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Small-business squabbles over paid sick time laws

NEW YORK | Two months after a severe flu season forced millions of workers to stay home, paid sick time is becoming an issue for many small-business owners.

March 29, 2013 3:59 pm

Small-business owners will face same issues in 2013

NEW YORK | In 2013, small-business owners will contend with many of the same issues that made it hard to run their companies over the last 12 months.

December 27, 2012 12:00 am

Small businesses have chance to start 2012 off right

NEW YORK | The arrival of the new year gives small-business owners a chance to fix some of the problems that may have dogged them through 2011. Those whose accounting systems were haphazard, or who didn't have a clear policy about vacations and sick time should take advantage of the fresh st…

January 03, 2012 12:00 am

Stocks fall for 4th day after retail sales report

NEW YORK | Stocks extended their losing streak to four days Friday after a mixed batch of readings on consumers further muddled investors' sense of the economy.

August 13, 2010 3:41 pm

Stocks head for lower start ahead of sales report

NEW YORK | Stocks are fluctuating in early trading after the latest consumer spending number fell just short of expectations.

August 13, 2010 9:00 am

Companies juggle rebuilding, employee vacations

NEW YORK | Small business owners may feel in a bit of a bind this summer. Just as many companies are recovering from the recession and making do with fewer staffers, it's high season for employee vacations.

May 30, 2010 12:00 am

Businesses may need to get tax filing extensions

NEW YORK | With April 15 not far off, many small business owners will get six-month extensions of the deadline to file their income tax returns. This year, the procrastinators have company as the economy makes tax issues more complicated for everyone.

April 04, 2010 12:00 am

Business owners can avoid common tax time pitfalls

NEW YORK | Small business owners who compile their own income tax returns can find themselves falling into some common quicksand pits. The mistakes can be costly if they raise a company's tax bill unnecessarily or subject it to penalties and interest in the future.

March 07, 2010 12:00 am

Raises or rebuilding? A business owner's dilemma

NEW YORK | Business is starting to creep upward at some small companies. And employees who have gone without raises or had their salaries cut over the past two years are hoping that more money coming in will lead to a raise in the near future.

February 28, 2010 12:00 am

Possible dream? Starting a company in a recession

NEW YORK | While much of the business world struggled with cutbacks and layoffs during 2009, many people saw opportunity. Undaunted by the recession, they started their own companies.

January 10, 2010 12:00 am

Eat, sleep, get support to stop burnout

NEW YORK | Burnout has long been a problem for small business owners who throw themselves into their companies. The struggling economy makes it worse, and the stress of the holiday season can add to the misery.

December 13, 2009 12:00 am

Signs of healing: Bonuses reappear at small firms

NEW YORK | Bonuses are starting to reappear at small companies as business shows signs of picking up.

December 03, 2009 12:00 am

Customer gifts shouldn't be economic casualties

NEW YORK | Small business owners with cash flow problems might be tempted during yet another difficult holiday season to forgo gifts for clients or customers. Many look at gifts as budget items that just aren't critical.

November 19, 2009 12:00 am

Small businesses downsize real estate, save money

NEW YORK | There's a downsizing trend under way at many small businesses: Moving to smaller offices because of shrinking staffs and as more workers telecommute.

November 13, 2009 12:00 am

Small businesses party simply: No DJs, iPods OK

NEW YORK | With Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season weeks away, many small business owners are planning holiday parties for employees and clients despite the still wobbly economy. But the celebrations are expected to be low-key, frugal and, some say, much more fun.

October 22, 2009 12:00 am

Talking, paying, partying can lift worker morale

NEW YORK | As Bart Cleveland talks to employees of his ad agency, he sees the strain.

October 11, 2009 12:00 am

No down time this summer at some small businesses

NEW YORK | The down time that summer usually brings has become a casualty of the recession at many small businesses.

