Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Small business borrowing increasing: The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to United States small businesses, jumped 18 percent in January from a year earlier, marking its 18th straight double-digit rise, according to PayNet.
Yelp soars in market debut: The review sites’ stock opened to five-star reviews from investors on Friday, soaring 65 percent to $24.77 in the first minutes of trading after pricing at $15 on Thursday night. The online reviews site’s initial public offering priced above its targeted range of $12 to $14 per share.
Jobless claims drop but economic picture remains muddied:New claims for unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, suggesting that the labor market continues to improve. But new data on personal incomes, consumption and construction spending cast doubt on the strength and durability of the economic recovery.
Google offers free domains in California: The company on Thursday launched a program called “California Get Your Business Online” that offers small businesses in the Golden State the opportunity to get a free customizable Web site, as well as access to in-person training on how to build a successful online business.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Minorities spending more time, money securing contracts: Minority government contractors are on par with their peers when it comes to revenue earned, but they spend more time and resources securing those contracts, according to a new American Express survey. Overall, in 2010, minority-owned firms invested 35 percent more time and money than the average small business in seeking contracts.
Small business community skeptical of corporate tax plan:President Obama last week released a proposal to lower the federal corporate tax rate, but the president’s pitch isn’t getting rave reviews from small businesses. Advocacy groups say the plan would benefit a relatively low number of small companies and leave many business owners with higher tax bills.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to recruit top-notch talent for your start-up (OSB)
How to choose the ideal location for your business (SBA)
How to slash your company’s gas costs (Entrepreneur)
How hiring your spouse can benefit your business (NFIB)
How to learn from customers who unsubscribe (Open Forum)