Our daily blend of the latest news, trends and tips for the small business community.
What’s going ‘on’:
Small business lending reaches four-year high: The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index jumped by 18 percent between November 2010 and November 2011 and now sits at its highest mark since February 2008. The number of small business loans in delinquency also declined to 1.5 percent.
Final weeks of 2011 gave economy a boost: The six final weeks of the year were among the economy’s strongest as Americans shopped and traveled more, according to a survey released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. All but one of its 12 banking districts experienced some growth from late November through the end of 2011.
Keep an eye ‘on’:
Independent restaurants adapting to rising costs: The National Restaurant Association found via a recent survey that food cost was the top challenge for 20 percent of its members in November 2011, up from 8 percent one year earlier. Squeezed by rising commodity costs, restaurant owners are currently trying to shave pennies off of their bills by sourcing locally, haggling with their vendors and in some cases, serving smaller portions.
Fed struggling to aid those most in need:The limited policies the Federal Reserve has at its disposal mostly put money in the hands of the affluent, according to a new report by The Washington Post’s Neil Irwin. The affluent, in turn, are less likely to spend that money in the wider economy. Meanwhile, the technique that the central bank traditionally prefers to goose economic growth — reducing interest rates — is no longer an option because rates are already near zero.
Helpful advice ‘on’:
How to conduct better hiring interviews (Open Forum)
How to shop for business liability insurance (SBA)
How to gain exposure in the press (Understanding Marketing)
How to harness your company’s inner Tebow (Small Biz Bee)
How to generate sales via Facebook tabs (Fox Small Business)