By Washington Bureau Chief
updated 9/13/2004 12:57:27 PM ET 2004-09-13T16:57:27

President Bush and John Kerry both know first hand the challenges that face small business owners.

Bush was in oil, founding Arbusto Energy with his trust funds and a dozen investors. He wasn’t in oil long before he changed his game to baseball.

Kerry’s experience was sweeter -- literally. After law school, he and a friend opened a cookie and muffin shop in Boston’s Quincy Market. Shortly thereafter, he turned to politics full time.

The enormous differences in Bush and Kerry’s entrepreneurial experiences are dwarfed by the candidates’ differences on the major issues that face small businesses today.

The president believes the best way for government to help small businesses is to tax and regulate them less. His challenger believes more government programs are needed to help small businesses grow.

We’ve researched each candidate’s position on seven key areas and analyzed the likely impact on small business if he wins in November.

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