Are Small Businesses in the US Too Big to Fail?Authored by: Jim Stewart, Founder DocuSend, powered by MTI.
Chances are YOU are right at the heart of the economy. Want to know why?
If you finish reading this, chances are it's because you are one of the 28 million small business owners in the US today or are at least associated with one at a high level. That makes you the very backbone of American commerce and places you at the heart of the US economy.
Why do I say that? Here are just a few of the reasons:
- As of the end of 2021, there were 32.5 million small businesses in the US compared to only 20516 large businesses: that’s more than 1580 to 1.
- In the same year, small businesses employed 39.7% of the country's private workforce.
- It still only takes an average of 6 days to start a business in the US, compared to a whopping 38 in China.
- Women owned 1.1 million firms with paid employees in 2018, or 20% of all employers. Women also owned 10.6 million nonemployer firms in 2017, or 42 percent of all nonemployer firms.
- In 2018, veterans owned about 338,000 employer firms. Veterans owned about 1.4 million nonemployer firms in 2017. Both figures are roughly in line with the 5.6% of the US population that identify as veterans.
- From 1995 to 2020, small businesses created 12.7 million net new jobs, accounting for 62% of net new job creation since 1995.
- Small businesses (defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees) account for 99.9% of all business in the US. That's an enormous number.
And this just brushes the surface of how important we are to the future of this country. Want more? See the link at the end of this article. Bottom line, if these statistics don't highlight the enormous importance of small businesses in the US, nothing will.
Small Business: Huge in Importance
Small businesses are ''too big to fail'' because our economy will collapse without us. Yet many owners feel large businesses receive more support from the people we elect to provide us with a level capitalistic playing field.
The craziest part?
About two-thirds of all startups fail within ten years.
Is There a Missing Link?
I have searched for a common thread among the business owners I have known over the years—some shared attribute that drives them. Personality traits, IQ, emotional intelligence, aggressiveness—I have never found anything I can be sure of. We are all just as unique and diverse as the very businesses we operate. So let’s get back to playing on a level field as our constitution intended.
I think there are many ways to do that, but critical thinking requires information gleaned from the amazing diversity small business owners bring to the table. That’s why we’re asking you to share your experience and how it may help others succeed. After all, if we don’t support each other, how can we expect anyone else to? So please provide your comments and/or links to other small business articles that you find interesting regarding the question at the end of this article.
So, that's my personal take. I don't have all the answers, nor do I pretend to. But I can share with you my deep-seated passion to help small businesses grow. It's embedded in my DNA, and I would not begin to know how to get rid of it. I've been told it's why I always root for the underdog.
A Quick Aside…
I've had many challenges in supporting small business in my career, but my most successful is DocuSend. It is an amazing cloud-based mailroom technology that provides an immediate ROI to any small business that distributes documents. And that includes the vast majority of the 30-plus million small businesses in the US today. This is what small businesses need and want: an immediate ROI. You don't gain your investment back over time, because there is no investment. Upload an invoice file to DocuSend, and you have just saved more than 50% over manually mailing them.
But back to supporting small businesses in the US. There will be many more posts on the DocuSend website regarding SMBs, but we want to base them on your experiences running your business. The question for this article:
Do you think small businesses get the same support from your government representatives that they provide to large corporations?
Data source: Frequently-Asked-Questions-Small-Business-2021