Why Crystal City is ready for some disruption (Capital Blitz)

Welcome to Capital Blitz, your morning primer on the day’s business news with a focus on Washington.

New venture fund launches in NoVa: Disruption Corporation founder Paul Singh, who built a start-up investment empire in Silicon Valley, has returned to Northern Virginia to launch a new venture fund based in Crystal City. And while he hopes to replicate some of the success he had in California, he’s taking a new approach with this latest venture. (WP)

Big-box organics: Wal-Mart plans to begin stocking shelves at about 2,000 locations – including those in the D.C. region – with 100 pantry items from organic food company Wild Oats. And you won’t see the same price mark-ups on those goods as you would at most grocery stores. (CB)

Speaking of groceries: Jeff Bezos has confirmed rumors that Amazon will soon expand its grocery-delivery pilot program, called Amazon Fresh, beyond its current three markets in Washington and California. Oh, and about those drones – they’re still very much a part of his plans. (CNBC)

Unemployment claims plummet: Applications for jobless claims sunk to 300,000 last week, their lowest level since the recession began in late 2007. However, analysts question whether the dip reflects an improving labor market, or whether an oddly timed holiday may be dragging down the numbers. (AP)

So, about that housing recovery: Home sales fell again last month in the D.C. area, the third month in a row of year-over-year declines. Suddenly, the wind has been sucked right out of the housing market recovery, which showed signs of real traction last year. (WP)

GM starts assigning blame: General Motors has suspended two engineers with pay in the first disciplinary action linked to its poor handling of several recent vehicle recalls. And that’s not the only step the automaker is taking to repair its safety reputation. (AP)

Boeing building back up in California: After years of moving work away from Southern California, Boeing announced Thursday that is shifting 1,000 engineering positions to its plants in Long Beach and Seal Beach. The company is pulling nearly all of those workers out of a single state. (LAT)

Insider trading bust: A U.S. District judge has approved a $1.8 billion settlement between federal prosecutors and Connecticut-based SAC Capital following the firm’s guilty plea on criminal fraud charges. Government officials say the deal includes the largest criminal fine ever imposed in an insider trading case. (AP)

Small firms lost in a tax maze: On average, small business owners spend more than 40 hours — the equivalent of a full workweek — filing their federal taxes every year. And that doesn’t begin to get into how much money they spend on accountants and legal fees. (OSB)

On Wall Street

Stocks were slammed on Thursday, driven lower by slides in technology and biotech. The Nasdaq suffered its largest decline since 2011, down 3.1 percent. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Producer price index, Labor Department (8:30 a.m.)

Consumer Sentiment, Reuters/University of Michigan (9:55 a.m.)

Discussion on local economic developments, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce (7:30 a.m.)

Help: How to retain more of your existing customers (ENT)

Follow: Paul Singh, founder of Disruption Corporation, Crystal Tech Fund

Extra: At long, long last, the blossoms are in bloom. Nice to see you, Spring. (WP)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.
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