In this challenging economic environment, many people are looking for a way to jump start activity in their small businesses. The Treasury's TARP program is in the news, and Congress is debating a $1 trillion (that's a million million dollars) stimulus package. There are many others looking for bailouts, including Larry Flynt and Joe Francis, and some private citizens who don't really understand the program, but want money for free. We're hearing of thousands of layoffs in the news, and this means that a lot of talented people are going to be looking for something to do. I hope some of these people will consider starting their own businesses, and many others are coming to their aid in this time of need. Intuit announced this week a "Power to Get More Done" initiative aimed at tax and accounting professionals, which supplements their "Small Business United" initiative for businesses generally. Intuit describes the benefits as follows:
Discounts up to 60 percent on accounting, payroll, credit card processing and mid-market offerings for established clients: Substantial discounts on QuickBooks Pro 2009, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll, QuickBooks Assisted Payroll, QuickBooks Merchant Services, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions are offered throughout tax season.
(source: Rich Walker, Intuit 2009-01-26)
Not to be outdone, Peachtree is continuing to offer their "Switch My Clients", which offers a free copy of Peachtree for people who switch from a certain competitor's software. This plan provides a free copy of Peachtree Complete Accounting 2009, plus six months of support. (More details are on the Sage/Peachtree site)
Finally, my friends at Network Management Group in Hutchinson, Kansas are giving away a $25,000 "Extreme Tech Makeover". While a review of the fine print reveals that winners have to be located within 250 miles of Hutchinson, KS, it's still a pretty interesting way to stimulate some interest in a small business (by offering similar grants to prospects) and for recipient businesses to get some work done. No word on whether or not the winners will have a "reveal" with cheering throngs of friends and family. (My money is on Steve Harper doing the impersonation of Ty Pennington..... After all, Harpo's namesake was in show business.)