3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Dec. 11

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

1. GoDaddy has a new CEO. Domain-services provider Go Daddy named Blake Irving, a former Microsoft ( MSFT ) executive and the former chief product officer of Yahoo! ( YHOO), as its new CEO.

Irving will assume the position on Jan. 7, the company says, succeeding Scott Wagner, a member of KKR, who has been serving as interim CEO since July.

"Go Daddy, the industry leader of Web hosting solutions for small and medium businesses, is poised for a promising future," said Go Daddy Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Parsons. "Blake Irving's deep technology experience and his history of developing new cutting-edge products and leading large global teams make him an enormously compelling choice to drive Go Daddy to the next level of its domestic and global growth. Go Daddy has made great strides with Scott Wagner as CEO, and we look forward to building on that in the future."

Go Daddy has been expanding its market-leading products to support its nearly 11 million customers, mostly small-business customers both domestically and internationally.

Irving most recently served as chief product officer at Yahoo!, where he developed and rolled out the unified product vision and strategy -- growing the company to nearly 1 billion active PC and mobile users. Prior to Yahoo, he spent 15 years at Microsoft, serving in various senior roles, most recently as corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform.

While at Microsoft, Irving was responsible for creating and leading a global development and operations organization of more than 4,000 employees in the creation and operation of Microsoft's global online services, launching several new products, including MSN Messenger and growing Hotmail from 7 million to 290 million users.

2. McDonald's franchisee pleads guilty to illegal hiring. A McDonald's ( MCD) multi-unit franchisee in Kansas has pleaded guilty to hiring illegal workers in order to save on expenses such as payroll taxes, according to The Wichita Eagle.

The federal investigation found that the franchisee, McCalla Corp., which owns six of the fast-food units in the Wichita area, had employed managers and other employees who were unlawfully in the U.S., allegedly to save on wages, payroll taxes, such as Social Security and Medicare and other withholding taxes, the article says.

"Any attempt to minimize or excuse this kind of conduct is unacceptable," U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a statement. "We know these practices are widespread, and investigations similar to the McCalla case are under way."

The federal government will be going after more business owners over similar employment practices - a more effective measure than showing up at a job site to arrest illegal immigrants.

"So the most cost-effective message we can send out is, if you as an employer are knowingly hiring undocumented persons, then we are going to pursue you," Grissom told The Wichita Eagle. "This is going to send a very loud and clear message."

3. Enter for a chance to partake in $100,000 in seed money from the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest. The 2013 Governor's Business Plan Contest is now accepting entries online. The contest, launched in 2004, is looking to encourage Wisconsin entrepreneurs in the creation, startup and early-growth stages of their high-tech businesses. Finalists share in more than $100,000 in seed capital and services, such as legal, accounting, office space and marketing.

The contest is a six-month program that includes mentoring and comments from judges on selected plans and likely lead to public and media exposure for the best business plans submitted by contestants as well as spurring the state's economic growth. Past finalists have raised tens of millions of dollars in private equity, such as angel and venture capital.

In phase 1, contestants must submit their idea abstract by Jan. 31. Entries must fall into one of four categories: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, information technology or business services.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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

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