Why Small Businesses are Important in Ventura County

Gonzalo Fernandez

Gonzalo Fernandez

Contributed by Gonzalo Fernandez, Small Business Development Center Consultant

September’s Labor Day honors hard working Americans, and small business owners are among the hardest workers around. They are often the first ones in and the last ones out, working side-by-side with their employees.

While we hear and read daily how our national economy is doing based on the stock market’s biggest companies and business sectors, don’t let those national data points eclipse the big impact of small businesses, including start-ups and non-employer companies, here in Ventura County.
Small businesses and start-ups across the nation create the most new jobs and employ more than half of the nation’s private sector workforce, providing more than half of the nation’s private sector income and providing more than half of the nation’s non-farm, private real gross domestic product.
In Ventura County, 96 percent of all payroll firms employ fewer than 50 workers, and collectively, they account for half of the county’s payroll jobs. Here, the contribution of small businesses to the region’s economy overall is even greater than it is for the nation as a whole.
In addition to the small payroll firms who have employees, we have thousands more non-employer businesses, where the owner is the sole worker. Because we typically gauge the significance of a business by number of employees, the non-employer businesses don’t get the respect they are due. In Ventura County, non-employer businesses make up the majority of the Professional and Technical Sector, non-employer businesses account for most of those jobs. Including all sectors, non-employer businesses in Ventura County make up 76 percent of all businesses.
A closer look at the non-employer entrepreneurs show us that, in addition to supplying themselves with employment, they are an important source of “full pay” quarterly tax payments, not qualifying for tax incentives or deductions offered to larger employers. They also are essential suppliers of specialized expertise, goods and services to larger businesses who depend on them.
Let’s remember that Ventura County is fertile ground for even the smallest businesses, many who turn into big successes: Amgen, Haas Automation, Saalex Solutions and many others, including several who are or have been clients of the Small Business Development Center hosted by the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County.
The EDC-VC is proud of its role in serving the entire small business sector, including start-ups and non-employer companies with free consulting services and access to capital, vital programs that support business and economic vitality while boosting the quality of life for us all.
Contributed by Gonzalo Fernandez
Small Business Development Center Consultant
SBDC hosted by the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County

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