MAY  2013 
Volume 8

NO 5

SBAM Score Card Shows Continuing Progress for State's Entrepreneurial Economy


Internet Sales Tax Bill Passed by Senate


New and Improved Artificial Leaf to Solve Impending Energy Crisis


Welcome to The  

Social Era


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SBAM Score Card Shows Continuing Progress for State's Entrepreneurial Economy


The ninth annual Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card of the Small Business Association of Michigan reported significant progress for the state's entrepreneurial economy. See the report at


The number of small business establishments in the state grew 18.1 percent between 2009-2010 after a 10-year decline in business formation, SBAM reported.


"Now is the time for Michigan to build on this foundation of entrepreneurship and commence some sustained acceleration and formation of entrepreneurial ventures," said Rob Fowler, president and chief executive of SBAM.


The Score Card has been one of the leading methods to evaluate and measure Michigan's entrepreneurial progress over the past several years.


Larry Eiler


Internet Sales Tax Bill Passed by Senate


The Internet tax bill known at the Marketplace Fairness Act scored a victory in a procedural vote of 74-20 April 22. The act allows states to force out-of-state retailers to collect online sales taxes. Currently, states only require merchants within their borders to collect sales taxes.


"It will level the playing field for local small business retailers who are undercut every day by out-of-state online companies," said Jay Carney, White House spokesperson. The Internet tax bill will empower small businesses and require online retailers to collect state and local taxes for purchases made online.


President Barack Obama supports the bill, but the bill faces an uncertain fate when it reaches the House in May where some Republicans will consider it a tax increase. Supporters of the bill hope to level the playing field between the mom and pop shops on Main Street and the monopoly of online businesses.    


Opponents believe the bill could complicate regulations on retailers and doesn't have enough protections for small online businesses that generate less than $1 million a year. The bill is mainly aiming to hit large international online retailers such as eBay, Amazon and Wal-Mart. The final vote will take place near the end of May.    



New and Improved Artificial Leaf to Solve Impending Energy Crisis


Scientists for years have been trying to develop various products and energy saving practical developments in order to prevent the impending world energy crisis. Dr. Daniel G. Nocera, a Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been working on an artificial leaf to supply electricity for developing nations that earlier are without access to power. However, this leaf was only able to use clean water to create energy but now the leaf is self-healing and is able convert dirty water into energy.


The new and improved self-healing leaf looks nothing like an actual leaf but is instead a catalyst coated wafer of silicon. When the catalyst wafer is dropped in a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, the catalyst breaks down the water into hydrogen and oxygen. The gases bubble out of the water and are then collected to use as fuel for a fuel cell to produce electricity.  


This new energy saving leaf is being called the "fast-food of energy," said Nocera. "We're interested in making lots of inexpensive units that may not be the most efficient, but that get the job done. It's kind of like going from huge mainframe computers to a personal laptop. This is personalized energy." The artificial leaf is expected to be inexpensive and mass produced next year.


Ann Travis

Welcome to The Social Era  


In an article by author Nilofer  Merchant in the Harvard Business Review titled, "Traditional Strategy Is Dead. Welcome to the Social Era," the author suggests that social and media do not need to start and end with each other. In fact, companies that are successful in this "Social Era" are not successful just based off of social media, but are gaining success for being an all around social company.


When people refer to social media and social media marketing many people assume companies that are not active on social media are not successful. However, this isn't true insists Merchant. The simplest way to define the social era is honoring the value and creation starting with the single unit of a connected human. Using social media to listen to your customers is the key to achieving success during the social era.


The social era should not be defined by social media but rather all parts together with the business model, the way an organization creates, delivers and captures value. Social media can be more than marketing and communications work. It's time for business to take the social era bull by the horn and listen, correspond and expand in through media and online engagement.  


Ann Travis 

Eiler Communications 900 Victors Way, Suite 180 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108 Map
Phone: 734-761-3399 Fax: 734-761-3724