When President Obama brought bankers to Washington around the holidays it wasn't to hand out Christmas presents, but rather to prod them to lend more freely to small businesses. While the stock market is up about 60 percent from the bottom and hopes for economic recovery are on the rise, small businesses are still struggling, and history suggests that if they don't show up to the recovery party soon, we could very well be staring at a jobless recovery rather than a more traditional V-shaped rebound.

Small businesses depend a lot more on the strength of domestic demand and the U.S. consumer for their revenue growth than large businesses do. They don't benefit as much from a weak dollar and economic growth abroad, and are more dependent on the banking system to fund their businesses and get them through the tough times.

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