A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a special focus on Washington.
Bouncing back: Small businesses added 117,000 jobs in June, a 60 percent increase over their average for the first five months of the year and the fastest pace of hiring since early 2012, according to the latest numbers published last week by ADP. (WP)
No signs of slowing down: The National Federation of Independent Business last week reported that the number of owners who plan to ramp up hiring continued to increase last month and is now “approaching normal levels for a growing economy.” (MW)
Owners dread losing Ex-Im: Should the federal Export-Import Bank’s charter be allowed to expire this fall — which looks increasingly likely — several local business owners say the consequences could be devastating for their companies. (WP)
Obama stops by tech hub: President Obama paid a surprise visit to D.C. start-up incubator 1776 last week on the even of Independence Day. During his visit, he urged Congress to take action on pending legislation — including immigration reform. (WP)
Curriculum change: The Small Business Administration last week kicked off a reboot of its Boots to Business program, an entrepreneurship education course for returning soldiers, with a training session for veterans last week at the White House. (SBA)
On the chopping block? Started in 1990, the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program is a research program run by the Defense Department to test ways to get large contractors to pass more work to small firms. However, it’s days may be numbered. (GE)
Hobby Lobby implications: The Supreme Court’s ruling last week that family-owned businesses do not have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage under certain conditions could have some important implications for small businesses. (BB)
Made by women, made clear: Wal-Mart has announced plans to add a special label to products to help shoppers identify items that were made by a woman-owned company. The big-box retailer worked with two nonprofits to introduce the labels. (WP)
What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.