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

What’s going on:

Federal Reserve takes bold action: Ben Bernanke shocked many analysts by announcing specific inflation and unemployment figures that would lead the Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates.

Small retailers enjoying a strong holiday season:Shoppers spent 5.2 percent more at small businesses last month than they did during November 2011, according to MasterCard Advisors and Wells Fargo.

Cliff talks going nowhere: Negotiations to avert the year-end fiscal cliff appear to be deteriorating, as the sides have moved from “cordial” talks to a near impasse with only18 days remaining.

Keep an eye on:

Fiscal cliff already having an impact: Small businesses are already reporting fewer contracting opportunies, and some prospective entrepreneurs are abandoning plans to open new franchise locations.

Helpful advice on:

How to avoid a holiday financing hangover (OSB)

How to make sure your ad claims are lawful (SBA)

How to decide if your business needs an app (PC World)

How to search for your business successor (Entrepreneur)

How to make your website pop on Google(Fox Business)