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

What’s going ‘on’:

Manufacturing picks up speed: Manufacturing grew last month at the fastest pace in nearly a year, propelled by a pick up in orders that suggests factories will remain a source of strength as the economy continues to recover. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 54.8 last month, exceeding all Bloomberg predictions.

Small banks charging more in card fees:Small banks collected higher fees on debit-card transactions toward the end of last year than larger financial institutions, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. Big banks are cutting rates to comply with a new cap mandated by the Dodd-Frank overhaul that does not yet apply to small banks and credit unions.

Small business lending slips: Lending to small business declined 3 percent in March, a sign that companies are losing confidence in the economy, according to a new study by PayNet. The findings appear to fly in the face of a report released one day earlier, which suggested small business owners are seeing fewer problems securing loans.

Chobani nabs SBA Entrepreneurship Award: The Small Business Administration on Tuesday announced that the New York-based Greek yogurt maker will take home its national Entrepreneurial Success of the Year Award for 2012. Started in 2005, Chobani is now the top yogurt seller in the United States.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Senators to Postal Service: Hold off on overhaul: A group of senators has asked the U.S. Postal Service to hold off on closing post offices and mail distribution centers until after lawmakers come to an agreement on legislation to more effectively rescue the agency. However, the Postal Service is reportedly eager to begin implementing its three-year, $22 billion cost-cutting plan.

Occupy protests kicking back into gear: Occupy protesters held demonstrations Tuesday in New York, San Francisco and other cities around the world as as part of a May Day “general strike” for economic equality Tuesday. Here in the District, Occupy D.C. protesters engaged in street theater at a downtown bank and marched to the White House.

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to handle price objections from customers (NFIB)

How to avoid common business plan errors (Entrepreneur)

How to launch a new app business (Fox Small Business)

How a little pessimism can be good for business (Yahoo)

How to create informal partnerships (Open Forum)