July 29, 2021
SmartBrief on Mainstreet
Stories from the Street
After being introduced to hatchet throwing a few years ago, Mark Milan and Monica Martinez Milan opened their own Stumpy's Hatchet House location in 2018. The business has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but it has become a hot spot for families and friends to get together and reconnect.
Full Story: WPIX-TV (New York City) (7/27) 
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Caring for Customers
Small-business owners can attract and delight new customers by improving digital operations, writes columnist Mark Tina. Utilize new channels to communicate with your fans, offer a variety of different delivery options, and remember that contactless payments have quickly become a new trend -- one that's important to adopt as a payment solution.
Full Story: QSRWeb (7/28) 
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Sales goals and numbers have value in and of themselves, but they should also prompt deeper questions and introspection, writes David Brock. "When we are making them, we should challenge ourselves to improve, to set new goals/numbers and figure out what we need to do to achieve them," Brock writes.
Full Story: Partners in Excellence Blog (7/28) 
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Rapid Cooling Meets Instant Savings
Save up to $2,000 when you create a custom comfort bundle with Big Ass Fans before August 13. Combine the superior airflow and unique style of overhead fans like Essence with the rapid-cooling power of a Cold Front evaporative cooler to create the comfort solution that's right for you! Learn More
Keeping Shop
Job openings have surged, according to a Labor Department survey, leading to realignment in employee-company relations as workers rethink what they want in a job. Companies can take certain steps, such as recognizing the importance of work-life balance, to attract and retain talent in this environment.
Full Story: Entrepreneur (7/24) 
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Managing the Money
Several steps can help entrepreneurs reduce the financial risk present within a business. Robert Zuccaro of Target QR Strategies says to keep operations lean at the beginning, and Catherine York Powers of Constant AI recommends considering external factors.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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Average hourly wages increased 3.6% last month compared with a year ago, the largest increase in more than 10 years, according to the Economic Policy Institute. However, inflation has eaten away at gains, with the consumer price index rising 5.4%.
Full Story: CNBC (7/27) 
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Tips & Tools
Businesses should consider six factors when choosing third-party logistics partners: customer service, security, scalability, customization, technological compatibility and reputation. "The trust factor is what one needs to be looking for in a reliable partner," says Seth Rothbard, an InXpress franchisee.
Full Story: CO— (US Chamber of Commerce) (7/22) 
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Just as manufacturers regularly assess equipment health, CEOs and executives should check in with themselves and each other, writes self-care expert Robert Allen, CEO of New Dimensions Consulting Services. Meanwhile, Adam Grant's latest podcast episode shares NBA star DeMar DeRozan's openness about mental health and why leaders are neither immune to such issues nor should feel the need to hide it.
Full Story: IndustryWeek (7/27),  TED (7/27) 
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News You Can Use
Consumer behavior changes, including more people working from home and cooking at home, are key factors to consider as restaurants navigate the pandemic recovery, David Portalatin of The NPD Group says. Portalatin predicts a shift toward "different kinds of communities that are smaller, that offer a little more space and flexibility."
Full Story: Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (7/27) 
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A direct portal for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness will open Aug. 4 for businesses that borrowed less than $150,000. Lenders must opt in to allow direct forgiveness from the Small Business Administration.
Full Story: CBS News (7/28),  Accounting Today (free registration) (7/28) 
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When debating on taking financial risks, ask yourself a simple question: Are you okay and willing to live with this risk if it turns out to be a total loss? If the answer is no, move on.
Joe Camberato of National Business Capital, as quoted by Forbes
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