I was a small business owner for six years after I retired from the big business corporate world. But being a sole proprietor with no employees I really don’t have a good view of just what small businesses are really about. The Republican political leaders say small businesses are the growth engine of our country and we shouldn’t tax them by taking away the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 annually.

How many of the so-called small businesses were like mine just a guy in a shop building things for customers? How many hire more than a handful of employees? I decided to look into this.

Here is a link to a bunch of numbers in this area:  http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html 

  • There are approximately 29 million business in this country
  • Of those 29 million about 22 million are business with no employees
  • Only one million firms have more than 9 employees
  • Only 90,000 (0.3% have more than 100 employees
  • Across the United States, small business failure rates rose by 40% between 2007 and 2010
  • Only about one if five small businesses will be in existence five years after its creation