NEW YORK (
) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Small businesses already being hit by sequestration.
Small businesses that use the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit -- a credit designed to encourage businesses with fewer than 25 employees to take on costly employee health care benefits -- will see lower tax credits as a result of sequestration. Last week the IRS said that the refundable portion of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit will be reduced by 8.7% effective immediately.
The lower rate will be in place to the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2013) or until Congress intervenes,
according to Forbes
"Practically speaking, what that means is that health care benefits just got a little more expensive for those employers. Just like that," the article says. "No, it's not Armageddon. And I'm not suggesting that it's the end of the world. But hear that noise? It's the chip, chip, chipping away at our small business economy."
2. Top purchases influenced by social media.
While it's true that consumers dedicate more of their purchasing research to traditional or online outlets -- and hence that's where the majority of marketing budgets should be allotted to -- social media marketing should not be ignored,
according to corporate communications blog, Corporate Eye
Research from Radius Global Market Research found that social media influences anywhere from 9% to 39% of purchase decisions, cites Corporate Eye. Social media Web sites were consulted most often for baby care equipment, electronics, automobiles, toys and games and household appliances.
Consumers are more likely to seek out information and share after purchasing personal care and makeup products, the research noted.
3. Pop quizzes at work?
A pop quiz every now and then might be the best way to get the most out of employees,
according to BusinessNewsDaily
, which cites research from the American Psychological Association.
The study found that people of all ages retain more information when tested on material compared to simply re-reading or re-studying information.
"Working adults often need to gain new skills or knowledge as they advance through their careers," said Ashley Meyer, the study's lead author and a cognitive psychologist with the Houston Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence. "Our research suggests that testing may be one way to help them improve and move up."
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York
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