The relief offered by President Barack Obama's plan to shift stimulus funds to small banks and raise caps on some loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration cannot come soon enough for the small-business sector, which has created two-thirds of all new jobs since 1994 and until August had never been the biggest source of layoffs. An NFIB lending survey this month backs up the notion held by Wharton and other experts that a patchwork of financing to small businesses finally is approaching pre-recession levels.

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