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Small Business in the U.S. – 30 Million Strong and Growing

November 1, 2019 | Entrepreneurship
Small Business in the U.S. – 30 Million Strong and Growing, CDC Small Business
They are our society’s risk takers, mold breakers, tinkerers, free thinkers and doers – small business owners play a pivotal role in shaping our robust economy, communities and culture of innovation.

Are you familiar with CDC’s YouTube Channel where you you can find video playlists of our success stories and our loan tip series, get to know CDC and more? Read below for the key insights from our Small Business: A Mighty Force video or watch the video above.

No matter how big owners see their businesses growing, nearly every venture starts small. Whether in a converted garage, living room, or kitchen, someone with a dream takes a risk and tinkers a bit with a classic approach – maybe even breaks the mold. Then these dreamers take the next step – they open a business. In doing so, they create their own path to success, but they also play a pivotal role in shaping and growing our robust economy, and contributing to our culture of innovation.

The facts:

  • There are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S.
  • These businesses employ nearly 59 million people – which accounts for 48% of our workforce.
  • Small business owners generate almost 44% of the nation’s GDP, a measure of national productivity.

But what if these dreamers and innovators had access to the financing they needed to grow and maximize their impact? The reality is that many small business owners don’t choose banks and other financial institutions to finance their first steps and plans for growing or expanding.

  • Only 4.5% receive business loans from a financial institution.
  • A huge slice of entrepreneurs – 21% – use personal savings or rely on family members for funds.
Small Business in the U.S. – 30 Million Strong and Growing, CDC Small Business

San Diego Made is powered by Kristin Dinnis, Brook Dailey, Brittany Kaszas and Sarah Anderson.

Growing small businesses

That’s a lot of money left on the table – dollars that could be building small businesses in your community. The question is why?

  • Lack of trust. Following the 2008 recession, many lost faith in large or traditional financial companies.
  • Many entrepreneurs feel safer tapping familiar sources. Female and minority business owners in particular are more likely to rely on personal savings or loans from friends. Those with strong online presences or a tech bent turn to crowdsourcing.
  • They lack knowledge. In addition, many feel overwhelmed by complicated loan language, credit requirements, creating a business plan and more.

As a community lender and nonprofit, CDC Small Business Finance wants to make sure aspiring or current small business owners know and understand all of their options. We lead the way, focusing on confronting the barriers that small business owners often face as they seek to open up shop or grow. We take the time to educate, build relationships and create trust with borrowers whatever their needs might be.

Small Business in the U.S. – 30 Million Strong and Growing, CDC Small Business

Larry White Jr., or Lo-Lo, as he is known, prepares a plate at his eatery, Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles. White has expanded to multiple sites in the Phoenix area.

Changing face of small business

And the face of small business has shifted dramatically. We are proud to be part of this ongoing and remarkable transformation.

  • 8 million minorities own small businesses. Firms owned by entrepreneurs of color, including African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and Pacific Islanders, more than doubled from 2002-2012.
  • The number of women-owned businesses have exploded since 1978, growing from 4 million to 12.3 million today.
  • Veterans own more than 2.4 million small businesses.

Yet the services offered by mission-based lenders like CDC Small Business Finance go far beyond financing. This is crucial, because:

  • Of the nearly 600,000 new small businesses that open each year, 20% close within 12 months.
  • Owners who connect with mentors though were 12% more likely to make it to the one-year mark and celebrate the anniversary of their businesses.
  • Touching base with a mentor consistently also boosts the chances of success – 43% of owners who met at least five times with a coach reported growth in their businesses.
Small Business in the U.S. – 30 Million Strong and Growing, CDC Small Business

Kevin Darroch, president and co-founder of MachineTek, with CDC Small Business Finance loan officer Merri Adams at the company’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

Growing, but in need

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of free resources to help, including Small Business Development Centers, which are often connected to local colleges, and SCORE, a non-profit network of successful business owners who volunteer to coach entrepreneurs. In addition, unlike a traditional bank, CDC Small Business Finance provides free business advising to pre-qualified borrowers during and after the loan process. “Hats off to (CDC) for helping us get a loan. And they provided us (with) a coach who’s given us personalized advising at the shop,” said Zachary Weisman, co-owner of Waterhorse Charters, of CDC Business Adviser Chuck Sinks.

We offer small businesses more than working capital and start-up funds. For instance, Sacramento Laundry, once a mom-and-pop operation, now employs more than 400 workers. We’ve been proud to continue our long-term relationship with Sacramento Laundry by issuing them multiple SBA 504 loans for commercial real estate. They used the funds to buy their building and major equipment to continue growing with their operations. Ed Ryan at the CDC, who was our representative, was a wealth of information. I don’t know if I could have done it without him. His support was fantastic,” said Keith Pooler, co-owner of Sacramento Laundry.

Small Business in the U.S. – 30 Million Strong and Growing, CDC Small Business

Keith Pooler, pictured, and his wife, Julia, own Sacramento Laundry, which has received multiple SBA 504 loans through CDC Small Business Finance.

Personal service

Personalized customer service is harder and harder to find these days, but not at CDC Small Business Finance. This, at heart, is how we operate. “This is not the level of care we’d get if we had worked with a regular bank,” Brittany Kaszas, co-owner of San Diego Made, a co-working space for creatives. “CDC answered our questions and waited for us to find the right place to make the project work.” Making the project work – that is CDC Small Business Finance’s commitment to entrepreneurs and owners, as a lender, mentor and advocate for small business. Take a moment to think of your favorite small businesses, and what they contribute to your life and your community as well.

See more videos on our YouTube Channel


In case you missed it:

Do you need help launching or growing your business? The experienced loan experts at CDC Small Business Finance are here to help you reach your goals. And for qualified borrowers who need financial guidance, we can connect you to our Business Advising Services Team to help you get loan-ready – for free. Tell our experts about your business, and they’ll match you with the financing or assistance that best suits you. Let’s talk! Reach us at loaninfo@cdcloans.com or (619) 243-8667.

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