How does a Business contribute to the Economy?

How Small Businesses Contribute to U.S. Economic Expansion

A man welds wearing protective glasses (© Syracuse Newspapers/The Image Works)

An employee of MGI Products Inc. welding a portion of a quartz wafer carrier.

Small businesses contribute much more to the U.S. economy and society as a whole than can be calculated just from the spending and profit that they generate. These businesses tend to be more economically innovative than larger companies; more able to respond to changing consumer demand; and more receptive to creating opportunities for women and minorities; and activities in distressed areas. “Building; running; and growing small business is a part of a virtuous cycle of creativity and increasing prosperity that can be applied by dedicated and thoughtful people anywhere;” the author says. “There are no secrets; and frequently money is less important than a considered combination of imagination and effort.”

Derek Leebaert is an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University. He is co-author of The MIT Press trilogy on the information technology revolution; and serves as an adviser to Management Assessment Partners (MAP); a global consulting firm.

A visitor to the United States will encounter many newspapers and magazines devoted to business: The Wall Street Journal; Fortune; Forbes; Business Week;Barron’s. On television and radio; he or she will hear about the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 1000—statistics that reflect the stock market’s highs and lows; as shown by the value of the largest U.S. companies. The very term Fortune 500; coined 50 years ago by Fortune magazine; ranks the leading companies in the nation: General Motors; General Electric; DuPont; and; more recently; Microsoft and Oracle. Moreover; brand names such as Ford; Coca Cola; and IBM likely have been commonplace in his or her own country for decades. Against this background; our visitor might get the impression that America’s economy; employment; innovation; and exports are propelled solely by such behemoths.

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