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Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/17/2012

Get started ‘On’ the weekend: Congress passes $150B economic plan, HUBZone pilot program launched in DC

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

What’s going ‘on’:

The House voted 293-132 to approve the $150 billion package, which was quickly passed next door in the Senate. (Joshua Roberts - BLOOMBERG)
Congress passes economic plan, extends tax cut: Lawmakers passed a $150 billion economic package on Friday, extending the payroll tax holiday for 160 million workers and jobless benefits for millions of others. On a 293-132 vote, a bipartisan House coalition supported the compromise plan to keep giving workers a small amount of extra cash with each paycheck while also providing a continued cushion for the unemployed.

SBA, DC mayor launch new initiative to promote HUBZone: Small Business Administration deputy administrator Marie Johns and Washington, DC mayor Vincent Gray on Friday annnounced the launch of a pilot program in the nation’s capital to promote business in underutilized communities. The goal is to enlist more firms in the federal HUBZone program, which designated government contracts for companies that reside in poverty-stricken areas on the country.

Twitter opens advertising doors to small players: The company on Thursday announced its making on-site advertising available to anyone with a credit card. The social networking company will also eliminate minimum advertising spend requirements and will start rolling out the program next month by making the ad service available to 10,000 AmEx small businesses.

Small employers seeing credit demands met less often: A new poll shows that more small business owners sought credit from financial institutions last year than in 2010. However, the number that obtained it remained unchanged, which means an increasing number of employers watched the doors to the credit market slam shut in 2011.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Moody’s threatening to downgrade big banks: Moody’s Investors Service may lower the ratings of some of the world’s largest banks, as well as those of some securities firms, because their long-term prospects for profitability and growth are shrinking. Those under review include Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

Consumer agency calls for unprecedented credit oversight:The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday sought to bring debt collectors and credit bureaus under its purview, marking the first time the industries would be subject to federal supervision. Under the proposed rule, the CFPB would oversee the nation’s largest debt collectors.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to reach out to military veteran job applicants (OSB)

How to avoid making regretable leadership hires (Inc.)

How to tap into Pinterest’s popularity (Wall Street Journal)

How to make your company more social (Open forum)

By  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/17/2012

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