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Small Business Sinks Its Teeth Into the Locavore Movement

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Sourcing food that’s local and sustainable may be the hottest restaurant industry trend in 2011, a sign that America’s appetite for fresh ingredients from small, regional producers continues to grow. The USDA now counts more than 6,100 farmers markets in operation nationwide, up 16 percent from 2009, with nearly 900 open during the winter months. As the locavore movement picks up steam, entrepreneurs are finding business opportunities in edible and inedible products.

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Online Sellers Face Additional IRS Form in New Tax Year

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If you sell your wares in an online marketplace like Ebay or Amazon, you might see an additional IRS form in the mail in early 2012. Beginning with the 2011 tax year, merchants with more than 200 transactions and $20,000 in annual sales — the “and” is crucial, as both thresholds must be exceeded — will receive a 1099-K form from the site where they do business. The site will also be required to report the information to the IRS.

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Storing Your Data in the Cloud

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It’s a common enough practice: It’s the end of the day and you’ve decided to take your work home with you. You email the document to yourself. Then you email the new version back to yourself the next day.

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From Amateur to Pro: One Photographer’s Journey

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Located in South Lake Tahoe, California, Melina Wallisch intended her family blog to be a place to document their lives through photography. Inspired by her photos, friends started asking Melina to shoot family portraits, and that’s when Melina Wallisch Photography was born. In less than a year, Wallisch photographed nine weddings, over 30 families, and a handful of local commercial businesses.

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Small Business Lending Fund: The Details

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Earlier this week, the U. S. Treasury Department formally announced details on its $30 billion Small Business Lend Fund (SBLF) that will provide capital for banks with assets under $10 billion to increase their small business lending. The program-s application deadline is March, 31, 2011 - except for S Corporations, mutual institutions, or community development loan funds that will have separate application dates.

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Six More Tips for Making Your Meetings More Productive

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Many people consider meetings to be one of the corporate world-s worst time-suckers. Bad meetings drone on forever, never seem to get to the point, and leave you wondering why you were even supposed to attend, while effective meetings leave attendees energized and feeling like they-ve really accomplished something.

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10 Selling Methods You Haven-t Thought About

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Getting sales is one of the most important aspects of a business. But the truth is that few businesses can simply throw together a website, buy some Google ads, and wait for the world to beat a path to their door. Selling takes a lot of hard work - and often, that means relying on sales methods beyond the standard advertising and marketing techniques.

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What the New Federal Food Safety Rules Mean for Small Producers

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Many independent food producers breathed a sigh of relief this week when Congress finally passed the contentious FDA Food Safety Modernization Act with an amendment exempting small enterprises that sell directly to consumers, retailers, or restaurants in the same state or within a 275-mile radius. Farmers and others had feared that, if they were forced to comply, the new regulations would bankrupt them.

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In the Trenches: The Curse and Beauty of Facebook

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I-m not a Facebook guy. Sure, I-m on there and I accept friend requests, but I really don-t care to share personal details with all my friends. If I want to talk to someone, I-ll call them or email them, but I really don-t want to -Facebook them.-

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Intuit and Amazon, Working Together

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When QuickBooks 2010 launched, we (Intuit) decided that we needed to be active on our Amazon review sites. After all, a recent Nielsen study showed that 70 percent of consumers trusted online reviews as a source of product information before purchase.

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The Smart Way to Use a Credit Card For Your Business

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The conventional wisdom says that it-s a terrible idea, but a survey done last year by the Small Business Association found that nearly 60 percent of small businesses used credit cards to meet their capital needs. That-s understandable, given the fact that loans through banks and the SBA have become hard to get. But credit-card financing can be hard to understand - and can get ghastly expensive. Have you really taken the time to sit down and read the -Terms of Use- fine print before accepting that business Visa or MasterCard offer?

