· Business Advisor
· Employment and Job Creation in a Global Economy CD
· Entrepreneurship and Small Business CD
· Manufacturing Extension Partnership
· MIT: The Impact of Innovation
· Outline of the U.S. Economy: Small Business and the Corporation CD
· Small Business Administration. Frequently Asked Questions
· Department of Commerce: Manufacturing Report
· North American Industry Classification System
· Statistical Abstracts 2006: Business Enterprise | Manufacture | Domestic Trade and Services CD
· Statistics about Business Size including Small Business
· The Entrepreneur in You?
The American economy boasts a wide array of enterprises, ranging from one-person sole proprietorships to some of the world's largest corporations.
Small businesses, those having fewer than 500 employees, loom large in the U.S. economy. They can respond quickly to changing economic conditions and customer needs with innovative technical solutions to production problems.
Of the nearly 26 million firms in the United States, most are very small – 97.5 percent - have fewer than 20 employees, the U.S. Small Business Administration says. Women own and operate many small businesses. In 2002, women-owned businesses accounted for 28 percent of all U.S. companies except for farms. Persons from minority groups run many small businesses. Of all U.S. nonfarm firms in 2002, 6.8 percent were owned by Hispanic Americans, 5.2 percent by African Americans, 4.8 percent by Asian Americans.
Small businesses employ almost exactly half the private U.S. labor force of about 153 million. In 2003 the average small business had one location and 10 employees; the average big business, 61 locations and 3,300 employees.
Although there are many small and medium-sized companies, big business units play a dominant role in the American economy. Large businesses are important to the overall economy because they tend to have more financial resources than small firms to conduct research and develop new goods. And they generally offer more varied job opportunities and greater job stability, higher wages, and better health and retirement benefits. In the United States, most large businesses are organized as corporations. Many large corporations have a great number of owners, or shareholders. A major company may be owned by a million or more people, many of whom hold fewer than 100 shares of stock each. This widespread ownership has given many Americans a direct stake in some of the nation's biggest companies.
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials. What kind of information materials are available?
CD: These documents are available in fulltext format on the About the USA CD-ROM. Teachers: Request a copy for classroom use.
L: Selected documents are available in German as well as other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Persian and Turkish.
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