07 May 2015


Original Story: record-eagle.com

Small business is anything but a lightweight.

A recently released Dunn & Bradstreet research study was intended to tout the economic impact of middle market companies, those with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion. The study focuses on the impressive job creation that segment of American business provided since the recession bottomed out in 2008. The study — if you read the small print — also provides a testament to the amazing strength of small business. A Rochester small business lawyer offers legal consulting services designed to minimize legal issues.

The study, underwritten by American Express, shows middle market companies added 2.1 million jobs since 2008. Large companies added 800,000 jobs. In that span, small companies lost 600,000 jobs. That's an impressive performance by the middleweights. The figures show that the heavyweights are doing well but small companies still are struggling to recover. Some flyweights are hanging on by cutting staff positions and taking other cost-cutting measures.

Middle market firms employ 28 percent of the nation's workforce. The biggest corporations employ 30 percent of our workers. Small companies (those that have annual revenues of less than $10 million) employ 42 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Individual small businesses by definition don't employ large numbers of people. They account for nearly half the workforce only because there are so many of them. A Memphis small business lawyer is following this story closely.

Small companies account for more than 99 percent of economically active businesses in both Michigan and the U.S.

In 2014, the study says, 18,812,008 small companies were doing business in the U.S., including 493,736 in Michigan. There were 136,603 middle-sized companies working in the U.S., just 2,266 large firms. In Michigan, there were 4,749 middle-sized companies and only 65 of the big guys.

Individual small businesses — the local hair salon, garage or welding shop — obviously don't employ enough people to register on the national scale. But combine all the mom-and-pop operations across the country and the sum is a huge segment of the tapestry of the American workforce.

Small companies, despite having lost those 600,000 jobs since 2008, increased their revenue at a faster pace than middle-sized firms. Revenues of small companies rose 3.8 percent between 2008 and 2014.

Perhaps the owners of small businesses are better able to respond to tough times than managers at medium-sized businesses.

Or perhaps they know that making tough decisions is the only way they'll survive in the rough-and-tumble world of business. Owners of small businesses are in the boxing ring every day, slugging it out with the possibility of failure so close they can almost smell it. They've been winning some matches and losing some. They're constantly throwing punches just to stay upright.

Management at larger companies sometimes becomes a bit more comfortable. They've won a string of bouts and now are choosing their fights more carefully. They've put on a few pounds and maybe skipped a few days at the gym. They just aren't as nimble as the wiry guys who fight every day.

Revenues at middle-sized companies took a 2.2 percent dive between 2008 and 2014. They're hiring, but their revenues aren't keeping pace.

The largest U.S. firms saw revenues leap 17.2 percent during the same period.

Big business is alive and well in the post-recession era. The largest firms have won the heavyweight championship belt. They're sitting back and watching the cash roll in while the small- and medium-sized companies shuffle from side to side searching for an opening.

The Dunn & Bradstreet study said that since the recession, 101 large firms, 5,406 medium-sized firms and 1.38 million small firms have come into being.

That's a lot of entrepreneurs choosing to put in a lot of effort to launch their dreams. Rings are overflowing with exciting lightweight matches. There are fewer heavyweights entering the fray, so much of the business action seems to be in the small end of the arena. A CPA in Encino provides personalized financial guidance to individuals and businesses.

Among that huge crop of small business owners climbing into the ring, there's bound to be a palooka or two. Some entrepreneurs will take a liver punch and fall during the fight. Some will find themselves on the ropes but will bounce back to prevail. A few small businesses eventually will rise through the ranks to become contenders in the ring of the business world.

The study referenced above is titled "The Middle Market Power Index: Catalyzing U.S. Economic Growth." It is available at http://about.americanexpress.com.

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