The Heart of the State’s Economy
PORTLAND, Ore. – Small Businesses are the heart of Oregon’s economy, and the U.S. Small Business Administration is sending them this Valentine with the reasons to love them.
Ten Reasons to Love Oregon Small Business
- Small businesses make up 97.7 percent of all Oregon employers.
- Small businesses create more than 46 percent of the American nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
- Of high patenting firms (15 or more in a four-year period), small patenting firms produce 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
- The 336,072 small businesses in Oregon are located in every community and neighborhood.
- Small businesses employ 56.2 percent of Oregon’s private sector workers.
- Home-based businesses account for 52 percent of all small businesses.
- Small businesses are 98 percent of America’s exporters and produce 33 percent of all export value.
- Oregon saw an estimated 55,833 new small firms start-up during 2012.
- There are approximately 741 minority-owned businesses and 1,255 women-owned businesses in Oregon, and almost all of them are small businesses.
- The latest figures show that small business creates 64 percent or more of America’s net new jobs.
iCandy will be ensuring many Portlanders have a sweet Valentine’s Day. Started in July 2011 by two friends, Janelle Mikula and Debbie Eggers, iCandy now has 11 employees and provides the greater Portland-area with fresh hand-made caramel corn, ice cream and candy treats.
Last year, the increase in Valentine’s Day sales and customers surprised Janelle and Debbie. “It was by far our busiest time of year, even bigger than Christmas,” said Janelle. This year, they are ready for the influx of shoppers. “Knowing how well we did last year, we have been planning for the holiday and are prepared to double our sales,” said Debbie.
“iCandy is a great example of two eager entrepreneurs with an idea and the dedication to see it through,” said Acting District Director Robert DuCotè. “It’s great to see that with the help of our resource partner, Mt. Hood Community College Small Business Development Center, they were able to put their plan into action and develop a successful small business.”
Just a year after opening iCandy, Janelle and Debbie expanded their storefront and by removing a wall, were able to double their retail space and business. They also recently completed the final phase of their original business plan and launched iCandy’s website, www.icandygresham.com, which allows them to fill orders around the country.
“Our commitment at SBA is to work arm-in-arm with entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs,” said Regional Administrator Calvin Goings. “Through free business advising and start-up classes, iCandy has developed into a thriving storefront that is making a big impact in their community.”
That’s Debbie and Janelle’s favorite part of their job, bringing smiles to the community. “It’s going to be great seeing the happiness our store and treats bring our customers and their valentines,” said Janelle. “It’s what makes us happy,” added Debbie, with smiles spread across both of their faces.
For more information about SBA programs and resources visit the Portland District Office webpage at www.sba.gov/or.