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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Dec. 28

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

1. Thinking about starting a business in 2013? After posting the 10 weakest sectors in 2013 for small business, the Washington Post unveils the 10 strongest growth sectors for small businesses in the coming year.

The data, provided by Sageworks, shows that cattle ranching and farming, architectural and structural metals manufacturing and oil seed and grain farming were the sectors with the strongest growth sales over the past year.

2. East Coast port strike could cost $1 billion a day. The Dec. 30 deadline is nearing in order to avoid a strike involving dock workers on the East Coast, following a similar labor dispute on the West Coast, CBS News reports.

If a deal isn't reached by Sunday morning between the International Longshoremen's Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, a group that represents shipping lines, terminal operators and port associations, then the shipment of products from flat-screen TVs to snow shovels as well as raw materials could be disrupted. The strike would close cargo ports on the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico to container ships, the article says.

The shutdown, which could cost companies $1 billion a day, could be a big blow to retailers and manufacturers in an already weak economy, CBS News says.

3. Three steps to turn around a failing company. "Turnaround King" Grant Cardone says there are three essential steps to take if youre company is failing fast. First, make sure you "get the real scoop" as to why your company has "hit the skids," according to Inc.com.

While you may think you know the reasons -- it's not the economy -- most likely you don't. Experience the company as customers do, which can be very enlightening, the article says.

Next, sell your staff. Getting rid of current staff and recruiting better-fitting employees is unlikely when the company's future looks uncertain. Work with employees you already have and turn them into ideal workers.

Finally, rally the troops "around a definite and achievable goal," Cardone says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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