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I would imagine that small businesses where most of the employees have the opportunity to interact with the owner(s) is quite different than a large company where a dev's salary is a line-item under liabilities.

Typically with a smaller & medium-sized businesses (<200 employees), the owner is generally and acutely aware of each individuals impact to the company and would hopefully treat and compensate people commensurate to their value and impact.

There's still a lot of people who view tech folks as wizards of black magic. All they know in their tenure in the business is that some process used to take 5 people 3 work-days to build a widget, while now, the software by the dev + some new fangled machine allows 1 person to build the widget in half a day.

When I did consulting work for a small print-shop during my college days, they were always very appreciative of the work I did and had no problem paying for my work.

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