By now, you’re used to the triumphs of mega companies and big box stores — you know, the firms that have convinced many of us that bigger equals better.
But truth be told, small operations have proven to be the real heroes of the business world. Just check out these stats:
- Businesses with twenty or fewer employees make up 89.7 percent of all U.S. firms.
- More than 50 percent of the U.S. working population are employed by small businesses.
- There are approximately 543,000 new businesses started every month.
And that’s just the beginning.
8 Reasons Why Small Businesses are the Best
1. Small businesses promote healthier communities.
Small businesses benefit local economies. In fact, for every $100 spent in small businesses, $68 returns to the local economy. But small businesses bring more to the communities they reside in than just economic benefits.
According to a national study, communities with greater numbers of thriving, locally-owned small business have healthier populations — with lower rates of mortality, obesity, and diabetes — than those with concentrations of large companies. It might be the stressless commute; Forbes reports that more than half of small businesses are home-based.
Studies also show that small businesses invest more in the community and contribute by promoting a culture of entrepreneurship. An apple a day — and perhaps, your local mom-and-pop shop — keep the doctor away.
2. Small businesses are driving innovation.
Ever heard of the Owlet Baby Monitor? How about the Phantom Drone? These revolutionary products grew from the innovation of small businesses intent on creating valuable new technology and fueling growth.
Small businesses are at the forefront of innovation — they produce more than 16 times more patents per employees than large companies. All of those new, emerging technologies benefit our quality of life by introducing transformative new products and services — not just the next big thing.
3. Small businesses are contributing largely to job growth.
It’s not the growth of large businesses that produces the majority of American jobs.
In fact, small businesses added 64 percent of the new jobs created between 1993 and 2011. That’s a total of more than 11 million jobs. Many of us owe local businesses a “thank you” for their role in our economy — and for our paychecks.
4. Small businesses are good for the environment.
Green living isn’t just a trend anymore, and the pressure is on for businesses to adopt more sustainable manufacturing and production practices.
Small businesses are more open to adopting eco-friendly business models as they answer to their sustainably-savvy consumers: 53 percent of customers say they prefer small firms because of their green reputation. About 61 percent of small businesses were already trying to go greener back in 2012, while 70 percent anticipated adopting more sustainable practices over the following years.
5. Small businesses have fans.
They may be small, but they’ve sure got more than a few cheerleaders. Statistics show that small businesses are largely beloved by American consumers.
- Nearly 82 percent of consumers currently use local businesses, and 48 percent plan to increase their patronage in the future.
- Almost half of consumers would pay more to a local business in order to support their community.
- An astounding 96 percent of consumers believe that local businesses beat national chains on personalizing service.
When it comes to businesses, most American customers believe you can’t beat local.
6. Small businesses are diverse.
Small businesses represent the diversity of modern America and the unique backgrounds of its citizens.
According to the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative, more than one in six small business owners in the U.S. is an immigrant.
The industry also rewards women and minority entrepreneurs by offering grants to reward innovation and collaboration.
7. Small businesses have a bright future.
The economy’s unpredictable nature means that business isn’t always booming. However, small businesses entered 2016 with stronger sales growth. And in the fall of last year, profitability and employment among small businesses were still increasing.
These prosperous trends are expected to continue, thanks to increased globalization; the ability to compete with larger firms by meeting niche demands; and easy access to cost-effective talent, tools, and marketing. It’s no wonder, then, that small businesses are optimistic about the future.
8. Small businesses are worth celebrating.
You’ve heard of Black Friday, but did you know that the Saturday after Thanksgiving was designated as Small Business Saturday in 2010?
Dedicated to supporting local businesses nationwide, the day grown exponentially with 95 million people — including President Obama — shopping small in 2015.
But that’s not where the recognition stops.
Since 1963 every U.S. president has issued a proclamation recognizing National Small Business Week to celebrate the contributions of American entrepreneurs. Be sure to mark your calendar for 2017’s Small Business Week, coming up the first week of May.
Small business owners, pat yourselves on the back. You really are the best.