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

What’s going ‘on’:

Unemployment claims inch higher: The number of unemployment applications increased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. The less-volatile four-week average, however, fell to its lowest level since March.

Square unveils flat-rate service: The increasingly popular mobile payment company has introduced a flat-rate option for small business owners, offering a monthly fee of $275 instead of 2.75 percent per swipe, adding yet another credit card-processing option for retailers.

Romney leverages small business resentment: The Romney camp is circulating a letter from 16 small business owners criticizing Obama’s handling of the economy. The campaign paid to publish the letter in Iowa on Wednesday, where the president has been campaigning this week.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

East Coast business travelers turning to trains: Amtrak’s share of commercial travel between New York and Washington has increased from roughly a third to three quarters in just over a decade. The pattern steps from increased airport security and flight delays coupled with faster trains and online Amtrak ticketing.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to make Yelp work for your business (OSB)

How to improve your business meetings (Entrepreneur)

How to search for loan alternatives (Fox Business)

How to approach your private equity options (NYT)

How to shop for a small business bank (WSJ)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.

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