Small Business Week May 3-7
Recognizing their outstanding service, innovation, and development, Small Business Week celebrates small business owners around the country.
Small businesses account for half of America’s workforce, and more new jobs come from small business than any other source. They are vital to keeping America running.
Visit www.sba.gov to nominate your favorite small business and to find out more. Support local small business or find out how to give your small business the boost it needs. Use #SmallBusinessWeek to share on social media.
The United States Small Business Administration has recognized the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business since 1963.
“When you support a small business, you support a dream.” – Anonymus
The Importance of Small Business to the U.S. Economy
Small business constitutes a major force in the U.S. economy. There are more than twenty-seven million small businesses in this country, and they generate about 50 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP).Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President, Appendix A (December 2010), http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-economy-2010 (accessed August 28, 2011).
The millions of individuals who have started businesses in the United States have shaped the business world as we know it today. Some small business founders like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison have even gained places in history. Others, including Bill Gates (Microsoft), Sam Walton (Wal-Mart), Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Michael Dell (Dell, Inc.), Steve Case (AOL), Pierre Omidyar (eBay), and Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), have changed the way business is done today. Still millions of others have collectively contributed to our standard of living.
Aside from contributions to our general economic well-being, founders of small businesses also contribute to growth and vitality in specific areas of economic and socioeconomic development. In particular, small businesses do the following:
- Create jobs
- Spark innovation
- Provide opportunities for many people, including women and minorities, to achieve financial success and independence
In addition, they complement the economic activity of large organizations by providing them with components, services, and distribution of their products. Read more at saylordotorg.github.io.
10 Ways Small Businesses Benefit Their Local Communities
Imagine your hometown or local community. Go to the main street or shopping district in your mind. Now imagine it without any small businesses. Instantly, the area loses everything that makes it unique and brings charm.
Small businesses provide character and individuality to a community. It is neighbors helping neighbors ― friends helping friends. However, small businesses are more than that. They benefit their local communities in many concrete, quantifiable ways.
Small businesses are the backbone of their local communities. More specifically, if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays within your local economy. Read more at medium.com.
Small Business Trends You Need To Know About For 2021
Many small businesses closed in 2020, and 2021 looks like it’s going to be a challenging year, as well. Aside from lockdowns and restrictions due to Covid-19, rapidly changing technology is putting pressure on businesses to adapt and meet consumer demands. Let’s look at some top small business trends that can help you respond to these challenges and find success in the coming years.
Unlike many other industries, e-commerce actually grew in 2020. Small businesses of all kinds need to expand their mindsets and seek ways to cash in on this massive trend. Even if you don’t typically sell physical products, think of what you can sell online to supplement or even replace your in-store offerings.
Sell products related to your industry that your customers will appreciate. You can also sell helpful information in the form of e-books, white papers and reports. If you don’t want to create or stock physical products, consider affiliate marketing opportunities, where you earn a percentage of sales on other people’s products.
Having a strong online presence helps shield you from not only lockdowns but also ups and downs in the local economy because you have access to a much larger customer base. Read more at forbes.com.
When you buy from a small business you’re not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college. – Anonymus
[SURVEY] 2021 Small Business Trends: A Look at the State of Small Business in 2021
Each year, Guidant Financial and the Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA) surveys business owners to learn about small business trends and life as a small business owner. A founding member of the SBTA, Guidant Financial is proud to be part of this group of companies dedicated to supporting small business in America with data trends and insights. The SBTA reports on data to help small business owners grow their businesses as well as bring transparency to small business ownership by giving prospective business owners the information they need to be successful.
This year, Guidant and the SBTA surveyed over 2,400 current and aspiring small business owners nationwide with our annual Small Business Trends survey. We asked small business owners questions ranging from their experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to their confidence in business given the current political landscape to their biggest obstacles as business owners. Read more at guidantfinancial.com.
Women and minority-owned small businesses aren’t sharing in the U.S. recovery
The report, which surveyed more than 35,000 small business owners across 27 countries and territories in February, found that in the U.S. 22% had closed their businesses, up from 14% in October. That’s just a one point improvement from May 2020, in the middle of widespread lockdown, when 23% of businesses were shuttered.
But the problem is especially bad for minority-owned businesses where 27% were closed compared to 18% of other small businesses. In the group of minority-owned businesses, Black-owned businesses were the most likely to be closed by a large margin.
A major cause of this disparity is that Black-owned businesses have access to less capital in general and even more so during the pandemic, said Vickie Gibbs, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Center at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Many of the government-funded PPP loans were funneled through large banks that required a lot of paperwork, so small Black-owned businesses without a dedicated accountant or an account with a big bank struggled to get the funds they needed to stay afloat, Gibbs told Fortune. Read more at fortune.com.
”The glass ceiling that once limited a woman’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership, where women can utilize their sharp business acumen while building strong family ties.” – Erica Nicole, who left Corporate America to start YFS Magazine.
Women entrepreneurs making progress, but gender gaps remain
New reports suggest the entrepreneurial landscape is becoming more gender equal, but a revenue gap between male- and female-owned businesses remains.
A recent report from tech company UENI found women make up 45 percent of all small business owners in the U.S. Additionally, women account for 52 percent of sole proprietors.
UENI surveyed 39,008 businesses; about 17,560 of those are owned by women.
In the U.S., women are the owners of most businesses related to consumables, hair and beauty and domestic services. There’s lower female representation among owners of businesses related to restaurant and building maintenance.
