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BUSINESS
March 1, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Hey, small businesses of California, Google wants to help you build a website. On Thursday the company launched a program called "California Get Your Business Online" that offers small businesses in the Golden State the opportunity to get a free customizable website, as well as access to in-person training on how to build a successful online business. Google will spring for the domain name and provide free Web hosting for the first year, then businesses will pay $2 monthly for the domain name and $4.99 monthly for Web hosting.
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BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Small-business owners were more optimistic about the economy last month and expected sales to increase as a winter marked by severe weather ended, according to survey results released Tuesday. The confidence index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose to 93.4 in March, from 91.4 the previous month. The measure is one of the few monthly barometers of the small-business sector, which is a key driver of the economy. Last month's increase nearly reversed a drop in February, but the index, which can range from 80 to 110, remains historically low as the economic recovery struggles to gain traction.
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BUSINESS
December 22, 2009 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
The Obama administration's new plan to give a boost to small businesses reflects continued trouble in that sector, which is facing new failures even as much of the nation's economy is stabilizing. As credit lines have shrunk and consumers have cut back on spending, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors over the last year. The plight of struggling firms has been aggravated by the reluctance of banks to lend money, said Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration's office of advocacy.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Richmond, a small industrial city north of San Francisco, on Tuesday is expected to approve one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. City leaders will vote a second - and final - time on an ordinance that will boost the hourly minimum wage to $12.30 by 2017, up from $8 an hour currently. The vote in Richmond, a city of about 100,000 residents, would follow a spate of cities and states that have passed increases to their minimum wage. Connecticut, for instance, last week passed a law that will raise the state's rate to $10.10, the same amount President Obama is calling on Congress to approve.
NEWS
February 15, 2010 | David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times
Nelson Davis runs a video production company in Hollywood with six employees. He used to pay all of his workers' health insurance premiums. As rates continued rising -- they've doubled over the last few years -- Davis cut back to paying only half of healthcare costs and required workers to handle the rest. Now he's thinking about cutting back again and covering only 40% of the insurance premiums. And the way things are going, Davis said, he wouldn't be surprised if his share dropped to 25%. "You have to look at it with a cold, clear eye," he told me. "There's very little you can do -- either scale it back or stop offering it."
BUSINESS
January 27, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
Here are some suggestions from experts for small businesses deciding whether to offer employee health insurance in 2014: 1. Consider the nature of your business. Small companies made up primarily of owners - such as physician and dentist offices and architectural and CPA firms - are likely to find that it makes financial sense to provide employee insurance, healthcare consultant Robert Laszewski says. "I expect they'll continue to offer insurance through the group model because that's the way to get tax-deductible health insurance.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2010 | By Karen E. Klein
Dear Karen: Can you suggest budget marketing techniques? Answer: Form a marketing partnership with a business that already reaches your target customers. "Results can be impressive, because you come in as a trusted partner of an established brand, and it costs you nothing," said Shel Horowitz, coauthor of "Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green." You can also join forces with other small companies to form a larger marketing entity, Horowitz said. Social media is essentially free, and you can use it to build long-term relationships with potential customers as well as to announce promotions and new products.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2009 | Bloomberg News
President Obama will spend more than half the $730 million in government funds set aside to help small businesses to expand federal guarantees and lower lending fees to try to revive the flow of credit, people familiar with the matter said. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will announce the $375-million plan today as part of a strategy to bolster Small Business Administration lending, the people said.
BUSINESS
September 13, 2012 | By Dalina Castellanos
Surfing Facebook for hours on end isn't just for personal pleasure anymore. About 90% of small businesses are dedicating time to networking online, according to a new survey. Manta, an online forum dedicated to small businesses, surveyed 600 small-business owners nationwide and found that 78% say that using social-networking platforms is just as important as networking in person -- if not more so. “Small businesses understand they need to go where their audience is,” Manta Chief Executive Pamela Springer said Wednesday.
