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The under-construction One World Trade Center stands over the World Trade Center construction site and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York's Lower Manhattan August 24, 2011. (LUCAS JACKSON/LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
The under-construction One World Trade Center stands over the World Trade Center construction site and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York's Lower Manhattan August 24, 2011. (LUCAS JACKSON/LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

Small Business Briefing

Commemorative 9/11 wine leaves bad taste Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is fast approaching and already one U.S. company has left a bad taste for perhaps trying to cash in on the association.

U.S. winery Lieb Family Cellars created a couple of commemorative 9/11 wines selling for a symbolic $19.11, and, according to a Los Angeles Times piece, is giving 6 per cent to 10 per cent of sales proceeds to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Nevertheless, the wine drew the expletive-worded ire of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain on Twitter, after, according to this piece, he was called on by the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services of New York because the wine was being sold at Les Halles, the brasserie where Mr. Bourdain served as executive chef before turning celebrity.

The situation provides a warning to other small businesses, says BizNews in its report.

"Even those with the best of intentions have found themselves with a PR problem on their hands when trying to acknowledge events that strike an emotional nerve in the hearts and minds of Americans," says the posting.

"There are plenty of ways to make money and steering clear of actions like this assure that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the time, money, or other resources to rectify. You can always make a donation to a good cause based on sales. Small businesses can’t often afford a public relations person to help with decisions like this which make it imperative that they stay far away from 'the line."

Other after-effects of 9/11: For some, it caused entrepreneurial reinvention, as this Business Insider posting notes. It looks at "four stories of average people who became victors rather than victims" and went to work for themselves.

How do you like our new look?

Report on Small Business has a new look and a new navigation. We hope we've made it easier, more attractive and more effective to follow our coverage; besides, it's always a good idea to refresh a website, as we've often written, including this piece and this piece by columnist Mark Evans.

So what do you think? Please let us know by dropping us a line at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com.

Forget school, jump right in

What a tempting offer: drop out of school, get $100,000 and work on your startup.

It's a dream come true for Dale Stephens, one of the young entrepreneurs chosen for the inaugural "20 under 20" program, Reuters reports.

The Thiel Fellowship: 20 under 20 program is giving grants of up to $100,000 to 20 entrepreneurs under the age of 20. It was created by Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and venture capitalist, to, as Reuters describes it, "let self-starters like Stephens sidestep academics in favour of a hands-on approach."

Mr. Thiel's thinking: "There are a lot of talented people for whom it makes sense to do something not entirely tracked," he is quoted in the piece. "We wanted to encourage talented young people to explore some alternatives."


Global Ivey Day

Global Ivey Day, sponsored by the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business and the Ivey Alumni Association, is coming up, with all sorts of networking and reconnecting events taking place in more than 20 cities worldwide. Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and London are among the venues where events will be held on Nov. 3. Find more details here.

Stevie Awards

The entry deadline is drawing near for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. The deadline for entering the 2011 awards, honouring female executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run, is Aug. 31.


A brand 'situation' backfires

Columnist Mia Pearson reports on another company that has gotten itself into hot water, this time Abercrombie & Fitch. The clothing retailer’s offer to pay Jersey Shore reality TV star Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino not to wear its clothes offers lessons on right, and wrong, ways to try to protect your brand, Ms. Pearson writes.


Protect your company reputation online

Given Abercrombie & Fitch's and Lieb Family Cellars' experiences, it might be a good time to revisit the excerpts we ran from columnist and lawyer Tony Wilson's latest book Manage Your Online Reputation . Here's advice on how to track what they're saying about you on-line, and here are some tips on how to handle negative publicity online. Check out the discussion we also ran.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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