This week is National Small Business Week: An annual event that recognizes the hard work, ingenuity and dedication of America’s small businesses, and celebrates their contributions to the economy. Small businesses are job creators that, with the help of local chambers of commerce, solve problems and help communities thrive.
Small Business Makes Up 99.8% of All Businesses in California
Small businesses employ nearly half of all Americans in the private sector — and in California, 4.1 million small businesses (with fewer than 500 employees) represent 99.8% of all businesses in the state and employ 7.2 million people, or 48.5% of the private workforce.
Also in California:
- Businesses with fewer than 100 employees represent 97% of all businesses and employ nearly 36% of all workers; and
- Businesses with fewer than 20 employees comprise more than 88% of all businesses, employing approximately 18.2% of all workers.
While there is no sector of the California economy where small businesses are not present, the industry most dominated by small businesses is construction, in which small businesses account for 84% of the sector, employing more than 500,000 employees.
California Chamber of Commerce members include 14,000 firms of all kinds and sizes — and more than two-thirds of members are small employers with 100 or fewer employees.
Local Chambers: Helping Business Do Business
In California today there are more chambers of commerce than there are cities. While each chamber is unique and may choose to emphasize some activities over others, all chambers work toward economic development, prosperity, and employer community.
These local chambers provide a real linkage to the thoughts and priorities of business—especially small business around the state. With 80–90% of local chamber members having fewer than 20 employees, local chambers are a major grassroots voice for “Main Street” California.
Most chambers play leading roles as community problem solvers and serve as the voice of business on public policy. Chambers are catalysts for business growth, helping businesses do their jobs by providing resources, training opportunities, and expert guidance on a broad range of issues.
They connect with elected officials, education institutions and other local leaders to find ways that businesses can solve local problems and help revitalize regional areas so that their communities are better places to live, work and raise families.