Economic Impact

The estimated 29.6 million small businesses in the United States:

  • Employ just over half of the country’s private sector workforce
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers, such as scientists, engineers and computer workers
  • Include 52 percent home-based businesses and two percent franchises Represent 97.3 percent of all the exporters of goods
  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
  • Generate a majority of the innovations that come from United States companies

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, September 2009


Microbusiness – A common term used for businesses with under 5 employees.Microbusinesses are so small, however, that there are few, if any, financial or government resources in place to ensure their resilience.According the Census Bureau’s 2007 report, 10% of Small Businesses (under 500 employees) have under 5 employees. Less commonly used are the terms Nanobusiness or Very Small Bussiness.

Microfinance, Microcredit, Microloan – first coined for very small loans being made to entrepreunurs in impoverished communities whose work would help establish permanent income and food, it is now growing in use for within the United States. Microcredit is a means to finance the smallest of businesses.

Resilient Business – A small business that has the fortitude, support, resources, and creativity to survive and thrive.

Small Business – The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) provides standards for defining a Small Business for purposes of federal programs and the SBA’s financial programs. The guidelines vary per industry. Small Business manufacturers employ under 500-1000 people and whole sale traders under 100 employees. All other industries are measured by annual receipts which can range from $750,000 (soybean farming) to $7 Million (performing arts) to $175 Million (commercial banking). If these numbers seem high, they are. The U.S. lacks appropriate support systems for the 70% of Small Businesses with under 100 employees (Census Bureau 2007). The SBA website has in-depth information about the accepted policies for defining a Small Business.

Sustainable Business – Now used predominantly surrounding businesses whose focus includes work within environmental (green) resources and socially responsible fields.