States like Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia have a greater number of female business owners than California does, per the report.
But the report also found that the bigger a company, the less likely a woman runs it. Among businesses with four or more employees, women owners comprise about 33 percent. Read more at bizjournals.com.
The Future of Small Businesses
It has been a hard year for small businesses. Social distancing restrictions have been disproportionately damaging to the travel, retail, events, and food service industries, where small businesses tend to concentrate. In July, the House Small Business Committee reported that 110,000 small businesses had closed permanently and another 7.5 million were facing the same fate. The latest survey from Tech.co found that 80% of small business owners say that COVID-19 has hurt their businesses.
However, things are taking a turn for the better as states gingerly reopen and ease restrictions. In addition, support for local businesses is surging following the hardship caused by the pandemic. At the end of July, some 64% of small business owners reported they are confident that they can survive for more than a year under current conditions, up from 34% that held this optimistic view in April, the latest CNBC survey revealed, although the level of optimism varies by industry. Read more at medium.com.
What Does Diversity Mean to Small Businesses?
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) can play an important role in a workplace regardless of size. While large companies like General Motors and even the U.S. Department of Defense have developed strategic plans to increase D&I, small businesses can also do their part. After all, these businesses employ nearly half of the private-sector workforce, so ramping up diversity efforts can have a profound impact.
In fact, recent studies have shown that employees of companies that embrace D&I are able to make better, faster business decisions and are more likely to spur revenue growth through innovation.
While “diversity” and “inclusion” might be familiar terms, it’s important to clearly define them. Diversity not only refers to race, but also age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, education, national origin, as well as marital and socioeconomic status. Inclusion refers to an organization’s ability to value these differences so that diverse individuals are accepted, welcomed, feel a sense of belonging, and are treated equally. Read more at thebalancesmb.com.
Today we celebrate side hustles that became main hustles, dreamers that became doers, maxed out credit cards that became thriving businesses, big fails that became big wins, and individuals with ideas that became teams with visions. – Anonymus
Op-ed: The financial outlook for the Hispanic small business community in 2021
Often hailed for higher-than-average rates of entrepreneurialism and new business formation, the Latino community has been struck particularly hard by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative reported in May that 86% of Latino business owners had felt immediate negative impacts from Covid, a rate higher than other ethnic groups. Help was also harder to come by for Latino business owners, who had less cash on hand when requesting Covid assistance in the form of PPP loans, and were only half as likely as their White counterparts to receive the federal loans.
Still, the pandemic tells only half the tale of where Hispanic businesses stand today, because prior to the crisis, Latino entrepreneurs were making great strides — increasing their funding, improving their credit, and their revenue growth. That means that there is underlying strength in the Latino business community that can help in their emergence from the ravages of Covid-19. Read more at cnbc.com.
Asian American Businesses Owners Are Battling the Pandemic on Two Fronts and Searching for Answers at the Same Time
In 2005, Jason Wang’s father founded Xi’an Famous Foods in Flushing, which, by then, had slowly become one of the largest satellite Chinatowns in New York City. The mission was simple: Wang’s father would promote the food that he had known in central China, especially when Chinese food in America seemed to be only a watered-down version of Cantonese cuisine.
“He simply wanted to make a small living for himself while sharing his food with people who would enjoy it, and, at that time, he thought only Chinese immigrants like him would enjoy it,” Wang said of his father.
Over time, the shop’s success — thanks in no small part to an appearance by the late Anthony Bourdain — led to an expansion. Seven more chains opened up in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Along the way, the restaurant received accolades, even earning a glowing review in Zagat for its “banging” hand-pulled noodles and “insanely good” cumin-lamb burgers.
Last year, however, operations came to a screeching halt. As the pandemic began to take shape in the U.S., restaurants and bars were forced to shut down indoor dining. While many struggled to continue to stay alive, none were, perhaps, more heavily impacted by the global health crisis than Asian-owned businesses. Not only have these establishments dealt with financial losses, they’ve also become unfairly stigmatized as carriers of Covid-19.
In the weeks following news of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, Asian-owned businesses across the water — especially in the U.S. — began to feel the ripple effects of growing xenophobia and racism. Between February 2020 and April 2020, approximately 233,000 Asian-owned small businesses in the country closed, according to a UCLA study. By April of that year, half of the nation’s Chinese restaurants had shut down “as a result of consumer prejudices and misperceptions,” Read more at entrepreneur.com.
How to Take Your Small Business Growth to the Next Level
Many small businesses go through an early growth stage. But after that, you may need to change up your strategies to take the next step. Members of the online small business community have been through this stage and know how to navigate it. If you’ve hit a plateau in your small business growth, consider these next steps.
In the early stages of running a business, you’re likely to rely on organic growth. But at a certain point, you may hit a plateau. Martin Zwilling discusses what to do when you reach this point on the Startup Professionals Musings blog.
When your business starts growing, there comes a point where you can’t do everything yourself. It’s not always practical to grow an official team. But outsourcing provides a practical solution. This Borderless Mind post by Rishi Khanna includes signs it’s time to start outsourcing. You can also see commentary on the post here.
Blogging is a popular marketing strategy. And it can even be a main source of revenue for a business. But off-the-cuff blogging can only take you so far. If you want your efforts to get to the next level, you need a plan. Moss Clement of Moss Media explores that concept here. Read more at smallbiztrends.com.