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

What’s going ‘on’:


Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday reiterated his position that Congress should focus attention on growth rather than deficit cuts. (JASON REED/REUTERS)

SBA increases size standards for some small business programs: The Small Business Administration on Friday published a final rule that increasing some of the size definitions of small businesses in professional, scientific and other sectors. In total, the final rule will increase 37 of the revenue-based size standards in 34 industries and three sub-industries.

Small businesses express confidence in jobs, spending: The nation’s smallest employers have more confidence and see growth coming in the year ahead, according to a new Citibank survey. Twenty-six percent plan to increase their full-time employment in 2012, marking a 12 point increase from the same time in 2011, and the vast majority think consumer spending will hold steady or increase this year.

Groupon misses earnings mark: Groupon’s first earnings report since going public last fall shows the company hauled $506.5 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011, topping analysts expectations of $473 million. However, the company fell short on earnings per share, coming in at negative $0.02, rather than an anticipated positive $0.03.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

House lawmakers pushing for more small business contracting reform:One week after proposing legislation to raise small firms’ allotment of federal spending, House lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a trio of bipartisan bills intended to further reform small business contracting. The measures are the latest step in the House Small Business Committee’s efforts to empower small business advocates and combat contracting fraud by large businesses.

Apple’s iPhone taking a toll on carriers: While consumers tend to love the world’s top-selling phone, the device has been a nightmare for mobile carriers, according to a report from Businessweek. That’s because the price of the smartphone is heavily discounted by carriers, and those subsidies have completely devastated profit margins for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to sell to the federal government (Startup America)

How businesses can give back to the community (Yahoo)

How to compete against Silicon Valley (Venture Beat)

How to kill meetings and unleash productivity (Entrepreneur)

How to acquire customers through Groupon (Open Forum)