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America — Land of the free, home of the small business

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For decades presidents have called small businesses “the backbone of America.” That statement rings true, perhaps now more than ever. The United States happens to be an incredible place to start your own business — and that is not something to take for granted.

Though the economic landscape has changed dramatically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the most recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy shows that the 30.2 million U.S. businesses with less than 500 employees made up 99.9% of all businesses in America.

Moreover, GoDaddy’s Venture Forward initiative provides an in-depth look at millions of micro-businesses and the outsized yet often overlooked impact they have on the economy. These “ventures” are discrete domain names with active websites that might represent businesses, nonprofits, causes, or ideas with services like email, payments, or security attached.

Venture Forward data shows that these ventures strongly influence the prosperity of their communities — and might have an enormous impact on their recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

GoDaddy Venture Forward Map

Our country is an incredible country to launch and run a business. There are many reasons to be thankful to own a small business in America. The “land of opportunity” is just that. Whether you are an entrepreneur or are still unsure if you are ready to start your own business, here are some reasons to be grateful your brand is “Made in the USA.”

America was built for the small business

The U.S. was quite literally built for businesses. The country is driven by capitalism, the economic system where trade is controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Regardless of your political beliefs, America is a fruitful land for a budding entrepreneur.

A capitalistic mentality and environment rewards ambition, hard work, and innovation — the primary characteristics of any entrepreneur or startup.

Small businesses in America date as far back as the 1600s. As our nation developed, so did our trade practices and many businesses grew from there. Some of the first American startups (Ford, Kraft, Campbells Soup; the list goes on) exploded into empires and are now worldwide conglomerates.

Our nation has embraced business and the entrepreneurial spirit since it began because a strong workforce equals a strong economy. Those combined create a powerful country.

More and more entrepreneurial ventures enter the market each year, perhaps because the barrier to entry is relatively low.

There are many resources available for starting a business

In a country whose foundation is business, it makes sense that there are many resources available to start an enterprise of your own. Starting a business is hard work and a big investment for any entrepreneur, but to make things official on paper is rather easy.

First, you need to get a business license, but thankfully it is a straightforward procedure and can be completed in less than a day in some states. They are also generally inexpensive. Alaska offers business licenses for as little as $50 while one in New Jersey doubles that.

Another thing to determine when starting a business is the entity in which to declare it. There are many entities in America designed for all types of businesses. From a sole-proprietorship to a corporation and everything in between, you can determine what type of business structure will work best for you based on tax breaks, employment standards, and more.

Declaring your business to the government is only a first step. Here’s a checklist of other tasks if you are just starting out.

The internet has made many of these startup actions — like writing a business plan and creating brand assets — more affordable and accessible for would-be entrepreneurs.

Related: Create It — Building your presence, brand, and product

American culture embraces entrepreneurship

American culture embraces and promotes the entrepreneurial spirit. Our society praises hard work and generally rewards the hustle. If not by monetary means, entrepreneurs gain respect and admiration across all levels of society.

In the 1980s, small businesses really began to flourish and this inspired many to become interested in entrepreneurship. Startups exploded and as companies expanded, Silicon Valley quickly became the center of it all.

Today, more and more cities are offering tax breaks and other incentives to attract new business ventures.

Around the same time that Silicon Valley erupted, venture capital financing, or VC, also grew in popularity. With VC, eager entrepreneurs were able to raise the funds they needed to turn an idea into a real business. Plus, there are plenty of other ways to fund a business.

Fast forward to today and entrepreneurship is still at the heart of America.

Even our education systems support the mindset through programs, degrees, scholarships, and more. American school systems foster entrepreneurial thinking because it cultivates individuals who think outside the box and create new opportunities to stimulate a strong American economy.

Related: Entrepreneurship in 2019 — New data shows that entrepreneurship is on the rise

American consumers spark innovation

Startups are trending in the United States for a reason.

Americans are forward-thinking, smart consumers.

We are continually seeking newer, easier ways of doing things and we want to discover new products and try new services. Behind the curtain of clever startups is the American consumer who pushes the brand to keep innovating.

Consumers in America do not just spark innovation, we also pay for it. Last year, consumers spent more than $13 trillion. That is roughly 70% of the American GDP. But it’s a good thing because healthy spending signifies healthy consumer confidence.

While COVID-19 has driven down consumer spending across that board, as life slowly returns to something more closely resembling normal, our spending habits will return as well.

The avid American demand for better products, higher-quality ingredients, or faster delivery creates healthy competition between companies. The startups that discover these gaps in the market and create a solution succeed time and time again.

But you don’t need to create the next best app to be successful in America. You can run a successful small business simply by appealing to your local market.

The growing popularity of shopping local

Another reason to be grateful for owning a small business in America is the principle that many of our citizens want to shop locally. Supporting local small businesses is growing in popularity through the rise of companies that deliver a unique, localized experience.

Small businesses are finding ways to compete with big-box stores — and winning. Smaller retailers are attracting customers away from chains and big brands through the power of their local community, connections, and personalized touches.

This trend can be observed in the rise of small local businesses like micro-breweries, independent shopping boutiques, workout studios, and even local agriculture like farmer’s markets.

National celebrations like Small Business Saturday are another reason Americans are adding more local destinations to their shopping routines. American Express reported this past year’s observance, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, experienced a record high in spending.

The growing popularity of shopping local proves that small businesses can thrive in America without serious expansion. A supportive American consumer is willing to pay a little extra for better quality, smarter-sourced, local services.

Related: Proven tactics for marketing your local business

“Made in the USA” means something

The U.S. thrives on its national pride, and products or brands that proudly display Made in the USA tags are important to Americans.

By purchasing and supporting made-in-the-USA brands, you help ensure job security for Americans, from small business employees to the manufacturer and distributor levels.

Aside from promoting job security within America, you’re also supporting better lives for workers. Federal organizations such as the U.S. Department of Labor enforce minimum wage requirements and monitor working conditions to keep a safe environment for all workers.

Other U.S. organizations like the Better Business Bureau assign rankings to companies to hold them accountable and make them trustworthy and transparent to the public.

The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is the organization that upholds these Made in America standards, which are stricter than you might realize. For an item to be considered “Made in America,” the product must be made within the U.S. borders and produced from “all or virtually all” American parts.

Brands that keep their production domestic are helping the U.S. economy and also protecting Americans. This label should be worn and purchased proudly because it stands for much more than where something was made.

Ever the land of opportunity

Most businesses began as a dream here in the land of opportunity. Those brave individuals who pursued their vision made those entrepreneurial dreams a reality and have paved the way for all the everyday entrepreneurs to follow.

Presidents and politicians who say that small businesses are the backbone of America are right. America is home to the small business and as an entrepreneur — or soon-to-be-entrepreneur — you are definitely in the right place.

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