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This Thursday, July 19, 2012 photo shows a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta. Chick-fil-A, whose founder distinguished the fast-food chain by closing on Sunday out of religious piety, continues to mix theology with business and finds itself on the front lines of the nation’s culture wars after its president, Dan Cathy, confirmed his opposition to gay marriage in June 2012.Mike Stewart/The Associated Press

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Stay off the soapbox

After the owners of popular U.S. fast-food chain Chick-fil-A made their opposition of same-sex marriage known, the company experienced a barrage of outrage and support. Is it generally wise for a small business to take stances on politics or religion? Fox News' Small Business Center spoke with a number of experts on the subject, and the answer, in short, is probably not. When it comes to potentially divisive issues, "the notion that any press is good press may not ring true."

Much ado a-bot nothing?

After startup Limited Run claimed that 80 per cent of its ad clicks on Facebook came from bots, some were, naturally, skeptical. In fact, one entrepreneur claims that he made $8,000 in one day alone from Facebook ads.

Getting a grant

Does your business need money? Why not just get a grant? Turns out, government funding isn't that easy to get. But that's not to say applying for grants and subsidies is impossible. Options range from research and development programs to wage and payroll subsidies. However, "it does require entrepreneurs make careful considerations before filling out applications," writes The Toronto Star's Braeden Jones.

Go for the gold in business

The Olympics offer an "unparallelled opportunity" for small businesses to capitalize on, notes this piece on Yahoo Small Business Advisor. It suggests five tips on how to leverage the attention on the Games to create Olympics-related sales.


Sales strategies for small business

No matter how well you know your product or service, the key is to close the sale. Small Business BC will host a seminar that will help participants understand why prospects don't buy, who to tell when a prospective customer is ready, how to handle objections, and other matters relating to succeeding at sales. It takes place Aug. 8 in Vancouver as well as other places via live videoconference. You can find more information here.

Startup Weekends

Coming up are two Startup Weekends in Canada. The first takes place in Winnipeg from Aug. 10 to Aug. 12, followed by Startup Weekend Vancouver on Aug. 17 to Aug. 19. The 54-hour events allow entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs to try to create the foundations of a new business. The weekend is filled with pitches, brainstorming, business plan development, prototype creations and demonstrations and presentations of potential startups created over the intense weekend.


How to convince the boss social media does pay off

Many CEOs focused on measurable results are still skeptical about the merits of social media, writes columnist Ryan Caligiuri. He offers strategies to show them social media's role in helping companies grow. He also answered questions in an online discussion.


Olympic marketing winners and losers

After the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, columnist Mark Healy took a look at who won and lost from a brand strategy perspective.

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