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Throughout the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused tax deadlines to shift and brought about federal relief programs — all affecting how small businesses filed income taxes. Although the 2022 tax season is shaping up to be closer to “business as usual,” there are some considerations of which small business owners need to be aware.

CO— dedicated one of its recent “Start. Run. Grow.” events to help small businesses navigate the 2022 tax season. Accounting experts spoke with CO— Editor-in-Chief Jeanette Mulvey about what businesses need to know this year and how they can make filing and record-keeping easier year-round.

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The best small-business apps can help you run your company, startup or side hustle more efficiently, saving you time and money. Here are NerdWallet’s top picks for accounting, point-of-sale, payroll and invoicing.

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We have all experienced the decline in customer service over the past two years. A workforce shortage has resulted in shortened hours of operation, extended on hold wait times and the frustrating experience of a customer service representative unable to answer your questions. Businesses have put service on the back burner. But this is truly an opportunity for your business to stand out.

Service is the art of providing your customers with care and kindness. You don’t need a full staff to provide exceptional one-on-one customer care. Think quality over quantity.

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In the digital age, there are numerous effective options for businesses to communicate with customers and clients, and one increasingly popular method adopted by many companies is SMS text. For businesses, texting is a highly direct form of communication that easily gets your message in front of the right audience. Of course, there is bound to be a learning curve whenever businesses tread into new territory with customer communications.

Below, 15 Forbes Communication Council members shared their best advice for companies using SMS texting to market to or communicate with their customers.

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Most people still think of the metaverse as Mark Zuckerberg’s cartoonish characters. Once Facebook took the sobriquet Meta, the move ignited a land rush into virtual reality. This Web3 space is becoming diverse in its offering, ranging from video gamers to sellers of NFTs, builders of buildings, purchasers of property and practical applications that are hard to conduct in the real world.

In an interview with VRdirect’s cofounder and managing director, Rolf Illenberger, he shared his vision of a more practical, business-focused metaverse. His group builds solutions. He sees the metaverse beyond gaming and into marketing, human resources, manufacturing, training, safety planning and the offering of 360-degree virtual showrooms. Basically, VRDirect helps Fortune 500 do business in the metaverse.

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Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the 2022 edition of the National Small Business Week (NSBW) will run from May 1–7 this year. This year’s NSBW will run under the theme ‘Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship’ and solicit support for America’s 32.5 million small businesses.

This year’s celebrations will include a four-day virtual summit in partnership with SCORE to acknowledge small businesses from across the country for their resilience, ingenuity, and creativity. In addition, events will be organized to recognize SBA partners for their support of entrepreneurial development, disaster recovery, government contracting, financial development, and others.

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The importance of DEI spans the entirety of your business, from hiring the best talent to retaining employees by consistently evaluating and improving organizational culture. Even the employees and stakeholders who do not belong to traditionally marginalized groups increasingly look for companies that prioritize a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment.

In 2022, taking a hard look at your DEI plans and practices should be at the top of your list. First and foremost, do they exist? Secondly, are they effective? And most importantly, what more can you incorporate into your DEI strategy that will help improve your company culture even further? The following emerging trends will help guide you in your DEI assessment.

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As the climate crisis intensifies, customers, employees, partners and governments are putting pressure on businesses to become more sustainable. This includes not only large corporations but small businesses. Considering that we are a long way from solving the problems facing our environment, this pressure is only going to get more intense in years to come.

So, no matter the size of your company, there has never been a better time than now to get serious about sustainability.

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March is Women’s History Month, and there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate. We can educate ourselves with books, podcasts and documentaries, we can lift up the amazing women in our lives, and we can show our support with our dollars by shopping women-owned businesses. To help with that last one, we’ve rounded up 17 of our favorite female-led businesses available on QVC and HSN, from a clothing line designed to celebrate curves to a makeup brand that’s inclusive of all skin tones.

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