Celebrate National Small Business Week!

What’s your favorite small business? Maybe it’s your favorite local restaurant or ice cream shop. Or, maybe it is a small manufacturing firm in your hometown. For me, it is my local hardware store, 1540 Hardware. They are so small, but they somehow manage to have everything! And, best of all, a purchase there always comes with the friendly smile of employees who, for the most part, also live in the neighborhood.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), more than half of all people in the US either own or work for a small business, and they account for 2 out of 3 of the new jobs created each year, making them truly an engine of economic growth in our country. The SBA seeks to honor the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses every year through National Small Business Week.

As National Small Business Week winds down, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate and also apprise our users about relevant and recently updated datasets available on PolicyMap. Most recently, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Small Business and Small Farm Lending data was updated with 2012 data. In 2012, the number of small business originations went up by 2%, while the number of small farm loan originations went up by 30%. This is the first year that the data is provided at the new Census boundaries.

The map below shows the number of small business loans under $100,000 that were made in the South Philly neighborhood where 1540 Hardware is:

Read this document from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council for help with interpreting the CRA lending data. Also, be sure to check out the recent addition of Small Business Development Centers data on PolicyMap as well. Their assistance to small businesses and entrepeneurs, in the form of helping with business consulting and a variety of low-cost training services, is an important resource for areas looking to grow small businesses.