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Need to Know Friday: Small business focused legislation

Posted by Jason Keith  March 30, 2012 09:06 AM

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It was a very busy week in small business circles, as legislation surrounding the group continues to be debated, including tax cuts and healthcare. It seems that many small businesses, while being the focus of the legislation, are actually torn about the impact it will have on them directly. Another survey came out citing that small businesses rely heavily on referrals to drive business (no surprise there) but aren't leaning on social as much as you might think. Finally, a new trend is cropping up across the country, pop-up restaurants. Hopefully that will give you a little inspiration that while starting a business is hard, there's almost always "another way."

Small business owners and the healthcare debate: While the Supreme Court continues to hear arguments over the Affordable Care Act and its future as a piece of legislation, small businesses are at the epicenter of the debate. Many are examining what the legislation will mean for them and how they might need to act on it. Surveys have been done to gauge whether or not small businesses will continue to offer health insurance, and many are torn on whether or not the Affordable Care Act will help or hurt their business. Check back on Monday for a post on the healthcare debate and what steps you can take as a small business should you decide to offer your employees a plan.

Despite technology, referrals rule small business marketing: According to the AT&T 2012 Small Business Technology Survey, 79% of small businesses rely on word of mouth marketing, 63% have their own company website and less than 40% are using social media. As for "daily deals" sites, small businesses aren't yet sold, with less than 5% citing that they have used them as a marketing channel in the past year. Not surprisingly, 96% are using wireless technology to run their business.

Small business tax break in the works?: Lost in the shuffle of the healthcare debate has been a proposed tax cut on small businesses. Under the bill, companies with fewer than 500 workers in either 2010 or 2011 would be eligible to deduct 20 percent of their profits in 2012. The bill will now make its way to the House of Representatives for a full vote, in advance of the April 17 tax filing deadline.

First it was high end food carts, now it's pop up restaurants: The costs of opening up a restaurant location can be high, up to $500,000 for a modestly small space, so aspiring restauranteurs are finding other ways to serve the patrons they want. Oftentimes it's in hotel lobbies, or restaurants that are already closed for the day. Ultimately it's not a sustainable strategy for the owner in question, but it is a useful proving or "testing ground" to show that the demand for the food is there, helping to build a case for more investment and space. The Wise Sons Jewish Deli is a good and inspiring example of how this can work.

Are there any stories or topics you saw this week that you found interesting or inspiring? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About this blog

Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email jasonpkeith@gmail.com.

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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