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U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to address delegates and accept the 2012 U.S Democratic presidential nomination during the final session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012. (JIM YOUNG/REUTERS)
U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to address delegates and accept the 2012 U.S Democratic presidential nomination during the final session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012. (JIM YOUNG/REUTERS)


As U.S. election nears, small business optimism rises slightly Add to ...

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NFIB index sees slight August bump-up, with current political uncertainty at new high but uptick in spirits on election outcome

U.S. small business owners were feeling slightly more optimistic about how their businesses will fare after the U.S. election, the latest survey from the U.S. National Federation of Independent Business finds. It was the first rise in four months, according to Bloomberg coverage.

The NFIB’s small business optimism index gained 1.7 points, reaching 92.9 in August from a nine-month low in July, according to the survey of 736 randomly selected NFIB members.

There were positive signs, including a rise in employment indicators and capital outlay plans for the fourth quarter. Political uncertainty reached “a new high for this business cycle,” and while nothing in August happened to improve the outlook, “it is possible that the uptick in their spirits will forecast of the election outcome and the chance for a favourable resolution of our fiscal dilemma,” said NFIB chief economic William Dunkelberg in the release.

The latest U.S. optimism measure follows the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s own business optimism barometer reading for August, which fell for the fifth straight month.

Lessons to be learned from GoDaddy outage

There are lessons to be learned by the thousands of small businesses that were affected by the outage caused by a hacker attack on website hosting service GoDaddy.com, mostly about how to control your own site, according to this piece. This overview of the outage in Small Business Trends notes small-business reaction, including some creative responses.

Are MBAs happier as entrepreneurs?

Becoming an MBA makes entrepreneurs happier. At least, that’s an early result from research going on at the University of Pennsylvania’sWharton School, according to this Wharton entrepreneurship blog post by one of two profs doing the study.

The study found that at least 20 per cent of the 30,000 Wharton MBA grads since 1990 tracked for the study had a stint as an entrepreneur at some point in their career. The study is also finding that MBAs who founded a company appeared to be happier than those who had not – even after controlling for earnings and years of experience (”money and age both tend to make people happier,” the blog notes). Those who start their own business are happier with careers, jobs and work-family balance, the posting notes.


Startup Canada Vancouver town hall

BCIT, Discovery Foundation, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia are joining together to host a Startup Canada Vancouver town hall on Sept. 18. The event will feature keynote speakers, as well as a panel discussion on  the role of B.C.’ universities, incubators and accelerators in supporting startups, and a brainstorming session on how Vancouver’s entrepreneurial community can better offer its support. For more information, click here.

Canadian business incubator conference

The Canadian Association of Business Incubation will hold its 21st annual conference in Saskatoon from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. There will be speakers, workshops, incubator tours and networking opportunities. There will also be a pre-conference boot camp and awards presentations. For more information, click here.

Small Business Saturday

Might be worth starting to prepare for Canada’s first-ever Small Business Saturday, to be held on Oct. 20. The day, an initiative of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Interac, and following a similar initiative in the United States for the last couple of years, is aimed at getting Canadians to support small businesses. That means businesses should take advantage of the opportunity to offer special promotions. For businesses and shoppers who want to register or otherwise get involved, here’s the link.


Five signs you should retire that old computer

Spending money is rarely a small business’ favourite thing but here are five signs that it’s time to send your beloved contraption to the happy hunting ground.


Entrepreneurs jump on co-working bandwagon

A growing number of entrepreneurs are making a business of catering to the rising number of self-employed, telecommuters and others who are drawn to shared office space, reported this story in April.

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