Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Greece arrives at bailout deal: European officials agreed Tuesday to give Greece a second massive bailout in exchange for harsh austerity measures, as grim new estimates about the country’s economy pushed off a resolution until what some officials called the last possible day to reach one. Under the terms of the deal, private bondholders will take a larger loss than had previously been planned in an attempt to get Greece’s debt to what European officials consider a sustainable level by 2020.
Dropouts hit hardest by weak job market: Roughly 1.8 million college graduates have found work since the recovery began producing jobs in early 2010, while about 128,000 high-school dropouts lost work in the same period, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Less than 40% of the 25 million Americans over age 25 who lack a high-school diploma are currently employed.
P. Diddy launching music channel: Music icon Sean Combs plans to unveil on Tuesday his plans for a cable channel called Revolt, which could launch by the end of the year. Combs will bill Revolt as a music and news television channel influenced by social networking sites and expects to compete with the likes of MTV and BET.
Patent disputes increasingly taking place in government offices: Government reexamination of whether a patent was properly issued is cheaper than a lawsuit and has an easier standard for discrediting a patent than what is allowed before a judge or jury. With a success rate of about 90 percent, companies have almost doubled requests in the past five years, turning the patent office into a reliable forum to shoo away competitors’ claims of patent infringement.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Manufacturers seeing shortage of skilled workers: Through a combination of overseas competition and productivity gains, the United States has lost nearly 4 million manufacturing jobs in the past 10 years. But many manufacturers say the losses have not yielded a surplus of skilled factory workers, largely because technology has transformed factories and laid-off workers are often unqualified to run newer equipment and machinery.
Trademarks growing even more important online: Trademarks have always been incredibly valuable to many companies, but brand experts and trademark lawyers say the value of simple, easily understood brand names has escalated in the Internet era because consumers are more likely to find such products while doing searches on the Web.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to learn business tricks from rap (New York Times)
How visual thinking can boost your firm’s sales (Inc.)
How to build a captive audience online (Open Forum)
How to market a small business on Facebook (Mashable)