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Could that sound be small businesses finally getting their voice heard in politics?

This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Though many small-business groups bitterly opposed campaign finance reform while the legislation was passing through Congress, political consultants say the Shays-Meehan reform bill, which President Bush signed this past spring, will actually prove a boon to entrepreneurs.

Shays-Meehan bans soft money-unlimited contributions from large companies and rich individuals to political parties and some interest groups. This change may empower small businesses, which are often more affected by the government than larger companies because government agencies are often the source of some of entrepreneurs' start-up financing. "In the new political climate, the focus will be on obtaining moderate-sized donations from many business owners, which should help level the field between small and big companies," says John Dunbar, senior associate at the Center for Public Integrity, an organization that studies campaign finance.

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