Small Business Is the Great Engine of Job-Creation: Fact or Myth?

Posted on October 14, 2010

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Small business is wonderful, but the era of the mom-and-pop corner store is long past. Try as we might, not everyone can be an entrepreneur.

Is small business the engine of job growth? I think that’s an urban myth. Small businesses are, by definition, SMALL. They employ very few people, and grow very slowly, as a rule. Microsoft and Google and Apple started out as extremely small businesses. But once they added a lot of employees, they became BIG businesses. And they kept on creating jobs.

Small businesses, unfortunately, are UNSTABLE. When the economy turns sour, small businesses often go broke. For every Microsoft, Google or Apple, hundreds of small restaurants and stores fail every year. Jobs in small business often disappear as fast as they’re created.

Take the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, for example. I’ll bet that Atlantic General Hospital, Salisbury University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, employ more workers than all the small businesses combined. Over the past 10 years, Atlantic General, SU, and UMES have added a lot of jobs to the Lower Eastern Shore economy.

— John Hayden

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Posted in: Business, Economy, Work