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

What’s going ‘on’:

Microlending catching hold in U.S.: Business owners, many of whom have trouble securing large bank loans, are increasingly turning to microlending to purchase new equipment; a trend already well-established in other countries, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obama clarifies remark: President Obama recetly clarified his controversial “you didn’t build that remark,” which Republicans have called insensitive to small businesses, noting that he “regrets” his “syntax” but made his intended point clear to the audience at the time.

Retail expected to show improvement: Economists expect retail sales nudged higher for the second straight month, forecasting a 0.7 percent increase in July in a Bloomberg News survey. The Commerce Department will report on retail spending on Friday.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Congress back to work: Lawmakers return to Washington this week after three weeks of vacation, campaigning and conventions. With little legislative activity likely before the elections, many will instead be watching the closely contested race for the Senate.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to effectively outsource as a small firm (Newsday)

How to build better business relationships (Open Forum)

How to get new workers on the right track (Entrepreneur)

How to protect against a data breach (Galesburg R-M)