Recoveries are just bigger in Texas.

Welcome to Main Street Morning, The Washington Post’s daily collection of news affecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses, with a special focus on policy and government.

Here’s what’s affecting my small business, my clients and other entrepreneurs today.

Washington

•  The Keystone pipeline, natural gas exports and border security measures are on the agenda this week in Congress.

•  Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking on profit-gobbling drug companies.

The Economy

•  Texas is solely responsible for the 1.2 million-plus net U.S. job increase since 2007.

Taxes

•  A 94-year-old vet can’t file his tax return because the IRS says he’s dead.

Customer Service

•  An expert explains how Ritz-Carlton’s secret customer service sauce creates indelible memories.

Startup

•  Two mothers pair up to start their own accounting firm.

Retail

•  In a move nearly unheard of in the restaurant world, the 280 employees at a chain of cafés will all have three months of fully paid parental leave after they have a new baby.

Finance

•  How a credit union helped a Texas swimming academy succeed.

•  A company that claimed to help small businesses expand with new funding is accused of stealing millions from its customers.

•  A banker offers tips on obtaining small business loans.

Healthcare

•  Workers are picking up a greater share of health care costs, a survey finds.

Entrepreneurs

•  An entrepreneur offers suggestions for increasing entrepreneurship in the U.S.

•  This is the story of how a teen created a profitable sneaker pawn shop.

•  Some NFL players are finding second careers as entrepreneurs (including Brett Favre).

•  This entrepreneur quit his day job to make a little rubber thing for your headphones.

•  A Nigerian entrepreneur fills void of black dolls with “Queens of Africa” and “Naija Princess” dolls.

•  A woman’s interest in history leads to her homemade soap and broom business.

Management

•  The New Yorker’s Tim Wu explains the advantages of small-scale businesses:  “The true-differentiation strategy seems to work best when scale, despite its efficiencies, also introduces blind spots in areas such as customer service, flavor, curation, or other intangibles not entirely consistent with mass production and standardization. Where getting big begins to hurt the product, small can be bountiful.”

•  This is what it’s like when a business starts to collapse.

Online

•  Why pizza is king of the Internet.

•  How starting up an illicit Web site came between two friends.

Around the Country

•  About $36,000 remains in Jupiter, Florida’s Matching Grant program which awards up to $5,000 to local small businesses for exterior repairs.

•  Good Clean Love, an Oregon company that sells organic, petrochemical-free lubricant, closes its first significant round of investment and inked its biggest distribution deal to date.

•  More than 100 people in Palm Beach Florida, including many small business owners, are discussing whether a disparity study should be conducted to see if minority business owners are being treated fairly by the county.

•  A Michigan business owner is working to rebuild an historic theatre.

•  A recent TD Bank survey finds that most small business owners in Philadelphia are more excited than anxious for the year ahead. 

Gene Marks owns the Marks Group, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. Follow Gene Marks and On Small Business on Twitter. 

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