Gary Robins sits in the chair of his Supercuts salon in Media, Pa., one of 41 he owns throughout Philadelphia and Delaware.
Credit Will Figg for NPR
Martha Matilda Harper used this photo of herself to advertise her salons.
Credit Via winningthevote.org
Though the Supercuts imprint is everywhere — from the wallpaper to the reception desk — Gary Robins (right) owns the business and is responsible for the bottom line. Robins and employees at his Havertown, Pa., location look over stats and sales for the week.
We have been reporting for several weeks now on small businesses in America. Today, we explore a business system where entrepreneurs and corporations come together: franchising. Franchising is a bit like marriage. It takes a good long-term relationship to succeed.
On Dec. 23, 1973, cars formed a double line at a gas station in New York City. The Arab oil embargo caused gas shortages nationwide and shaped U.S. foreign policy to this day.
Credit Marty Lederhandler / AP
Leon Mill spray-paints a sign outside his Phillips 66 station in Perkasie, Pa., in 1973 to let his customers know he's out of gas. An oil crisis was the culprit, squeezing U.S. businesses and consumers who were forced to line up for hours at gas stations.
Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 7:31 am
Forty years ago this week, the U.S. was hit by an oil shock that reverberates until this day.
Arab oil producers cut off exports to the U.S. to protest American military support for Israel in its 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. This brought soaring gas prices and long lines at filling stations, and it contributed to a major economic downturn in the U.S.
The embargo made the U.S. feel heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, which in turn led the U.S. to focus on instability in that region, which has since included multiple wars and other U.S. military interventions.
Part of a series about small businesses in America
When it comes to job creation, politicians talk about small businesses as the engines of the U.S. economy. It's been a familiar refrain among politicians from both major parties for years.
But it obscures the economic reality. It makes a nice slogan, but it's not really accurate to say that small businesses produce most of the nation's new jobs, says John Haltiwanger, an economics professor at the University of Maryland.
The number of people who leave their countries to work abroad is soaring, according to the United Nations. More than 200 million people now live outside their country of origin, up from 150 million a decade ago.
And migration isn't just from poor countries to rich countries anymore. There also is significant migration from rich country to rich country — and even from poor country to poor.
Beginning Thursday, the U.N. will hold a high-level meeting on the subject in New York.
In friendlier times, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in a 2011 panel discussion in Washington, D.C. At the time, O'Malley was chairman of the Democratic Governors Association; Perry was chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Now they're in a spat over Perry's efforts to lure Maryland businesses to Texas.
The Republican governor has been turning up in other states, touting the wonders of Texas and promising business owners they'll find lower taxes and more manageable regulation there.
"It does help get the word out to business leaders that may be frustrated," says David Carney, a longtime consultant to Perry. "Going in person can get literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of free media coverage."
In his 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative. As the country was emerging from the Great Recession, the President said he wanted the U.S. to double exports by 2014.
Only four of the top 100 metro areas in the country are on track to meet that goal. Baton Rouge is one. New Orleans is another. That's according to the Brookings Institution's latest "Export Nation" report, which was released earlier this week.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to speak at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The Fed cut its economic growth forecasts and said it would keep buying bonds in a bid to keep interest rates down.
If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.
Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.