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

Government shutdown leaves loans in limbo: When the federal government came to a halt last week, so did the Small Business Administration’s small-business lending programs.

President Barack Obama spoke last week at M. Luis Construction, a small construction company in Rockville, Md. (DENNIS BRACK / POOL/EPA)

Obama warns small firms will lose business: President Obama noted last week that the shutdown threatens to cripple small firms that rely on business from federal worker and government contracts.

Some tourism firms feel shutdown’s pain: On a related note, national parks around the country have been forced to close, putting a strain on nearby shops and tourist attractions that depend business from visitors.

Small businesses provide much-needed economic jolt: Small employers added 74,000 jobs in September, more than both large and midsized firms, according to the ADP National Employment Report.

A quiet winter ahead: Nearly three-fourths of small and mid-sized employers say they do not plan to hire new workers or apply for new loans in the coming months, a new poll from PNC shows.

Health insurance exchanges open across the country: New health insurance exchanges, one of the central parts of the health care overhaul, opened last week across the country — here’s what you should know.

Obamacare’s most common employer myths, debunked: More than three years in the making, the new insurance exchanges are still the source of much confusion for small business owners.

Big businesses winning with small-business competitions: A number of large firms have recently launched competitions for small businesses in what is becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool.

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

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