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SBA to help businesses affected by NHL lockout

The Small Business Adminsitration will offer counseling and resources to small business owners in cities around the country, including Raleigh, affected by the National Hockey League lockout, according to an SBA press release.

SBA tool allows you to check out your competition

Have you checked out your competition?

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s new online learning center includes a tool that helps you analyze your competition.  SizeUp seeks to help you grow your business with opportunities to map your competition, benchmark your business and identify advertising opportunities.

Check it out here.

SBA offering web chat on taxes

The Small Business Administration and the AICPA are offering an online question and answer session called "Getting Your Small Business Ready for the Tax Filing Season." 

The live chat, which will be hosted by Edward S. Karl of the AICPA, will be held on Wed., Nov. 28 at 1 p.m.  Go here to participate and for complete details.

Tips for capitalizing on the holiday shopping season


It’s almost time for small businesses to face the holiday rush.  The U.S. Small Business Administration blogger Caron Beesley shared these tips earlier this week on making sure your business is prepared for the holiday shopping season.

Ensure customers feel welcome by having someone greet them with a smile when they walk in the door.  Offer festive treats, such as a cookie, warm cider, or product samples.

Utilize social media to advertise your deals, but also listen to and interact with your fans.

Non-retail small businesses can participate in Small Business Saturday by connecting with valued customers and let them know they are participating, possibly through a time-sensitive deal that can be redeemed after the event.

Ideas to capitalize on the increased traffic in a retail store include offering to make a small donation to charity for every email captured at the point of sale, hand out free samples in exchange for a customer’s information, or hold a raffle or competition.  Follow up with all the customers within a week to advertise special deals.

Suggestions for marketing online businesses include making sure your website is festive with holiday graphics, create a dedicated holiday Pinterest board to highlight deals, use Facebook to highlight products, use banner art to highlight specials, and utilize shipping deadlines as a motivator.

For more of Beesley’s tips, view the entire web chat here.

SBA launches awards portal

It's time to nominate your favorite small business owner for the National Small Business Week Awards.

And the Small Business Administration has created a website that offers an easy way to recognize and follow the contest candidates.

According to the SBA, the online portal, "will make it easier to submit and track submissions." The awards include the National Small Business Person of the Year and the Women's Business Center of Excellence Award.

You can also go here for complete rules and to download and application. Entry deadline is Jan. 3.

National winners will be chosen from the state winners.

SBA offers advice marketing tips and advice

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing advice to small businesses on marketing and preparing for the holiday shopping season.

Small business owners can participate in a 1 p.m. Monday web chat, “Holiday Marketing Tips & Ideas,” with Caron Beesley, an SBA marketing communications consultant and a small business owner.  For more information on the web chat go here.

Beasley also offered six tips to maximize returns on sponsoring and hosting a holiday event.

SBA N.C. District Office's 2012 top lenders

The Small Business Administration's North Carolina District Office announced its 2012 Lender Award winners last week. Here's the complete list. Maybe one of these lenders can help finance your business.

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