Economic Development

SBA Report Documents Dominance of Small Firms

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — There are nearly 28.5 million small businesses operating in the United States and of that total, 926,977 are operating in Ohio, 999,591 in Pennsylvania.

The numbers come from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, which has released reams of data showing half of the nation’s private workforce is employed by companies with fewer than 500 employees.

The report, Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, provides information on small business employment, industry composition, small business borrowing, exporting and survival rates as well as business-owner demographics. It can be accessed here, along with state-by-state breakdowns. The SBA defines a small business as having fewer than 500 employees.

“Multiple economic indicators, including real gross domestic product, consistently signaled a strengthening U.S. economy in 2014,” the report begins. “In the third quarter of 2014, real GDP grew at an annual rate of 5.0%, which was the strongest growth in a single quarter since 2003. By comparison, the nation’s 2013 annual real GDP increased 2.2% over the 2012 annual level.”

In Ohio, however, the state’s economy grew at a slower rate, with real gross state product increasing just 1.8%. In Pennsylvania, the state product increased by 0.7%.

The top employers by industry in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to 2012 data in the SBA report, are:

  • Health care and social assistance,
  • Accommodation and food services;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Retail trade;
  • Other services (except public administration).

Among the data cited for Ohio:

  • Firms with fewer that 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment: 33%.
  • Small businesses created 84.945 net new jobs in 2012. The biggest gain was in companies with 20 to 99 employees.
  • The state’s private-sector employment growth increased by 0.9% over the 12-month period ending in October 2014; this was below the national average growth rate of 2.3%.

Among the data cited for Pennsylvania:

  • Firms with fewer that 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment: also 33%.
  • Small businesses created 72,264 net new jobs in 2012. The biggest gain was in companies with 1-4 employees.
  • The state’s private-sector employment growth increased by 1.0% over the 12-month period ending in October 2014; this was below the national average growth rate of 2.3%.

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.