About the Alliance

Why You Should Be A Member

Strategic Partnerships

The California Small Business Alliance is a non-partisan coalition of California trade associations committed to provide small businesses with a single constructive voice before air quality management districts and other environmental regulatory agencies.

The challenges facing small firms are enormous, as legislatures, courts, special interests, and environmental advocacy groups call for even stricter, more costly regulations.

By joining together, through their associations, small firms leverage their resources and strategically position themselves to be heard on proposed regulations and enforcement strategies that will affect them.

Membership at a Glance

While Alliance members represent small businesses, the combined impact of the membership on society and the economy is enormous. For example, in the Los Angeles metropolitan region alone, membership in the Alliance grew to represent:

  • 14,000 companies
  • 700,000 employees
  • $42 billion in shipments

Statewide, the impact of the Alliance members grew to even more impressive numbers:

  • 26,000 companies
  • 1.1 million employees
  • $75 billion in shipments

Throughout the coming months, these numbers will increase as the Alliance adds other trade associations to its roster of members.

Engine of Statewide Economic Growth

California is home to 2.4 million full-time businesses. Of these, 1.6 million are sole-proprietorships, operating without any paid employees. Of the remaining 800,000 businesses, 97 percent are small firms with less than 100 employees. These small firms account for well over half of all wage and salary workers in the private sector and an estimated 70 percent of new jobs created since 1992.

Small firms, however, are not just about jobs. They also provide new ideas, products, and techniques that add to business diversity, reduce the risk of industrial stagnation, and contribute to a robust economy. Moreover, small firms are the primary vehicle by which millions of minorities, women and immigrants enter the economic and social mainstream of American society — both as employees and business owners.

Engine of National Economic Growth

Small businesses make a big impact on the U.S. economy:

  • Across the United States, small businesses make up more than 99.7 percent of all employers.
  • Small businesses drive the economy. They generate more than 50 percent of our country’s non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Innovation sparks our economy and raises our standard of living. Americans rely on the creative spark of entrepreneurs because small “patenting firms” produce 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than their larger competitors do.
  • Small business has a big presence, as there are over 24.7 million of them in the United States.
  • Not only are there the small businesses we see, there is a “hidden economy” too. From Silicon Valley garage start-ups to freelance writers, home-based businesses account for 53 percent of all small businesses.
  • Small businesses keep America working as they employ half of all private sector workers.
  • Small businesses help us reduce our trade deficit. Small firms are 97 percent of all exporters, and they produce 29 percent of all export value.
  • Small businesses are dynamic and continually changing to meet consumer demand and market needs. Over 550,000 small firms with employees start up every year.
  • Small business is leading our rapid economic growth. Over the past decade, small firms created between 60 and 80 percent of the net new jobs in our economy.
  • Despite their contributions to the economy, small businesses face a disproportionate regulatory burden. Very small firms with fewer than 20 employees spend annually 45 percent more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulations.
  • The manufacturing sector is especially hard hit when it comes to disproportionate regulatory burden. The per-employee annual regulatory compliance cost for manufacturers with fewer than 20 employees is more than two-and-a-half times higher than it is for manufacturers with 500 or more employees.

All statistics are from the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration: Summer 2006

Alliance Activity

To meet the challenges facing small businesses, Alliance members:

  • play an active part in relevant committees, task forces, policy forums, and working groups
  • advise agencies in identifying the most cost-effective and least economically debilitating measures to regulate small businesses
  • produce position papers and technical reports to enable agencies, public officials, economists, environmental groups, and other sectors of business to help them understand the processes, costs, and compliance challenges that small businesses face
  • leverage time and resources by sharing the monitoring and advocacy burden