Small businesses with 20 to 499 employees are leading the charge in increasing private sector employment, according to the SBA.
These firms represented more than 50% of growth from the second quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, which is the latest data available, the SBA’s Business Quarterly Bulletin for the third quarter showed.
Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees represented only 12% of the employment growth over the time period tracked. Historically, this smaller size class has represented about a quarter of net employment increases, the SBA said.
Meanwhile, financing for small businesses is showing modest improvements, according to the data. Bankers reported that small business loan demand and commercial and industrial loans outstanding increased in all three quarters of 2011. Credit union data was not tracked.
Still, although improving, the financing environment still seems weaker today than the official end of the downturn in mid-2009, according to the SBA. While sales have been up recently, small businesses may have long-term concerns about future sales.
“A double whammy of a graying population and the increasing personal savings rate returning to early-1990s levels, a direction it has taken in recent years, could lead to relatively lower sales over the next 10 years and beyond,” the agency reported.