Small businesses drive the U.S. economy by providing jobs for over half of the private workforce per a new report by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, 2005 Edition also show that small business with fewer than 20 employees increased employment by
853,074 during 2001-2002.

?Small business drives the American economy,? said Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the Office of Advocacy. ?Main Street provides the jobs and spurs our economic growth. American entrepreneurs are creative and productive, and these numbers prove it.?

Small businesses are job creators. Office of Advocacy funded data and research shows that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all firms, they create more than half of the private non-farm gross domestic product, and they create 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs.

In 2004, there were an estimated 23,974,500 businesses in the U.S. Of the 5,683,700 firms with employees, 5,666,600 were small firms (fewer than 500 employees). The latest data also show that in 2002 women owned 6,492,795 firms; Blacks owned 1,197,988 firms; Hispanics owned 1,574,159 firms; Asians owned 1,105,329 firms; and American Indians and Alaskan Natives owned 206,125 firms.

In 2004, there was strong growth of 7.3 percent in proprietor?s income - a partial measure of small business income. Business bankruptcies decreased by 2.1 percent and self-employment increased by 2.2 percent. This and other data for each state and territory are available in individual economic profiles on the Office of Advocacy website at www.sba.gov/advo/research/profiles.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice and ?small business watchdog? for small business within the federal government. It is the source for small business statistics presented in user-friendly formats and it funds research into small business issues. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/advo, or call (202) 205-6533.