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Raleigh named one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs

Consumer website NerdWallet named Raleigh as one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs.
NerdWallat examined entrepreneurial climates, percent of businesses in the city that are woman owned, the local economy, and other elements to create the list of top 10 cities for women entrepreneurs.

Raleigh named one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs

Consumer website NerdWallet named Raleigh as one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs.
NerdWallat examined entrepreneurial climates, percent of businesses in the city that are woman owned, the local economy, and other elements to create the list of top 10 cities for women entrepreneurs.

Raleigh named second best place to start a business

Want to start a business this year? Move to Raleigh.

The National Federation of Independent Business named its five best places to start a business in 2013 on Thursday, and the City of Oaks is second on the list.

According to a NFIB press release, "Raleigh attracts companies transferring from more expensive locales. Not only was it ranked the top city for business and careers by Forbes, thanks to being the fastest growing job market in the U.S.; it's also the country's fastest growing city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau."

Here are the NFIB's top five:
1. Silicon Valley
2. Raleigh
3. Madison, Wisc.
4. Austin, Tex.
5. Boulder, Colo.

Read the complete report here.

NFIB report indicates small business owner confidence barely budges

Small-business owner confidence continues to drag, according to the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index.
The Index gained 0.9 points, rising to 88.9, failing to regain the losses caused by last month’s “fiscal cliff” scare, according to a report released this week.

Expectations for improved business conditions increased by five points, but remain overwhelmingly low—negative 30 percent—the fourth lowest reading in survey history. Actual job creation and job creation plans improved nominally, but still not enough to keep up with population growth.

SBA's Office of Advocacy releases annual report on small businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy released its annual report, The Small Business Economy 2012, on Monday.

According to the report, the economy has improved for small businesses for the second straight year, although some of the recession's challenges remain.

“The Small Business Economy 2012 demonstrates that small businesses have been at the core of our economy's growth over the past few years,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, the Office of Advocacy's chief counsel. “Thanks to hardworking small business owners across the country, 2011 represented the second full year of economic expansion since the peak of the recession in 2009, with small businesses representing half of the private-sector output. We still have a lot of work to do, but this report tells an inspiring story: output, business income and profits are rising for small businesses, and bankruptcies and unemployment are declining.”

Click here for the full report.

Durham's Parker and Otis to reopen Thursday morning

Durham’s Parker and Otis plans to debut its post-fire renovation at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning after being closed for more than a month.

At about 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 26, owner Jennings Brody and her husband and business partner Jonathan Kea learned about a fire at the business at 112 S. Duke Street from an alarm company representative, Brody said.

The fire, caused by a faulty overhead light fixture, damaged an isolated area in the store, which was covered in black ash and water from the automatic sprinklers. The store was closed for the Christmas holidays.

All of the inventory had to be discarded and some of the floors and other areas had
to be replaced. Brody used the opportunity to make some needed changes to store’s layout, she said.
Meanwhile, Parker and Otis employees have been working out of Brody and Kea’s
house, updating the employee manual, trying out new recipes and making signs.

Parker and Otis sells a variety of candy, gourmet foods and gifts, along with serving coffee, breakfast and lunch. It opened in the Peabody Place complex near Brightleaf Square in the summer of 2007.

Brody asked customers to be patient Thursday as employees may be working through some quirks throughout the day.

“We are going to have to get used to our new skin,” Brody said. “Patience is a virtue tomorrow.”

Poll: Entrepreneurs support tougher rules for Wall Street and financial companies

A small business owner opinion poll found 80 percent of entrepreneurs believe Wall Street and financial companies should be held accountable for the practices that caused the financial crisis.

The national Internet poll of 500 small business owners, conducted by Lake Research Partners for Small Business Majority, an advocacy organization founded and run by small business owners, revealed nearly six in 10 entrepreneurs agree that for far too long, Wall Street banks and financial companies wrote their own rules, leaving small businesses and consumers vulnerable and without protection.

Free small business expo

N.C. Retail Resources will host a Small Business Expo on Feb. 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 18 Seaboard Restaurant, located at 18 Seaboard Ave. in Raleigh.
Admission is free.
N.C. Retail Resources is an alliance of leading companies and their executives dedicated to helping new and growing companies accomplish their retail goals.
The expo is for retail companies, start-up businesses, entrepreneurs and commercial real estate organizations.
“This is a convenient, casual one-stop opportunity to meet a number of companies that can help growing retailers accomplish their goals,” the alliance’s website states. Light snacks and beverages will be available and more than a dozen businesses will be on hand to answer questions and share their expertise.
For more information, go here.

SBA's new website focuses on Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Small Business Administration has created a website and blog that focuses on the Affordable Care Act and how it relates to small business owners.

According to the news release, the website will offer "a glossary of key health care reform terms, an interactive timeline with dates for when certain reforms will be implemented, a state-by-state breakdown of health care options, and how to learn more about specific tax provisions and regulations."

Health Care Business Pulse, the new blog, will contain updated information about the Act.

“The Affordable Care Act provides small business owners with access and opportunity to provide affordable health care options for their employees,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “SBA’s new Affordable Care Act web page and blog will serve as a resource for small business owners who want learn more about how to take advantage of these benefits.”

Source: SBA

Financing, help for veterans who own small businesses

Veterans and other members of the military community could be eligible for a variety of low-interest loan programs, according to Raleigh SCORE, a nonprofit association that offers information resources, training, and free counseling.

The Patriot Express Loan Pilot Loan Initiative, created by the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide expedited loans of up to $500,000, is the most popular, according to a recent Raleigh SCORE blog entry. To qualify, at least 51-percent of the company has to be owned and controlled by veterans or military community members.

“Patriot Express loans feature the SBA’s lowest business loan interest rates—generally 2.25 to 4.75 percent over prime depending upon the loan’s size and maturity,” the blog entry states. “The loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, purchases of equipment and/or inventory, working capital, or business-occupied real-estate purchases. Following approval by the lender, most Patriot Express applications receive SBA approval within 24 hours.”

The SBA and its resource partners can also help reservists prepare their business before deployment, manage their businesses, sell goods and services to the government, and obtain other SBA financing and financial assistance.

Veterans can learn more about financing and other small business issues from Raleigh SCORE. For more information, call Raleigh Score at 919-856-4739 or visit its website here.

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