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Small Business Blog

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:: Happy New Year

To all the small business owners, wishing you a happy new year. With peace, prosperity and few taxes.

:: Small Business Concerns

The cost and availability of health insurance remains the No. 1 concern for small-business owners, according to the most recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. But the problem is not as big as it was a year ago. In November, 25 percent of entrepreneurs claimed health care costs were their biggest problem, down from 28 percent a year ago. Coming in at No. 2 is taxes, with 17 percent of small-business owners saying it's their top concern.

:: Small Business Matchmaking Goes Online

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the HP Small Business Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard, Thursday announced the schedule for their 2005 Business Matchmaking events. These events, which take place at specified dates throughout the year in cities around the U.S., match small companies with government agencies and private sector corporations, including Fortune 500 companies. The small businesses then have a chance to meet the buyers one-on-one or via phone to negotiate for potential contracts.

In 2005 the SBA in partnership with HP will launch the Business Matchmaking Online Network, in which small business owners will be able to participate in the matchmaking process virtually, without having to travel to one of the regular Business Matchmaking events. Initially to be launched as a pilot program in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, Kansas City, and Tampa, the program is slated to be rolled out nationwide in September 2005.

Complete Article on Small Business Match Making

:: $21 billion available in SBA loan programs

President Bush signed legislation Dec. 8 that makes more than $21 billion available in loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration's two main loan programs.
The bill also reauthorizes the agency's programs and provides a $580 million budget for fiscal year 2005.
Expect to see continued growth in the area of small businesses, as it appears the US feels the economy is in the hands of American small businesses.

:: Small Business Taxes

Remember now is the time to talk to your accountant. If you company was excessively profitable this year, give your accountant a call and find out what expenses can be made to offset profit.
Figure out a plan to save and reinvest revenues. There are a number of opportunities and tax advantages for small businesses but they must be implemented before the end of the year!

:: Submit Your Online Newsletter or Ezine

If you have an Ezine or newsletter be sure to submit it to the ezine directory at EzineDepot. EzineDepot is an ezine and newsletter directory search engine, editors and publishers submit their ezines or newsletters free of charge. If you wish to elevate your listing you may bid for position.

:: New Google Suggestion Tool in Beta

As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.

Try out Google Suggest

:: Google AdSense Changes for Webmasters

Google has just announced new features for Google Adsense, the most beneficial change is changes to the Channel tracking program. Google's new url channels mean that webmasters will be able to more effectively track what pages or ads are effective on a site.

URL Channels
Google introduced a whole new type of channel for accounts. URL channels allow webmasters to track the performance of individual pages, or groups of pages, without having to update your ad code. Simply click the 'Channel Management' link below the Settings' tab to get started.

By entering a full or partial URL, you'll immediately begin tracking the performance of your pages. You can enter a top-level domain name to track all of the pages on that domain, or you can enter a partial URL to track all of the pages below a certain directory. Entering a full URL will track the performance of that particular page.

For examples and instructions, please refer to the Channels section of AdSense Support

Additional Google Adsense enhancements
Google has expanded the program in other areas as well including enhanced image support. Login in to your AdSense account to review the new opportunities.

:: The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) reports that home-based businesses are on the rise in the United States.

As technology increases convenience, more and more self-employed have opened or moved their business into their own homes, giving them greater flexibility and control over their professional and personal lives. According to newly released U.S. Census data, 4.2 million Americans worked from home in 2000, a 23 percent increase from the number of home-based workers in 1990.

Increase of Home Based Small Businesses

:: RSS Benefits to Publishers and Readers

The big benefit to RSS is that individuals opt-in to content of interest, totally controlling the flow of information that they receive. If the quality of the content in the feed declines, users simply remove the feed from their RSS reader and they will not receive any additional updates from that source. The RSS reader acts as an aggregator, allowing users to view and scan multiple content streams in a timely fashion.
Complete Article - RSS Benefits

:: Internet Advertising Awards

For anyone how is interested, the 2005 Internet Advertising Awards are now accepting entries. The IAC Awards are the first and only industry-based advertising award competition dedicated exclusively to online advertising. For those who have participated in the past, there has been a number of changes to to the competition format including an increase in the number of industry categories and an upgraded trophy for the winners. Also there will be a best of show winner selected for each of the advertising medium categories (page-based ad, email-based ad, online newsletter, interactive application and microsite/landing page).

The deadline for entry is January 31, 2005 and complete information can be found on the award website at

:: Small-business Outlook Seen As Improving

The chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business painted an upbeat picture Thursday of the U.S. economy in the coming year and said the nation's small businesses will serve as an important stimulus for further growth.

"We're doing very well with this economy," said NFIB economist William Dunkelberg. "The outlook for general business conditions is positive," he said. Dunkelberg, who is a frequent guest on national cable financial news shows, said that many economic indicators are pointing to a strong economy next year.

complete article

:: National Small Business Week - Nominate Entrepeneurs

National Small Business Week honors America 's entrepreneurs -- the men and women who start and grow the small businesses that drive our nation's economy. As part of the celebration, the U.S. Small Business Administration and its partners recognize small business owners and advocates from across the country. The Nominations Guidelines for Celebrating Small Business Week provide the information you need to nominate individuals or businesses for special awards. Nomination Details

:: Number of U.S. small business rising

The number of U.S. small grew by 3.9 percent from 2001 to 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday, with the state of Nevada leading the way.

During the one year period, the latest for which the data is available, the number of businesses that have one or more owner but no paid employees and represent 70 percent of the U.S. total, went from 17 million to more than 17.6 million, the bureau said in its 2002 report on Non-employer Statistics.
Complete Article

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