The Week in Small Business – 09.17.11

We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.

Facebook Bets Big on Small Businesses

Facebook will soon serve up $50 in free advertising to 200,000 small businesses — essentially a $10 million bet — as it ups the stakes with Google and other competitors. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, a former Google exec, tells USA Today: “I think every small business should be using Facebook. We’re not going to stop until all of them are using it to grow their business.” The upshot: While Google still dominates traditional internet search traffic, you do have options when it comes to online advertising. Expect Facebook, Google, Microsoft’s Bing-Yahoo platform, and other sites to sweeten their pitches as they duke it out for your dollars.

Obama Touts Jobs Bill to Small Business Owners

President Obama was in North Carolina this week to promote his proposed jobs plan, again stressing the importance of small businesses to economic growth. The Washington Post notes North Carolina’s increased importance in presidential elections, though businesspeople aren’t necessarily interested in the political angles — they’re just interested in getting back to business. Or as one local store owner told The Charlotte Observer: “It makes no difference for any of these business folks downtown here whether they are Democratic or Republican.”

Federal Government to Pay Small Vendors Faster

On a related note, small businesses with federal government contracts will soon get their bills paid faster. President Obama announced during his North Carolina visit that he was ordering federal agencies to pay small business contractors in as little as 15 days upon receipt of a legitimate invoice. That’s half the current 30-day window. The move is intended to help spur hiring among smaller companies.

Is E-Verify Bad for the Bottom Line?

A proposal that would require businesses to use E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment verification system, is working its way through Congress. Business Owner J. Kelly Conklin explains in an opinion piece on The Hill blog why such as a mandate would harm small businesses and the broader economy.

Luddites, Take Heed: 4 Technologies Your Business Needs

Harvard Business Review blogger Adam Richardson outlines the four technologies — microprocessors, sensors, wireless, and databases — that enable businesses like Zipcar and Netflix to innovate and succeed. The good news: The cost of all four has significantly decreased as they have become more readily accessible. Which of these are you using?

About Kevin Casey

Kevin Casey is a regular contributor here, at InformationWeek and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @kevinrcasey.
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