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

1. Life for an entrepreneur after selling your company.

published entertaining thoughts by


co-founder Sam Yagan who, after selling his company for $50 million this year to IAC, the parent company of competitor, wonders if his identity will be lost if he remains in the corporate culture.

OkCupid was actually Yagan's third time at starting a company. He says while there are certainly perks to being a part of a big executive team (like being able to go on vacation, for instance) "all I know how to do is start companies. What do I say when people ask me what I do? I work for a big company? I mean, a lot of people do. It's great. But it's almost like having a sex-change operation. Part of me is like, What's my identity, if it's not the company I'm building?"

Yagan seems to be struggling with whether he can still have worthwhile experiences even as part of a big company, but while entrepreneurism is still appealing, he seems to make the case for himself to stick with the corporate job -- for now.

2. Is small business revenue back to pre-recession levels?



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show there was tentative revenue growth and employment growth in May, however, there needs to be at least two more years of similar employment growth to reach pre-recession levels.

The monthly data is based on approximately 78,000 small businesses customers of Intuit Online Payroll.

Businesses with fewer than 20 employees created 40,000 jobs in the four-week period ending May 23, according to initial estimates by Intuit. Intuit revised its April employment numbers upward to 60,000 from 40,000, based on national employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Intuit expanded the index to include small-firm revenue trends. For some industries, revenue is slowly approaching 2007 pre-recession levels. Small businesses in the professional, scientific and technology fields fared the best through the downturn and despite a big decline starting in late 2008, now have revenues that exceed pre-recessionary levels, Intuit says. Revenue for the real estate and construction industries has seen little recovery. The health care and social assistance sector shows a mild decline in revenues over the past year.

A state breakdown shows increases in 15 of the 17 states that the index covers (states that have more than 1,000 small business firms represented). Oregon and Pennsylvania were the only two states where employment declined in May. The top three states for job growth are Arizona, Colorado and Virginia, according to Intuit's data.

3. Cutting the Census' American Community Survey would hurt small business.

The House of Representatives recently voted to eliminate the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, one of the most comprehensive annual efforts to gather population data.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

contributor Scott Shane postures that while the final law is unlikely to pass such an extreme measure, any weakening of the survey will have negative consequences for small businesses that are likely unable to afford paying for data from private services.

The data is used to calculate the impact of government policies on business such as the Start-up Act 2.0 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, as well to identify "economic empowerment zones," which business owners can use to decide where there is the most incentive to be located, Shane writes.

It is also used by entrepreneurs to make sound business decisions, such as franchising opportunities, by sharing local demographic information that would support or negate the introduction of a service or product. Local officials can use the data to decide which policies best promote economic growth, the article says.

"While private sources provide alternative data for making these decisions, such products are generally less accurate (because of the high cost of designing proper sampling procedures to obtain accurate information) and more expensive," Shane writes.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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