Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Fed keeping rates low through at least 2014: The Federal Reserve will maintain interest rates near zero through 2014 or longer to help boost the economy, according to an announcement on Wednesday. For the first time, the Fed will also set an explicit inflation target of 2 percent, signaling that the central bank is frustrated with the slow recovery.
San Francisco lends new help to small businesses: The city’s mayor has announced that $1.5 million immediately will be available to small businesses in San Francisco through the city’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to support business expansion and job creation. Wells Fargo and the SOMA Stabilization Fund are contributing to the fund.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Higher penalties pending for missing small business goals: Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) last week introduced the Small Business Growth and Federal Accountability Act, which would penalize any government department that misses a set goal to contract with small businesses by decreasing its budget the subsequent year by 10 percent.
Airline fee rules taking effect: New federal airline regulations intended to save passengers from hidden taxes and fees go into effect Thursday, helping consumers more accurately determine the full price when they book airline tickets. Under another rule, passengers now will be able to hold a reservation without payment for 24 hours or cancel a reservation during that period without penalty.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to secure your business network (On Small Business)
How to best engage fans on Facebook (Open Forum)
How to effectively pitch a not-so-sexy product (Inc.)
How to develop a social media use policy (Entrepreneur)
How to start a business on a shoestring (Yahoo Small Business)