Thaddeus Swanek Thaddeus Swanek
Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


September 22, 2023


In a year that saw a record-breaking pool of over 15,000 applicants from all corners of the nation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced America’s 70 top small businesses. The reveal of these 70 exceptional businesses from all over the country sets the stage for the announcement of the Chamber’s annual “America's Top Small Business Awards” winner on Oct. 19, 2023.

The applicants for America’s Top Small Business Awards came from diverse locations, industries, and backgrounds and represent a microcosm of American small business today. The top 70 that emerged range from an auction house in Alaska to a music store in Michigan, and from a specialty wig store in Georgia to a pickleball paddle company in Utah. They are deeply engaged in their communities, create jobs, and keep America on the cutting edge of new innovations.  

Applications Open for the CO—100

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce CO—100 is a list of the top 100 small businesses in America from the world’s largest business organization. 

CO—100 businesses will earn national media exposure, get exclusive access to experts, and tap into one-of-a-kind VIP perks. In addition to these benefits, ten businesses will receive $2,000, and America's Top Small Business of the Year will be awarded $25,000.

Here’s a deeper look at the applicants for America’s Top Small Business and who they are.

There were 15,737 applicants from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. California had the most completed applications, with 12%, followed closely by Florida (11%) and Texas (8%). The 70 top small businesses came from the South, Northeast, Midwest, West, and Alaska.

Demographically, business owners who completed applications this year are diverse, embodying many perspectives and backgrounds. More than half (56%) are women-owned. A similar percentage (53%) are minority-owned. Nearly one in three completed applications came from family-owned businesses. One in five are under the age of 30.

Twenty percent identified their business as eco-friendly, while 8% said their business is focused on serving military, veterans, or first responders. Small percentages of applications came from immigrant-owned businesses (11%), veteran-owned businesses (7%), and LGBTQ+-owned businesses (5%).

Applicants also came from a wide range of industries, with retailers, professional services, and arts and entertainment firms turning in the most applications.

This year’s applicants also provided insight into the biggest challenges their businesses are facing. Forty-one percent of completed applications mentioned access to capital as an issue impacting their business, followed by inflation (36%), technology needs (22%), and supply chain issues (20%).

Other top challenges include the worker shortage, meeting customer demands, prompt payment on invoices, federal/state regulations, and crime. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also surveys small business owners quarterly for the MetLife and U.S. Chamber Small Business Index. Recent Index data also reflects a large share of small businesses concerned about access to capital, inflation, and employee retention.

America’s Top Small Business is part of the U.S. Chamber’s longstanding commitment to supporting and advocating for small businesses. We work every day to fight for policies and regulations that benefit small business, elevate the voice of America’s small business owners, highlight the role they play in the nation’s economy, and support Main Street businesses’ growth and success with tailored resources and expert insights.

Learn more about the U.S. Chamber’s small business work here.

Meet America's Top 70 Small Businesses

These exceptional businesses have emerged as the vanguards of innovation and community engagement.

About the authors

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus is a senior writer and editor with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's strategic communications team.

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