Few discount the importance of small businesses as a driver of jobs creation. Big company layoffs get the headlines, but it's entrepreneurs who actually generate the positive multiplier effect on the economy, and it's end-user demand for what small businesses supply that causes startups to occur. The Wall Street Journal's Justin Lahart reports, "Using data from a University of Michigan panel study of entrepreneurs, a Kauffman Foundation survey of new businesses and a Census Bureau survey of small business owners, she [Small Business Administration economist Ying Lowery] estimates that between 1997 and 2008 new entrepreneurial businesses created 3.5 million new jobs a year. One million of those were for paid employees; the remaining 2.5 million were the jobs entrepreneurs created for themselves."

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Learn more about markets featured in this article: Ann Arbor, MI.