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According to the SBA, a Small Business has less than 500 employees.

Small Business Basics (National)

99.7% of all businesses
98.2% of exporting businesses
97.1% of businesses with employees

Getting Personal (National)

51.6% home-based
73% used financing
80% have no employees

Getting Local (El Paso County)

31.6% woman owned
85% get word-of-mouth business
77% have no employees


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Keeping current to maintain a fresh perspective for the future.

  • Tech Giants to Disrupt Small Business Lending

    Tech behemoths Google and Amazon are poised to put competitive pressure on traditional banks in the small business lending arena, one of former President Barack Obama's cabinet members said Tuesday.

    Karen Mills, who served as Obama's administrator for small businesses, told CNBC that the tech giants would probably push to disrupt the market and deal a blow to established lenders.

    "I think they are going to dominate the market, and that is the next phase that's coming," she told the LendIt Europe fintech conference in London.

    "But the question is, in what form would that come, and... under what regulatory authority?"

    Earlier this year, Amazon said it had lent more than $1 billion in small business loans to merchants looking to expand their businesses, via its website.

    Online business loans have increasingly become the priority of a number of financial technology (fintech) lenders. U.S. digital lender Lending Club, for instance, allows investors to loan money directly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    "When I look at it from a U.S. view and a global view, the banks are going to come back in full force, including Barclays and others, and then on top of that you're going to have definite presence of Amazon players," Mills told CNBC in an interview after the conference.

    See complete article at American Banker
  • Supreme Court to Rule on 1789 Alien Tort Statute

    The Supreme Court appears ready to rule out lawsuits in U.S. courts against businesses by foreign victims of human rights abuses and extremist attacks.

    A case argued Wednesday pitted Israeli victims of attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza in the 1990s and 2000s against Jordan-based Arab Bank. The victims claim that the bank helped finance the attacks.

    The issue is whether the foreigners can use an 18th-century law to hold the bank accountable for its role.

    The court already has limited the ability of foreign victims to sue under the 1789 Alien Tort Statute.

    It appeared from the argument that the five conservative justices could find that corporations cannot be sued at all under that law. Such an outcome would be another blow to a more than 30-year-old strategy by human rights lawyers to use civil suits to pursue individuals who may be responsible for torture and other atrocities, as well as companies with operations in countries with poor records in the area of human rights.
  • Colorado Springs Makes Top Ten Hipster Markets

    Although their opinions about their music and fashion may be out of the norm, when it comes to real estate — hipsters have a knack for getting it right. Based on our research, there’s clear evidence that “hipster” popularity – in markets like Austin, Texas – has led to mainstream interest and higher home prices over time. Whether it’s the farm-to-table restaurants or urban renewal projects that were already underway, a concentration of hipsters seems to be an indicator of a hot housing market.

    From a housing perspective, all the markets on the realtor.com® Yelp Hottest Hipster Markets in America list have strong market dynamics, showing healthy buyer demand with homes selling in an average of 30 days. Each market also has low or average unemployment rates ranging from 2.7 percent to 4.6 percent, compared to 4.4 nationally.

    With all the hipster businesses in town it comes as no surprise that these markets are also highly sought after by millennials. Overall, older millennials- ages 25 to 34- in the top ten markets make up an average of 22 percent of the population, higher than the national population share of older millennials of 13 percent. Additionally, these markets are continuing to draw interest from a younger crowd, as the older millennial age group is viewing property listings at a rate 1.2 times greater than the share of older millennials already living in the area, indicating strong interest from others wanting to move into these neighborhoods.

    Yelp data shows that mentions of “hipster” occur across a wide range of businesses, from music venues and dive bars, to restaurants, barbers, and vinyl record shops. While some cities and ZIP codes, like Seattle, may be more recognizable as traditional hipster havens, Yelp data shows that there are many under-the-radar locations where Yelpers have identified neighborhoods that tout cool, hipster businesses. The average star rating of businesses with mentions of hipster in the Columbus zip code is 3.8, with the top 10 ZIP codes averaging 4 stars. Beyond searching for hipster businesses, Yelp also offers tools for homeowners like Request a Quote, which allows people to send requests to up to 10 home service providers at once.

