This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Dec. 4

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

1. Small firms field both sides of fiscal-cliff war. There is a growing rift among small-business advocacy groups over the fiscal cliff between those supporting President Barack Obama and House Republicans, according to Roll Call.

The small-business advocacy community, long dominated by GOP-friendly trade associations, such as the National Federation of Independent Business, are making way for more liberal groups like the American Sustainable Business Council.

According to Roll Call, the ASBC promotes environmental protection and social equity, among other issues, and represents 150,000 businesses through a network of 50 trade groups. The organization supports letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those with annual incomes of more than $250,000.

"The members in our network have been pretty clear that what would help them is if consumers had more money in their pockets, and if we had more money to spend on infrastructure and health care," Kevin Simowitz, director of the Maine Small Business Coalition, an affiliate of the ASBC, told Roll Call.

The NFIB, on the other hand, supports research that says Obama's tax proposal would shrink the economy by 1.3% and would result in 710,000 fewer jobs.

The big question is: Who really represents the interests of small businesses?

Small-business groups agree that nobody wants across-the-board spending cuts nor do they want automatic tax increases. "As the GOP stalemate with the White House drags on, small-business groups on the right and left could wind up united in their dismay," the article says.

2. Reality TV show "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley" is bad for entrepreneurism. Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council and a serial entrepreneur, thinks Bravo's "Start-Ups: Silicon Alley" is not only lame entertainment, "it's flat-out dangerous for America's youth entrepreneurship movement," he says in a Time article.

The show is supposed to display the lives of a group of young up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley as they compete for venture capital and work around the clock to try to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, it's building unrealistic expectations among aspiring entrepreneurs, Gerber says.

"Unfortunately, this is one reality show that strays far, far away from reality, misleading younger viewers in particular with inaccurate expectations about entrepreneurship -- especially with the notion that 'the life' is more important than the work required to achieve it," Gerber writes. "[The] majority of a typical episode's 44 minutes are devoted to filler (personal drama, fashion, spray tanning, partying) that plays to the lowest common denominator."

"Start-Ups: Silicon Valley" is far from its entrepreneur-based reality TV competitor, ABC's "Shark Tank," which is not only entertaining to watch, especially with the venture capitalist-filled panel that regularly has funny one-liners, but is also informative, showing what it's like to pitch and negotiate with investors.

3. GSA proposal could hurt small businesses. The General Services Administration is looking to restructure its Multiple Award Schedule by phasing out outdated and obsolete office supply contracts, such as those for typewriters and non-digital photographic equipment. The move is expected to save the GSA about $24 million a year. However, the proposal will phase out more than 8,000 supply schedule contracts, many with small businesses, as the GSA moves to a so-called Demand Based Model, according to Small Business Trends .

Chairman of the House Small Business Committee Sam Graves (R-Mo.) is skeptical of this new plan, expressing his concern in a letter last month to Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator of the GSA, that the restructuring may not only fail to accomplish its goals of improving efficiency and reducing expenses, but that it could mean fewer opportunities for small businesses to compete for government contracts.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:

>To submit a news tip, email:


Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.18 1.64%
FB $117.43 -0.96%
GOOG $692.36 -0.84%
TSLA $232.32 -3.92%
YHOO $36.01 -1.42%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs