"Small businesses are generally independently owned and can exist in a variety of forms including, but not limited to, corner stores, online boutiques, among many others. They can give a neighborhood strength and create vibrant, diverse communities," the American Express Shop Small website says.
There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. government Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy report published in August 2018. (The federal government's U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy generally defines a small business as having fewer than 500 employees. The report uses the most recent governmental data available, collected in 2015 and released in 2016-2017.)
Of those 30.2 million small businesses, 80 percent — 24.3 million — were solo entrepreneurs (no employees). That's a number on the rise; in 1997, there were 15.4 small businesses with no employees, the SBA's Office of Advocacy says.
Still, Main Street businesses are a significant factor in the nation's job market. Small businesses employ 47.5 percent of private sector employees (59 million out of 124 million), according to the SBA office of Advocacy.
contributed to this report.