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Small Business: BLM Creates Boom for Black-Owned Bookstores

Katrina Brooks

Photographer: Julia Robinson for Bloomberg Businessweek

Katrina Brooks has a challenge most small business owners would envy: She’s working overtime to fulfill orders at Black Pearl Books in Austin. A year ago, when she started her company, which depends mostly on online sales, she expected she’d have time to build a customer base. She still thought so when pandemic lockdowns occurred in March, and local arts, school, and other events where Black Pearl operates pop-up stores were canceled.

Then came the Black Lives Matter protests after the police killing of George Floyd in late May. Suddenly, Black Pearl was deluged with orders for books by and about Blacks and other minorities—so many that Brooks closed her online store in July so she could tackle her backlog. She reopened in August and has relied on volunteers, friends, and family, including her mother, to help pack

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How small businesses can start selling online now

Rhonda Abrams, Special to USA TODAY
Published 7:01 a.m. ET Oct. 21, 2020

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For most small businesses the number one issue is always, “how do I make more sales?” With so many customers now turning to online shopping, that’s tougher than it used to be. If you aren’t selling digitally in your small business, what can you do to start – easily and cheaply – making online sales?

I want to share two of the 99 practical, do-it-now, tips included in my newest book, “The Sh*t’s Hit the Fan: Now What?: 99 Recession-Proof Tips for Small Business Success.” These tips can help you start selling online quickly even if you’ve never made digital sales before.

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When the world shut down due to COVID-19 back in March, customers turned increasingly to online shopping. About 36% of consumers now shop online weekly, an increase from 28%

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‘The Debt Is Like A Mountain’: How Online Lenders Prey On Small Businesses

Natasha Larbie, who owns a construction firm with her husband in Katy, Texas, a Houston suburb, ran into the kind of cash flow problem that many small businesses face. Pearlorm Construction signed several contracts last year for new jobs but wouldn’t get paid until those jobs were done, perhaps months later.

Larbie needed cash to pay for materials and workers. So she turned to online lenders who promised quick, easy financing. Most just asked her how much money she needed, without stating interest rates or time frames for paying off the loan. One offered the cash she needed in exchange for a portion of her sales receipts. The total cost would be $39,200 to borrow $28,000. She took the money, and soon the lender began deducting daily payments from her bank account. She spent six months repaying the advance. “The debt is like a mountain,’’ Larbie said. “It’s an obstacle

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Application process for CARES Act small business grant programs begins Monday

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina has launched a minority small business grant program aimed at providing relief to local businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In an announcement on Friday, Gov. McMaster said “small businesses are the lifeblood of South Carolina’s economy, and many small businesses have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.” He said these grants, through the CARES Act, will provide financial reimbursement to the state’s small businesses and nonprofits for coronavirus-related financial or operational impacts.

The online application process for both grants opened on Monday.

Owner of the Turning Page Book Shop in Goose Creek is among some of the local businesses who will be apply for the grant funding.

“We are the best book shop in the state of South Carolina,” said Valinda Miller of her business.

Miller opened job in

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Next few months are make or break for many NH small businesses

Next few months are make or break for many NH small businesses


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>> WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE’S BUSINESS. I’M FRED KOCHER. THE NEXT MONTH WILL BE CRUCIAL FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, IT’S A MAKE OR BREAK TIME ESPECIALLY WITH THOSE BUSINESSES THAT MIGHT NEED MORE STIMULUS WHICH IS NOT COMING. THE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER HAS JUST CONDUCTED A SMALL BUSINESS SURVEY AMONG MORE THAN 1500 BUSINESSES AND ON RESILIENCY IN A CRIES IS AND WHAT CAUSES FINANCIAL OFFICES. DECLINE THIS SALES, REDUCED HOURS OF OPERATIONS, NOT AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS, AND SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION. AND EMPLOYEES UNABLE TO, WOULD REMOTELY. THOSE ARE THE BIG ONES. AND THEN THE NEXT GRAPH, REALLY, ACTUALLY IS A CIRCLE. THIS SHOWS YOU THE REAL PROBLEM HERE THAT THEY’RE DEALING WITH. DO YOUR BUSINESSES HAVE A RESILIENCY OR A CONTINUITY

