April 20, 2021
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SmartBrief on Small Business
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Problem. Solved.
COVID-19 struggles have led to more coordinated small-business support from larger businesses and government, while also highlighting inequities, some business leaders in the Boston area say. Restaurants, for example, are "really embracing that change right now, trying to work toward better wages, and more equity in between the front and the back of the house," restaurateur Rachel Miller Munzer says.
Full Story: The Harvard Gazette (4/16) 
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Marketing
The fast-growing popularity of Clubhouse has spurred rival offerings from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and the social audio trend looks like it has longevity, Amy Houston writes. Houston offers tips on how brands can authentically engage with social audio audiences through storytelling and urges marketers to consider diversity and accessibility in their efforts.
Full Story: The Drum (free registration) (4/19) 
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What Bert and Ernie can teach executive storytellers
Bert and Ernie (Tristar Media/Getty Images)
Content creators can learn valuable lessons from the beloved show "Sesame Street" that has featured creative storytelling that has educated and entertained for more than 50 years, writes Sue Horner. Key takeaways include the importance of understanding the audience, making a story easy to understand and memorable and the value of pop culture references and silly plays on words.
Full Story: PR Daily (4/16) 
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Management
Micromanagement is the unfortunate byproduct of remote working and has led to employee frustration with a plethora of unnecessary meetings. Reduce fatigue by scheduling only the remote meetings that have a purpose for those who attend and use project-management tools instead to track progress, advises Ohio University's Nicole Antoinette Smith.
Full Story: Training magazine (4/16) 
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Empathy is only growing in importance at work, with managers increasingly working apart from their reports and employees expecting more support from their bosses with work and life matters, write Gartner HR experts Brian Kropp, Alexia Cambon and Sara Clark. They focus on the challenge facing midsize companies, whose managers retain individual workloads and don't have access to large learning budgets that big corporations possess.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (4/15) 
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Money
Self-employed people qualify for a tax credit for sick leave or family leave -- Form 7202 -- if they would have been eligible for paid leave had they been an employee and if their businesses generated self-employment income. A tax professional can help navigate the requirements and such nuances as unemployment benefits, accountant Adam Markowitz says.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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Balance sheets, income statements and cash-flow statements are the most important financial reports for small-business owners to understand, accountant Vlad Rusz writes. In addition, Rusz recommends using key performance indicators to make the numbers more meaningful.
Full Story: Entrepreneur (4/20) 
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Tips & Tools
A record high percentage of small-business owners, 42%, are struggling to fill job openings, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. Companies are responding with offers of higher pay, flexible schedules, more benefits and signing bonuses.
Full Story: Marketplace (4/15),  NBC News (4/17),  WGRZ-TV (Buffalo, N.Y.) (4/19) 
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Investment to boost firms started by women of color
(Mastercard)
Venture capital group Fearless Fund, which invests in businesses started by women of color, will receive millions of dollars from such investors as Mastercard, Bank of America, Costco and PayPal. Less than 1% of venture capital funding went to Black and Latino female founders in 2020, according to a report.
Full Story: CNBC (4/20),  United Press International (4/20) 
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Just for Fun
Jesse Larios is walking from Los Angeles to San Francisco while wearing a teddy bear suit under the persona Bearsun. Larios, who ran a marathon in the outfit last year, has been sharing the latest journey on his Instagram account.
Full Story: CNN (4/15) 
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Helping a small business really reminds you about what's important here in this country.
Karen Gordon Mills, former administrator of the Small Business Administration and a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, quoted in The Harvard Gazette
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