NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Whether you were coming up with tasks to fill the slow summer days, finding strategies for your "excess cash," or optimizing all that social-media engagement, here's what happened in small business this week. 1. Summer slowdown activities for small-business owners. Just because the summer may bring fewer sales, doesn't mean you should head the beach yourself -- the exception being seasonal businesses which need as much sun as they can get, and so far, we're getting too much rain. Generally, the slower summer months are a good time for business owners to address matter that might be holding them back during the rest of the year. Also see: Moe's Southwest Grill President: Fast Casual Is Still Hot CBS News suggests expanding your network by going to a conference or a networking event, upgrading your Web site, training staff and thinking about longer-term goals. Then you can take that vacation. 2. After all that, the Internet sales tax bill looks dead. A bill to place sales tax requirements on online merchants is rumored to be dead, or at least dying. The House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said his committee would not take up the Senate-approved Marketplace Fairness Act, according to a blog post on Reason.com. Goodlatte criticized the bill as unfair to consumers and says House Republicans will come up with their own version of the bill. Also see: Viking Cruises Goes Ocean Despite Mishaps 3. Strategies for excess cash. Businesses know they should have enough cash on hand to cover several months' worth of expenses, but it's no secret that U.S. companies are hoarding close to $2 trillion in cash these days. As a small-business owner, what are the best ways to use that cash? Should you acquire a competing firm whose owner is looking to retire? Purchase inventory? Take some proceeds for yourself? Inc.com contributor Gene Marks shares several tales of what his small-business clients do with their excess cash. 4. Best ways to use Pinterest to generate traffic and engagement. Pinterest is one of the hottest social media sites right now and while this article was originally published in January 2013, small-business owners could learn a lot about how to approach potential customers through Pinterest. Some things to consider when using Pinterest: users appreciate before-and-after graphics of using your product or service; "repins" as opposed to "likes" are key for Pinterest; include prices on pictures; rename photo files to optimize SEO; drum up engagement by actively following other users, among other tips.
5. "Showrooming" is becoming a major threat to the retail industry. The practice of "showrooming," in which customers view items at retailers and then buy it online, is a growing concern amongst the retail industry in an era where e-commerce is swiftly becoming a direct threat to the existence of bricks-and-mortar stores. Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY), Best Buy ( BBY) and JC Penney ( JCP) are just a few examples of large retailers negatively impacted by the trend. Business Insider says stores are combatting the behavior, in some ways with risky strategies, such as price matching or "information blackout." "Some retail chains are blocking cell signals in-store, or adopting proprietary barcodes that won't allow shoppers to check prices at competitors' sites. That, too, can backfire -- as it is tremendously annoying to customers," 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: email@example.com. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.