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

What’s going ‘on’:

Unemployment claims plummet: The number of applications for jobless benefits dropped to a four-year low of 26,000 this past week, according to the latest weekly figures from the Labor Department. But many economists are calling the number a bit of a fluke, largely resulting from recent oddities in the auto industry.

Senate Republicans block small business tax credit: Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked Democrats’ proposal to provide tax breaks to small businesses that increase their payrolls this year. The bill failed on a vote of 53 to 44 (needing 60 to proceed) amid bickering over the larger tax battle concerning the Bush-era tax cuts.

SBA joins forces with Marine Corps: The Small Business Administration and the Marine Corps are launching a new program to help returning service members launch new businesses and nonprofits. With help from Syracuse University, officials will begin providing entrepreneurship and business plan courses at four marine bases.

Keep an eye ‘on’:

Credit fraud plaguing small firms: Small businesses are increasingly falling victim to credit card fraud, largely because of a lack of distinction and separation between business and personal accounts, according to a new study by Javelin Strategy & Research. The report suggest small business owners actually fall victim to fraud nearly twice as often non-business owners (8.8 percent versus 4.7 percent).

Under Armour founder alleges trademark infringement: Under Armour’s Kevin Plank says sports beverage start-up BodyArmor is ripping off his company’s logo and brand image, and he has taken his claim to federal court in Baltimore. BodyArmor’s team has already fired back, though, calling the suit a “prime example of trademark bullying by a corporate giant.”

Helpful advice ‘on’:

How to put culture at the heart of your brand (OSB)

How to embrace, engage complaints (Oregon Business)

How to render your site hacker-proof (Entrepreneur)

How to hire an ideal office manager (Open Forum)