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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 applications for unemployment benefits rose by 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. However, the four-week average fell for the sixth straight week.

Business owner not pleased about being in campaign ad: An Ohio small business owner is outraged that her store was shown in an Obama television ad without her approval, according to Open Forum. She says customers are turning away because of the unwanted affiliation.

Higher revenues not triggering increased hiring: Most small business owners (59 percent) expect revenues to increase in 2012, but even more (66 percent) say they don’t plan to hire any new workers the rest of this year, according to a new survey by Constant Contact.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Trade deficit shrinking: The gap between American imports and exports has shrunk to its lowest mark in a year and a half, according to the June report published Tuesday by the Commerce Department. The gap currently sits at $42.9 billion, down from $48 billion in May.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to avoid lousy marketing strategies (The YEC)

How to market your college business (Open Forum)

How to run an effective Kickstarter campaign (Forbes)

How technology makes starting up easier(Entrepreneur)

How to find funding for your small firm (Guardian)

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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