This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Dec. 21

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

1. Immigrants founded half of top U.S. start-up companies. Nearly half of the 50 top venture-backed companies were founded or co-founded by immigrants, according to a study, which only intensifies "some of the high stakes in potential immigration reform," according to Reuters.

Of the 50 top venture-backed companies, 23 had at least one immigrant founder and three-quarters of those companies employed at least one immigrant in a "key management position," the study found. Some of Silicon Valley's hottest start-ups are on the list, such as textbook-rental service Chegg, online craft marketplace Etsy and Web publisher Glam Media.

But start-ups call U.S. immigrations rules "too cumbersome" and lead non-U.S. citizens to launch businesses elsewhere, the article says.

2. LuminAid is a successful crowdfunding venture. Two Columbia college graduates are behind the successful venture LuminAid, which got its start providing relief to Haiti's earthquake disaster victims last year. The students became concerned for the safety of women and children in the makeshift tent cities and came up with a solar-powered inflatable light that, charged for a few hours in the sun, can provide up to six hours of light.

"Solar made a lot of sense because the technology was pretty inexpensive and we could ship it cheaply," says Anna Stork, one of the co-founders, in an American Express (AXP) OPEN blog.

It was soon clear that the product had more potential than a class project and the two set about entering competitions to get exposure and funding.

The partners also decided to go to crowdfunding Web site IndieGogo seeking a modest $10,000 in start-up money. In two months, good publicity garnered them more than $51,000.

LuminAid will ship roughly 4,000 lights next month to the company's not-for-profit partners and individual customers. The Red Cross, U.S. Navy and private disaster-relief companies are asking LuminAid for samples. The company hopes they will turn into paying customers. "It's really incredible how many people the IndieGogo campaign reached," Stork says.

3. Playing payroll tax roulette. With less than two weeks remaining to the year, Congress is really waiting until the last minute to agree on a compromise in the payroll tax debate, leaving 160 million Americans wondering about the size of their paychecks come 2012 and companies and payroll services in limbo over how much to withhold from employee paychecks.

Congress can do one of three things: approve a stop-gap measure such as keeping the current 4.2% withholding rate in place for two months; preserve the status quo for another year; or fail to reach an agreement altogether, which means the rate would revert to 6.2% on Jan. 1. When they do finally come to agreement, they could make it retroactive, according to CNN Money.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski


Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,082.19 +51.98 0.29%
S&P 500 2,090.09 +8.21 0.39%
NASDAQ 4,796.5520 +23.08 0.48%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs