A look back at some of the biggest small business and start-up stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.

Sequestration delivers new competition to small contractors

The sequester took effect as scheduled, and with it comes heightened competition for small government services firms as larger players start seeking projects that were previously not worth their time.

Our entrepreneur of the week, Yael Krigman, in the kitchen of the Washington Hebrew Congregation. (Dayna Smith/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Immigration hurdles holding back technology start-ups

The fate of legislative proposals to help highly educated and entrepreneurial immigrants has been tied to that of a comprehensive deal, and that could delay help for several young tech companies.

Economy grows slightly

The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.1 percent during the final three months of the year, according to the latest government report, only slightly better only slightly better than previous estimates.

Yahoo nixes telecommuting

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced last week that employees will no longer be allowed to work from home, sparking a fierce debate online about telecommuting, particularly between working mothers.

Consumer confidence increases but remains historically low

U.S. shoppers showed slightly more confidence in the economy last month, but the Conference Board’s latest reading of 69.6 indicates that consumers are still feeling the effects of the recession.

SBA prepared to weather sequestration cuts

Despite confirmation that the sequester is full steam ahead, Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills says the agency’s operations won’t likely be dramatically impacted by the cuts.

Washington boasts highest density of high-tech jobs

California still pays high-tech professionals the highest wages, but Washington now has the highest density of technology workers, with more than 11 percent of its workforce in high-tech positions.

Small business owners skeptical of twitter

Six out of 10 small business owners believe social media is an effective tool for small firms, according to a new poll, but only 3 percent selected Twitter as the most important site for building visibility.

OSB entrepreneurs of the week: Yael Krigman: The District-based entrepreneur is working out of a local synagogue as she builds up capital to open a brick-and-mortar cake pop store in the nation’s capital.

What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.

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