This Week in Business News: Big Tech for Small Business, Obamacare Snub, and Punishing Local Laws

This week has an amalgam stuff to report on in the news. It’s so dramatically varied by type that it’s a little refreshing, let me tell you. Beacon technology has become useful and affordable for small businesses as well as big. Small businesses have begun to snub the SHOP exchanges, raisin questions about its value. And local laws that have been encouraged by the feds are becoming too difficult for many small businesses, leaving speculation that there will be a backlash. Here’s what’s going on this week in the news.

The Creative Ways Small Businesses Are Using Beacon Technology

This past summer, Google launched its Eddystone Bluetooth beacon system for Android, joining Apple’s iOS as a major player in the short-range messaging technology and making it accessible from either Apple or Android devices, which represent 96 percent of the world’s smartphone market. Beacons — originally regarded as a way to push real-time flash sales to shoppers’ smartphones as they stroll store aisles — are having a moment: Beyond offering digital coupons, the small wireless devices can expand loyalty efforts, provide indoor heat maps of customer engagement and conduct over-the-air transactions. Read the whole story on Entrepreneur.

Small Businesses Snub Obamacare’s SHOP Exchange

After nearly two years in operation and millions of dollars spent in development, the small business health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act is struggling to catch on. Nationally, about 85,000 people, from 11,000 small businesses, have coverage through the online marketplace known as the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, according to the latest federal data released in May. Those totals do not include employers that began coverage in 2014 and have not yet renewed their coverage through HealthCare.gov for 2015. Get the details on USA Today.

Encouraged by the Feds, Cities Are Punishing Business

The Minneapolis City Council is debating what some call the most sweeping fair-scheduling ordinance contemplated in the country. Fair-scheduling laws require employers to provide advance notice of work schedules and pay extra to employees if their schedule changes within a notice period (less than a month in Minneapolis’s version). Local business leaders—including the owners of funeral homes and yoga studios—have vigorously opposed the ordinance, arguing that it would be unworkable, unfair and ultimately too expensive. On Oct. 14 Mayor Betsy Hodges announced that the proposal was on hold. The city is proceeding with a proposal to require paid sick-leave. This is one example of a rising tide of municipal employment laws that are imposing a huge burden on employers. In Washington, D.C., the City Council is considering legislation that gives all D.C. residents and those employed in the district up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave every 24 months for certain qualifying events, such as bonding with a new child and caring for an ill family member. Find out the rest on the Wall Street Journal.

That’s it for this week. Let us know what you think about this news and about anything we missed in the comments section below. Have an awesome Monday!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards branding and content marketing for small business owners.