A review of the biggest small business and startup stories from the past week, with a focus on Washington.
Another Obamacare delay: The White House last week announced yet another change to health care law’s deadlines for businesses, giving employers with between 50 and 100 workers an extra year before they must offer health insurance to their workers. (WP)
California pulls plug on online SHOP enrollment:California officials on Wednesday announced they are suspending online enrollment effective immediately for small businesses on the state’s new health insurance portal. (WP)
Small business optimism improves:Optimism among small business pwner edged higher for the third straight month in January, fueled by brighter sales forecasts, according to the latest index released by the National Federation of Independent Business. (CNBC)
Senators grill SBA nominee: A Senate panel last week took the next step toward filling the longstanding opening atop of the Small Business Administration, holding its nomination hearing for Maria Contreras-Sweet on Wednesday. (WP)
Cantwell new Senate’s small-business chair: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) was officially handed the gavel to the Senate Small Business Committee last week. She replaces Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who was tapped to lead the Senate Energy Committee. (WP)
Some small firms face crowdfunding resistance: Some retailers trying to use new online crowdfunding portals to raise money have faced backlash from customers who say merchants should not ask patrons to help fund, for example, a store’s relocation. (NYT)
Missing out on mobile: Nine out of 10 small businesses do not have a Web site that is optimized for mobile devices, despite the fact that more than half of American adults reportedly use a smartphone, according to a new survey. (HIBU)
High-tech entrepreneurship on the decline: A decline in start-up formation rates in the technology sector, one that reversed course with the dot-com boom in the late 90s, resumed at the turn of the century and is now accelerating, according to a new study. (WP)
What are you keeping an eye on this week? Please let us know below.