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Small business retailers employ 11.5M people – and other stats that will convince you to shop local this holiday season

November 24, 2017 | Community
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Consumers tend to flock to big-box stores and websites with on-demand shipping for convenience and ease-of-use. But there’s a growing movement among Americans to return to the robust offerings of Main Street — engagement with store owners, experiencing products first-hand, and spending quality time in your own community.

There’s no better time to reflect on the important contributions of these independent retailers than during the lead-up to Small Business Saturday. Led by American Express, the annual marketing effort encourages consumers to go out and shop locally on the Saturday following Thanksgiving (this year it lands on Nov. 25.) The occasion, marked by special events, deals and discounts, even captivated the attention of a former U.S. president one year.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the immense impact that small business retailers, and small proprietors in general, have on our overall economy — and why you should shop small this holiday season.

Business owners can download promotional materials on the Small Business Saturday website.

29 million
That’s how many people the overall U.S. retail sector employs, making it the biggest private-sector employer in the country. Healthcare is a distant second, with 19.8 million workers. Retail workers don’t just include register clerks and managers. Positions like software engineers, security guards, and marketing professionals are also included.

98.6%
That’s the share of retailers who employ fewer than 50 workers, meaning the vast majority of all retail companies are smaller operations. To offer more perspective: Roughly 95 percent of these businesses operate just one location.

11.5 million
This massive figure denotes the number of people employed by small-business retailers, from independent toy sellers to clothing boutiques. This also means about 40 percent of all retail employees work for mom-and-pop businesses.

64%
Small businesses, defined by the SBA as fewer than 500 employees, created about two-thirds of new jobs from 1993 to 2011. This percentage represents 11.8 million of the 18.5 million net new jobs created in that timeframe.

46%
That’s the share of the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) contributed by small businesses as a whole, signifying the key role they play in the overall health of our economy. A widely used economic indicator, GDP represents the value of a nation’s economic output — in other words, goods and services produced by our workforce.

Sources: National Retail Federation, SBA and Small Business Saturday.

Are you a small business retailer looking for financing? Tell our loan experts about your business, and they’ll work to match you with a financing plan that best suits you. Let’s talk! Reach us at loaninfo@cdcloans.com or (619) 243-8667.


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