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  • Independent Restaurants Losing Share to Chains: NPD Monday, 27 Feb 2012 | 4:19 PM ET
    family_at_diner_200.jpg

    While it’s been a tough few years for the restaurant industry as consumers cut back on discretionary spending, it seems that smaller, independent restaurants have taken a bigger hit than chain restaurants.

  • Election Campaigns a Gold Mine for Local Businesses Monday, 27 Feb 2012 | 2:30 PM ET
    portable-toilets-200.jpg

    With months to go before Election Day, the presidential campaign is proving to be a gold mine for local businesses, from pizza parlors to portable potties.

  • Small Businesses Cope With Rising Gas Prices Friday, 24 Feb 2012 | 2:39 PM ET
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    Rising gas prices can put a dent in a household budget. For small business owners, it can hurt — or even wipe out — profits. The recent rise in the price of gas is pressuring business owners to find ways to protect their earnings.

  • With a Tweet, Cash Mobs Rescue Local Businesses Friday, 24 Feb 2012 | 10:34 AM ET
    money_in_hand.jpg

    What's a cash mob? Think flash mob, only doing something more useful with one's time. 

  • America's Most Promising Franchise Opportunities Friday, 24 Feb 2012 | 10:34 AM ET
    For would-be entrepreneurs, franchises offer built-in benefits, such as brand-name recognition, and proven formulas upon which to build success. That’s not to say that plunking down a chunk of money will buy you a thriving business: Owning and operating a franchise requires, like any business, an investment of time, as well as the will to succeed.The downturn in the economy has fueled an interest in franchise ownership, said Brian Miller, president and chief operating officer of which offers fra

    For would-be entrepreneurs, franchises offer built-in benefits, such as brand-name recognition and proven formulas upon which to build success.

  • Businesses Pin Hopes on Digital Scrapbook Pinterest Friday, 24 Feb 2012 | 9:42 AM ET
    Pinterest

    Pinterest's millions of users create digital scrapbooks that display images under themes such as favorite foods, wanted wedding gifts and coveted handbags. As the site has grown in popularity, so has interest from firms that see it as a chance to boost brand awareness.

  • What Tax Overhaul Means for Small Business Thursday, 23 Feb 2012 | 10:49 AM ET
    President Obama and Tim Geithner

    President Obama and the Treasury Department introduced a 23-page outline that seeks to overhaul the corporate tax code. The plan seeks to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, eliminate accounting loopholes, improve transparency and simplify the document for small businesses.

  • 'Heroes' Star Rescues Coupon-Challenged Shoppers Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 | 4:05 PM ET
    Co-founders of Yowza (left to right): Greg Grunberg and August Trometer

    While actor and entrepreneur Greg Grunberg, best known for his roles as police detective Matt Parkman in the award-winning series “Heroes,” he is no stranger to the world of business.

  • More Business Owners Plan to Spend in 2012: Survey Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 | 3:45 PM ET
    money_spread.jpg

    Small business owners are looking to spend in 2012, according to the just-released Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. The results are in line with our own — smaller — survey conducted earlier this month with members of CNBC's Small Business Council.

  • Mean Tweets: Managing Customer Complaints Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 | 1:24 PM ET
    Close up of someone typing on a laptop.

    When an unhappy customer posts a complaint on a social media site such as Twitter, Yelp or Facebook, you are at an immediate disadvantage. The complaint, right or wrong — and, isn't the customer always right? — is out there for everyone to see.

  • When Bosses Attack, Send Them to the Gym Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 | 2:47 PM ET
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    When the boss is unhappy, everyone is unhappy. And when the boss goes to the gym, everyone in the office can breathe a sigh of relief. That’s the conclusion of a recent study, conducted by researchers at Northern Illinois University, that found that stress and abusive behavior can be diminished with moderate exercise.

  • Trademarks Take On New Importance in Internet Era Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 | 12:02 PM ET
    Pretzel Crisps

    Brand experts and trademark lawyers say the value of simple, easily understood brand names has escalated in the Internet era because consumers are more likely to find such products while doing searches on the Web.

  • Don't Promote Employees Just to Fire Them Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 | 11:39 AM ET
    laid off

    Because of downsizing and outsourcing, small to mid-size companies lack the depth of resources and employees who possess the high-level competencies required for leading other people. Rarely does a small company look for leadership aptitude when they are hiring for technical roles.

  • Retail's Changing. So Should You. Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 | 10:15 AM ET
    retail sales

    Small retailers are in serious trouble. All over America, they have been pushed to the brink of extinction. The assault began with mall stores and continued with big-box super stores, but the final blow may come from aggressive Internet merchants.

  • Fear Factor Decreases for Cloud Computing Services Friday, 17 Feb 2012 | 2:43 PM ET
    Close up of someone typing on a laptop.

    Cloud computing services make it easier for companies to share, update and access files, both internally and externally. And small businesses are driving the move to the cloud.

  • Social Networks Transform World: Hoffman Friday, 17 Feb 2012 | 1:26 PM ET
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    If you have a company, or an idea for a company, that can make an impact on people using social media, Reid Hoffman wants to talk to you. Hoffman, a partner at Greylock Partners and the executive chairman of LinkedIn, told CNBC Friday he sees a lot of opportunity for "great businesses" that create social networks that "can change people's lives."

  • business_mtg_200.jpg

    Keeping up with the latest advances in the workplace isn’t easy. It’s not only workers who can fall behind. Entire businesses can, too. I know, because it happened to my company.

  • Small Businesses Use Social Media to Grow Friday, 17 Feb 2012 | 11:37 AM ET
    Twitter

    Wielded wisely, social media can help a growing business boost brand awareness, improve customer relations, garner market research, even bolster sales. As the number of people using social media rises, marketing experts say it's essential for even the smallest of companies to consider diving in.

  • Twitter Inc. on Thursday formally launched a service to allow small businesses to buy and place ads on the online messaging platform. Twitter hopes the new ad service will at least partially answer looming questions about its long-term business strategy.

  • Cutting-Edge Products for Your Pet Thursday, 16 Feb 2012 | 4:14 PM ET
    If you believe everything a pet owner could ever want or need has already been dreamed up, think again.Americans shell out more than to make their beloved pets happy. And if they can’t find just the right product to do the trick? Well, some entrepreneurial pet owners roll up their sleeves and create the product themselves.The result is a crop of small businesses that has sprung up around these products, and others that have expanded their offerings to meet pet-related interests.We asked the owne

    We asked the owners of innovative and quirky pet products about their inspiration, and the growing appeal of their products.

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