Since 2010, American Express and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) have been promoting “Small Business Saturday,” the day after Black Friday, to encourage consumers to support local and small businesses when doing their holiday shopping. But what exactly is the definition of a small business, and why are they worth promoting and celebrating?

According to the SBA, a small business is defined as a business (corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship) with 500 employees or less, which make up 99.7% of all employer firms. Here are some other facts that demonstrate the immense impact of small business on the American economy:

  • Have generated 64% of new jobs since 1995 (SBA)
  • Account for 60-80% of all US jobs (Entrepreneur magazine)
  • Produce 13 times more patents than larger firms (Paychex study)
  • Generate 54% of US sales (SBA)
  • Account for 97% of US exporters (Thoughtco)
  • Donate 250% more to non-profits and community causes than large businesses (Farm Bureau Financial Services study)

Wow! Even though larger, publicly traded firms may receive the most news coverage due to their scale and familiarity to the general American public, there’s no question that small businesses deserve their reputation as “the backbone of the American economy.” Startup companies (presumably small) are often the first to stir up new competition in previously unattractive or old markets. They can innovate and pivot quickly, much faster than larger, more bureaucratic corporations – as evidenced by the fact about small business patent creation. This leads to better products and services for consumers. Fortunately, the internet has also allowed small businesses to branch out and serve customers worldwide, in addition to those in their own communities.

At Merchology, we are proud to be classified as a small business ourselves (that is family owned and operated, at that)! Further, we are proud to serve thousands of small business customers and help them build and promote their brands through awesome co-branded swag. For small business owners, their business is not just a business – it is an extension of who they are. We know firsthand that small businesses = big impact. We encourage you to check out some of our small business customers that we feature year-round in our Community Update emails and in our most recent Small Business Saturday email. (You can subscribe to our emails on the upper righthand corner of this page.) And if you’d like your business to be featured, let us know!

This holiday season, we hope you #shopsmall and support the hardworking entrepreneurs out there. And thanks to all of you who support Merchology! Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!