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

What’s going on:

Party leaders near cliff deal: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are nearing a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, though several hurdles remain. Here’s how the negotiations have progressed.

Start-ups finding talent in Eastern D.C.: A new incubator in Washington’ Anacostia neighboorhood is delivering contracting perks and new talent to young businesses in various industries.

Mills pushing for jobless benefits for self-starters: SBA Admin. Karen Mills is helping pitch legislation to grant unemployment benefits to those who are building their own firms and creating their own jobs.

Keep an eye on:

National security leader picks could come this week: President Obama may announce his nominees for several top Cabinet posts by Friday, depending on the success fiscal cliff negotiations.

Helpful advice on:

How to find an alternative to holiday bonuses (OSB)

How to prepare for a sudden surge in sales (WSJ)

How to prepare for success next year (Mogul Mom)

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

How to protect your firm from cybercrime (Forbes)