Guest Blogger, Mark Turner, President / CEO of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce offers his blog post entitled “How Small Businesses Affect Our Community”.  Mark Turner is the key executive staff member and oversees the Chamber operations, communications, legislative affairs, and major fund developments.

Small business affects our local economy in a big way! While we tend to take note of big business trends, especially in poor economic times, it’s the small business trends that have been moving in a positive direction. Statistics provided by the Small Business Administration prove that small businesses are the main drivers in economic development. Below are just a few statistics.
• The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.
• Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.
• The 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people.
• The small business sector in America occupies 30-50% of all commercial space, an estimated 20-34 billion square feet.

Furthermore, the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been “downsizing”, the rate of small business “start-ups” has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined.
• The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982.
• Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.
Small businesses in Gilroy, California are providing employment opportunities, putting people to work, attracting innovation, fueling the local economy through buying and selling goods and services not to mention generating revenue which supports police, fire and local schools.