Big name banks have gone to the wall, or received billions of pounds to keep them afloat; big name shops have reported falling sales, and big name manufacturers have cut back on production. It can be easy to overlook the fact that the overwhelming majority of businesses are not big names at all.
But if small firms sometimes lack the visibility of the big brands, they are no less important. Indeed, small businesses employ more than 800,000 people in the West Midlands.
And without their supply chain, larger businesses such as Jaguar would be unable to function. However, small business are often the first to suffer when the economy goes downhill.
They are vulnerable to bullying by larger businesses, who delay paying bills in an effort to improve their own cashflow. There’s often little that small businesses can do to object, even though the effect on their own cashflow is extremely damaging.
They may also find that banks are unwilling to supply them with credit.
And although some are insulated slightly from the effects of reduced consumer spending, as they may be some way down the supply chain, they will soon feel the pinch if consumer confidence drops.
It’s gratifying to see local MPs such as Lorely Burt, herself a former small businesswoman, taking up the case of small firms in the Commons. The Government has taken a good, practical step by ensuring bills are paid promptly.
And the Conservatives have put forward plans to offer a VAT holiday, with cuts in NI for the very smallest businesses.
Ms Burt is also set to lead a debate in the Commons on small businesses this week.
But there must be some doubt over her proposals to order banks to provide credit, as a payback for the huge sums they have received from the taxpayer.
While we want banks to work in partnership with small firms - and to offer them credit - they must also be allowed to make their own decisions over who to lend money to.
In particular, there is a real danger that Governments with shares in banks will be tempted to order banks to be generous, for political purposes. But excessive generosity on the part of banks was partly responsible for the crisis in the first place.