3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: October 3

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

1. Small business owners seeking answers from the presidential debate. Lana Nguyen, owner of a furniture retailer in the Washington, D.C. area, says she has already ruled out voting for President Obama as a result of the slow economic recovery which has hurt her business. But Nguyen told The Washington Post that she isn't convinced Republican candidate Mitt Romney will give her small business a boost either.

During the first presidential debate on Wednesday night, she'll be looking for some answers from the candidates, despite the tendency for candidates to speak in rhetoric as opposed to actual specifics during debates.

"Tell me how you're going to create jobs, don't tell me you will," Nguyen told The Washington Post.

Another small business owner, Tom Natan, who operates an online-only wine business, wants the candidates to address credit availability as well as the recovery of consumer spending so that sales for his business will start picking up again.

"It's very difficult in these times when merely being able to keep your doors open and break-even is a good thing in today's economy," he says in the article.

But he too is doubtful he will get answers.

"Am I going to hear that? No. I expect to hear more about tax policies that don't really affect me," he said. "Businesses like mine don't make it to the radar screen of either party or either candidate."

Check back at 9pm ET for TheStreet's political reporter Joseph Deaux as he live blogs about tonight's presidential debates.

2. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. Goldman Sachs ( GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein acknowledged the difficulty of being an entrepreneur after meeting with about 150 graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program this week, according to Huffington Post.

The program, launched in 2009, is a $500-million, five-year investment providing small business owners with education, access to capital and business support.

According to the investment bank, about 900 small business owners have participated in the program in eight cities. Goldman Sachs says 70% of the program's graduates increased revenue and half were able to hire new employees from the assistance.

One small business owner participant paints a less rosy picture of the initiative. Bill McIntosh, CEO of CharityTrucks, qualified for a $300,000 loan through the program last year but declined to take the money because the fees and interest rate were higher than he expected.

"It's very misleading to say you've been granted a pot of money to lend out when it's actually a wholesale loan and you're going out there and selling them at retail and building in a lot of fees," he told HuffPo.

3. Should restaurants use daily deals? Restaurant Management offers an in-depth piece on the rise of daily deals fueled by consumers looking for bargains as the recession deepened. The cut back in discretionary spending not only hurt many merchants, including restaurants -- many went out of business. The article shows how some restaurants were saved by using daily deals.

For all the talk about the negatives of a restaurant using a daily deal -- food and personnel costs and customers not tipping on the gross amount are the main gripes -- daily deals should be considered as part of a restaurant's online marketing strategy to drive traffic to the restaurant. Online marketing is a must-have for restaurants today, the article says. It is then up to the business to keep the customers coming back. The cost they leave on the table when a customer uses the deal should be considered a marketing expense.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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