Does choosing the right communications system for your small business leave you feeling overwhelmed? A new service launched Wednesday on allows users to research an array of telephony vendors and systems in order to determine which system is right for their businesses.

Visitors to the site fill out a short questionnaire about the nature of their business, then receive tailored recommendations about vendors that fit their needs and budget. also provides descriptions on basic and advanced phone system features, integrated voice and data systems, and remote access systems.

"Connectivity is more important than ever in today's fast-paced global economy," according to a white paper recently released by "Today's options offer exactly what small businesses need most: access to advanced functionality, greater flexibility, and growth potential."

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Risk Management 101

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners on Wednesday launched a new public education program designed to help small businesses address specific insurance risks to their company.

The campaign, called Insure U for Small Business, has a curriculum with six categories relating to small business owners: workers' compensation; group health and disability; business property and liability; commercial auto; group life and key person life; and home-based business insurance.

Small-business owners can explore the different topics by reading explanations and gaining tips from insurance experts. After reviewing the curriculum, owners can test their knowledge about insurance issues by taking an online quiz. Once successfully completed, an Insure U diploma is available for download.

In addition to the online education site, the Insure U Small Business campaign also includes public service announcements in English and Spanish, and community outreach by public information officers of state insurance departments.

"Small business owners need to understand the array of business risks they face, as well as how to protect themselves with the right insurance coverage," Walter Bell, the association's president, said in a statement.

The Insure U for Small Business curriculum is available at 

The Green eBay, a new online marketplace launched last week, creates a unique way for buyers and contractors to conduct trade for renewable energy services.

The website uses a reverse-auction method, where buyers post a request for their proposal and then energy contractors post their bids to compete for the job. This online marketplace gives contractors in the renewable-energy industry access to new potential customers, while giving those customers competitive prices. allows buyers to upload pictures, blueprints, and roofing diagrams of their projects in order to assist contractors in making accurate bids. Buyers have access to contractor feedback and past projects before decided to award a contract. There is no subscription fee for the service, and it is free for buyers and contractors to post projects and bid. Contractors can also receive free e-mail notifications when a buyer posts a project in their selected category.

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