(Businessweek) — With more than 14 million Americans out of work and the U.S. facing the prospect of a double-dip recession, it’s heartening to know that Democrats and Republicans agree on at least one way to kick-start growth: support small business. “Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin,” President Barack Obama said in his Sept. 8 address to Congress, unveiling a $447 billion jobs bill. Republicans who were initially responsive to the speech have since slammed Obama for introducing what House Speaker John Boehner calls “job-killing small business tax hikes.” Politicians aren’t the only ones rushing to champion small businesses. In announcing a program to give $10 million in credits to small business advertisers on Facebook, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Sept. 26 that “small businesses are the backbone of the American economy.” Most Americans would probably concur. The idea of small businesses as indispensable to the national welfare dates to Thomas Jefferson’s veneration of the yeoman farmer. In the popular imagination, small firms are more nimble, more innovative, and more virtuous than blue-chip companies that employ thousands.