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

What’s going ‘on’:

Fed declines to take new action: The Federal Reserve predicts that economic growth will pick up faster than anticipated and that the unemployment rate will likely fall more rapidly, as the central bank declined to take any new policy actions at its third meeting of the year. However, Chairman Ben Bernanke said the group remains “entirely prepared to take” more steps in the future to try to boost job creation.

Franchise industry holds steady: Designed to evaluate the health of the franchise industry, the International Franchise Association’s Franchise Business Index showed no change in March. The index held at a value of 107.7, marking a 1.3 percent increase compared to the same month last year.

D.C. group launches youth entre­pre­neur­ship competition:District-based Perennial has announced a new entre­pre­neur­ship competition that will award 10 high school students or teams seed money to start or expand their own businesses. The finalists will present elevator pitches to a panel of judges next month, and applications are now being accepted.

UK sinks back into recession: Britain’s economy has officially fallen back into recession for the first time since 2009 as new data show that it unexpectedly contracted during the first quarter. The consensus in the markets had been that the economy had eked out growth over the first three months of the year.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Senate OKs USPS overhaul plan:The Senate on Wednesday approved a plan to overhaul the government’s efforts to rescue the United States Postal Service. However, the $33.6 billion price tag attached to the bill may make it a tough sell in the House.

Staffing agency, intimates retailer among top women-owned firms: The Women Presidents’ Organization will on Thursday announce its annual rankings of the 50 fastest growing women-led companies in North America. The top 10 includes a health care staffing agency, an intimates retailer and government technology provider.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to efficiently utilize social media sites (OSB)

How to get your company ready for sale (NZ Herald)

How to protect your basic business numbers (SBA)

How to use the new Google Drive (Business Insider)