) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. How one start-up made it to the Super Bowl.

This story shows the power of networking.

Boston start-up


founder Ben Carcio found himself recently in conversations leading to the firm taking on a branding campaign for the

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

Chevrolet Super Bowl XLVI campaign. Chevrolet had been trying for years for a campaign that better included its dealers, the article says. By networking with several media agents, Promboxx was eventually signed to create co-branded Super Bowl pages for 3,000 Chevy dealers from which the dealers shared content via social media.

The project is the 2-year-old company's biggest so far.

"What I learned," Carcio told

, "is that you've got to make every phone call, because you can never be sure what could happen."

2. SBA release state profiles on small business.

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy released


for all 50 states with such information as small-business employment; business starts and closings; bank lending; business ownership by minorities, women and veterans; and firm and employment change by major industry and firm size.

Here are a few highlights:

There were 26.8 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2009. Of these, 5.8 million were employers and they accounted for 49.2% of private-sector jobs in the state. Small firms made up 99.7% of U.S. employers.

Throughout 2010, the number of establishments opening was lower than those closing, but the net employment change from this turnover was positive.

U.S. real gross domestic product fell 1.3% and private-sector employment fell 0.8% in 2010.

Self-employment in the United States surged over the last decade. Minority self-employment fared the best compared with other demographic groups during the decade.

3. More Quiznos lessons.


Quiznos franchisees

breathe a sigh of relief from the company's recent debt restructuring plan, one franchise expert is still angered.

Joel Libava

, a franchise-acquisition consultant and author of

Become a Franchise Owner!

, says on his blog that he's unhappy that while Quiznos was going through its financial and legal messes, which included a class-action lawsuit from franchisees who forfeited investments when they shut locations, no one addressed it.

"There's one thing in this mess that angers me the most, and it has to do with secrets. Most of the people in the franchise industry were aware of the problems at Quiznos, but few spoke out," he writes, adding that Quiznos got top rankings for its franchise just a few years ago.

"I wonder how many people bought Quiznos franchises based on a ranking ... as opposed to doing real deep franchise research," Libava says.

Libava also wonders if Quiznos will be able to win back its reputation. What do you think?

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:


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