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This Week in Small Business News

While international behemoths like Google and Nike tend to dominate the business news, small businesses employ a majority of working Americans. And while the little cupcake shop downtown or the suburban construction firm up the road don’t get the sort of press the big guys do, their successes are just as important as the next iPad or F150.

In that spirit, we’re bringing you a collection of news for small businesses. Though some are about the businesses themselves, others are about issues small business owners have told us are most important to them.

Here is what caught our eye this week:

The Internet Makes Magic Disappear

While most of us know how the web fundamentally changed the landscape for journalists, record companies, and book publishers, you probably haven’t thought much about what the internet has done to professional magicians. Sure, YouTube and online magic sellers have made the art more accessible. But have they made it worse? Can it ever recover? And where will the next Houdini come from?

 


No Payroll Tax Battle After All

In news that’s likely a little more applicable to you and your business, this week, Congress passed the payroll tax cut without much of a fight. Employees will keep an extra $1000 a year on average, giving them fatter paychecks and a little extra spending money for gifts, vacations, and a night on the town.


Beyonce & Jay-Z Aim to Trademark Daughter’s Name

Being a celebrity is a business unto itself. And, apparently, being a month old baby is too. Jay-Z and Beyonce have taken steps to protect the name “Blue Ivy Carter” from being used in the market and their patent is currently pending at the USPTO. Laugh all you want, but at least two other parties have applied for a similar trademark and, thankfully, both applications were denied. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you haven’t taken the proper steps to protect your intellectual property, it’s never a bad time to do so. You might not have to trademark your newborn’s name, but even securing a Twitter handle or a URL can help keep your business yours.


Funny Money? 11 Local Currencies

When able-bodied workers are unemployed and money is hard to come by, what’s a depressed community to do? Lower taxes to entice businesses into relocating? Increase government jobs? These eleven communities did what great small businesses do: they got creative. By creating their own currencies, they kept money local and increased consumer spending. And as a bonus, they got to make up really cool names like “Bay Bucks” and “Ithica Hours.”

 


Seven Secrets of San Diego Comic-Con’s Success

In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up in San Diego and, yes, once frequented the annual celebration of all things comic book. And while back in the ‘90s it was still a destination for the industry, the Comic-Con has now ballooned into an international Event with a capital E. Over a hundred thousand people attended last year and pumped $193 million in San Diego’s economy. The convention organizers spelled out how they started, how they grew, and other secrets to their success. While this piece is of particular interest to event organizers, it’s got some great lessons for small business owners of all stripes.

 


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