3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Mar. 2

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. It's time to think about political discourse in your shop. Big businesses show support for chosen candidates all the time without seeming to affect customers, but small-business owners who want to air their political views need to be a little bit more sensitive, given that their business relies heavily on personal relationships.

Entrepreneur says business owners should come up with a strategy, anything from banning political talk entirely or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, supporting a candidate openly with posters and donation boxes -- staying aware that the more support they show, the more some customers may get angry.

2. An L.A. cupcake store is getting creative. This is just darn cool. One cupcake store is taking ingenuity to a whole new level by creating an ATM machine for cupcakes. Sprinkles Cupcakes, which has locations in Los Angeles and New York, is the inventor of "24 Hour Sprinkles." The ATM will dispense cupcakes, cupcake mix, apparel, even cupcakes for your dog.

3. Small-business hiring is ticking upward. The latest data from the National Federation of Independent Business found that hiring at small U.S. businesses edged higher last month by an average of 0.04 jobs last month. Job creation was flat in January, according to the NFIB.

On the flip side, the number of firms that laid off workers was at its lowest since 2007. Still, small-business owners don't have huge plans for hiring. The net percent of business owners planning to hire fell for the fourth consecutive month. The NFIB poll was based on responses from 642 firms surveyed through Feb. 28.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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