Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Senate leaders agree to debate small business bill: Senate Republican and Democratic leaders ended a standoff Wednesday, finally agreeing to debate a small-business bill that both parties favor and confirm the president’s judicial nominations, the latter of which became the subject of controversy when Obama made appointments sans votes during a congressional recess.
Bernanke: Community banks strengthening: American community banks are gaining strength even though the economy is improving only moderately, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. He noted that community bank profits were higher in 2011 than the previous year and bad loans were decreasing, adding that such banks have built up cushions against loan losses.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Oil prices in danger of spiking: The International Energy Agency cut forecasts for oil supplies from outside OPEC this year because of lower exports from Sudan and Syria, cautioning that reduced spare output capacity raises the risk of a price surge. Non-OPEC producers are now expected to provide 53.5 million barrels a day this year, 200,000 a day less than the group forecast last month.
Small firms teaching classes to add revenue: A growing number of small businesses are offering classes to teach their customers new skills and add new revenue streams to make up for sluggish consumer spending, according to a new report from Fox Small Business. Some are even seeing an unexpected boost in brand recognition and word-of mouth marketing as a result of the courses.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to improve customer service using self-service (OSB)
How to craft an e-mail marketing campaign (Small Biz Bee)
How to more effectively pitch your product or idea (Inc.)
How to delegate responsibilities within a start-up (CSM)
How to bring on and manage temporary employees (NFIB)