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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: September 11

Stock quotes in this article: AAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Customers clamoring for the Apple iPhone 5 by any means necessary. Apple (AAPL) is expected to announce its next iPhone version on Wednesday, but demand is so strong for it that Americans are willing to do whatever it takes to get the device, even if it means going into debt.

Citing a survey done by CouponCodes4u.com, TheStreet's tech reporter Chris Ciaccia says that of the more than 1,900 respondents to the survey, a majority said they either took out a loan or used a credit card in the past three years to buy one of Apple's iDevices. Those surveyed owned at least one if not more Apple products.

Yesterday a JPMorgan Chase economist published a report saying that sales of the iPhone 5 could add a quarter to half a percentage point to fourth-quarter annualized growth in the U.S.

Being able to spur U.S. GDP growth is an amazing feat for one technology company, but it leads to one inevitable question for small business owners:

Are YOU producing a product or service that customers are clamoring to get their hands on? If not, perhaps it's time to rethink your product or marketing strategy.

2. GoDaddy's Web outage downs thousands of small business websites. GoDaddy's web hosting services were down for several hours on Monday, hurting the small businesses that rely on the company. The outage started around 1:25 pm ET on Monday and didn't get back up until 5:43 pm ET, according to The Associated Press .

The site hosts more than 5 million website, primarily for small businesses.

Kenneth Borg, owner of a screen printing business in Long Beach, Calif., is one of the many small business owners who not only rely on GoDaddy web services for their business but could not even use email services.

He told the AP that while he could empathize to an extent if the outages were caused by a hacker, "I don't think he realized that he was affecting so many small businesses, and not just a major company."

3. Microloans feeding small business needs; growing in the U.S. Typically associated with developing countries, microloans are growing in acceptance here in the U.S. as the economy continues to limit small business owners and entrepreneurs access to capital.

Little data exists on the lending practices of nonprofit and U.S. for-profit microlenders, but the business is expanding, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Nonprofit microlenders receive funding from private donations and from state and federal programs, as well as the Small Business Administration. They are typically classified as community development financial institutions.

The SBA distributed nearly $47.5 million in microloans during its 2011 fiscal year through 170 nonprofit lenders. It was the largest amount in the agency's history, even as the average loan size declined from about $14,200 to $11.750, the WSJ reports.

For-profit microlenders, like small, private banks, offer bigger microloans -- about $20,000 to $50,000 -- but these loans are partially backed by the SBA.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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