Dividends: The 99% Solution

To keep America's mom-and-pop companies from being trampled by corporate behemoths, the Government has long given financial help to firms that qualify as small businesses. But what passes for small is in fact 99% of all the firms in the U.S., a total of 14 million companies. Earlier this month the Small Business Administration added 46,000 companies to the ranks of the small.

The SBA measures a business in terms of its workers or annual sales. For a wholesale merchant to be considered small, for instance, the company must have no more than 500 employees. Painting or plumbing contractors must have...

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