3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Feb. 14

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

1. Struggling small businesses impede a recovery. Small-business owners have weathered a tight lending environment, slow consumer sales and additional roadblocks from Washington. Survey after survey shows owners are pessimistic about the economy. Meanwhile, comparable measures for large corporations have exceeded their prerecession levels as they benefit from growth in strong countries like China and India, whereas small businesses are more tied to the domestic economy, according to The New York Times .

Small-business owners' reluctance to invest in capital equipment, to hire or to expand has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy, the article goes on to say.

2. Make your app stand out. More than 1.5 million apps are available through the Apple and Google Android stores, which makes getting your mobile app in front of consumers -- through the discovery process, extended use and monetization extremely difficult. Boston.com contributor Craig Palli of Fiksu, a mobile-app developer, shares a few tips to help apps get recognition.

"Successfully marketing your app requires more than strategic mobile media buying and compelling, creative advertising. High-performance mobile-app marketers have a laser-like focus on targeting and acquiring loyal users -- those who take a specific action, such as an in-app purchase or registration. It's these loyal users who become repeat customers, word-of-mouth advocates and deliver real, ongoing ROI," Palli says.

3. On Deck Capital secures more funding, reaches $400 million in lending to small businesses. Main Street lender On Deck Capital has secured $42 million in Series D growth financing, led by new investor Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) .

The financing will enable On Deck Capital to "further accelerate growth through: continued technology innovation; breakthrough product development; increased marketing to reach more small-business owners; and expanded access to wholesale funding sources."

On Deck Capital has deployed $400 million directly to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. The six-year-old company says the latest funding round follows a year of record performance. In 2012, the lender doubled its business, raised nearly $100 million in credit-facility commitments jointly led by Goldman Sachs (GS) and Fortress Investment Group (FIG) , tripled the number of distribution partners to 1,500 nationwide, expanded its bank partnerships and increased its industry coverage to over 700 vertical markets, serving essentially all types of Main Street businesses, it noted.

"On Deck will provide more capital to small businesses in 2013 than it did during the previous five years in total. This investment provides On Deck with greater capacity and resources to bring technology-enabled finance to the mainstream of the American small-business market," On Deck CEO Noah Breslow says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.