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5 Things to Know About Small Business This Week: May 10

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What happened in small business this week?

1. Senate passes Internet sales tax legislation; could get held up in the House. Sales tax collected by online merchants just got one step closer to becoming a reality this week after the Senate passed legislation that is supposed to "level the playing field" between bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers. The Marketplace Fairness Act still needs to pass the House, which observers say could be a challenge as some Republicans view the measure as a tax increase, according to Marketwatch.

While bricks-and-mortar retailers, yes, even small businesses, can be pleased with the bill's traction, opponents say that the tax requirements will be burdensome on growing online small merchants, according to CNBC .

2. Should small businesses accept bitcoin? Virtual currency bitcoin is popular with a growing number of e-commerce businesses, especially those that operate across international borders because it isn't regulated. According to a Small Business Trends article, accepting bitcoin as a form of payment means lower costs for the merchant, however small-business owners wondering if they should accept the payment form should really consider the nature of their business.

"If you're actively engaged in the online community, Bitcoin may be a better bet than the dollar. If you live in the brick-and-mortar world, you may have a hard time spending it," one blogger writes.

3. Big bank loan approvals for small businesses jump in April. Banks are lending again to small businesses. Biz2Credit's monthly small-business lending index reported all-time highs for approval rates by big and small banks. Small business loan approvals by large banks (those with more than $10 billion in assets) rose to 16.8% from 15.7% in March, Biz2Credit found in its monthly analysis of 1,000 loan applications on its Web site. Year-over-year, large bank approvals are up more than 50%, Biz2Credit said.

Biz2Credit analyzed loan requests ranging from $25,000 to $3 million from companies in business more than two years with an average credit score above 680.

"Big banks such as TD Bank , Sovereign and Wells Fargo are investing heavily in new technology to increase speed and service of approvals," Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora said in a statement. "As the economy continues to rebound, lending conditions are gradually improving. Higher credit-quality customers are electing to apply to loans from big banks first now that they are more willing to lend and the service has improved."