Soda Tax, Cybersecurity, Important Lessons from Goldman Sachs

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First on today’s docket: the high price of buying soda from unregistered distributors in Philly, followed by some sobering cybersecurity stats. Finally, an in-depth look at Goldman Sachs $500 million bet on small businesses.

Philly “Soda Tax” nets $115,000 worth of fines from small businesses

Implemented in 2017, Philly’s “Soda Tax” has had a profound effect on the amount of sugary beverages consumed in the City of Brotherly love. It’s also raked in over $100,000 for the city in the form of fines on non-compliant small businesses. The law place a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on soda pop at the distributor level. Small businesses that buy from an unregistered (read: non tax-paying distributor) face a $1000 fine if caught.

The Number: 1 billion. Shoppers in the Philadelphia region bought nearly 1 billion few ounces of soda in 2017 than they did in 2016. 

The Quote: “It’s the city’s small, family-owned businesses and the Philadelphians who shop at neighborhood stores who have been hit hardest by this tax. As working families head outside the city to avoid this regressive tax, Philadelphia businesses are losing sales and customers.”

More than half of SMBs experienced cybersecurity breach last year

Cybercrime has become the fastest-growing form of criminal activity–and an increasingly big problem for small businesses. Some experts estimate that 43% of all cybercrime is targeted at small businesses, while only 14% of those businesses are actually prepared to defend themselves.

The Number: 66%. When it comes to being proactive, many SBOs are in denial. 66% of senior decision makers believe that their small business is not vulnerable to a cybercrime attack. 

The Quote: “Attackers are getting smarter, attacks are occurring faster, and incidents are becoming more complex.”

Important lessons from Goldman Sachs $500 million small biz program

And now for something a little different. The Harvard Business Review’s podcast HBR Presents does a deep dive into Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, launched in 2009 with the aim of supporting–you guessed it–10,000 small businesses across the country. A Harvard Business School professor discusses the strategies and impact of the program.

The Number: 7,300. To date, the program has graduated 7,300 participants. 

The Quote: I’d be lying if I told you the first time I taught this to MBAs that they weren’t naturally suspicious of why Goldman was in this business, but by the end of 80 minutes, I think they understood it and walked away pretty impressed.”

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