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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: February 22

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

1. TD Bank offers franchise financing options for veterans. TD Bank, Toronto Dominion's (TD - Get Report) U.S. banking operation, has partnered with the International Franchise Association and a pilot group of franchises to help military veterans become franchisees, the bank announced on Thursday.

Franchises such as Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN - Get Report), Domino's Pizza (DPZ - Get Report), Baskin-Robbins and Papa Murphy's are working with TD Bank to be able to offer new franchisees that are U.S. military veterans a streamlined loan application process, a packaging fee waiver and lower interest rates, the bank says.

"A military background provides veterans with important skills and traits that we see in small-business owners," said Rich Bradshaw, head of Small Business Administration lending at TD Bank, who is also a retired Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer. "TD Bank knows that veterans are strong candidates for franchising, and we are pleased to work with the IFA and our franchise partners to help veterans achieve their business dreams."

With more than 1 million troops expected to reenter the workforce in coming years, TD Bank and the IFA hope the program will increase the number of veterans that become small-business owners.

2. Why is it that Pinterest users' spending is almost double that of Facebook users? Facebook (FB - Get Report) is the top driver of users to shopping sites, but it is social media newcomer Pinterest that is driving more revenue per click, according to a video by Reuters .

Shoppers from Facebook spend on average $95 per session, while shoppers from Pinterest spend almost $170 per session, Reuters says.

Why is that? Reuters cites a study by PEW Research Centers that says that Pinterest is more appealing to users who are young, female, educated and have higher income.

3. iStart's success is helping the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation said its online startup network, iStart, has connected more than 1,300 entrepreneurs, mentors and advisers who are searching for support and mentoring opportunities. The site has showcased almost 12,000 innovative ideas ready for feedback, the organization says.

Kauffman acquired the website, which was launched by three Harvard students in 2009 and renamed it iStart. Since then, "iStart has grown to become the go-to site for entering business competitions from around the world, browsing pages of plan abstracts and networking with hundreds of innovative, energized entrepreneurs," the organization says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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