The Big Issues for Small Concerns

Listen up, candidates. Small-business owners hate excessive regulations, taxes, red tape, health-care costs

Call them the forgotten majority: America's small businesses. This element of the U.S. economy is probably the most misunderstood in the land--from Madison Avenue to Washington--because it's such an eclectic and disparate group. It ranges from venture capital-backed dotcoms to mom-and-pop retailers to family-owned manufacturers. But they all seem to agree on certain things: taxes are too high and too complicated, health insurance is too expensive, and politicians--especially those inside the Beltway--should just go to you-know-where.

In the past, Washington has largely ignored such views, but this year seems different. "During this presidential campaign, candidates are at least acknowledging the plight...

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