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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Feb. 4

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

1. Yodle's expansion within small-business advertising. Yodle CEO Court Cunningham spoke to Street Fight about its mobile-advertising plans, eventual move into social-media services and its hope to work with Facebook (FB).

"We tend to work more with service businesses -- dentists, lawyers, contractors -- and those are generally not the kind of things you talk about with your friends. You don't go to a party and talk about your bankruptcy attorney or your pest control guy. You talk about the restaurant you went to or the sports event you went to," Cunningham says. "But we do think for retention, we can get social to work. We may pivot that into acquisition for segments that we don't work with now. Facebook has made a big commitment with social search and we think that they are going to be a major player and we want to figure out how to work with them."

2. Are banks losing interest in small businesses? According to data by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., indeed they are, but it wasn't the financial crisis that started the trend, Scott Shane writes on Small Business Trends.

Last year, only 29% of all non-farm, non-residential loans were less than $1 million, FDIC says. Shane writes the decline in small-business lending started at least a decade before the financial crisis hit.

Experts have offered a couple of hypotheses including the fact that small-business loans were not easily securitized because different banks have different underwriting standards, possibly making banks reduce their small-business lending relative to other loans that are easier to package into securities, Shane writes.

Another factor that likely added to the decline in small-business industry was that the banking industry has consolidated over the past 15 years. Community banks were the more likely institutions to lend to small businesses, he writes.

Finally, greater competition among banking institutions likely gave way to making bigger loans that are more profitable than smaller ones, the article says.

3. Ten traits to look for in an investor.When it comes to getting financing for your business, a major mistake that many entrepreneurs tend to make is focusing on the offer rather than on who is making it, Scott Gerber writes on ReadWriteSmallBiz.

Gerber, also an entrepreneur and head of the Young Entrepreneur Council, asked 10 of his colleagues to weigh in on what they expect from investors.

Expectations include networking capabilities, integrity, a "silent" angel investor, a small portfolio of companies, deep experience in the entrepreneur's industry, personality fit and "do they walk the talk?"

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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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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