Data from a new study provides a guide for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help ensure America’s small businesses can grow and diversify their revenue through trade.
“SBA’s new research gives insight into the broader impact and opportunity for America’s small business exporters, with findings showing significantly more small businesses exporting than previously reported,” Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement.
“The data provides a better guide for the SBA to help ensure America’s small businesses can grow and diversify their revenue through trade. We will continue to strengthen our capacity to provide resources that small exporters need to compete in the global marketplace and power our nation’s economy.”
The SBA released its findings from a commissioned study on the Total Addressable Market (TAM) of small business exporters in America. Among the study’s key findings is new data, based on recent business surveys, that places the number of exporting small businesses at 1.3 million – an increase of nearly five times the estimates previously published by the federal government.
The research also places the potential market size, or total addressable market, at over 2.6 million small businesses, representing 42 percent of all small employer businesses.
“We know that small businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy, and we can now tell a better and more comprehensive story of the importance of exporting for small businesses,” said Associate Administrator for International Trade, Gabriel J. Esparza.
“We will use this research to support and advance the global market success of U.S. small businesses and evolve our products and services to better meet the needs of those current and future small business exporters.”
Small business exporter numbers have traditionally been derived by the federal government primarily from U.S. Census Bureau surveys and goods export data. According to the latest official data from 2020, there were approximately 264,000 small business goods exporters in the U.S. The data does not account for overseas shipments valued at less than $2,500 and service exports, including software as a service.
The study’s research reveals the highest concentrations of small business exporters and exports exist within a variety of manufacturing, wholesale, plastics and chemicals, medical equipment, and computer systems design firms, as well as management consulting, architectural, engineering, legal, and software service providers.
Another focus with both goods and services exporters are emerging industries, such as green technology industries, as there is a global demand for technologies and services benefiting the environment.