Video rental winds to an end in Washington

Welcome to CapBiz A.M., your morning primer on business news with a focus on Washington.

No more rewinding: Potomac Video, the last-standing video store in Washington, is shutting down after 33 years. For a select few, the news has dealt a painful and in many cases emotional blow. (CAPBIZ)

Virginia’s venture capital arm flexing its muscle: The Center for Innovative Technology GAP Funds has become one of the region’s most active early-stage investment groups, with the number of companies in its portfolio recently surpassing 100. The fund is blazing a trail for similar ventures in Maryland the District to follow. (CAPBIZ)

Contract consolidation: Officials warn that a push to combine federal contracts into fewer, larger awards may squeeze small businesses out of the government services arena — and protections implemented by Congress don’t appear to be working. (OSB)

Counting down the days: Over the past year, the looming arrival of an enormous Marriott Marquis hotel has drawn several local businesses to set up shop in the Shaw neighborhood in D.C. On Thursday, the wait for the grand opening ends. (CAPBIZ)

Local lending lifted: Profits inched up at a number of area banks during the first three months of the year, with several reporting a slight bump in lending. Bethesda-based Eagle Bank’s profits hit a quarterly record, for example, while Severn Bancorp in Annapolis posted a 40 percent increase in earnings. (CAPBIZ)

Obama’s next neighbor? Billionaire philanthropist Michael Milken is close to acquiring a prominent new Washington home for his growing charitable empire. If the deal goes through, he would be gaining some rather important new neighbors. (CAPB IZ)

Consumers upbeat: Consumer sentiment hit a nine-month high in April as views on current and near-term conditions surged. However, if recent trends are any indication, it may very well fall back again next month (REU).

Explorer danger: Microsoft has uncovered a serious security flaw plaguing its signature Web browser Internet Explore, leaving the door open for a host of potential cyber attacks. Making matters worse, the company says it has no fix for the problem. (WSJ)

On Wall Street

Stocks inched lower last week, as concerns over escalating tensions in Ukraine and weak economic data overshadowed a series of strong earnings reports. Exxon, Twitter, Volkswagen and eBay are due up for earnings this week, and the Federal Open Market Committee holds its next two-day policy meeting starting on Tuesday. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Report: Pending home sales (10 a.m.)

Forum on the intersection of religion and entrepreneurship, Georgetown University (8 a.m.)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers Innovative Showcase start-up competition (2:30 p.m.)

Duke Chung, founder of Parature, speaks to the Monte Jade Science & Technology Association of Greater Washington (6 p.m.)

Appointments: A list of the latest movers and shakers in the D.C. area

Help: How to secure funding for a new business in today’s world (OSB)

Twitter: Bryan Sivak, Health and Human Services CTO (and subject of this week’s innovator’s column)

Extra: From D.C. to N.Y.C., in one hour, on a floating train? It could happen. (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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J.D. Harrison · April 25