Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Republican budget proposal draws line in the sand: House Republicans unveiled a budget proposal that would reshape Medicare and cut deeply into Medicaid, food stamps and other programs for the poor, as well as reshuffle the tax code to sharply lower rates. The proposal calls for replacing the current tax structure’s six brackets with just two: a 10-percent rate for low earners and a 25-percent rate for high earners.
Post Office hangs hopes on small businesses: The United States Postal Service on Tuesday unveiled a new marketing campaign to promote easy-to-use and affordable direct mail and shipping services to America’s small businesses. The agency previewed television, print and marketing mail advertisements to promote Every Door Direct Mail, a Web-based service that helps small businesses prospect locally to new and existing customers.
Home builders betting big on recent recovery signs: American builders evidently think the housing market is heading in the right direction, as they requested 5 percent more permits in February to build single-family homes and apartments in the coming months. While that’s still half the rate considered healthy by most economists, it’s the highest since October 2008.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Employers asking job applicants for social media logins: Some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at job applicants’ social networking profiles and instead are asking to log in as the user to have a look around. Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.
Agencies join forces to promote women’s contracting: The Give Me 5 program is partnering with the Department of State’s Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization to host the first-ever WOSB Training and Opportunity Forum on April 2nd in Washington, intended to help women business owners maximize a year-old federal contracting program. Register here.
Entrepreneur launching alarm start-up from his Civic: A Los Angeles man has set out to launch and promote a new alarm clock app from the back of his car, which he plans to live in for the next several months parked in and around Mountain View, Calif. On Small Business will be checking in with him periodically as he works on his company, called the Daily Toaster.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to market effectively to women (Fast Company)
How to read silent cues in an interview (Silver Strategy)
How to inspire innovation via social media (Open Forum)
How to find new customers by using Foursquare (Inc.)
How to repair a damaged online reputation (Entrepreneur)