) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Denny's doles out loans to franchisees.

Restaurant chain


(DENN) - Get Report

is following a franchise industry trend by offering

franchisees up to $100 million in financing assistance

. Denny's is looking to grow its domestic franchise tally and has been selling company units to franchises to shift the model to a predominantly franchisee-owned system. Approximately 90% of its 1,670 units are owned by franchisees.

The program will be managed by

Pinnacle Commercial Capital

, which partnered with


. Denny's will also reduce fees for franchisees that open at least four stores "over a reasonable period," the company says.

The program is available for a limited time.


is hosting a series of webinars for interested parties.

2. Selling your company four days after launch., which creates "personal splash pages," launched in December 2010 and sold to



just four days after it launched.

"I was fortunate to have an exit before, so the money wasn't the primary driver, but for my team I looked at it and it was substantial money," founder

Tony Conrad



in a video.

"So I took a step back and said all right, it's a real offer, we should explore it," Conrad says. "And then let's think through the fit and what's it going to allow us to do that we wouldn't be able to do. How's it going to accelerate our opportunity to be a major player in this market?"

Later in the video, Conrad predicts that 2012 would be a difficult year for the tech industry, given the "unprecedented" amount of funding for "features versus companies and real opportunities." Conrad feels the tech industry is a bit saturated right now and while it's "sexy" to be tech entrepreneur, in the near term it remains to be seen which start-ups will make it.

3. Six year-end tax tips for businesses.

Looking for some last-minute

business tax benefits

this year? Here are four that can lower your taxes if you take advantage of them by Dec. 31.

  • 1. Establish a retirement plan; owners can at the very least get a writeoff on set-up expenses.
  • 2. Take advantage of Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation benefits likely to be rolled back in 2012.
  • 3. Hire a veteran and get a tax writeoff.
  • 4. Declare a bonus pool.

The IRS also named 20 states (and one territory) as "credit reduction states" and will be forcing them to pay a surtax on their loans, which means businesses in those states paying unemployment insurance will have to pay increased rates in January retroactive for 2011 wages.

There is also still uncertainly over the 2012 payroll tax withholding rate. Congress is still bickering over the outcome of the payroll tax cut extension, and at this point it looks like they will delay until after the holiday to settle.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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