The Washington Post

Get started ‘On’ Jan. 3: Small business lending hits 4-year high, GOP primaries kicking off in Iowa

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

What’s going ‘on’:

Rick Santorum has pulled into a tie with Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in the latest polls out of Iowa. (Melina Mara/THE WASHINGTON POST)

GOP primaries kick off: On Tuesday night, Iowa will hold the nation’s first Republican caucus as months of campaigning come to an end. The latest polling shows Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum running in a dead heat, while a stumbling Newt Gingrich has already conceded the state.

President completes SBIR/SBTT reauthorization: Still on vacation in Hawaii, President Obama signed the national defense bill on Monday, an amendment to which reauthorizes two long-standing small business research and development programs. House and Senate lawmakers compromised on a deal to rescue the programs in early December.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

European leaders turning attention back to debt crises:Policy makers in Europe return to work this week, with debt crises in Spain and Italy lingering as the top priority as leaders try to rescue the single currency from fragmentation. The euro has for the first time in its history recorded two consecutive annual losses against the dollar.

American water system drowning the economy: The vast majority of the country’s water systems are in urgent need of repair and replacement, according a new report. A Senate panel estimated that 25 percent of drinking water leaks from water system pipes before reaching the faucet and said it will take $335 billion to resurrect water systems and $300 billion to repair sewer systems.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to avoid business burnout (Open Forum)

How to manage your social media campaigns (Sprout Social)

How to build an effective business website (Businessweek)

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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