More than 27 million small businesses serve as the backbone of our economy and provide 60-80 percent of new jobs. As part of National Small Business Week, Hawaii's BBB has compiled free online resources for small business owners to help them stay afloat in a tough economy.
BBB Data Security – Made Simpler
BBB partnered with data security experts at Symantec Corporation, Visa Inc., Kroll’s Fraud Solutions and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association to produce free, easy-to-understand data security guidelines, with checklists and links to data security resources that make sense for small businesses. BBB’s Data Security – Made Simpler arms small business owners with the information they need to protect their customers and their business. www.bbb.org/data-security/
BBB TrustBrief is a free weekly email for small business owners to help them stay on top of the recent headlines and get the best guidance and expert advice on running a business. www.smartbrief.org/bbb
BBB Tips on Direct Selling
BBB and the Direct Selling Education Foundation have created a series of articles, tips, videos and PSAs to educate direct sellers, their customers and those considering a career path in direct selling. www.bbb.org/us/dsef-tips
Business.gov is the U.S. Government's official website for small businesses. Business.gov provides small business owners with information and resources they need to comply with laws and regulations, and to take advantage of government programs and services to help them start, expand and run their businesses. http://www.business.gov/
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
FTC has free resources on best practices for complying with federal laws. Written with a minimum of legalese, the FTC offers online tutorials, videos, and more than 100 to-the-point publications created with the small business owner in mind. http://ftc.gov/bcp/business.shtm
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Training Network
A virtual campus housing free training courses, workshops and resources designed to assist entrepreneurs and other students of enterprise. http://www.sba.gov/training/
• Small Business Administration - Hawaii
SCORE is a business resource that uses volunteers, both working and retired, with expertise to advise small businesses, lead business seminars, and coach entrepreneurs online. A SBA resource partner for more than 40 years, SCORE has helped more than 7 million businesses succeed and stay active in the local and national small business marketplace. http://www.score.org
• SCORE of Hawaii
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
SBDCs provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDCs offer one-stop help to individuals and small businesses by providing a variety of information and guidance in central and accessible branch locations. The program is a cooperative effort of the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments. http://www.sba.gov/sbdc/aboutus.html
• Hawaii SBDC Network
The National Women's Business Council (NWBC)
The NWBC is a bi-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress and the SBA on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The council's mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support woman business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector. http://www.nwbc.gov
U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs)
USEACs provide export information and development assistance to help small businesses take advantage of export markets, including trade counseling, training, legal assistance and publications.
More advice for small business owners can be found online from the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/us/Business-Resources/.