Report: Small Businesses Leading Nation’s Economic Recovery
Release Date: Monday, February 11, 2013
Release Number: 13-02 ADV
Contact: Brad Howard
Email: brad.howard@sba.gov

Office of Advocacy Issues Report on the Small Business Economy

 

WASHINGTON – The economic environment is turning around for America’s small businesses despite some lingering challenges from the recession that hit the nation in 2008-2009, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, an independent office that serves as the voice for small business within the federal government.

 

The Small Business Economy 2012 demonstrates that small businesses have been at the core of our economy’s growth over the past few years,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy.  “Thanks to hardworking small business owners across the country, 2011 represented the second full year of economic expansion since the peak of the recession in 2009, with small businesses representing half of the private-sector output.  We still have a lot of work to do, but this report tells an inspiring story:  output, business income and profits are rising for small businesses, and bankruptcies and unemployment are declining.”

 

The Small Business Economy, an annual report published by the Office of Advocacy for over 30 years, provides detailed information on the performance of America’s small businesses.  For the second year in a row, Advocacy released the full report in an online format.

 

“This report provides a rich collection of information about small business contributions to the economy and trends over time, and is once again available in an online format, increasing the accessibility and usability of the information,” said Sargeant. 

 

Highlights of the tables in this year’s report include the following:

 

Overall

  • Manufacturing sales, which dropped between 2005 and 2009, were up 11.7 percent between 2010 and 2011.  That’s similar to the 11.2 percent increase in 2009-2010.
  • After falling from 2005 to 2009, the income of our smallest businesses (proprietorships) increased by 6.0 percent from 2010 to 2011. Corporate profits, which also declined in 2005-2009, increased by 7.9 percent in the same period.
  • Startups or births of employer firms were still below pre-downturn levels – 533,945 in 2010 compared with 668,395 in 2007, but they increased from 2009 to 2010.  On the other hand, closings or deaths of employer firms, which reached a new high of 680,716 in 2009, declined to 593,347 in 2010.

Employment

  • Small firms with fewer than 500 workers outperformed large firms in net job creation in three of the four quarters of 2011, similar to a pattern that has existed since 1992 in periods when private-sector employment rose.  In contrast, job losses prevailed in almost all firm sizes for the first quarter of 2008 through the first quarter of 2010.

Demographics

  • Among the self-employed, certain demographic groups saw large increases in 2010-2011, particularly Latino, Asian, black and urban self-employed workers and the 55+ age cohort that reflects the large baby boom generation.

Financing

  • Total business lending continued to increase by June 2012; the rate of decline slowed for small business loans of all size categories.
  • Funds raised by venture capital firms increased, and disbursements increased to levels comparable to those in 2006.

 

Click here to read or download a complete version of the full report.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.

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