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The Ripple Effect

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Each day,Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.

Shutdown could wreack havoc on small businesses. In the face of a potential government shutdown, both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are exploring the possible effects the shutdown would have on the broader business community. Beyond the 800,000 federal jobs at stake, the country's national parks risk losing business, government contractors will be temporarily out of work, new approvals of SBA-backed loans will be put on hold, and the economy's growth could be slowed by as much as a full percentage point if Congress can't agree on a budget quickly. "There is almost no one in the private sector who can look at the shutdown and call it responsible in any form or fashion,' Allen Sinai, a founder of Decision Economics, tells The Times. But it may be more than an issue of irresponsibility. According to Nigel Gault, an economist at IHS Global Insight, "The question is, does it damage confidence in the government's ability to make decisions? Or does it make people worry that maybe, if we get a shutdown now, maybe even if they can settle this one, down the road there could be a much, much worse problem on extending the debt limit."

Forbes' list of top VCs includes only two women. Sadly, it's not all that surprising. The Forbes Midas list, which ranks the top 100 venture capitalists by their leadership or overall standing in the venture capital industry, has long been male-dominated. While the last list, published two years ago, had a stronger female presence, there were still only five women included, VentureBeat reports. Representing the ladies this year are Deborah Farrington of New York City-based Starvest, ranked No. 77, and Theresia Ranzetta of Silicon Valley-based Accel Partners, who just makes the cut at No. 93.

Google bonuses determined by social success. With less than a week on the job as Google's new CEO under his belt, Larry Page has released a company-wide memo to all employees explaining that 25% of their annual bonuses will be determined by the success of their 2011 social strategies. Business Insider shared this memo, building on last week's article, which implied that Google is trying to make itself more like Facebook. Business Insider also provided a slideshow highlighting examples of the company's earlier social awkwardness, not-so subtly implying that Google will never be Facebook.

How Charlie Sheen is helping start-ups. Thanks to Charlie Sheen, start-up company Ad.ly is "winning." Founded in 2009, Ad.ly uses "Twitter and Facebook to form a marketing connection between celebrities, with their legions of Twitter followers, and companies vying for the attention of those consumers," CNNMoney reports. Ad.ly writes tweets (later approved by their clients), that indirectly promote its sponsors, including Sheen's internship tweet, which generated 70,000 applicants through Internship.com. With an all-star client list of Lauren Conrad, Kim Kardashian, and Snoop Dog, Ad.ly is practically guaranteed to have a constant flow of celebrity meltdowns to keep business booming.

Creating a paperless office. Look at your desk and what do you see? Chances are you've got a pile of papers just sitting there waiting to be...what? The New York Times notes that many businesses share the same problem when it comes to managing paperwork, receipts, expense reports, and more. That's why, instead of relying on administrative assistants to do all the dirty work, The Times suggests hiring a professional to do it. A few companies to consider: NeatReceipts, OfficeDrop, Freshbooks, and Bill.com. We may be lightyears from the "paperless office," but it's a step in the right direction.

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Last updated: Apr 8, 2011




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