Amid growing questions on the effect large technology companies are having on America’s small businesses, a Deloitte study has found that 85 percent of U.S. small businesses report that digital tools are critical to their success. The study, commissioned by the Connected Commerce Council (3C), also found that digitally empowered small businesses perform better financially, experience more employment growth, and are better able to compete in a global marketplace. Deloitte acknowledged that additional training and education could help small businesses scale, which provides an opportunity for the Small Business Administration to support U.S. small business growth.
“The relationship between big tech and small business is fundamental to the modern digital economy,” said Jake Ward, President of 3C. “It may be politically popular to attack America’s largest technology and Internet companies, but it is misplaced. As this study repeatedly affirms, American small businesses need access to secure, scalable, and affordable tools and services to start, run, and grow their businesses. We should not limit small business access to these critical tools because we are intimidated by the success and size of the companies that make them.”
Deloitte Study Takeaways
- 85 percent of small businesses report that digital tools help their business.
- Small businesses that use digital tools are 3 times more likely to experience customer growth, which tends to be twice as high.
- Small businesses that use digital tools are 2 times as profitable.
- 90 percent of all small businesses believe that digital tools have fostered innovation in their business, particularly in entering new markets and communicating with customers.
- Key Transition Barriers
- 45 percent cited access to training and education as a critical concern
- 31 percent cited privacy and security concerns
Why it matters
The Deloitte study emphasized the role small businesses play in the U.S. economy, employing half of the U.S. private workforce and making up for 45 percent of U.S. GDP. Additionally, 3C highlighted how digital tools empower small businesses to help the U.S. maintain economic dominance and its leadership in technological innovation.
Myles Hagan, owner of a digitally empowered small business, Geoff’s Farmhouse Tables, added, “If Congress took action against these tools, it would be horrible. We’d all be pretty much finished. Through digital tools, we meet our customers, and it’s how we accept payment from our customers. These tools have given us the power to succeed.”
The critical value of small business access
The Deloitte researchers found that 85 percent of digitalized small businesses have enhanced their business performance, and are five times more likely to reach new international customers. With an expanded international reach, the study underscored how small businesses help make the U.S. more competitive in the global economy and position America as a worldwide leader in innovation. However, the study also shows that there are opportunities for the federal government to address barriers that still exist for small businesses.