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

1. Overcome the tech-talent shortage; offer equity.

Take a lesson from


, an electronic-trading firm started in 2000 by former investment banker Philippe Buhannic. If you want to overcome the talent shortage otherwise known as the "geek gap," give employees equity in the firm,

Crain's New York Business


Twelve years later, the company has 200 employees and offices across the world. Giving employees skin in the game fosters dedication and loyalty to the firm and the firm's mission. For TradingScreen specifically, it was looked on positively by investment firms that were clients because there weren't any conflicts of interest as opposed to competitors that were owned by other financial institutions trading in their own accounts, Buhannic tells



2. Reasons why your business needs more "moms."

Apparently, because moms are organized, able to multi-task and have "zero time to screw around," they could be great employees, according to


But the flexibility needed by women who are mothers might not be something a large company is comfortable with. Still, don't rule out this potential pool of job seekers.

3. How to recover from the small business lending crisis.

Karin Kamp, the director of digital media at

The Story Exchange

and a former commercial banker, shares her story on how to fix small business lending in a co-authored article in the

Huffington Post

. Essentially, small business lending hasn't changed much since she was a commercial banker in the 1980s. Back then -- just as it is now -- it was difficult for small companies to get a loan from the bank she worked in because they needed to be profitable or backed by VC. Or they need to provide collateral. For the most part, these options were not viable for a small business.

Today things aren't much different, Kamp writes. And the financial crisis made things even worse for small firms attempting to get loans.

"Banks view small business loans as being labor intensive, squeezing profit margins. The fact is: it's easier and more profitable to administer a $1 million loan than a $50,000 loan," she writes. On top of the fact that bank consolidation over the last few years has combined departments and "lending standards and profit targets on loans were set by headquarters in far flung places, who frankly didn't care about the impact their policies would have on communities."

So what's the solution? Try a community bank, she says. These "old-fashioned bankers" live in the community and know local economic situations, making it more likely that they will say "yes" to your loan.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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