Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Small Business Headlines from Skype, Web.com and More



Skype is one of the most popular tools for small businesses that need to communicate with remote workers, clients or others via video and voice chat. But the service experienced a global outage earlier this week, delaying some small business communications.

In addition, Web.com and other small business service providers also made headlines this week. Read on for more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends
Skype Experiences Global Outage; Service Restored After Three Hour Delay


Skype, Microsoft’s phone, chat and video conferencing service, experienced an outage this morning across parts of North and South America, the U.K., Europe and eastern Asia. But the platforms management team reported the Skype outage resolved within hours. An official announcement on Skype’s website confirmed reports.

Web.com Acquires Latin American Web Host to Expand Small Business Services


Web.com (NASDAQ: WEB) is expanding its international growth strategy and small business services. To that end, the company has announced it’s going to acquire Donweb.com. Latin American-focused Donweb.com is a well-known web hosting and domain registration company. “The addition of Donweb.com to our organization will be an important next step in our international growth strategy.

Microsoft #MSBizTips Twitter Chat Discusses Tech Upgrades for the Future

The new year is a time for resolutions and changes. And as such, it could be the perfect opportunity for you to upgrade some of the tech tools you use to run your small business. From computers and general office supplies to smartphones and mobile tech tools, there are plenty of new tech devices that could help you run your business more efficiently in 2017.
Got an iPhone 6 Plus with ‘Touch Disease’? Apple Launches Program to Help Fix That

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently acknowledged that some iPhone 6 Plus devices may actually exhibit ‘Touch Disease’ symptoms, and has rolled out a program to help fix the “disease.”

This Robotic Dog Could Soon Deliver Packages (Watch)


What would you think if you got a package delivered to your front door by a robotic dog? Today, you’d probably be fairly shocked. But in the not-too-distant future, this could be a commonplace occurrence. Google’s Boston Dynamics has created a robot named Spot Mini that it thinks could potentially get the job done.

Move Over Keurig, Spinn Has A New Coffee Solution for The Office


A perfect cup of coffee can lift moods, improve concentration at work and evoke interesting conversations. But coffee doesn’t always taste perfect, especially when it’s out of a vending machine at work. A company is now attempting to change that. The Spinn coffee machines are revolutionizing the way a cup of coffee is made.

Economy
Small Businesses Feeling the Trump Effect


Small businesses supported Donald Trump throughout his presidential campaign. And the support seems to continue with an upbeat attitude by the majority of small business owners after Trump’s win in the November 2016 election. A new study has found small businesses’ optimism improved to its highest level in eight years after the 2016 presidential election.

Why Trump Might Keep the International Entrepreneur Rule


Back in August, the Obama Administration proposed new regulations that would allow some foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States to build their companies. While President-Elect Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has some worried that he will reverse this directive, I believe that Mr. Trump will keep this rule. To explain why, let me start by summarizing the rule.

Employment
New Bill Fixes Reimbursement Issue With Affordable Care Act


Small businesses will soon again be able to make tax deductible contributions to the their employees’ healthcare after Obamacare restricted the procedure. That’s thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, which was unanimously passed by the Senate. A small, but significant, part of the bill has to do with Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).

Green Business
Bill Gates Wants to Invest in “Risky” Green Tech Companies (Watch)


Bill Gates and some other big name investors want to increase risk taking in the green technology market. Of course, risks are a part of almost any business venture. But when it comes to new and innovative areas like green tech, it’s even more necessary to take risks in order to actually move projects forward.

Research
84 Percent of Online Customers Trust Online Reviews, New Survey Says


Here’s a good reason to pay extra attention to your online reputation. According to a new survey, 84 percent of customers trust online reviews as a personal recommendation. What’s more, 74 percent of online customers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Sub Zero Ice Cream Franchise Puts a New Spin on Frozen Treats


You might think that there’s no way to update the ice cream shop business. But Sub Zero Ice Cream is trying to change that. You can read all about how the business is changing the ice cream game in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Finance
Small Business Lending from Big Banks and Institutional Lenders Surges, Biz2Credit Reports


Big banks and institutional lenders continue giving small businesses a reason to smile. According to the newly released Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index report for November 2016, loan approval rates at both big banks and institutional lenders continued to rise, improving to new highs. What’s more, small banks also showed an increase in small business loan approval rates.

IRS Mileage Rates for 2017 Announced — with Minor Decreases


The IRS just announced the official standard mileage rates for 2017 — and there are some minor decreases. IRS Mileage Rates for 2017 The IRS mileage rates for 2017 for the use of a vehicle are: 53.

Social Media
Ooops! Facebook Reports Metrics Goofs — and Fixes


Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is fixing some metrics errors to provide content publishers an improved experience. In a recent post, the social networking giant explained the glitches and steps it has taken to fix them. Here’s a quick overview of the updates Facebook has shared with its users.

Startup
Freelancer.com Acquires Leading Spanish, Portuguese Freelancing Sites


Freelancer.com (ASX:FLN) has just increased its reach. The popular freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace just announced that it is has acquired two major competitors in the Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese markets — Spanish competitor Nubelo and Portuguese competitor Prolancer.

Helpr App Disrupts Childcare Industry With On-Demand Babysitting


When you’re a parent, fun nights out can be extremely few and far between. It usually takes days of meticulous planning and maneuvering — which is why having a babysitter cancel on you at the last possible second is such an utterly soul-destroying experience. Entrepreneurs Kasey Edwards and Becka Klauber Richter have set out to ensure this never happens to parents again.

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