Small business weekly:

A look back at some of the biggest small business and start-up stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.

On Main Street, optimism hits post-recession high: New polls by the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo/Gallup show that the outlook for small businesses is now brighter than at any point since 2008, elevated by a sense that access to credit is improving.

But is small business lending really bouncing back? New research from the Cleveland Federal Reserve shows that the volume of bank loans directed to small companies has been sliding for more than a decade, and analysts believe the decline may not end any time soon.

SBA official tapped to take top job:SBA Administrator Karen Mills has selected Jeanne Hulit, the agency’s associate administrator and head of the Office of Capital Access, to fill her role when Mills leaves next month. The White House is still searching for a permanent successor.

Small business employees paying more for health care: The number of workers covered by a small employer who pay a deductible higher than $1,000 has surged in the past five years as business owners look for ways to combat the rising cost of coverage, according to a new study.

Business owners slam Yelp: During a town hall last week organized by Yelp, the business review site, a large number of small business owners brought up longstanding complaints about the company’s advertising practices, according to the LA Times.

Group outlines small business immigration priorities:In a report meant to accelerate the immigration reform movement, the Bipartisan Policy Center highlighted a number of changes the group says would benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs.

California’s small employers lose tax breaks: Some 2,000 business owners in the state have been asked to pay additional taxes retroactively after a court ruled a recent tax break was unconstitutional. Collectively, they must back back about $120 million.

What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.

Follow J.D. Harrison and On Small Business on Twitter.

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.
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