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Input: Sector Description

The Small Business Assistance and Outreach Cross-sector includes programs that reach across all workplace sectors because small businesses occur in every sector. Small businesses are especially common in the Trade and Services sectors.

In 2009, there were approximately 5.7 million businesses in the United States with employees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Seventy-nine percent of those firms have less than 10 employees, and 89% have less than 20. The majority of firms in every major industry sector are smaller businesses (10 employees). Almost 18% of the U.S. labor force works in firms with less than 20 employees. Although the stereotype of a small business is a small town retail or service firm, some smaller businesses do not fit the stereotype, e.g., high-tech manufacturing startups.

Source: Statistics of U.S. Businesses, U.S. Census Bureau:


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  • Page last reviewed: December 26, 2012
  • Page last updated: December 26, 2012 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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