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

1. Start a business with little capital.

John Cerasani, author of

Paid Training

and a


contributor, offers a short list of ways for entrepreneurs to start a business even if they don't have much money to invest.

Perhaps your business has a niche or specialty that can complement another existing company's services.

Start a business that offers a service that requires little overhead such as consulting.

Look through your network for a possible angel investor -- a financial backer who can help you get your business off the ground. There are also numerous websites and resources that can connect startups with angel investors.

Or try a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or that have made themselves valuable in today's small business segment.

2. Gulf Coast shrimping business still struggling.

With the springtime comes the shrimping season, but the shrimp and crab businesses along the Gulf Coast continue to struggle as the second full year since

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monstrous oil spill begins in earnest, according to the

Associated Press


Catches have been down, docks are idle and "anxiety is growing that the ill effects of the massive BP oil spill may be far from over," the



Officials say it's too early to tell whether the BP oil spill is affecting the industry, but fishermen are blaming the spill as some longtime shrimpers leave the business altogether.

The dour outlook isn't felt everywhere: even though the Gulf fishermen aren't hauling in as much seafood, prices have risen. As people are paying more for fish from the area than other sources, some fishermen are able to maintain their income from the disparity, the article says.

3. Is the National Federation of Independent Business truly working for small business?


criticized the lobbying organization saying that the NFIB has a "record of lobbying for issues that benefit big businesses, not necessarily small ones," according to the opinion piece.

For instance, take its support for the pending Supreme Court case against President Obama's healthcare reform.

According to the NFIB -- the majority of its 340,000 members have fewer than 20 employees -- the individual mandate in healthcare reform is not only unconstitutional but "would bankrupt small businesses with unnecessary costs." Yet there are many small-business owners who would say they've benefited from the law including lower costs thanks to the tax credit and being able to better compete in large corporation-dominated industries for talent.

Healthcare reform is one example of where the organization sways toward big business positions over small business, the article says. The NFIB also seems to spend a majority of its political action committee funds on Republicans,



-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:


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