Small Businesses Have a BIG Impact on the US economy


This Saturday (November 28th, 2015) is Small Business Saturday — a day dedicated to bringing awareness to small businesses in America. Small businesses have a BIG impact in the United States. They, and the entrepreneurs who run them, are vital cogs in the economic engine that runs the U.S. economy. But did you know that small businesses are even more important than big business?

Here are some reasons why:

More than 99 percent of U.S. business are small businesses—defined as those with fewer than 500 employees. They helped to lead the U.S. economy out of the recession and are responsible for more than 60 percent of new jobs.1


Small businesses are top employers in America. More than 56 million people in America are employed at businesses with less than 500 employees and more than 20 million are employed at businesses that have fewer than 20 employees.1 While big businesses eliminated some 4 million jobs since 1990, small businesses have added 8 million jobs.2

They are a major driving force of sales in the U.S. economy. Small businesses account for more than half of all U.S. sales and 40 percent of all retail sales in the country. They also occupy between 30-50 percent of commercial real estate space and are increasing in number. Small businesses in the United States have grown 49% since 1982.

They have a global impact. Some 98 percent of small businesses export goods and a third export services. Among what they export are biotechnology, chemicals, construction, finance, food service, healthcare, information technology, insurance, manufacturing, printing and publishing, professional services, retail, software and telecommunications.3

Small businesses are innovative and diverse. They produce 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.4 They also have more minority and women owners than larger firms.5

Small businesses become big businesses and help sustain the U.S. economy. Mrs. Fields began her cookie business as a tiny homemade cookie idea. Today, there are more than 300 U.S. locations, with shops in 33 countries. The multibillion dollar Apple Corporation was started by Steve Jobs in his parents’ garage. Today, about half of small businesses survive the first five years and about one-third make it to the 10 year mark.4

“My management training is definitely helping me do a better job of running my business.”

Often those who work in small businesses must have a diverse skill set and be able to handle all the elements of running a business – from management and human resources to finance and accounting. Getting a degree that gives you the hands-on knowledge you need in these foundational areas can make a difference in being able to successfully run a small business.

For students like André Wilson of Lexington, KY and David Wilson in Dayton, OH – their business degrees from ANU helped them to take the lead in small business that are giving back to their local community. André owns his own pressure washing business and says, “My management training is definitely helping me do a better job of running my business.” David Wilson, a project manager for Greater Dayton Construction Group – a local business that repairs and rebuilds homes – shares: “Through the courses that I took at American National University, a lot of the assignments and the projects that we had to do required us to be very analytical and put together research projects and papers.  Repetition over the last two years of doing that has definitely made a difference [at work].”

Small businesses may not gain as much attention as large companies, but they have a major impact on the U.S. economy and on the world. What about you? Are you ready to make a small change that could have a big impact on your life? At American National University, we have career-focused programs that can give you the skills and training you need to run a business better or even start your own.






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