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Small business weekly: Bitcoin, borrowing and big data

Newly proposed virtual currency rules in New York may threaten some of the states start-up firms. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a special focus on Washington.

Backfiring, for now: More than a year and a half ago, the president signed legislation meant to help small firms more easily navigate the federal contracting arena. So why has competing for work become even more complicated for some of them? (OSB)

Still waiting: Then HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in March that the agency was collecting small business insurance enrollment totals and would make that data available “at a later date.” It’s now unclear whether those numbers are still on the way. (OSB)

Borrower’s market: Commercial lending is bouncing back — perhaps even a little too quickly for many small businesses. At the moment, banks seem more eager to lend than business owners are to borrow. (NYT)

Alternative action: British small business peer-to-peer lending upstart Funding Circle last week announced that it has raised another $65 million to expand its services in the United States and around the world. (SVBJ)

Funding falling: Entrepreneurs who hoped to see venture capital dollars come flooding into the D.C. region during the second quarter as they did last year are bound to be disappointed by a report published last week. (WP)

Boosting giving: The House of Representatives last week approved a package of tax breaks intended to encourage more charitable contributions — a move that was applauded by several business advocacy groups. (WBJ)

Scammed: The Federal Trade Commission last week announced a series legal actions against three Canadian operations that allegedly scammed U.S. small-business owners into paying millions of dollars for yellow page listings they never received. (BB)

Pumping brakes on Bitcoin: New York State has pitched new rules intended to regulate businesses that use virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Some worry the plan could cripple some of the state’s start-up companies. (WIR)

Making their case: Researchers from the Kauffman Foundation last week outlined their economic argument for immigration reform, reasoning that the implementation of a startup visa would boost business formation and job creation rates. (TH)

Big impact: Developments in big data technology, along with mobile apps and cloud computing, are having a major impact on businesses by transforming traditional firms and sparking the creation of new ones. (FOR)

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

Follow J.D. Harrison and On Small Business on Twitter.

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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