The SBA’s Office of Advocacy says it saved small businesses last year a total of $2.5 billion by stripping away burdensome regulations. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

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

Health law’s rules may hike premiums: Nearly two-thirds of small firms that currently offer health insurance will pay more for plans as a result of some of the new rules in the health care law, according to estimates by the Obama administration. (WP)

Small business exchanges slow to take off: Small-business owners, who were supposed to gain more choices and cheaper rates from the new online-health-insurance portals, have been very slow to select plans through marketplaces. (WP)

One small business charging customers extra to account for ACA: A chain of restaurants in Florida has started tacking on a 1 percent Obamacare surcharge to customers’ bills, even though the law’s key requirement hasn’t taken effect yet. (CNN)

U.S. government poised to hit contracting goal: It appears the federal government has fulfilled its annual contracting promise to small businesses for the first time in seven years — and perhaps just in time, as lawmakers are already looking to raise the bar. (WP)

SBA advocacy team keeping regualtions in check: The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy worked with other departments to reduce small firms’ regulatory compliance burden by a total of about $2.5 billion last year. (TBJ)

Small businesses boosting van sales: A recent spike in van purchases by small companies suggests entrepreneurs are starting to invest more money back into their firms — a good sign for the auto industry and the broader economy (USA)

House Republicans pitch new tax overhaul: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) floated a new tax reform plan last week, which if approved would bring about several important changes for small firms. (FOX)

A guide to help small employers ward off data breaches: California’s attorney general last week released a set of guidelines to help small businesses protect themselves against data breaches, which threaten large and small firms alike. (WP)

LinkedIn launches new small-business portal: The professional social networking company has unveiled a new online one-stop-shop for small businesses and entrepreneurs hoping to take advantage of its resources and services. (ZDN)

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

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