Contributed by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Better Business Bureau is encouraging everyone to participate in National Small Business Week May 1-7.
This year’s theme, “Dream Big, Start Small,” highlights the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, business owners and small business employees. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports there are more than 28 million small businesses operating in the United States. These businesses create two out of every three new private-sector jobs and employ half of the private-sector workforce.
In Alaska, there are 69,251 small businesses and 138,378 workers employed by small business. In 2012, those small businesses created more than 5,400 new jobs.
Better Business Bureau is an advocate for small businesses and works to keep business owners informed of the latest industry trends and scams. The most common scams to target small businesses include:
· Labor Law Poster Scam: An official-looking notice arrives in the mail claiming a company needs to pay fees to order new state and federal labor law posters. These notices are from third-party companies and appear to be bills, although the posters are available at no cost from the state labor department.
· Office Supplies Scam: A delivery of office supplies arrives on a company’s doorstep, and an employee may pay for them, assuming a colleague must have placed an order. But it turns out the box contains items the company didn’t order and doesn’t need, or it’s completely empty. Another variation on this scam: Businesses may receive an invoice for a product they never ordered or received.
· Directory Listing Scam: A company receives a phone call asking to update or confirm its contact information in a business directory listing. A short time later, the company receives an invoice for hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a listing in an unfamiliar directory that may not even exist.
Companies that have fallen victim to these or other scams are encouraged to report their experience to Better Business Bureau at 907-562-0704 or at bbb.org. Scams can also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or ftc.gov. One report could save countless other businesses from becoming victims themselves.
To learn more about “Small Business Week,” join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz. Be sure to follow BBB on Facebook and Twitter for the latest small business week information.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB Northwest serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.