Small Business BlogThe Bottom Line - Charles Cooper's insights about today's news

economy

Unemployment and Consumer Spend Highlight Stimulus Policy Failures

We keep hearing Washington tell us that the recession is coming to an end, citing signs of wonder but always with the caveat that the economy could still get worse, and a look at unemployment, retail sales and the opinions of corporate CFOs—who have to work with the economy every day—assures us that it will.

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taxes

The Law of Unintended Consequences: How Healthcare Reform Will Effect Small Business

President Obama’s healthcare reform initiative is filled with unintended consequences that will cripple American small business and change the way entrepreneurs do business.

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technology

Space to Grow: Small Business and Commercial Space Flight

NASA's search for a commercial vendor that can handle the engineering and operation of cargo rockets for the International Space Station is bringing small and mid-sized businesses into what was once the sole domain of NASA and the Air Force and stands as a tribute to the quality, innovation and low-cost that small business can deliver.

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taxes

A New Surtax on the “Wealthy” Will Harm Small Business

Congress has come up with a political answer to a medical problem, and it’s the same answer they have had for a long time now: Soak the successful, the job-creators, the drivers of the economy.

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economy

Is Small Business in Decline?

Sure, the economy is in the tank and in spite of some gleams in the darkness the true light at the end of the tunnels has yet to be seen. Even so, entrepreneurship in America is a growing concern, fueled of late by an influx of newly unemployed who have to do something to make a living. Still, there are those who insist on singing the dirge of American small business, albeit prematurely. It makes you wonder why.

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legal

The FedEx Scam: Yet Another Crooked Game

There is a new scam floating around the Internet, one that tricks you into paying for certificates that will prove to the government that you are not a terrorist or smuggler while promising a six-figure payoff. We have such an email here, and we are going to pick it apart.

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economy

Cap and Trade: Win or Lose, It Will Be Close

As of this writing, there has already been one trial vote on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, with the bill’s supporters coming out ahead by a nose. The real vote is coming up and with it will go the fate of small business in the US.

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taxes

Taxing Your Way to the Poorhouse

There is a lot of red ink in state budgets across the country, and lawmakers are doing their best to raise taxes in as quiet a fashion as possible. That explains the North Carolina decision to tax the clicks of affiliate websites of Amazon.com that reside in their state, a move that has led Amazon to pull the plug on its North Carolina affiliates.

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customerservice

Sometimes You Just Need to Apologize and Make it Right

Everyone makes mistakes; it comes with being human and if you are in the service business, a mistake can cause problems. The real measure of your business, however, is what you do once the damage is done.

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politics

Get Ready for the Pay Czar

If it seems that the government’s interest in executive pay seems to be broadening, it is. While the White House is talking pay caps for companies that have taken bailout money, there is a movement afoot to cap all executive pay. You have to wonder: Will that include union executives?

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economy

Stimulus Scams Continue

Repeat after me: The Federal Government will not directly give me free money as part of the Stimulus Plan. Now, say it again and a third time just to make sure. I want this idea firmly in everyone’s head because there are scammers out there—some pretty sophisticated ones, too—that will try to get you to believe otherwise.

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economy

Do We Really Need a Compensation Czar? Or Maybe a Different Kind of Czar?

In a wonderful example of having to play the King's tune when you take the King's shilling, the White House is expected to name Mr. Kenneth Feinberg as the "Special Master for Compensation." I could ask where in the Constitution President Obama gets the authority to do this, but we already know the answer to that one. The real question is this: Do we really need another czar, and for what?

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politics

GM Bankruptcy: The Small Business Crisis Begins

While all the attention is focused on the long-awaited bankruptcy of General Motors, very little attention is being paid to those who will be hit hardest, the small businesses that provide parts and services to the auto giant or depend upon it in some way – and there is no talk of bailing them out!

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customerservice

When Fluffy Flies First Class

Pets are great, aren’t they? They offer the companionship some crave, the unconditional love so rare in our human companions, and for a few they make for a great fashion accessory. We walk them, we feed them, we play with them and now, Southwest Airlines is allowing us to fly with them, right in the cabin. That is great, if it is your dog, but I think that Southwest is forgetting one thing—the other passengers!

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legal

A Scrushy Lesson for All Business Leaders

Why are you in business? Is it to work hard and profit by offering the public something they need at a reasonable price? Or, are you in it for something else, for the glorification of your ego or to line your pockets with no regard as to where that money comes from? If you are in the first group, keep up the good work! If you are in the second, let the tale of Richard Scrushy be a warning to you.

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