A look back at some of the biggest small business and start-up stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.
Nation celebrates Main Street: The U.S. Small Business Administration took its message across the country last week for National Small Business Week, hosting events in five cities over the course of five days and discussing challenges and opportunities with business owners and startup founders.
Small businesses see signs of recovery: One day after Ben Bernanke offered a modestly optimistic update on the economy, a collection of small business owners and advocates who spoke at a Washington Post event said the recovery is finally starting to reach Main Street.
More small firms exporting: Small business exporting is taking off, thanks in part to help from Washington. Sixty-four percent of small firms have sold goods abroad, up from 52 percent in 2010, according to a recent poll by the National Small Business Association.
SBA sets new size standards: SBA officials last week announced new size standards for several different business categories, allowing larger firms to qualify for government contracts reserved for small businesses, including sectors like agriculture, forestry and fishing and hunting.
Small firms slow to accept credit cards: A new poll shows nearly three-fourths of small business owners say they prefer to accept cash or checks over credit cards. The study was conducted by Harris Interactive for credit-card processor WePay.
Business owners unhappy with a credit-builder: A number of small business owners have accused credit management comapny Dun & Bradstreet Credibility of luring entrepreneurs with phony sales pitches to build a network of anxious clients, according to The Wall Street Journal.
No room for new grads on Main Street: Only one in five small business owners plan to hire recent college graduates in the coming months, according to a new survey released by Capital One, and two-thirds do not expect to add any employees at all.
Signs of trouble for immigration deal: The Senate is pressing forward on the comprehensive immigration package, but there are signs the bill might fizzle out in the House, especially after the chamber surprisingly turned back a farm bill on Thursday.
OSB entrepreneur of the week: Seth Froom: After being robbed at gunpoint a few years ago, this military veteran turned his iPhone into a stun gun; he then turned that project into a growing business.
What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.