August 05, 2009 12:00 am

Loyalty from the boss may prevent staff defections

NEW YORK | Many employees of small businesses are grateful to have a job, even as salaries are frozen or cut and they're asked to take on more responsibility. Company owners shouldn't take those good attitudes for granted -- they need to show workers some loyalty so staffers don't jump ship …

August 02, 2009 12:00 am

Economy makes some company owners rethink vacation

NEW YORK | Pam Kassner has already canceled two vacations this year. She just didn't feel comfortable taking time off with business so uncertain.

June 07, 2009 12:00 am

Small businesses hire unpaid interns this summer

NEW YORK | The idea of hiring unpaid interns this summer has become very appealing to small business owners contending with a difficult economy.

May 31, 2009 12:00 am

Recession makes vacation scheduling more complex

NEW YORK | Many small business owners are likely to find a perennial summertime challenge, keeping their companies staffed during peak vacation times, even harder this year.

May 24, 2009 12:00 am

Women launch businesses in quest for family time

NEW YORK | As women lose their jobs to the recession, many are deciding they've had it working for someone else. So they're starting businesses that will let them be financially independent and also have more time to care for their families.

May 10, 2009 12:00 am

Let workers text and Twitter, business owners say

NEW YORK | When Marty Kotis looked at his company's monthly wireless bill, he found a stunning charge -- for 2,500 text messages on a single staffer's phone.

May 02, 2009 12:00 am

Non-payers can hurt small businesses at tax time

NEW YORK | It's a bit of insult added to injury -- small business owners who had non-paying customers in 2008 are likely to find they can't take the bad debts as deductions on their income tax returns.

March 08, 2009 12:00 am

Entrepreneurs find upsides in home-based business

NEW YORK | For many of the millions of Americans who lost their jobs over the past year, the next step is starting a business. And many of these enterprises are being launched out of the entrepreneurs' homes.

March 01, 2009 12:00 am

Companies shouldn't skimp on insurance coverage

NEW YORK | Insurance coverage is an expense that many small business owners might be tempted to cut back on or even forgo as they try to cut costs during the recession. They're making a bet that they won't need the coverage, but it's a bet they could lose.

February 22, 2009 12:00 am
Small businesses can run into tax prep pitfalls

Small businesses can run into tax prep pitfalls

NEW YORK | Income tax filing season can be a trying time for small business owners, and in a recession, even more so.

February 15, 2009 12:00 am

Businesses should outsource tax prep in recession

NEW YORK | The beginning of the year means small business owners need to start thinking about income tax returns. But with the economy in tatters, they may need to focus more on bringing in revenue than sorting through receipts.

January 11, 2009 12:00 am

Bad timing? Many people started businesses in 2008

NEW YORK | The economy didn't look that bad when Laura and Roger Bickford opened their medical clinic back in July.

December 28, 2008 12:00 am

Small business owners cope with recession stresses

NEW YORK | Right before Election Day, it occurred to Beth McRae that her stress levels were rising and affecting the people around her, including the employees of her public relations firm.

December 14, 2008 12:00 am

Year-end planning gets more complex for businesses

NEW YORK | One of the most important tasks for small business owners is a year-end checkup of their companies' financial health. It's even more critical now as the economic downturn persists.

November 23, 2008 12:00 am

Small businesses find plenty of help in hard times

NEW YORK | Many small business owners believe you should never go it alone -- you should always have a support system, whether it consists of financial advisers, mentors, fellow entrepreneurs or consultants, to guide you. It's true in the best of economic times, and it's certainly the case i…

October 26, 2008 12:00 am

Bonuses may be economic casualty or an incentive

NEW YORK | The year-end bonuses or holiday gifts that many small business employees are hoping for may end up a casualty of the stumbling economy as owners decide they can't afford them. But at some companies, bonuses are turning into incentives to help boost sales and profits.

October 19, 2008 12:00 am

A small business has options if it can't pay IRS

NEW YORK | A day of reckoning is approaching for some small business owners: Oct. 15, when those who got extensions of the deadline for filing 2007 tax returns must now send in their completed forms -- and pay any tax they owe. For some owners, coming up with the money right now may be diffi…

October 05, 2008 12:00 am

Small businesses face two retirement plan deadlines

NEW YORK | Small business owners who are thinking about setting up retirement plans for their employees should be aware that there are two important deadlines coming up in October that affect the plans known as SIMPLEs and SEPs.

