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America May Not Be As Friendly To SMBs As It Seems, Report Says

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 8/13/2009

Despite the "national spirit of entrepreneurship," the U.S. has among the lowest activity rates for small businesses in the world.

Small businesses have long been considered the backbone of the American economy.

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that 99.7 percent of all employer firms are small businesses - something the SBA defines as a company with fewer than 500 employees - and that these businesses employ approximately half of all private sector employees.

However, a recent report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research had news for small business owners - the U.S. is one of the least SMB-friendly countries in the world.

"An important part of our national identity is built around the idea that - thanks to low taxes, limited regulation, unfettered labor markets, and a national spirit of entrepreneurship - the United States offers an environment for small business that is unmatched anywhere else in the world," the report read.

Yet the report found that, compared to other major countries, the U.S. has the second lowest share of self-employed workers, the lowest share of small manufacturing employment, and the third lowest share of small businesses in the research and development sector.

Greece, Portugal and Italy tended to top those lists, among other categories.

While it may not be able to claim international bragging rights, the U.S. still is dependent on its small businesses - the SBA estimates that small businesses create 60 percent to 80 percent of new net jobs annually.

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