Get started ‘On’ Feb. 13: Obama to propose higher taxes on wealthy, consumer confidence slides

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

What’s going ‘on’:


President Obama’s budget proposal reportedly will call for higher taxes on wealthy Americans to help shrink the nation’s deficit. (LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS)

Consumer confidence slides: Confidence among U.S. consumers declined more than forecast in February as growing optimism about job prospects failed to ease concern wages will stagnate. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment dropped to 72.5 from 75 in January, a one-year high.

Greece OK’s austerity package: The Greek Parliament voted Sunday to approve a package of austerity reforms, marking a key step toward securing a second bailout for the debt-riddled nation. The country needs the money to avoid default on a €14.5 billion bond redemption in March.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Google adding experience center, secret test labs: The company is working on $120 million in construction projects at its Googleplex headquarters, including work on a series of hardware testing labs that hint at the company’s interest in crafting consumer devices like its rivals Apple and Microsoft.

Start-ups helping users sell their personal data: Internet users have long been giving away information on which companies make money, but there is some momentum for the idea that personal data could function as a kind of online currency for users. A number of start-ups allow people to take control and perhaps profit from the information they share online.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How wacky perks can help retain employees (Open Forum)

How to choose the right tablet for your business (PC World)

How to build a community before building a business (Portfolio)

How to leverage a brand using Pinterest (TechCrunch)

How to retool your business after the downturn (Entrepreneur)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.

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