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Useful Online Tools and Guides to Help Small Business Comply with Laws and Regulations

Thu, 2012-06-28 07:10

From starting and growing a business to managing operations day-to-day, one thing is certain in business – dealing with laws and regulations. 
Whether you are hiring your first employee, formalizing your business structure, or applying for a license, you’ll encounter a hairball of ever-changing federal, state and local rules and regulations.
To help business owners unravel the hairball and get answers, offers a variety of helpful tools and resources.
1. Comply With Universal Business Laws

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NIST Goes the Distance for the Olympics

Wed, 2012-06-27 10:30

In yet another Olympian feat of measurement, researchers at Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently calibrated a tape that will be used to measure out the distance of this summer's Olympic marathon—a distance of 26 miles 385 yards—to 1 part in 1,000.Measurement is a vital aspect of the Olympic Games. Officials measure the height of jumps, the speed of races, and the mass of weights to determine who wins a medal and who goes home. The marathon is no different.

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Email, Phone and Social Media Monitoring in the Workplace – Know Your Rights as an Employer

Wed, 2012-06-27 07:09

Do you know how much privacy your employees are entitled to? For example, if you feel employees are abusing their work privileges, is it legal to intercept emails or phone conversations to find out what they’re up to and confirm your suspicions? Can you ask potential job candidates for their Facebook profile log-on information?
Here are some general guidelines that can help.
Screening Job Candidate’s Social Media Profiles

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Disaster Recovery Funding Available Now for Counties with FY 11 Disaster Declarations

Mon, 2012-06-25 16:15

Guest blog by Matt Erskine, Acting
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic DevelopmentApplications are now
being accepted for investments in regions experiencing
severe economic distress as a result of natural disasters that were declared as
major federal disasters between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011. The U.S. Department
of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) received an
appropriation of $200 million from Congress to address economic recovery challenges
in regions impacted by a major disaster.

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Minority Businesses Export to Support Jobs in Long Island

Mon, 2012-06-25 15:00

Cross-posted from ITA Tradeology blog by Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Washington can be a sweltering place in the summer. And this year is no exception. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to escape the heat of Washington today for Long Island, New York. There, I joined forces with my friend and colleague Congressman Tim Bishop to help highlight the benefits of exports and the impact they have in strengthening the economy.We’ve always known exports to be among best ways to boost domestic economic output.

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Meet George Carlisle, Serving and Assisting Small Businesses in Washington, DC

Mon, 2012-06-25 14:25

When a friend or family member asks what you do to help small businesses, what do you say?

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Why and How to Beef Up Your Business Credit Score

Mon, 2012-06-25 07:43

Do you know your business credit score? Feel unnerved about relying on your personal credit score for business transactions? As a business owner, taking steps to separate your personal and business finances is a smart strategy. Obviously, this means implementing a strategy to build good credit in your company’s name.
What is Business Credit?

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EDA: Economic Recovery in Fremont, California's Auto Community

Fri, 2012-06-22 11:37

Ed. note: Cross-posted from U.S. Department of Labor's "Auto Communities" blog by Matt Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development (EDA) We all know the situation a few years ago when President Obama took office: the American auto industry was shedding jobs by the hundreds of thousands and General Motors and Chrysler were in financial crisis. In the year before GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, the auto industry lost more than 400,000 jobs.

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3 Principles That Turn Planning Into Management

Thu, 2012-06-21 12:04

I’ve been reminded twice in the last week about how important planning is to business, and how too many people misunderstand what a plan is supposed to do. My reminders came from two different people doing startups. Neither of them needs a business plan to show to investors. Both need business plans to figure out what steps to take and when, and how much money they need.
This reminds me of these important principles of business planning that everybody should keep in mind.

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5 Lessons Small Business Owners Can Learn from TV Makeover and Mentoring Shows

Thu, 2012-06-21 07:46

Are you a fan of TV business “makeover” or mentoring shows? Programs like Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Tabatha Takes Over, Shark Tank, or The Apprentice make for compelling viewing. Designed as pure entertainment, these shows often smack of voyeurism, like you’re watching a train wreck about to happen. But they can also offer invaluable insights to business owners – opening our eyes to some universal truths about entrepreneurship and business ownership.

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