Home » Archives by category » Special Reports
Ifbyphone finds growth in call management

Ifbyphone finds growth in call management

  By Ann Meyer If you think the  growth of the Internet and text messaging have wiped out the need for phone calls, think again. One of the fastest-growing small businesses in the nation routes more than 15 million minutes of phone calls in a typical month, and it’s not in the traditional phone business. […]

Belly aims to bring personal touch to loyalty programs for small merchants

Big stores have loyalty programs. Little ones generally don’t. But that’s changing. Chicago-based Belly has convinced 2,300 businesses to try its digital loyalty platform, which awards consumers with points for their purchases and helps companies come up with memorable ways to reward customers, founder and CEO Logan LaHive said. Personal touch By getting creative, small […]

Business reaction to health care ruling is mixed, but hard-to-insure owners express relief

By Ann Meyer While conservative business groups vowed to take their fight for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act to the polls in November, many Chicago small business owners expressed relief that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law. The individual mandate requiring that all Americans purchase health insurance or pay a penalty was […]

Judge rules Illinois use tax law unconstitutional

The Illinois use tax law that spurred CouponCabin and FatWallet to leave the state last year was ruled unconstitutional Wednesday by a Cook County Circuit Court judge who said it violates the  Interstate Commerce Clause and Internet Tax Freedom Act, according to the Performance Marketing Association, which had filed a lawsuit challenging the use tax’s constitutionality. Cook County Circuit Court Judge […]

Business ethics: A matter of principle

How America conducts business has been called into question during the current economic crisis. Greed, ambition and poor regulation frequently have been raised, while ethics – or the lack of — doesn’t always make the news. Writing for Jewish Business News, Chicago journalist Jodie Jacobs asked five Chicago experts to share their views on the role of ethics in business.

Businesses lean on technology to cut gas usage

By Ann Meyer Fibrenew franchise owner Ivar Vankemenade has lessened the brunt of the recent spike in gas prices by relying on technology to help him shave pennies here and there. His Global Positioning System diverts him around traffic jams en route to repair leather upholstery on-site for customers, while an app tells him which […]

Seasoned entrepreneurs forecast disruptive technology will fuel new startups

By Ann Meyer For SmallBusinessExecutive Expect to see rapid change in Chicago’s business community in the coming year, as technology disrupts old industries. “Think about what the Internet has done in the last 10 years,” said Matt McCall, partner at New World Ventures. It has created companies, while putting others out of business. “I also […]

In hot patent market, new rules expected to spur swifter filings

By Ann Meyer A business’s  value often lies with its intellectual property, as Google’s planned buy-out of Motorola Mobility suggests. Google wanted Motorola Mobility’s 17,000 patents and was willing to pay $12.5 billion in the deal that  was approved Friday by shareholders of the Libertyville-based mobile technology company, experts said. In general, 80 percent of […]

Alternatives are key when small business execs negotiate strategically

By Ann Meyer — With the manufacturing industry still feeling the sting of a slow-to-recover economy, business owner Mary Koonce said customers of her industrial electrical company are trying to negotiate longer payment terms and discounts. “It’s hard for small businesses to handle. We’re the bank for them” when they delay payment, said Koonce of […]

All the world’s a market for local manufacturers selling online

By Ann Meyer Until a few years ago, Mount Prospect-based Perfection Spring & Stamping Corp. used 18 sales agencies to sell its parts. But with the downturn, it axed most of the agencies and started to market online. Now the components manufacturer has 255 searchable pages and more than 1 million results on Google when […]

Page 1 of 3123