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

Sudden regulatory change crippling tourism firms: Owners of some tourism businesses say a processing delay and a sudden immigration rule

President Obama last week urged lawmakers to put an end to workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. (MOLLY RILEY POOL/EPA)

change in Washington have disrupted their operations at the worst possible time of year, preventing them from hiring additional foreign workers.

SEC urged to hasten JOBS Act implementation: Securities experts shared suggestions for how the Securities and Exchange Commission can reduce barriers to capital formation for small businesses at a congreesional hearing on Wednesday.

A discord between banks and business owners: Business owners, bankers and federal officials have starkly different views on whether capital is readily available to small firms, making policy decisions awfully difficult for those trying to revive an ailing Main Street.

New standards proposed for small business accounting: The Financial Accounting Standards Board plans to propose new accounting rules exceptions for private companies, hoping to making the bean-counting process a little simpler for small businesses.

Small business health exchanges not attracting insurers: The health care law’s new insurance market for small businesses, which is intended to foster competition and drive down prices, has not attracted many insurance companies looking to sell to small firms.

Senate moves forward on immigration bill: The Senate voted 82-to-15 last week to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform legislation, setting the stage for a debate that is expected to last several weeks and spawn a number of attemped ammendments.

Obama urges Congress to ban workplace discrimination: President Obama last week called on lawmakers to pass legislation banning workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians and others. Similar bills have been introduced in both chambers.

Small business optimism improves:Small business owners reported their brightest outlook in a year in May, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, whose monthly optimism index ticked up for the second straight month.

OSB start-up of the week: Anki: The robotics start-up took center stage last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Not bad, considering two years ago, the entrepreneurs behind the company had not even started pitching their ideas to investors.

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

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