    “Yelpers are great at identifying up-and-coming areas and businesses, which allows us to predict trends as well as uncover detailed data on what’s happening in local economies right now,” said Carl Bialik, Yelp data editor. “While ‘hipster’ is something of a cliche, it turns out to be a useful term to uncover the types of businesses and attributes we often associate with cool hunters, such as visually appealing interiors and less touristy parts of town.”

    See entire story and full list (with charts) at Realtor.com
  • Micropayments - Problems and Solutions

    Right now, micropayments aren’t effective. For consumers, they present psychological hurdles, because mobile and digital buying is already challenging and making frequent purchases could exacerbate these frictions. And for content producers, fees associate with digital payment eat away at the cost and limit or eliminate the profit potential for these types of goods, making them a challenge even if they caught on.

    There are reasons for optimism — many publishers have bought into an app called Blendle, which aggregates content and makes payment more frictionless. And Blendle has seen modest gains since launch, which indicates that micropayments could gain traction under the correct circumstances. If a giant, like Apple, Google, Facebook, or another platform where customers both have existing news and payment relationships, were to take the challenge on, its value could begin to increase.

    A new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, outlines the micropayments problem and forecasts the future of micropayments for consumers and merchants. It also offers potential solutions for micropayments problems.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    Digital micropayments are on the rise because they help solve a problem for online content providers. Micropayments have proven successful for digital music and app purchases. That's led publishers of digital content, like news or video, to look at them as an alternative way to monetize content, particularly in the wake of rising ad-blocker usage.

    For merchants, micropayments are often too expensive to offer. Processing fees associated with card-based transactions are often high enough that they pare down or eliminate almost all potential for seller profit from micropayment transactions.

    A major tech giant could seize the opportunity to work with publishers to grow its own apps and payments offerings at the same time. Their wide reach and seamless payments infrastructure could get the necessary buy-in from merchants and consumers alike to make the model more successful across the board.

    In full, the report:

    • Explains why micropayments are growing in popularity among content producers
    • Evaluates why these types of payments pose a problem to both merchants and consumers
    • Provides detail about potential solutions, both from payments providers and other third-party players in the space
    • Assesses the conditions under which micropayments could take off, and determines whether or not they have a shot at success
    • And much more

    Source: Business Insider
  • Supreme Court tightens patent suit rules

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tightened rules for where patent lawsuits can be filed in a decision that may make it harder for so-called patent "trolls" to launch sometimes dodgy patent cases in friendly courts, a major irritant for high-tech giants like Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google.
    In a decision that upends 27 years of law governing patent infringement cases, the justices sided with beverage flavoring company TC Heartland LLC in its legal battle with food and beverage company Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O). The justices ruled 8-0 that patent suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated.

  • National business groups disappointed

    Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) — “expressed disappointment” that they had not been approached for their specific expertise in the energy market. The four national business groups recently submitted materials to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, asking him to allow for open, transparent stakeholder input to inform the DOE’s 60-day study on energy markets. Perry called for the study in an April 14 memo.
    Apparently, the group is concerned that the DOE study may be based on “a faulty premise” and “that renewable generation is responsible for the retirement of coal and nuclear generation resources and that the loss of those resources will lead to declining reliability of the grid.” The groups have developed analyses showing that changing energy sources increase electric system reliability while saving consumers money.
    “We believe that taken together, these reports demonstrate that the U.S. electric power system is more diverse in its energy sources than ever before, and due to the flexible way these resources are now managed, becoming more reliable and resilient as a result.”

  • Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center

    Interested in contracting for government services with the city’s four military bases, its county and city governments and the state of Colorado? Then you need to connect with the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Fortunately for folks in the area, PTAC is headquartered in Colorado Springs, but they also have offices in Westminster, Aurora, Fort Collins, Golden, and has counselors that will go anywhere in the state.
    The Colorado PTAC is one of 92 similar centers around the nation. Some are statewide; others are tied to a geographic location. The one in the Springs, opened in 2009, is a rarer form: a nonprofit relying on a mix of public and private dollars, said Executive Director Dennis Casey. “We have a funding bill,” he said. “The state gives us $200,000. We’re partially funded by the Defense Logistics Agency and we have some private money as well.”
    Learn more about the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center here: http://www.coloradoptac.org/


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