PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Giving Thanks for Small Business During this Pandemic Thanksgiving

By at 23 November, 2020, 12:46 pm

Key Sectors Helping Us Through COVID-19 are Dominated by Small Businesses

by Raymond J. Keating-

Sometimes it’s during the toughest times – such as amidst a pandemic and accompanying hardships – that we find greater appreciation of the blessings in our lives.

The Keating household certainly has had a rough 2020, including the loss of a family member, loved ones moving great distances away, job loss, and so on. Indeed, this is what much of America has been facing. And yet, significant blessings remain to be thankful for at Thanksgiving this year, especially in a nation where freedom and opportunity still flourish, despite an assortment of struggles and obstacles.

It is a tradition that this SBE Council Thanksgiving piece takes note of the many small businesses involved with bringing bounty to our Thanksgiving tables. And during the challenges of a pandemic, that appreciation runs strong for the entrepreneurs, businesses and workers involved, from the farm to the grocery store.

But there’s even more this year. There also are the entrepreneurs, businesses and workers in telecommunications and computer technology industries that allow us to stay in communication with each other and to more ably work from home. And don’t forget about the entrepreneurs, firms of varying sizes, and employees in the health care field hard at work in aiding those falling ill, as well as those in the pharmaceutical sector who are working to bring vaccines and therapeutics to market so that we can eventually defeat this pandemic, stand ready against future ones, and get life back to normal.

And yes, each of these industries is overwhelmingly populated by small businesses, and even the current big guys at one time were little guys. Consider, for example, the following (latest 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau):

●  Among employer firms in the broad agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector, 93.6 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 98.7 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the grocery stores sector, 86.7 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 97.7 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the retail bakeries sector, 86.4 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 99 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector, 58.0 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 78.7 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the broad health care and social assistance sector, 85.8 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 96.5 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the telecommunications sector, 83.8 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 95.0 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the software publishing sector, 76.9 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 91.9 percent fewer than 100 employees.

●  Among employer firms in the computer and electronic product manufacturing sector, 65.6 percent have fewer than 20 employees, and 88.3 percent fewer than 100 employees.

So, give thanks for your faith, family, and friends; for your work; and for all of those entrepreneurs, businesses and workers who make life far better than it otherwise would be, even during a pandemic and amidst economic turmoil.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

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