To Boost the Economy, Help the Self-Employed

Noelle Stary's two-year-old marketing consultancy will see revenues of nearly $100,000 this year, yet she's worried about the firm's survival. Stary works from a shared office in central New Jersey, where she faces typical start-up hurdles such as tightfisted bankers and slow-paying customers. A bigger problem, though, is that she can't tap resources such as tax incentives or labor laws that benefit larger businesses. "Every new step of growth is almost always more complicated than the step before," says Stary, 29, a former manager at a small ad agency in Manhattan.

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