From The Rock

Join us in celebrating Small Business Week!

By | April 30, 2018

Obsidian is the largest boutique PR firm in the Mid-South. We service national brands and startups from across the country. We’re a woman-owned small business and a certified women business enterprise and locally owned small business in Shelby County, Tennessee.

This week is the US Small Business Association’s National Small Business Week, a week to celebrate the overall economic and social impact small businesses have on Memphis. Here are a few things you should know about small businesses:

  • SBA generally defines a small business as a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or corporation that has employed fewer than 500 employees on average in the last 12 months and less than $7.5 million in average annual receipts over the past three years.
  • These parameters do vary by industry. For example, a soybean farm is considered a small business if it brings in less than $750,000, while a cotton ginning company is considered small if it makes less than $11 million.
  • Additionally, small businesses must:
    • Be organized for-profit
    • Have a place of business in the U.S.
    • Make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy (meaning a majority of their business must be done in the U.S.)
    • Be independently owned and operated
    • Not dominate the national landscape of its field

You might think that small businesses play a small role in the business landscape, especially in Memphis where FedEx, AutoZone and ServiceMaster are present, but that notion is inherently false. According to data collected and curated by SBA, small businesses account for 99.5 percent of businesses in the state of Tennessee and employ more than 1.1 million Tennesseans, approximately 42 percent of the workforce.

And, small businesses are growing. In 2017, small businesses created more than 25,000 new jobs in Tennessee and accounted for 83.1 percent of international exports from our state. In Shelby County, SBA estimates between 33 percent and 47 percent of individuals in the workforce are employed by small businesses.

Recent trends have also shown that small businesses are a place where minority communities are entering the business landscape. A growing number of businesses are registering as minority-owned (38 percent growth from 2007 to 2012) or women-owned, and on a national level, each brings in $1.4 trillion annually. The social implications of this trend are massive and felt across Memphis in the areas of neighborhood revitalization, employment and corporate community investment.

So, if you weren’t already, plan to spend time at the local pub down the road, or perusing the aisles of an independent grocery store. They’ll appreciate your support!