The state of Pennsylvania is exhorting everyone to “think small,” at least for the first week in May when Pennsylvania Small Business Week will celebrate entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Commonwealth.
“Pennsylvania is home to nearly one million small businesses [which] employ 2.4 million individuals or about half (46.9 percent) of the state’s private workforce,” explains Scott Deitrich, director of the Department of Community & Economic Development‘s (DCED) Small Business Champion Network. “It is likely that every person in the state either works for or knows someone who works for a small business.”
In time for Small Business Week (May 1-7), DCED has released an updated Entrepreneur’s Guide, an invaluable resource for those small businesses. There will also be events and a series of free webinars — each presented by an experienced small business consultant — on topics such as starting, financing and growing a small business; leveraging LinkedIn; and exploring new markets.
The Small Business Administration considers firms with fewer than 500 employees to be small business, and by that measure a staggering 98.2 percent of Pennsylvania companies qualify. The SBA also reports that while small business in Pennsylvania lost 5,500 net jobs in 2013, the number of proprietors was up 1.3 percent in 2014.
The economic impact of small business reaches across all sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy, says Deitrich, “from professional services to retail, from construction to healthcare, from manufacturing to education and beyond… We believe that there is opportunity available in all industries, and that’s what we hope to promote and celebrate during Small Business Week.”