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Members Of The House Small Business Committee Call For Bipartisanship, Approval Of PPP 2

While the initial CARES Act – and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), specifically – helped to keep small businesses solvent through the early stage of the pandemic, many companies that received funding have exhausted those resources and are in danger of closing. More than $521 billion in “forgivable loans” has been distributed to more than 5.1 million small and mid-sized companies from Alaska to Maine through PPP.

However, many companies still await confirmation that these loans have been forgiven. As a result, they are unlike to apply for any more funding until they have confirmed that they are no longer “on the hook” to repay their first cash infusion from the government.

In an online forum discussing how best to help struggling small businesses this week, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D, NY-13) and U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern (R, OK-01) stressed bipartisanship and provided insights into Congressional efforts to support business

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Opinion | Supporting small business in Cincinnati | Opinion



Findlay Market

Sellers from the area can set up shop in Findlay Market and sell homemade goods and homegrown produce. This allows farmers, artists, craftsmen, beekeepers and more to continue doing what they do for the community.




From coffee shops to clothing boutiques to nail salons, Cincinnati is filled with various small, locally owned businesses. These local shops are vital to the economy and appeal of Cincinnati. 

Areas like Over-The-Rhine (OTR) and Short Vine are defined by their blocks full of small businesses. These stores and restaurants are run for the community, by people from the community. Local business can, and has, become a massive part of a city’s identity, like Cincinnati. The charm and familiarity of family-run or locally owned companies make up the Cincinnati area’s culture. These businesses also provide jobs and affordable products to those in the community. The art store Indigo Hippo in OTR is

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Shopping locally could save Springfield small businesses this holiday season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Christmas shopping is already on the minds of many, even though Halloween is still a few weeks away. Local businesses said shopping small and local can make a big difference, especially this year.

This week’s Amazon Prime Days encouraged an online head start on gift-buying, but that gives little back to the local economy. Many small businesses are heading into this year’s shopping season desperate for a boost, after months of struggling through the pandemic.

“I thought, everything will be fixed in a week and that was not correct,” said Joshua Arnett, owner at Bookmarx in downtown Springfield.

Like many, Joshua Arnett hoped the coronavirus pandemic would pass quickly. Seven months later, his bookstore, and many other businesses are still seeing the effects.

“Many places that bring people downtown, like the music places and the theaters, haven’t been open. We get a lot of business from

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A small business argument for Joe Biden

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ Pro-Trump campaign ad uses stock footage from Russia, Belarus Harris raises alarm on abortion rights while grilling Barrett MORE‘s economic proposals are, on the surface, not very friendly to small business. 

He’s proposing tax increases, more regulations, higher wages, a return to the Affordable Care Act and changes to independent contracting and other labor rules that would create more costs and bureaucracy. So, does that mean that Biden would be a bad president for small business? Maybe. Maybe not. Business owners have a responsibility to their employees and communities to put politics aside and objectively evaluate how each candidate would impact their companies before casting their votes.

Unfortunately, the Biden campaign has not provided much help. The campaign recently launched a “small business outreach” program which, as I wrote here,

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Small business makes ‘larger than life’ products

Many businesses are forced to think creatively right now to adjust to challenges around the pandemic. One small business that’s used to being creative has approached the issues with some inspired ideas.

Great Big Stuff is located in Delaware, owned by Christina and Ed Hoenisch. The company sells what they describe as “larger than life” products that are massively oversized.

Their website sells giant bacon, matchsticks, name tags and other wildly large versions of the regular thing.

“We have giant crayons. So we produce those and we put them altogether. And they are really neat you can customize them too so these have the name of the color on the crayon but a lot of people will decorate their kids’ rooms and put their kid’s name on it as like a great decoration,” explained Christina.

The owners say they personally build about 40% of the objects themselves, in a barn

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