As we kick off the 2008 Small Business Week among all the continuing noise about the economy, it’s sometimes tough to remember just how much you and your fellow small business owners contribute to the success of our nation. Thanks to NFIB, here are some fast facts that demonstrate why you are so important to America.
- Small businesses have developed a significant number of this nation’s most important inventions and innovations, such as heart valves and the airplane. Small firms are twice as innovative per employee as larger firms.
- Small, innovative firms produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms, and their patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the 1 percent most cited.
- Small firms provide the first job for most entrants to the labor force. Many of the skills learned in these first jobs, such as showing up on time, learning respect for owners and customers, and learning how to get along with co-workers, last a
- 91 percent of small business owners contributed to their community in the last year through volunteering, in-kind contributions, and/or direct cash donations. About 41 percent contributed all three ways.
- The estimated average value of contributions is $6,600 per small employer, contributing and not, for a total of roughly $40 billion.
- 74 percent of all small business owners say that they volunteered for community and charitable activities in the last year. The average is somewhat over 12 hours per month, or the equivalent of 18 working days per year.
- 37 percent who volunteer also hold an office, including a board position, in one or more community organizations.
- Disproportionately large percentages of small business owners are registered to vote (95 percent), usually do vote (84 percent), and run for elective office (3 percent).