The Real Drivers of Growth Aren't Small Businesses—They're New Businesses

A graphical antidote to political hype

Small businesses accounted for 64 percent of the net new jobs created in the U.S. between 1993 and 2011—impressive, right? Not when you consider that, because the federal government classifies any privately owned business that employs fewer than 500 people as “small,” 99.7 percent of employer firms qualify as such. Despite what you hear on the campaign trail, small business is not key to American economic expansion. What we should be encouraging instead is a very particular kind of new business.

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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