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

1. The 100 most brilliant companies revealed.


annual report is out and it should come as no surprise that the list is top-heavy with digital tech companies ranging from social media to apps and other gadgets for use by mobile phones to health care providers.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is also some "low-tech brilliance," the article notes, with


newest category to debut in the annual rankings, Geek Chic, targeting retro, hipster appeal.

Many companies that made the list are not necessarily the most lucrative in their industries, but the report also includes what some leading venture capitalists have to say about the potential for these types of companies.

2. Lessons from Google.

Small businesses shouldn't be discouraged if they want to create a business that has the same success as


(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report

because it's not just Google's revenue that allows it to feed employees three times a day, it's in the way the company looks at problem solving and decision making at every level that allows it to be successful, according to

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says business owners should take note of a few of Google's mantras, such as "launch and iterate."

"For a small business, this means trying out a lot of services, products, marketing, sales and other tactics in really small ways, gauging the success and then building on the ideas that work in reality. Resist the urge to perfect -- if your customers understand that you truly want their feedback to shape products and services, they will enthusiastically share their opinions," the article says.

Also remember to "ask forgiveness, not permission," meaning reward employees for taking initiative and "treat their missteps as any other failure -- something to learn from, but not to dwell on,"



3. SBA partners with the AARP to assist business owners over age 50.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the


have joined forces to provide counseling and training to entrepreneurs over age 50 looking to start a business.

Through the partnership, the agencies expect to train 100,000 "encore entrepreneurs," according to

Buffalo News


The SBA created a special


that offers an online self-assessment tool to help entrepreneurs understand if they are ready to start a business, among other resources,

Buffalo News

says. The partners will also jointly develop a webinar training series on top of what the SBA already offers.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:


To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski

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