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This story appears in the August 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Small business is hot! As entrepreneurs, finally, you are in great demand. Other businesses are catering to your every whim, consultants are targeting you, cities and states across the nation are throwing tax breaks and other enticements your way, both major political parties claim to have your best interests at heart, and bankers are eager to pass you their cash.

Why after years-actually, decades-of being ignored (or worse, dismissed in favor of your big-business brethren) are you, the nation's entrepreneurs, suddenly such a hot commodity? There are a number of reasons, the most obvious of which is there is a lot more of you than ever before-at last count, America's small-business owners numbered 23 million strong. And the constant tsunami of corporate layoffs ensures there will be plenty more of you in years to come.

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