Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Obama announced plans to boost tourism by speeding up the visa process for foreign tourists to the United States, focusing on countries with rapidly growing economies and large populations such as China, India and Brazil. The U.S. market share of global travel has declined markedly in the past decade, falling from 17 percent to 12.4 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
GOP race turned upside down: The Republican presidential contest took a series of unexpected twists Thursday as Texas Gov. Rick Perry quit the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich, while officials in Iowa declared that former senator Rick Santorum had in fact won more votes than front-runner Mitt Romney in the caucuses there two weeks earlier.
Online advertising projected to top print: Marketers are expected to spend more on online advertising than on advertising in print magazines and newspapers for the first time ever in 2012, according to a new study from eMarketer. In total, online advertising is projected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year compared to print’s $33.8 billion.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Small businesses reeling after pipeline decision: Several small business owners were banking heavily on the construction of the the Keystone XL pipeline before Obama blocked the project on Wednesday. For instance, Dale Mykyte of Houston-based Pe Ben USA says the move will cost his firm in excess of $30 million in revenue, according to a new report from Entrepreneur, prevent him from adding between 150 and 200 workers.
Jobless claims keep dropping: Unemployment benefit applications last week dropped by 50,000 to 352,000, the the lowest level in almost four years, according to new data from the Labor Department. Other reports showed consumer prices were little changed in December for a second month and builders started work on the most single-family houses in more than a year.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to turn irate customers into loyal fans (On Small Business)
How to cut cost-per-customer marketing costs in half (Inc.)
How to finance your start-up with debt (Small Biz Trends)
How to avoid a short-lived franchise fad (Entrepreneur)
How to own your company’s niche (Business Info Guide)
How to get the most out of working from home (Open Forum)
How to design an attractive business card (Small Business Tech)