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Curated articles for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and employers. Keep up with the latest news on local, state, and federal business trends.

Hot Off the Press

Returns Strain Retailers as Consumers Buy to Try
  • With the growth of e-commerce, customers have increasingly been “bracketing,” or purchasing the same product multiple times to test out different versions before returning most of the purchases
  • The practice can create major headaches for retailers,
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Business News Roundup, Dec. 3, 2021

A boost to oil production, the Treasury Secretary’s comments on inflation, elevated COVID-19 infections in Connecticut, and a delay to return-to-office plans at a major Hartford employer are among the top business news items this morning.

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B2C

Returns Strain Retailers as Consumers Buy to Try

  • With the growth of e-commerce, customers have increasingly been “bracketing,” or purchasing the same product multiple times to test out different versions before returning most of the purchases
  • The practice can create major headaches for retailers,

Business News Roundup, Nov. 30, 2021

A forecast on Omicron variant disruptions, a partial blockade of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, slower Cyber Monday sales, small retailers investing more in inventory, the need for a major shift in the movie theater business,

B2C

Setting Up a Loyalty Program That Can Sway Customers to Your Company

  • Loyalty programs can be beneficial to businesses, but can also focus too much attention on already high-spending customers
  • Researchers look at customer spending habits to determine how businesses can direct their attention to winning customers who will buy more products or increase their spending
  • Location plays a key part in finding such customers

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Business Plan

SBA Hosting National Veterans Small Business Week Nov. 1-5

  • National Veterans Small Business Week running Nov. 1-5
  • 33 events, mostly online, provide information on business fundamentals and veteran-oriented resources
  • Occasion is geared to both active duty service members and veterans,

Yelp Debuts Wallpaper Collection to Highlight, Benefit Small Businesses

  • Yelp launches initiative to support small business nonprofits through wallpaper sales
  • Partnership with home decor brand Chasing Paper creates designs featuring highly rated small businesses in three cities
  • Effort looks to build on increased interest in wallpaper installation

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B2C

Small Businesses Reconsider Reliance on Facebook After Outage

  • Some small businesses lost thousands of dollars in revenue as a result of Facebook and Instagram’s outage on Monday
  • The incident has prompted some entrepreneurs to revise their digital marketing strategy after realizing they are overly reliant on certain sources
  • Companies are committing to diversifying their marketing and developing their own websites

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B2C

Connecticut STEP Program Taking Applications Through Sept. 15

  • Program through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development looks to increase exporting activity among Connecticut small businesses
  • Qualifying businesses can receive up to $15,000 per program year
  • Grant funds can be used for a variety of purposes to defray the costs of selling their products and services abroad

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How Businesses Can Be More Proactive in Developing Strategies

  • Companies need to always be aware of how to respond to changing business conditions
  • Data access company CEO offers tips on having a more proactive mindset
  • Three core practices to make a company better suited to meet challenges

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TikTok Throwing Nationwide “Small Biz Block Party”

  • TikTok debuting a Small Biz Block Party initiative this year
  • 20 events take place between Aug. 5 and Nov. 18, primarily focused on specific states or regions
  • Attendees receive guidance on creating content and using TikTok to extend their reach

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Brand Trust Will Play Key Role in 2021 Shopping Trends, Survey Finds

  • Small retailers continue to enjoy significant trust among customers, according to a recent survey
  • However, customers were generally more likely to consider larger retailers to be better capable of taking actions to strengthen customer trust
  • Reliability was considered to be the most significant trust-building factor

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Business News Roundup, July 14, 2021

A major spending proposal, the disappearance of a ransomware group, uneven inflation, shrinking marketing budgets, growing green energy investments, Pratt & Whitney’s move toward expanded remote work,

Business Strategy

Forming Collaborations With Your Competitors to Pursue Mutual Goals

  • Collaboration can be done across business sectors or with direct competitors
  • Benefits include cost sharing, combined problem solving efforts, and gaining business insights
  • Businesses should have clear objectives when setting up collaborations with direct competitors

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Business News Roundup, June 3, 2021

An early termination of unemployment benefits in several states, the rollout of SBA grants, White House COVID-19 vaccine incentives, falling jobless claims, and increased productivity are among the top business news items this morning.

Business News Roundup, May 4, 2021

An alliance between the SBA and a mayors’ group, higher freight costs, reduced impulse buys, and a Connecticut milestone in COVID-19 vaccinations are among the morning’s top business news items.

Business News Roundup, April 21, 2021

An ambitious climate goal, combatting fraud in COVID-19 relief programs, supply chain issues and small businesses, and the Connecticut legislature’s work on taxes are among the top business news items this morning.

Small Investors Gaining Favor Among Companies

  • Companies work to curry favor with smaller investors as they gain power during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • More people dabble in retail trading during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Businesses have modified their strategies to better appeal to these investors,

SCORE Connecticut Seeking Volunteers

  • SCORE Connecticut puts out a call for volunteers
  • Volunteers serve as mentors, subject matter experts, workshop presenters, and more
  • All volunteers are currently working virtually

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Consumers Increasingly Likely to Value Diversity in Businesses, Yelp Analysis Finds

  • Yelp finds a surge of searches for Latino-, Black-, women-, and Asian-owned businesses on its platform
  • The analysis suggests support for diverse businesses is driven in part by a desire to reject racism and sexism
  • Yelp also finds that these businesses tend to earn better reviews and are more likely to engage with user feedback

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Should You Keep Updating Your Company Blog?

  • Blogs are an older online feature and have to compete with millions of other posts
  • Ryan Shelley of Hack My Growth argues that blogging remains relevant to business strategy today
  • Tips for maximizing the impact of your digital updates

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UPS Store Virtual Small Biz Challenge Gives Entrepreneurs A Chance to Win $25,000

  • UPS Store contest, in partnership with Inc. magazine, gives small businesses a chance to win up to $25,000
  • Applicants will be judged on submissions telling how they have endured the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they will use the money if they win
  • Prize winners also receive a feature article and a video shoot to be featured on UPS Store and Inc.

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