A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.
Ex-Im under siege: Conservative Republicans have launched an all-out attack on the little-known Export-Import Bank, an agency meant to help American companies sell their goods and services abroad. The bank’s charter is set to expire at the end of September, and many lawmakers, led by new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), seem content to let it go by the wayside. (WP)
Another export debate: A Senate panel has voted to add $30 million to the Small Business Administration’s budget to expand a federal exporting program that provides grants to states to help small firms break into markets overseas. The House is currently working on legislation that would simply continue funding the program at its current $8 million-a-year level, while the SBA has actually proposed cutting the initiative altogether. (WBJ)
Can’t be ignored: Small business owners represent an important voting bloc this fall, according to a newly released survey of more than 1,800 owners conducted by the National Small Business Association. Among them, 97.5 percent are registered to vote and 97 percent vote regularly in national elections, both well above the national average. (OSB)
Taxes trump Obamacare: Despite much focus in the past year on the health-care law, small-business owners still say the nation’s complex tax labyrinth is the most significant government-related issue affecting their companies, according to a new poll by payroll processing firm Paychex. (PAY)
Climate concerns: A poll of small business owners released last week found that 87 percent are worried that climate change impacts will harm their firms, and most support action by the federal government to curb carbon pollution. A large number say they would be willing to pay substantially higher energy prices for a cleaner environment. (TP)
Starting small: Jim Koch found the recipe for Samuel Adams beer in his father’s attic and then brewed the first batch in his kitchen. Today, the Boston Beer Company is a $3 billion beer empire. Koch shared with us the story of the early years at the company, including his pitch to investors and his hiring strategy. (OSB)
What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.