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This Essay examines the role of small business in the process of economic growth and the effects of increasing regulation and civil liability. First, the Essay explores the basic mechanisms of economic growth in society and explains how small business, as opposed to large business, contributes to economic growth. Next, the Essay analyzes to what extent increased regulation and civil liability disproportionately impacts small business operations and the effectiveness of various Congressional benefits and preferences toward small business in relieving these perceived burdens. Finally, Priest applies this analysis to various issues attending the role of small business in economic growth. The Essay concludes that satisfying more particularized consumer demands enhances consumer welfare, that small businesses are likely to be more effective in achieving this end, and that forms of regulation or civil liability that differentially affect small businesses reduce societal welfare.

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