Published

April 29, 2024

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At the Chamber, we see every day how new, innovative, and bold entrepreneurs and small businesses strike out into uncharted territory to serve their customers, clients, and communities. Businesses of every size benefit from the American enterprise system - an ecosystem where big businesses and small businesses are vendors, employees, partners, and customers to each other.

Small businesses employ nearly half the American workforce, representing 43.5% of America’s GDP. As we have for over a century, the U.S. Chamber represents the full spectrum of the American business community. And like America, where most businesses are small businesses, the vast majority of our members—90%—are small businesses and state and local chambers of commerce.

It's our mission to help these business leaders grow their companies and strengthen our economy. We believe any business of any size ought to have a fighting chance to prove its value in the market.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors is fully representative of the American business community, consisting of small business, corporate, and nonprofit leaders from all sectors and sizes of business and from all regions of the country. Our Small Business Council is made up of 100 small business owners from across the country who steer our work in fighting for policies that keep Main Street businesses thriving and regularly visit Capitol Hill to voice their needs to lawmakers.

Standing with Small Business Owners, Fighting for Them

The U.S. Chamber fights for small business. Whether it is:

the U.S. Chamber always stands up for the rights of small business.

We work every day to give small businesses a big voice in Washington, connecting entrepreneurs and federal officials and advocating for policies that help them grow rather than hold them back.

One year ago, we launched the Prompt Pay Pledge to help ensure the shared economic success of our business ecosystem. The Pledge calls for large companies to pay their small business suppliers more quickly to help them manage capital and maintain a healthy cash flow. Over the last year, dozens of companies, including Intuit, Citadel, and JPMorgan Chase, have pledged to pay their suppliers quicker and fight for prompt pay.

Exclusive Insights, Access for Small Business

Since 2017, we have partnered with MetLife to survey small businesses on a quarterly basis for the Small Business Index. The Index provides valuable insights on current challenges and opportunities for small business that inform our advocacy in Congress. The Index is also cited in top national media outlets every quarter to explain the current views of small business owners on the national economy. 

Through our small business platform CO—, which helps almost 20,000 businesses every day and had more than six million site visits last year alone, we are equipping small businesses with the tools and insights they need to ensure their own resilience in the face of any challenge. CO—’s regular small business events on topics like improving digital presence and accessing capital attract hundreds of viewers from across the country. 

Each year, the U.S. Chamber and CO— host a Small Business Day event in May and a Small Business Summit in the fall, which bring together successful entrepreneurs and small business experts for advice, networking, and practical strategies for business owners, with thousands of viewers tuning in. The Chamber and CO— have also hosted the America's Top Small Business competition, celebrating entrepreneurs from around the country.

Educating and Empowering Small Businesses

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation works to educate, empower, and lift up small businesses through its impactful work in developing solutions to challenges facing communities.

  • The Foundation's Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a multi-year initiative to support Black small business owners and the communities they serve as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and chart a path forward. Since inception, the Coalition partners have distributed $8.1 million in cash grants to 1,414 Black small-business owners in 42 states while also offering mentoring and additional resources to help small businesses scale and thrive.
  • In 2022, the Foundation and FedEx launched the Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program (R4R), to provide financial assistance to small business owners impacted by a natural disaster. R4R will distribute approximately 400 grants to eligible small businesses over the next four years. In addition, the Foundation's Disaster Help Desk assists small businesses with disaster readiness, relief, and long-term recovery 24/7.
  • The U.S. Chamber Foundation's annual Citizens Awards recognizes companies, small and large, that show exceptional leadership in harnessing innovation and creativity to solve our most pressing issues. The program is now accepting 2023 Citizens Awards nominations.

Fighting for Small Business Every Day

This week is SBA's National Small Business Week. CO— has curated a special collection of content and will host a Small Business Day event on Wednesday, May 1, at 12:00 p.m. ET, featuring small business leaders sharing expert advice and tips on putting strategies into action.

 Every day, we work to create the best environment for businesses.

  • We fight efforts in Washington to raise taxes on businesses, like when they target small businesses or try increasing the corporate tax rate.
  • We push for a bold trade agenda so more American companies have better access to global markets. Ninety-seven percent of U.S. companies that export are small- and medium-sized.
  • We hold government agencies accountable when they go beyond Congressional and constitutional authority, even if it means we take them to court.

Bottom line: Small businesses are the beating heart of America’s economy, and we understand why it is so crucial they have the best possible conditions to do their work. We work every day to advocate for small business interests and help them achieve their goals. By all measures, our impact on them is substantial, and small businesses are strongly engaged with the U.S. Chamber.