Small Business Statistics

Small Business is the Heartbeat of the US Economy
Source: U.S. Small Businesses Administration
Small firms:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
• Create more than 50 percent of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).

Consumers Shop Main Street to Save Their Local Economies
Source: The American Express OPEN Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse (July 2011)
• 93% of US consumers believe it’s important to support the local small businesses that they value in their community
• 87% believe that small businesses are a critical element of the overall U.S. economic health
• 89% agree that locally-owned, independent businesses contribute positively through taxes and jobs
• 73% consciously shop at small businesses in their community because they do not want them to go away

Small Business is the Golden Ticket to Job and Income Growth

Source: American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index (September 2011)
If independents regained their 1990 market shares, entrepreneurs could create 200,000 new small businesses, generate nearly $300 billion in revenues in the retail and restaurant sectors and employ more than 1.6 million American workers.

Business Owners are Optimistic about their Businesses Future
Source: The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor and Optimism Review
In the spring of 2011, 49 percent had a positive view of the economy, while 48 percent held a negative view, for a net optimism score of just +1. Additionally, more business owners said they thought sales over the next six months would be higher compared to a year ago (50% vs. 39% in 2010).

Buy Local Campaigns Boost Small Business Sales
Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance
• Independent retailers that are in communities with a “buy local” initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere.
• Independent retailers that are in communities with a “buy local” initiative saw a 5.2% increase in holiday sales in 2010, while those elsewhere reported an average gain of 0.8%.
• More than half (55%) of business owners that live in cities with an active “buy local” initiative said that the campaign made existing customers more loyal.

Customers are Vital for Small Business Survival
Source: The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor (fall 2011)
• 48% of small business owners say what they need most to stay afloat through the recession is “more customers” compared to tax cuts (25%), access to capital (9%) and the ability to hire more employees (7%).