BBB

U.S. Small Business Administration

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 28 million small businesses in America, accounting for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. The SBA also says small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s.

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Scams and other types of fraud cost Americans billions of dollars each year. And the variety of scams is far reaching, from tax scams to sweepstakes scams to identity theft. 

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The ads for Black Friday, that huge shopping day after Thanksgiving, have been out for weeks now. In fact, they seem to arrive earlier and earlier each year. 

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With the internet, smart devices and social media, kids today have access to more information and opportunities to interact with more people than ever before. And that makes them more vulnerable than ever before to online predators, cyberbullying and  exposure to inappropriate material.

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Although some retailers and shoppers have decided to opt-out of Black Friday sales next week, the day still kicks-off the busiest shopping time of the year. Eighty-seven million people visited stores on Black Friday in 2014. And more shoppers took part in Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. But every sale price is not a bargain, and it is smart to have a plan before you hit the stores or go online.

    

When it comes to your business, upholding the brand is key. Nowadays, anything posted online can affect how others perceive your company's brand. A lot of times, these negative comments are posted on social media accounts. The Better Business Bureau has some tips about how to maintain a good online reputation.

  

Massive security breaches at major companies such as Target, Home Depot and Anthem make national headlines, and are certainly real cause for alarm. But more than 75% of data breaches happen to small and medium-sized businesses, since criminals always look for the easiest, most vulnerable targets. 

  For more than 100 years the BBB, formerly known as the Better Business Bureau, has been helping people make better and more informed decisions when dealing with businesses, and setting and monitoring ethical standards for businesses.