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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Jan. 30

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Small-business hiring fell in January. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees slowed their hiring in January compared with the busy holiday season. Approximately 50,000 jobs were created during the four-week period starting Dec. 24, according to the Intuit (INTU) Payroll Small Business Employment Index. Hiring in December was adjusted slightly upward, to 60,000 jobs from 55,000.

The data are based on approximately 70,000 small-business customers of Intuit Online Payroll.

Hours worked and compensation to hourly workers at the nation's smallest businesses also fell during the four-week period, the index shows. Compensation fell by 0.09% in January to $2,632 per month (equating to $31,600 per year). Employees also worked slightly fewer hours, totaling 107.5.

The Index, which also analyzes employment by region, showed the East Coast as having more weakness in employment than other parts of the country. "The geographical pattern of labor market indicators shows more weakness in employment on the East Coast, especially the New York region where there are more financial service businesses," says economist Susan Woodward, who works with Intuit to create and analyze the Index. "This suggests that the continuing uncertainty regarding the euro and the debts of the European sovereign nations are a force in economic activity here. We hear this on the news, and we can see it in the small-business figures."

2. Startup America rings opening bell. The Startup America Partnership, a national initiative dedicated to helping start-up companies grow and with job creation, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday to commemorate the organization's first anniversary Jan. 31.

Along with Startup America's chairman, Steve Case, and CEO, Scott Case, eight small businesses joined in the festivities.

The bell ringing is significant for two reasons: NYSE doesn't typically let small, nonpublic companies have the honors; and, more importantly, it signifies the wave of attention in the public and private sectors and in government for helping small businesses grow. Let's hope it works.

Fourteen other events hosted by Startup America will take place across the country Tuesday to celebrate entrepreneurship. Click here to find out what's going on in your city.

In its first year, Startup America secured more than $1.2 billion in private-sector commitments from more than 50 partners to provide resources to young companies with high growth potential. It has also launched regional initiatives in 17 states.

The partnership was launched last year at the White House in response to President Barack Obama's call to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship in the U.S. It brings together an alliance of major corporations and other resources to increase the prevalence and success of high-growth enterprises, the organization says.

3. New OSHA guidelines for businesses with more than 10 employees. Starting Wednesday, employers who have at least 10 employees must use form 300A to post an annual summary of their Occupational Safety and Health Administration logs for 2011, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

While only the summary itself needs to be posted, the entire log must be available for inspection, NFIB says. Employers are required to maintain records for five years in addition to the current year. This NFIB article offers more tips for keeping OSHA logs.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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