Tomorrow, May 5th, wraps up National Small Business Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the entrepreneurs, employees, patrons, and owners of small businesses across the country and here at home in North Carolina. Small businesses play a huge role in driving North Carolina’s growing economy, but they also face real challenges to starting and growing their operations. From removing regulatory burdens inhibiting their growth, to identifying grants and other opportunities that could help entrepreneurs at every stage of their development, the NC Chamber is committed to pursuing solutions to empower small businesses in our state.
Despite the challenges, the future looks bright for small businesses in NC, who make up a staggering 99.6% of our state’s business landscape and employ 1.6 million people. An April survey from PNC Financial Group Services found that 66% of small- to mid-sized businesses project increased revenue moving forward, and 24% expect to add full-time jobs in the next six months. WalletHub recently ranked Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh among the top 10 best cities to start a business. As we’ve written about before, innovation among startups and entrepreneurs in NC is on the rise. The recent NC PACES law made it even easier for startups to crowdfund at their early stages of growth. And of course, Forbes ranked North Carolina as the #1 state in the country to do business—an accolade that reflects the strength of our small and large businesses alike.
On top of those general trends, North Carolina is also 7th in the nation for growth of women-owned businesses. Over the last 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses in the state increased by 138.1%. Now, North Carolina’s home to 333,100 women-owned businesses that employ nearly 300,000 people and generate approximately $39.4 billion annually. The Small Business Administration also found that there are more than 180,000 minority-owned businesses across North Carolina. Our state’s competitive economy would crumble without the invaluable contributions of these entrepreneurs.
Here at the NC Chamber, more than half of our members employ fewer than 250 people—and they’re making a name for themselves in our state! Members like Bulk TV & Internet, EPES Logistics Services Inc., Samet Corp., Bernard Robinson & Company LLP were recently among the small businesses recognized as the best employers in North Carolina by BusinessNC. We’re proud to be the voice of small businesses across our state – happy National Small Business Week!