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`Small Business Saturday’ concept takes hold

American Express reports that its campaign to boost sales at small retailers on Saturday, Nov. 27, was effective largely because other groups embraced it. According to the company:   Forty-one elected officials, including Illinois Gov. Quinn, declared the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday.” Throughout the nation, 130 small business groups and public and private […]

Our view: Think of all the good $5 billion from Groupon can do

Count us among those who would encourage Eric Lefkofsky, Brad Keywell and Andrew Mason to take the $5.3 billion Google is rumored to be offering for “the fastest growing company ever,” as Forbes has described Groupon, and put it to good use. Remember that Groupon morphed out of ThePoint.com, which Mason, a Northwestern alum, created […]

WBDC to offer micro loans to start-ups

  The Women’s Business Development Center is offering microloans for start-ups and established small businesses based in Illinois. The loan program, which starts this month until funding runs out, was created in response to the credit crunch that has constrained small business development. Newly formed businesses can apply for loans up to $50,000, while the […]

Mcommerce sites add gift centers: Chicago report

  Mobile commerce sites are getting more sophisticated with 42 percent offering a gift center for mobile devices, according to Chicago-based e-tailing group’s third-quarter mobile mystery shopping report. That’s up from 30 percent of merchants who offered gift centers a year ago. That means many mobile sites now allow users to shop by criteria, such […]

As Senate fails to repeal 1099 rule, opposition mounts

Small business groups are grumbling about the Senate’s failure to repeal a 1099 tax-filing rule that will create a mountain of paperwork when it takes effect in 2012. Under the provision, the nation’s 40 million small businesses would be required to file a 1099 in 2012 for vendors that they’ve bought more than $600 in […]