NEWS
July 11, 2012 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Wendesday is ordering new practices meant to help small firms by speeding up payments for federal contractors, cutting paperwork and easing access to loans and tax credits. The actions come as Obama tries to fight off charges from Republicans that his latest tax plan would hurt small businesses. Obama called on lawmakers this week to extend only the portion of the Bush-era tax breaks that cover household incomes of less than $250,000 a year, allowing the cuts on higher earnings to expire -- including, according to GOP critics, many small-business owners.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The Senate confirmed Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former California official who founded a Los Angeles community bank, to head the federal Small Business Administration. Contreras-Sweet was approved Thursday by voice vote to the Cabinet position, which helps small businesses with loans and other assistance. She takes over for Karen Mills, a former venture capitalist who stepped down as the agency's administrator last year. President Obama said Contreras-Sweet "understands what it means to start a small business" and has "a proven track record of helping other small businesses succeed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Kim Christensen
Scores of small businesses burned in a payroll-tax scam got some welcome news late last week when an insurance company said it would cover $3 million of their total losses. "We won't get all of our money back, but at least it looks like we will get a good chunk," said Melissa Meltzer, who with her husband, Robert, owns a Los Angeles children's fitness franchise that lost about $55,000. The Meltzers are among about 150 mostly Southern California restaurateurs, dentists, hairstylists and others who learned around Christmas that money they had deposited with LA Payroll for state and federal taxes had disappeared - as had the company's owner, Tovmas Grigoryan.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
A new federal report estimates that 65% of small firms will pay more for employee health insurance as a result of the federal healthcare law while the remaining 35% will see premiums drop. Those increased healthcare costs will probably be passed on to workers and their families, according to estimates from the Office of the Actuary at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report said roughly 11 million of the 17 million people who have health plans through a small employer will see their premiums increase, while 6 million individuals will reap lower premiums.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
The mystery of Dumb Starbucks is solved. Turns out the brainchild behind the faux Starbucks store in Los Feliz, with white-and-green cups and hot coffee, was comedian Nathan Fielder, star of the Comedy Central show "Nathan for You. " In a tongue-in-cheek news conference Monday afternoon outside the store on Hillhurst Avenue, Fielder thanked customers for patronizing his small businesses. He said he planned to soon open a second location in Brooklyn. Did Comedy Central know he was doing this, someone asked.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
SACRAMENTO - A campaign group that received $11 million in "dark" political contributions and now owes it to the state has paid only $300,000. California's ethics agency on Friday announced receipt of the funds from the political arm of the Small Business Action Committee, whose president said the group's PAC would pay no more and would close.   The state has yet to collect any money from a second group, the California Future Fund, which owes $4 million but has shut down.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By James Barragan
President Obama intends to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles and a former state Cabinet secretary, to head the Small Business Administration. Contreras-Sweet, who is highly regarded in the L.A. business community, is expected to be nominated Wednesday afternoon. She would fill the last vacancy in Obama's Cabinet. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Contreras-Sweet immigrated to Los Angeles when she was 5. She was the first Latina to serve as a Cabinet secretary in California when she was secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999 to 2003.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Don't look to small businesses for a vote of confidence in the economy. Pessimistic owners are scaling back hiring plans, rethinking expansion and fretting over weak sales as they wait for stability. An optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business slipped slightly to 92.8 in September from an August reading of 92.9. Hiring plans plunged as fewer owners hired and more slashed head counts. Job creation in September lagged the previous two months. Capital outlays over the last six months slipped, with fewer owners reporting spending on new equipment, vehicles and property.
OPINION
January 14, 2014 | By Nan Aron
Imagine the Dodgers have just won the pennant and are going to play the Yankees in the World Series. But the rules have changed: All games will be played in Yankee Stadium. And there are new umpires, hired and paid by the Yankees. With rules like that, the Dodgers wouldn't stand much of a chance. Thanks to bad decisions by the Supreme Court and to unfair corporate practices, Americans are facing the same kinds of unfair rules. But this is no game. They may face those rules when they've been defrauded by a business or discriminated against by an employer.
Los Angeles Times Articles
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