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:

  • 999,591 small businesses in Pennsylvania
  • Small businesses employed 2.4 million workers in 2014 and accounted for 47.3 percent of the private sector labor force
  • Small firms make up 98.2% of the state’s employers

Source: Pennsylvania Small Business Profile (SBA Office of Advocacy State Economic Profiles)

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 2015 there were 28.4 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 (48.4%) of all private sector employees
  • Pay 42.9% of total U.S. private payroll
  • Generated 63% of net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013 and 60% since the end of the recession from mid-2009 to mid-2013
  • Are 52% home-based and 2% franchises
  • Produce 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. 

Source: Frequently Asked Questions (SBA Office of Advocacy Research and Statistics)

More National Resources

More Information

Check out our FAQ section on Small Business Statistics and Research.

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