Small businesses provide most of the jobs, services, and entertainment throughout the country, but when it comes to business in our area, small is relative term.
A small business can employ up to 500 people in any industry imaginable. That's why struggling small businesses are a big deal.
“The small businesses, not only in this community but across America, are the backbone of the economy the majority of businesses are small businesses,” said Connie Majure-Rhett of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.
According the Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all business in America. They account for 80 percent of new jobs and employ half of U.S. workers. With a maximum of 500 employees working in a small business, they're the rule, not the exception.
“We've only got a couple of industries here which are considered to be large, which is GE, Corning, those kinds of stuff,” said Don Spry of the US Small Business Administration.
Many people are well aware of the retail stores and restaurants that qualify as small businesses, but their services are endless.
“They provide everything from your doctor and your lawyer, to your plumbing, to your little grocery, to your caterer, to your dog walker,” Majure-Rhett said.
Still, starting a small business can be tough. According to the SBA, more than 30 percent of businesses fail in the first year and within seven years nearly, 70 percent of small businesses close their doors. But given the economy, keeping business on track can be even more difficult.
“They are dealing with much less liquidity in their business, a demand loss in their business, also for extension to capital or access to capital,” Spry said.
“Now is the time for a business to be as good as it's ever been, make sure that their name is even farther out front than it's ever been,” said Majure-Rhett.
The SBA has several support systems to teach small businesses to do just that. Score and the Small Business Technology Development Center provide education to help small business owners succeed.
“Having the strategic and operational expertise to move forward in this new demand level, reduced demand level, is really key for businesses,” Spry said.
While some small business owners choose to stay small, others like PPD, grow into large businesses. Over the next few weeks we'll focus on different small businesses to see how they're dealing with the economy to make sure their small business can have a big impact in the future.