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Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Get started ‘On’ Mar. 19: Biotech funding dwindling, automakers racing toward India

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

What’s going ‘on’:

Compeition among American automakers in India is heating up. (Jeffrey Sauger - JEFFREY SAUGER FOR CHEVROLET)
Biotech funding dwindling: Small biotechnology firms, once able to secure millions of dollars from venture capitalists and even more later through public offerings, have watched financing availbility evaporate in recent years, due to the tough economic environment and poor returns from stock offerings, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. Venture capitalists invested a total of $3.92 billion last year in biotechs of all stages, well below the $6.17 billion peak in 2007.

Business owners fear potential loss of Ex-Im bank: Many business owners fear they would lose significant business from abroad if lawmakers don’t renew the Export-Import bank’s exposure limit. The agency is currently operating on a temporary extension of its charter and is projected to hit its $100 billion limit sometime this month, meaning it would not be able to provide financing for new loans.

American automakers in race for Indian market: United States car companies like Ford and General Motors are looking for growth and investment opportunities worldwide, and with China’s explosive growth beginning to taper off in recent years, few destinations currently appear more attractive than India.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Downturn not hitting small business employment evenly across the country: The recession’s employment toll on small businesses has varied greatly from region to region, according to analysis of Intuit data. The south/west/central region, for example, is currently 7 percentage points higher than it was in January 2007, whereas the index’s mountain region is currently 9.5 percentage points below its mark at that point.

Major housing data coming this week: This week’s economic news is likely to center on the housing sector, with analysts expecting to see data that show the housing sector to be on an economic upswing, which could bolster confidence about the state of the wider economy.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How virtual services can save your firm on gas (OSB)

How ballfield lessons transfer to the business world (Post)

How to make daily deals pay off for your firm (Entrepreneur)

How to find out what your customers really think (Open Forum)

By  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/19/2012

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