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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: September 21

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

1. Shark Tank too intense for you? Try the Guppy Tank. Calling it a "less carnivorous, user-friendly" version of Shark Tank, ABC's popular reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to get an investment or partnership, The Guppy Tank is launching in Southern California.

For SoCal entrepreneurs looking for funding, connections, mentorship or partners, The Guppy Tank may be the opportunity they have been seeking because it is a "less intimidating group of investors called Guppies who instead of fighting each other for the next best company to invest in, instead work together in funding the next up and coming local business mavens," according to its website.

Its sponsor, Super G Funding and BizCash, have designated a minimum of $500,000 for a funding pool from which money will be awarded in the form of loans, equity investments or a combination of the two. In addition to the funding, each of the recipients will be given the opportunity to work with the Guppy investors and receive advice on how they might best grow their businesses and use the capital.

Selected entrepreneurs will present their business and ideas on Oct. 25 in Newport Beach, Calif., to the investor "Guppies."

"The Guppy Tank was created as a way to reach out and help local businesses get the funding that they need," says Guppy Tank founder, Darrin Ginsberg. "We want to find businesses that will have a positive impact on the local community, have a real passion for what they do and then help them take their business to the next level."

Businesses wishing to apply must operate a for-profit organization in Southern California that has been in business for at least one year and must register by Oct. 11 for a pre-event audition.

2. How to avoid business credit card mistakes. It's no secret that a majority of new small business owners rely on credit cards to fund their business, but using too much plastic too soon reduces chances of business survival, according to Entrepreneur.com.

Entrepreneurs avoid the perils of credit card funding by seeking investors early. And to do that, you need a solid proposal, complete with a business plan on how you plan to make money.

MultiFunding's Ami Kassar has proposed taking on debt as opposed to equity funding, but the Entrepreneur article says entrepreneurs won't have to "waste crucial early-stage revenue paying down debt or the interest associated with it."

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