12 companies getting local right for small businesses

I’ve spent much of the last year talking about how the sites small businesses rely on to advertise and promote themselves — think Yelp and Groupon — are failing them. In fact, helping small businesses at the local level is extremely challenging for technology companies, for the following reasons:

How Amazon can be a friend to small businesses

I’ve been testing out the Kindle Fire tablet for the last several weeks. At $199, it’s a tremendous value. It’s no iPad — I just upgraded to the new iPad as well — but it provides a solid base-level tablet and reader. I can think of a lot of uses for it: an e-book reader, a video consumption device, and a dedicated Sonos controller. But the most exciting use I can see for it would be for Amazon to turn into a device that helps small, local retailers.

Demo: OfferedLocal makes it easy to do local promotions

When popular location-base check-in service Foursquare first came along, small businesses had an easy way to use social and location-based marketing tactics to get new customers. But as local marketing options have multiplied, it’s getting more complex.

Notonthehighstreet.com lands $11.9M to support small businesses

Notonthehighstreet.com, a UK-based online shopping site featuring products from small businesses, today announced it has secured a third round of funding for $11.9M ($7.5M pounds). The company will use the funds to hire new employees and continue developing its technology, it said in an announcement.

Bill.com grabs $8.5M more to help businesses manage their bills

Bill.com, a company that helps simplify how small businesses send and pay bills, today announced it has secured a third round of funding for $8.5 million. The funding will be used to continue product development and promote marketing and sales.