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Dell wants to find ‘America’s favorite small business’ [sponsored]

There are nearly 27.3 million small business in the United States — the majority farms or sole-proprietorships, which have no payroll employees, according to the US Census Bureau. There are 5.9 million small businesses with payrolls, and 3.62 million employ fewer than five people. Are you one of them?

The continuing economic crisis is causing more small businesses to close and the survivors aren’t able to hire at pre-2008 levels. Companies with fewer than 20 employees generated only 38,000 net new jobs in fourth quarter 2010, according to the Small Business Administration (those are the latest stats available). Many small businesses are finding that they can’t replace aging computers, phones and other devices or invest in tech that could make them more competitive. Is your business among them?

Dell, in cooperation with MasterCard and Microsoft, is sponsoring the “America’s Favorite Small Business” contest, which could bring some new tech — even an online web reality show — to your company. There are $75,000 prizes total — $25,000 in Dell computers running Windows 7 Professional and Office Home and Business 2010 and $50,000 prepaid MasterCard.

The contest is all about storytelling, small businesses explaining how they would make the best use of the prizes and communicating something about who they are and what they do. A panel of judges will select 10 finalists, “but America will ultimately decide the winner”, according to Dell, which isn’t yet being specific what that means.

Dell has set up a YouTube site offering more information about the contest. Contestants can submit their videos there or at this Facebook page. Will you be among them?

This post is sponsored by Dell but written by Betanews staff.

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