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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What exactly is a small business?

The Nobel Prize went to folks who fund really small businesses - with start up money sometimes buying a goat or some cement with which to make bricks. That sounds like small business.

In my classes I highlight that the average revenues for the vast majority of the firms and sole proprietorships in the United States is less than $100k. That also sounds like small business.

Along comes DiversityBusiness.com who announces the top 500 small businesses in the country. From their e-mail blast in today's box:
The 7th annual listing of the nation's top small businesses. Ranging in revenue size from $1 million to over $2 billion, the companies listed represent the nation's top small business earners.

At the top of 2006's list are Software House International, Inc., headquartered in Somerset, NJ, with $2.6 billion in 2005 revenues, World Wide Technology, Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, with $1.8 billion in 2005 revenues, Ensemble Workforce Solutions, based in Los Angels , CA, with 1.4 billion in 2005 revenues, and Omega World Travel, based in Fairfax, VA, with $1.3 billion in 2005 revenues. These four businesses are Asian American, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Woman-owned respectively.

Wow, revenues in the billions is still considered a small business? Granted, it is the right tail of small business, but #500 of the Forbes 500 has revenues of $3.9 billion.

My candidates for top small business would be in the $1-$5 million range, but that's just me.

Nevertheless, congratulations to those who made the list of top 500 small businesses of the year. Small business is an important component of our economy which is all too often overlooked.

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