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

Small business groups split on tax plan: On the heels of a new economic recovery plan from the White House, which would cut taxes only for corporations, some small business groups slammed the administration for ignoring their policy interests. Others, however, say the proposal could help small firms in a number of ways.

Small businesses getting smaller: Small firms reported cutting more workers than they added for the second straight month in July, the latest data from the National Federation of Independent Business shows.

But more businesses are being born: The rate of new business formation in the U.S. rose has started rising for the first time in five years, and those young firms are creating more jobs.

Contracts harder to come by:Even before sequestration set in, small business contractors were having a harder time securing government work, according to a new poll by American Express.

Small business exchange prices falling:One week after a report showed that proposed premiums are falling across the country, the same trend emerges on the largest state-run small business exchange.

Some companies capitalizing on health law delays: Some small business owners are looking to expand their firms, at least temporarily, thanks to the delayed mandate, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Small firms get a shot at the Super Bowl: Software provider Intuit last week launched a contest for small businesses to compete for a 30-second commerical during Super Bowl XLVIII.

SBA successor suggestions: A number of small business leaders last week shared with us names they think should be considered to take over for Karen Mills at the Small Business Administration.

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

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