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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/01/2012

Get started ‘On’ Feb. 1: Romney takes Florida, SBA renews efforts in underserved communities

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

What’s going ‘on’:

Mitt Romney returned to the GOP drivers seat with a decisive victory on Florida. (Charles Dharapak - AP)
Romney wins easily in Florida: Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney captured all 50 of Florida’s delegates with an easy win in the state’s Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, pushing him back into the drivers seat after stumbling in the polls the last two weeks. Newt Gingrich came in a distant second and Rick Santorum finished third.

SBA launches 2012 Emerging Leaders initiative: The Small Business Administration on Tuesday kicked off its 2012 e200/Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative in 27 cities and communities. In the last three years, the program has helped nearly 1,000 small business owners in underserved communities across the country sustain and grow their businesses.

Markets enjoy best start in 15 years: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.4 percent last month and the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 4.4 percent, the best performances for both indexes to open a year since 1997. Investors were encouraged by modest but welcome improvement in the American economy, including an 8.5 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in almost three years.

Obama demands small business bill: On Tuesday, the president called on Congress to act quickly on bipartisan measures that would extend tax breaks for small businesses and help start-ups raise money, adding that he would sign the legislation “right away.”Obama made his remarks during SBA Administrator Karen Mills’s first Cabinet meeting.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

U.S. deficit again topping $1 trillion:The federal budget deficit will top $1 trillion for a fourth straight year, according to predictions from congressional budget analysts, but it’s likely to be the smallest since the recession began taking a toll on the budget in 2009. The Congressional Budget Office added that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule and making deep cuts to the Pentagon budget would further shrink future deficits and begin to tame the national debt.

Facebook’s COO breaking into spotlight: As the social media juggernaut prepares to raise $10 billion in its initial public offering, Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, is about to be thrust even further into the limelight. She will now be charged with helping senior management represent the firm to a broadening investor base and to Wall Street analysts.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to harness the power of growing sectors (NFIB)

How to effectively use QR Codes (Small Business Playbook)

How to create brand interest using Pinterest (Examiner)

How to get the most out of Facebook advertising (Entrepreneur)

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/01/2012

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