The Week in Small Business – 12.18.10

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

Small Retailers Squeezed by Holiday Inventory

Although the outlook for businesses continues to brighten, some smaller companies are getting pinched by their holiday inventory purchases. Some retailers are even resorting to credit cards to keep their shelves stocked during the frantic shopping season.

Your Business dba Santa Claus

I’d argue that Santa and his elves are running a global empire rather than a local business. Nonetheless, two season-themed columns look at some key concerns for entrepreneurs and business owners from the perspective of jolly old Saint Nick.

New Tools for Social Businesses

Here’s a prediction from way out on the tree limb: Social media adoption and usage will continue to grow in 2011. Social media news outlet Mashable recaps five new sites that you may want to consider checking out, plus news of Visa’s iPhone app, which sends customized, location-based deals to users from participating businesses.

Roth Rollover Deadline Coming Soon for Small Biz

The end of the year is always a good time to revisit your retirement planning. That’s especially true this year if you offer certain types of plans to employees: A provision of the Small Business Jobs Act allows employers to give workers the option of rolling over their 401(k) and 403(b) plans to Roth IRAs for the 2010 tax year — but you need to act by Dec. 31.

Tax Credit Spurs Home Improvement Binge

Speaking of government deadlines, homeowners have until the end of the year to book a $1,500 tax credit for upgrading to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. The expiring incentive offers an interesting look at how federal policy can impact business bottom lines: Installers and contractors are suddenly very busy — business is up by about one-third in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, according to the News & Observer — during a normally slow time of year.

How to Get Press Coverage

They say even bad press can be good publicity. Hopefully, your business generates positive stories: This quick Q&A offers advice on how to get the media interested.

Is WikiLeaks a Small Business?

WikiLeaks is a headline grabber, for sure — but a small business? That’s what HuffPo columnist Nelson Davis thinks, and he suggests the site may have even spawned a new business category: “Info-war.”

Author: “Focus on the Small Guy and Small Businesses”

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness, tells CNBC that big business and big government are the real barriers to economic growth, and that smaller companies are “the opposite of fragile… hairdressers don’t get bailouts, restaurant owners don’t get bailouts.” Watch the complete interview.

About Kevin Casey

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

Big business and big government are tied at the hip. If we had a nation of mostly small businesses, would we need such a big government?