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Obama, Other Elected Officials Are Failing Startups, CEO Says

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Well, we're still here, so here's what you need to know about small business today.

1. The decline of small business is a "five-alarm fire." After Gallup reported last week that small-business owners plan to pull back on capital spending plans next year, CEO Jim Clifton shared his concerns regarding the decline in small-business startups on LinkedIn.

"The reason the U.S. economy is stalled like this, in my view, is that our elected officials, from the president, to Congress, to governors and mayors, are focused on the wrong things. They're concerned about government spending on infrastructure, schools, police, firemen, and the military -- on government jobs and projects of all types. They're fixated on pensions and benefits -- on how to spend money, not how to create wealth," he writes.

"What they should be focused on is revving up the engine that fuels most of the American economy: small business. And right now, small business desperately needs a jump-start," Clifton writes.

He estimates that the U.S. needs a minimum of 2 million startups per year to keep the economy pumping and creating jobs. Currently the country is coming in at roughly 400,000 startups a year.

"It's clear to me and to millions of other executives that when small business slows, America slows. But I'm not sure the president, Congress, governors, or mayors really know this, or they'd be responding to the decline of small business like the five-alarm fire that it is," he writes.

2. Better your business in 2013.Whether it's getting a mentor, ignoring what critics say, shifting from pursuing customers to attracting them to come to you, The Globe and Mail offers 10 suggestions on how to get "exponential entrepreneurial growth" next year.

3. Here's a startup opportunity: Solve the mobile-data overload problem. Mobile data usage is skyrocketing, but there is only so much the frequency spectrum can handle. Inc.com suggests that this conundrum can present a big opportunity to savvy tech entrepreneurs.

"The cellular network was designed for voice, not data, and certainly not video, and because consumers have become accustomed to streaming whatever they want whenever they want it, they're facing a veritable mobile-data crunch," the article says. "This turns out to be a good thing for start-ups that know a thing or two about broadband, radio frequencies and the like."

Sprint (S), for instance, is looking to work with those types of companies.

-- 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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