3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Jan. 9

"As banks opened up the spigots, lesser quality borrowers approached alternative lenders for money. Although alternative lenders are known for their speed and flexibility, the drop in their approval rates seem to indicate they are doing their due diligence and rejecting applicants deemed too risky," Arora said.

3. An interview with B Labs' Jay Coen Gilbert. Social Good Network interviewed Jay Coen Gilbert, entrepreneur and co-founder of B Lab , the nonprofit organization behind the B-Corp. certification, a designation to recognize businesses that meet standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

To date, 650 companies use the B-Corp. certification, including well-known names like Etsy, Ben & Jerry's, Patagonia and Cabot Creamery. Twelve states have already added an official benefit corporation to their legal incorporation offerings, with another 16 states with forward-moving legislation to do so, according to the article.

"Legislation has enjoyed overwhelming bi-partisan support ... because the legislation is 100% voluntary and costs states nothing. Benefit-corporation legislation not only gives businesses the freedom and legal protection to pursue the triple bottom line, but it gives individual citizens something positive for which to advocate," Gilbert says. "The only remaining question is when Delaware, the home of corporate law, will hop on board -- and if they don't, how many companies, like Etsy and method, will leave."

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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