Uncushioned Blow
By Maggie Overfelt

(FORTUNE Small Business) – IN FEBRUARY WE WROTE ABOUT BOSTON Billows, a Nashua, N.H., maker of nursing pillows ("Total Recall"). In 2004 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission arbitrarily deemed the company's flagship product unsafe, even though it had been used without incident for years. After a long fight--and many phone calls and letters from Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire)--the CPSC appeared to concede in July, taking the first step toward legalizing the sale of the product to nursing mothers who had a recommendation from a medical professional.

But the firm suffered another setback in September, when the CPSC moved to examine the entire nursing-pillow industry before coming to any conclusions, a process that could take years. " 'Frustrating' is an understatement," says Billows co-founder Ken Igoe, 58. "I have to believe the process is structured this way to force small companies like ours to just go away."