The National Federation of Independent Business’s monthly optimism index showed its members’ confidence fell in March for the first time in four months, Jeanna Smialek reports. [Bloomberg News]
Banks have increased lending to franchises, but not quickly enough, writes Catherine Clifford, citing data from the International Franchise Association. [Entrepreneur]
A startup called BarkBox—as the name implies, it’s a “stuff-in-a-box” company that sends customers a box full of doggie toys, treats, and other items on a monthly basis—raised $5 million. Peter Kafka writes that we can no longer dismiss “this-version-of-that-thing” tech startups. [PandoDaily]
Greycroft Partners’ Alan Patricof says the market for startups is better than ever (video). [Bloomberg TV]
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