As experts in small business, we routinely get asked information about statistics and research information about small businesses in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. Below is more information to answer your questions.


There are exceptions based on industry sector and other variables but generally speaking, small businesses are defined as having 500 or fewer employees. For a complete definition, please visit the Summary of Size Standards by Industry from the SBA.

Small Business in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s small businesses are key to the state’s well-being. They account for a significant share of the state’s economic production and hiring. Below is the latest available data to illustrate the status and contributions of Pennsylvania small businesses:

  • 989,659 small businesses in Pennsylvania
  • Small businesses employed 2.4 million workers in 2010 and accounted for 48.6 percent of the private sector labor force
  • Small firms make up 98.3% of the state’s employers

Source: State Economic Profiles (U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy)

Pennsylvania Small Businesses by County

  • Click here for an Excel spreadsheet (.xlsx) that details small business activity in all 67 Pennsylvania counties

More Pennsylvania Resources

Small Business in the U.S.

According to the latest data available from the Office of Advocacy at the SBA, in 2010 there were 27.9 million small businesses in the United States. Small businesses are very important to the U.S. economy as they:

  • Represent 99.7% of all employer firms
  • Employ just under half (49.2%) of all private sector employees
  • Pay 42.9% of total U.S. private payroll
  • Generated 67% of net new jobs since the latest recessions from mid-2009 to 2011
  • Are 52% home-based and 2% franchises
  • Produce 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. 

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

More National Resources

More Information

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