INTRODUCTION

“Small” business is the category still used to classify more than 99 percent of all business entities in the United States. Representing about 40 percent of all commercial sales, 50 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and over 55 percent of the nongovernment workforce, small business is really big business.

This sector is credited for having created two out of every three new jobs in the United States for the past two decades, yet obtaining capital financing continues to be a challenge for most small business owners and entrepreneurs.

The first seven years of the new millennia were seemingly the most robust of any age for capital creation. During this period a combination of excessive financial deregulation, new product innovation, ...

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