NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Enter to win the "Big Break for Small Business" contest. Adding to its initiatives to help small businesses, American Express (AXP - Get Report) OPEN has teamed up with Facebook (FB - Get Report) to launch the second annual " Big Break for Small Business" contest, in which five small businesses will get $25,000 cash as well as advice and resources to implement social marketing strategies for their businesses.
All contestants will get educational and brand-building tools as well as a $50 ad credit on Facebook. American Express business card members and merchants who enter the contest will get $100 in Facebook advertising credits.
The winners will get advice from American Express OPEN and Facebook branding experts to learn how to use Facebook to build their brands and better market their products and services to customers as well as reach new customer segments.Business owners can submit their applications at the American Express OPEN Facebook page. 2. Franchisors should listen to their franchisees. What do the McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) Filet-O-Fish sandwich and Dairy Queen's Blizzard have in common? Both were created by franchisees. David Hood, president of iFranchise Group, used these examples to make a larger point in a presentation last week at the International Franchise Expo: Franchisors would be wise to listen to their franchisees. Not only is there potential for some great ideas, but as the franchise grows, it's imperative to have franchisees' support. The presentation was written about in Entrepreneur.com. The International Franchise Expo, sponsored by the International Franchise Association, was held for the first time this year in New York City. The IFA says the number of attendees (at more than 14,000) and exhibitors (more than 300) exceeded expectations. "The change to New York reflects a shifting small-business landscape with an increasing awareness of franchising overall," IFA spokesman Matthew Haller says. "As the country slowly moves out of the recession, franchising is on the rise. You saw some of that optimism reflected over the course of the weekend at the IFE." "
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