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The Best Small Business and Financial Stories of the Week

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Niels Linneberg

We know running your small business takes just about all the available time you have, so we combed through the papers to find the most important small business news and financial stories to deliver you this curated reading list. Here are the most important small business focused stories that came out this week, along with a quick read summary.

Knowledge is power.

Fed Signals No Hurry to Raise Interest Rates

Read on: The New York Times

Want to know what the Fed policy makers will do in the next couple of years? It’s all laid out in this report on the Wednesday news conference with Janet Yellen, the Chair of the Federal Reserve. Small business owners and consumers all held their breath to see how prices, borrowing, savings and investments would be affected by Yellen’s new long term plan. The Fed announced that they are in no hurry to raise interest rates (that are already near 0 percent) and that they expect inflation to remain below 2 percent during 2015.  In October, they will end their program of buying bonds to try to stimulate growth. These policies have opened debate between those who agree the Fed should continue extraordinary support for the economy and those who want to move on sooner. Great analysis of this debate and the future of the US economy by Neil Irwin on The Upshot!

 

Millions of Americans’ Wages Seized Over Credit Card & Medical Debt

Read on: NPR

Do you know your state’s policy on wage garnishments? It’s important for working Americans with debt to understand the wage garnishment process due to recent high numbers. NPR & ProPublica collaborated to find the first available national numbers on wage garnishment. One in 10 working Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 are getting their wages garnished. That means their pay is being docked — often over an old credit card debt, medical bill or student loan. Wage seizures are most common among middle-aged, blue-collar workers and lower-income employees in more than half of the U.S. states that allow creditors to take a quarter of after-tax wages. Get informed in case creditors or collectors pursue your earnings!

 

Return of the $3 Gallon? US Gas Prices Are Falling Fast

Read on: Bloomberg Businessweek

Is gasoline a huge expense for your small business?  Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy.com, thinks this year will bring the cheapest autumn gasoline prices since 2010. Last year drivers spent $40 billion on gasoline in September alone and Kloza thinks that bill will be at least $2 billion lower in 2014. Also, check out why gas prices are cheapest in the South and highest in the Northwest! The average gasoline price outside Little Rock, Arkansas is $3.05 and gasoline costs $3.87 outside Seattle. This downward trend in prices could put prices in some parts of the country below $3 to benefit your business this year!

 

Malcolm Gladwell’s Advice for Entrepreneurs: Be “Disagreeable”

Read on: Start Ups & Venture Capital (powered by Boston Business Journal)

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell shared his advice with business owners and entrepreneurs at HubSpot’s Inbound Conference on Wednesday about how to be an innovative business leader. “Transformative innovators have a sense of urgency,” Gladwell said. “They’re not willing to wait to change the world.” Get all the details about which traits Gladwell attributes to the success of famous entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Malcolm McClean!

 

The Affordable Care Act: Answering the (Easy) Question

Read on: You’re the Boss: The Art of Running a Small Business (NYTimes Blog)

Independent journalist Robb Mandelbaum seeks to answer questions about The Affordable Care Act commonly asked by small businesses. Four years later, some aspects of the law remain very confusing, and others are still not completely settled. Are you plagued by questions like, “when does open enrollment begin for small businesses?” and “instead of offering a health plan, can I use pretax dollars to reimburse my employees for buying an individual policy?” You can get all of your answers to those questions and more directly from organizations that work with small businesses on health issues or even contribute your own questions by posting a comment on the article or e-mailing the author.

 

 

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