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

What’s going ‘on’:

Presidential race deadlocked: President Obama and Mitt Romney are virtually tied heading into the final two weeks of the campaign, according to our new Washington Post-ABC News poll, and the race is equally tight in swing states.

Holiday sales expected to surge: The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will increase 4.1 percent over last year, which its chief executive called “the most optimistic forecast that NRF has released since the recession.”

Small firms abandoning Adwords: Online advertising has become a primary marketing tool for small firms, but many are reportedly dropping Google’s Adwords from their advertising arsenal due to the rising costs of the popular service.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Federal Reserve proving powerful: A steady improvement in economic data over the past few weeks suggests the central bank’s new policies are having a strong impact on the recovery. The Fed meets again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to improve your office meetings (OSB)

How to manage remote workers (Florida Trend)

How to navigate new patent-filing rules (CNN)

How to effectively staff your company (Open Forum)