Millions of US Small Businesses Have These Things in Common

Millions of US Small Businesses Have These Things in Common

Millions of US Small Businesses Have These Things in Common

One week before National Small Business Week, a new study examines some surprising things that the millions of small businesses across the U.S. have in common.

A Pew Research Center Survey released Monday delved into Census Bureau data points associated with 33 million small businesses across the U.S. The study defined “small business” as a firm with less than 500 workers, with at least one location.

In the report, small businesses overwhelmingly shared one major commonality: they rarely had employees. In fact, 27 million, or about 82%, did not have any workers, and about 3 million businesses with employees only had one to four people on their payroll.

Still, small businesses employed 56.4 million people in 2021 and achieved more than $16.2 trillion in revenue. Larger businesses with more than 100 employees scored bigger pieces of the revenue pie, though they made up less than 1% of the overall picture.

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Also, most small businesses are not mom-and-pop shops, according to the survey. One in 10 businesses in the U.S. were equally owned and operated by spouses, and just 27% were family-owned overall.

It’s also not usually franchises. The majority of small businesses (95%) reported that they did not fully or partially operate as a franchise.

A majority of the businesses surveyed, almost three in five, have been running for at least six years, and 15% were operational for over a quarter of a century.

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Small businesses also share a positive public perception. Most Americans (86%) indicated that small businesses positively impact the country in a separate Pew Research survey conducted in January. In contrast, only 53% thought positively about tech companies and colleges.

A Constant Contact survey released Monday presents a global picture, showing that over 80% of the 1,300 small businesses surveyed in the U.S., Australia, the U.K., and Canada expressed concern about how the economic climate will affect their business this year.

Pew Research reports that the number of U.S. business applications has trending up, with almost 1.8 million applications filed last year.

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