In the absence of licensure, zoning and other regulations, how many people would start a restaurant today if all they needed was their living room and their kitchen? How many people would start a beauty salon today if all they needed was a chair and some scissors, combs, gels and so on? How many people would start a taxi service today if all they needed was a car and a cellphone? How many people would start a day care service today if a bunch of working parents could simply get together and pool their resources to pay a few of their number to take care of the children of the rest? These are not the sorts of small businesses that receive SBIR awards; they are the sorts of small businesses that get hammered down by the full strength of the state whenever they dare to make an appearance without threading the lengthy and costly maze of the state’s permission process. The assistance that small firms receive comes largely at the expense, not of larger firms, but of still smaller firms — or of those who would start such smaller firms if they could.