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New QuickBooks for Mac Grows with Your Business

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Today we announced QuickBooks 2011 for Mac, and I-m thrilled to report that it includes a multi-user solution - our top requested feature from users! With the multi-user solution, which includes user permission controls, small business owners will be able to delegate important accounting tasks to others in the company, and really focus on driving their businesses forward. You-ll see that saving small businesses time was our guiding principle in the development of Quickbooks 2011 for Mac.

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Federal Reserve Proposes Cap on Debit Card Fees

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You could soon be seeing better margins when your customers swipe their debit cards at the cash register. The Federal Reserve has proposed new limits on the interchange fees that banks charge businesses on every debit card payment.

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Tech Review: Motorola Defy Smartphone

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There are lots of smartphones based on Google’s Android OS on the market today - so many, in fact, that it can sometimes be hard to tell one phone from another. The Motorola Defy, available now on the T-Mobile network, is an example of a new generation of handsets that uses innovative ideas to differentiate itself, both from other Android phones and from Apple’s beloved iPhone.

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How to Write a Job Description

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Now that you-ve decided to hire an employee, perhaps you are wondering what you should put in the job description so that you can get the best employee possible. In this payroll * - series installment, courtesy of Intuit Online Payroll, Rhonda Abrams discusses just that!

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Small Business Optimism Maintains Slow but Steady Rise

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The collective mood of small businesses continues to improve, shedding doom and gloom in favor of an apparent light at the end of the recessionary tunnel. So says the latest Index of Small Business Optimism from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which just checked in with its highest rating in nearly three years.

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Franchising 101: How to Buy a Franchise

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According to FranchiseConsultants. com, more than $1 trillion in products are sold annually through franchises in the United States. That’s why franchises remain one of the fastest growing segments of the American economy.

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Making Your Office Child Friendly

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Making your office baby friendly can help make your working parents be more productive. It means they’ll spend less time fretting about their children and focusing on the task at hand. It’s not just a perk - it’s good business practice.

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Todali Tackle in Philpot, Kentucky Wins $25,000 Intuit Hiring Grant

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Alicia Haynes, owner of Todali Tackle in Philpot, Kentucky is the November winner of a $25,000 Intuit Hiring Grant on LoveALocalBusiness. com. Todali Tackle is now a Finalist, along with Buss Fitness of Northfield, Ohio, who could be selected by our judge, business advisor Rhonda Abrams, to have their grant doubled to $50,000. One more Finalist will be chosen in December. It could be you!

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Yoga Studio Revitalizes Historic San Diego Neighborhood

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When the doors of Ginseng Yoga Studio opened nine years ago, there wasn’t much expectation that they would stay open. Up until Brad and Cindy Bennett moved in on May 2002, the building on the corner of 30th Street and Beech in San Diego-s historic South Park had been considered “jinxed” by many locals. Other than the hardware store, businesses seemed to move out almost as soon as they moved in. It was a revolving door of small business.

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10 Signs You Should Take a Break From Traveling

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If you-re wondering if you travel too often, you probably do. But just in case you-re not sure, here-s a handy test you can take. If you can relate to any of these, then immediately cancel all of your trips and stay home for at least a week.

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In the Trenches: Fighting the Business Lull with Dream Lists

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As I mentioned last week, the holidays are the time when we ramp up our business, but that doesn-t mean it-s consistently running at full speed for an entire month. In fact, we do experience some of the biggest lulls of the year during this time, and that-s why I started creating dream lists.

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An Inside Look at a Community Bank - Part 1

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With roughly $85 million in assets, Willamette Community Bank, based in Albany, Oregon, is a bit smaller than some banks — and a whole lot smaller if you stand it next to a Goliath like, say, Capital One, which boasts more than $120 billion in assets.

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Are You Leaving Voice Mail Messages that Lose Business?

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Think about all the voice mail messages you receive from people who mumble or speak too quickly or never get to the point. Some even forget to leave a number for returning their call. What’s worse is the impression they leave of the caller — that he or she is disorganized, sloppy, even unprofessional. Not someone you’d like to do business with, right?