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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Nov. 21

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

1. Small business advocacy group urges the end of Bush tax cuts. The American Business Sustainable Council and Business for Shared Prosperity are urging lawmakers to end the Bush-era tax cuts as part of any solution to the fiscal cliff.

More than 600 small-business owners and executives took part in the letter sent to every member of Congress, according to the Huffington Post.

"Huge tax cuts for the richest Americans have not trickled down to increase small- and medium-sized business investment, broad-based consumer purchasing power or job creation. More budget-busting tax cuts for the top won't help Main Street, won't lead to business innovation, more hiring, or more people being educated for the jobs we have and can create," according to a letter written by the organization.

The letter also argues that the tax cuts for the wealthy do not benefit small-business owners, suggesting the money could be better spent elsewhere, such as "infrastructure projects, education, or other efforts to strengthen the economy."

"Less than 3% of tax filers with any business income make over $200,000 (individuals) or $250,000 (couples) per year, and many of those are not small-business owners, much less small-business owners with employees. They include K Street lobbyists, Wall Street investment partners, big business CEOs paid to sit on the boards of other big corporations, and wealthy people renting out their vacation homes," the letter says.

The two non-partisan small-business groups have long advocated against the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year, the article says.

2. How some small businesses are taking advantage of Black Friday: catering to big-box retail employees. It might not be the traditional way to get sales when you think of Black Friday, but at least one restaurant franchise, Moe's Southwest Grill, has found a way to make what is usually a quiet catering week more profitable. The 475-restaurant chain will be catering to the employees of retail stores hard at work on Black Friday, according to Entrepreneur.com.

"Most retailers, as you know, are working in overdrive on Thanksgiving weekend," with employees barely having time for a lunch break, Jamie Schlef, director of catering for Atlanta-based Moe's, tells Entrepreneur. "We know that a lot of retailers have budgets to cater during this time, and we thought this was perfect for Moe's."

Last year, Moe's franchisees catered to big-box retailers like Target (TGT), Old Navy, Apple (AAPL) stores, Ann Taylor Loft and Kohl's (KSS) stores, for instance.

Moe's increased its catering sales for the week by 32%, the article says.

3. Independent We Stand launches mobile app for Android and iPhone. Independent We Stand, a national movement for independent businesses, announced the release of a free mobile app for Android and iPhone to provide users with a simple business search engine to find local-owned, independent businesses in their area and across the country.

The search engine has five categories: Shop Local, Eat Local, Local Services, Play Local, and Other, making it easy for users to localize their lifestyle and support their local economy. Once a category is selected, users can search by current location or select an address, city, state or zip code. Users also have the ability to recommend their favorite locally owned businesses.

The application is both consumer and business owner-friendly. Business owners can use the app to become a member of Independent We Stand and list their company in the database. Basic membership is free.

-- 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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