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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/04/2012

Get started ‘On’ Jan. 4: Romney, Santorum take Iowa, Federal Reserve alters forecast policy

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

What’s going ‘on’:


In a major policy shift, the Federal Reserve will now regularly publish its outlook for short-term interest rates. (Brendan Smialowski - BLOOMBERG)

Romney, Santorum emerge victorious in Iowa:When the dust finally settled on a bizarre opening night to the GOP primaries, Mitt Romney had edged Rick Santorum by merely 8 votes in the Iowa caucus, with Ron Paul coming in third. Meanwhile, a fifth place finish left Rick Perry heading back to Texas to reassess his campaign.

Fed alters policy on interest rate forecasts: The Federal Reserve will start announcing four times a year how long it plans to keep short-term interest rates at current levels, according to minutes from its most recent policy meeting. Currently, the forecasts include estimates for unemployment, inflation and economic growth, but not interest rates.

Small employers plan to up hiring, wages: Half of small business owners intend to hire in the coming year and 56 percent expect to increase wages, according to the latest SurePayoll Small Business Scorecard. One in five also plans to seek additional funding in 2012, with many planning to invest in marketing, technology and improved facilities.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

World’s biggest economies falling deeper in debt:Governments of the world’s seven leading economies have more than $7.6 trillion of debt maturing this year, led by Japan’s $3 trillion and the United States’ $2.8 trillion. That’s up from $7.4 trillion at this time last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and borrowing costs are only likely to rise in the coming year.

Bank of America delivers blow to small businesses: Bank of America is severing lines of credit to some small business owners, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bank is reportedly demanding that customers pay off their entire credit line balances all at once instead of making monthly payments. If owners can’t afford the entire lump sum, the bank is offering renewed plans at much higher interest rates.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to market products to children (Open Forum)

How minimum wage increases may affect your firm (Inc.)

How to market a self-published book (Ben Nesvig)

How to organize joint ventures (Fox Small Business)

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/04/2012

 
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