NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today? 1. Best markets for quick-service chains. Denver, Waco (Texas) and Yuma (Arizona) share one thing in common: They all have high potential for quick-service restaurant growth, according to QSR Magazine's third-annual Growth 40 report. The report, using research by NPD Group's food-service division, forecasts only a 3% rise in the number of people visiting quick serves in the U.S. between 2011 and 2016. "Traffic projections for all members of the Growth 40 list" split between large, medium and small markets "surpass that mark," the article says. In general, markets in the South and West dominate the rankings, largely as a result of the nation's population shift. Only two Northeast markets made this year's list: Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y. 2. After Sandy, small-business loan disbursement is taking a long time. While more than 13,000 businesses in New York City alone were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, more than two months after the storm, only a few hundred have been approved for emergency disaster loans, according to WNYC.org. New York City's Department of Small Business Services has approved 224 applications for its loans with very favorable terms. On a federal level, the SBA has approved just 164 loan applications. A slew of reasons contribute to the low percentage of approved loans, including lost or damaged paperwork and files on the part of the owner, while a backlog of applications is adding days to the process. Other business owners are choosing not to take on more debt, even at the favorable terms these loans are offered. 3. Ten business opportunities for 2013. Here are 10 inspiring business ideas spotted around the world that should offer plenty of motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs in the new year, according to Springwise.com. One great idea is from a Brazilian fashion retailer who displayed Facebook "likes" on items in its real-world stores. "This blurring of the boundaries between online and offline customer interaction is something that may set successful brands apart as the web integrates further into our daily lives," the article says. Digital wallet Wallaby allows users to upload all of their credit cards' details so they don't have to figure out which one would be best for the purchase. "Depending on what is being bought, at what time and how expensive it is, the Wallaby Card selects the best account and charges it. Freeing up wallet space and allowing customers to easily take advantage of the best deals available to them, Wallaby is carving its own space in the growing world of smart credit cards," the article says.
Boutique hotel Plus One Berlin offers customers not only an apartment to stay but a knowledgeable local resident to show them around the city. "Travelers can see profiles of each of the 28 locals on hand in order to choose which one they'd like to accompany them. The idea makes city exploration a more unique experience, as travelers increasingly look for more than generic package holidays," the article says. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. Follow @LKulikowski To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.