May 3, 2019 Trends en_US Highlights of owning a small business and what they are doing for the nation. Small business, big impact

The numbers are looking good: The nation’s economy is strong, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the most recent report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Unemployment is low. How low? The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it at a microscopic 3.8%.

The reason why? Small business.

In fact, according to the Small Business Association’s (SBA) September 2018 quarterly bulletin, small businesses created a whopping 6.8 million new jobs in the past five years—which is 2.7 million more jobs than those created by large corporations.

As we look ahead to National Small Business Week, let’s applaud and celebrate the hard work and economic boost of small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere.

Small business owners are thriving

If you want to measure job satisfaction, look no farther than a small business owner. Here’s where they shine.

    • 57% of business owners believed their revenue will increase, compared to 51% the previous year
    • 67% planned to expand, compared to 59%
    • 27% planned to hire, compared to 16%
  • Their income is rising: SBA finds that from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2018, proprietors’ income was up an impressive 75%.
  • They’re embracing diversity: Women-owned small businesses and minority business entrepreneurs are having a well-deserved moment. Women-owned businesses increased at an astonishing rate between 1972 and 2018, growing from 4.6% of all firms in 1972 to 40% of all firms in 2018. During that same time period, employment grew 40-fold to 9.2 million, and revenues rose by a multiple of 217. There are currently 8 million minority-owned firms in the United States today, a 38% increase between 2007 and 2012 (the most recent year for when statistics are available).

Small business hires America

The American dream is not to be a cog in the machine of a huge company; no, it’s to start your own business—or to work in the dynamic atmosphere of a small business. In fact, small businesses employ 47.8% of all private sector employees and makeup 99.7% of all firms with paid employees.

They also accounted for 66% of net new jobs between 2000 and 2017; or put another way, small businesses create 2 out of 3 net new private-sector jobs.

And according to PwC research, 43% of small business workers reported feeling happy at work, compared to a measly 27% of those at large companies.

Small business moves the nation

For some reason, people love to fixate on how many small businesses fail (20% in the first year), but neglect to flip those numbers around to show, conversely, how many thrive: And that’s 80%. (The most promising type of small business, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Health care and social assistance, with a first-year survival rate of 85%.)

And an even more inspiring number? Small businesses comprise 99.9% of all firms in the United States. And they believe the future is bright: 84% were confident in the future of their business, according to the National Small Business Report.

Furthermore, the most recent National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index increased to “a historically strong level [as] an indication that small businesses continue to power the economy.”

The bottom line? Small business is faring exceedingly well.

As a small business owner yourself, take a moment from your busy day to reflect and celebrate the contribution YOU make to the nation. Well done!

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Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, workplace issues, personal finance and health. She lives in Portland, Ore. @CathieEricson Read more