President Obama signs into law the JOBS Act, Facebook buys the startup Instagram and internet advertising in the U.S. hit a record $31 billion in 2011: These are some of the headlines in the small business news report for the month of April.
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Early in April, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law, which makes it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital by loosening accounting rules for startups. “No matter how good their ideas were, if an entrepreneur can’t get a loan from a bank or backing from investors, it’s almost impossible to get their businesses off the ground,” said President Obama. “And that’s why back in September and in my State of the Union address I called on Congress to remove a number of barriers preventing aspiring entrepreneurs from getting funding, and this is one useful and important step along the journey.”
The JOBS Act, which passed with support from both Democrats and Republicans, was a rare example of bipartisan cooperation in Washington.
And the pressing need for job creation was underscored by the disappointing March jobs report. The U.S. economy only added 120,000 jobs, showing a big slowdown in hiring from February, when 240,000 jobs were added. We also got news that the unemployment rate did drop from 8.3% to 8.2% in March. Unfortunately, it was not because more people found employment, but because 130,000 people stopped looking.
And in April, Facebook agreed to pay $1 billion in cash to buy startup Instagram, which itself has 30 million users. This was the first time Facebook has bought a business or product with so many built-in users. And with tax day over, it’s time to rank the states with the best and worst business tax systems. A new index by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council pulls together 18 different tax measures, including rates, and combines them into one score. Topping the list of the most favorable states for entrepreneurs and investors are South Dakota, Texas and Nevada. The three worst are New Jersey, Minnesota and the District of Columbia. And revenue from internet advertising in U.S. hit a record $31 billion in 2011. This is good news for companies like Facebook, Yahoo and Google and small businesses that want to take advantage of a lot of free exposure.
A recent story on Fox Business reported how small business owners rely heavily on social media sites likes Facebook and Twitter - but that Google+ also has something called Google authorship that helps to increase your company's Web exposure. That’s it for the news this month, for more small business, check out Fox Business’ Small Business Center.