Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Did you know that only about 33% of the 32 million small businesses operate with employees, per the US Census?  According to a recent The Guardian article by Gene Marks, most small businesses that we assume are businesses are actually pass through companies and hobbyists.  As Marks explains, “according to a report from the Census Bureau’s Adam Grundy, the 76.2% of businesses that had no employees accounted for just 4% of sales of all small businesses.”

There are many examples of these types from “the neighbor who sells $1,000 worth of crafts on Etsy or the friend who sometimes drives an Uber.”  It can also include a “real estate mogul who owns 10 rental properties each filing a separate tax return. Sure, that person could be a legit business owner, but of one business, not 10.”

All are good examples of non traditional small businesses, but, in my opinion, they are still small businesses.  A small business doesn’t mean you are a full scale operation.  A startup can be considered a type of small business after all.

Marks does make a good point when it comes when stating that “if you’re targeting the “small business” community to sell your products or get elected to public office, just know that there aren’t 32m small businesses in the US.”  What matters for non-traditional small businesses will most certainly not matter for a business owner like myself who has much more money on the line when it comes to changes in health care and taxes and the need for assistance in operation.  While I’m not sure if “the real number of small business owners in this country is somewhere around 7.8m”, I will agree that the number is much smaller and there needs to be serious consideration for that as we move forward as a country.

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