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

1. Fast-food workers strike in New York in an effort to unionize.

The New York Times

is reporting that fast-food employees at several restaurants including McDonald's, Wendy's, Domino's and Taco Bell walked off the job on Thursday, protesting low wages and retaliation against workers who have supported the unionization campaign. Experts are saying that it was the biggest effort so far to unionize fast-food workers in the U.S.

Past campaigns have been challenging because fast-food jobs have high turnover, one expert tells the





, citing the New York State Labor Department, says median pay for fast-food workers in New York City is around $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year for a full-time worker.

Yet one labor relations professor says the campaign to unionize will be difficult, particularly against large corporate-owned restaurants.

"It will be harder to unionize them than carwash workers because the parent companies will fight hard against it, because they worry if you unionize fast-food outlets in New York, that's going to have a lot of ramifications elsewhere," Richard W. Hurd, a labor relations professor at Cornell, tells the



2. Is your supply chain disaster-proof?

A result of Hurricane Sandy, which is estimated to have caused $30 billion to $50 billion in damages, is that the freight transportation industry will benefit.

"The clean-up and rebuilding phase following the super storm is what gives the transportation industry its light at the end of the tunnel. Fleets are expected to see an increase in activity in the coming months with demand on the rise. Construction companies and the flatbed carriers that haul their materials will experience quite the surge," according to

BlueGrace Logistics


Flatbed carriers aren't the only ones to benefit: Dry-van carriers will also see a boom in business as retailers need to replenish lost merchandise. One consultant predicts the storm will generate $15 billion in additional revenue for trucking over the next year.

Still, "Sandy's disruption to replenishing food, gas and other goods serves as a glaring reminder that freight transportation is the backbone that supports our everyday life. Whether a storm for you causes a loss or a sudden boom in business, you still need to have a plan for whatever comes next. Though you cannot predict, you can prepare," BlueGrace says, offering a


for supply-chain users.

3. SCORE partners with National Football League Players Association.

In a growing trend to transition seasoned athletes to the business world,


, the nonprofit small-business mentoring organization has partnered with the

National Football League Players Association

to "nurture entrepreneurial aspirations" of former and current NFL players.

SCORE will use its network of 13,000 volunteer small-business mentors so NFL players will have access to free mentoring, tailored workshops and expert resources regarding business ownership. SCORE and the NFLPA will also present webinars designed to address the challenges that NFL players face.

Once the last touchdown or tackle is made, endorsements are quick to fizzle. And with some athlete's lavish lifestyles, second careers are almost a given. More and more are looking toward becoming business owners, specifically

franchise owners

before they even leave the field.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Follow @LKulikowski

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