35+ Key Small Business Statistics for 2024

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Written by Backlinko Team –

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy (and in many parts of the world) and provide jobs for nearly half (45.9%) of US employees.

Nearly 9-in-10 Americans state small businesses have a positive impact, whereas only 29% of Americans view large corporations positively.

Want to learn about the state of small businesses, what is their role in today’s economy, how many businesses fail and what are the current challenges?

Let’s dive right in.

Here’s a quick summarily of what you’ll learn:

General Small Business Statistics

  1. There are 33.27 million small businesses (with less than 500 employees) in the US (SBA)
    There are 33.27 million small businesses (with less than 500 employees) in the US
  2. Around 81.6% of small businesses in the US have no employees, which amounts to 27.15 million businesses without employees (SBA)
  3. Only 16.44% of small businesses in the US have between 1 and 19 employees (SBA)
  4. There are 61.6 million small business employees, accounting for 45.9% of the US workforce (SBA)
  5. There are 4.53 million small businesses in the professional, scientific and technical industry, accounting for 13.62% of all small businesses. It’s the only industry with more than 4 million small businesses. (SBA)
  6. Small businesses in the US generated $16.2 trillion in revenue in 2021 (Pew Research Center)
    Small businesses in the US generated $16.2 trillion in revenue in 2021
  7. Small firms in the US exported goods worth $546.1 billion, accounting for 34.9% of known export value in 2021 SBA)
  8. From 1995 to 2021, small businesses have been responsible for generating 17.3 million net new jobs, making up 62.7% of all new jobs created during this period (SBA)
  9. Small business owners primary motivations to go into business include “ready to be their own boss” (28%), dissatisfaction with corporate America (23%) and “want to pursue a passion” (14%) (Guidant)
  10. Small businesses in the US are responsible for 43.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) (SBA)
    Small businesses in the US are responsible for 43.5% of gross domestic product (GDP)
  11. On average, small businesses have 11.7 employees. To put in perspective, the average employer firm had 24.9 employees in 2020 (SBA)
  12. The survey found that the most common worries among small business owners in 2024 include inflation/economic conditions (47%), needing to raise prices (32%), rising competition (24%) (Salesforce)
  13. 57% of small business owners expect to create new jobs in 2024 (Goldman Sachs)
  14. According to a survey, 65% of small businesses report that their business is in good health overall (Small Business Index)
    65% of small businesses report that their business is in good health overall
  15. 6-in-10 small businesses claim they’re concerned about cybersecurity threats (Small Business Index)
  16. The vast majority (86%) of Americans claim small businesses have a positive impact. Only 29% of US adults say large corporations have a positive impact (Pew Research Center)

Small Business Owner Statistics

  1. Women own 43.4% of small businesses in the US (SBA)
    Women own 43.4% of small businesses in the US
  2. Racial minorities have ownership of 20.4% of small businesses in the US (SBA)
  3. Gen X (43%) and Boomers (37%) account for the vast majority of small business owners (Guidant)
  4. In 2021, 27% of small businesses were family-owned (Pew Research Center)
  5. In 2021, only 1 in 10 small businesses in the US were jointly owned and operated equally by spouses (Pew Research Center)

Small Business Financing Statistics

  1. A majority of small businesses claim to use personal savings (71%) and credit cards (67%) to finance their business (Small Business Index)
  2. The average SBA loan is $479,685 under 7(a) loan program in 2023 (SBA)
    The average SBA loan is $479,685 under 7(a) loan program in 2023
  3. A total of 57,362 loans amounting to $27.52 billion were provided to small businesses under the 7(a) loan program in 2023 (SBA)

Small Business Survival and Failure Statistics

  1. Based on a cohort of newly opened businesses in March 2021, 20.9% of new businesses fail by year 1. By year 2, 32.8% of new businesses fail. (BLS)
  2. Between 1994 and 2020, an average of 67.7% of newly established businesses managed to survive for a minimum of two years. (US Small Business Administration) /
  3. In 2021, the majority (61%) of small businesses have been active for a minimum of 6 years (Pew Research Center)
    In 2021, 61% of small businesses have been active for a minimum of 6 years
  4. In 2021, 15% of small businesses had been operational for over 25 years (Pew Research Center)
  5. Inflation, quality of labor, and taxes are the most important problems for small business owners in the US (Statista)
    Most Important ProblemShare of Survey Respondents
    Inflation25%
    Quality of labor18%
    Taxes14%
    Cost of labor10%
    Poor sales8%
    Government regulations6%
    Cost/availability of insurance6%
    Other5%
    Finance and interest rates4%
    Competition from large businesses4%

Small Business Marketing Statistics

  1. The vast majority (77%) of small and midsize businesses already use or have intentions to use “social media marketing to increase customer engagement and boost online traffic” (Verizon)
  2. Facebook is the most popular social media platform to promote products among small to midsize business owners with a usage rate of 81%. Other commonly used social platforms include Instagram (59%), LinkedIn (48%), X/Twitter (39%) and TikTok (34%) (Verizon)
  3. In a survey of small to midsize retailers and restaurants, 96% of respondents report they get the most engagement on TikTok, followed by Facebook (68%) and Instagram (47%) (Capterra)
    96% of midsize retailers and restaurants report they get the most engagement on TikTok
  4. 7 in 10 small businesses outsourced their marketing efforts in the past year (inTandem by vcita)

AI Statistics for Small Business

  1. In a survey of small to midsize business owners, 14% of respondents report using AI solutions at their organizations. AI adoption is higher than average among businesses in entertainment (23%), construction (15%), and retail (15%) industries (Verizon)
  2. Nearly half (43%) of small to midsize businesses believe that AI has the potential to generate additional revenue for their organization (Verizon)
    43% of small to midsize businesses believe that AI has the potential to generate additional revenue for their organization
  3. One survey found that 12% of small businesses with 1-9 employees use AI, while among firms with 10-49 employees the AI usage rate reached 30% (Search Engine Land)



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