The Week in Small Business – 11.20.2010

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

Government Considering Expanded ADA Rules

A story that has yet to make major headlines, but with potentially significant impact on businesses: The federal government has begun considering new rules for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the Associated Press reports could result in wider requirements for websites and other technologies, with compliance costs possibly reaching hundreds of millions of dollars. New rules could be in place as soon as 2012.

How Your Business Might Resemble a Bank

If you count large companies among your customers, your business might be functioning as a de facto bank — except that you’re not being paid interest on your money. That’s according to this columnist, who says that some big corporations are pressuring smaller vendors with extended payment terms and late checks, often for a simple reason: They can, and so they do because it gives them another tool to manage cash flow.

Local Is the New Global

A bank that does earn a few dollars of interest on its money, Citigroup, plans to hire 200 additional people by year-end charged with targeting small businesses, a market the global financial giant defines as companies with annual sales of less than $20 million. Citigroup is the nation’s third-largest commercial bank, though just under half of its assets are held outside the U.S.

Do You Let Your Employees Use Facebook at Work?

Half of you prohibit staff from using social networks on company computers, according to a new survey by online security firm Webroot. The study, which polled 1,000 businesses with fewer than 500 employees, found that four in ten respondents forbid Facebook at work, while three in ten say no to Twitter, and 27% ban video sites like YouTube. Also of note: 42% of businesses surveyed said they added a company Internet policy after an employee’s inappropriate use of a social site, and more than one-third monitor online activity with some form of security software.

Royal Wedding Could Provide Princely Sums for Small Businesses

As the engagement of England’s Prince William sends royal watchers worldwide atwitter, the wedding’s economic engine is already in gear, and this piece offers thoughts on how small businesses can position themselves to earn a slice of what is certain to be a multi-million-dollar wedding pie. Er, cake.

Are You Participating in Small Business Saturday?

T-minus one week to the inaugural Small Business Saturday. If your business is joining the fun, I’d like to hear from you. Email me, or chime in with a comment below.

About Kevin Casey

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