NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What's happening in small business today? 1. Businesses in Austin are complaining about SXSW 2012. South by Southwest, the annual music, film and technology festival, isn't getting rave reviews from some local Austin businesses, says the Huffington Post, citing local TV station KVUE.
Some business owners say they actually lose money when the high-profile festival comes to town, given the blocked-off roads and locals who want to avoid the area. A few are finding it's more profitable to close shop altogether for the week. 2. Here are 10 tools to help business owners get free online publicity. Small businesses don't have a lot of money to put into advertising, so The Miami Herald's BizBytes columnist, Tasha Cunningham, put together a list of free resources allowing businesses to get more exposure for less cost, leading to more customers. Topping the list is LinkedIn ( LNKD) Search, "a highly effective way of finding journalists who may be interested in writing about your products or services," the article says. Business owners should also check out Regator, a site that aggregates blog posts from around the Web, to find posts about topics related to your business and reach out to the authors to pitch your company. MuckRack is a Twitter directory tracking journalists, while iNewswire allows you to distribute press releases for free. 3. Here are eight reasons to work for a start-up as opposed to a corporation. With unemployment still high, everyone is looking to small businesses to boost the job sector, but should all workers be employed by a small business? The answer lies in a worker's personality and, frankly, risk tolerance. Fast Company provides eight reasons to take the plunge to work for a start-up company. One reason to work for a small company is that you will have more responsibility, and that's a good thing. "This pushed me to be more versatile, more reliable, and more productive than in any other project I'd undertaken," author Kerrin Sheldon says of his own experience at Wanderfly. "At a bigger company, I may not have been given the same opportunity or had an entire company rely on the work that I did." With more responsibility comes more opportunity, and your work will be recognized (but so will your failures), the article points out. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.