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The bucket of an excavator tears into the wall of a business property that is damaged beyond repair, on the beach in Belmar, N.J., Nov. 8, 2012TOM MIHALEK/Reuters

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.

As businesses try to regroup, individual tales offer takeaways for disaster aftermath and day-to-day running

As scores of companies struggle to get back to business in the wake of superstorm Sandy, stories are emerging about how individual firms are coping – with lessons to be learned not only about leading the way out of disaster but also in the day-to-day running of a small business.

The Wall Street Journal will spend a month following four firms it's selected to "explore the realities of business survival in the wake of disaster," noting that a quarter of of small businesses never reopen after such a crisis, according to the Florida-based Institute for Business & Home Safety. offers the tale of the franchisor of 3333 Retro Fitness and 16 Let's Yo! locations affected by the storm. "A savvy combination of preparedness and communication got most of these businesses up and running within a week," says Entrepreneur, sharing the franchisor's key elements of recovery.

The New York Times, too, weighs in, as does Fox. And Inc. offers management takeaways from how authorities responded to the storm.

Of course, Sandy's not the only event businesses have reacted to. Here's the tale of one Virginia jewellery retailer who closed his shop for a day to "mourn" following the defeat of Mitt Romney in the U.S. presidential election.

Pot profit in new weed laws?

Plenty of profit could sprout out of new weed laws that legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington in the elections down south this week, says this Huffington Post piece.

"The legalization of recreational marijuana will create a new industry that may in turn fuel a local business boom, with staggering potential economic impact," the piece says.

"The potential boom won't be restricted to marijuana sellers…. Construction firms, inventory tracking software companies, hydroponic suppliers, accounting firms and 'almost any other ancillary business you can imagine' will benefit," it adds.

But such possibilities could go up in a cloud of smoke if the U.S. government does anything to try to block the measures, which run counter to federal pot-prohibition laws; the two states were still waiting to see whether the U.S. government would take any action, as this Associated Press piece points out.

Skype launches tool  for small business

Skype has officially launched its "Skype in the workplace" platform, aimed at small and mid-sized businesses to market products, find partners, and build stronger connections and communication globally. Microsoft Corp.-owned Skye's tool has been in beta trial for the past six months with 500 businesses and now launches publicly. How does it do? Here's one review.


Future of medicine conference

MaRS Discovery District is hosting its fourth annual future of medicine conference, focusing on market access for medical technology, in Toronto on Nov. 15. The event will include a keynote address, expert presentations, panel discussions and a pitch showcase of emerging startups in medical devices and health information technology. For more information, click here.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Next Monday kicks off Global Entrepreneurship Week. GEW Canada 2012's official host is the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. For what's happening in Canada connected to the week, click here.

Small Business Summit Toronto

There's just a couple of more weeks until The Globe and Mail's Small Business Summit takes place in Toronto on Nov. 22. For fuller details on the day dedicated to entrepreneurs, click here.


Musician aids aging rock-and-rollers with hearing loss

Gordon Lownds was once a professional musician. Now the serial entrepreneur runs hearing-aid retail chain  ListenUp Canada, which he co-founded. He's also a co-founder of the Sleep Country mattress chain. And he has many nuggets of wisdom to share from his many years in business.


Pivot or persevere? When it's right to change, or stay, the course

Strategic pivots have become an increasingly popular path to success among a growing number of companies, especially in the tech world. While it has become fashionable, and for many it makes good sense to save a struggling company, there is also reason to question whether it's always smart to pivot, or whether it's sometimes better to to stay, or make a tweak to, the course, as this piece in July examined.

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