Every November on the Saturday after Black Friday, we celebrate Small Business Saturday – a day to shop at locally owned small businesses and celebrate their community contributions. As a special thank you, some retail stores offer promotions and events on this holiday to increase awareness and engage shoppers.
However, you don’t have to be a retailer to celebrate Small Business Saturday. All small and midsize business (SMB) owners – whether they run an accounting firm, construction company, or restaurant – should be proud of what they contribute to their local economies and society overall.
Here are some major contributions of SMBs that deserve attention:
They create jobs
Small businesses are the driving force of U.S. job creation. Between 1993 and 2011, they accounted for 64% of new U.S. jobs created, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.
While large public companies hold the greatest overall share of patents, small companies with patents tend to have more, relative to their size. An analysis of high-patenting firms (those with 15 or more patents in a four-year period) found that small firms had 16 times more patents per employee, compared to their larger counterparts.
They boost their local economies
Locally owned businesses give a greater financial boost to their communities than national chains. Studies have found that a larger share of the money spent at locally owned businesses stays in the community. Here’s an example: If you use a small, independently owned auto repair shop to fix your car, that mechanic is more likely to spend more of your $1,000 bill in your local economy than a chain would. Moreover, that money will recirculate – generating more wealth locally over the long term.
They are diverse
Small businesses increasingly reflect the diversity of our country. The share of U.S. businesses owned by Latinos grew from about 5.6% in 1996 to 14% in 2015, according to the Kauffman Foundation. African-American and Asian business ownership also experienced an increase in that same period. Women-owned businesses have also become a larger proportion of overall U.S. businesses, growing 114% between 1997 and 2007, compared to a national growth rate of 44% for all businesses, according to a report by American Express OPEN. Women-owned businesses and businesses owned equally by women and men now account for about 47% of all U.S. businesses.
It’s clear SMBs are truly the backbone of the U.S. economy. I have the pleasure of speaking with these business owners regularly, and I’m always impressed by their perseverance, optimism, and ingenuity. Let’s celebrate their contributions on Small Business Saturday – as well as every other day of the year.
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