A look back at some of the biggest small business stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.
Immigration reform calls grow louder
In his inaugural address, President Obama said the country must make it easier for immigrants to stay and work in the United States, especially those who wish to create businesses, and Startup America Chairman
Steve Case started the year by pegging immigration as the most important policy issue for entrepreneurs in 2013. This past week, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple’s founder, joined the movement, launching an online support site for legislation that would create an easier path to citizenship for young, undocumented individuals who enroll in college or join the military.
Congress making progress on debt deal
The House on Wednesday approved a plan to temporarily suspend the federal debt limit, again pushing back the threat of government default. However, leaders in both parties say they will likely be forced to allow the sweeping round of spending cuts known as “sequestration” to take effect as scheduled at the beginning of March.
One-click start-up investments
An increasing number of early-stage investors are turning to online networking sites and making capital injections into start-ups the leaders of which they sometimes have never met or even spoken with. In some instances, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, it can be as easy as clicking a single button.
Citigroup cutting small business bankers
Citigroup Inc. is firing a number of its small business bankers as its executives look to cut costs, according to a report by Bloomberg. The bank is currently the third-largest lender in the United States and committed to lend $24 billion to small firms through the end of 2014.
SBA simplifies procurement process
The Small Business Administration last week launched an online marketplace for government projects, attempting to streamline the search and bidding process for small federal contracts. The site lets small business owners create online profiles, browse contracting opportunities, and submit bids directly through the site.
Business owners report a bleak economic outlook
More than eight in 10 small business owners think the economy is headed in the wrong direction, and most (seven in 10) say the health care law is making it especially difficult for their companies to grow and hire workers, according to a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce study.
OSB business of the week: Brewery, Inc.: The new venture in Houston, Texas considers itself the world’s first brewery incubator, helping aspiring beer makers get their businesses off the ground,
What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.