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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: July 5

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

1. Small business lending shows rebound. Loans to small businesses improved in May. The overall volume of loans to small companies rose 12% compared to the prior month, marking the largest month-to-month increase in three years and nearly erasing four consecutive months of decline, The Washington Post reports, citing monthly data from Thomson Reuters/PayNet.

Borrowing is also up 18% when compared to May 2011, the data shows, which suggests that small-business owners are in demand - and finding - bank financing.

2. The federal government still hasn't reached its goal for small-business contracting. For the sixth year in a row, small businesses have not been awarded as many government contracts as they were entitled to, according to CNN Money, citing a Small Business Administration report.

The government gave out 21.7% of federal contract dollars to small businesses, about $3.8 billion shy of the 23% goal set aside for small businesses.

Since 2006, roughly $25.7 billion in federal contract money has not been awarded to small businesses.

The SBA did not comment on the failure of agencies to meet that goal, however Rep. Sam Graves, chairman of the House Small Business Committee, has been pushing for legislation to provide more transparency on small business contracts and to penalize agencies that fail to do so. Graves also wants to raise the target to 25% from the current 23%.

3. Check out this franchising infographic. Favorable growth trends mean more optimism for the franchise industry, with fast-food franchises, business services and personal services as three areas poised for growth, according to an infographic from the International Franchising Association posted on Strategy Plan One, a business planning resource for small businesses.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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