Mergers and acquisitions of behemoth corporations dominate the news with combined assets that are incomprehensible. Throwing in the impact of the new alliances on their markets makes for some stunning headlines. Meanwhile, another story goes unreported…the story of commercial enterprises loosely referred to as “small business.”
The government defines a ‘small business’ as a company worth up to $35.5 million with up to 1500 employees. Based on that description, small businesses
- Make up 99.9% of all businesses in the US (or 29,581,000 of 29,600,000 businesses*)
- Are responsible for 60% of net new jobs in the country
- Employ nearly 58 million people (that’s 47.8% of private sector employees)
- Make up 41.2% of private sector payroll
That doesn’t sound small to me.But let’s take a bigger look at an even smaller group--companies with 1-9 employees. Now we have something much closer to true small business. This is a shout out to them.
Sustaining and growing a business of any size is a challenge. Only 7% of all US businesses survive 25 years or more. But small businesses carry a heavier load up a bumpy road.Within 5 years, half of them fail. Within 10 years almost 70% have shut their doors.
The consistent hard work of self-reliant, self-sustaining entrepreneurs has a vital impact on our economy. Fueled by dreams of achievement and independence, and sheer will, small and solo enterprises continue to grow without fanfare and headlines. They provide a strong, diverse foundation for economic growth; and they inspire the hopeful entrepreneur in each of us.
So to all entrepreneurs, but especially the ‘small’ ones:Keep up the good work. We may not hear the thunder every day, but a quiet storm is a storm nonetheless.
* Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy; Forbes, October 2017