Smart business owners know that they need to be prepared for just about anything. In September, we were reminded, sadly, of just how deadly "anything" can be when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. While we, along with the rest of the country, have been following the travails of the city and its residents, there has been one New Orleanian in particular on our minds: Loretta Harrison, owner of Loretta's Authentic Pralines. We were planning to include Harrison, whose pralines are made from her grandmother's recipe, in the photo essay that begins on page 68 (print edition). Instead, we're bringing you something much different: A story about how entrepreneurs -- Harrison included -- struggle to rebuild their businesses after a disaster. We hope to bring you more news about Harrison, and her business, in our next issue.
OUR COVER STORY, Web Smart, may seem familiar to regular BusinessWeek readers. That shouldn't be surprising: The first Web Smart story appeared in BusinessWeek in September, 2000. It identified companies using the Web creatively to change the way business was done. Since then, Web Smart has been a regular feature of BusinessWeek's tech coverage.
Our own take on Web Smart is not so different -- being inspired, of course, by the work of our colleagues on the weekly. Writer Eve Tahmincioglu reports on entrepreneurial companies in vastly different industries -- from a sailing school to a manufacturer of aluminum framing to a company that runs incentive programs for corporate clients -- that are using the Web to find new customers and boost sales. We hope their innovations inspire some of your own.
We'd like to make Web Smart an annual feature. If you think your company should be included, drop us an e-mail with "Web Smart" in the subject line. You won't hear from us until we begin putting together Web Smart next year, but I promise that you won't be forgotten.
And don't forget to look for the next installment of BusinessWeek's own Web Smart coverage, on newsstands Nov. 12.
Editor, BusinessWeek SmallBiz