Small Business Week 2024: How Small Businesses Impact Our Economy


Every year since 1963, U.S. presidents have issued a Small Business Week proclamation to recognize the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The theme of Small Business Week 2024, which runs from April 28 – May 4, is “Building on the Small Business Boom.”

A small business is one with fewer than 500 employees, according to the Small Business Administration. The Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics indicate there were 5,358,600 such firms in 2021, up from 5,322,155 in 2020.

According to County Business Patterns, 56.6% of all U.S. employer establishments in 2021 (the latest year for which these statistics are available) had fewer than five employees, up from 55% in 2020.

In addition to small employer businesses, there are many self-employed entrepreneurs with no paid employees who run small businesses and contribute to the economy.

According to Nonemployer Statistics (NES), there were 28,477,518 businesses with no paid employees in 2021. These nonemployer businesses operated in various sectors of the economy such as retail, manufacturing and services.

Women-Owned Businesses

There were 1,275,523 women-owned employer firms in the United States, according to the 2022 Annual Business Survey, which covers the reference year of 2021.

Of those women-owned employer firms, 14,573 were owned by female veterans and 353,636 by minority women. Minority-owned refers to businesses with owners who are any race and ethnicity combination other than non-Hispanic and White.

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