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Credibly Financial News Roundup for the Week of May 16, 2016

credibly financial news

(Image via the New York Times)

With the world of small business finance changing so quickly, who can stay on top of it all? Here at Credibly, we sift through hundreds of blogs, news alerts, and emerging Fintech trends every day, selecting the most important industry updates so you don’t have to. Here’s the financial news that caught our attention this week.

Small Businesses Worry About Adjusting for Overtime Rules by Sarah Max, The New York Times

“With a broad new class of workers becoming eligible for overtime, many small businesses are scrambling to figure out how to factor the regulations into their bottom line.

“The Obama administration on Wednesday announced the final details of new labor rules to increase the salary cutoff for overtime pay. Although the plan was outlined a year ago and employers have several months to comply, many say the change will be a challenge to small businesses that pride themselves on a scrappy, entrepreneurial culture…

“Currently, salaried employees who earn more than $23,660 a year and meet other criteria are not entitled by law to overtime pay, which is 1.5 times an equivalent hourly wage after an employee works more than 40 hours a week. The threshold is scheduled to roughly double, to $47,476, on Dec. 1. That means millions of workers who were salaried will have to have their hours tracked to see if they qualify for overtime pay.”

The Enduring Truths of Marketplace Lending by David Snitkof, OrchardPlatform.com

“When 2016 began, we had a sense that this year would be different, that the monotonically upward trend buoying the growth of marketplace lending would likely become choppier and more uncertain. We knew surprises were in store, but the events of the past few weeks have defied prediction. Last Monday, observers of financial technology and the broader market awoke to news of the resignation of LendingClub’s CEO. This happened less than a week after the announcement of layoffs at Prosper. A string of closely clustered ‘bad news‘ stories has prompted some to ask whether this is an indication that marketplace lending was overhyped or some sort of naïve misadventure. In our opinion, that point of view could not be farther from the truth.

“Periods of unrest often cause people to lose sight of the bigger picture, but it’s worth remembering that any transformative movement will go through times of uncertainty and fluctuation.  Despite the market’s recent turmoil, the core principles, long-term trends, and technology-driven reinvention that inspired us to enter this market still endure. At a time like this, let’s examine some enduring truths – the important points that have generated enthusiasm for the industry thus far and will also power its growth well into the future.”

3 Types Of Grants For Your Small Business To Consider by Jared Hecht, Forbes

“A grant must sound too good to be true for small business owners—it’s free money, plain and simple. No repayments or interest rates, no credit scores, no haggle, no hassle…Right?

“Unfortunately, funding your small business with grants isn’t that easy. Otherwise, every small business owner on the block would cash out on them—and nobody would need to look for a loan, search out crowdfunding or investing, or ask their relatives for favors. There are two main obstacles to landing those grants:

1. Grants are notoriously hard to locate. Sure, there are a few websites you can use to search—like BusinessUSA or Grants.gov—but they’re generally either paid services, difficult to parse, or poorly updated. Many grants and contests are outdated by the time they make it onto these lists, or else their links have changed. Regardless, looking for small business grants can frustrate even the most patient business owner.”

Can Virtual Reality Translate Into Real Profits? by David Randall, Reuters

“A growing number of U.S. companies are counting on virtual reality for real profits.

“With growth hard to come by amid the lethargic economy, companies ranging from snowmobile manufacturers to furniture sellers are incorporating virtual reality that so far has mostly been found in video games. Their bet: that the trendy headset-based technology can help them build sales and cut costs.

“Theme park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp is outfitting riders on some of its aging roller coasters with Samsung VR headsets, allowing the company to brand the rides as brand-new without having to build costly new attractions.

“Snowmobile manufacturer Arctic Cat Inc has developed virtual reality rides that customers can use to try out new models at dealerships, while eBay Inc’s StubHub is testing technology that allows fans to check out the view from different seats before buying tickets.”

Restaurant Marketing Ideas for June by RestaurantNews.com

“Restaurant owners and operators will find many opportunities for marketing during June.  Father’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for most restaurants, but your promotional activities don’t have to end there.  As June is also Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month, it only makes sense to explore other possibilities to grow your business.

“For food related marketing, June is Country Cooking Month, National Dairy Month, National Frozen Yogurt Month, National Iced Tea Month, and National Soul Food Month, among others.

If that isn’t enough to get your menu marketing ideas sizzling, specific days of the month include National Cheese Day, National Doughnut Day, National Corn on the Cob Day, National Strawberry Shortcake Day, National Catfish Day and much more.”

4 Solutions to Take Your Retail Business Global by Scott Galit, Entrepreneur

“Until now, most small business owners have had very limited opportunities to expand internationally. It was simply too hard to manage. But by 2014, billions of consumers were buying online, and sales volumes reached over $1.5 trillion. This tremendous growth in cross-border ecommerce created new markets for sellers worldwide.

“This opens the door for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and mom and pop merchants to take their business global, accessing new geographies and customers.

“But how do you tap into this giant, unknown international market while overcoming the complexities involved? Here are four key aspects of a successful global expansion strategy.”

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Have you checked out our small business education blog, InCredibly?

Over at In.Credibly we’re helping small businesses evaluate their working capital needs, source the right funding, and put those dollars to use more efficiently. This week, we looked at how small businesses can use “last mile” delivery services to reach customers faster, and our hospitality expert Charles D’Amico laid out three common challenges that often take new restaurant operators by surprise.