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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: September 14

Stocks in this article: AAPLCTCT

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

1. New York City's beverage ban will crush restaurant franchisees profitability. In a move meant to help fight the obesity epidemic, the New York City Board of Health on Thursday approved a proposal put forth by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban large-sized sugary drinks, which passed despite the restaurant and franchise industry opposing the measure.

According to the New York Times, establishments that receive health department inspections will be subject to the rule but those like convenience stores, vending machines and some newsstands would be exempt from the rule, which is slated to go into effect on March 12, 2013. The rule does not affect fruit juices, dairy-based drinks or alcoholic beverages.

The franchise industry is reeling from the passed measure.

"This is an example of government overreach that unfairly targets restaurant franchises and does little to combat obesity," Judith Thorman, IFA's senior vice president of government relations and public policy said in a statement. "Mayor Bloomberg did not consult with the franchise industry, the restaurant industry or the beverage industry about the impact of this action and now this ban adds unnecessary and arbitrary costs to franchisees who are already struggling to stay in business in a challenging economic environment."

The ban also puts restaurants at a competitive disadvantage against other types of businesses that are exempt from the ban and will likely result in higher costs to consumers, the IFA said.

2. Neither candidate understands small business needs. Both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney mentioned small businesses multiple times in their convention speeches, but do either of them truly understand what's best for small businesses?

Policies including those covering taxes, banking, health care, trade and the environment are more likely to favor big companies, leaving Main Street struggling to compete, says Bloomberg Businessweek.

The biggest problem is that all small businesses are not the same. A pizzeria's needs are different than that of a small manufacturer, the article says.

"There is always a tendency for lawmakers to think that small businesses are just smaller versions of General Motors, and they're not," Dan Danner, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Most importantly, small business owners as a group want the cloud of uncertainty to move away, particularly when it comes to taxes and Obamacare.

"Obama and Romney each mentioned small business at least five times in their convention speeches. They will need to do much more than that to bring Main Street shops and the Fortune 500 under the same big tent," the author writes.

3. What should small businesses know about Apple's Passbook? Apple (AAPL) launched its next iPhone along with an updated operating system (iOS 6) earlier this week. Along with that, the tech giant has added a new app named Passbook pre-loaded onto the device. The app is a central location for consumers to store their tickets, loyalty cards, coupons, boarding passes, etc., says Constant Contact (CTCT).

The Passbook app is likely to benefit large brands like Starbucks (SBUX), Amtrak, Fandango, etc., but it also has huge potential for small businesses, especially as the trend toward mobile is only intensifying.

"Imagine being able to engage with consumers in real time -- at the right time, in the right place, and on the right device," the article says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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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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