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Family ties and helping hands

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Unlike their big corporate brethren, small businesses have one key advantage they can tap when the going gets tough: family.

In a pinch a business owner can turn to family members and ask them to help out. A quarter of small businesses have a family member working for free, according to the American Express Open Small Business Monitor.

What do you think? If you’re a small business owner, what role does family play in your business?

Money, money everywhere …except in your pocket?

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There’s lots of money sloshing around the financial system these days. The Federal Reserve has established a target range of 0-0.25 percent for its key rate, bringing it closer to unconventional action to lift the economy out of a year-long recession.

From Washington, the first package aimed at rescuing the credit crisis-hit banking sector amounted to $700 billion. Treasury can use only half of that amount and it has already pledged all but $15 billion of it. The Senate has refused to pass a $14 billion rescue package for Detroit’s three major car companies last week, leaving it in the hands of the Bush administration to work out a deal.

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