15 Quick Facts about Small Business Impact

So in a few short weeks, 24 days to be exact – is Small Business Saturday. If you’re not familiar with Small Business Saturday you should be. While everyone else will be rushing from the dinner table to maul each other at big box stores, you can rest assured that your money will be helping a small business owner get piano lessons for their kids.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, many small businesses – including the shops on 15th and U, open their doors with special savings and doorbusters to early holiday shoppers. As of late, everyone from President Obama to American Express has gotten on the band wagon to encourage mom and pop shops. Why?  Because small businesses have always been the backbone of America’s economy and thanks to the recession – that fact has never been clearer.

The number of people going into business for themselves has steadily increased and with the support of local communities, we can only hope that the trend continues. The reality is that 80% of money from locally owned shops goes right back into the community.

To highlight the impact small businesses have on both the economy and our communities, we’ve put together a short list of 15 pertinent facts. The ugly truth is that for just about every new business that opens, another one closes. Supportive shoppers can make all the difference.


1. The 77 million people that make up the US small business workforce would rank as the 17th most populous country in the world, just ahead of Iran.

2. Small businesses, which defined by The Office of Advocacy have 500 employees or less, make up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms.

3. Corporations are outnumbered by small businesses 1162:1.

4. Since the end of the recession, (from mid ‘09 – to mid ‘13), small businesses accounted for 60% of net new jobs.

5. Small businesses create 4,000 new jobs in America everyday.

6. Research shows that family businesses are less likely to lay off employees regardless of financial performance.

7. Survival Rates for new businesses: About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.

8. In 2012, 9.1% of small business owners were veterans.

9. 15% of small business owners are people of color.

10. 52% of small businesses are home based. 

11. From 2002 to 2012, self employment of people over the age of 65 increased by 66%.

– District Data –

12. There are 64,965 small businesses registered in the district. 223,867 people are employed by those businesses.

13. In DC, most small businesses are sole proprietors. Annual income from those same proprietors totaled $6.3 billion.

14. In 2002, District businesses have a survival rate of 29.2%, by 2010 that percentage grew to 61.4%.

15. 65% of small firm shares of industry employment in DC are held by real estate and leasing companies.





  1. Source: Intuit Small Business Innovation Study,
  2. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, SUSB, CPS; International Trade Administration; Bureau of Labor Statistics, BED; Advocacy-funded research, Small Business GDP: Update 2002-2010, www.sba.gov/advocacy/7540/42371
  3. Source: Statistics of U.S. Businesses, U.S. Census Bureau
  4. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, BED.
  5. Source: Intuit Small Business Fast Facts.
  6. Source: United States Small Business Association Office of Advocacy
  7. Source: http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_March_2014_0.pdf
  8. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, SIPP, SBO.
  9. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, SIPP, SBO.
  10. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, SBO, SUSB.
  11. Source: Office of Advocacy calculations using U.S. Census Bureau, CPS data.
  12. Source: Small Business Association, Office of Advocacy, Small Business Profile, DC.
  13. Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
  14. Source: Business Employment Dynamics, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  15. Source:  US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Statistics for All U.S. Firms That Were Family-Owned by Industry, Gender, Ethnicity, Race, and Veteran Status for the U.S.: 2007 Survey of Business Owners. Retrieved November 2012

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