NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What 3 things that happened in the world of small business during the month of May might business owners need to remember today? Here are some highlights.
1. What did you think of Small Business Week? The U.S. Small Business Administration, along with a host of sponsors, put on the 49th annual National Small Business Week Conference from May 20-26, where it honored nine 2012 National Champions and special award winners in a variety of categories, including home-based business champion, family-owned business champion, veteran champion and young entrepreneur of the year.
The 2012 Entrepreneurial Success award went to Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani. Ulukaya is "the remarkable and ambitious Turkish immigrant who, with financial assistance from SBA, added yogurt to his product line and today is expanding and producing jobs and dominating the U.S. Greek yogurt market," the SBA said in a May 22 release.
Besides the awards, the SBA put on a variety of live and web-based educational sessions, many of them for free.So did you link your marketing to the event? 2. Google's new search algorithm is hurting businesses. Google's (GOOG - Get Report) so-called Penguin changes, implemented at the end of April, are an effort to "target over-optimized websites that were stuffed with keywords in an attempt to improve their search rankings," CNBC said. The changes are hitting some small business owners hard because businesses that have a significant number of links back to their website may now be filtered as spam by Google and ultimately lower the search ranking for the business. "The ones that are really feeling the change are the small businesses who may have hired an SEO vendor and didn't know what they were doing to improve ranking, but now they are being penalized," Todd Bailey, search engine expert and vice president of marketing at WebiMax told CNBC. To get around the Penguin changes, businesses must update their SEO strategy around quality content, Bailey says. 3. Chase and LivingSocial launched "Mission: Small Business."Through a new grant program, JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) and LivingSocial will award a total of $3 million to small businesses across the U.S. to provide capital and marketing resources needed for their businesses. The program, which is also supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will award 12 individual grants of $250,000. Small business owners have until June 30 to apply for a grant. Consumers can vote for their favorite small business. For each pledge of support, Chase will add five dollars to the grant pool, up to $3 million, and businesses must receive at least 250 votes to be considered for a grant. Grant recipients will be announced by Sept. 15, 2012. -- 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 >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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