Small business weekly: Olympic athletes who double as entrepreneurs


Meet Debbit McCormick, Olympic curler and small business owner. (Ints Kalnins/REUTERS)

A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.

Small businesses maintain strong pace of hiring: Small companies added a healthy 75,000 jobs in January, according to the latest data from ADP, and while that’s down from the 100,000-plus added in November and December, it extends a strong run of hiring dating back to late summer of 2013. (WP)

CBO releases revised Obamacare estimates: Congressional budget analysts last week released revised estimates concerning the economic footprint of the health care law, predicting that the legislation will reduce the number of full-time workers in the labor force by 2.3 million by 2021 by encouraging many employees to work less. (WP)

Obamacare’s small-business enrollment off to slow start: Only 14 states launched a fully functioning small-business insurance exchange as expected in October, and even in those that did, very few small business owners have reportedly purchased coverage through the new online portals. (BB)

Business owners left in the dark on tax rules: Congress has not renewed several tax extenders that many small businesses have come to rely on to help them pay for business expenditures like new equipment, research and development and, in some cases, new employees. That has left some flying blind. (NYT)

Virginia, Mexico form small business partnership: George Mason University’s business development center has agreed to partner with a similar organization in Mexico to help firms in both regions break into one another’s market — the first such alliance under a new initiative introduced by President Obama. (WP)

Olympians running start-ups on the side: A number of American athletes currently competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi run their own entrepreneurial ventures back home. By running their own companies, some say they have the flexibility necessary to accomodate their brutal training and traveling schedules. (CNN)

Facebook creates small business council: Hoping to help small sellers get even more out of its marketing services and capi­tal­ize on its popularity among business owners, Facebook is creating a Small and Medium Business Council comprised of clients whose companies have found success on the social network. (CNN)

Small firms find creative ways to market products: Without the advertising and marketing dollars needed to compete on the same playing field with large companies, small businesses are finding offbeat ways and using atypical sales techniques to get their products in front of shoppers. (AP)

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 manages the Post's On Small Business blog.
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