According to an annual survey by thumbtack.com , the best states and cities for small business in the US are Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas. Additionally. four of the top ten residential areas for small business incubation were located in Texas, which due to a mild climate, low overhead and large population is very hospitable to entrepreneurs. Another factor that allows businesses to grow is the sense of community and preference for local brands exhibited by the local population. Surprisingly, the majority of businesses surveyed stated that taxes in their areas were not unfair, and said that the biggest factor in determining business friendliness was in fact the local licensing requirements. The easier it is to apply for licensing, be if for liquor, food services, hotels or other types of businesses, the easier it is for businesses to devote time to growth and avoid getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Another key attribute to business development is the ability for business owners to obtain small business

How to Go Green With Your Small Business

Wednesday, 14, August , 2013 by

As a small business owner, there are many concerns that you deal with on a day to day basis. Often times, independent business owners feel that they simply don’t have the time or the know-how to make their business more environmentally friendly. The top causes of small businesses not working to increase their environmental sustainability are concern that it will stop them from being profitable, apathy and costs. What many business owners do not realize is that there are many different tax breaks that energy efficient businesses can qualify for, offsetting some of the cost of updating your business. Another way to cut back on the energy consumption of your business is to try and reduce paper waste as much as possible. a good way to do this is to begin relying on cloud technology and a scanner to make as many of your documents digital as possible. This is especially handy for sharing applications, invoices, or other forms that many of your employees will be using.

Many small business owners report having difficulty financing their businesses. Whether because of a lack of collateral, bad credit, or anything in between, there are many roadblocks that can stand in the way of business owners and their dreams of improvement. However, there are a few things that business owners should know that can help them get over the first mental hurdles they will face when it comes time to start looking for financing. Small business funding is more scarce now than it used to be, but it has not simply gone away. the American entrepreneurial spirit will always find a way to fill the gaps left in the economic climate, and small business owners in particular are a hardy bunch. When it seems as if business funding from loans and grants is a pipe dream, and that every lender and credit union you visit is eager to turn you away, take a deep breath and consider these three key points. 1) First of all, there is

It’s generally accepted that the restaurant industry is tough, and as an owner, any extra complications that keep your from being effective are not only unwanted; they can have catastrophic effects if they take you away from managing your business. One of the main problems facing American restaurant owners has been the tightening of the purse strings by banks when it comes to restaurant loans in the past few years. The economic downturn and slow recovery means that banks are less and less likely to provide what they consider to be “high risk loans”. The restaurant industry is one of the industries that falls into this bracket, and unfortunately that means that it is much harder for business owners in food services to gain access to liquid capital to fund expansion. If this designation is compounded by bad credit or no collateral, then the quest to find funding  can become well nigh impossible. Here are some tips for the owners of restaurants that will hopefully

Small business in the food production or retail industries may not realize the large role played by the materials and colors used in the presentation of their products. According to a report last month by Mintel, the way that your food products are packaged can heavily affect the way that your customers feel about purchasing your goods. Loan yourself an advantage by considering a few key details that can differentiate your products from your competitors and build brand loyalty. Consumers enjoy packaging they can reuse. The advantage of putting your product in a glass jar, for example, is that it loans a second use to whoever buys it as they can put other things into it. According to the Mintel report, glass jars also made consumers think the products were more high quality and fresher, whereas metal and cardboard containers were associated with recyclables and being traditional. Clear health information is a selling point. Many consumers are wary of what they perceive to be unclear or overly confusing

  Laws mandating that employers loan an hour of paid sick leave to employees based on numbers of hours worked have raised the hackles of many small business owners and lawmakers alike, yet in areas where the laws have already been implemented, the large majority of business owners have found little cause to complain. According to the New York Times, in San Francisco, up to two thirds of business owners already loaned paid sick leave before it was put into law in 2007. Now, six years later, even business owners who were vocally against the measures admit that for the most part there fears were unfounded. Still, some businesses have reported an increase in costs, particularly those that must pay part time workers to cover for those who are out sick. This effectively doubles the cost of labor in the event of a sick worker not being able to come in. Many business owners feel that despite the cost, having sick leave for employees is

Loaning a look at the business of BBQ

Thursday, 23, May , 2013 by

For some people warm weather means one thing: barbecue. The Wall Street Journal weighed in on the culinary favorite last weekend calling for a shake-up. In “The New Barbecue” Josh Ozersky wrote, “Don’t get me wrong—barbecue is our great American food, a high art attained through years of patient training by men as single-minded as samurai. But it has also become stagnant and so dogmatic that many pit masters haven’t changed their recipes or routines in decades. “ Debate surround BBQ is not new. The National Barbecue News calls itself the “world’s number one publication dedicated to the sport of barbecue.” In 2004 discussion forum on starting your own BBQ business a professional notes the difficulties, “What is the first things to do? Who do you go to for help on the legal aspects? Are there any restrictions to what you can cook, or license needed? There are more questions about getting started than there are types of foods you can cook. IMHO, if you

  “The question is always:” says Pittsburgh based chef Trevett Hooper in a New York Times story out this morning, “How can we use something we have, that was grown by someone we know, in a different and delicious way?” The article looks at how chefs in Pittsburgh and other “Rust Belt” cities are reviving their local food scenes by using the natural resources that surround them. What the article describes sounds like more of an outdoorsy, good food filled way of like than the competitive dining scene in many larger cities. The article explains, “Until recently, the American food revolution seemed to bypass this region, leaping from Chicago to Philadelphia without making stops in places like Toledo, Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh. These cities of the Rust Belt, which edges around the Great Lakes from Buffalo to Detroit, are linked in many ways: by a shared history of industry, by a network of defunct canals and decaying railroads, and by thousands of acres of farmland.

Macy's loans space to fine dining

Friday, 01, March , 2013 by

  In November 2011 Macy’s announced plans to undergo a $400 million upgrade to it’s flagship in Manhattan’s Herald Square. Back then The Daily Finance reported, “The makeover plan includes initiatives that could shake up the department store format, including a new focus on more upscale food with 22 eateries, and an emphasis on technology that reflects Macy’s courtship of Generation Y.” Although the store attracts 50,000 shoppers a day (20 million annually) it is far from hip and many New Yorkers avoid it like plague. A year and a half into the four year project, it seems the largest store in the world is try to change that — with food. The New York Times reports that “Stella 34 Trattoria” will open next week. Macy’s has long offered food. At some points in the store’s 111 year history it was even good food. But The Times explains, the the Trattoria, “is also the store’s bid to join a small club of department stores (including

  On Saturday I received an email from OpenTable with the subject line, “Top 10 Most Booked Restaurants.” Curious I clicked inside to learn that Smith & Wollensky in Midtown East was the most booked restaurant in New York this month. Also on the list were hot spots Tao, Buddakan and Max Brenner, the chocolate lovers paradise in Union Square. The email, with it’s many links, skillfully entices readers to OpenTable.com. Once lured to the site’s lists section it is easy to lose track of time exploring the many ratings and special features. Some fun facts from the site include: Three of the Diner’s Choice 10 Best Overall restaurants for the tri-state area are in Manhattan. These are Eleven Madison Park, Per Se and Le Bernardin. Other choices include Friends Lake Inn in the Adirondacks and Russels Seaks, Chops and More in Buffalo. The site allows diners to filter lists by location — for New York this includes boroughs, Long Island and various parts of

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