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Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/03/2012

Get started: American manufacturing production shrinks, Facebook use at work declines

Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.

What’s going ‘on’:

Manufacturing output drops: American manufacturing production shrank last month for the first time in nearly three years, according to new data from the Institute of Supply Management, prompting renewed fears that the country’s economic growth is slowing. Production and exports both declined, and the number of new factory orders plunged.

Small business lending recovers: Loans to small companies rose 12 percentage points in May, nearly erasing four consecutive months of decline to start 2012, according to the latest report released by Thompson Reuters and PayNet. The number of owners slightly behind on their payments also fell to its lowest level on record.

GOP, Romney campaign split on health-care phrasing: One of Mitt Romney’s close advisers veered away from the Republican Party’s talking points on Monday by saying the health-care mandate should not be considered a tax. Romney is in a tough spot, because his health-care system in Massachusetts included a similar penalty.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Facebook use at work falls: The amount of time workers spent on Facebook dropped 17 percentage points during the six-month period ending in May, according to a recent report from Palo Alto Networks. On the other hand, Twitter use increased from 11 percent of workday social networking time to 21 percent.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to pick a small business loan alternative (OSB)

How to get customers to pay faster (Entrepreneur)

How to stay focused as an entrepreneur (Upstart)

How to build your firm’s health-care plan (Forbes)

How to calm your social media anxiety (Open Forum)

By  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/03/2012

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