Get started: U.S. economy shrinks, 192,000 private sector jobs added in January

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

What’s going ‘on’:

U.S. economy shrinks in fourth quarter: The gross domestic product fell at a 0.1 percent annual rate, the Department of Commerce reported Wednesday. This figure is significantly below the 1-percent growth analysts had forecast, and represents the first contraction since 2009. The Federal Reserve bank saw the drop as a result of “weather-related disruption and other transitory factors,” its policymakers said in a statement.

January sees slight private sector job growth: The private sector added 192,000 jobs, in January according to a report from ADP, a payroll and human resources firm. The December figure was revised from 215,000 to 185,000 private sector jobs added.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Using the cloud to value your business: One specialized auto repair shop owner in Tempe, Ariz. is using a cloud-based program which syncs with his accounting software, to give him real-time estimates of what his business is worth.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to choose an accelerator program ( Entrepreneur )

How to offer high-end customer service (Inc)

How to give performance feedback via email ( Forbes )

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