Below, see how an entrepreneur who was once homeless is now helping people outfit their homes. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

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

•  This is exactly what Congress is spending your dollars on.

•  Congress moves forward on measures for small-business contractors.

•  Sen. Charles Schumer is cementing his position as the favorite to replace retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid.

The Elections

•  Hillary Clinton confirms she had her email server wiped clean.

•  Carly Fiorina is close to announcing her candidacy for President.

•  The first budget resolution to clear the Senate in four years exposed a divide between four lawmakers who look to be rivals for the Republican nomination for president.

The Economy

•  Two charts reveal why we feel so poor.

•  Economist David Stockman says that the “…main street economy is plodding along, making modest headway on its own two feet—notwithstanding the headwinds of financialization and the channeling of income and wealth to the top of the economic ladder in the Wall Street casino.”

Healthcare

•  The nation’s largest publicly held health insurers met or exceeded most analysts’ expectations in 2014 despite the tumultuous rollout of public health insurance exchanges and other challenges.

Employees

•  A Deutsche Bank analyst says there’s been a significant increase in corporate bonuses over the past few quarters.

•  How Google, Facebook and others pay their H-1B employees.

Marketing

•  Wheaties makes a marketing strike with retro bowling ads.

Customer Service

•  4 ways to improve customer experience with data.

Restaurants

•  A bull sculpture perched atop a restaurant’s sign that was at the center of a controversy has been metaphorically castrated for art reasons, and not because of the complaints from residents, according to its owner.

Tax 

•  Here are a few last minute tax moves you can make.

Technology

•  Dentists will soon be able to 3-D print new teeth in minutes.

Start-up

•  These are seven hot mobile start-ups to watch.

•  A mom turns her after-hours sewing hobby into a popular small business.

Online

•  Anti-email service Slack gets hacked.

Opportunities

•  The sharing economy is on the brink of disrupting business travel.

Entrepreneurs

•  How a SCORE mentor helped a homeless person become the owner of a home store.

•  A psychotherapist believes that wreaking havoc on your mental health is a hidden dark side to being an entrepreneur.

•  This entrepreneur started a $3 million business from prison.

•  Utah’s best student entrepreneurs competed this past weekend for a $40,000 grand prize at the annual Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Showcase.

Around the Country

•  Some Indiana businesses are knocking Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act while others seem to be embracing it.  But the state’s Governor says that he will support the introduction of legislation to “clarify” its intentions.

•  Food truck owners in Austin, Texas have a new problem on their hands:  overflowing trash.

•  The Northeast, despite having the country’s highest gas costs, continues to resist more pipelines.

•  A theme park plans to cut down more than 18,000 trees for the construction of what it says will be the largest solar farm in New Jersey.

•  How Chicago has used financial engineering to paper over its massive budget gap.

Around the World

•  Russia plans to sign up to a Chinese-led development bank.

•  In Britain, one business owner donates oak trees to his town while the owner of a salon claims that the greedy hairdressers she employed ruined her business by constantly sneaking out for food.

•  Australia’s government considers a zero tax for small businesses.

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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