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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 […]