Picture a black-and-white television showing The Andy Griffith Show. Opie Taylor walks down Mayberry’s Main Street to visit Walker’s Drugstore, a small brick building on the corner that represents the quintessential mom-and-pop business of the era.
Today’s small business doesn’t look like that brick-and-mortar shop. With the expansion of the gig economy, the term “small business” can encompass every enterprise from dog walking to the neighborhood bakery.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that firms with fewer than 500 employees make up 99.9% of all businesses in the U.S., representing 30.7 million organizations. Of those organizations, 81%—nearly 25 million—have no employees, and 86.6% are sole proprietorships, of which only 15% have employees.