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Small Talk: Business News You Missed


Employment high…President Barack Obama says innovation is the key to creating jobs in America — but it may be good old-fashioned gardening that saves the American economy. The economic seed planted by the legalization of medical marijuana is creating a bumper crop of new jobs, as is evidenced by a new employment site called THCJobs.com, which advertises “real marijuana jobs.”  Openings currently listed on the site range from Web designer to a front desk administrator for a marijuana dispensary. The site does not indicate whether previous medical marijuana experience is required.

Ambulance-chasing app…Serving as further proof that small businesses of all kinds are getting into the "app" act, a Virginia-based law firm has launched a mobile app for the Android that talks users through what to do after a car accident. The free “My Lawyer Mobile Accident App” provides users with step-by-step instructions on what to do after an accident, what documents to collect and who to call for help. Presumably, the law firm’s phone number comes pre-programmed on speed dial.

Restaurants off the hook…It was difficult enough to make a successful go of owning a restaurant before all this obesity talk started. Soon after Americans’ obesity rates started to climb, restaurants got the blame owing to their oversized portions, super-sized value meals and trans fat fetishes. Turns out, though, restaurants don’t seem to be the problem. Researchers from Kellogg School of Management found that although people who live closer to restaurants eat in them twice as often, they are no fatter than those who live further away and eat out less often. Want fries with that?

Cut from a different cloth…Designers and soft goods retailers are going to have to find a new way to market to consumers as the cost of labor and raw materials drive clothing prices through the roof. Wake Forest University professor Sheri Bridges said marketers will start selling consumers on fit and style rather than on price. And, Bridges, asserts, increasingly astute consumers will start viewing their clothing purchases as either statements (trendy items) or investments (classics that go with everything). Apparently, even leggings are now an economic indicator.

British invasion…They may have Kate Middleton, but we’ve got Mark Zuckerberg. A contingent of England’s best Web technology businesses(as chosen by Britain’s Technology Strategy Board) is making a pilgrimage to Silicon Valley next week to meet with Facebook, Twitter and other American Internet technology companies to learn from their successes and attempt to import the American way of webbing back to the U.K. It remains to be seen whether William and Kate will Tweet their royal wedding vows.

Romance index…Hallmark cared enough to send the very best this Valentine’s Day with its website functioning at high capacity with only .03 percent down time, according to Keynote Competitive Research, which ranked the holiday’s most reliable mobile apps and websites. The greeting card company was followed closely by Victoria’s Secret, chocolate-seller Ghirardelli, Match.com and FTD.com, which were all accessible and functioning more than 99 percent of the time during the week leading up to the big day. On the mobile side of things, restaurant table finder OpenTable had the fastest load time, with Match.com and Amazon close behind. No word yet on how well the Motels.com last-minute motel room finder held up.

Catch up BusinessNewsDaily’s Best Read Stories of the Week…