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Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Get started ‘On’ the weekend: Unemployment holds steady, agencies come together to boost women’s contracting

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

What’s going ‘on’

Unemployment holds steady as recovery continues: The economy added 227,000 jobs last month, more than analysts had expected, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Previous month’s data were also upwardly revised, suggesting the economic recovery is starting to pick up speed.

House passes major small business legislation: The House on Thursday easily approved the JOBS Act, a measure that would make it easier for small businesses to launch initial public offerings, solicit new investors and eventually hire workers. The move has received praise from several advocates and policymakers in Washington, though at least one small business group disapproved.

Economists defend government bailouts: Most economists believe the bank bailout prevented further harm to the economy during the financial crisis and effectively prevented the unemployment rate from rising even higher, according to a new survey from the University of Chicago. Nearly 80 percent believed the unemployment rate by the end of 2010 was lower than it would have been without TARP and the subsequent commitments of government capital.

SBA taps first Impact Investment partner: SJF Ventures, a North Carolina venture firm, will be the Small Business Administration’s first national partner for the new Impact Investment program, which aims to increase investment to clean energy and education start-ups. The company has already raised the bulk of the $75 million it plans to funnel into clean-tech, software as a service and food-safety businesses.

Spanx founder debuts on billionaire’s list: Underwear entrepreneur Sara Blakely has landed on Forbes magazine’s list of world billionaires thanks to the success of her Spanx lines. The 41-year-old joins an elite, mostly male cast of tycoons, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Federal agencies working together to boost 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 Women-owned Small Business Training and Opportunity Forum next month, and registration is now open online.

New unemployment data looming: Economists expect the nation’s unemployment rate stayed the same last month, as the steady uptick in the job market encouraged more people to start looking for work again. The Labor Department’s February unemployment report — to be released Friday morning — is expected to show a gain of 210,000 jobs and a monthly unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.

House committee takes aim at SBA funding: The House Small Business Committee this week recommended that funding be reduced or eliminated for more than a dozen Small Business Administration programs. The committee’s views matter because the House Budget Committee will consider them when it sets funding levels for next year.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to take marketing tips from the Kony movement (OSB)

How to protect your business from credit card fraud (NFIB)

How to survive a trademark lawsuit (Small Biz Trends)

How to battle others’ dirty negotiating tricks (Open Forum)

How to structure the sale of your firm (Wall Street Journal)

How to add public relations to your marketing efforts (SBA)

By  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/09/2012

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