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

What’s going ‘On’:

YEC lends hand to young entrepreneurs: The Young Entrepreneurship Council has launched a new $10 million accelerator fund designed to help college grads launch their own businesses by alleviating substantial amounts of their student debt and awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in startup capital. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must first meet new student loan rules and requirements laid out by President Obama on Wednesday.

Demand for durable goods soars: Consumer demand for many long-lasting products rose a higher-than-expected 1.7 percent in September, the strongest growth in that sector in six months, according to a report from the Commerce Department. Experts tout the upswing a telling, positive sign for the economy heading into the final quarter of the year.

Jobless remain optimistic: More than half of unemployed Americans are either somewhat or very confident that they will find long-term work in the coming year, and most expect to receive salaries equaling or surpassing what they made in their most recent positions, according to a new poll. However, seven out of 10 are worried that the government will cut off their unemployment benefits before they can find work.

Keep an eye ‘On’:

Mall owners shopping for peculiar tenants: American shopping centers are losing tenants left and right as big-box retailers cut back on brick-and-mortar outlets. The trend has left building owners looking to some strange new occupants – like gun ranges and aquariums – to fill the void.

Bosses replacing themselves with robots: Richard Garriott, owner of a video game development company, wanted to work from home in New York but didn’t want to take his eyes off his employees based in Texas. His solution: Send a $15,000 robot to manage the office, instead.

Helpful advice ‘On’:

How to turn picky shoppers into eager customers (Entrepreneur)

When to hire a CFO (New York Times

How to classify a consulting business (SBA)

Becoming your own media company (Entrepreneur)