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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Feb. 10

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

1. 1099-K reform. Starting with the 2011 tax season, the Internal Revenue Service is requiring businesses, particularly e-commerce retailers, to adhere to the reporting requirements of the 1099-K form on debit and credit card receipts.

But already the IRS has taken measures to somewhat ease the regulation to retailers. On Thursday, the IRS said businesses will not be required to separately report "reimbursement information, such as cash back, sales taxes, state and local deposits and other non-income related dollars from the gross receipts," according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association, citing an IRS letter.

"This will relieve retailers of an unnecessary burden while still providing the IRS with the tools it needs to ensure tax compliance," says Bill Hughes, RILA's senior vice president for government affairs.

2. Chipotle 2012 growth plans are its biggest yet. Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) plans to open as many as 165 locations this year -- the highest amount ever opened in a single year, according to QSR Magazine.

Chipotle executives are making the move despite the double-digit increases it expects inr the costs of food commodities such as beef, chicken, rice and beans -- staples on the Chipotle menu.

The company said during its fourth-quarter earnings call that it had achieved its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit increase in comparable store sales, with the average restaurant sales passing the $2 million mark for the first time, primarily due to increased store traffic.

3. Greyston Bakery becomes first B Corp in New York. New York State became the seventh state to recognize benefit corporations on Friday, and the first company to take advantage of the law is socially responsible Greyston Bakery, best known as the brownie provider for Unilever's (ULVR) Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The ethically motivated company looks to hire those who have had trouble finding jobs and contributes profits to the Greyston Foundation, which supports inner-city community initiatives such as low-income housing, child care, workforce development and health services.

Becoming a benefit corporation will legally protect Greyston and companies that follow suit from being challenged on having socially responsible priorities instead of maximizing profit. Companies will be able to "demonstrate higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency through this new corporate designation" and use the legal structure to enhance solving social and environmental issues, the company says in a press release.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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

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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