SmallBiZ Bits Week of 01/26/03



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reopened its 7(a) loan program on Wednesday, 01/14/04 with an additional $470 million in lending authority and a loan cap of $750,000 per loan recipient.

Because, the SBA?s Fiscal Year 2004 (starting 10/01/03) appropriation is still awaiting approval in the Senate, the agency has only remained open through a series of short-term Continuing Resolutions. With the $470 million, the program is expected to remain open only through January 31st. Once the SBA receives its full year?s appropriation, it expects to be able to run without interruption. See your local SBA lender for more information.

YAHOO PREPARES TO BATTLE WITH GOOGLE
According to different reports this week, Internet portal Yahoo is preparing to challenge Google for its dominating position in the Web search business, by dropping Google as its primary provider of search listings with its own search technology. Yahoo, in an effort to compete in the pay-per-click market, purchased Overture last year. Both Google and Overture have been generating $ millions in profits from their pay per click services. Most of the advertising coming from small businesses.

More competition between these two industry behemoths will hopefully translate into new pay per click services and new opportunities for small business owners. Stay tuned.

AMAZONA RECORDS FIRST PROFITABLE YEAR IN HISTORY
Showing even the ?big boys? can make lots of money selling stuff on the Internet, Amazon recorded its first annual net profit of $35.3 million last year compared to $149.1 million net loss in 2002. Amazon.com?s net revenue and net profit both grew at healthy clips in the fourth quarter, ending December 31, 2003.

SMALL BUSINESSES DON'T WANT TO DEPEND ON MICROSOFT
A web-based survey last year of 600 small to medium sized businesses (2 to 499 employees) in the US found 43% were concerned about becoming overly reliant on Microsoft?s products and services, the market research firm, Yankee reported Wednesday. 72% said they were actively seeking other vendors to diversify their product portfolios. Two key factors were security and cost of upgrades.


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