson and Amitai Sasson write on Retail Online Integration, small business owners are wise to start planning now, train employees, test internal systems and schedule online promotions throughout the season. This will take some time, but the payoff will be worth it.
Human nature and professionalism don’t always mix—especially when you are attracted to your business partner, or worse, your intern. As TerraCycle co-founder Tom Szaky writes for The New York Times, office romance is a tricky topic. Some companies strictly prohibit personal relationships between employees while others encourage it. What is your policy on the topic?