There’s no question that the 28.5 million (yes, you read that right!) small businesses in the U.S. are the economic backbone of our economy. Backbone, as in we couldn’t stand up without them. Backbone, as in we’re crippled if they’re damaged. Backbone, as in the center around which all other economic indicators grow.

Small Businesses Make Things Go

If America wants to sell things to pretty much anywhere in the world, we need small businesses. Same goes if we want to make any more nifty widgets or create new jobs. It’s that simple.

For proof, just look to the Small Business Administration. They report findings about the economic impact of small businesses to the President each year in a document called The Small Business Economy. Year to year, it paints a consistent picture: America can’t do without her small businesses.

The summary of the 2012 report tells us that small businesses represent around half of the private-sector economy. The attention paid to large corporations and huge financial firms in recent years may lead you to believe that they are the largest employers in the country, but it’s not true; small businesses comprise more than 99 percent of all businesses in the U.S.1 Even more significantly, they’re an employment incubator. Small businesses—mostly firms with 1-4 employees—created more than 2 million net new jobs in 2012. 2

These average results hold true state to state. In Arizona, for instance, small employers make up 97.1 percent of all employers in the state.3 And even though the term “small business” encompasses businesses of fewer than 500 employees (as defined by the SBA)4, in Oregon, most small business are truly small—fewer than 20 employees in 2010.

Small Business Facts*6

Percent of U.S. employer firms97%
Percent of firms exporting goods98%
Percent of hi-tech employment43%
Percent of private-sector employment49.2%

Small Businesses: The Canary in the Coalmine

What does all this mean? As go small businesses, so goes the economy. After the economic crisis of 2007, small businesses had a hard time accessing credit and paying employees, contributing to the downward spiral of the U.S. economy. But things seemed to stabilize with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February of 2009, which contained provisions that shunted hundreds of millions of dollars toward small business relief efforts;7 by the end of 2009, major economic indicators like the GDP displayed mild upticks for the first time since the recession started.8

Conclusions: Be Good to Small Businesses, or Else

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (although if you are one, we applaud you!) to see that measures that help out small businesses help out the whole country. That’s why HealthMarkets wants to help small businesses cut costs by finding less expensive ways to insure their employees. Most small businesses spend the majority of their budget9 on compensation, including health insurance. But we have a better way.

We want to let you in on a little known fact: you don’t have to have group health insurance to help your employees get insured.

In fact, according to Obamacare, you don’t have to have group health insurance at all if you have fewer than 50 employees. But most small businesses want to help their employees get coverage. It’s a good recruiting tactic, and it’s the right thing to do.

So let us show you how to do it—and still cut costs. We should know how: we’re health insurance advisors. Call (800) 976-5818 and discover the health insurance options you may never knew you had. We promise we’ll be good to you.

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References

Small Business Economy 2012. The Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Small_Business_Economy_2012(2).pdf, 10/16/2015.
Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories. The Small Business Administration. February, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/SB%20Profiles%202014-15_0.pdf, 10/29/15. p. 1.
p. 13.
The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President (2010), 1. 2010. The Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/sb_econ2010.pdf, 10/16/2015.
Small Business Profile: Oregon. The Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/or12.pdf, 10/16/2015.
Frequently Asked Questions. 2012. The Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf, 10/16/2015.
The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President (2010), 9. 2010. The Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/sb_econ2010.pdf, 10/16/2015.
The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President (2010), 15. 2010. The Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/sb_econ2010.pdf, 10/16/2015.
“PEX Card SMB Benchmark Expense Survey.” p.4. January 2013. PEXCard publication. Retrieved from http://www.pexcard.com/pdf/148432012%20PEX%20Card%20Benchmark%20Survey%20Results.pdf, 10/01/15.

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