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Category Archives: News


Save The Date! Small Business Saturday: November 29, 2014

thinkbigshopsmallIt’s almost time for our favorite day of the holiday season. No, not Thanksgiving (though we are thoroughly looking forward to our turkey-induced comas), “Small Business Saturday” is our favorite day of the year.

Small Business Saturday is a day to recognize, celebrate, and support small businesses within our communities. In just its fourth year, The Movement has generated billions of dollars for local retailers around the nation. Newtek wouldn’t be here without the millions of bold individuals who have taken the ultimate leap of faith to become small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Thank you. We admire your tireless hard work. We applaud your success.

Newtek invites our community to join us in shopping local and shopping small on November 29. For our small business owners out there, it’s your time to shine! Leverage the extra attention in the following ways:

1.)  Prepare Marketing Materials – American Express, originator of Small Business Saturday, has created a fantastic packet of information for small business owners with email templates, printable materials, social media content, and much more. Be sure to stay as active as possible in promoting your business during Small Business Saturday. If you’re an American Express merchant, you can also register your business on the Shop Small map. shopsmall.com

2.)  Offer Deals and Create Contests – This is a perfect opportunity to rally your customers and attract new ones by enticing them with special offers. Go above and beyond to make your customers feel special and give them a compelling reason to return.

3.)  Showcase What Makes Your Business Unique – If consumers can’t buy what you offer in chain stores, let it be known! Celebrate that which makes your business exceptional.

4.)  Coordinate With Other Businesses – Many small businesses find they can create more publicity for their business by joining forces with other local businesses. Working together with other businesses and enlisting the help of neighborhood associates or economic development groups can help generate more awareness for the day.

5.)  Be Present on Social Media – Your various social media pages are great places to educate your followers about Small Business Saturday. Add a personalized digital banner from American Express to your Facebook page, or tweet about special offers and events at your business. Be sure to use the hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday (and its variations) – we want to see it trending on Twitter!

SSL Websites Rank Higher In Google Search

HTTPSGoogle has announced that equipping your website with an SSL 2048-bit key certificate – going HTTPS – will give you a boost in search ranking. Because obtaining an SSL certificate is both uncomplicated and affordable, it’s the easiest thing site owners can do to get a leg up in the Google Game.

Security has been a top priority of Google’s this year. They feel this is a move to make the Internet a more secure place, and a more secure Internet begins with more secure websites. HTTPS is a way to encrypt the data that is transmitted between a user’s web browser and the site they are on. With an SSL certificate, a website can keep payments and other customer data secure (passwords, credit card numbers, etc.)

What Happens When OSHA Comes Calling?

osha-hazcom-1110x400_0OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – is a federal agency charged with creating and enforcing safe and healthy work conditions in businesses across the U.S. OSHA standards focus on emergency communications and response, fire prevention, safety notices, and education. They are charged with upholding the requirement that all employers to keep records of workplace illnesses and injuries. (These records don’t have to be submitted to OSHA but employers must keep them on-site for five years in the event of an OSHA inspection.)

According to “OSHA Fact Sheet: OSHA Inspections,” the agency prioritizes its inspection resources on the most hazardous workplaces in this order:

White House Fence-Jumper More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

Security at the White HouseThe recent security breach at the White House was much more serious than previously reported.

Last week, Omar Gonzalez was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. Secret Service officials originally reported that Gonzalez was quickly detained at the main entrance after scaling a wall at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, The Washington Post broke the latest details on Monday that Gonzalez actually made it much deeper into the building.

Upon clearing a fence outside the White House, the accused overpowered a Secret Service officer at the front door and barreled along through the 80-foot-long East Room, reaching the door of the Green Room where he was eventually detained, knife in hand.

Apple Breaks Into Mobile Payments

applepay_applewatchSmartphone makers have been trying to replace our wallets with digital pay methods for several years. While the trend has yet to widely catch on outside of the tech sphere, Apple (so often the bridge between the super geeky and super chic) believes that they may be able to change that.

On Tuesday, Apple announced it would soon be offering its own version of the mobile wallet, dubbed Apple Pay. Apple claims to have already established relationships with three major credit card companies, and retail giants like Target and McDonald’s – meaning soon you’ll be paying for your Number 3 with your iPhone or Apple Watch.

The Facebook Color Change Scam Is Back

don't like FBNO – you cannot change the color of Facebook. Well… you can (at your own risk), but that app you just downloaded, it’s a scam.

Cheetah Mobile, security software researcher and provider, was the first to confirm the reemergence of the hack. The scam appears as a Facebook app that can be shared or posted on the News Feed. So far, more than 10,000 people have been tricked into downloading the malware, according to the Cheetah Mobile Security blog post.

Google to Boost Encrypted Websites in Search Rankings

google encryptionGoogle is using its massive reach and power for good as the search engine pressures websites to better protect the people using their services. The move involves a change in Google’s formula for determining search result rankings. Websites that automatically encrypt their services will now be ranked higher in Google’s recommendation system. The goal is to pressure web developers to adopt technology that defends against hackers breaking into websites and stealing users’ sensitive information.

Edward Snowden’s revelations shined a light on the gaping security holes in unencrypted websites. Encryption makes it more difficult for hackers and the NSA alike to grab unsuspecting user’s personal data transmitted over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You can spot an encrypted website by the telling “https” in the URL.

Billions of Passwords Stolen by Russian Cybercrime Ring CyberVor

hackerBy now you’ve likely heard about Tuesday’s New York Times report of the largest stockpile of stolen online credentials in known history. The mammoth hack job was brought to light by the cybersecurity firm Holden Security LLC, which revealed that a Russian hacking group has stolen 1.2 billion sets of unique login credentials, and more than 500 million email addresses.

The New York Times reports that the data comes from more than 420,000 websites ranging from well known companies to smaller operations. Holden Security says it isn’t revealing the names of the sites right now because doing so could pose additional risks to users. The so-called “CyberVor” gang collected more than 4.5 billion records in all, 1.2 billion appearing to be unique. There are about 2.9 billion Internet users worldwide… so it’s very likely that you’ve been affected.

What Small Business Owners Should Know About TLDs

coolcatLet’s face it: it’s hard to stand out in the vast landscape of the Internet of today, especially when it comes to your web address. If your business (like most) was a little slow to the .com game, your URL might leave a lot to be desired. For years, the Internet has been limited to just 22 generic top-level domains like the familiar .com, .net, and .org. Besides country domains (such as .jp for Japan or .ca for Canada), general-purpose domain choices have been very narrow.

Google My Business: A New Tool for Local Businesses & Brands

Google-My-BusinessGoogle revealed a major update for small and local businesses with the introduction of Google My Business. The new service enables businesses to create a single dashboard from which to manage core Google marketing products.

Think rudimentary CRM platform: businesses will be able to easily update information across Google, from listings to map placements, from customer service to marketing outreach. The service will also make it easier than ever before to gain visibility within the Google ecosystem. Google describes the service as a “free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are”. Of course users will need a Google Account to gain access to the service.





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