Small businesses power the U.S. economy

37805674_MSmall businesses have a big impact on the U.S. economy. Did you know that small companies create two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year? That’s a big share of U.S. employment growth. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business.

Here are five other facts you may not realize about small businesses:

1. The definition of ‘small business’ varies, but by any definition their economic impact is huge. Firms with fewer than 500 workers account for 99.7 percent of all U.S. companies. Don’t think that’s small enough? Businesses with fewer than 20 workers (including those with no employees — only the owner) still account for 97.9 percent of all U.S. companies.

2. Half of all small businesses are home-based. The definition of a home-based business is one that is operated primarily out of the home, even if it has business activities that take place outside the home. By that definition, nearly a quarter of small companies with employees nationwide are home-based. Four out of every five companies without employees other than the owner are home-based.

3. Small and medium-sized companies account for 98 percent of U.S. exporters. There is considerable work to be done in this area, however. Less than 1 percent of all companies export. That’s a percentage that is significantly lower than all other developed countries. Of U.S. companies that do export, 58 percent export to only one country.

4. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other high-tech giants may dominate the headlines, but nearly all high-tech companies are small businesses.

5. Immigrants make up about one-seventh, or 14.4 percent, of all U.S. business owners.