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Student Loan Crisis: Are Small Businesses Impacted?

Student Loan Crisis: $1.52 Trillion Bubble Growing By $29 Billion a Quarter

Massive student loan debt is having a crippling effect on the U.S. economy. According to the United States Federal Reserve, 44.2 million students owe $1.52 trillion . This amount is growing by $29 billion a quarter.

Student loan debt now surpasses all other forms of debt except mortgages. College debt exceeds what is owed for vehicle loans and on credit cards.

There is no consensus on how this debt burden impacts small businesses; however, it must affect buying decisions. It also lowers credit scores and reduces the ability to qualify for credit cards and loans for other purposes.

Student loan debt may reduce small business formation, but some argue Millennials are less interested in starting businesses than previous generations.

Saddled with debt, fewer can qualify to buy a house or a car. Lower home ownership reduces retail spending on furnishings and improvements.

Student Loan Crisis: $1.52 Trillion Bubble Growing By $29 Billion a Quarter - Student L<p><strong>Read more:</strong> <a class=http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmallBusinessTrends/~3/mp6alR8XIFQ/student-loan-crisis.html

Could Mastercard Smart Mirror Boost Retail Sales for Your Small Business?

Mastercard Smart Mirror Allows Customers to Buy Right from the Changing Room

Removing the pain point of the payment process is one of the best ways to improve the customer experience for small and large retailers. The new Mastercard Smart Mirror will be the first of its kind to include a payment function while the customer is trying different outfits using Augmented Reality (AR).

This Smart Mirror is a fully integrated solution which gives the customer access to the store’s online and store inventory to deliver a personalized experience. Using a card with a chip, a smartphone, a watch or digital wallet, the customer can check out with Masterpass.

Even though the technology is currently being deployed by large brands such as Levis, it can also be used by small clothing retailers. This will give owners more time to focus on customer service instead of dealing with the checkout process. The technology will also allow small businesses to compete with large online retailers by providing new innovative technologies.

As reported on The Industry, Mike Cowen, head of digital payments, Mastercard UK, explained how Augmented Reality is changing the way consumers are shopping and helping small retailers. Cowen said, “Augmented and virtual reality is transforming how we shop. And while high streets a

10 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Can Help a Small Manufacturer

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10 Benefits of Using Cloud Computing for Small Manufacturers

While small manufacturers have processes and systems which are manual — and labor and time intensive — this business model must evolve to stay efficient and competitive. As a result, small businesses are integrating a range of technologies to optimize the resources they have, which is where cloud computing comes in.

Small manufacturers and specialized fabricators are using cloud computing in surprising ways. The technology is allowing them to view their company comprehensively so they can keep track of every aspect of their operations.

Cloud Computing for Small Manufacturers

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the vast majority of firms in the United States are small. Of the 251,774 manufacturing firms in 2015, all but 3,813 firms could be classified as small businesses — a total of 248,000 firms in all.

So how can cloud computing help these small manufacturers innovate?

Reliability

As more of the processes small businesses use become automated and connected, any downtime will be costly. When a system is deploy

Android Messages Introduces PC Texting for Small Businesses

Send Texts from Your Computer with New Android Messages for Web App

When it comes to being able to chat on an entire ecosystem, Apple delivers. With iMessage, you can chat on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is looking to do the same with the rollout of Android Messages to run on your computer.

While Google does have other applications, such as Hangouts and Allo for instance and SMS support, it is not the Android operating system used by billions of people around the world. Google has been slow in bringing Android into the PC chat world, but other apps have developed alternative options.

Small businesses use Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram and others to get the job done. But being able to do so within the Android ecosystem means not having to ask what app the other person is using. Moving forward, it is just going to be Android or iOS for full mobile integration.

This will make chatting much easier for small businesses who want to quickly communicate with their customers, employees and everyone else with instant messaging and SMS.

Android Messages App

As a Rich Communications Services (RCS) text app, Android Messages will allow users to send documents, text, stickers, emoji and image attachments.

On its official Google blog The Keyword, Product Management Director Sanaz Ahari posts five new features users can no

Spotlight: Storelli Provides Protective Products for Soccer Players

Spotlight: Products from Protective Soccer Gear Company Storelli Protect Against Head Injuries in Soccer

Sports related injuries can lead to potentially serious damage. But one company, Storelli, is dedicated to finding ways to protect against those injuries effectively. The company has developed a solution that’s been clinically tested to protect against head injuries in soccer.

You can read more about the company and its products below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides head guards and other protective products for soccer players.

Founder Claudio Storelli told Small Business Trends, “Storelli manufactures protective soccer gear for a variety of purposes. Our ExoShield Head Guard was just ranked by Virginia Tech as the top soccer headguard in the market, with an estimated decrease in concussions of 84%. We created the Head Guard because head injuries in soccer are a serious problem- the rate of concussions in soccer is second only to American football and lacrosse, with girls being 2x at risk vs. boys. However, the world of soccer is at a loss to find a solution- recently US Soccer prohibited heading the ball below certain a



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