The SBA, or Small Business Administration, defines a small business as one that is ‘independently owned and operated, exerts little influence in its industry, and has fewer than 500 employees’. Considering this definition, small businesses shouldn’t theoretically impact the corporate sphere-organizations, market, and everything in between-should they cease to exist. But this isn’t business theory. This is real-world application; and in the real-world, small businesses take up a large percentage of global market share, and constitute over half of the world’s employed population. So, for starters, the disappearance of small businesses would take innumerable jobs with them, leaving behind a deep chasm of unemployment that the current few large organizations and conglomerates would never be able to bridge.
Which brings us to our second point: small businesses don’t always remain small. Like every successful business, they grow to local fame and even international popularity, depending upon the timing and area targeted. This increase in the number of steadily growing small businesses will offset the corporate monopoly created by long-established conglomerates and chains, and result in relatively fairer wealth distribution, both in the local and international context- a much-needed factor that would be all but eradicated without the existence of small businesses. Moreover, small businesses adapt to changing climates faster and more effectively than their larger competitors, and are often the last ones standing during market drops and long-term recessions. This is largely due to the fact that small businesses have little to lose due to less revenue accumulation, are highly customer-oriented, understand their target community, and of course, are smaller and easier to navigate and reorient.
From a local perspective, small businesses contribute towards the local government by amplifying community development taxes, and keep the local market from over concentration by providing hiring opportunities to local talent.
If all this weren’t enough, small businesses also directly aid large business operations. The popular outsourcing movement that runs side-by-side with independent work cultures is primarily fueled by small businesses and start-ups. Large corporations approach smaller organizations and companies to handle individual tasks and even entire operations, resulting in time and cost-effectiveness for them, and stable business for smaller organizations.
However, we all know that small businesses are here to stay, and no force can eradicate them completely. Although his post may serve as an eye-opener for chain conglomerates, whose quest for expansion is razing multitudes of small businesses, and local economy, to the ground.