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

What’s going ‘on’:

Economic growth slows: The United States’ economic recovery chugged along in the first three months of the year, showing only moderate 2.2 percent growth, the Commerce Department reported Friday. On the bright side, consumer spending rose 2.9 percent during the first quarter, beating expectations.

Claims surrounding small business tax cut appear false: Our Fact Checker has dug into claims from both sides of the aisle concerning the implications of the House small business tax cut proposal. Evidently, a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation doesn’t jive with Rep. Xavier Becerra’s (D-Calif.) recent comments that the bill would support mostly the nation’s wealthiest business owners, however, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) claim that the meausre would create 100,000 jobs per year was deemed even more outlandish.

NASA moves ahead on small business proposals:NASA on Friday accepted ten follow-up proposals from small business and research institution teams to continue work on innovative technologies. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II winners may now enter negotiations for possible contract awards worth a total of approximately $7.49 million.

Middle market firms expecting solid growth:More than two of three executives at mid-sized companies believe their firms will grow this year, displaying a higher level of optimism than their big-business counterparts, according to the latest Middle Market Indicator released by Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and the National Center for the Middle Market. Overall, firms with between $10 million and $1 billion in revenue are expected to grow 7 percent in 2012.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Pharmaceuticals, hot sauce among booming industries: Hot sauce producers and solar panel manufacturing firms are currently among the fastest growing industries in the United States, according to recently released rankings from IBISWorld. But none of them are outpacing the growth of generic pharmaceutical companies.

Occupy protests gaining new life: The world’s biggest banks are working with one another and police to gather intelligence as protesters try to rejuvenate the Occupy Wall Street movement with May demonstrations, according to industry security consultants. Events are scheduled across the country on the first of the month, including several in New York City and San Francisco.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How cities can create their own Silicon Valley (OSB)

How to bring online fans into your offline business (SBA)

How to harness your business imagination (Entrepreneur)

How to keep your company’s gas costs down (Open Forum)