September 14, 2008 12:00 am

Businesses' steps to save on energy turn permanent

NEW YORK | As the cost of gasoline soared over the past year, many small businesses took steps to mitigate the damage to their cash flow and profits.

August 24, 2008 12:00 am

Business owners can still tackle summer to-do list

NEW YORK | The last few weeks of summer can be a useful time for small business owners whose companies are going through a slow period -- they have a chance to tackle some of those tasks they've been putting off.

August 17, 2008 12:00 am

Small business owners need to take time off

With the summer months nearly half over, some business owners are finding it hard to let go for a vacation, even for a few days. But many do feel confident about taking time off because technology helps them stay in touch, and talented employees are able to keep the office running smoothly.

July 22, 2008 12:00 am

Small businesses need midyear financial checkups

NEW YORK | The end of June and beginning of July is an important time for savvy small business owners, who'll be assessing their companies' finances and thinking about strategies for the second half of 2008. A midyear checkup is even more important than usual this year, given the uncertainty…

July 02, 2008 12:00 am

Some small businesses forced to move back home

NEW YORK | When a small business graduates from being home-based to having premises of its own, it's quite an accomplishment. But in this economy, some small company owners are deciding it makes more sense to move back home again.

June 01, 2008 12:00 am

Small business owners need to plan for disasters

NEW YORK | A spring that has already brought deadly and destructive weather to parts of the country is a reminder to small businesses that they need to prepare for disasters that could shut them down. Owners should try to make their companies as prepared as possible -- or at the least be sur…

May 25, 2008 12:00 am

Small businesses can try to avoid layoffs

Even though a small company's business may be down and its revenue stream more tentative, it may be quite possible for an owner to avoid laying off employees.

May 19, 2008 12:00 am

Show concern, but be direct when laying off workers

NEW YORK | It's something small business owners dread: having to tell employees they're being laid off.

May 11, 2008 12:00 am

Small businesses should plan now for summer

NEW YORK | With Memorial Day just weeks away, many people are thinking about taking time off during the summer. Small business owners need to be doing some planning too, to be sure employee vacations don't cause strife in the workplace or a drop-off in productivity.

April 27, 2008 12:00 am

Defying the surveys and statistics

NEW YORK | Having been in business for 30 years and survived many consumer spending slowdowns, Lloyd Lippman isn't cutting staff at his retail executive search firm. He's been adding account executives and plans to hire two or three more by the end of the year.

April 13, 2008 12:00 am

Independent retailers find ways to deal with the economy during holiday season

NEW YORK | At Jeff Cassels' jewelry store, falling real estate values and rising gold prices are more than news headlines -- they are contributors to an uncertain holiday season. At Joanie McDonald's clothing store, however, a weakening dollar is turning into a boon.

December 16, 2007 12:00 am

Plan ahead to help cope with employee illnesses

NEW YORK | The winter can be a hard time for staffing at small businesses -- it's not just the holidays that thin employee ranks, it's also colds and the flu. Owners can cope by making it easier for staffers to telecommute and by having a pool of workers who can fill in.

December 09, 2007 12:00 am

Being creative, keeping it casual

NEW YORK | OK, you still haven't gotten around to planning that holiday party for your small business. That actually may be more of a blessing than a tragedy -- many of your fellow procrastinators have found that last-minute parties can be more pleasant, comfortable and fun than a more forma…

December 02, 2007 12:00 am

Turn dreaded employee performance reviews into positive experiences

NEW YORK | Giving employees annual performance reviews or appraisals can be one of a small business owner's most dreaded tasks. Doing them more often and going into the process with a positive rather than punitive attitude can make a review much less of an ordeal.

November 25, 2007 12:00 am

Year-end tax planning more complicated for small businesses

NEW YORK | Many small business owners meeting with their accountants this month and next may find that year-end tax planning and projections for 2008 are a little more complicated than usual because of the uneasy economy.

November 18, 2007 12:00 am
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