1. Featured Articles

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    1. Innovative Ways to Make Small Business Saturday a Big Success

      Innovative Ways to Make Small Business Saturday a Big Success

      Many small businesses participating in Small Business Saturday are doing a lot more than just slapping a promotional sticker on their business’s front door and hoping for the best. Instead, they’re innovating to see just how much they can get out of the “shop local” idea.

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    2. How Small Businesses Can Use Facebook’s New Rooms App

      How Small Businesses Can Use Facebook’s New Rooms App

      Facebook launched a new iPhone app on Thursday called Rooms that will let users create small message boards devoted to specific topics—similar to perhaps Reddit or Yahoo Message Boards.

      The new app is not brandished with Facebook’s logo. On the contrary, the company is trying to keep Rooms very separate from its social-networking site and won’t even ask users to connect to their Facebook address book. Anyone can start a chat about something and invite people they think would be interested.

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    3. Streamline Your Small Business Communications With These 5 Apps

      Streamline Your Small Business Communications With These 5 Apps

      The technologies that connect us with our colleagues and clients often seem more determined to cripple communication than promote it. Managing these tools and the fire hose of information they bring into our work lives swallows time better spent on more important parts of our business. Here are five apps that will help streamline your communication channels so you can stay connected with less effort.

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      Mentions: Google
    4. Small business view: Ebola, energy and elections

      Small business view: Ebola, energy and elections

      Small business owners have their fair share of issues they need to stay on top of. These days they can add three more to the list. Gas prices are plunging. Fears about the Ebola virus are increasing. And the upcoming elections are raising questions about what the new Congress is likely to do. All of these issues affect small businesses and can have positive or negative ramifications depending on the situation.

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    5. Maternity Leave: Why Small Businesses Should Offer Benefits

      Maternity Leave: Why Small Businesses Should Offer Benefits

      American women (and men) often bemoan the sorry state of maternity benefits, and understandably so: The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries where female workers aren't guaranteed at least some time off to care for newborn children, while only 5 percent of U.S. companies offer fully paid maternity leave. Women employed by small businesses in the U.S. have it even worse.

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    6. Small business advice: How to prepare your company for an outbreak like Ebola

      Small business advice: How to prepare your company for an outbreak like Ebola

      The risk of Ebola and other infectious diseases impacting American workers is very, very low, unless that worker is employed in an occupation that is likely to come in contact with infectious diseases, such as a health care provider. 

      Many small employers may be worrying about their preparedness in the event an employee becomes ill with or exposed to an infectious disease. Concerns are running especially high now that we know individuals exposed to the virus in the United States traveled on commercial airline flights and a cruise ship, potentially jeopardizing the health of fellow travelers.

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      Mentions: New York
    7. Small business advice: How to help your customers answer their own questions

      Small business advice: How to help your customers answer their own questions

      Have you ever had one of those days when every customer call is seemingly about the same thing? Do you find yourself repeating the same answers over and over again? If your business is spending too much time fielding customer questions, you aren’t just losing efficiency — you’re losing business. More than half of online customers say they’re very likely to abandon an online purchase if they can’t find quick answers to their questions, according to a recent poll by eMarketer.

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      Mentions: Florida
    8. 10 startups where everyone wants to work

      10 startups where everyone wants to work

      Companies like Google and Apple might be employees' tech giants of choice. But what about the little guys? On Wednesday, LinkedIn released its list of the 10 Bay Area startups that are most in demand by local techies. To make the list, it analyzed millions of interactions between companies in the San Francisco area with less than 500 employees and the more than 337,000 area software engineers and IT professionals who were on LinkedIn between February and July of this year.

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    9. Be a single-issue voter for your small business

      Be a single-issue voter for your small business

      Americans are afforded a privilege which, while not rare on Earth, is certainly unavailable to billions of other Earthlings: We’re allowed to vote for those who represent us in government.

      The words “privilege” and “allowed” are used with a purpose: the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to vote, but does not require us to do so. If voting were a legal requirement, in the 2000 election 100 million Americans could have been arrested, as pundits lamented the “Vanishing Voter” phenomenon.

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