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Monday, April 23, 2007

Small Business Statistics

In honor of National Small Business Week, we'd like to offer up some interesting (and startling) facts and statistics about small businesses from different sources:

According to the SBA, small businesses:

  • provide 75 percent of the net new jobs added to the economy
  • represent 99.7 percent of all employers
  • employ 50.1 percent of the private work force
  • provide 40.9 percent of private sales in the country.
  • account for 39.1 percent of jobs in high technology sectors in 2001
  • account for 52 percent of private sector output in 1999
  • represent 97 percent of all U.S. exporters
Businesses start -- and fail -- in the United States at an increasingly staggering rate.

  • Every year, over 500,000 people start a business of some sort.
  • By the end of the first year, at least 40% of them will be out of business.
  • Within 5 years, more than 80% of them—400,000 people—will have failed!

And, if your business has managed to survive for 5 years or more, don’t breathe a sigh of relief.
More than 80% of the enterprises that survive the first 5 years will fail in the second 5 years.

BOTTOMLINE: What makes sustainability in business so hard? The top issues small businesses struggle with can be grouped into categories: financial, customer, production, people, limited resources, and growth. At times, these challenges can be daunting, indeed overwhelming. It's encouraging to know that the struggles we encounter every day are normal. All small businesses face them. And like other "heroes," we continue the fight - because the cause is worth it.

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