3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Jan. 4

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Happy New Year! What's happening in small business today?

1. Patrick Dempsey isn't just McDreamy, he's also an entrepreneur. The 46-year-old actor, first made famous by his role in the 1987 movie "Can't Buy Me Love" but known more recently by that of Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Sheperd on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," is expanding into coffee. Dempsey's company, Global Baristas, has apparently made the preliminary winning bid in a bankruptcy court for Tully's Coffee, a coffee chain located in Seattle, according to the Associated Press.

Global Baristas will pay $9.15 million for Tully's Coffee, which has 47 locations in Washington and California and 500 employees. Dempsey's company apparently won the bid even with heavy hitters like Starbucks ( SBUX) vying for the company's assets.

"Seattle has been very good to me over my career, and I am honored to have the privilege to own Tully's and work closely with the company's employees," Dempsey said in a statement.

2. By 2020, the world will have 1 billion entrepreneurs. What will be different about them? It will be women leading the way, says Startup America Partnership. Check out this cool infographic showcasing the dominance of women entrepreneurs created by Funders and Founders.

3. American shopping malls are dying. Fashion and retail-oriented entrepreneurs looking to start a business need only need to look at Bonobos, J. Hilburn and Warby Parker for some unofficial market research on where retail trends are heading -- and they are heading to one specific place: online.

North Carolina upstart ActivewearUSA.com understands where retail is heading. Founder Avi Woolman sees opportunity to sell quality women's fitness clothing brands via the Web.

It's a trend that will "undoubtedly continue," according to The Daily Beast.

"There clearly will be fewer new offline retailers to take the space vacated by the disappearing brick-and-mortar chains, further pressuring malls," The Daily Beast says.

But these online brands are also experimenting with offline stores -- with a twist.

Bonobos and Warby Parker, for example, have built showrooms in their New York offices, the blog says. Customers can try on articles of clothing but purchased items are fulfilled through warehouses. Inventory is not stocked on site.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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

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