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Get started ‘On’ May 23: Small business sales rising, little dairy farms disappearing

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

What’s going ‘on’:

Small business sales, hiring increasing: Small firms are enjoying stronger sales and hiring more workers, according to the latest study by CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive. Nearly one-third (32 percent) said their sales increased over the last two quarters and nearly half (46 percent) expect sales to increase over the next two quarters.

SBA, AARP partner to support older entrepreneurs: The Small Business Administration on Wednesday announced a new partnership with the AARP to provide counseling and training to individuals over the age of 50 who want to start or grow a small business. Collectively, the groups plan to provide services to 100,000 “encore entrepreneurs.”

Y-Combinator accepts biggest class yet: The Silicon Valley-based incubator has accepted 80 fledgling companies for its upcoming class, the largest one to date, according to partner Hajeet Taggar. The spike in numbers comes mere months after the group said it would begin accepting start-up teams without a fully-formed idea.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Small dairy farms disappearing:Though the number of dairy cows in the country has remained fairly stable, the number of dairy farms has been dropping as small farms either go out of business or consolidate, according to new agricultural data. The number of dairies nationally has dropped from nearly 92,000 in 2002 to less than 70,000 in 2007.

Taxmageddon could spark renewed recession: A combination of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect next year would suck $607 billion out of the economy in 2013, according to forecasts released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That would plunge the nation back into a recession for at least the first half of the year.

Helpful advice ‘on:

How to vet job candidates using social media (OSB)

How to craft an attractive special offer (Open Forum)

How to pitch your start-up to the crowd (Entrepreneur)

How to improve your online checkout system (Mashable)

How to hire executive-level talent (Small Biz Trends)

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