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ShopTalk: Small business help
Welcome to ShopTalk, where the Observer tells you about small businesses and local entrepreneurs who have solved a problem, met a challenge or carved a unique niche. Follow us here each day, and in our Wednesday printed edition.

Pineville’s The Yarn Shop by Rainy Day Creations and the SouthPark area’s Fibre Studio at Yarn to Dye For will close this winter – the result of rising competition from online retailers and big-box stores.

At the ShopTalk small business conference, Charlotte-area business leaders advise aspiring entrepreneurs to be flexible, knowledgeable, persistent and thoughtful.

The Observer and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina are hosting a small business conference today. Get live updates throughout.

After growing an uptown Charlotte Showmars restaurant into a popular eatery, Peter and Kathy Kushell are now running their own place 20 miles away, in the town of Stanley in Gaston County.

We value comments and suggestions. Contact reporter Jonathan McFadden.

EMAIL ShopTalk or call: 704-358-6045.
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ShopTalk is independently reported and edited through the newsroom of The Charlotte Observer. The underwriter plays no role in the selection of the content.
The ShopTalk Small Business Conference on Jan. 24 is now sold out. Follow the chatter and panel discussions on Twitter at #shoptalk2015.

Small-business owners, we want to see what you look like when you're at your place of business.

Stephen Howard, a UNC Charlotte graduate, won $5,000 lastyear at the Charlotte Venture Challenge ...

Former interim Mecklenburg County manager Bobbie Shields has started his own engineering consulting business despite having to leap through several bureaucratic hoops.

Networking events and classes of interest to the small business community.

Paul Spinak, president and creative director of The Marketing Machine in Raleigh, says direct mail marketing can be effective because companies are delivering their message directly to the consumer. Companies also know that that advertising will be touched and seen.

‘Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work’ By Liz Wiseman, HarperCollins.

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