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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Dec. 6

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Hurricane Sandy weighed on small-business hiring last month. Small-business hiring slowed to a crawl in November, as many businesses struggle to recover from Hurricane Sandy. According to payroll-service provider ADP, small businesses added only 19,000 workers, the slowest month so far in 2012, compared to 52,000 jobs in October, Associated Press says.

Companies overall added 118,000 jobs in November, according to ADP.

As a result of the storm, companies cut 86,000 jobs from payrolls last month, with manufacturing, retail stores and hotels among the hardest-hit industries, Moody's says.

2. New push in Congress for startup visas. Entrepreneurs, investors and advocacy groups are banding together for a renewed push for special visas that would allow foreigners who launch businesses to stay in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.

The group is pushing Congress to pass the Startup Act 2.0 bill, introduced earlier this year by Sen. Jerry Moran (R., Kan.) and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group including Sens. Mark Warner (D., Va.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).

The Senate bill creates "a new type of visa allowing foreign-born entrepreneurs legally in the U.S. to stay if they can raise $100,000 in capital and hire at least two American workers during their first year holding the visa," the Journal says.

3. What will be hot for the restaurant industry in 2013? Children's nutrition and local sourcing are the two hottest trends in the restaurant industry, according to the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2013" survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs.

The 10 menu trends for 2013 will be:

  • 1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  • 2. Locally grown produce
  • 3. Healthful kids' meals
  • 4. Environmental sustainability as a culinary theme
  • 5. Children's nutrition as a culinary theme
  • 6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
  • 7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  • 8. Gluten-free cuisine
  • 9. Sustainable seafood
  • 10. Whole-grain items in kids' meals

According to QSR Magazine, respondents also said the best way to address rising food costs was by changing menus, adjusting plate composition and exploring sourcing options.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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