The Washington Post

Get started ‘On’ Feb. 8: States, NFIB file briefs against Obamacare, low-skill workers giving up on job hunt

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

What’s going ‘on’:

The Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments over the health care mandate in March. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Small business optimism spikes: Small business owners are feeling better than they’ve felt in more than three years, according to a new Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index released Tuesday. The report shows an increase from the final quarter of 2011 in owners’ perceptions about revenues, financing, hiring, credit access and cash flow.

Silicon Valley recovering faster than rest of the country: The California region added a total of 42,000 jobs last year, bringing the area’s workforce back to its 2006 and 2007 levels of 1.2 million people, according to a new report on Silicon Valley released Tuesday. The job growth was significantly faster than the 1.1 percent increase nationwide.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Government lending fund to turn a profit: The Treasury Department’s Small Business Lending Fund was expected to cost taxpayers $1.3 billion but is expected to instead turn a profit for taxpayers of $80 million. However, that’s partly because the fund has helped far fewer banks than Congress had originally intended.

Low-skill workers left behind in recent unemployment drops: By disproportionate numbers, low-skill American laborers have given up looking for work, making the nation’s recovery appear better than it is. If the unemployment rate counted the 2.8 million people who want jobs but have stopped looking, it would sit at 9.9 percent rather than its current 8.3 percent.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to manage your clients’ expectations (Small Biz Bee)

How a blog could benefit your small business (Yahoo)

How to decide if you’re ready to launch a company (SBA)

How to energize and motivate employees (Open Forum)

How Richard Branson makes decisions (Entrepreneur)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.

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