3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: March 23

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

1. The Senate has passed the JOBS Act. In a rare feat of bipartisanship, the Senate on Wednesday passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (H.R. 3606), a package that includes capital formation and access measures to aid struggling small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate passed the measure 73-26, with one added measure requiring "crowdfunding portals, including the Internet, to provide investor protection, including investor education materials on the risks associated with small issuers and illiquidity," according to Roll Call.

The U.S. House passed its version of the bill March 8, also with strong bipartisan support (390-23) and with President Barack Obama's backing, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

"Other reforms contained within the JOBS Act will help small businesses access and accelerate their growth in the public markets. Inflexible and costly rules impeding the growth of promising enterprises are properly addressed in H.R. 3606, allowing these firms to more efficiently scale up while freeing up more resources for investment and job creation," the SBE Council says.

The House plans to vote on the Senate-amended package early next week.

2. Entrepreneur found four small-business lessons in The Hunger Games. Unless you've been under a rock, you're probably at least familiar with the marketing and trailers to The Hunger Games, which opens in theaters today.

Entrepreneur says watching heroine Katniss Everdeen reveals business lessons:

Know your strengths. As the gifted hunter she is, Katniss knows there is no one in the arena better than her with a bow. "Likewise, be sure your business plays to your talents and interests. If you have no experience with computers, a tech company probably isn't your best bet," Entrepreneur says.

Fill a need. Like Katniss' sponsors do when they see her suffering from burns and send down soothing ointment. "Before you start your new venture, you must identify an unmet need in the marketplace that your company can fill," the article says.

Master the basics. Katniss is smart, when training for the arena, she and her fellow contestants concentrate on basic survival skills as opposed to advanced combat. "Before starting your own enterprise, learn the basics. ... Those early lessons will help prevent easily avoidable and costly mistakes down the road," the article says.

Be yourself. Katniss never loses who she is in the Games and makes sure the audience is reminded of that. "Potential customers respond to a business they can relate to. So, if you're young and hip, flaunt it. If your business is socially conscious, let it show. And like Katniss, you will be rewarded," the article says.

3. We're gearing up for the New York XPO for Business The seventh annual New York XPO for Business will be held May 2-3 at the Javits Center in New York City. With more than 15,000 attendees, the trade show features small-business exhibitors, seminars and other interactive features for small businesses in the tri-state area.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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