Dollar Tree small business center now onlineDollar Tree has been making significant changes in the way it does business online. As reported earlier, you can now pay through PayPal when ordering online, its customer support line has just recently been made available to customers 24/7, and a new bulk arts and crafts section was added to the website.

The latest addition to these innovations is the new small business center, which is designed specifically to help service industries and small business owners navigate the website to the best effect. You can shop by business, for example, caterers and event planners, day care centers or florists, or by category, which includes cleaning, storage and hardware, school and office supplies and kitchen and tableware, among others. It's basically a directory of every product they have online, but listed according to the needs of specific businesses.

Since it's back-to-school time, I clicked on the Teachers/School category and was taken to a page showcasing headphones for computer labs and Crayola markers. From there, you can shop for activity books, flash cards, certificates and awards, teaching aids and electronics, which consists mostly of more headphones and batteries.

Dollar Tree Direct boosts the buying power of the largest single-price-point buyer in the U.S. and free shipping to any one of Dollar Tree's more than 3,900 stores for pick up. There's also a place on the small business center page where you can sign up for emails that will let you know about closeouts, exclusive offers, sneak previews and more.

The small business center page also has lists of business links and business news, which I think is a nice touch. Under business links, you can connect with the official business link to the U.S. government, which has, among its many topics, information about starting your own business, registering a business or running a business. Under business news, you can stay informed about business issues with the likes of Forbes or Business Week.

All in all, the new small business center seems like a nice addition to the Dollar Tree website, but I'd like to hear the opinion of small business owners who've tried it.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for home decorating using only items from the dollar store.

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