A look back at some of the biggest small business and start-up stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.
Hiring woes continue for small (and all) firms
The economy added 88,000 jobs in March, far fewer than the 268,000 added in February, the Labor Department Department reported on Friday. Meanwhile, small business owners recorded a fourth-straight month of job increases, but future hiring plans took a dive in March.
Delays for Obamacare’s small business exchanges
The Obama administration will postpone part of the health care law meant to give small business owners and employees more flexibility when purchasing health insurance. Some lawmakers warn the holdup could have serious consequences, but small business groups aren’t quite as concerned.
Crowdfunding, and crowdfrauding, delayed too
The Securities and Exchange Commission has been slow to implement one of the core components of the JOBS Act, which will allow private firms to offer equity to non-accredited investors online. The delay has also pushed back the threat of scammers and faulty offerings.
Health-care now top concern for small firms
Small business owners cited new rules under the health care law as their greatest concern this past quarter, knocking economic uncertainty from its two-year run in the top spot, according to the latest small business survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Utah tops for small business
Not every state shows the same level of support for small businesses, according to a new survey. Employers ranked Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire and Idaho as the most friendly to firms on Main Street, the nation’s lone island state out in the Pacific ranked last.
SBA loans for Sandy recovery top $2 billion
The Small Business Administration announced last week that it has approved more than $2 billion in disaster loans to 32,500 residents and businesses recovering from Hurricane Sandy, making it the third greatest disaster relief effort ever by the agency.
A united front on immigration reform
Small business groups are increasingly throwing their support behind proposals to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, and not just for labor-related reasons. The issue has long been a top policy priority for the start-up and technology communities.
Congress mulling online sales tax
Congress is considering legislation that would empower states to start charging sales tax on online purchases, which could drastically change the process of selling over the Internet. So, we want to hear from you: What’s advice do you have for launching/running an online business?
NASA selects new small business partners
The agency has announced a new crop of small business grant winners through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, whose projects range from thermal management systems to high-resolution image sensors.
OSB start-up of the week: Crinkle: This new mobile payments company hasn’t launched yet — but that hasn’t stopped it from turning heads by luring more than a dozen students away from the computer science program at Stanford University.
What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.