I see absolutely no evidence the stimulus is helping small business. If it were you would see the growth of private sector jobs and it's not happening. It would appear that the regulation and tax implications that cam with it are actually scaring the crap out of this sector freezing them in their tracks until the uncertainty is removed.
It appears that most of the stimulus money that made it to the states was temporary funding for government jobs and unions. It looks like the money was used as an excuse not to cut spending and the size of government which is the biggest problem.
It is unfortunate that people can't see that the money is not free. The government simply took, or will take it out of your left pocket while telling you here's some money for the right one. The fact is that the debt being created by the money is a far more serious issue.
There are many additional costs as well --government has yet to prove it can run anything (business oriented) effectively -- they just lost $7 trillion (I believe) in unemployment payments to various wrong recipients.
This is a joke, if any private citizen ran their finances as the government did they'd be in jail or at least bankrupt. There is zero financial responsibility in Washington, zero! (A finance bill that excludes Fanny and Freddie -- are you kidding?)
Most of the articles I've read on the stimulus point out that the vast majority of stimulus money has gone to the creation of public sector jobs. Public sector jobs do not create goods or services that people willingly buy in the free market. Therefore they are simply a redistribution of wealth, and not an investment.
Are they really helping...? No.
Spending a tax dollar to create a job, using a dollar that was taken from someone else to destroy a job... It's a less-than-zero-sum game. Not only is "federal stimulus" spending money that doesn't exist, the imaginary money also gets skimmed to pay the federal employees whose jobs were created to monitor its movement. Then it gets skimmed again to pay the interest on the gigantic loan we borrowed to get the money.
In other words, we go into debt $1, in order to acquire 20 cents of actual working capital, to spend on road repairs, for which there is no excuse for not having already been repaired.
You can't spend your way to prosperity. Try it with your own checkbook, and see how far that goes. If you run your business that way, your shareholders will drop you remarkably fast.
The first stimulus bill is over two years old now, and the second one is over a year old now. In two years, more roads have crumbled faster than ever before, public parks are being shut down, city properties have stopped picking up garbage, and my own city has shut off street lights, claiming to be out of money.