James Schrager, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, warns that banks aren't just cautious about small business loans, but that home equity loans, a traditional source of money for people starting or expanding a business, remain difficult to get, the result of the collapse in the mortgage market in 2008.
Steven Kaplan, a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at Chicago's Booth School, says as China becomes more of a middle-class country, wages for its workers are rising, and that is lessening some of the appeal of manufacturing there for U.S. companies.
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In 2013, small business owners will contend with many of the same issues that made it hard to run their companies over the last 12 months. They're also heading into the new year with a lot of uncertainty. "Uncertainty is the bane of every small business," says Scott Shane, a professor of entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland.