Get started ‘On’ Mar. 14: Low interest rates to continue, Cereal-mixing pitch wins SxSW StartupBus competition

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

What’s going ‘on’:


Despite signs of economic progress, the Federal Reserve still plans to keep interest rates low through at least 2014. (Andrew Harrer/BLOOMBERG)

Cereal-mixing start-up wins SxSW bus competition: A dozen entrepreneurs who rode down from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas, last week won this year’s StartupBus competition at the South by Southwest convention with their pitch for Cerealize — a start-up that allows users to mix cereals into a single box and have it shipped to them directly.

Small business confidence edges higher: The National Federation of Independent Business’s small business optimism index climbed 0.4 point in February to 94.3 after increasing by the smallest of margins (0.1 point) in January. While this marks the sixth consecutive month of improvement, the index remains at historically low levels.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

House GOP throwing support behind temporary tax break: House Republicans are rallying around a new temporary tax cut for small businesses, however, many reportedly acknowledge the move wouldn’t sit well after they took a strong stand against the payroll tax holiday, according to a new report from The Hill.

Yahoo taking legal action against Facebook: Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against Facebook citing 10 patents upon which the social networking company has allegedly infringed, including patents covering its privacy policy, advertising methods and messaging system. The suit comes at a vulnerable time for Facebook, which filed its paperwork to go public last month.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to attract the perfect customer (New York Times)

How to proceed after winning a government contract (SBA)

How to run your small business from anywhere (Inc.)

How to maintain focus on your firm’s primary goals (NFIB)

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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