State of Small Business

They don't call it solo for nothing
26% of Internet users say the Web has increased the amount of time they spend working at home. Meanwhile, 10% say the Internet has decreased the amount of time they spend with family and friends.
Source: and InterSurvey poll.

Got stress?
Early-warning signs of job stress:

  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Short temper
  • Upset stomach
  • Low morale

Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health report, " Work," DHHS Publication No. 99-101.

Do-it-yourself growth
Almost 44% of small companies surveyed last year said that their expansion plans would be financed either internally (that is, by their retained earnings) or with the personal resources of the owners and other employees or of family and friends. About 21% said that expansion would be financed by bank credit. Another 20% said they would rely on a variety of nonbank forms of financing, such as venture capital and loans and grants from development agencies.
Source: The 1999 Levy Institute Survey of Small Business.

Conservation click-through
The Internet will reduce the demand for paper by up to 2.7 million tons every year, resulting in an annual reduction of 10 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Source: Center for Energy and Climate Solutions.

We're not quite in the money
Chances that a U.S. resident is a billionaire: 1 in 1,028,807.
There were 267 billionaires in the United States as of October 1999.
Source: Forbes.

The B2B behemoth
One quarter of all business-to-business purchases will be made online by 2003. Those transactions will be worth $2.8 trillion, based on an expected growth rate of 33% a year from 1998 to 2003.
Six sectors will lead the way in B2B online transactions, constituting more than 65% of business. They are the retail sector, the motor-vehicle industry, shipping, industrial equipment, technological goods, and government agencies and departments.
Source: Boston Consulting Group study, December 1999.

Got to learn somehow
Half of all U.S. workers surveyed need more computer skills to achieve their career goals, and 44% complain that they don't get the training they need at work.
Only 23% of workers said they had learned to use a computer at work, and 26% said they had learned at school. Far more workers had taught themselves how to use a computer or learned from a friend.
61% of workers want long-distance-learning technologies so they can receive education or training programs, but only 26% of the workforce has participated in such an opportunity.
Source: Nothing but Net: American Workers and the Information Economy, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.

Accepted everywhere
47% of the owners of small and midsize businesses said they used credit cards to finance their companies in 1998, up from 37% in 1997 and 17% in 1993.
In comparison, in 1998 traditional commercial bank loans were used by 45% of those businesses.
Source: 1998 NSBU/AA Enterprise Group Survey.

Women at work
65% of mothers with children under age 6 and 74% of mothers with children ages 6 to 13 are in the labor force.
Almost 60% of mothers with infants (under age one) are in the labor force. 55% of working women in the United States bring home half or more of their family's earnings.
Meanwhile, full-day child care costs between $4,000 and $10,000 a year.
Source: Children's Defense Fund.

Violence in the workplace
Assaults and threats of violence against Americans at work number almost 2 million a year. Retail-sales workers had the greatest number of victims, with 330,000 being attacked each year.
Source: Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey.

Among employees who had access to the Web at work, 21% used it to play games; 16% to plan vacations; 16% to check investments; and 9% to job hunt.
Source: Survey by Greenfield Online NetPulse, as reported by, February 7, 2000.

Look to the Net
In a 1999 Dun & Bradstreet small-business study, the percentage of companies that anticipated making a significant Internet investment was highest among minority-owned businesses, at 33%.
Meanwhile, a study from the previous year showed that 33% of small- and midsize-business owners intended to use the Internet to fuel growth in the 12 months to come.
Source: 18th Annual Dun & Bradstreet Small-Business Study, 1999; NSBU/AA Enterprise Group Survey, 1998.

All the livelong day
We're connected everywhere we go. About 33 million adults in the United States have Internet access at work. A whopping 123 million have Internet access at home. The average time spent per person online per day is 30 minutes. According to a March survey, the total home Internet usage for the United States was 13.7 million hours.
Source: Nielsen/Net Ratings; March 27, 2000.

No time to shop
Female business owners are less patient as consumers than female employees are:
67% of female entrepreneurs say that when they shop, they want to get in and out of stores quickly; 56% of employees say the same thing. Only 27% of entrepreneurs say that they "love going shopping," compared with 38% of employees.
Source: Women Business Owners as Consumers: Transforming the Marketplace, NFWBO 1999.

--Research for "This Moment in Numbers" was compiled by Raisa Marshall.

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