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The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards, designed to ensure businesses which accept and process credit and debit card information, do so in a safe and secure environment.

No matter what industry you operate in or what size business you have, if you accept card payments and process, transmit and store cardholder data, you must host your data securely with a hosting provider that is PCI compliant.

The PCI security Standards Council was formed in 2006 by the five major credit card brands — American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Japanese Credit Bureau (JCB) and Discover. While each credit card brand has its own compliance programs, the PCI standards are the foundation for all of them.

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According to the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), a nonprofit that supports the development of worker co-ops, employee-owned small businesses see an average of 4% to 5% higher productivity levels and more stability and potential for growth. In contrast to traditional businesses, worker co-ops see much lower rates of employee turnover and business closure.

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Recently, American Management Services started working with the owner of a restaurant chain, made up of six locations spread across the Northeast. Since the first day they opened their doors, they approached paying vendors with a sense of loyalty by cutting checks the day the invoice was received. While being loved by their vendors, our client was receiving no discounts, and put themselves financially at risk by not safe-guarding their cash!

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Want to get really, really rich? Starting your own business is the best way. Want your upside to be unlimited? Starting your own business is the best way. Want to be free to chart your own course, to make your own decisions, to make your own mistakes -- to let the sky be the limit not just financially but also, and more important, personally?

Starting your own business is the best way.

Still not convinced? Here are 15 more reasons why you should start your own small business today:

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The Federal Reserve says that the economy is doing well, so it has raised its key rates recently and is expected to do so again in the near future. The strong economy is great for most businesses, but higher rates will likely increase what it costs for them to borrow.

So what's a small business owner to do? Understand how the system operates and consider the ways they can manage.

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This week is Small Business Week, and on Thursday Amazon released its first Small Business Impact Report. Its position? Amazon has been good for small businesses.

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Optimism appears to be rising among small business owners (SBOs): 53% of the SBOs who participated in TD Banks 2018 Small Business Survey said they expect their revenues will grow in 2018. That is an improvement over the 46% of respondents who said the same in 2017.

In addition, the number of small businesses -- defined for purposes of the survey as those with $5 million or less in annual revenues -- that plan to hire this year more than doubled. In 2017, only 9% of respondents said they expected to add staff. This year, 22% said they intend to.

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The month of May begins with a focus on the importance of Small Business followed by the love for Mom. The charts and analysis that follow are from Prospers monthly survey of over 7,500 Americans.

We asked Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Coresight Research, to provide commentary on the data from the most important deciders for the economy… the consumers themselves.

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U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry today announced that the Department of Energy will award 219 grants totaling $34 million to 183 small businesses in 41 states.  Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, todays selections are for Phase I research and development.  

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Time is a valuable, nonrenewable resource that is distributed equally to each of us. We all get the same 1,440 minutes every day. Are you using your time successfully, or are you wasting your time and draining your energy?

In coaching top leaders around the world, I have discovered some patterns in how people waste their time and energy. Here are eight of the most common:

1. Being distracted.
Leaders who have a lot to do are easily distracted. No one can stay on task 100 percent of the time, but distraction can pose a serious obstacle to getting things done. It eats away at your time and causes unnecessary stress. Limit distraction by being mindful of how you organize your time and work environment and by preparing yourself to accomplish what needs doing. Develop habits and strategies to minimize your access to distraction, keep your focus on the task at hand, and improve your overall ability to concentrate.

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