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TheStreet Open House

3 Small Businesses Pay Tribute to Steve Jobs

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- More than a few small businesses say Apple (AAPL) founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer, was an inspiration -- in some cases the reason they took an entrepreneurial leap.

From one small business giving away an iPad to an employee to another company donating a week's worth of revenue to pancreatic cancer research, some businesses have created ways to honor Jobs by giving back to the community.

More than a few small businesses are paying tribute to Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs,whom they call an inspiration.

1. Headsets.com
Headsets.com CEO and President Mike Faith didn't know Jobs, but he plans to go to his memorial service anyway.

"I'd never met him. But I understand him. He was a fellow vegan with a passion for business and an urgency for results, all combined with unlimited vision," Faith writes in an email response. "Seeing what he's done has made me realize that dedication, devotion and skill can change the leadership of a whole market, and I'm inspired to do the same in the headsets industry."

Faith is friends with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and plays polo with him.

Headsets.com is offering an iPad promotion to staff starting next week. Faith says the company frequently does internal promotions for its customer service team to inspire high scores in service.

"We thought the iPad would be the ideal promotion, bearing in mind the events of the week," Faith says.

2. Many Tricks
Software application designer Many Tricks plans to donate 100% of its revenue over the next week to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Peter Maurer, founder of Many Tricks, writes in a blog post how influential Jobs was on his career path of choice.

"None of the things I do for a living today would have been possible without Steve Jobs," he writes. "I quit an education that was almost finished, and I took the risk of being self-employed, because I knew there were people like him. I knew it was OK to take a risk and do something unexpected if deep down, you knew it was what you were here to do. That's why I've always thought of Steve Jobs as one of the father figures in my life."

Rob Griffiths, who calls himself the master of ceremonies at Many Tricks, and a former Apple employee in the early stages of his career, also said he was deeply touched by the loss of Jobs -- and so was his career before working at Many Tricks.

"When Steve came back to work at Apple , I wasn't sure what was going to happen," Griffiths writes in a blog post. "But with the release of the first beta of OS X, my life changed, though I didn't really know it at the time."

Griffiths launched a blog in 2001 about the Mac operating system that turned into a career when Macworld magazine bought it.

"Without Steve's saving the Mac (and Apple), the site wouldn't have grown as it did, nor would Macworld have come calling," he writes.

3. netTALK
Telecom company netTALK ( NTLK) also considers Apple its mentor.

The company makes netTALK Duo, a tiny device that enables free calling throughout the U.S. and Canada for customers using any phone so long as they have an Internet connection.

The company is encouraging Facebook followers and fans of their blog to share special Apple-related memories, such as adults getting their first Macs or finding an iPod underneath the Christmas tree.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski

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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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