This week, on ASBN Small Business News, anchor Shyann Malone brings you up to date with the latest tools and resources now available for small to medium-sized businesses.
A record number of middle-market businesses are planning to hire more employees in the coming months despite ongoing shortages in the labor market. New data from a joint study published by tax and consultancy firm RSM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicates that entrepreneurs are buoying the labor market even as they face challenges in talent acquisition and meeting employee expectations. In a survey of roughly 1,500 business owners, 66% said they planned to ramp up hiring efforts over the next six months, even though 97% expect work shortages to pose challenges throughout 2024. Read More
Paypal is testing a series of new, artificial intelligence-powered innovations with the goal of implementing features that will drive more traffic to e-commerce businesses. The first feature, titled CashPass, delivers tailored cash-back offers to customers based on their shopping history, alongside a streamlined purchase process for users who click on a promotion. The second feature, called Smart Receipts, displays individualized product suggestions in a customer’s order confirmation email, giving them the chance to consider other purchases from the same brand. Paypal plans to launch Cashpass in March but has yet to set a timeline for Smart Receipts. Read More
SBA revitalizes training program to help small businesses win federal contracts
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is rebranding its 7(J) Management and Technical Assistance Program under the new title “Empower to Grow” while also improving the initiative through additional support, new services, and greater reach. The Empower to Grow program will continue to deliver its original services but with changes that allow for more accessibility and efficiency. The SBA is also offering new features and upgrades as part of the initiative. Read More
The U.S. economy continued to recover over the fourth quarter, growing faster than anticipated despite a modest slowdown in activity after the July-through-September period. According to the advanced fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report released by the Commerce Department, GDP rose at an annualized rate of 3.3% in the final three months of 2023, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of improvements. Although the number represents a notable decline from Q3’s rate of 4.9%, the pace still exceeded forecasts for the period. A panel of economic analysts polled by Reuters predicted an average increase of just 2%. Read More