Baseline: Small Business Fundamentals, Focus on Texas


 The following are the fundamentals of Small Business Enterprise with focus on the State of Texas, the epicenter of our political activity for the next federal, state, and local election cycles. This post will establish abaseline for a series of posts to follow that will be geared around developing a framework for 8-PACs’ go-forward political posture and rationale.

 Small Business and Politics

 Small business people are voters.  The power of over 26 million potential voters resides in an enormous small business community of intelligent people.  Texas has over 1.5 million small businesses. Even the smallest enterprise has at least one owner. Many include partners, shareholders, spouses, and other family members, all of whom depend on small businesses for a living. In Texas, almost 5 million employees and their families depend on small business jobs. Many are as concerned as their employers about ill-conceived laws and unnecessary or inappropriate government regulations, paperwork, inspections, taxes, and fees.

 Small businesses and our employees form a true cross section of the US citizenry, representing every race, creed, age, national origin, political persuasion, and financial status. 

Small Business and Society                

Small business is the glue that binds capitalism with ethics.  Small business integrates the moral and economic values that make capitalism work in a socially acceptable way in modern society. Small business owners form the backbone of their local communities: they work in their businesses; we live near our businesses; we participate in community activities; we support local charities; we share community concerns about the environment, crime, etc. Most of us maintain a high level of business ethics in the course of providing jobs to our employees, and goods and services to our customers.

Forming a small business provided many of us with our only opportunity to rise above the poverty level. No government programs have matched the success of small business in accomplishing this objective.

Small businesses are also the most efficient and effective training ground for young people and unskilled workers. Government job training programs cannot replace this diversified on-the-job experience.

As it pertains to Texas…

Entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businesses are key players in the economy of Texas. We make up most of the employer firms in the state, and our contribution is indispensable. Our diverse composition and the spectrum of opportunities we offer are captured in this Small Business Profile, using the most current federal data available. 

Number of Businesses

The state had an estimated total of 1,988,900 small businesses based on the most recent data. Firms with employees numbered 412,520 in 2005, of which an estimated 98.7 percent or 407,157 were small firms (fewer than 500 employees). Self-employment (including incorporated) decreased by 4.8 percent, from 1,200,306 in 2004 to 1,142,150 in 2005. In 2004, non-employer firms increased by 5.4 percent and numbered 1,581,734. (Sources: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration; U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau; U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.) 

Women-Owned Firms

Firms owned by women increased 23 percent between 1997 and 2002, from 381,453 to 468,705; they represented 27.0 percent of the state’s total businesses in 2002. These firms (with and without paid employees) generated $65.8 billion in revenues in 2002. Of the total number of women-owned firms, 13.5 percent or 63,312 firms were employer firms. In 2005, self-employed women totaled 358,961, a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2004, and they represented 31.4 percent of self-employed persons in the state. (Sources: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau.)

Minority-Owned Firms

In 2002, Asian-owned firms totaled 77,980 and generated $20.6 billion in receipts; Black- owned firms numbered 88,769 and generated $6.4 billion in receipts; and Hispanic-owned businesses totaled 319,339 and created $42.2 billion in receipts. American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms numbered 16,204, and they generated

$3.1 billion in receipts; the number of Native Hawaiian- and other Pacific Islander-owned firms was 1,391, and they generated $78 million in receipts in 2002. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau.)


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