Small Businesses Make Big Impact on Local Economy

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay
For the last nine years there has been a national effort to collectively support local businesses with Small Business Saturday.

Since 2010, this initiative has served as a reminder that gifts and services purchased locally for the holidays supports businesses and jobs in our backyards.

In fact, it is estimated that $.67 of every $1 spent at local businesses stays in the local economy which helps support employees’ wages and benefits and other businesses nearby.

In addition, it is estimated that for every 10 jobs at a small business, another 7 are supported in the local community.

The day, which is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year, also provides an opportunity to shed light on the long-term and far-reaching impact small businesses have on the local economy.

More than half of all private sector workers earn a paycheck from small businesses.

Collectively, these businesses provide 3.9 million jobs statewide and in 2018 were responsible for about $212.6 billion in payroll in New York alone.

While small businesses are defined as having 500 employees or less, 81% of small businesses in New York have fewer than 10 employees which provides more than 957,000 jobs with payrolls totaling $43 billion.

Locally, their impact cannot be overstated.

The jobs small businesses create in individual counties was recently outlined in a report put together by the State Comptroller, which was based on the latest Census from 2013:

Oswego County reported 1,827 small businesses which supported 14,096 employees; Onondaga County reported 9,001 small businesses which provided jobs for 103,138; and Jefferson County reported 1,894 small businesses that provided jobs for 18,091.

Because the businesses are owned, managed and have employees who live in the local community, they are also inherently community-minded and are more likely to create relationships in local neighborhoods and develop partnerships with local leaders—all of which contributes to stronger local economy and creates safer communities.

Many also contribute generously to community causes and support other small businesses in the area.

All of this helps increase local sales tax receipts and, in general, adds to local tax base which supports municipal services, local roads, and education and improves the quality of life for all residents.

To learn more about small businesses in New York and to access resources for small business owners, visit Empire State Development’s website.

This agency shares details on financing and grant opportunities available to small businesses at

If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.